Mortal Kombat: How to Play Mortal Kombat? An Interesting Comprehensive Guide



This wiki teaches you how to play any version of Mortal Kombat. While each game varies slightly from the ones before it, the basic premise and game mechanics are similar. Keep in mind that the arcade versions of Mortal Kombat are more limited than many console—and PC-specific releases.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to play Mortal Kombat:

Step 1: Understand the basic mechanics of any Mortal Kombat fight

There are virtually countless things to keep track of in a fight, so start by paying attention to the main three:

  • Attack — The act of outputting damage toward an opponent. This includes anything from basic, one-button strikes to combos and finishing moves.
  • Defense — The act of blocking or evading damage from an opponent. This can include blocking by pressing the Block button, jumping over attacks, and crouching under attacks.
  • Punishing — The act of retaliating to a sloppy, poorly timed, or blocked attack with an attack of your own.

Step 2: Familiarize yourself with frame data

Frame data determines how long attacks take to start, how long attacks take to become available again after being executed, and how long a fighter is vulnerable after having an attack blocked. This information is essential because it will dictate the best time to attack your opponent.

  • For example, if an opponent has a high-frame attack and you have a low-frame attack, you can execute your attack while theirs is still winding up.
  • Conversely, if you know your attack takes some time to wind up, blocking an opponent’s shorter-frame attack and then punishing them with a combo during their recovery period is a good strategy.
  • The negative block value—the amount of time an opponent needs to recover after an attack is blocked—must be longer than your combo’s startup frame time.

Step 3: Know the Mortal Kombat basic moves

While much of Mortal Kombat’s fighting is contingent on stringing together multiple button combinations, you can use basic moves to inflict a small amount of damage. Each of the following moves can be executed with one button press:

  • Front punch
  • Back punch
  • Front kick
  • Back kick
  • Block

Step 4: Know how combos work

To execute a combination attack (combo), you will press two or three buttons in a row. These buttons might be all attack-based or include one or more direction-based buttons.

  • For example, pressing Left-Right-Y while using Kenshi (Balanced) on the Xbox version of Moral Kombat X will result in the “Spirit Push” combo, while pressing Down-Back-X will activate his “Telekinetic Slice” move.
  • In more recent Mortal Kombat iterations, such as Mortal Kombat X, you can view a fighter’s combo list by opening the menu while that character is selected.

Step 5: Know how fatalities work

Fatalities, finishing moves unique to the Mortal Kombat franchise, can be executed by pressing a fighter-specific group of buttons while positioned next to (close), three character lengths away from (mid), or a full-screen length away from (full-screen) the opponent once the announcer says, “Finish him/her.”

  • Each character has a different fatality for close, mid, and full-screen attacks.
  • A fatality’s availability can depend on various factors, including how many times you hit your opponent, what attacks you used during the match, who won the first match, and so on.

Step 6: Play the campaign mode if it’s available

If you’re playing a version of Mortal Kombat that includes a campaign mode, try playing through the campaign (specifically the early levels) before you try to compete. This will ensure that you have a guided, general understanding of the gameplay mechanics and introduce you to a couple of Mortal Kombat fighters with whom you can get comfortable.

  • The difficulty curve in Mortal Kombat can be brutal, so keep going if you wait to pick up the basics immediately.

Step 7: Use any available tutorials before initiating a match 

Some game modes or situations include tutorials; while you can usually skip these, you should go through them to learn the mechanics of the character and game mode you’ll be playing.

  • Many versions of Mortal Kombat include a Practice Mode or Training Mode, which allows you to play around with each character without taking damage.

Step 8: Select an easy-to-play fighter

The best beginning fighters will vary depending on your selected Mortal Kombat game, but you should always look for a character whom you had fun playing during the campaign or the Training Mode.

  • Starting characters such as Sub-Zero and Scorpion are popular choices for new players.
  • You can check out a ranked list of people’s favorite characters to play at if you play Mortal Kombat X.
  • Each character in Mortal Kombat X has three variations, so make sure you look at the different versions of the character before deciding on one.

Step 9: Test each of the fighter’s moves

The main categories of moves you’ll want to learn include the following:

  • Regular attacks — Press each of the one-press attack buttons to see how quickly your character executes basic attacks.
  • Combos — Review your selected character’s combos, then press the required buttons to execute the combos.
  • Fatalities—When playing in Practice Mode, get your opponent down to the health needed for the announcer to say, “Finish him/her.” Then, position yourself near the opponent and press your character’s fatality button combination.

Step 10: Consider sticking to one fighter

It’s significantly more straightforward to master one fighter than to use several fighters, so try picking one fighter and learning all of its moves before you try playing competitively.

Step 11: Practice with your selected fighter

Once you’ve established a specific character (or set of characters) with whom to play, practice until you don’t have to think about the combos before using them. While you’ll most likely lose matches often when you’re first starting, practicing with your most robust character(s) and move-sets will eventually pay off.

  • It’s best to stick to playing against the computer in Practice Mode or Training Mode until you have a friend with whom you can play.
  • If you’re playing against a natural person, try to play in split-screen mode rather than online. This will prevent factors such as lag from impacting your experience.


Since its original release in 1992, Mortal Kombat has been one of the most popular fighting games, and it continues to be loved by millions around the world today. Thanks to unblocked versions, gamers on a budget can now enjoy these classic titles without paying the total price or worrying about legal ramifications.

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