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Mortal Kombat 1: New Kontroller Techniques

by Luke Siuty 19 Sep 2023

Compared to previous Mortal Kombats, this new title boasts more creative options to diversify your arsenal and let you express yourself. There are more mechanics (mechaniks?) this time around, so we'll have you prepared for launch of the game with a handy guide.

As proper execution is paramount in a fighting game, KontrolFreek has exactly what you need to increase your chances of winning. You don't want to be dropping Fatality inputs, right? With the No-Slip Thumb Grips, better your odds by solidifying your grip. The extra-soft, ultra-grippy proprietary material on these thumbstick attachments improves your execution and reduces slipping even during intense sessions that you'll have with MK1.

With the proper equipment, dive into the mechanics of MK1 to put the hurt on your opponents.

Dash Cancels

Dash cancelling is back in some form, similar to MK9. Double-tapping forward or backward executes a quick backstep or forward step. When dashing forward or backward, you can press down to cancel the motion, and then you can do another dash in either direction.

You can also cancel the animation of a dash with an attack, which is going to be an essential approach method.

Up Block

While holding the block button, press Up to execute a special block. This block is much better against jump in attacks that your opponent does, so if you can react to it or wait for them to jump, you should definitely use it.

This type of block shortens your recovery, so you can do a punish on your opponent after they jump in. The opponent is also unable to cancel into a special move if you Up Block their attack.

This also works on Overheads (attacks that you must block standing). Up Block will also be useful against characters like Sindel who stay airborne a lot.

Flawless Block

Returning from MK11 but with some simplifications. Its main use is to prevent chip damage from projectiles, so now you have some safe way of at least stalling out spamming zoners until you figure out a way to get in.

The other effect of Flawless Block is that the opponent doesn't gain meter. So it's definitely worth to try to Flawless Block their projectiles or specials to at least deny them this advantage. This is performed by blocking right before an attack lands.

Combo Breaker

It's time to put a stop to their combo! Hold Block and Forward while getting hit by the opponent to break out of their combo.

This mechanic will cost you 3 bars and your Kameo fighter must be available at the same time. While it's expensive, you can even break out of Fatal Blows this time around!

Kameo Fighters

Probably the biggest mechanical addition to MK1, Kameos are your assists. You choose them in the character selection screen.

You can call them in while on the offense to fill in your combos, extending them, or they can break you out of trouble with Combo Breakers. Their operations are limited by a gauge in the upper left or right corners of the screen. It takes half a bar to execute an attack with them, and the bar recharges relatively quickly, so don't hold back on using them.

Fatal Blow

Basically, it's the cinematic "super" of the game, available once you're down to 30% health or less. There is a "Fatal Blow" indicator right under your health when it's available. Press L2+R2 to use it.

Super Meter

The three bars at the bottom form a power gauge, a resource for enhancing your moves. You build the gauge by executing special moves, dealing damage, and having your specials blocked.

Use the super meter judiciously throughout the match, mostly for empowered versions of your special moves (sort of EX versions, as called in other fighting games). That's the main method of extending your combos. Don't forget that you need a full bar to use the Combo Breaker.

Practice hit confirming

The tutorial has a section that teaches about hit confirming, which is basically recognizing that your opponent got hit and then finishing or extending the combo.

For example, Scorpion can combo with X, X, X, Left Right Triangle. The latter part is a special move that would leave you in danger if your opponent was blocking, so don't do it if they do.

Mix up your defensive options

There are many techniques you can use on defense after getting knocked down. You can delay your get up, you can call in a Kameo to give you brief invulnerability (usually Left+L1), or you can spend meter to do an armored move.

Keep developing a mind game with your opponent as you play, and switch up your options to throw them off. For instance, jumping is an easy way to avoid both armored special moves or throws on get up.


That's plenty to get you started in Mortal Kombat 1. Make sure to go through the game's interactive tutorial as well, since it goes over each mechanic and teaches by example. But with this guide, you're already ahead of the kompetition.

Don't slip up on your inputs by getting the KontrolFreek No-Slip Thumb Grips!
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