Fighting games are fun, there’s no doubt about it. They’re so simple to understand but manage to be incredibly deep. Sadly, that comes at a cost; fighting games, for newcomers can be a nightmare to understand.
You don’t know what the hell any of these terms meaning; zoning, mix-ups, cross-ups, vortex, it’s like a foreign language. And I bet all you wanted were a few tips to get the one-up on your friends.
Well, that’s what these this guide is for; a gentle, simple introductions to each character in Mortal Kombat X. Many guides simply throw a bunch of combos out their willy-nilly, which aren’t that helpful when you’re still learning the mechanics of the game.
Here, you’ll find out about each character’s playstyle, what their variations do, (each character has three) and a handful of simple combos/strings that provide decent damage output without being a nightmare for a beginner to pull off.
More importantly, they’ll be a gentle overview of how the character should be played optimally. Mortal Kombat X has a diverse cast, and each character needs to approach the game from a different angle in order for them to be played optimally; some characters are aggressive, some are defensive, whilst others fall somewhere in between, or can radically change based on their variation.
So, without further ado, let’s get started with…
Scorpion – Play Style
One of the longest-serving Mortal Kombat characters, Scorpion is an ideal starting character for newcomers, thanks to a fairly simple set of moves, as well as some fairly easy to perform combos.
At his core Scorpion is an aggressive character. His general playstyle is one where he dictates the pace of the match. Regardless of the variation he has access to, he has a number of moves that close the gap between the opponent and himself. Spear pulls the opponent towards Scorpion, whilst Teleport allows him to appear right behind his adversary.
Another key aspect of Scorpion’s game plan is the number of special moves he has that hold the opponent in place, or stun them for several seconds. There’s already the Spear, one of his universal moves, which does this, but there’s several others in each variation. Minion Grab in Inferno, and Hellfire in the Hellfire variant, both deliver hefty stun qualities when they hit.
This is great for beginning players, as moves like this allow you to “reset” your combos, using smaller attacks backed up with the relevant special move in order to put your opponent back in their place, and be hit with a combo all over again.
The button list below work as follows:
- - 1 = Square, X.
- - 2 = Triangle, Y.
- - 3 = Cross, A.
- - 4 = Circle, B.
- - Meter Burn = R2, Right Trigger (Along with relevant special move input)
Universal Special Moves
Spear (Back, forward + 1)
One of Scorpion’s trademark move. It pulls the opponent towards you, closing the gap and allowing you to start on the offensive. Do note that it has a fairly lengthy start-up, meaning it should not be thrown out randomly.
The meter burn version adds a greater stun duration and a shorter start-up time. It’s unique also in that you can spend an additional meter after it has hit, changing its properties. Rather than pulling the opponent towards Scorpion, it will instead do some additional damage by sending flames down the chain.
Teleport (Down, back + 3)
Another Mortal Kombat classic. Teleport is great for punishing players who want to back away and keep you at arm’s length. That being said, just like with Spear, it’s not the kind of move that can be thrown out with wild abandon. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes I see new players doing is using the move repeatedly, when it’s clear the opponent will have time to block.
Instead, it should be used in the middle of a combo, or when your opponent is half way through using a fireball or other long-range attack.
The meter burn version kicks the opponent into the air, allowing you to extend combos with it.
Takedown (Back, forward + 4)
Scorpion’s last universal special move can look a bit lacklustre in comparison but it does have some interesting qualities. Firstly, it causes him to slide at the opponent and knock them down, meaning that it hits low. This is great if you’re carrying out a combo or string that only has high and mid hits and your opponent is blocking stood up. By keying in the Takedown as the last move, your opponent is first to have to block low by crouching all of a sudden, which can catch them off guard.
That being said, don’t do this trick if your opponent is already in the crouch block position as the Takedown will be blocked and they’ll have plenty of time to counterattack.
The other unique property of the Takedown is its meter burn. It adds a hit of armour, a rarity among Scorpion’s special moves, meaning he can take a hit whilst carrying out the attack and not be interrupted.
This is the variation I recommend players start with. It adds no new special moves, meaning that it allows new players to get to grips with Scorpion’s core move set. It’s less flashy but will reward you in the long run.
The major change to Scorpion is the range of some of his attack strings, which have different properties given that he now wields two swords. You can check the full list of unique attacks by going in the options menu and moving over to the “Variation” tab.
One of his best attacks in this version is his Forward + 2. This is already a strong move for Scorpion given that it’s an overhead (meaning it his crouching opponents, regardless of whether or not they’re blocking), but in this form, the move causes the opponent to bounce into the air, which is great for unleashing a combo by “juggling” the opponent in mid-air.
