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Controller Guide: How to be Absolutely Fatal at Mortal Kombat 11

by Mason Moreau 28 Jun 2019

From Button Masher To Skull Smasher

The life of a gamer comes with a few more certainties than just death and taxes. New console generations? Check. Serialized annual releases of popular franchises? Check. Your friends and family reading one news article then trying to convince you that you might have "gaming disorder" because you like to stay up late grinding battle pass tiers? Quadruple check.

One certainty that you can count on always being a great time is Netherrealm Studios dropping a new Mortal Kombat that that brings as much fun to your living room as it does controversy in congress. Mortal Kombat 11 is no different. After all, it is the best selling game of this year so far.

But not everyone is that great at fighting games right off the bat. It takes some time to really transition from lowly button masher to all-out combo slinging master of dismemberment. And with league play finally rolling out, there hasn't been a better time to start honing your skills. 

Like the controller wizkids we are here at KontrolFreek, we hit the books and dove deep into the control options within MK11 to bring you some great tips and tricks for how to break those bad button habits and turn yourself into a precise killing machine. 

Take care of those sweaty palms

If you've ever played a fighting game, then you know that intense matches inevitably lead to crazy palm sweat. That's no good! You cant have your hands slipping and sliding everywhere while you're trying to put the hurt on your buddy who owes you money. There are $2 dollars at stake! 

Thankfully, we're here to help. Pick up a pack of moisture wicking KontrolFreek Performance Grips to keep hand sweat from getting in the way of your combos. We actually just released two new versions:  Original Grips and Grips XT (Extra-Thin) to fit your desired level of comfort! What a coincidence!   

Practice Mode is Your Friend

Before you graduate to the level of couch/online multiplayer superstar, you're going to have to spend some time figuring out your favorite characters, their move sets, combos, etc. Just play the story mode and it'll present you with a nice variety. 

Once you've found your main head on over to the "Learn" section in the main menu. Pop around the different tutorials and play them until your hands bleed.

Don't really do that, but you get the point. 

Understanding the combos and being able to execute them is the key to technical ability in fighting games.

Get Used to the D-Pad (But thumbsticks aren't bad either)

hold up stop GIF by PlayStation

This one's really a matter of preference, and believe us we won't tell you NOT to use a thumbstick for... reasons. But in our play sessions we've found that combos just make more sense and are easier to execute when using the D-Pad over the joystick. 

But some people are much more used to the thumbstick because it mimics a fight stick much more. So to each their own really.   

Setting Up Your Controls

Once you've mastered your technical skill, it's time to lift the training wheels. 

Pop into the options menu and navigate over to the "Controls" tab. Here you'll find a few adjustments that are most definitely worth your while. Don't worry though! No need for trial and error! We tested all of these settings out to find the perfect fit. So here's what we recommend:

Set Input Window Timing to "Medium" or "Short"

The input window is how long the game remembers a button press. Simple as that. By default, the game puts sets it to "long" which is great if you don't know what you're doing. But we're not about that life. A long input window time could lead to some combos triggering unintentionally. What's intended to be a hit-check into combo maneuver could feasibly be mistaken by the game for a different move altogether. So tighten that baby up a little bit to make sure the game is always realizing what you're trying to do. 

Release Check - On

Turning release check on makes special moves trigger after you release a button. In some situations, this gives you a small window of time to wait for your opponent to be caught off guard. It's all about that element of surprise, baby. 

Release check is a little bit difficult to get used to, but you're a badass so you shouldn't have much of an issue. 

Alternate Control - On for Thumbstick, Off for D-Pad

Alternate control is basically for those of you who love street fighter or playing with a fight stick. Instead of only requiring the specific directional inputs, this setting also requires diagonal inputs.

With a thumbstick that translates over to more of a swinging motion rather than a swiveling one. Which we find similar to the way Street Fighter plays.

With the D-Pad, it's much less elegant. Which is why we suggest you turn this off if you're going to use the D-pad for inputs. 

Now you're well on your way to becoming the next fighting game master. Have any questions? Drop a comment below and we'll answer you pronto! Also be sure to check out our History of Crash Team Racing. Til next time. Stay freeky FreekNation!

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