Fighting Tips for KI2

Killer Instinct 2

Basic Fighting Theory

Killer Instinct 2

Combo Theory

A combo is a series of Linked Attacks. The resulting Combo that you see on the screen depends on the sequence of attacks that you perform. There are seven possible steps for putting together a Combo:

Opener, Auto-Double/Manual-Double, Linker, Auto-Double/Manual-Double and End Finisher. You don't need to know all of these techniques yet, let's just start with the easy stuff!!


An Opener is a move that initiates a Combo. An Opener can be any kind of attack, or Special Move that doesn't knock your opponent down, and allows enough time to do more hits before the opponent can move. Basic Openers include Jump-in attacks, Pressures and "Opener" Special Moves.


An Auto-Double is a single move which can be performed at certain times in a Combo, and provides an extra hit. If you perform an Opener to start a Combo, press an Auto-Double button to continue the attack.

A valid Auto-Double depends on what you opened with. Using the Auto-Double Chart, you can see that a valid Auto-Double for a FP Opener is MP or MK. It's that simple, the Auto-Double is always one button down from the valid Opener.

Auto-Double Chart
Auto Double Chart

End Finishers

End Finishers are Special Moves that will end a Combo Sequence. Each fighter has four End Finishers. Performing all four End Finishers in a single match will give the fighter a fifth End Finisher, called (obviously!) the Fifth End Finisher. For more on the Fifth End Finisher, see the Advanced Theory section.


You can throw your opponent to prevent them from being defensive fighters (Turtles!). It's frustrating when all your opponents do is sit back, and block your attacks. Throws do little damage, and they can be reversed, but they are one way to stop Turtles!

Throw Reversals

You can reverse a Throw by pressing the Control Stick, or the + Control Pad, backward and tapping your fighter's Throw button. You must do this in the first frame of your opponent's Throw. You can use the audio to queue your reversal, too. Perform your Reversal when you hear your opponent's "Throw Grunt". Throw Reversals can be reversed, too!

Advanced Theory

Killer Instinct 2

Combo Breakers

A Combo Breaker is a Special Move that breaks an active Combo. You can only break a Combo during the Auto-Double or Manual-Double (see the master section to learn about Manual-Doubles). The rules for breaking are very simple; If the opponent is doing a punch move, break with your character's Combo Breaker motion + kick, if the opponent is doing a kick move, break with your character's Combo Breaker motion + punch. For example, if your opponent does a valid Opener, then a punch Auto-Double, when you see the punch Auto-Double (typically two punches), do your character's Combo Breaker motion + kick.


Now that you know how to do basic Combos, it's time to make the Combo bigger! This is done with the "Linker" moves. After performing an Auto or Manual-Double, perform your character's Linker Special Move, this will not knock your opponent down. Following the Linker, you can then perform another Auto-Double, then any End Special (or just do the End Special after the Linker to lessen the chances of having your Combo broken!).

Super Moves

After building up your Super Bar, it is possible to perform Super Moves. These include Super Linkers, Super End Finishers, as well as a few more things we will save for the Master Section. Super Linkers will do five instead of the usual one hit for the Linker. Super End Finishers will hit four to six times at the end of the Combo.


After your Combo is finished, sometimes it is possible to sneak in a few more hits! There are many ways to Juggle your opponent, these include certain Special Moves, as well as some regular moves. With some characters, there are ways to get seven or more Juggle hits!!

Throw Combos

For easy Juggling, try doing your character's throw in a Combo! Throws can only be done in a Combo after an Auto-Double. Notice that the opponent will be tossed higher up than with the usual throw. This is so that you can Juggle them!!


Each character has several ways they can get up from the ground quickly. These Special Moves are referred to as "Pop-ups".

