Mortal Kombat X – Understanding Fighting System and Mastering Combat

A comprehensive newbie guide to Mortal Kombat X gameplay mechanics, frame data to help you begin the game as an educated player.

Mortal Kombat X is one complicated game. Instead of mashing attack commands, it is better to familiarize yourself in-game mechanics and start off the game as an educated player.

Understanding Fighting System and Mastering Combat

For more help on Mortal Kombat X, check out our Krypt Unlocks Guide and Complete Move List Guide.

Following are the game-mechanics you should keep in mind when playing Mortal Kombat X:

In MKX, every character has 2 stamina bars at the start of a round. Characters require a single stamina bar to perform abilities such as dashing, running, using breakers, and interacting with environment.

Although stamina regenerates over time, characters cannot use any earlier mentioned abilities at 0 stamina.

Dashing allows your character to move around the fighting arena at a faster speed. Dashing is divided into Forward Dashing and Back Dashing and is performed by double-tapping Forward or Backward on your controller.

Each time Dashing is performed, one bar of stamina is consumed.

Running is an even faster way to move around the fighting arena and is performed by double-tapping Forward and holding the Block Button. You can cancel your run by attacking, blocking, crouching, or back dashing.

Running is one important aspect of MKX and is used to close in the gap between you and your opponent. However, do note that running also consumes your stamina and you need at least one bar of stamina to start running.

Environment Interactions
There are a fistful of intractable objects in MKX fighting arena. Some of these objects can only be used once (by your opponent or yourself) and some stay there throughout a battle.

All environment interactions can be blocked and require one bar of stamina along with one bar of Super Meter – to add armor. Lastly, do note that all environment interactions are mid-attacks.

Breaker or Combo Breaker allows you to break your opponents’ combo strings at the cost of 2 stamina bars and 2 Super Meter bars.

Breaker allows you to break out of an opponent’s combo and avoid damage and is performed by holding Forward and pressing Block Button. However, there are some things which must be noted:

You cannot break Projectile Attacks and X-Ray Attacks
You cannot use a Combo Breaker back to back
After a successful Combo Breaker, your stamina regenerates slowly and after a few seconds of using a CB

Combo Breaker can also be performed without holding Forward Button which is by Holding Block Button, tapping Forward Button, and pressing Stance Change Button once.

Attacks in MKX are divided into High, Mid, Low, and Overhead; and all of these attacks require different blocking techniques. High Attacks can be blocked by simply holding Block Button while crouching or standing.

You can also crouch without holding the Block Button to avoid a High Attack. Mid-Attacks, similar to High Attacks, can be blocked by simply holding the Block Button while standing or crouching.

However, do note that you can simply crouch without holding the Block Button to avoid damage. As for Low Attacks, you need to crouch-block to avoid these attacks.

And finally, Overhead Attacks can only be blocked by standing-block. If you try to crouch-block Overhead Attacks, you will take damage from the attack.

Wake up Attacks
Wake Up Attacks basically allow your character to stand back up with an attack after being knocked to the ground. There are a lot of options at your disposal which you can execute at will:

Pressing any button as soon as you hit the ground will allow you to roll and stand back up
Pressing ‘Down’ will let you stay on the ground for a couple of seconds to avoid opponents’ follow-up attacks
Double-tap Back to back dash as a wake up attack
You can also execute a Throw on your opponents as a Wake up Attack

However, one thing that you need to know is that you cannot use Wake up Attacks after all knockdowns. A Hard Knockdown is kind of a knockdown which does not let your character roll away from it.

Enhanced Special Moves and X-Ray
An Enhanced Special Move deals a lot more damage than a Normal Special Move and is executed by pressing Block Button along with the normal input. For example, if a Normal Special Move is D, F + RP; then the Enhanced Special Move will be D, F + RP + Block Button.

As for X-Ray Attacks, these are ultimate combos at all characters’ disposal and are executed by pressing Stance Change and Block Button at the same time. These abilities deal massive amount of damage, but can be blocked by standing-block.

Understanding Frame Data and Punishing
Understanding Frame Data and Punishing is one of the most important aspects of MKX and distinguishes a decent player from an average one. You can check out our Mortal Kombat X – Frame Data Guide for basic understanding of Frame Data and how to read it.

There are quite lot types of Throws in MKX. All characters have throws which are executed by pressing LP and LK at the same time. All Throws are +10 Frames and cannot be blocked, however, you can crouch to avoid taking damage – though, you need to crouch without holding the Block Button.

You can also escape from a Throw by pressing LP and LK at the exact same time when an opponent has grabbed your character. Throws deal pretty decent damage and can also be used to change sides or place your opponent against the wall during a battle.

In addition to Normal Throws, there are Meter Burn Throws which leave your character at a huge advantage over your opponent and are executed by holding the Block Button immediately after a Throw.

Furthermore, some characters have the ability to catch an airborne opponent and even grab an opponent using certain commands; for example, Jax’s D, B + LP.

A Reversal is essentially a Special Move which is executed immediately after blocking an opponent’s attack. This special move is executed at the first possible frames and does not give your opponents a chance to block these attacks.

You can also use a Normal Attack as a Reversal, but do note that these attacks take at least one frame to come out of block.

If there is anything else you would like to know, do make sure to let us know in the Comments Section below!

Haider is a freelance contributor, who loves video games, playing guitar, and aviation. He is a competitive FPS player and also enjoys exotic RPG games like Diablo and Xenogears (his favorite game of all time) ...