A big list of suggestions for the upcoming 2023 balance patch and beyond

I’m a big fan of your game.

I’ve got a list of suggestions to improve the game now that it’s getting some development support again.

Forgive my English errors, I’m not a native speaker.

Bug fixes

  • Fix the “First Launcher Bug”. It’s described in some detail in this frame data google sheet. You can see what attacks it affects too as they are specified on the “Special properties” cells in the google sheet.

I guess that “First Throw Bug” is probably the same Bug but it happens on a throw.

Here is the description from the google sheet about this bug:

Has ““First Launcher Bug””: A wacky bug that we found while calculating the frame data. This only applies to moves that cause a hard knockdown and have frames where a juggle is possible.

If you hit with this move as the very first move in the match (not counting whiffed moves), the On Hit advantage for these moves will be 17 frames less – essentially, the character pops off the ground 17 frames sooner than expected.

However, if any move (normal, special, throw, etc) is hit or blocked at any point during the match, this bug will no longer trigger and the On Hit advantage will always be as listed.

Therefore, it is pretty unlikely this bug will impact your matches, since it is so easy to clear the bug simply by attacking normally, but we felt it was worth sharing.

Here is a direct link to the bug description

And here are direct links to the moves affected by this bug. I may have missed some so use Ctrl+F (find) to find them all. There may be more moves affected by this bug that are not described on this google sheet so check that too.




Only instance of “First Throw Bug” I have found in the google sheet:

Kim Wu


Shin Hisako


There are probably more bugs like that in the game. You may find more by checking this google sheet.

  • Remove the ability for anyone in the cast to do a safe counterbreaker. Rash has a safe counterbreaker as Nicky shows in this video.
  • Remove the ability for anyone in the cast to combobreak with an attack while receiving a combo. Orchid as far as I know is the only character who can do that. The main advantages it has is that it is immune to counterbreakers and it does some damage.

Nicky has a video about it here

CrazySkateNate discovered it.

As a compensation, Orchid should receive a big buff because even with this glitch Orchid is still Low tier.

Honestly I don’t really mind if Orchid keeps this bug but I’d prefer that she gets a big buff in compensation instead and remove this bug. It directly bypasses the game’s combo mechanics.

  • Aganos walls block Rash and Orchid’s instinct’s assist. This must be fixed. No other character can outright block instincts effects. It also does not make sense, why do you have an instinct if you can’t use it? Please fix it.

From my testing, the instinct’s assist is blocked when it collides with the wall behind the character as it spawns. You can move forward with Rash or Orchid like 1 or 2 characters distance and then the assist won’t collide with the wall but it’s inconsistent and weird. Aganos can block that with another wall too.

I have some ideas of how it could be fixed. Here are some of the options I have thought:

  1. Best way to fix it in my opinion: make the instinct assist go through the walls without damaging them but still damage Aganos. This keeps Aganos earned wall placements without removing that character’s instinct effect.

  2. Bad way to fix it in my opinion: The instinct’s assist destroys any walls it goes through. This would be a nerf to Aganos for these matchups (Rash and Orchid). I think this may cause some desyncs in online matches.

  3. Easiest way to fix it but it significantly nerfs Aganos in the matchup and it’s the worst way to fix it in my opinion: on instinct’s assist activation (Rash and Orchid instinct) remove any walls placed by Aganos behind Rash or Orchid. Please don’t do this.

  4. Another way to fix it that is a bad way to fix it in my opinion: move the instinct’s assist collision box forward so it does not collide with the wall behind. This will change how the assist work for other characters matchups which is a bad idea.

In order of best to worst way to fix it in my opinion: 1 > 2 > 3 > 4.

  • There are more glitches, bugs, etc. You can probably find more in youtube, discord, reddit, ultra combo forums, etc.

Here are some more I’ve found.

KI 3.7 Kan Ra setup into infinite true block string. I don’t know if this one was fixed in a patch or not.

Quality of life features

  • Add a meter indicator for Cinder fired up state to the HUD. Increase the volume of the sound that plays when Cinder gets his fired up state. Add another sound that plays at the same time that the fired up state is used. Also, add another sound that plays after the special move that used the fired up state (when Cinder lights down).

From what I have tested, Cinder lights up (gets fired up) and plays a sound when he gets the fired up state but it’s not that noticeable. As far as I know, no sound plays when Cinder uses fired up or right after his fired up special is used and he lights down.

This quality of change should help all players. It will also help players without headphones, or with any visual, hearing or motor impairment to have an easier time playing as and against Cinder.

I see no reason why this should not be added to the game. Hisako has a character specific meter for example, as do other characters.

  • Let players receiving an ultra combo or ultimate finish the match by pressing HP+HK just like how you do it when you have activated the ultra combo or ultimate. This should reduce downtime between matches, reduce new players frustration with ultra combo griefers and even add some slight depth to the game (players who have lost a match can decide between having more time to think how to counter a player in the next round or match or quickly rematching to not let them think).

