New(ish) to fighting games and need a bit of advice

New to the forum, and would like to ask for a bit of advice.

I bought KI on sale a few months ago with the intention of having something to play against others online. As is often the case, life came in between and I have only dabbled a little from time to time to learn how to play the game. Now however I have a bit more time and would like to start playing the game more frequently. I used to really like fighting games back in the day, for example SF2, SF Alpha-series and KoF 96 and 98, but I was never good at any of them, just playing for fun at home or in the arcade.

Is there any advice you could share to a complete beginner? Perhaps any character(s) that would be good for to start with when learning the games basics?


Hello @Three4Flinching,

Welcome to the community!

Generally speaking, everyone learns differently, but I’ll tell you how I went about learning to play fighting games.

For me, I also played a lot of fighting games in the '90’s, mostly the Mortal Kombat franchise, though I was younger and played them casually. The first fighting game I sat down and learned to play seriously was Mortal Kombat (2011) on my Xbox 360.

Basically what I did was played through the Tutorial to get a basic understanding of the fundamentals for the game. I next played through the Story Mode for some simple nostalgia, and to experience playing as a bunch of characters and the different styles of characters available.

I found I liked aggressive characters, and I ultimately decided on Mileena as my primary main. I then went into the Training Room. There, I poured over her move list, and simply did her normal attacks and such, getting a feel for the speed and range of them. I then did the same with her Special Moves, getting a good idea for their properties.

After that I looked at the basic strings for her and simply did them until I could do them without thinking. I then moved on to see what Special Moves I could Cancel into to start doing better combos.

After I was comfortable with that, I went Online to look at Combos others had come up with; not the super advanced ones, but better than I came up with on my own so I could start saving Metre better (and not using X-Ray attacks), and thus better learn Metre Management while still dishing out damage.

At each phase, I’d practice what I learned against the AI. Once I could consistently and comfortably beat the Hard AI, that’s when I felt ready to start playing against real people.

For Killer Instinct, I recommend doing the game’s Tutorial as well, practicing in the Dojo, and also against the AI to apply what you’ve learned in a simulated multiplayer situation. Don’t rush your learning, take the time to truly understand and get comfortable with how the game, and your character, plays.

I also strongly recommend Infil’s guide here; as it’s detailed, easy to understand, and filled with exceptional information. It also break’s all the characters down and can help you choose one if you’re not sure, based on the style of each character.

Hope this helps!

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I wrote a thingy back in the day, maybe it will help.


First, don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t feel bad if you lose a lot of games.

If you are a proficient SF player, then Jago is a good choice. He is close to a Ken/Ryu style character and for beginner to intermediate play he has good tools and can be played to suit your play style. Another good beginner character is Sabrewulf. He has an obvious rush down and strong normal buttons. He has some glaringly bad matchups and major weaknesses so he is harder to (maybe not harder, just more complicated) do well with at a higher level.

Probably the best advice I can give you is to go check out the free guide @Infilament put together.

This is arguably the best guide to a fighting game ever constructed and you are guaranteed to learn lots about KI and fighting games in general just by opening it.

Then don’t hesitate to ask players that you meet to run sets with you.


Thanks for the welcome and all the advice!

@Juxtapose13 yes the '90’s where a good time for fighting games, even though there seem to be a renaissance now. I actually played a bit of Mortal Kombat 2, that was a very fun game also.

As you all said I should I did start of with the dojo, and @BigBadAndy mentioned I felt quite at home with Jago. I don’t know if that is a character that I would like to mainly play but it was a little easier to get a grasp of different things when his specials are almost identical to Ryu/Ken.

However, I must say that the Dojo is certainly not a cakewalk. Right now I’m stuck on the lesson where you are supposed to block an air attack and then follow it up with a “dragon punch”- like move. Very hard to get the timing right on that one.

I also feel that I tend to button mash when doing the combos whenever I try a game against the CPU. But that will probably go away as I play more.

I will read the guide you recommended for more help.

A small edit: did not see that I could expand your comment s0undy44, that was a good read with a lot of helpful tips, thanks!


Timing is a strange thing in fighting games. I find that through repetition, I can more or less train my thumbs to do what I want them to do, and something that seemed difficult before isn’t quite so bad. That’s just me though.

The great thing about the KI dojo lessons is that they not only tell you to do stuff, but they explain fighting game mechanics and why something might be useful and what not. This game has a lot of different mechanics, but they all become second nature once you choose a character and get used to them. Just give it time, try not to get frustrated, and let yourself learn at your own pace.

I’m not particularly great at this game, by any means. But it’s one that I’ve enjoyed since day one and I’ve found that I can do most of the stuff in the game, albeit not everything. And I should tell you, don’t feel like you HAVE to complete all of the lessons. Some of the combo training stuff later is really difficult. Just learn the basics of the genre that you recall from the 90’s, learn the basics of how this game plays, and learn the mechanics this game has specifically. That should be enough to get you started.

Another nice aspect that wasn’t as common before when the game came out, but seems more common now, is the fact that the command list for each character actually explains what a move does. That might sound simple, but if you’re trying to plan an attack, figure out what’s useful to you and what’s not, it can be helpful.

Also, if it helps, Sabrewulf is a rather easy character to pick up and learn. His moves are all back/toward or down/up and a button. You also don’t have to hold back or down like you do in Street Fighter. Just tap back then forward.

Anyways, hope you enjoy this game, man! It’s one of my all time favorites. And if you have any questions or need any advice or anything, feel free to drop a line here and I’m sure some people will respond. There are some good folks on this board. :smiley:


@CodeComplete85 was new to KI (if not necessarily fighting games) not too long ago, and he’s quite good now. He may be a good person to reach out to as well.


:sob: Thank you! Let’s not forget I had great instruction though.

Yeah, I picked up KI as my first fighting game around Christmas last year, and I’m holding my own out there. Really, other than reading Infil’s site and absorbing everything there, the best thing you can do is play a long session with a good player who can point out your current biggest weaknesses.

Feel free to add/message me. Also, in addition to the forums, you can come to the KI Discord. There are a lot of active players from different continents there, and you can get answers to questions very quickly around the clock, as well as matches. It’s also a fun place to hang out, and conversation can get pretty sassy/spicy there


Thank you @CodeComplete85! I haven’t been able to play much this week but the plan is to get a couple of hours in this weekend. I stil need to finish the Dojo, but I’ll probably brake it up a bit and do some vs against the cpu to try out what I learnt so far.

Would love to play against you when I’m a bit more comfortable with the game and its systems.

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Would heavily recommend Shadow Survival as your single player option. It’s a lot closer to playing an actual person than the AI


I should give that a try at some point as well.