Killer Instinct Tier List

Use the best characters in Killer Instinct and make the best out of your gameplay. Here is the most up-to-date Killer Instinct tier list for an overview.

Continuing its stride in being one of the most fleshed-out games of the fighting genre, Killer Instinct is still considered to be one of the best of its kind.

Killer Instinct separates itself from similar fighting games by having simplified auto combo moves and combo breakers that rely on good reads and sharp reactions on both ends of the screen.

This is the ultimate Killer Instinct’s tier list that we keep up-to-date to ensure quality and accuracy. For this list, characters are ranked based on their Individual performances in all modes of the game.

Keep in mind that all the characters in this game have a chance to be a competition as it relies heavily on player skill.

Table of ContentsShow


Killer Instinct Tier List S Tier

These are currently the best characters in the game with the lowest number of bad matchups. Learn and pick them as they’ll surely give your opponents a hard time in your matches.

    Rash  Rash is considered to be the best character in Killer Instinct. He has everything, from great overheads, lows, staggers, and hard-to-break combos to a remarkable damage output even without a meter.

If you want unmatched mix-ups and air mobility, Rash is for you.  
      AriaAria has great range, powerful pressure, and remarkable damage when she has meter and is in instinct. This character has linkers that are the hardest to break in the game.

Aria’s body-switching skill makes it hard for opponents in predicting the style of play that Aria uses as each body has different abilities.  
      FulgoreFulgore’s Fireballs, blade dash, lasers are only a few of the many moves that it has that make this character one of the best in controlling combat in one’s favor. Fulgore can be a good zoner and a rushdown character and having both is especially hard to counter.

It gets better, Fulgore’s teleport is one of the most broken skills in the game as he goes invisible and teleports to the opponent which goes well with mix-ups. If you want a character with little to no weaknesses, Fulgore is the machine for you.  
    OmenOmen has the best mobility in the game. It has the best fly mobility and excels well on the ground. From meter lockouts and left and right mix-ups, Omen overall has so many different ways to control an opponent from anywhere on the screen due to high mobility.


Killer Instinct Tier List A Tier

Don’t let this let you think less of these characters, these can easily match S-tiers through skill.

AganosWhile Aganos is considered to be one of the hardest characters to use, make no mistake, he is still considered to be one of the top characters in the game. His chunks can be used both offensively and defensively. Aganos has great corner pressure gameplay and great close-range mix-ups.

Use this character if you want powerful attacks and great defense that will surely make your opponent scratch their head.  
EyedolEyedol is also another great selection as he controls the gameplay like no other when he is in instinct mode as it gives him full access to the abilities of both heads simultaneously.

Although he is difficult for many to use, Eyedol’s warrior and mage form is no small feat to go up against by having exceptional rushdown and zoning abilities.
Thunder Chief Thunder relies on getting close to his opponents but once he does get close, he is a destructive force as he inflicts massive damage.   Opponents constantly run away from and zone out the chief especially when instinct mode activates as this gives him a boost in mobility.  
HisakoDon’t let Hisako’s slow walk speed fool you, she has great damage and skills for mobility like descent and wall jump that will trick opponents and quickly give her an advantage.

Hard knockdowns and counter hits are only a few things that make Hisako a nightmare to go up against.
ArbiterArbiter has one of the best normal attacks in the game. Arbiter has a long reach in its attacks where close combat opponents will have a hard time in connecting hits.

If you want extra health, Arbiter is for you, the energy shield is one of the best things about arbiter as this gives him an armor that absorbs projectile hits and also gives an extra health bar.
GlaciusGlacius is a good zoner as he has good corner pressure. His skill, hail, is considered to be the best anti-air move in the game. Shatter is also a skill mostly used as it is an unblockable burst of energy in a specific area.

Having an annoying mid-range move and excellent full-screen zoning makes Glacius a very fun character to use if you’re into ranged fights.
RiptorAlthough a few people use Riptor, it still makes the top of this list as this is a character that has decent range, good run speed especially on instinct, and survival run which is great for tactical retreats. Predator mode makes projectiles useless as this does not hit Riptor.

Its instinct increases its run speed, flame, and tail attacks range which will be hard to go against in both close and long-ranged combat. If you love fast-paced rushdowns, Riptor’s the dino for you.
TuskThis is another character that has great mobility and high damage output. Tusk is really strong in traversing across the screen against zoners and also hits like a truck.

His deflect window ability will surely make opponents think twice in mashing buttons offensively as he automatically counters attacks when hit during the deflect window.


Killer Instinct Tier List B Tier

These characters are good picks for any match. Some of them are relatively easy to learn and can easily defeat any tier given the right gameplay.

MiraMira is considered to be a high-risk – high reward kind of character. Mira has the best damaging counter-breaker combo by losing health for the reason that her abilities cost health but can be recovered by her command grab and bite.

The downside for Mira is that she is not very easy to use as you are constantly losing health points even upon using abilities like her air dashes and attacks that don’t do any damage to an opponent.
CinderCinder Is a character that requires constant visits to the lab to master. He does not have good damage out and he is heavy on juggling and setups where the more you use him the better you get.

If you’re into advanced combos, Cinder can help you out.
EagleEagle has great mix-ups but has a very low damage output. Eagle is one of the best rushdown characters in the game. He can use his bird to block stun opponents and use his arrows to zone opponents.

