MK9 Basics guide


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1 = square---------x
2= triangle---------y
3= x---------------a
4= circle-----------b
D=---------------------------> down
B=---------------------------> back
U=---------------------------> Up


JiP= Jump in punch

JiK= Jump in Kick

NjP= Neutral jump punch

NjK= Neutral jump Kick

Anti air= An attack that hits an opponent out of the air eg. Kung Lao’s spin

Armour= Will absorb all attacks, however, if hit during armour you will still take damage. eg. Rain’s ex roundhouse. Can't absorb more than one hit.

Bait= Doing something to cause a reaction from an opponent to punish it.

Block advantage= You can act before the opponent after a blocked move

Blockstring= A string of moves used whilst the opponent is blocking

Breaker= Will let you escape from a combo, uses 2 bars of meter

Buffering= Inputting an attack during the animation of another attack. Not to be confused with cancelling.

Cancelling= Ending one animation prematurely to start another animation eg. Johnny Cage’s f3, 3 nutpunch

Conditioning= Forcing your opponent to form habits

Dash block= Dashing and cancelling the dash animation with a block. Used for gaining ground quickly.

Disadvantage= The opponent is able to attack you after a move

Disrespect= the opposite of respect.

EX= Enhanced special move. Executed by pressing block at the same time as in last input of the special move. Uses 1 bar of meter
Footsies= The mid-range game. Consists of many things such as baiting and pokes.

Frame Traps= Using a move that has positive frames on block and then attacking after it, so if the opponent attacks the will get hit.

Frames= Frames make up the animations of the game. The game runs at 60 frames per second.

Hitbox= The area of an attack

Hurtbox= Where you can get hit

Invincibility= If a move has invincibility it is invulnerable to all attacks except for throws eg. Johnny Cage’s enhanced nutpunch

Jail= You can’t crouch during blockstun

Meter= the X-ray meter, with this you are able to use EX moves, breakers And x-ray moves. Separated into 3 bars.

Mixup= A situation that grants the opponents few choices and if they guess wrong they will get hit. The most basic form of a mixup if a high-low mixup where they have to block either high against an overhead, or low against a low attack.

Oki= Short for okizeme. Mixups used whilst the opponent is waking up.

Overhead/mid= at attack that will hit you if you are crouch blocking, however, it won’t hit you if you’re stand blocking.

Poke= A single attack that is more often than not safe. It is usually used at max range. It can be used to create space, Stuff an opponent’s move, gain the advantage or deal a little damage.

Pressure= Keeping your opponent locked down. Trying to force them to make a mistake and making your opponent go on the defensive making you control the pace of the match.

Respect= Acknowledging the fact that your opponent has the balls to counter what you’re gonna do or the fact that he is able to hit you or carry out what he’s going to do. eg. Not attacking near Kung Lao so you don’t get hit by his spin

String= A combination of moves that combos together

Stuff= Interrupting a move during it's startup animation

Super Armour = Will absorb more than one hit during it's armoured frames.

Tech= it has more than one meaning: Escaping a throw or getting up quickly

Vortex= A combo that leads in to a mixup situation that can be repeated.

Whiff= Missing a move

X-Ray= An attack that uses all of your meter to execute. Does more damage than regular moves and puts the game in a cinematic state.

Zoning= Playing a mid to long range defensive game. This can be done by keeping the opponent out with long range pokes and projectiles and anti airs to limit the opponent’s offensive options


Your normals each control a limb of the character 1 controls the left arm, 2 controls the right arm, 3 controls the left leg and 4 controls the right leg. Buttons can be combined with directional buttons to come up with different moves. There are universal moves (Although some characters are exception to this).
-d2 (Each character’s uppercuts have different properties, though.)
-b4 (Sweep, every character has one)
-d1 (low poke, quickest moves in the game along with some special moves. Very punishable.)
-d3 (A little bit slower than d1 but still fast, less punishable than d1 but still punishable by the fastest moves in the game)
-d4 (Average speed, however, it has good range and is not punishable on block.)It’s vital to know your normals’ properties and what situation and situations you would use them. As a character specific example I will use Sonya’s d4. It has brilliant range, is safe and allows you to cancel into her Military stance move. Military stance grants further options to allow pressure and mixups. However d4 has it’s weaknesses, it has a large hurtbox so if somebody hits you right at the tip of the move you will get hit. This move can also be used to stuff attacks from good range.

It is very important to analyse all of your moves and the options they grant. Each move has its own uses and it is important to recognize each of them.


Special moves are unique to each character. There are various types of special moves, all so different that they are difficult to categorize. Basic forms of these are projectiles, parries, unblockables, teleports and melee orientated specials. There are specials that don’t fall into any of these categories, such as Ermac’s telepush, Quan Chi’s trance and Kenshi’s specials.

Enhanced special moves are “buffed up versions” of special moves that cost one bar of meter. It’s important to use these wisely as they use meter and meter is one of the most important tools in this game. It’s not a good idea to use one of these as soon as you get a bar of meter because it’s not guaranteed that they will hit and it isn’t a good idea to use these randomly either as it’s pretty much the same as throwing your meter at of the window. A good use of meter would be when you’re trying to keep your opponent out with Sektor’s missiles but they keep ducking underneath them and not blocking to not get chipped out, throwing in an EX missile to hit the whilst they’re crouching would make them respect your missiles in fear of getting hit.

They all have different purposes and different properties. It’s important to use them in the most effective ways and recognize when they need to be used and their strengths and weaknesses. For example, Ermac’s telepush is a really punishable upclose however at midrange it is safe and it is really good for punishing people’s mistakes and spacing. It’s also really effective for just keeping your opponent in check, making them respect it and make them block more in fear of getting hit by it.

