How Do I Learn Characters I Haven't Bought?

I want to learn how to fight against Shago, whom i haven’t purchased, but i cant go into practice and use him. I cant learn his frame data, his invulnerabilities, his surge-move properties, HECK I cant even find out what his instinct does, which is almost impossible to learn mid-match. (at least I haven’t figured it out. It could JUST be annihilation for all i know. )

This got me thinking, How do people who are BRAND NEW to Killer Instinct learn matchups without purchasing every character? Have we (“we” as in: The KI community as a whole) lost potential players who were attempting to switch to KI from other fighting games because of the inability to learn all of the possible matchups?

I can understand the idea of purchasing characters, but if someone opts to not purchase all characters, shouldn’t there at least be some method of LEARNING the key points of a character?

I guess this is kind of a petition/discussion about possibly making ALL characters playable in practice mode. Of course, the option to change P2 to “human” would need to be disabled for this case to be possible.

But what do you guys think? I think this idea would make KI MUCH more accessible (instead of intimidating) for new players, ESPECIALLY going into S3 where people will be even more likely to purchase characters “by season” instead of through the “all in one” bundle.

(side note: do people who haven’t purchased Omen have this problem also?)

I feel as if you should be able to choose any character in training mode.

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I say just buy the characters. Whatever argument one makes that you can’t learn a MU against a character because you don’t own it is invalid. This game is F2P and if it was any other fighter it would be 60$ for the launch fighters and more for DLC characters like SF. You either put the money up or just learn through experience. I have everything unlocked and have never once been in practice mode to learn a MU just some tech that my own characters have and I do just fine and when I lose to something I just try something different until it works. If you want to use a character in practice for the frame data and all that pay for him or buy the season and support the game you are playing. If you can’t support the game and the developers there is no need to make them go out of their way to please you.

My 2 cents.

All of the characters together are over 60$ and after S3 it will be around $100, so you cant really say price is a strong difference between KI and other games. Also, Omen and Shago cant be purchased individually, so the only way to learn them at a competitive level is to buy SPECIFIC bundles, not just seasons or individuals, so the route you would have to take to own them all is pretty ridiculously narrow for you to say that EVERYONE should do it.

Finally, i understand what you are saying from YOUR point of view, but you have to realize that there are other types pf players besides yourself. Your average casual player would see the problem i mentioned as unfair because of exclusivity determining difficulty of play. And extreme competitive players would see it as unfair for the same reason, but at a MUCH more unfair level. Frame data and other “details” like that are EVERYTHING in a competitive match. From your point of view, i can see how this isnt a problem for you, but With Season 3 coming around, you have to consider the fact that the game is going to be even more intimidating to new players and competitive players, so the game needs to be more accessible than ever at ALL levels of play.

Regardless, thank you for replying. All arguments are useful to the devs, im sure.

That’s only if you buy the Ultra Editions. If you just buy the Combo Breaker packs for the characters it’s only like $40, with season 3 it’ll be $60, and yes that does include Omen. As for Shago he’s available individually right now for just $5.

Ok, ive been really really confused recently with all the talk of “Shagos never gunna be sold individually” then, “Never mind, now he IS individual.”

So, Maybe you guys are right, and what i said doesn’t apply to MOST of us. Still, try to think about how other players may feel about this, and if everyone REALLY thinks that the exclusiveness is justified, i guess ill close the topic in a few days, and go buy Shago. (Even though ill never play him.)

Okay, I have to step in on this one.

First, All characters together are at a minimum, $50, including Shadow Jago. I can NOT stand it when people nonsensically spout numbers like that. The combo breaker bundles are $20 dollars a piece, and are all you need to get seasons 1 and 2 characters. The only exception is Shadow Jago, and he is technically $5, but he’s kind of tied to a bundle where you also have to purchase 1500 KI Gold to unlock premium items in game, $10 fair enough. Most likely, Season 3 is going to have a combo breaker bundle as well, giving access to all characters of the season for again $20 (why break tradition, it is a fair price point). By the end of season 3, you will have a standard fighting game value of around $60 - $70.

The only reason it would cost more than that is if you bought in to the unnecessary extra of the Ultra Edition packs. These generally have LOTS of extras hardcore fans really enjoy and it makes it worth it to them to invest in. However, these are fairly optional. I will not include them in the minimal price assessment.