However, Eagle has bad anti-air moves and is pretty slow. But if you like characters that have a good zoner playstyle, Eagle is for you.
KilgoreKilgore is considered to be the best zoner in the game has many different things going for him like his guns that shoot on multiple angles, high damaging missiles, and very good unbreakable damage.

The downside is that Kilgore plays better from longer range as he does not have good close-range specials. But if you like range gaming and zoning, Kilgore’s the best at it.
SpinalSpinal is a very good offensive character once he has all his skulls up. Spinal has decent normal and special moves. Spinal’s instinct mix-ups are also powerful because of the bouncing skull that doesn’t disappear on miss and block.

Unlike Aganos who starts with a few chunks, Spinal is a challenge to play early as he starts with zero skulls which brings down his offensive power drastically, and that he has bad spacing abilities.
GargosGargos is another character that has good mobility because of his four jumps and having good aerial normal to go with it. Gargos also summons his minions that will help in pressuring his opponent.

While he is a good zoner, Gargos’ large size takes him to a disadvantage as he is vulnerable to pressure attacks. If you enjoy having minions fight by your side while you sit comfortably, Gargos is the right pick for you.


Killer Instinct Tier List C Tier

These characters are also good picks that don’t stand out as much as the higher tiers but are very fun to play.

MayaMaya is an aggressive character with good mobility. She also has great lockdowns with her jump plus moves and has a lot of unbreakable damage that is hard to go against as she is constantly being given free damage if you are not used to her combos.

When Maya loses her daggers, she doesn’t have a lot of options because her daggers are a big part of her offensive plan. Management a powerful resource is one of the skills needed to master Maya.
Shadow JagoShadow Jago is another character considered to be a high risk – high reward kind of character. This is because of the high consumption of the meter where, as you can’t do both, you will be choosing between playing safe or risky in a way where his special moves are all unsafe.

Despite the above-mentioned disadvantage, Shadow Jago has very good mobility and has one of the best dashes in the game.
Shin HisakoShin Hisako is a good close-range character as she has good pokes with frame advantage and fast mix-ups that are not easy to break. She is very hard to zone out once she is up close and has a remarkable defense.

She is, however, hard to use against very good zoning characters because she will have a hard time getting close.
General RaamGeneral Raam is the best grappler in the game and once he gets close, he is very dangerous. From strong normals to fast command grabs, opponents will likely be seen running away from him constantly.

He is, however, at a disadvantage as he needs to be in close range where he’s going to have to eat a lot of attacks before he can start wrecking his opponents.
Kim WuKim Wu is considered to be a grounded and strong kind of player as she outputs high damage and is very hard to zone. Kim relies heavily on dragon cancels and very good parry.

If you want a character that is strong and grounded with high-safe damage reversals, Kim Wu is for you.
JagoJago is a very good well-rounded character where he has decent damage and zoning capabilities. One thing that stands out about Jago is that he gains shadow meter quickly. He can also regenerate his health in instinct mode.

Unfortunately, Jago doesn’t have the tool upgrades Shadow Jago has like the mix-ups potential. Jago is still a solid character to have fun with.
Kan-RaKan-Ra is a trap setup character. He is very difficult to approach because of his traps and with great mobility, he can be a great zoner especially when there is constant sand below him. Kan-Ra is very difficult to master as he relies on his traps and has unconventional movesets.

Opponents will still be frustrated in going up against Kan-Ra as he is no walk in the park to go up against considering that park is full of traps.
TJ ComboTJ Combo is another good close-range character. He is a very good combo starter where mistakes made by an opponent can be used against them as TJ Combo can start combos off of these mistakes. It is also hard to break his combos as he is very fast and there isn’t a window for a combo break.

Like most close-range characters, TJ Combo needs to be up close to be effective which means he needs to eat up a lot of damage before starting his share of damage.


Killer Instinct Tier List D Tier

These characters are considered to be the least favored because they have really bad matchups and are hard to use against skilled players. They are still pretty fun to use if you play the game casually.

SadiraSadira’s Instinct is one of the best in the game as she applies great web pressure together with her strong air mobility. She struggles to get in against zoning and she relies heavily on instinct for combat recovery.  

Sadira is still pretty fun to use if you like doing juggle combos and is very good against characters with bad anti-air abilities.
SabrewulfSabrewulf is one of the best rushdown characters in the game. He also has a good Instinct mode where all his attacks deal more damage. Chip damage is also greatly increased and normals now do chip damage too. Feral Cancel can neutralize any ground move into a neutral.

Saberwulf relies heavily on resets and doesn’t have good defensive options but if you like doing good resets and a good normal character in the game, Sabrewulf is for you.
OrchidAnother rushdown character makes the list, Orchid is one of the characters that have the fastest walk speed in the game. She has great mid-screen control because of her pokes. In instinct mode, she can cover gaps easily with her fire cat and start combos easily.

Orchid struggles against zoners as she does not have a lot of options that let her get up close but is still fun to play if you like assists in mix-ups and set plays on hard knockdowns.

You Will Love These Too

How To Choose Ram Upgrade
How To Choose RAM
Samuel Stewart

Samuel is GamingScan's editor-in-chief. He describes himself as a dedicated gamer and programmer. He enjoys helping others discover the joys of gaming. Samuel closely follows the latest trends in the gaming industry in order to keep the visitors in the flow.

More About Samuel Stewart