How to counter in Mortal Kombat 1

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Mortal Kombat 1 Kameo fighter performing combo breaker laser attack
September 20, 2023: Mortal Kombat 1 is here, so go ahead and learn how to counter so you can return attacks back on your opponents.

The newest entry in the legendary game series, Mortal Kombat 1, continues to captivate players with its blend of cutting-edge graphics and intense combat mechanics. Mortal Kombat 1 has become extremely competitive, with the best players perfecting long combo chains. You might feel helpless when caught in one of these combos, which is why you need to learn how to counter in Mortal Kombat 1.

While there is no dedicated counter mechanic, there are still ways to perform punishing counters by timing your options correctly. Two components of perfecting counters are punishing the opponent and blocking overheads and lows. This guide will look at all the ways you can counter in Mortal Kombat 1.

For even more on the game, check out our complete Mortal Kombat 1 tier list. We've also got tips on how to get Koins fast, plus details on whether the beloved Mercy feature returns.

How to counter in Mortal Kombat 1

The combo breaker ability is the best way to counter in Mortal Kombat 1, since there isn't a dedicated counter button. While you're being attacked, hold R1 on PS5 or RB on Xbox Series X|S, and forward on the D-pad, to summon your Kameo fighter to break the string of attacks. However, there's a significant cost to performing this. You need three full bars of the meter, and your Kameo fighter needs to be off cooldown.

If you don't have the resources available, there are still various ways to counter an opponent's aggressive chain of attacks and put them on the back foot. You can counter in Mortal Kombat 1 by landing successive blocks, punishing openings, and using your Enhanced moves. We'll be going over each of these.

Mortal Kombat 1 combo breaker on Johnny Cage
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Best ways to counter in Mortal Kombat 1

Pay attention to blocking

Traditionally, blocking in fighting games is a simple act of guarding against incoming attacks. However, defense is no mere afterthought in Mortal Kombat 1. You're challenged to anticipate whether an opponent's attack will target you from overhead, or strike low. Land a Flawless Block to negate damage and position yourself for a punish.

Most combos start by catching you off guard from either above or below. So it’s important to always be aware of these angles and predict your opponent’s next move. A successful block on a heavy attack puts you in a position to punish your opponent for their aggressiveness.

Mortal Kombat 1 flawless block on fireball
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Punishing the opponent

Once you've got a good handle on the block in Mortal Kombat 1, you can start getting aggressive with block attacks.

If you're blocking well, you might tempt your opponent to make an unsafe move that leaves them vulnerable to a counter. An unsafe move can be countered with a quick attack or combo starter, such as by pressing Square/A or Down + Triangle/Y.

After completing a Flawless Block, you can unleash attacks like a launching attack by using the Up + Triangle/Y button. By hitting L1/LB, as soon as your adversary tries to grab you, you can perform a throw counter if you can predict their throw direction.

Use your Enhanced moves


The combo meter doesn’t exist purely for offensive options. If you’re stuck in a tight spot, you can use a special ability to make your way out of a corner or put your opponent on the defensive. However, be careful with your timing, as this can put you even further behind if your opponent is expecting it. Offensive abilities with super armour or teleporting abilities that can reposition you are excellent for changing the pace of the game. Experiment with your favourite characters and figure out what move suits you the best.

It's critical to keep in mind that mastering the counter in Mortal Kombat 1 requires knowledge of both the button inputs and the game's mechanics, as well as the character move sets. To improve these abilities, practice in the training mode is essential!

That’s all you need to know about how to counter in Mortal Kombat 1. You should check out the early access countdown and how to perform Brutalities.

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