So KI comes to a cost similar to any standard fighting game now such as SF4 (at vanilla launch), KoF XIII, Guilty Gear, Mortal Kombat, etc.

Price point aside…

Second point to consider.[quote=“MrxFlutterShy, post:4, topic:3414”]
i understand what you are saying from YOUR point of view, but you have to realize that there are other types pf players besides yourself. Your average casual player would see the problem i mentioned as unfair because of exclusivity determining difficulty of play.
[/quote][quote=“MrxFlutterShy, post:4, topic:3414”]
Frame data and other “details” like that are EVERYTHING in a competitive match.

These two sentences conflict in ways I don’t think you have considered.

Fighting games are different from most other games out there, it is a fairly niche genre with only a small handful obtaining headlined success to be known outside the genre itself. Halo and CoD players who focus on shooters have a high chance of knowing what Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat is without even playing them, they have hit that level of fame, but KI doesn’t quite have that level of mainstream fame yet.

Any game without that major headlining is most likely going to be difficult to approach by common players anyway. But for the sake of argument, let’s say they do…

Most casual players don’t usually care to play the game in an ultra competitive, or even mildly competitive fashion. Most casuals care to jump in and play with friends, do some random online play, but never in any seriousness. Most casuals don’t get on twitch streams to watch these guys play sets and matches online like the hardcore audience, so in truth, what use is Frame data and other “details” to them? Honestly, to most casual players, the answer is “little to none.”

Casuals who don’t intend to go to competitive scenes or become that beastly legendary online presence, generally have no use for the deeper intricacies of the game and its characters, they usually only care about knowing special attacks, flashy stylish things, and just winning once in a while.

But you mentioned wanting to know frame data and all the functions of his instinct, as well how to punish things, and bump up your gameplay to a more efficient level. You’re practically on the border between casual and intermediate, which at this point you have to ask yourself, HONESTLY, how much effort are you willing to put into this game to understand it finer points? Casuals won’t put in that kind of effort, but players looking to proceed to a new level of skill will, and will seek out this information. If it is worth it to you to truly understand how to play this game on that level and beyond, you are going to need the character in order to beat him.

I bought both combo breakers and I had the Shadow Jago code that came with the little metal Xbox Live cards (though I did also support the Shadow Jago community fund in April too). I don’t use every character in the game, but just because I don’t use Fulgore or Kan-Ra means that purchasing them is unnecessary. I now have access to them, and any time I lose to them, I can watch the replay, recreate that play in practice with that character, and test ways to beat that tactic or at least defend against it. I feel the cost is justified when having the ability to practice against that character is an option, even if I don’t use him much. But really, no one has the time and ability to master all the characters in the game, and all their matchups. While many hardcore players will play lots of characters, most players have favorites and mains they gravitate toward.

At this point, if you are talking about learning frame data and finer points of playing a character or against a character, you’re moving out of beginner/casual territory and moving up and onward to a higher tier of play.

So I leave you with this question:
Are you honestly willing to put THAT much effort into the game and wanting to go the extra distance? Because the knowledge you seek is only of benefit to those who are looking to master the deeper aspects of the game.

If you answer yes, then maybe you aren’t a casual player and should consider the extra expense to bump up your game to expand you horizons, because the bare minimal exposure of trying to beat that character online will never be enough for you to stand a chance.

If you answer no, then you’ll have to get used to the fact as a more casual player, it’s a loss you’ll have to take from time to time, and you won’t have much control over that until you decide to step up your game.

I’m not entirely without sympathy though, I do believe there should be more avenues for a person to “test drive” a character before making a personal investment to buy said character. But if you’re serious about beating them, you should get more serious about how you practice to beat them. I have a friend who played football who always told me “you practice the same way you intend to play.” If you intend to play serious, you better practice serious.

No offense or ill will intended at any point, by the way.

Buying characters individually is extremely cost ineffective beyond just a few characters, so that kind of falls along the lines of you as a consumer not making a good choice to my mind.

No other fighter gives you the opportunity to lab out the entire cast without having to buy the game ($60), so I don’t think it’s unreasonable that KI do the same. If you only want to play one character, then you can lab out that guy to your heart’s content, and get friends and use ranked to help you learn the other match-ups.

If you’re trying to lab out frame data, then you’ve kind of passed outside the realm of casual I feel. In which case maybe it’s not bad that they want you to support the game more by buying the full product. But that’s just my take on it.

