Be proud of your KI journey. (Long, be warned.)

Hope you grabbed a drink, because this thread’s a talky.

Maximilian posted a “Real Talk” discussion about the importance of “Casuals” to a fighting game, and listening to a lot of the points he made really made me sit back and reevaluate where I am in the grand scope of both KI and fighting games in general.

KI 2013 has been the most engrossing experience I’ve had in the fighting game genre to date. I’ve played several different fighting games over the years, both 2d and 3d, in particular DOA2 and Soul Calibur 2 & 4, but I’ve come to realize that I knew certain strings (and what I only now understand as “normals”) without understanding nearly as much about the mechanics or advanced details of fighting games as I thought I did.

My first experience with Killer Instinct came about nearly by accident. The day after purchasing my Xbox One in the summer of 2014, I stumbled across the Killer Instinct ad while browsing the Store - I had a moment of surprise, because I remembered the old fighting game I had played in the arcade a long time ago; one I was inherently terrible at, but enjoyed because I thought the visuals and flashy combos were really awesome. I’ve always been drawn to skeleton or skull based art and KI was the first game I had seen which would let you PLAY as a skeleton. Even better, I felt like Spinal resembled the skeleton baddies in Golden Axe, which was one of my favorite beat-em-ups.

I downloaded the game, played through the first couple Dojo missions, then bought Spinal and his Retro costume individually. I messed around with him for a few days, losing most matches against both the computer and players online, before my best friend stopped by. While having a couple of drinks and playing some Xbox, I loaded up Killer Instinct and we played a few matches of Spinal vs Sabrewulf, who was free at the time. Neither of us really knew what we were doing, and our combos never got higher than 7 or 8 hits, often ending with an errant counter breaker attempt and mass confusion. We ended up having so much fun I spent the money to upgrade to the Ultra edition, and we spent something like four hours straight playing around the roster. A couple of weeks later my friend bought himself an Xbox One, primarily for KI in fact.

I continued to experiment with the game, but never really made a whole lot of progress until I watched the KI EVO tournament stream; I realized that although I was having a lot of fun, I was missing out on a lot of what made the game great. Watching the tournament players performing long combos and pulling off what seemed like amazing stunts inspired me to not just dabble with KI, but to really try to understand what I was seeing and doing.

I started visiting the forums on a regular basis, and looked up some “how-to” videos on Youtube, discovering Max’s stream and channel (easily in my top 3 favorites). I experimented more directly with various characters, eventually realizing that my personal play style wasn’t adapting well to playing Spinal. I found my “home” with Thunder, as I liked his visual style and theme, he (still) has the best stage in the game (no offense intended, but while the S3 stages are awesome, the pounding rain is epic!) and I felt like something just clicked for me after a while.

I studied Infil’s online guide. I returned to Dojo mode, and found that this time I wasn’t getting frustrated by what I had initially seen as “homework,” I was actively trying to learn what the mechanics were and how to make them work in my favor. I learned how to combo. I learned how to break (and boy do I need a lot of work there STILL). I learned how to use the Instinct and Shadow meters. I still didn’t do very well online, but I was doing noticeably better. I met several people here on the forums who I later friended and occasionally play matches with, who were also able to help me understand both Thunder and the game itself better.

When Season 2 was announced, I was excited, and rabidly followed any information I could find. I was happy to see the new Ranked League system, and as my skills increased I was able to push all the way up to Killer about 9 months ago, which felt like a real accomplishment for me. It felt great to actually be learning and seeing the real improvement reflected in my gameplay. My best friend and I get together at least once a week, and most of the time we make sure to play some KI together on the couch - Thunder vs Sabrewulf is our major prize fight matchup.

Since reaching Killer, I have honestly struggled when it comes to Ranked Leagues. I’m not great at breaking, and I think I’m definitely more of a brawler than a combo artist. I lose a lot of my Killer v Killer matches, some of them VERY badly! I know that it is very unlikely for me to perform really well in a tournament. I know that while I have a decently competitive Thunder, I have an extremely long way to go with any other character, and I don’t have anybody to use as a real backup or counter pick.

The key point is, THAT’S ALL OK.

