Good beginner characters for a new player

Hello friends,
I just downloaded Killer Instinct last week and I’m loving it thus far. I bought the S1 combo breaker pack to start out (might buy more things later). I really enjoy the game and find the combo system both fun and refreshing. It is a game I really want to delve deeper into. Easy to play but difficult to master is a really apt description for this game’s systems.

Anywaaaaays, perhaps the question has been asked many times but what would be a good character to learn the basics with or is easy to get a hold of?

I already completed all the dojo lessons and have played survivor and story mode with a few characters, mostly Jago. I also read Infil’s amazing guide, which helped me out a bunch. He has a metric that describes each character’s “ease of use”, but I wanted to hear what other people here think.I kind of have an idea of who is really hard to use/steep learning curve/complicated game plan like Kan-Ra and Aria. I’m not looking for a character that is easy to win with or OP, just one that is easy to understand and a pretty straight-forward play style with while I get better at KI. Thanks in advance for any replies.

Few of the easiest characters is Jago, because he plays just like Ryu from Street Fighter. Sabrewulf is pretty straightforward as most of his inputs are up/down. Some say Orchid and Thunder are pretty easy to use. Most characters from season is pretty easy outside of Sadira, Spinal, Fulgore so its all preference. If you need help, I can help.


If you have experience with other fighting games, Jago is definitely a well rounded character, with some pretty obvious techniques. But if you have trouble with fireball and DP inputs you aren’t going to want to start with him.

Sabrewulf has very simple inputs, and a reasonably simple gameplan. Obviously to play him at a high level is a bit more complicated, but I usually recommend him for beginners. Use lots of jab pokes followed by special move openers. Mix up his running specials and use his eclipse to anti-air/relieve pressure. Basically just go to town, and then concentrate on getting better at timing good punishes, not getting caught doing anything too vulnerable and work on your combo/breaker game.

Riptor, from S2 is a bit more complicated, but has the same simple inputs and basic strategy as Sabrewulf. She just has some less obvious strengths and weaknesses and some complex moves that you can sometimes hit by accident without really knowing what is going on.


Hello and welcome to Killer Instinct.

What’s been said thus far is really what I discovered, though I main Fulgore and Aganos at the moment. I started off as a Wulf and Jago player when I bought my console a little before MKX came out and, although it only got me so far, they were good characters to start off with.

Jago can be played a few different ways (as a sort of keepaway character with the endokuken, or, more commonly, as a rushdown agressive type with laser sword and windkick). If you want any help with either of the characters, I would be willing to fight you in casuals etc and give what help I can.

Even though such help might be limited due to my total lack of vision, even just fighting against human opponents I’ve found to be a good tool for learning the ropes with characters.

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For S1: Jago, Sabrewulf, and Thunder
For S2: Riptor

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Welcome to Killer Instinct,

A good character to learn that will make it easiest for you, based on my personal experience is Thunder and Jago. Thunder primarely because he has the primary enders and his special moves are really easy to do. Not to mention, his ultra is easier than Jago’s. Most of the motions are quarter circle forward or backward with the exception of his DP, which is essentially like Ryu’s DP and are all rather easy to preform once you figure the trick to them.

Kan-Ra, Aria, maybe even TJ take more time to advance and I suggest you familiarize yourself with the fundamentals before breaking down the gimmicks. Anyway, if you ever need a sparring partner, myself or better yet @oDragonSpirit can gladly play a couple matches with you.

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Many have already mentioned a few obvious choices. If I may add one more: Orchid.
Perhaps, not as easy as Jago or Sabrewulf, but I switched from Jago to Orchid when I had just picked up KI. Some of her combos require quick motions and button presses but in playstyle I find her easy to understand.

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First off…BUY THE COMPETE EDITION NOW…dont waste your money on Combo breakers and ultra editions…just get the Complete version and you will spend less money in the end…you are going to end up buying it anyway.

Start with JAGO and the DOJO…you can not go wrong here… I recommend this because you learn all aspects of the game and then once mastering Jago you can take that and translate all you learned into other characters. If you dont start with the DOJO, you will learn slowly and incorrectly.
But if you are impatient and dont want to do the DOJO, then …
Beginner character…Easily would be Sabrewulf, Thunder, and maybe Jago if you are familiar with SF & Ryu/Ken. (

Please just do the DOJO and start with Jago…trust me

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oh and WELCOME to KI!! Your in the right place to learn…any questions just ask any of us and we will be glad to help you!

Here are the 3 main steps to learning KI correctly and quickly.

  1. The DOJO and Jago

  2. Infills guide to Killer Instinct

  3. Sajam Youtube video "Bronze to Killer tutorial series - KI Ladder Climb"

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Better not to skip the basic gameplay sections in infil’s guide. I used to go straight to the character section but the basics is where a lot of the general AND DETAILED characteristics of the game are explained which helps not only to understand your own character but also the best defense in KI which is highly offense oriented.

Finally, create a shadow and see your fighting habits.


sabre wolf , Riptor, Jago

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I personally didn’t really use Dojo at all when I started. Not out of impatience or anything, but due to a lack of sighted assistance, which is why I hope Narrator in the NXOE could be hooked into the game in future to read in game text etc where needed/requested.

That being said, I’ve played fighting games for longer than I can remember and I picked up KI quite quickly after getting it since I had done quite a lot of research beforehand.

I didn’t think about Thunder and Orchid, but now that you mention them I’d say that’s probably true - Orchid is a quick character both in terms of inputs and general speed and thunder’s command throw does a good chunk of damage.

Creating a shadow is actually quite a good idea as well, since it allows you to fight what is, to all intents and purposes, yourself translated into data. If I get frustrated with players online, I actually just go and fight my shadow rather than the CPU - it’s enough of a challenge that it gets me playing better than I would against a CPU and I can’t get salty really as it’s myself I’m fighting :smiley:

As I’ve said before and as others have posted in response, if you ever want a fight, just add me and let me know you saw my post on here. That way I know not to get too mad at you if we can’t talk through strategies and I know I’m fighting you. :smiley:

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He’s already stated that he has both competed the dojo and read @Infilament’s guide, so there’s that…

From Season 1, I think pretty much everyone except for Spinal and Fulgore have fairly simple game plans. Glacius isn’t mechanically conplex, but zoning is always a bit more effort than just trying to play rushdown. Sadira also isn’t difficult to play, but does take a bit of getting used to.

In Season 2 I would say the most straightforward and simple to play characters are probably Riptor and Hisako. Maya and TJ would be next IMO. Everyone else has kind of a different take on how they like to fight - Aganos with his chunks, Kan with his setup, Aria’s bodies, Cinder’s juggles, etc.

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Basically what everyone else is saying. All of S1 (except Spinal and Fulgore), Maya, Riptor and Hisako.

If you ever need some training, let me know. :smile:

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Thank you all for the awesome suggestions, really appreciate it. I’ll be hitting the practice mode hard this weekend to try and get a feel for these characters. Down the line, I will definitely take some of your offers to do some casuals.

This community has left me with a good first impression, which is more than I can say for other FGs. Keep having fun and maybe one day we shall meet in the field of battle when the apprentice has become the master!!!


Not bragging but… they were all easy for me to use. Some are more fun than others. As a beginner, you should try jago, sabrewulf or omen.

I would aree with everyone here in tht Jag’ a god character to start with. Once you’ve gotten the hang of the game you can try other characters.