Killer Instinct gets some important competitive updates

Big changes are coming to Microsoft’s flagship fighting game, Killer Instinct

Big changes are coming to Microsoft’s flagship fighting game, Killer Instinct.

The game is getting heavy balance update, new character, and new ranked format that emulates tournament play.

Several characters will be affected by the balance changes. Most of the attention is being paid to new characters like Omen and Riptor, both of whom needed a number of bug corrections. Riptor has also been hit with some nerfs, as have Sabrewulf and Spinal, as the two latter characters were given minor damage reductions on some moves.

More notable than those changes is the addition of new character Aganos. The massive golem fills up a significant portion of the screen while in play, and his style fits that massive size.

The overhaul of Killer Instinct’s ranked system is reminiscent of the League of Legends ranked ladder.

Players begin by competing in ten placement matches, with those matches determining which ranked tier they fall into. Bronze, Silver and Gold are all available. Matches are played against other players of a similar rank, and while each player’s rating will fluctuate depending on results, they’ll never drop out of a new tier once they’ve managed to qualify for it.

Killer Instinct players will eventually compete for spots in the Killer tier. Matches played there will emulate tournament structures, the best two of three. The top 32 players at the end of each monthly ranking period will be given a special status as reward for their achievement.

The continued evolution and development of Killer Instinct shows Microsoft’s increased commitment to their big fighting game exclusive on the Xbox One console. It may be even more important now for Killer Instinct to entrench itself and convince potential players of its worthiness given Capcom’s announcement last year that Street Fighter 5 would be exclusive to the competing Playstation 4 among consoles.

Street Fighter 5 will also be available on PC, and the developers of Killer Instinct have openly toyed with the idea of porting their own game to the PC platform, but no official announcement has yet been made.

Screengrab via IGN/YouTube