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Tips for Improving in MK11


Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
I’ve made articles in the past for improving as a player. Namely two that got pretty good feedback. I made them a very long time ago but the advice still holds true today. You can check them out in the Fighting Philosophy sub forum. Here’s a link to one of them: https://testyourmight.com/threads/tips-on-becoming-a-better-player-part-1-how-losing-helps-you-get-better.3674/

Now onto MK11. MK11 has been out around a month or so now and I’ve already spent more time on it than any other NRS game. I absolutely love it, and cannot wait for the DLC. Anyway, I’ve noticed a lot of people struggling to improve or aren’t sure how to. So I’d figure I’d make this thread in hopes that it can help those who need it. In this thread I will offer my advice, but feel free to contribute as well. I’m not claiming to be a godlike player, just wanting to help.


Practicing Execution:

Practicing your execution is very crucial in MK11, and in fighting games in general. It doesn’t matter how easy a combo is, in real matches it’s easy to drop your combos if you don’t have tight execution. Personally, I spend at least an hour everyday in training mode working on my combos for my 3 characters. This means my BnB’s, corner combos, and converting random hits into as much damage as possible. This also means practicing Krushing Blow combos and Fatal Blow combos. I realize practicing the same combos for hours on end everyday will get boring, but the payoff is invaluable.

Having consistent execution is something that separates good players from great players. You need to be able to punish your opponent for their mistakes with the max possible damage for any given hit. I realize online play can be inconsistent and hard to land every single combo. But if you put a lot of time into your execution, you’ll be able to consistently perform your combos even online.

So what I normally do is do the same combo on one side until I get it 10/10 times. Then I switch sides and again keep doing it until I get it 10/10 times. This can take some time depending on the combo. But it’s important that you practice on BOTH sides. I continue this process for all my combos, then I’m done with my execution practice for the day.

Learning to Tech Throws:

Throws are ridiculously good in MK11. They have a 10f startup, and it becomes a 50/50 after the grab connects. You must press 2 or 4 to tech a forward throw, and 1 or 3 to tech a backwards throw. There is a pseudo option select for this, but the timing is VERY strict that it’s almost not worth doing. What you’re supposed to do is press 1, 2 in succession. The timing is very strict as I said, I haven’t been able to consistently pull it off. If anyone has any advice on the option select, please share.

So how I practice teching throws is again in training mode. I’ll have the AI do a block string into a throw. Of course it’s a 50/50, but you need to be able to react to the throw even if you end up teching wrong. Also, in a match it’s not too hard to predict what throw the opponent will do. Mid screen it’s kinda hard, but if you’re near the corner even a little bit, that’s generally the direction you will be thrown. Again, this is generally, some players will give up the corner just to land the throw.

There’s no way, other than the option select, to tech throws 100% of the time since they are a 50/50. But you should always be ready to tech a throw.

Another option is if you read a throw, to duck it then full combo punish. You can do a D2 KB, or do just a regular combo. One interesting thing to note is the throw doesn’t have a lot of active frames, meaning you can duck very quickly and it will avoid the throw. Here’s an example:

Throws are definitely the most powerful tool in MK11. And even if you practice teching them 24/7, that doesn’t mean you will be able to tech them all the time. The goal is being able to react to a throw and attempt a tech. Or to be able to read a throw and full combo punish!

Learning the Fundamentals:

Know your fundamentals of your character. First thing I learn is all my anti air options. For instance, for Searing Rage Scorpion. Full screen jump in can be punished with a spear or teleport when timed correctly. Furthest jump in away that actually can connect to me, I can anti air with s4, Death Spin, Spear, Teleport, or I can whiff punish/trip guard the jump landing recovery for a full combo. For a closer jump in, I can do s3, uppercut, s1, etc. You get the idea. You have to know your characters anti airs, the ranges where they work the best, and WHEN to press the anti air. If you mistime your anti air, it can easily be stuffed or whiff completely. This is something that you again need to practice a lot. In training mode and in real matches. Jump ins are very strong in MK11, so having your anti airs down is absolutely essential. Once you consistently punish someone’s jump in attempts, you’ll notice they will jump way more rarely because of it, which is the goal.