Overall, this variation is fairly weak, compared to the other two. It does increase the range of several attacks, given that he strikes with the twin swords rather than his fists, but otherwise it’s rather lacking. Still, it’s best used as a stepping stone whilst you acclimatize to Scorpion’s fighting style.
This variant gives Scorpion access to several long range moves. If you prefer to play at a slightly longer distance, or are struggling to deal with strong “zoning” type characters that keep away from you, this variation can balance things out.
Fire Ball (Down, back +1)
Just as it sounds, Fire Ball is a simple, fairly slow moving projectile that travels the length of the screen. By holding the “1” button (Square or X on respective consoles), you can delay the attack in order to mess with your opponent’s timing. If they jump forward too quickly, anticipating the attack, you can delay the projectile for a second so that it hopefully hits them as they land. It can also be cancelled by dashing forward, which can be useful for bluffing an opponent.
The meter burn version is slightly stronger and delays the opponent if they stand and block it.
Hell Fire (Down, back +2)
Another long range special move that “tracks” where your opponent is on screen. This means that it’ll typically hit the opponent regardless of where they are, close to you, or further away.
Like with the Fire Ball, Hell Fire is an attack that can punish opponents that try to stay away from you. Along with the Spear it provides with a move with a long stun duration, giving you ample time to set up another combo.
The move also hits low, making it great against players who are being too defensive and staying away from you. Pull off the move and then rush forward to close the gap whilst they’re knocked down. Do be aware though, that savvy opponents can jump forward if they’re anticipating it, opening you up to a potential counterattack.
Flame Aura (Down, back + 4)
To those who’ve ever played Injustice: Gods Among Us, this is similar to Solomon Grundy’s “Grave Rot” move, that slowly chips away at the opponent’s health once it’s activated. This reinforces Scorpion’s close-range gameplay, even if this variation as a whole gives him more ranged options.
Flame Aura is best used during a combo. Used mid-combo, it will allow you to extend your offensive whilst accruing some additional damage from the Flame Aura effect.
Inferno grants Scorpion access to three different special moves that involve summoning minions to attack. One move hits from above, another from behind the opponent, and the third grabs the opponent from below and holds them in position.
Overall, this variation is great for allowing Scorpion to chain one combo into another. The Minion Grab helps keep the opponent in place, “resetting” your attack and allowing you to easily move into another attack string and potential combo.
Minion Grab (Down, back + 4)
The best move to come with this variation. Scorpion summons a minion that holds the opponent in place, this can be done mid combo to help extend an existing attack or done “raw” to stop the opponent in their tracks and close in.
Like with most of Scorpion’s moves, don’t throw them out at random but observe what your opponent is doing. If they’re throwing out buttons without thinking it makes for a great counterattack, if however, they’re playing cautiously, then bide your time, throw out some safe normal attacks first and wait for them to open up.
Like with Hell Fire the move tracks and hits low, so if you’re familiar with that move then Minion Grab won’t be much more difficult to learn.
Minion Charge (Down, back + 1)
A great move to extend combos, as well as harass from afar. The move pushes the enemy towards you slightly, helping to shorten the gap, which is almost always in Scorpion’s favour.
Think of it like a weaker, but safer, Teleport. Use it to punish opponents who throw out unsafe attacks or try and back away.
Minion Drop (Down, back +2)
Minion Drop is an overhead attack, with a minion appearing from the top of the screen and attacking in a diagonal direction, down towards the opponent. Along with all of Scorpion’s other attacks it gives him great control of the whole screen from a variety of angles. Whilst he’s better up close, he’s far from helpless at most ranges with this variation.
Minion Drop is best used once you’ve trained the opponent to fear the Minion Grab. They’ll start blocking low, anticipating that attack, and you can instead go for the drop, catching them off-guard.
- 2, 1, 4, Teleport, down + 2
- 2, 1 3, Teleport, down + 2
- Teleport (Meter Burn), jump + 4, Teleport, down + 2.
- 1, 1, 3, Teleport, down + 2
Spear or Minion Grab can be used at the beginning of these combos in order to put your opponent in a stun state.
Overall, Scorpion is the kind of character perfect for those that like to be on the offensive. That being said, he’s not the kind of character that can get away with mindless button-mashing. Play smart, watch for openings, and then strike.
When Scorpion gets going he’s hard to stop, use that momentum and don’t let your opponent get a breather.
© 2015 LudoLogic