Mortal Kombat 11 isn’t your average fighting game. It’s overloaded with different modes, features, and currencies to collect — more than enough to shake a Scorpion spear at. There’s a lot I didn’t realize while exploring the menus (and sub-menus) of MK11, and we’re going to help alleviate some of that pressure. We’ve spent a lot of time with the latest in the Mortal Kombat series, and these are the 10 things you should know before delving too deep into this version of the NetherRealm.
First of all, most of these tips have nothing to do with fighting games or your personal skill level. No matter what type of player you are — a gentle AI-stomping Noob Saibot or a bloodthirsty online Shao Kahn — there’s a few things you’ll want to know. The progression and currency system is especially complicated this time around, and if you don’t want to waste time, here are a few handy tips to keep you going.
More Mortal Kombat 11 guides:
- Mortal Kombat 11: How To Input All Secondary Fatalities | Hidden Fatality List
- Mortal Kombat 11: How To Unlock Every Area Of The Krypt | Key Items Locations Guide
- Mortal Kombat 11: Having Trouble With Combos? Change These Settings | Combo Tips [VIDEO]
- Mortal Kombat 11: How To Use AI Fighters To Easily Beat Towers | Heart Farming Tips
- Mortal Kombat 11: How To Get Every Costume | Skin Unlocking Guide
- Mortal Kombat 11: How To Unlock Bug-Vorah, D’Vorah’s Playable Baby | ‘Total Disrespect’ Guide
- Mortal Kombat 11: How To Unlock Frost | Secret Fighter Guide
#1. Practice Mode Unlocks Bonus Costumes
The tutorials in the ‘LEARN’ menu are where you’ll want to start. Whether you’re a newcomer or a veteran, it help to brush up on the basics and learn how the new gameplay mechanics work. On top of all the standard movement / special training, you’ll be able to select individual character tutorials.
Each character tutorial, once complete, will unlock a second costume. It’s an easy way to load up on secondary outfits for everyone.
#2. Krypt Loot Is Based On Container Cost
The Krypt is where you’ll unlock icons, konsumables, materials for the forge, Kollector trades, and (most importantly) skins for your characters. You’ll also find fatalities and brutalities. Online, there have been some very vocal players unhappy with the progression system, saying it’s totally random. Essentially, this is correct — but with one major caveat.
The containers in the Krypt are only mostly random. Depending on the cost of the container, you’ll get different types of items. After my many, many unlocks, I’ve learned how to get the most important items.
Fatalities / Brutalities are unlocked by opening containers at 6,000-8,000. For skins / costumes, you’ll want to open containers that are 11,000-15,000. At about 14,000-15,000 coins, I was about 90% guaranteed to get a skin.
#3. You Can Beat Any Tower With AI Fighters
The Tower of Time is where you’ll be able to take on random challenges and fight an endless series of AI opponents. You can also unlock powerful rewards by completing daily / weekly towers. They’re limited time, and sometimes these tower fights are too difficult — or require you to play as a character you don’t know.
There’s a way to beat the tower. Use AI Fighters. Every character loadout, viewable in the Kustomization menu, can be tweaked with AI Fighter Behavior settings. Before starting a tower, you can toggle on / off the AI Fighter, sending them into battle while you watch. They’re surprisingly good — especially if you boost Combo / Reversal.
#4. There Are More Special Moves With Kustom Loadouts
The Kustomization menu has a more important function than setting AI Behavior. You can create Kustom Loadouts — from there, you can remove or add new special moves to your arsenal. Each loadout is limited to a few special moves, so you’ll need to choose wisely.
Thankfully, they’re all already unlocked. If you start playing without checking Kustomization and changing your Kustom Loadout, you might not even realize these extra Special Moves exist. Check them out — you won’t see them in the character tutorials!
