Each fighter in the Killer Instinct tournament has basic moves that are similar. In the human characters, these are usually punches or kicks of various degrees of ferocity. The non-human characters use other means of attacking. Each attack has three levels of intensity; quick, medium and fierce.
Quick Punch / Kick / Bite / Sword
No matter what method of attack is used, a Quick attack is just that; it’s fast but doesn’t do a lot of damage. However, it can be difficult to get an attack in on an opponent who is unleashing a fury of quick punches.
Medium Punch / Kick / Bite / Sword
A Medium attack is somewhere in between a Quick and Fierce attack in terms of speed and damage caused. It is possible to perform Medium attacks quite rapidly, but this requires some timing.
Fierce Punch / Kick / Bite / Sword
Fierce attacks are devastating , but are somewhat slow. It’s possible to counter-attack after a Fierce attack if you time it correctly.
Denying your opponent a clear strike is the best way to avoid damage in any fighting. In Killer Instinct, blocking skills are especially essential. To block a move, hold back cross away from the attacking character. If correctly blocked, any normal move (Quick, Medium or Fierce) will not do any damage. To block correctly, you must master height and low.
If you just stand there and block, that will be good enough to block an attacker who is just standing there, or even one who is jumping in on you. However, if your enemy tries to get sneaky, and attacks low, blocking high will not be enough.
Press Down and away from the attacker and you block low. Blocking low is necessary to block low attacks, such as sweeps. Sometimes you can also block standing attacks while ducking, but don’t count on it. The only problem with blocking low is it leaves you open for a top attack.
If your opponent is blocking low, you can top attack over the top of their defense. To do this, press away from your opponent and press Fierce Punch.
Some characters can perform an uppercut by pressing Down and Fierce Punch. This is especially useful when an attacker jumps at you. Several characters do not have uppercuts, but they have special move counter-attacks against jumping attackers.
Press Down and Fierce Kick next to a standing opponent to execute a sweep attack. If you hit, it will knock your foe down. Not every character has a sweeping move.
Press Down and your character will duck. From this position, he or she can attack low. Some characters can actually avoid attacks this way.
Each character also has a fine selection of special moves to use in combat. Each character’s special moves are different, and usually require the use of buttons in combination with directional pad or stick. See the character profiles for a list of each characters unique special moves.