Totally agree with what you said. When you start to talk about frame data and learning match-ups, it means you’re going beyond casual and into intermediate aiming for expert. Its only fair that you should invest in the game if you want to be that good.
I think we should also mention the $1 sales going on about every week now, making it slightly cheaper if you want to buy all characters but it will take longer than just buying CB editions.

Well all of seasons would be the equivalent of buying a game and its respective DLCs just like street fighter 4, then arcade edition, ultra, etc mkx, kombat pack etc it all evens out in the end. S3 being over 100$ is due to not only it being ultra (i dont have ultra still have all retros because I am patient they give them for free after awhile) but coming also with the classic KI games. Omen is part of season 1 or 2 dlc both in combo and ultra packs and Shago was always seperate and was a community funded thing. And you say the regular casual player would understand and agree? No “regular casual player” understands nor takes the time to analyze frame data and all that stuff. I consider myself a better competitive player not a pro necessarily but I am good enough to hold my own against top guys and even I don’t do that I just learn from my losses and from what my opponents do and dont do. Simple and effective for me.

Although I dont think your idea is a bad one I also don’t think one should be given every tool unless they support the game. If I had to buy the dlc to play with them then others should too even in practice. I mean the game has been out sincr launch it is not like someone has to pay all the money upfront. Also I am pretty sure there is a post on the forum detailing every characters safe/unsafe moves. You want to try them out yourself? Buy them all you can do and if you can’t support KI then… yeah.

Just an update,
The only character I don’t have is Shago. I’m not trying to be stingy by buying only a few characters. The issue I posted doesn’t really concern me. I CAN buy Shago, and would be happy to support KI. I was just concerned about it being an issue with other players who maybe chose a different purchasing path than I did.

Also, Because of the posts so far, I will be removing the topic tomorrow (Tuesday), but for the sake of conversation, and to give others time to share their opinions, I will leave it open untill then.

Thank you for the feedback,
It’s unfortunate that my first topic ever had to be a minority opinion :sweat_smile: but at least it didn’t have 0 responses, or get taken down. On the bright side, it shows me that you guys are open and friendly, instead of unresponsive.

As a new KI player, I mean this from my heart: I can’t wait to be part of this awesome community, and meet some of you guys.

If you need help with learning the Shago match-up,I can help you. Frame data? Every non sirge special is unsafe on block so just punish those. His axe kick? Use a Dp for punish. Surge makes stiff safe. Surge slide goes behind you. Surge dive kick makes it safe. Surge fireballs throws 2. Surge DP does 2 DPs. Instinct gives you annihilation access. It also gives you some frame advantage. Plus you can attach a tether if you dash through the opponent or hit them with a fireball. If you do,all attacks cost half meter and spends the rest from the opponent. He can also give 1 bar to you and himself.

Welcome to the forums sir! :grin:

May as well leave the thread up - you are probably not the only person who’s ever had this perspective, and the discussion above could be helpful for others down the line. It’s pretty common for old posts to randomly come back to life as someone who wasn’t there for the original discussion finds it and wants to add their two cents.

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Welcome to the forum, man! Hope you enjoy it here.

You ask an interesting question, I personally tend to look at it this way:

If you want to play as a character, you either wait for them to become the free rotating character of the month (do they still do that?) or you buy them. If you want to learn how to play against a character, you have to play as them and if you want to play a them… Well yeah. First sentence.

I know that Shago might be different and Omen’s different, but by and large, this is the setup.

Now… KI Season one is free on XBL in January. They have a rotating free character every few weeks or every month (again, I think they still do that, not 100% sure) and lately they’ve had single characters sold at lower prices. I know they also did a season one / season two sale not all that long ago.

All of that is a long way of saying that they’re trying to get this product in as many people’s hands as possible and I commend them for that, but they have to stop somewhere. If they said “all characters available in practice mode,” you’re coming awfully close to diminishing the product that people actually need to pay money on (IMO).

I know that not everyone has massive amounts of money to spend on a game, but dropping $5 for a character or waiting for a sale or something like that isn’t asking too much of people that don’t want to be early adopters. At the end of the day, this is still something that has to make money or else.

dude…every character has been on sale individually for 1 freaking dollar the past 12 weeks!!!

