Failproof Strategies for Challenge Tower #185,251,269,275,300!


New member
I put together this guide to everything that I found the most challenging in the Challenge Tower. I have completed both the Story Mode and Challenge Tower to 100% and can provide you with the tricks I learned by trial and error. If you get stuck feel free to leave me a message in this post or here:

Flawless Victory on Goro with any character!

You want to jump over his head and immediately uppercut him in the back when you land. If you take too long to attack after you land, he will interrupt your attack and you will get destroyed. You need to begin the attack the very second you hit the ground. You can do specific combos for more damage but only certain combos will work. Never try and flat out attacking him while he is facing you, but you can attack him from his front side if you jumped over from his back side when he is doing a ground pound. Double dash up to him within grabbing distance whenever he does his 2 punch combo and goes across the screen. His attacks are so slow that he will never hit you if you follow the pattern and keep jumping over him.

This strategy will help you a ton on tower challenge #185 where you have to fight Sheeva, Goro and Kintaro back to back. Against Kintaro remember to jump and attack when he does his teleport stomp to avoid getting hit. I made it easier by saving my X-ray meter the whole time until I reached Kintaro because Goro and Sheeva are easy. Against Sheeva just get in close and use any of your specials because her moves are a lot slower than Baraka's so you can pretty much just spam something like down forward square and you'll only ever get hit by like a sweeping kick.

This strategy will also DESTROY challenge #275 where you have to fight 3 Goros back to back with 1 health bar that doesn't refill. Just do not get lazy. Always double dash right into his face, flip over and uppercut him in the back. There is very little room for error or slowness, but it's easy enough if you use this strategy.

Tshang Tsung vs Shao Khan (Challenge #250&251)

I found it easiest to keep a full screen distance away from Shao Kahn and just repeatedly hit him with the skull projectile (back, back, square) The attack he does seems to be based off his distance away from you. He will be more likely to throw a few hammers that you can jump over if he is close to the edge of his side of the screen. Just keep shooting skulls make sure to upgrade your skull projectile whenever you have enough xray meter built up. It will shoot off 3 skulls instead of one which can really help knock him back.

Both Baraka and Sindel are pushovers with this strategy especially if you use Soul Capture (forward, down, back, X + R2) at the beginning of the match to do extra damage. The move has a lot of range and if they block it then you get a lot of extra meter. Against Shao Kahn i'd just focus on keeping him on his edge of the screen though.

Stryker vs Shao Kahn x 3 (Challenge #269)

This is actually a really easy challenge. Start off the match by spamming the move Roll Toss (back, forward, circle). You can usually repeat it if he blocks it the first time. This will create a good distance between you and Shao Kahn to spam Gun Shot (back, forward, square) which will interrupt Kahn's moves and knock him back. The only move it does not interrupt is his hammer toss so make sure you jump straight up over every hammer or you're screwed.

Save your X-ray meter for the 2nd Kahn that jumps on the screen and use it immediately because he will always pop on the screen right next to you. Repeat the strategy above. If Kahn ever gets too close to you use the Roll Toss move again to create some distance again. Also if you happen to have full X-ray meter and he blocks your Roll Toss, then that's a perfect time to use your X-ray move (which will even counter Shao Kahn's X-ray if you happen to do them at the same time). If you don't have any meter when the 3rd Kahn pops up then be ready to spam Roll Toss to give yourself some room again.

FAILPROOF ENDGAME Strategy (Challenge #300)

I chose to use Liu Kang. It is possible to get a flawless victory on all 4 fights using this strategy.

Vs Goro: Same strategy as above for the flawless Goro kills. Keep jumping over his head. Also if you see him start to do the ground pound, jump infront of him a second time to avoid the ground damage. Instead of just using uppercut after i jumped over him, I found it was more advantageous to use the combo Lotus Furry (x, x, circle). You can follow this up with a low fireball while he's on the ground and pull it off, but i think it's easier to use that time to dash towards him instead. The time it takes to do the fireball while he's on the ground is enough sometimes to put you at risk of getting hit by his x-ray or fireballs when he recovers. The combo alone still does more damage than an uppercut.