#5. How To Do A ‘Mercy’ Finisher
A ‘Mercy’ is a new finisher — it’s like a peaceful Fatality. Instead of violently murdering your opponent, you taunt your opponent — giving them a second chance. It’s a pretty cool way to disrespect your enemy, and everyone can perform a ‘Mercy’, even if the game doesn’t explain how to do that at all.
- Mercy Finisher: Hold [L2 / LT / LZ], Down, Down, Down, Down
Remember to release [L2 / LT / LZ] when you finish, depending on your command input settings.
#6. Want To Play Online? Try The Advanced Tutorials
Before jumping online, I highly recommend playing through the Advanced Tutorials. These tutorials explain advanced strategies and tactics very well — you’ll learn about frame data, safe / unsafe attacks, and many more systems that are common for competitive players.
The tutorials are pretty in-depth, and they can be challenging to pull off. There aren’t any costume rewards, but it’s worth it for the knowledge.
#7. Stuck On A Hard Tower Fight? You Can Get Skip Tokens In The Krypt
Here’s the opposite of my previous tip. Instead of training to be better, you can always use a Skip Token to automatically complete Tower of Time battles. Skip Tokens are extremely rare, but they are available in the Krypt.
One of the cheaper ways to acquire Skip Tokens is by using the strange idol outside the Warrior Shrine. By donating koins, you can earn different rewards. Donating 1,000 koins, the smallest amount possible, has a chance of rewarding a Skip Token.
#8. Scorpion Heart Chests Are Way Cheaper Than Shao Kahn Heart Chests
Hearts are one of the rarest currencies in MK11. To get them, you need to kill opponents with Fatalities, Brutalities, or by chaining the corpses in the Krypt. You can one for each activity — and typical Shao Kahn heart chests cost 250 hearts (!). That’s a lot of hearts.
There are cheaper options. Look for Scorpion heart chests instead of Shao Kahn heart chests. These only cost 100 hearts. They’ll still give you 6 items, too. The only difference is that Shao Kahn chests give you all six items for a specific fighter — Scorpion gives 6 items that are randomly for any fighter.
#9. The Best Way To Farm Hearts Is With AI Fighters & Klassic Towers
As stated above, you can use AI Fighters to beat tough Tower challenges. You can also use them to AFK farm to grind hearts, soul fragments, and koins. The easiest way to get a stack of hearts is in the Klassic Tower — select your preferred fighter, setup their AI Behavior in the Kustomization menu, and let the fight the endless survival ladder.
For the Endless Tower, I recommend choosing a fast rushdown fighter. Increase Combo / Reversal to 30 / 20-25, and let the AI Fighter destroy everything in its path.
#10. Having Trouble Inputting Combos? Change These Settings
Depending on your fighting game background, there are several features in MK11 that might actually make your inputs more difficult. MK11 uses dial-in combos; you don’t need to time them properly, you just need to press the buttons in order. This isn’t Street Fighter, and some of these quality-of-life options might be ruining your inputs.
Here’s what you should do — in Practice mode, open the Controller Settings and check these toggles:
- Input Window Timing
- Krushing Blows Held Check
- Release Check
- Alternate Control
- Input Shortcut
- Button Shortcut
Some (or all) of these setting will be on by default. Input Shortcut makes it so the controller doesn’t check for diagonal inputs — and release check makes sure that you firmly release a button when performing a combo. The Input Window Timing can be changed from Long / Short, meaning you’ll need to dial-in your combo faster.
It’s all very confusing, and requires a little bit of practice to see what settings are best for you.
#11. In ‘Team Battle’ You Can Help Allies As A Spectator
After finishing the Tutorial Towers, you’ll be able to participate in the new Team Battle online mode. Here, you’re are grouped into teams and battle. One of the coolest features of this mode involves the Spectators. Instead of sitting back and watching, they can participate.
While you’re a spectator, you can jump in and help your ally with special moves. These attacks are on a timer, so save them for critical moments.
And that’s all 11 tips we’ve got so far. There’s a lot to talk about in MK11, so stick around as we continue to fight our way across EarthRealm and beyond.