KI S1 ultra edition is FREE on xbox live gold starting in January.


even if you did not know about the 1 dollar characters… come on…can you really not save up 60$? go mow a yard? Sale something?

Im sorry but if i want something bad enough… nothing is going to stop me from buying what i want. Maybe its harder for some of you young kids that dont have jobs but… you cant complain it inst fair or it costs too much.


For the 3rd time, i will say AGAIN, This isnt a problem for ME, i was just concerned about it maybe being too harsh for other, newer, players.

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Again, other NEW, CASUAL and whatever term you give players who are just starting out and learning will not ever most likely use what you suggested being frame data and the like.

My comment wasnt meant to be a “counter statement” for you, or everyone else, it was a reply to the guy above it, but for some reason, my replies are not registering properly, and its making it LOOK like im talking to everyone. idk why

And my post wasn’t directed to just you…its to all that claim they don’t have the full roster or say this should be free or this is too much $, ect…

The game is free…all characters have been on sale for 1$ each. The Complete Edition has been on sale MANY times for 40$-60$. Starting January Season 1 ULTRA Edition is free with Games with Gold.

This game is very cheap considering everything we get and the replay value.

I hope someone reads my post and is able to buy the remaining characters for $1 and DL the Ultra edition in 2 weeks.

Okay, trying to bring the argument back on point.

Okay, I hate to put it like this, but Killer Instinct isn’t going to win everyone over. There are going to be those who like their shooters such as Halo, CoD, some who like their fighters, and just varying kinds of people with different tastes. While the game is being made more accessible all the time, and trying to be as beginner friendly as possible, the truth is most casuals will never move out of the bracket they are in unless they develop a real taste for the game and want to get better.

New players who want to get better will have to take the time to decide if they want to invest in getting better or staying casual. You can’t have all the perks of a casual with the benefits of a pro, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Like I’ve stated before, casuals have no use for the deeper mechanics and knowledge of the game to succeed on the same level as a more seasoned and interested player. If you want to learn only Jago and no one else (as an example), then the option to do so has been given to you. If they want to learn how to fight a certain character without diving too deep into the game, the online is good for that, and finding friends and people of similar skill will benefit greatly.

To new players, it might be a little more harsh tossing words like “frame data”, “negative on block”, “reversal timing”, “invincible frames”, than facing down a really tough opponent. You toss these terms at them, and they may become more intimidated and frustrated than if they just played the game with someone on their skill level.

Again, I would like to see more ways of testing whether or not you would like a character before you could buy them, but the system is REALLY forgiving and lenient in that regard especially when compared to almost all others in the genre. Thinking about it, someone new buys Street Fighter V with the intention of only ever playing Ryu, but still pays the full price for all other 15 characters. In KI, you don’t have to buy a thing and you can still enjoy the game to a big degree. On top of that, you have a really good dojo mode to instruct new players, the recently announced combo assist mode, etc. KI is likely the MOST beginner friendly fighter ever.

Beyond that, if beginners need any more help than this, then there’s not much hope for them holding on to the game beyond a few months, if even that. At some point a player has to begin to think for themselves, and understand if they want to win, they need to invest a little more than just time. We all have made that decision at some point. Basically, you can’t baby the player through too much of the game, and giving away free sections of the game isn’t going to magically entice them to stay with the experience.

To that point, I don’t think it’s too harsh on new players. If you have to have your hand held that far through the game, and have to be given that much privilege, after all IG is doing to make it easier to get it to you and play, I doubt you’re going to need free characters in practice mode, because I just don’t see those players putting those extras lengths to good use anyway. Your practically giving away giant sections of a game to someone who will never use them, and that’s highly unfair to those of us who do make use of those sections we did pay for to up our game.

Like most of us have said, frame data, and other deeper mechanics will go under utilized by beginning players, who just want to have fun and play, not being concerned with wins. If you are concerned with winning, you need to practice like a winner and you’ll need to have the character to beat them.

I’m sorry if this sounds harsh, but it’s a dose of truth. No ill will or animosity intended though, but it’s a hard truth you got to face. If you read eventhubs, and the lessons and articles people like Justin Wong and Seth Killian put out, the truth isn’t pretty but it has to be heard. I’d like for there to be millions of KI players, but unless the player wants to learn and get better, they won’t stick with it anyway. They got to have drive, and that’s what separates the good players from a casual/beginner. You can’t teach them to have drive though, that’s something they have to have on their own.

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