I'm sure there are other combos that could be used with other characters as well, but you have to make sure it A.) does more damage than the uppercut and B.) cannot be interrupted mid combo. It just needs to be something that sends them to kiss the ground consistently. Raiden's combo Sudden Energy (triangle, triangle, forward+square) is another example of a good combo to use. It is essential that you do the combo as soon as you land on the ground after jumping over him otherwise it'll get interrupted and you will get smacked! You cannot be slow.

Sometimes you may just want to use the uppercut for its speed though. You need to use your judgement. For example if he does his 2 punch combo and you double dash after him that's when i would use the uppercut instead of the combo. But if he is taunting or doing an uppercut while you jump over him then he is in what i like to refer to as "Komboland" and you should take him for a ride.


Vs Kintaro: Immediately spam your X-ray as the fight begins and it will connect. After the xray move, it will place you around jumping distance away from him.You should be doing fast low fireballs at this time. In terms of speed, you should be inputting the buttons for the next fireball right when the first one hits him. But have some balls and don't do them nervously or randomly because you need to be reacting to his movements more than anything. This is a 4 fighter endurance challenge so don't forget that.

I don't believe you need to move from the initial position it places you in because he will typically do a teleport after you've gotten off around 2 fireballs on him. It is crucial that you jump straight up and nail him with a kick to send him flying back to the opposite side of the screen when he does his teleport stomp.

Ideally you want to be the entire screen away from him to give yourself more time to react to his horizontal fireballs and so you can continue shooting fireballs at him. If you manage to kick him away while he tries to teleport stomp you, it will create that distance. When he is at the exact opposite side of the screen he will only do 2 moves that can hit you (which are the teleport stomp and his horizontal fireball) so this is the distance you want to keep him at the entire duration of the fight to keep him predictable and allow yourself to counter him. He is also more likely to taunt you at this distance when you jump away which is great for free hits.

If he starts moving towards you and gets too close then you need to jump backwards because he has a breath of fire move as well as a ground fireball move that will hit you 3 consecutive times.You can pretty much say good bye and retry if you get hit by them.You also want to try and time your low fireballs so that when Kintaro does a horizontal fireball, you're character ducks it. You'll build up an xray meter again fairly fast with all the fireballs you put out.

If he gets advances on you while you're in the corner of the map then you'll need to try and jump over him to get to the opposite side of the screen again.

Vs. Mileena: Jump backwards away from her as the fight begins and keep shooting low fireballs at her. If she gets close to you, uppercut her away. Watch out for her dive kick. Low fireballs will again allow you to duck her projectile as well.

Vs. Shao Kahn: For Kahn you need to jump over him and into the opposite corner when he gets too close and keep the low fireball pressure on him. Jump over the hammers.

I'll probably update this as i perfect it, but this works for completing the challenge anyways. I really want to try and do the whole thing flawless to see if there's a secret reward. It would be crazy if either Skarlettt or Tanya was unlockable if you could pull it off since they are both chained up in the background with Shao Kahn

Hope these tips help save you some time. If you'd like to thank me, i'd totally appreciate some retro codes for PSN. You could email em to if you have any extra, but i mostly just put this together because i love Mortal Kombat. Good luck.
This #269 strategy is not working out for me. I know how to dodge the hammers, but sometimes the spears just come out even though I've hit him with two shots of the gun shot. Also, the roll has a tendency to just flat out not work, proceeding in Shao smacking me around for around ~1/4 of my life.

EDIT: It figures that the try I do after I posted this works perfectly for me. lol. Thanks.
There's no reason on challenge #269 to do ANYTHING but shoot shoot shoot. It'll tire out your fingers, but if you keep up the gun pressure and never miss a single input, then you'll win guaranteed. The only way Kahn will get off a spear is if you're late with your gun.
It won't tire your fingers at all if you use an arcade stick. That's one of the biggest advantages of using a stick.