  • Add a control setting that changes enders to holding special motion + HP or HK and changes heavy linkers to special motion + HP or HK.

This is a great suggestion from Coolsword123


KI2013 really suped up the identities between universal mechanics (auto-doubles, linkers, manuals, etc.) and unique character exclusive properties (airdashing, command grabs, etc.) because everyone in 1 was a hybrid charge/motion input character with projectiles except for TJ and Jago. The only qualm that I had with 2013 years back (and still do) is that heavy linkers are executed by holding light or medium buttons after inputting the motion. In KI4 I hope they change that to pressing HP or HK and instead complete an ender by motion+holding HP/HK instead. That would solve two things. It would make execution of the universal mechanics easier for beginners because they’d have to only hold a button once ever in a combo and the game itself would follow it’s own rule more than tackle its exception to it.

  • Let players play any part of the tutorial sections without having to beat any other part. Example: I start the tutorial, pause it, quit the tutorial. When I come back I select the last tutorial which talks about extended combos. Or I select the tutorial about option selects.

  • Add a way to see the other character “Command List” on the pause menu. Maybe while you are on your character command list you can press a button to switch to the other character command list. Add it to training mode too.

Balance changes:

  • There is a community matchup excel sheet in this link.

Check that out. It mostly sums up the character balance. Don’t take it as the definitive tier list but I think it’s pretty close.

As you can see in that sheet, Fulgore has the best total matchup spread. Rash in comparison may not have bad matchups or very slightly bad matchups but Rash does not win his matchups as well as Fulgore. This makes Rash a good character for tournaments but the player who plays him has to work harder for some matchups in comparison to Fulgore who has some easy matchups.

For example, Fulgore can zone out General RAAM with fireballs, teleports and pip cancels. Rash has to hit him with his pokes and get close to do some combos. Rash can start a combo with Wicked Tongue, that’s true but the combo will be scaled. It’s a trade off. Fulgore does not care that much, as long as he can win by time against General RAAM.

  • Nicky has an overall video about what he would change in this video. Take it with a big grain of salt.

Take them with a big grain of salt too. Nicky clearly downplays Fulgore position on the tier list. Nicky has a conflict of interest, as any tournament player has. This is why sometimes developers ban themselves from participating in tournaments.

Sorry Nicky, I’m a big fan of yours but you are clearly biased.

I think just by looking at the matchup spread, Fulgore is the best character in the game. Top 1. No other character has so many great tools in the game. Fulgore can even bypass his weakness with pip cancels. For example, Fulgore can cancel a missed fireball into an antiair dp by using a pip.

With all that said, I believe Fulgore just needs a few small nerfs, nothing that major.

Fulgore has everything (frame data, many special moves, good range, a good backdash, decent movement speed that gets better with more pips, great hitboxes, great supers, etc.), best matchup spread in the game.

On one hand, Fulgore has 2 slightly losing matchups. On the other hand, Fulgore has the most winning matchups in the game and the total Fulgore matchups that Fulgore wins and how much in his favor they are gets him to top 1 character in the game.

  • Get feedback from at least 1 character expert for each character. Feedback from 2 experts for 1 character would be even better.

You specially need feedback for top tiers characters: Fulgore (Nicky), Aganos (Letalis Venator), Aria, Rash, etc.

  • Get some feedback from the community discord. Ask tournament players.

That is probably the most up to date place to get information about the current Killer Instinct meta.

  • @Infilament has a great website with lots of info about the game.


You should probably get some feedback from him too.

  • Here is playlist with character breakdown guides. They also showcase some very strong characters attacks or moves.

  • Aganos does too much unbreakable damage with his infamous 1 combobreak chance very high unbreakable combo. The unbreakable damage that he gets from walls is mostly fine in my opinion. My suggestion is to scale that specific infamous very high unbreakable combo damage. For that you can add some combo scaling to his shadow super that leads into that combo. This would reduce the unbreakable damage without actually reducing normal wall break combo damage.

In this character breakdown one of the best Aganos players (LetalisVenator) explains many things about him, including that unbreakable combo. He has some clips on twitter or discord about it if I’m not mistaken. He uses the combo in tournaments so you can probably find the combo in a tournament video on youtube.

  • Kim Wu needs some buffs. Here are some ideas to buff her:

    • Give her some more ways to earn dragons that don’t depend on the opponent’s mistakes. Maybe even a move that gives her 1 dragon but it’s vulnerable or it converts one bar of shadow meter into 1 or 2 dragons like Spinal can do. Any character that needs to capitalize on opponent’s mistakes to start their game plan would always be low tier at high level of play. High level players reduce major mistakes to a minimum. They won’t give Kim Wu free dragons.

    This is the major buff she needs.

