Updated August 29, 2023 Donate to the site Ask me a question

Killer Instinct is pretty cool, but learning a new fighting game can be overwhelming. Maybe you're confused. Or maybe you're just curious about how the game works.
Don't worry, you've come to the right place.
This guide is a teaching aid for the game. I use embedded video and hoverable linksThese caption boxes will define terms, outline small exceptions to rules, and discuss other interesting facts. Be sure to hover over one when you see it! to explain every concept about KI from the ground up.
I might use language familiar to Street Fighter players sometimes. But if that's not you, don't panic. This guide is useful for players of all experience levels.
How to move around, play basic offense and defense, and why you might want to do these things. You should probably start here.
Sometimes you get to do extra flashy stuff. I explain that here.
KI has a pretty unique combo system, with a few weird terms. Just to be sure, I go through it all very thoroughly.
Combo Breakers
If someone is hitting you with a long combo, you get to clear your throat and remind them you're still playing. But it's a bit risky!
Breaking Shadow Moves
Struggling to break shadow moves? Learn all the timings on this page, then practice directly in your Chrome browser!
The best part of KI is its roster of super rad characters.
Frame Data
Advanced players can check out completely hand-verified frame data for each Killer Instinct character.
You can use the above links to jump around, or check the navigation bar at the top on any page. There's a lot here, so take your time and have fun!
Special thanks to Legendary Frog for the artwork on this page!

Let's get started.

The Basics