Try this. Go into practice mode with Liu Kang and try spamming low fireballs. You should be able to do them so fast that you do not even see Liu Kang stand up between fireballs. Shao Kahn will never get a spear off at this speed of attack. Your projectile will always interrupt the spear throw. He will get the hammers off because those cannot be interrupted. So you will have to jump over those, but that is easy enough.

Your thumbs would get very, very sore doing this on a controller, but you can literally do it all day with a stick. I don't want to sound like an elitist, but i cannot see myself playing this game without my stick. You initially have to learn to get a little more precise with your directional inputs, but it will feel natural after a few days. Just practice double dashing, jumping and doing specials fast.

Overall i think playing with an arcade stick lets you play faster, with less effort (especially with combos) and with infinitely less finger fatigue. Like i said in the strategies you have to be fast. If you're a second late, you'll often get interrupted by attacks or you will not interrupt an opponent's attack.

I agree that you primarily want to be using your projectile nonstop in the Stryker vs triple SHao Kahn fight, but i liked using the Roll Toss at the start to create the initial distance. The position it puts you in will more likely prompt Kahn's range attacks and taunts more often since his attacks are based off distance. This allows you to spam gun fire which is the main strategy. I mainly just used Roll Toss as a tool to reset distance. Whatever works.
Last edited:
Regarding #269:
"The only move it does not interrupt is his hammer toss so make sure you jump straight up over every hammer or you're screwed."

When Kahn throws his hammer quickly execute the Roll Toss (B,F,4) and Stryker will roll under the hammer and grab Shao Kahn.

On #300 I can confirm your tips work like a charm. For me it took a little while to get the fireballs spammed consistently enough cause i'm using the DualShock 3 controller. :(

Thanks :)
Thing is, your gun interrupts AND pushes back. You can gunspam from any distance against Kahn. But if you don't rolltoss first you run the risk of being randomly shoulder rammed. So it's a good idea to use it at close-range. Just hope it isn't blocked.

As to the fight stick thing. EFF NO. D-Pad is the only way to play. You may have a point about the finger fatigue, but you lose your macro buttons, being forced to manually input throws, X-Rays, etc. AND I don't believe it's faster, not by a long shot. And I know for a fact that a stick is less precise than the PS3 D-Pad. It's the same as playing with a joypad on a controller just you're holding it from the top instead of with your thumb. And you have all the disadvantages of such. Meaning if you accidentally move too far up when trying to move backwards you'll jump (or crouch or do a special you didn't mean to). Plus, in order to do an away, towards motion you need to move your ENTIRE HAND one way, then reverse direction and go to the opposite extreme. With a D-Pad you can roll your fingers from back to front no problem.

One place the stick has a huge advantage of the controller is button layout. You stick-users have no trouble at all doing those 1, 1, 2+1 combos. I can't freakin' reach Square + Triangle with my thumb unless I tilt my controller or change my button layout.
Sorry for the double post, but I feel like the content of this one is different enough from my previous one to warrant a hard break.

My strategy for #300 using Smoke:

Vs. Goro:
Basically the same as NoMercy85. Jump over Goro, if he's standing still then Aerial Punch -> Uppercut. If he dashes/jumps forward, use Smokeball followed by Aerial Punch -> Aerial Smokeport. Repeat until dead.

Vs. Kintaro:
Don't bother using your X-ray it will only interrupt your flow and possibly get you hit. Save it for Mileena and Kahn where it can really make a difference.

