Killer Instinct’s latest update is about the hit the Xbox One, and its main goal is bringing new players into the fold with the introduction of a combo assist mode. Even better news? The update drops tonight.

Certain game genres are especially intimidating to get into. Jumping into Call of Duty isn’t super appealing once a community of vets have made the game all but impenetrable for newcomers, and I can’t even fathom what diving into something like World of Warcraft for newbie would entail at this point. The same can be said about fighting games. Most folks can button mash their way through rounds with friends but, when a genre has become so online-focused over the years, it’s not the easiest type of game to get into with all of those combos to remember.

To that end, the Killer Instinct team is taking some pretty innovative steps toward broadening the game’s community and making the competitive fighter more appealing to newcomers and old hands alike.

With update 2.13, Killer Instinct will officially have a combo assist mode, and it does exactly what it sounds like. Put simply, players who are just starting out or having trouble learning the game/a particular fighter, can turn on this mode to make the game’s flashiest moves far easier to pull off.

According to Adam Heart, the purpose of the combo assist mode is not to simply give players a one-button alternative to using combos and special moves, but rather it’s geared at actually teaching them how to master those mechanics in order to ease them into the game proper.
We wanted to help people feel comfortable playing [Killer Instinct], without changing any of the timing or rules. Without providing any competitive advantage. And we wanted to do it in a way that players could use as training wheels to learn how to play and compete in the full, real game at their own pace.

The original combo assist announcement goes into great detail explaining how the control scheme works but, put simply, it introduces no-motion cancels. Okay, so that might still be a bit confusing if you aren’t super into fighting games, but it removes one of the basic elements of creating powerful combos without removing the need for timing or proper button presses. The combo assist mode will allow players to work on nailing down the flow of Killer Instinct and, once they’re comfortable with it, plug in cancels between combos and finishers that are a staple of so many fighting games like Street Fighter, Guilty Gear, BlazBlue, King of Fighters and the like.

For those of you who haven’t picked up Killer Instinct on the Xbox One, remember that it will be included in the January Games with Gold lineup. That, coupled with this new combo assist mode, means the game should be far more welcoming to newcomers.

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