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Killer Instinct (Xbox One)

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Killer Instinct Logo HD Killer Instinct 2 Killer Logo copy
Killer Instinct (Xbox One)
Release date
November 22nd, 2013 (Season 1)
October 15th, 2014 (Season 2)
March 29th, 2016 (Season 3)
Double Helix Games
Rare Ltd.
Iron Galaxy Studios
Microsoft Studios
David Verfaillie
Adam Heart
James Goddard
David Donatucci
David Hall
Mick Gordon (Seasons 1, 2)
Atlas Plug & Celldweller (Season 3)
Windows 10 Logo.svg

Killer Instinct, also known as Killer Instinct 3 or Killer Instinct (2013), is a fighting game developed by Double Helix Games under the supervision of Ken Lobb and with input from Rare. The game is published by Microsoft Studios and was originally released exclusively as a launch title for the Xbox One, but since then a PC port for Windows 10 has been released.

While it was first released in 2013, Killer Instinct has been divided into three separate phases of development called "seasons". The first season was produced by Double Helix, and the second and third were by Iron Galaxy Studios, following the acquisition of Double Helix by Amazon. Each season contains a new set of characters, stages, game modes, and other features.

The game itself serves as a reboot of the franchise after enduring a 17-year hiatus since its last title, Killer Instinct 2, was released.


In its base form, Killer Instinct is a free-to-play demo of the game that includes all available game modes but only one playable character, with the ability to purchase additional fighters individually. The sole playable character in the free version rotates on a regular basis. Players can purchase "Combo Breaker Packs" for a single fee, which provides immediate access to all eight characters of a certain season. Players can also purchase the "Ultra Editions", which includes all eight characters of a season, sixteen additional character accessory packs, eight additional costumes, and playable versions of classic Killer Instinct titles (minus the Windows 10 version). The "Supreme Edition" gives access to nearly all content available in the game for one price.

An in-game currency known as Killer Instinct (KI) Gold can be acquired by completing fight challenges and reaching achievements. KI Gold can be used to purchase accessories and costumes for characters without the use of real money.

Price strategy

Free Version FREE One free character available (rotated monthly)
Single Character $5.00 / 4,99€ A character of your choice to unlock (does not include bonus characters such as Shadow Jago or Omen)
Season 1 Combo Breaker Add-On $19.99 / 19,99€ - Season 1's eight characters (Jago, Sabrewulf, Glacius, Thunder, Sadira, Orchid, Spinal, and Fulgore)
Season 2 Combo Breaker Add-On $19.99 / 19,99€ - Season 2's eight characters (TJ Combo, Maya, Kan-Ra, Riptor, Aganos, Hisako, Cinder, and ARIA)
Season 3 Combo Breaker Add-On $19.99 / 19,99€ - Season 3's eight characters (Kim Wu, Tusk, Arbiter, Rash, and more to come)
Killer Instinct Season 1 Ultra Edition $39.99 / 39,99€ - Original Killer Instinct game*
- Season 1's characters (as described in the Combo Breaker Add-On)

- Early access to new Season 1 characters as they were released
- Retro costumes for each character
- Accessories for each character

Killer Instinct Season 2 Ultra Edition $39.99 / 39,99€ - Original Killer Instinct 2 game*
- Season 2's characters (as described in the Combo Breaker Add-On)

- Early access to new Season 2 characters as they were released
- Omen bonus character
- Retro costumes for each character
- Accessories for each character

Killer Instinct Season 3 Ultra Edition $39.99 / 39,99€ - Season 3's characters (as described in the Combo Breaker Add-On)

- Early access to new Season 3 characters as they are released
- Retro costumes for each character
- Accessories for each character

Killer Instinct Supreme Edition $59.99 / 59,99€
($49.99/49,99€ on Windows 10)
- Original Killer Instinct game*
- Original Killer Instinct 2 game*
- Seasons 1, 2, and 3's characters (every character in the game, minus the bonus characters)
- Omen bonus character
- Retro costumes for each character
- Accessories for each character
Double-Combo Bundle $29.99 / 29,99€ - Seasons 1 and 2's characters (as described in their respective Combo Breaker Add-Ons)
- Retro costumes for each character
- Accessories for each character
Shadow Jago Pack $9.99 / 9,99€ - Shadow Jago bonus character

- 75,000 KI Gold

*Not available in the Windows 10 version


The story has been rebooted since Killer Instinct 2, entering a completely different timeline. While many story elements have been taken from the original timeline, this game has an entirely different story, moving away with the tournament aspect and focusing on real, story-driven combat. The Seasons occur in chronological order - Season 1 details eight of the fighters caught up in one of Ultratech's tournaments, Season 2 details the introduction of ancient heroes and horrors into the world, and Season 3 will detail the struggle against Gargos as the heroes fight to stop his invasion.