Not everybody can be a champion. I enjoy playing Killer Instinct. The tools are available which can allow me to improve even further, between the training tools provided in game, Infil’s guide, and friends/community members to play with. If I put the time and effort into Killer Instinct I honestly believe I can grow to a point where I will be able to truly compete - but until I choose to go down that route it’s OK to simply enjoy the game for the fun of playing it. It’s OK to be excited about the anticipation of new Seasons, and to love the visual or gameplay aspects of a character I have no intention of playing at any kind of serious level. It’s OK to not be the best, but to play at a level that you’re happy with. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because you haven’t reached Killer, or don’t do well in Killer, that you’re anything less, or you’re wasting your time with the game.

Because the way I see it, the journey itself is the important part. I have had so many hours of great experiences playing Killer Instinct, and it didn’t start when I clicked “Download.” It didn’t start when I bought Spinal, or performed my first Combo Breaker, or Ultra. It started when I began playing the game with my best friend, and we mashed buttons with no sense of what we were doing - because we were having FUN.

I think too often it’s far too easy to get bogged down in discussions of character strength or viability, wins/loss ratios, or other competitive elements, and miss out on the fact that having fun should be your primary goal when sitting down to play any game, let alone Killer Instinct. Very few people played amazingly when they first started playing KI, and not everybody aspires to be a contender; but having fun throughout the journey makes everything worthwhile.


Your exactly right! Its supposed to be fun and doesn’t have to be competitive. You can play it just like you play Super Mario, play to beat the boss at the end. And that’s ok, and really what most people want to do… those usually dont include forum members and i think that’s were most of it gets caught up in that thought process is here in the forums.

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Feel exactly the same, got a friend of mine to occasionally play it with me, he’s halfway decent with cam, while still proclaiming he doesnt know what he is doing, but its fun.

The same reason I liked playingstreet fighter 2 in the old days with my lil brother.

That feeling is something I miss in a lot of online games.
Thats whats nice about the forums here though, I havent played many of you here yet, but your not total strangers (I’m reading posts on here way to often). And that makes challenging each other way more fun then some unk nown quantity in ranked.

So thanks guys!


Deep man, deep.

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@xSkeletalx Thank you for this post. I am going to also put my journey here because you’ve inspired me a bit.

This is also going to be long, possibly longer than the original post, you have all been warned and I apologize in advance. OK so the first thing everyone has to know, is I’m another blind gamer, so my journey starts quite a way back and, I’d imagine, might take a slightly different approach, because it starts before I even had an xbox one.
I follow the console gaming scene and I heard (literally) about the new Killer Instinct at E3 when it was first announced. I realized though, or at least at the time, I thought I would never get to play it, so I just, in a way, got half curious but half not and didn’t look too much.
Fast forward to what is now known as the end of Season 1. I was searching for Killer Instinct music and I discovered RKosmik’s YouTube channel. At first, I just discovered the three minute length tracks he used to do. Then I discovered something that literally changed everything, the komplete dynamic themes. I then started to research and was utterly blown away by what my screen reader was telling me, a fighting game that has changing music as you play?

I then started to follow the game with a renewed interest. By this time I told my friend @SightlessKombat about the game. I think sightless might have already known about it, I’m not too sure. Well, I was watching/listening to gameplay and was enjoying it.
Season 2 came out and I knew what I wanted to look for. In the evening uk time, I went to RKosmik’s channel, and, boom. Here was TJ Combo’s theme. I turned up the volume, loud. I then started to put every track I could onto my phone’s music player. Then I heard about the season 1 and arcade soundtrack and purchased the thing, day 1, in the morning UK time no less. I then listened to the thing from start to finish.

Fast forward a few months. I’d been following the dynamic themes, the character trailers, listening to them very intently. Sinder had just came out. I then get informed that sightless got a gamertag and already added Killer Instinct. I then waited with anticipation, because I’m sure I knew what was coming, I don’t know if it was me or sightless that was more excited.
Well the day came. We ended up going on a voice chat service and Sightless showed me all of the characters, or what he could. Of course, he was struggling a little bit to explain the combo system to me so at this point I just listened with baited breath savouring every moment. Seriously, I was literally sat frozen to the spot taking in every sound I could hear in stereo. At the end, I just stopped and said, wow. That was literally all I could manage.
Well, Aria’s release had come and gone. Sightless had told me about the basics, the bodies and such. I’d also watched the trailer. Then, I finally went ahead and purchased the xbox one. By this point, I’d signed up, added my gamertag, and purchased the Killer INstinct collection ready to go so that when the console arrived, I’d be able to play quite quickly.