Learn spacing and footsies:

Spacing and footsies are a crucial part of the meta in MK11. You must know your characters max ranges, and your opponents. For instance vs Baraka’s lunging command grab variation. I know the max range of the lunging overhead and the lunging command grab. I will walk in and out of that range to bait it out from my opponent. And once they do it I whiff punish. This is something that is MU dependent but you also need to know your characters ranges perfectly. You also must learn how to punish pokes as well. This is definitely harder to do since most pokes are really quick and have long range. With Searing Rage Scorpion, I can punish pokes with Death Spin. The good thing about Death Spin is not every character can punish it on block if spaced correctly.

Knowing what can and cannot be punished.

Knowing frame data is beneficial in a lot of ways. The most important aspect is knowing what is safe, punishable, and plus on block. It’s also important to know hit advantage. Hit advantage is how many frames you have on hit where the opponent cannot do anything.

One common thing I see people get abused by is D1’s. They will block a D1 and continue to block. Once you block a D1 it’s your turn. If they D1 on block into another D1, you have several options, also depends on your character. You can D1, D3, D4 etc as a counter poke. You can walk back and whiff punish. For certain characters like Jacqui, you can f3 into a full combo, etc.

Even if they D1 and then block, it’s still your turn. You can either still counterpoke, or start your pressure.

Here’s a quick example:

BUT, if their D1 hits, you have to block the follow up. This is a big mistake I see people making all the time. They will get hit by a D1 or even a D3, and not block the follow up. Most D1’s have at least a +10 hit advantage, some have even higher. You cannot avoid the followup unless the opponent somehow mistimes it. So just block the followup then go from there!

This is all I have for now. I have more stuff I’ll add later on. Also as I said, please feel free to contribute! Any contribution will be added to this OP with a credit.

Eddy Wang

Skarlet scientist
Analyse every single match you lose, see what was giving you trouble, replicate in the practice mode to find a weakness, look a the frame data of that particular instance. If you find a dead end, get on TYM and find help.


Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
Just keep playing the game as well. Your going to make a ton of mistakes and you learn best by playing people who are on the same skill or above you.
Yeah practice makes perfect.

There’s a lot of general advice I could give, but I wanted this to be more specific to MK11.


Premium Supporter
I need help with footsies, most of the time im rushdown but if my opponent starts backing up or dashing forward or step back it fucks me up, i


Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
I need help with footsies, most of the time im rushdown but if my opponent starts backing up or dashing forward or step back it fucks me up, i
Well the issue is that in a bad connection, footsies are nearly impossible. So basically anything above 80 ping, footsies are very hard to pull off.

But in order to practice them, go into games with primarily playing footsies in mind. Do not worry about winning or losing, just worry about improving your footsies.


Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
You can also jump after a blocked D1, but it isn’t a punish. But if they D1, D1 they will most likely have to block the jump in.


Human Thumb
Play with a live human. You can learn a little bit against the CPU and through online play, but being able to lab with another live human being will make you better faster than anything else you can do.
Analyse every single match you lose, see what was giving you trouble, replicate in the practice mode to find a weakness, look a the frame data of that particular instance. If you find a dead end, get on TYM and find help.
A lot of people are unaware that you can watch your last 10-15 matches via "Match Replays" on your Kombat Kard too. You'll spot a lot of your own mistakes watching your own matches after.


Hardcore gaming poser.
Premium Supporter
Jump-ins are strong but they are a red line in the sand between low and intermediate players. The skill required to get in is something that takes a long time to develop. Using jump-ins is a bad habit that will significantly stunt your growth in this area. Focus on spacing and safe/mid strings to close the gap. Even try entire matches without jumping. When you get good at closing the gap on the ground, throws become a monster tool in your arsenal.