    • Make all her moves actually useful for something and rewarding.
    • Consider increasing by 1 the dragons she gets from her resource combo ender.
    • Allow Kim Wu to counter/parry Aganos projectiles and his stone bat. I remember that was one of the main issues in the matchup if I’m not mistaken. Or give her something to help her in the Aganos matchup if she needs it after all the other buffs.
  • Sadira needs some buffs. Here are my suggestions:

    • Make her wake up reversal shadow special (where she jumps to the wall behind her) actually useful for defense. Give it more invincibility. Just make it a good escape tool. Right now it can be easily punished.
    • Improve her ground game. Give her more reasons to play on the ground but be careful, we don’t want another OP Sadira. Characters can’t block in the air. That makes her game plan which is all about being in the air a bad idea. This would make her less annoying while giving her more options.

    She is annoying because she is attacking from the air most of the time which most players who play against her despise.

Sadira character breakdown guide

  • Jago needs some buffs. Here are my suggestions:

    • Jago is the face of the game. He is clearly inspired by Ryu from Street Fighter (nothing wrong with that). What Ryu excels at or should excel at is his mid range zoning with his fireballs. I think it would be a good idea to give Jago the best overall fireballs in the game. Buff his fireballs. He embodies the archetypical shoto playstyle which is well rounded. His fireballs are his specialty. Jago has chargeable fireballs so to me it makes sense.

    • As Nicky pointed out in his balance patch suggestions video, increasing the range of his high sword slash and getting his crouching medium kick on par frame data wise with Shadow Jago would be a good buff too.

  • Fulgore character breakdown guide

  • Rash character breakdown guide
  • Aria character breakdown guide


Things to add to the game or rework when eventually the official servers shutdowns. I wish I did not have to say this.

  • Features required at least: Let players play online against other players through peer to peer (p2p) connection that does not require the official server.

  • Rework the season 3 campaign and Shadow Lords so it does not require an internet connection to be played and completed. Players can start it, play it and complete it offline.

  • Unlock for all players the season 3 stage that is locked until you finish the season 3 campaign. If new people buy this game, they should have access to that stage.

  • In general, just let people play everything that requires an online connection to do it offline. I’m talking about cosmetics, online titles (probably just unlock them all), LAN play, etc.

Wish list suggestions

  • Add more features to training mode. Training mode is really bare bones unfortunately. You can look at the training mode in Street Fighter 6, Guilty Gear Strive, Under Night in birth (last version of the game), and other fighting games for inspiration.

As far as I know, the game lacks more recording features compared to other fighting games.

  • Add more recording slots for the dummy. As much as you can. I guess at least 10 will cover most use cases.

  • Add more options for setting up the characters specific resources in training mode. For example, a toggle to keep Cinder fired up state always on or a toggle to regenerate or fill to 100% any character specific meter or resource like Aganos rocks, Spinal skulls, Hisako meter, Eyedol meters, Eagle arrows, Arbiter carbine bullets and/or grenade, etc.

  • Nicky has a good video with good suggestions to improve training mode, tutorial mode, etc.


The only thing I disagree with is the frame data display in training mode. This comment explains in the youtube video explains it.



Greetings Nicky, thanks for the video.

The frame data thing might seem weird but that’s how it was traditionally seen. Games like SF use 3f for moves that start up in 2f but are active on frame 3 (like quick jabs). It’s done that way just for the easy math. For instance Cammy’s jab has 2 frames of startup; it’s actually a 2f jab. They just say it has 3 frames of startup in discussion and on frame data readers because it makes it easy for people to understand what is punishable (especially newer players).

It’s just like Zangief or the Raging Demon being a 0-frame grab. As you of course know as a professional player, there is no move that can be active on zero frames. It’s active on the 1st frame but has 0 frames of startup so that you can’t escape it if you are not airborne or throw invincible when it is out.

TLDR, KI actually is doing it right.

The training mode does have some issues with things (especially projectiles) being way off. Also the random block doesn’t work properly either. Some moves they will never block, and many moves they will block every time. This makes hit confirming almost impossible to practice. KI is generous with hit confirms overall but it’s still an issue.

I also hope you can do multiple recordings to practice against mixups and set play if they make a new one.

  • Decrease input lag. According to my results on my pc with the in game benchmark test I get around 4 to 5 frames of input lag Maybe I’m understanding this wrong thought. Reducing input lag would be great anyways. I know it’s probably kind of entangled with rollback netcode when playing online thought. It just would be nice.

Features I think you should not waste development time and/or resources on

  • More ultimates. While they are cool, they don’t actually add anything meaningful to the gameplay. I understand why some players want them but they are not necessary. I know that it may feel weird that some characters have ultimates while others don’t and that’s a reason why some players want them. However, now even more, we need to focus on improving the important parts of this game. And that’s gameplay. I don’t mean to offend anyone, sorry if this comes off as rude. I respect other players opinions but I want to be honest with you.


Sorry if any of my points come off as rude or offensive, I just wanted to give my perspective on how to improve the game.

I may edit some things in this post or add more suggestions but most likely I won’t.

Thanks to everyone who worked on this game and the community. Thank you.