Mortal Kombat 1 beginner tips - Where to start

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A headshot of Baraka from Mortal Kombat 1
Credit: Mortal Kombat 1
September 20, 2023: Get some tips before you start Mortal Kombat 1! The game has made its full public launch and is out now!

Are you new to the Mortal Kombat franchise, or perhaps on the receiving end of a few too many Fatalities? Fear not, brave Kombatant, we've got some helpful hints with our Mortal Kombat 1 beginner tips!

Adding yet another chapter to the long-standing fighting franchise that has grown from being an old-school arcade staple to a necessity for virtual combat addicts for PC and console, Mortal Kombat 1 looks to raise the already-high bar set by its predecessors. It can be daunting at first to come into such a popular series for the first time, but there are a few things to bear in mind that will get you into the game smoother than a blade through a ribcage.

For more Mortal Kombat content, look no further! We've had a good look at the current roster and put each Mortal Kombat 1 fighter in a tier list. We've also got the fundamentals covered, take a look at how to perfect your block. Lastly, brush up on how to get Koins fast to buy new items!

Mortal Kombat 1 beginner tips

Don't skip the tutorial

This is perhaps the most obvious piece of advice, but it's here because many of us are guilty of shrugging tutorials off and instead "learning on the go." Mortal Kombat 1, at least for those wanting to play against others online or play the story on a harder difficulty, is not one of those games that you'll learn on the go effectively.

Mortal Kombat 1, much like its previous franchise instalments, features a deep catalogue of striking and throwing combinations and a variety of different special abilities. While you'll be able to get by with a passing grade using just the fundamental techniques and experimenting with spontaneous button mashes, you'll be quickly humbled without studying the art of virtual ass-kicking.

So, in short, do your homework. Don't skip the tutorial. No, really, don't skip it. Do it now. Do it multiple times.

A graphic of a player's leg being broken in Mortal Kombat 1
click to enlarge
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Credit: Mortal Kombat 1
It'll be alright mate, walk it off.

Play the story first

Okay, we're giving you some pretty stock-standard advice here. But we're putting these here so we can explain why they're so important for establishing a solid foundation from which you can build yourself into an impenetrable fortress of martial arts.

The biggest reason for playing the story as a beginner, aside from experiencing the incredible narrative of Mortal Kombat 1, is the opportunity it gives you to test out different characters and their widely varying fighting styles. NetherRealm Studios put a painstaking amount of time and effort into curating a roster that offered something for everyone and would suit pretty much any fighting style.

Essentially, the reason you want to start at the story is to find YOUR play and fighting style. Some fighters are faster, some are stronger, and some will use magic more. Some of them will have combinations that will just flow from your fingertips, whereas some might feel a bit stunted. Your idea of close-quarters trash might be someone else's close-quarters treasure; it's just a matter of finding your own diamond in the rough.

Scorpion and Sub-Zero in Mortal Kombat 1
click to enlarge
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Credit: Mortal Kombat
Hold up, aren't they supposed to be like...well, Mortal enemies?

Date your favourite fighter

Not literally, but the premise is there. The best fighting game aficionados pick one or two characters and treat them like a spouse. They'll learn everything there is to know about them - their likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses - until every little quirk is second nature.

Now as a rookie, you don't need to go to those extremes. But if you want to have a good crack at the game, it's in your best interests to find a character you like and get to know the fundamentals. Start out with some basic three- or four-button combos and as you grow in confidence, start stringing them together. Once you've picked up a few Ws and start getting cocky, have a crack at the more advanced stuff. Mortal Kombat 1 feels like an RPG at times, but instead of levelling up your character, you level up your own understanding of them.

Be offensively defensive


A tactic that isn't recommended in an argument with the family or better half, but one that will work wonders in Kombat. It's all well and good to learn how to string together 200 consecutive strikes for a Flawless Victory, but if your opponent knows it too and gets the first punch in, you're toast.

The best Kombatants will complete sequence after sequence of offensive combinations in a flowing motion, and if you don't know how to interrupt that flow then you'll have a hard time getting so much as a gentle nudge against your opponent. Take the time to understand how to block, dodge, and counter attack with your chosen character so you can turn a well-timed defensive manoeuvre into a deadly series of painfully graphic offensive combinations.

We hope these tips make your first Mortal Kombat 1 experience a gleefully violent and rewarding one! For more on the game, take a look at our guide on how to block, as well as the game's PC requirements.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Guides and Mortal Kombat 1 page.