No, what you do against Kintaro is BACK THE EFF UP, stay at range constantly. He can only do 3 things at long range and Smoke has a perfect counter for every one. If he fireballs, smokeport, 6% damage. If he jumps, wait about half a second then to a backwards jump kick to knock him out of it (the timing can be tricky, but once you get it a few times muscle memory will take over). If he taunts you, smokeball -> aerial punch -> aerial smokeport for 9% damage. Flawless Victory. The best part of it is, Smoke's attacks will all push Kintaro back, meaning you have little danger of being cornered (though a non-aggressive Kintaro can still corner you, since all your pushing comes from counterattacks).

Vs. Mileena:
Start off defensive. She likes to open with a teleport kick, try and block it if you can. If she starts by approaching you go for a quick uppercut or she'll grab you out of your block. Once she's at a distance keep retreating until she does one of 2 things. If she teleport kicks, block and punish with an uppercut or aerial punch -> smokeport juggle. If she starts spamming Sai throws, use Smokeport. In either case, use a Smokeball as she's getting up (and ONLY as she's getting up, any other time she'll counter with an unblockable teleport kick). If you're lucky, you'll get in a smokeball -> aerial combo for extra damage. If not, keep turtling. If she gets close, uppercut her away. Stay at range.

Vs. Shao Kahn:
This is the hardest part of the challenge playing as Smoke, because you don't have a perfect counter to all of Kahn's moves. Again, Smokeport and Smokebomb are your friends here. Start off by trying to catch him in your X-ray to remove a chunk of his HP right off the bat. MAKE SURE YOU DON'T HAVE THE REDUCED DAMAGE DEBUFF ACTIVE.

Keep your distance (par for the course now, right?) and wait for him to attack. If he doesn't want to throw any projectiles, poke him with a smokeball to try and get him to retaliate. If you're lucky, he won't block it and you can get in a free aerial combo for ~9% damage. Whenever he throws any kind of projectile just Smokeport for 6% guaranteed every time. Again, this has the added advantage of pushing Kahn back and reducing the danger of being corner kept. But Kahn doesn't like to turtle as much as Kintaro so be ready to jump over him and push him away with a quick aerial punch -> uppercut or BnB combo.

That's my 2 cents, might help some folks out.
Great tips for #300 with Smoke.

I thought the same thing about the stick being less precise when i first started playing, but i believe that is a bad misconception. If you learned to play on a controller you will be accustomed to using it, but if you practice with the stick it will feel natural just like the controller. The switch from pad to stick is not something you can do instantly though.

I was tempted to switch to controller for precision when doing challenge #300, but i stuck with the arcade stick and found myself not making those types of mistakes when i was focused and deliberate with my inputs. Speed is key. When I beat it, I did it with the stick. Although I do agree that MK is more friendly to using a controller than other fighters. You will have to practice with it and get accustomed to it, but you'll never go back once you do.

In terms of throws and Xray attacks, they are even easier on the arcade stick because you have all the buttons directly under your fingertips at any one time allowing for more rapid button inputs. I simply hit 3 buttons together to do an Xray and 2 buttons together to do a throw. Furthermore you do not have to contort your hand to do combos that require you to input 2 buttons at the same time. You develop muscle memory for everything and it all comes out more effortlessly.

I even grew up playing all the Mortal Kombat games mostly on the SNES (as well as arcade a few times) so this is coming from someone who predominantly used the controller in the past. It takes a while to get used to it, but you'll love it once you get the feel for it. My left thumb usually burns after 1 match with the controller. I still remember the blisters I used to get on my left thumb and putting a band-aid over it to play some more. lol. Stick with it, focus on improving your speed and you'll see a big improvement with an arcade stick imo.
Last edited:
My control method of choice is keyboard actually. I get all the advantages afforded by having a finger per button a la a fight stick, and all the precision of a d-pad PLUS the added ability to use different fingers for each direction.