Top Attack

You can Top Attack your opponent by holding back on the Control Stick, or the + Control Pad, and tapping the FP, FK or MP depending on your fighter. Top Attacks are effective against a ducking or blocking opponent. You cannot follow a Top Attack with an Auto-Double, but you can follow it with a Pressure-Double, Manual-Double, and certain Special Moves.

Master Theory

Killer Instinct 2

Countering Theory

The main thing which seperates a Master KI2 player from the crowd, is understanding the methods which which you can counter your opponent's attacks. There are several different types of Counters in KI2.

Rock, Paper, Scissors Priority

Each Character in KI2 has three Special Moves which can be represented by the ancient game of Rock/Paper/Scissors. If you don't know what this is, TOUGH!! Okay, the idea is that there is a triangular relationship between these movies. "Rock" beats "Scissors", "Scissors" beats "Paper", and "Paper" beats "Rock". Therefore, no move is unbeatable!! For example, for Jago vs. Jago, Wind Kick beats Slide, Slide beats Laser Sword, and Laser Sword beats Wind Kick.

Through Projectiles

Each character has a Special Move which can go under, over or through projectiles. Each character also has a Super Move, which will also perform this function.

Air Counters

Once again, it's the Rock/Paper/Scissors game! When both characters are jumping, Fierce moves beat Medium moves, Medium moves beat Quick moves, and Quick moves beat Fierce moves. For example, a jumping Quick Punch or Kick will ALWAYS beat a jumping Fierce Punch or Kick.

Pop-Up Counters

Each character has several ways they can "Pop-Up", and there are ways to counter all of them!! I will leave it up to you Mater players to figure which move counters which Pop-up. Once again, EVERY Pop-Up can be countered!!

Other Special Moves

Remember ANY Special Move can be countered. For an example, a jump-in Fierce Punch or Kick will beat Jago's Tiger Fury if timed correctly, but an uppercut will always beat a jump-in Fierce Kick, but lose to a jump-in Medium Punch or Kick!


Manual-Doubles are very useful, but hard to master. This move can replace an Auto-Double in a Combo, be performed after an Auto-Double and work as an Opener. The advantage of the Manual-Double is that it is harder to break. To perform a Manual-Double, rapidly press Fierce Punch or Kick, followed by Medium Punch or Kick. Therefore, each character has four Manual-Doubles, FP-MP, FP-MK, FK-MP, FK-MK. Typically the Control Pad/Stick should be in neutral position during Manual-Doubles, but some of these four will work while either holding towards or away from, your opponent so that you can "Charge" your next Special Move.


Each character has a move called the Pressure-Double. There are many uses for this move, it can act as an Opener, or an "Auto-Double", and it will even Juggle if used correctly!

Pressure Combos

Pressure-Combos are Combos performed on a blocking opponent. When you are doing this, the opponent cannot move, but they only take a small amount of damage. The advantage is that Pressure-Combos fill up your Super Bar VERY QUICKLY!! There are many ways to perform Pressure-Combos, but the two main methods are to either perform a Pressure-Double into a Special Move, or a Manual-Double into a Special Move. The biggest Super Bar gain will be obtained by doing the Pressure/Manual-Double into one of your character's "Rock/Paper/Scissors" Special Moves.

Pressure Breaker

So the best Super Bar gain is from the Pressure-Combo which ends with a "Rock/Paper/Scissors" Special Move, well this can be "broken"!! If your opponent does a Pressure-Combo which ends with a "Rock/Paper/Scissors" move, do your countering Special Move, and you will come out of your block stance, and counter their Pressure-Combo!! There is a lot to this part of the game. Live it, learn it, and win!!

Ultra Breakers

Break and Ultra!?!?! You Bet!!! Just perform your characters Ultra Breaker Super Move, when the opponents Ultra Combo is starting, and Boom...the fight is still on!

Shadow Combos

Some characters have a Shadow/through fireball move. Just use this move as an Opener, and the entire Combo will be "shadowed"!