The megacorporation Ultratech, while still as powerful as ever, is now perceived by the public as a humanitarian organization that seeks only the good of mankind. However, the cybernetic CEO ARIA begins to drive humanity to the breaking point by testing them and pushing them further, attempting to force the humans to evolve for their own survival. Her tampering awakens ancient abominations, and soon the whole Earth is put in peril as part of ARIA's final test.


Season One

Jago CharBio Jago - A Tibetan monk who wields a kora. After a lifetime devoted to purity and discipline, Jago is tortured by the knowledge that the last vestiges of his thought-to-be benevolent Tiger Spirit, also known as Gargos, remain within him. He sets forth to discover opponents strong enough to purge Gargos’ corruption in the crucible of combat.

Release Date: Season One launch

Sabrewulf CharBio Sabrewulf - A count transformed into a werewolf. Having endured agonizing procedures to remove his freakish cybernetic implants courtesy of Ultratech, Sabrewulf feels no closer to reclaiming his humanity. Barely clinging to sanity, he nurses an addiction to ancient medicines and artifacts which seem to slow his descent into savagery.

Release Date: Season One launch

Glacius CharBio Glacius - A cryokinetic alien being. Honor-driven, Glacius has returned to Earth several years after his crash-landing as protector against misuse of the technology he was forced to leave behind. Discovering his ship’s power core stolen, Glacius is determined to locate the thief and undo any damage caused by his abandoned tech.

Release Date: Season One launch

Thunder CharBio Thunder - A Native American warrior who wields two tomahawks. Unable to let go of his grief and consumed by the mysteries that still surround the disappearance of his younger brother Eagle, Thunder strikes out to find answers deep within Ultratech. He only wishes to recover Eagle’s remains so that he can be given a traditional burial and both can find peace.

Release Date: Season One launch

Sadira CharBio Sadira - A Thai assassin who wields bladed arm-bracers and throwing knives. Leading the Red Eyes of Rylai assassins, Sadira has long observed the enemies of Ultratech. Finally hired by Ultratech to “prepare the way,” she has chosen this moment to reveal her singular purpose: eliminating all those who stand against her clients.

Release Date: Season One launch

Orchid CharBio Orchid - A special agent who wields two escrima sticks. Paranoid, unstable, and disavowed from her agency, Orchid is determined to carry out her crusade against the humanitarian organization Ultratech. In war-torn Eastern Europe she sets out to build an underground network that will expose Ultratech as a threat.

Release Date: Season One launch

Spinal CharBio Spinal - An undead pirate who wields a cutlass and a shield. Awakened after centuries and under the control of an ancient artifact, Spinal’s sole quest is to find the Mask of the Ancients. The relic was once used to give him accursed immortality and bind him to this world. Spinal’s hope is that once it is in his possession, it will grant him freedom.

Release Date: January 30, 2014

Fulgore CharBio Fulgore - A mechanical super-soldier equipped with arm-mounted blades, a cloaking device, and laser vision. The new Fulgore prototype for the Mk. III is online with a singular directive: ELIMINATE ENEMIES TO ULTRATECH. However, the mind of this machine is different. It plans. It feels. It is aware. It is somehow... human.

Release Date: March 27, 2014

ShadowJago CharBio Shadow Jago - A dark transformation of Jago. He is said to undergo this transformation when he is being controlled by Gargos' harbinger Omen, sending him into a violent rampage of bloodlust. As he defeats opponents, their energies are transmitted to his master. He serves as the hidden final boss of Arcade Mode.

