Updated: April 16th, 2015 - Video added at bottom of page. 

I'm completely new to fighting games and my journey into Mortal Kombat X has been challenging to say the least.  Here is what I wish I knew earlier. I hope it helps you. 

Mortal Kombat X Must Knows For Beginners

Mortal Kombat X Must Knows or "MKXMK" as I affectionately refer to it.   I'm playing the game on the PS4, so my article will be based on that platform.   You may need to adjust some of the instructions according to the platform that you are playing on.   For instance, block on the PS4 is R2.   It will be different on the PC unless you play with a controller. 

  • Learn the terminology.   You can't get better if you don't understand what people are trying to tell you.  Go here.  Read.  Learn.  

It's Not A Controller If You Aren't In Control

  • What do the buttons do?
    • Use the D-pad, not the Analog Stick.  
      • This seem simple, but frankly, most newbies, including me.... didn't know this.  OMG, what a difference. 
    • Block - Seriously, block.  R2 on the PS4 blocks and believe me you need to do it, just not too much.   Agains the A.I. it is very effective and important against other players.  
    • Square is front punch
    • Triangle is back punch
    • X is front kick
    • Circle is back kick
    • R1 will grab your opponent (useful if they are blocking all the time)
      • Just don't miss or you leave yourself open to be pummelled.

Your Own Personal Dojo

  • Go through the Tutorial.   
    • It will be frustrating trying to complete it, but believe me you need to know this stuff.  
      • There is a lot more to playing a fighting game than you probably believe. 
  • Use Training Mode
    • There are a lot of characters to choose from and each plays differently.
      • I tried out a number of characters and then went with what "felt" right.  
        • By "felt" right I mean what I enjoyed and had success with.  Sure I want to play Kotal Khan, but I'm like a kangaroo on roller skates trying to make sense of him. I was much better at Skorpion and Kenshi.  
      • As a newbie, don't worry about Tier Lists or what everyone says is the most powerful character.
        • You aren't going Pro.   Play what you enjoy and learn to play it well.
  • Learn combos.  Which series of attacks allow you to string together damage against your opponent?
    • How far does each attack extend? What is its range?

Want A Story? Read A Book

  • Don't let playing Story-mode discourage you.
    • Story is just that, some background.  It forces you to try different characters, many of which are likely not suitable to you as a new player. 
      • Trick: If you don't want to Retry a fight for 100th time and have no "Skips" left.  Just exit to Main Menu and then click on Story.  It will take you right back as if you won the fight and let you continue.   P.S. I hate playing as you Kotal Kahn, no matter how cool you look. 

Enjoy The Ride

  • Play a lot.  
    • Lose a lot.
    • There is a famous saying, "You either Win or you learn."   You will learn a lot in your first few hundred (yes hundreds) of matches. 
  • Have fun.  It sounds silly, but if you don't enjoy the game you won't get better at it.   Oddly, the better you get, the more fun it is.  So, have fun!

Updated: April 16th with this video by DrPopLove

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Mortal Kombat X Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Hoskin 0
Dissecting and distilling the game industry since 1994. Lover of family time, youth hockey, eSports, and the game industry in general.