THis massive box suddenly came through the post and I moved it into another room, I kept going into that room touching the box with anticipation. As I’m not the most independent of people, I would need sighted help to set the console up. My Dad had told me that I wouldn’t be able to play until the weekend due to time constraints, pretty much.
Well, I’m not entirely sure what happened. He got home that night and came into where I was, on the computer. He suddenly said, you might want to come up here because the xbox is ready. I was speechless to the point where I actually had to make him clarify what he had said. My response was that of utter surprise, even then. I thought it would be too loud at night but he’s actually gone ahead and plugged the thing in. So we set up our console and started Killer Instinct downloading.
It would not complete until the next day. Well, luckily my Dad had the day off so we installed the editions and characters right off the bat because they were in the ready to install area. Then it begun.
I headed straight to the practice mode and just started to mess around. It took me a while but I finally got the hang of it, although I got beaten by the computer in survival mode. Then, I discovered Infyl’s guide and immediately noticed a difference. I remember when I finally got my first ultra combo, it was so satisfying. I was even more satisfied when I managed to get my first double ultra.

Fast forward to now. I am maining Jago, but I’ve not played any ranked, really. I’ve played a lot against sightlesss and survival mode, and this is even easier now that Narrator has hit the xbox because it means me and sightless will play more often than not at least once a week. I’ve even battled a few of you in the forum battles. Rgl, alienotic, (I can’t mention because I forgot the actual usernames). The game to this day is still very satisfying to play, the announcer just hypes the game up to 11 especially when a counter breaker is landed, the music is awesome and I can not wait until season 3, and to continue this journey with all of you.


Awesone post and I hope more people post thier journey on this game as well. A very good read and a great example of why I love this community. :heart:️:clap:t4:

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An interesting story, this post is a good example of the less competitive scene in KI - though you are a Killer ranked player. I’ve played numerous casual sets with @jukesy1992 partial footage of which can be found in videos like this Thunder mirror matches video, <a href=">this best of 3 Jago mirror or even this Hisako VS Shadow Jago battle.

@Jukesy1992’s right in the fact that I’d heard about the franchise before we discussed it. I kind of feel like I partially sold him the game, but I’m pretty glad I did, since I can train him up as and when we get to fight. I remember training with him back in matches like this Shadow Jago VS Jago match, when Shago was just a Jago skin and others. but I am pleased to say that I’ve reached Killer rank myself as of fairly recently and whilst I hop on ranked from time to time to try and get those achievements, I don’t feel I absolutely have to in order to get a kick out of the game. Whilst my previous goal of Killer tier might be behind me (until they decide to reset the ranks or something), I am able to just play the game and enjoy it for what it is.


Thanks! I don’t play a whole lot of exhibition, to be honest. Whenever I load it up in the hopes of playing around with a character who I’m unfamiliar with, I tend to get someone who is playing their hardest even if they see the character I picked is below level 10 or so. Unless I’m specifically playing with a friend, I kind of like the one-and-done aspect of Ranked, meaning if I end up against someone who’s absolutely wrecking me I can just finish the game and move on to another opponent without needing to quit. I’d be interested in running some exhibition games with forum people, for fun or achievement profit *(in case anyone wants to play sometime).

I played through Ranked in the hopes of being matchmade against people who were about the same level of competence as myself, but because the system isn’t perfect I still have a lot of problems with being overmatched, including one night where I fought 10 battles, 9 of which were against Top 32 star players. I am fond of saying I am at the absolute bottom of the barrel when it comes to Killer, but I am proud of having worked my way that far up the ladder - I’m expecting (and hoping for) a Ranked reset during Season 3, but I will always have my achievement for reaching Killer, even if I’m never able to make it that far up again.

Awesome story! What a great dad!