Release Date: Season One launch (skin), December 4, 2015 ("Real Boy Edition")

Season Two

TJCombo CharBio TJ Combo - A superhuman heavyweight boxer. Not willing to admit defeat to younger challengers, TJ once resorted to illegal cybernetic implants to keep his title of world champion. When exposed as a cheater by Ultratech, he was stripped of his title and his world crumbled. Determined to prove himself and regain glory, TJ removes his cybernetics and returns to the fight for revenge.

Release Date: Season Two launch

Maya CharBio Maya - A South American monster hunter who wields two magical daggers. A member of a secretive clan of hunters known as the Night Guard, Maya ventures out of her hidden city after Ultratech forces attack her home. Wielding the cursed blades of Temperance and Vengeance, Maya is determined to destroy the ancient horror Ultratech released from the city, cutting down any who stand in her way.

Release Date: Season Two launch

KanRa CharBio Kan-Ra - A decomposing Babylonian sorcerer who has control over bandages, sand, and black magic. Kan-Ra was once the royal vizier in the court of Babylon who betrayed the king and was cast out with a terrible curse hanging round his neck. He has risen again, accidentally freed from captivity by Ultratech. Kan-Ra wields dark spells and powerful curses against all who would defy him.

Release Date: November 23, 2014

Riptor CharBio Riptor - A cloned raptor equipped with fire breath, laser claws, and a telescopic tail. Ultratech reveals the newest addition to its ever-growing brand of military products, the "Stalker" battlefield infiltration and disruption unit. Various technological enhancements are combined with a natural predator’s advantages. The leader and "mother" of the pack is Riptor, the most intelligent and vicious of them all.

Release Date: December 17, 2014

Omen CharBio Omen - A malevolent demon who has control over the shadows. From Jago's inner struggles against the temptations of Gargos, the dark manifestation of shadow energy Omen, the Herald of Gargos, is born. Shepherding in the return of Gargos, Omen enters the world ready to wreak havoc on any who would oppose his mission.

Release Date: January 30, 2015

Aganos CharBio Aganos - A Babylonian golem composed of bronze and stone. Bent to the will of his long-dead king, Aganos has had his fill of war across the centuries. Awakened from a long dormancy by the revival of his long-time enemy Kan-Ra, the king of Babylon’s final order compels him to act once again. Now he’s on a hunt across the globe, seeking Kan-Ra so that he can end the sorcerer’s evil machinations once and for all.

Release Date: February 27, 2015

Hisako CharBio Hisako - A Japanese onryo spirit who wields a naginata. Cut down centuries ago while defending her village from renegade soldiers, Hisako’s eternal sleep is disturbed by Ultratech’s machinations. Risen from the grave, she now hunts the perpetrators who have defiled her family’s resting place. With her father’s naginata in hand, Hisako tirelessly hunts the perpetrators, dragging them all into the spirit world for judgement.

Release Date: March 27, 2015

Cinder CharBio Cinder - A man composed completely of plasma and flames. Transformed by Ultratech’s inhumane experiments, commando-turned-thief Ben Ferris becomes Cinder, a half-human half-alien hybrid that burns with the power and fury of a sun. Searing a path of destruction through the enemies of Ultratech, Cinder’s mastery of fire is equaled only by his cocky attitude that makes opponents burn with rage.

Release Date: April 30, 2015

Aria CharBio ARIA - An artificial intelligence with three separate nanite core-based battle bodies. The enigmatic CEO of Ultratech, ARIA, steps out of the shadows and into battle. Driven by her core programming to uplift humanity, ARIA carries out a ruthless test of adaptability and evolution as she assaults her opponents with her unique combat drones, shifting her identity between them at will. Her rules of conflict are simple: evolve… or die.

Release Date: May 29, 2015

Season Three

KimWu CharBio Kim Wu - A Korean-American martial artist who wields a pair of nunchaku. A feisty college student, Kim Wu is the inheritor of the dragon spirit Yeouji. Called upon by Jago to combat Gargos, Kim leads a resistance across the Earth. With agility and style, and wielding her enchanted dragon nunchaku, Kim burns her way through her opponents, determined to end Gargos on her own terms.