Special moves are also good for making your strings safe. You can cancel most strings in the game to most special moves. If it hits it will combo almost all the time if the special cancelled is not cancelled on the last hit of the string. For example Scorpion’s 1,1,1 spear will not combo as the last 1 is the last hit of the string, however 1,1 spear will combo as the string has not been completed in full. This has various advantages to it and opens up various options. For example Kabal has a few options after a string. He can use either his overhead hooks to hit you if you crouch block, his low groundsaw to hit you if you stand block, a nomad dash if you attack after this or a nomad dash cancel to get more pressure.


Blocking is probably one of the most important things in the game. It is one of the first things you should learn because if you don’t, you will practically be giving your opponent a free win.

Blocking is different in this game to others, whether you stand block or crouch block depends on the matchup. For example against Liu Kang you should always block low and react high at close range, however against smoke you should always block high at close range. Why, you ask? Because Liu Kang’s b312 is a low hitting launcher and Liu Kang players tend to use it a lot because it is a good pressure tool and Liu doesn’t have any overhead starters (that you can’t react to) that lead in to a bnb. Smoke, on the other hand, has an overhead the he can hit confirm into big damage. This is why it is important to know the properties of other character’s strings.

Anti airing is another thing that is really important to learn. If somebody gets a successful jip on you (blocked or not) they have the advantage. They either get a free jip or free pressure, either way you want to prevent this. You can do this by anti airing. This is also good because it is basically free damage for you. Universal anti-air options are uppercuts (except for maybe Shang Tsung, his uppercut is too slow) but they aren’t always the best option. Some characters can get really good damage off of an anti air so it is best to experiment with what your character can do
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You have 6 basic options to move, walking forwards, walking backwards, dashing forwards, dashing backwards, jumping forwards and jumping backwards.

Walking forward

Left extremely vulnerable whilst walking forward. Not your fastest option, however against characters like sub zero it is good for gaining ground safely instead of dashing in to an ice clone. Not recommended up close.

Walking backwards

Good for spacing and luring people into the space of the screen you want them. Not really recommended up close, best at mid range, just outside of poke range.

Dashing backwards

Good for whiff punishing and creating space. Can be cancelled with block.

Dashing forwards

Your best option for moving forward safely is dash blocking. This is done by dashing and then blocking during the dash animation, this will cancel the animation and you can repeat it again.

Jumping backwards

You’re extremely vulnerable during jumps as you can’t block. It really depends on the matchup because some characters have tools to punish jumpbacks on reaction and some don’t. However, most of the cast can punish on prediction so use it sparingly.

Jumping forwards

Not really a good idea to do randomly or as a mobility option, you’re extremely vulnerable to anti air attacks. They should only be used in situations where it is extremely hard to react to them, after you’ve conditioned your opponent to not anti air or if your opponent whiffs an attack/ uses an attack that leaves him open to a free jump in.

You also have attacks that move forward such as Mileena’s f3 and Ermac’s f2, these are good for closing in distance but are usually extremely punishable on whiff so it isn’t a good idea to use these as ways to get around the screen. There are also special attacks that move forward like Kung Lao’s divekick, Mileena’s ball roll and Sub Zero’s slide. Some of these are good for moving around but they are extremely baitable and, usually, extremely punishable.

Meter management

Meter is a really important thing in this game so it is important to use it correctly. How you use meter really depends on the situation.


When do I use breakers?

Well, there is no correct answer but there are questions you need to ask yourself before you use them.

What situation will I be in if I eat this combo?
Asses your situation, for example, if you’re fighting Johnny Cage and he manages to start of a combo on you he can end this in a nutpunch and get more free pressure, chipping you out and potentially allowing him to get another combo on you. Deciding if you will use a breaker or not depends on a few things. Do you have enough health to spare? How good is your character at escaping pressure? How confident are you at escaping pressure? Ect.

What situation will I be in if I use the breaker?
Again, assessing your situation is important here. How much health do you have? How much did you need that meter? How confident are you in your ability to win the round?

Is it worth it?
If you have 90% health and your opponent has 10% health and he gets a combo on you that would do 25% damage it isn’t really worth spending your meter on as the chances of winning are still greatly in your favour. However if you have equal health and you know that your opponent will runaway once they get the lifelead then there is a decent chance it is a good decision to breaker.

Critical-Limit (Contributions to the glossary)
iViTal (Contributions to the mobility section)
rikolaw(Contributions to mobility section)
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one more for safety

BTW don't hesitate to correct me if something is wrong and if you have anything to add tell me. I will give you credit for it. I still have a few things I forgot to include in the glossary
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Still plenty more to come, not even close to finishing yet. Next update will have to be on monday as i'm pretty busy at the moment
So sick.

Very informative and everything is perfect, Just work on the Organization and add some color.. It looks hella bland. Look at my Mileena guide it's all purrrrrty and Cuhlafuhh :love:
Kang's d3 is faster than his d1 (I'm pretty sure)... Don't change anything but there are some exceptions to the normals.
I'm so proud, the mobility section is amazing and very informative but just Red headlines?!

Be more Creative :mad:
Shoot your self, right now.

You're telling me that for over a year of the game being released you didn't know about Mobility?! Yung, I'm disappointed.
Yes I'm dead serious because the only MK game I played before MK9 was MK vs Dc. Once I got to MK9, I knew about dashing (via tutorial) I just didn't apply it constantly. Hell I didn't even know about dash blocking until like 6 months ago. So in short, shut up.

:rolleyes: made you feel like shit for a second huh?
Nope, not really :laugh:

But since you're a decent Street Fighter player I thought you'd know how much important spacing is.


Spacing!? Muthafuka I don't use them projectile characters :D. Lol jk I knew what you meant but spacing means nothing to me