Killer Instinct Elementary Combo Theory

Note: The following descriptions were derived from the Killer Instinct instruction booklet

So you mastered the basics of pounding each other. Now it’s time to learn a combo or two. Combos are basically a combination of buttons that produces multiple hits. Now, these hits aren’t really free, as you must connect with the first one in order to activate the combo. However, a successful combo can give you many extra hits for the low price of just a few button presses. It’s possible to get a 30 hit combo for a mere 6 button presses! But that will come later. First, you must learn the law of Jump-In Auto-Doubles.

Jump-In Auto-Doubles
In order to perform a Jump-In Auto-Double, you must first jump-in and attack your opponent, successfully hitting them. Once you have scored the first hit, if you press the proper button next, you will not only get your first hit, but you will also get two or three bonus hits. The whole sequence will register as a Triple Combo or Super Combo. The trick is to know what pair of buttons will produce the Auto-Double.

Here is that list:

Quick Punch and Quick Kick ( QP <-> QK )
Medium Punch and Fierce Kick ( MP <-> FK )
Medium Kick and Fierce Punch ( MK <-> FP )

You can tell from this list that if you jump-in and hit, for example with a Fierce Kick, pressing Medium Punch immediately after the first hit should trigger at least a Triple Combo. You could do that in reverse order as well, but note that not every Auto-Double combination will work with every character.

The jump-in attack is what is know as an “Opener” move. This means that if this initial attack is succesful, your opponent is briefly open to whatever combo series you want to punish him or her with. Each character also has several special moves that function as openers. If you hit with an Opener move, there is at least one button (sometimes more) that you can press to get an Auto-Double.

Top Attack Auto-Double
Top Attacks are also Openers.

So what do you do once you have mastered Triple and Super Combos? You extend your combo tally using moves known as Linkers. After you have succesfully hit your opponent with an Auto-Double, you can continue to combo them by following the last hit of the Auto-Double with a Linker move and another Auto-Double button.

End Specials
The best way to finish a combo is an end special, which can be added after any Auto-Double or Linker. End Special are listed in each character’s profile. An example of a complete combo sequence would be:

Jump-In Hit + Auto-Double + Linker + Auto-Double + End Special.


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Founder/Writer For Killer Instinct Central. Twitter: @devin_durock