Speed-Up Combos

There are two ways to do "Speed-up" Combos. The first is fairly easy, but only works on the End Finisher. Instead of doing the End Special motion, and pressing the appropriate button, do the motion, and RELEASE the appropriate button. Of course, this works better on multi-hit End-Specials. The Fifth End Finisher cannot be sped up.

The second way to speed up a Combo is much trickier, but can work for the whole Combo. All you have to do is press the Auto-Double button immediately as the Opener hits the opponent, and the Auto-Double, will come out MUCH faster than usual. This not only looks great, it is hard to break. To see a good example of this style of Speed-up Combo, fight the computer Kim Wu on the hard or extra hard level. She will be glad to show you how fast a Combo can get. Any character can do a Combo this fast, using this method.

Slow Motion End Finishers

These look really great, ESPECIALLY at the end of a Speed-up Combo!! To do this, just do the Control Pad/Stick motion twice before pressing the End Special button. Again, these work much better when your End Specials are powered up to four hits!!

Air Doubles

An "Air Double" is a way to Combo someone who is jumping at you. All you have to do is hit a jumping opponent, while you are jumping, then perform the Air Double Special Move, using the strength one down from the button you did the first hit with. For example, for Jago, after connecting with a jumping FK, do a Medium Wind Kick. You can then Juggle several different ways, if you have discovered them.


To perform an Ultra Combo, just do the Ultra Combo Special Move at the end of a Combo when your opponent's Life Bar is flashing red. Ultras will be longer, based on the power of your End Special. For example, if you have done only one End Finisher during the fight, the Ultra will be short. If you have done all four End Finishers, plus the Fifth End Finisher during the fight, the Ultra will be LONG! It is possible to do your character's Super End Finisher at the end of the Ultra, for some extra hits!!

Really Long Ultras

OK, here's the key to the 70+ hit Ultras. Just do Parry Opener, Auto-Double, Manual-Double, Super-Linker, Auto, Manual, Super-Linker, Auto, Manual, Super-Linker, Pressure-Double, Super-Linker, Pressure-Double, Ultra motion, Super End Finisher (the Super Bar re-fills as the Ultra is going on). You must have two full Super Bars, and have done all five End Finishers to get around 70hits. GOOD LUCK!!


At the end of the opponent's first Life Bar, it is possible to do a "Mini-Ultra". Just do the Mini-Ultra Special Move at the end of a Combo, when the opponent's first Life Bar is empty. The only catch is that you need to do at least once End Finisher during the match, before you can do a Mini-Ultra.


To really end the fight with style, try one of your character's two Ultimates. One of these must be done in a Combo, but the other one can be done either in or outside of a Combo (O-Combo Ultimate). To perform an Ultimate, simply do the Ultimate Special Move motion when your opponent is in their flashing red Life Bar.

Stage Knockoffs

In several of the levels, it is possible to knock your opponent off of the level. To do this, you have to do certain End Specials, while standing in a certain location in the level. Some of these include; off of the side of Spinal's ship, off the top of Orchid's Roof, off of Kim Wu's stage and onto the train tracks in Combo's level. There are more, you figure them out!!


The Parry move is a very effective way to stop an opponent's Top Attack, or standing regular move. To Parry, just press back and hold Quick Punch. Your character will animate quickly in their regular blocking motion to warn your opponent, so be careful. After successfully performing a Parry, you can perform any Opener Special Move, or do one the next two Parry following moves.

Parry Opener

Each character, who can Parry, has an Opener which will hit three times instead of the normal one hit. After performing the Parry, it is possible to do three Auto-Doubles instead of the normal two. For example, it is possible to do the following Combo; Parry triple, Auto, Linker, Auto, Linker, Auto, End Special. If you are really feeling tough, insert some Manual-Doubles after the Auto-Doubles to really make your Combo big!!

Parry Dizzy

After a successful Parry, one of your character's Special Moves will dizzy your opponent. You decide what to do against the opponent while they are dizzy!