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practice. I was like you when i got to Killer, i hated the fact that it was best out of 3 because most of the time i would get totally destroyed and it was just pointless to play the second round (i didn’t quit though) but now im much better, even when i lose a round it is very rare that im already convinced that i cant win after that round and i win most of my games, yesterday i beat my win streak record with 18 wins in a row. I leveled up all the characters but 2 so far to level 50 and that helped me a lot understanding the matchups better. Watching 8BBD teaches me every time some little thing i didn’t know about also. We cant all be tournament players but everyone with practice can get good enough to win most of their matches in Killer (mathematically impossible if everyone would practice that much but not everyone does)

very good post, I really need to play KI more as I am nowhere near experienced to win consistently, I only play against AI on Hard difficulty (and event that not as often as I should) but want to eventually be good enough to be able to kick ■■■ online :slightly_smiling:

Not tripping tho, I fully understand the fact that I simply didn’t put enough time in this game and so i don’t expect to win, I just LOVE how this game looks, ALL the characters are badass (I “main” Jago, Shago and Sabrewulf, and I REALLY want to learn Glacius as I like his design the most, TJ is also amazing in Blade costume :sunglasses:)

Bottom line, I love this game for what it is, play it cause it’s great, getting better at it is just a greatly appreciated bonus :wink:

With the incoming Ranked reset, I recommend everyone take the chance to reflect on where they stand at the end of Season 2, whether you play offline, ranked, or exhibitions. Use the next several days to get an understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, and areas you want to improve in, and go into Season 3 with your mind set towards not only improving your KI game, but also towards making Season 3 the most fun experience you’ve had with KI!

Join your first organized tournament! Try to learn a new character, and see how far you can climb up the Ranked ladder playing only that character! Start your own Killer Instinct stream on Twitch! Introduce someone new to the game, help them to learn it, and celebrate with them as they improve and find their favorite character!

Let’s come together as a community, and make Season 3 the best yet.


Rank reset :scream:

Did I miss something here?

Edit: Just saw the post, thanks for sharing it.

My journeys are often short lived, either due to connection problems or having me game session being ruined by a troll or teabagger. Either that, or I encounter a player who is stronger than me in every sense :sweat_smile:

I don’t think your KI journey is just an online record, though; like I said in the main post, playing, learning, and having fun is the important thing, whether you’re playing online, against the computer, or with a friend on the couch.

Some of my most fun experiences with KI have been playing local matches with a friend or my wife, or casual exhibitions with a real-life or forum friend. No stress, no pressure, just good conversation and enjoying a great game together.

Don’t sell yourself short, think of all the good experiences you’ve had with the game, or moments when you felt you suddenly “got” a character, or a setup, or a matchup. Those are all steps in your “KI Journey.”

I won’t play much but I’ll be looking forward to what other people do with these characters. :smiley:

:angry: Dude, that’s easy for you to say unless online records IS your KI Journey, in which it is for me. And believe me, since I stink at the game I often get my butt handed to me by trolls and killer rankings. So if anything, my “KI Journey” has been a love/hate rollarcoaster of joy and rage. So pretty much, my journey really sucks, and I refuse to be proud of it.

I might stream it again! But this time with Kim, so I’ll go in fresh, and so I can prove to myself that I am a Killer, able to play with anyone and rank. That means I would have mastered KI’s Mechanics! :smiley:

So many decisions when S3 drops…

Great story! Definitely agree that while it is easy to become super competitive at this game it is supposed to be about having fun. I remember being excited when I heard they were remaking KI and when I got to play the demo at my local mall I knew it was my destiny to buy an XBOne and start playing KI.

Now three years later a friend of mine tells me he is getting an XBOne and wants to learn how to play KI. While I feel like I have only an adequate knowledge of the game showing him what I know and just having long bull ■■■■ sessions in exhibition has been the most fun I’ve had with the game in a while.

I’m resurrecting this thread a little bit because I want to thank the KI forum community for helping to make my monthly Challenges a success.

As part of my journey to improve my understanding of KI and to be a better player with a more diverse stable of characters, I have been resetting my rank and forcing myself to play only a specific character (as chosen monthly by the community) every month. I’m learning more about the mechanics of the game, improving my strategy and break habits, and reaching new levels of competency with characters I never would have expected to play.

And above all, I’m having more fun with KI now than I ever have before.

I hope that everyone here can find a way to find as much enjoyment and fulfillment with KI as I have since posting my Challenge Introduction thread.

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has voted in one of my polls, shared insight on one of my character threads, or even engaged me in conversation on the forums, because being a part of this community has encouraged me to dive deeper into KI, the FGC, and a relatively social online community more than I ever have before.