Too bad consoles don't have that option...
So I'm trying to do challenge #300 with Smoke. It's all more or less fine for Goro and Kintaro, I got that part down - but Mileena is kicking my ass no matter what I try... I even had full health once when I got to her, landed an x-ray and I still died. Should you stand as far as possible back blocking to stop her teleport kick or what?
Mileena was the hardest fight for me as Smoke. She's VERY vulnerable to Smokeport (isn't everyone?). Just stay as far back as possible (DON'T JUMP, just walk, or she'll teleport kick you). Poke with a quick attack sometimes to try and bait her into throwing Sai then spokeport her ass. Then, as I said before, try to smokeball her as soon as she gets up so she doesn't have time to counter it.
i'm a smoke user all the way and i have to say, while i know distance is the big thing for the challenge, for kintaro/goro when i was fullscreen i'd use shake to counter fireballs, then either smokeball if i saw the chance or port backwards to distance again or through them to counter the next attack. also, when they do their jumps, i liked to jump in (for goro) or out of the way (for kintaro) for his 4 hit combo, which is easy to do then smokeball while down/air throw, smokeball again (which works 25% of the time) and then port backwards or forwards. i'm aware this is a lot more risky, since you're close up more often but i find it well suited to people who like countering, and hey, it got me through endgame
Took me 3 try's I managed to beat it with Shang Tsung. Milina is definitely a psycho hose monster the trick is poise, keep your block button finger on the ready, she will always set her self up.
Last edited:
I keep seeing "lose 5-10 times" and it's easy... But that's a load of crap. It never gets any easier.

As for 251 and Shang tsing. He simply sucks. He is so slow it hurts
Thank you so much! I literally just registered here to say thanks! I completed the challenge tower today with a few of the tips provided here.

251 to me was very difficult and took me a lot of attempts, i feel Shang Tsung's move set is not to my liking, managed to beat Baraka and Sindel with Full Health thanks to the slight health regen, used no real tactics here other than simple combos and fireballs. Shao Khan i beat very luckily, using the same methods and repeatedly jumping over his head. Shao Khan was very very aggressive in this challenge i found.

269 - Stryker vs 3 khan's, I used the method on the first post, use the roll to create distance, then spam the hell out of Strykers gun, rinse and repeat and use X-rays when necessary, i think i got this in about 5 attempts to my surprise!

275 - Ermac vs 3 Goro's - I personally didnt have too much of a problem with this one, just use uppercuts, teleport punch and Ermac's cross, square, triangle combo (i think that's what it was)

300 - End game - I picked Lui Kang as I am quite proficient with him anyways and he's a very fast character. After i died a few times and then had the health regen after each boss, I basically flawlessed Goro and Kintaro, Mileena was easy, i crouched and blocked and waited for her to make the first move then punished with an uppercut. Shao Khan, i just got really really aggressive and didn't give him breathing space, jumped over his head, uppercut, and a combination of lotus flurry combo (cross, cross, circle) and the triangle, square, cross one which bounces him up...followed by square, square, square and an uppercut if possible. Barely used a fireball even!

Thanks so much for the tips and I am a big fan of MK series and will hope to post some more stuff here :)
I'm only at # 185 and already this one killing me.... damn...

I don't like fighting as Baraka and then you get the 3 Shokans in front of you... been cursing like a MF... My wife said to calm down or she'll have to put the game away... :-o o_O
I beat the Challenge Tower a few days ago as well. #251 being the hardest of all, by far. Shang Tsung is so damn slow. I usually play Everquest every night, but it's down with the SOE servers being hacked... and these few difficult ones had my wife hoping EQ would be up again soon. She didn't like me swearing at Shao Kahn and Goro so much. :) She asked if it was actually fun since I was raging a lot. I said of course! She doesn't understand at all hehe
Omg I can't beat 251! Every time I get Kahn down to half a bar or less and then he does an X-ray or goes off. Really making me mad.
Just wanted to say thanks to Nomercy85 for the tips. I beat the tower today and his strategy helped big time. I don't have any retro codes. I'd give em to ya if I had em. Just wanted to say thanks. Your guide was much appreciated.