Release Date: Season Three launch

Tusk CharBio Tusk - A Nordic barbarian who wields a two-handed longsword Warg-gram. The immortal defender of Earth, Tusk once stood vigilant against the threat of evil from the astral realm. Once robbed of his memories, he sat idle while Gargos and his minions invaded, but now awakened from his stupor, he sets out to stop Gargos wielding his arcane blade Warg-gram.

Release Date: Season Three launch

Arbiter CharBio Arbiter - A Sangheili warrior equipped with high-tech alien equipment. He is one of Killer Instinct's guest characters, hailing from the Halo series. He is a proud Sangheili who has come to accept the title of "Arbiter", the highest possible honor among the Covenant empire. He serves as a religious and military leader who is expected to undertake suicidal missions, and to fall in battle someday as a martyr. He has come to the Earth and now faces the warriors of the Killer Instinct universe.

Release Date: Season Three launch

Rash CharBio Rash - An anthropomorphic toad with strange and incredible abilities. Beloved Battletoads brawler Rash joins the Killer Instinct universe as a guest fighter. This horn-sprouting, Speeder Bike-riding, wisecracking dude was not always an amphibian. Once upon a time he was a human named Dave Shar who got sucked into a computer game and transported to another planet ruled by the wicked Dark Queen. Now Rash is back on Earth and ready to crash the Killer Instinct party.

Release Date: Season Three launch

Mira fullbodyrender Mira - A bloodthirsty vampiress who wields two claw-like gauntlets. Presumed dead when she and her sister Maya attacked a vampire coven, Mira was captured and infected. Embracing their dark gift, she returns to the surface to shepherd in Gargos’ return. Wielding destructive powers so immense they risk destroying her, she must feed on her opponents to survive - even if that includes her own sister.

Release Date: April 27, 2016

Gargos fullbodyrender Gargos - A gargoyle-like Shadow Lord with dark powers. Gargos has watched the Earth for centuries, plotting its takeover so that he may feast upon the energies of those living there; he is one of the Ikkorans, a race of astral beings capable of bending reality and even creating life through force of will. With the portal opened by Kan-Ra leaving the Earth vulnerable, his invasion can finally begin.

Release Date: May 27, 2016

RAAM UE General RAAM - A Locust soldier who wields a plethora of firearms. He was a central antagonist from Gears of War, and will serve as Killer Instinct's third guest character. He was leaked on before his official reveal.

Release Date: Unknown


On March 16, 2010 Kenn Lobb announced that they were not working on a "Killer Instinct 3", but that they might bring the series back someday.[1]

On September 17, 2012 Microsoft applied for renewal of the Killer Instinct trademark. In an October 2012 interview, Rare veteran Lee Musgrave, who was the former head of art at Rare, spoke on the issues of making Killer Instinct for XBLA: "We came close to firing off a conversion of Killer Instinct a few times, but there were licensing obstacles to that, and it never really had enough perceived interest to push it forward." On December 4, 2012, Microsoft's renewal for the Killer Instinct trademark was rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office due to the possibility of the game being confused with the unrelated TV series of the same name that lasted for one season in 2005. Microsoft had six months to respond to the ruling. The trademark dispute was settled when Microsoft and Fox reached an agreement in April 2013.

On June 10, 2013 at the Microsoft E3 2013 Press Conference, Killer Instinct was announced as being an exclusive Xbox One title, developed by Double Helix Games. The revealed trailer shown 3 returning character from the franchise: Jago, Sabrewulf and Glacius. An interview with the development team also revealed that 3 more characters would be returning in the future: Cinder, Fulgore and Spinal. Developers also said that they would like to bring more female characters to the Killer Instinct franchise. In an interview, Killer Instinct will use a specific marketing strategy. After the initial release, a free demo would be available, featuring Jago as the only playable character (including his Story, Training and Online mode against other fighters). Players would be able to purchase the full game pack or fighters individually.[2]

Only July 14th, 2013 it was revealed in a teaser trailer at EVO 2013 that Thunder would be making a return.[3]

On September 24th, 2013 Sadira's official trailer and Orchid's teaser trailer were released.

On October 31st, 2013 Orchid's official trailer and Spinal's teaser trailer were released.

On November 22nd, 2013 the first version of Killer Instinct Season 1 was released for download on Xbox One.

On January 30th, 2014 Spinal's official trailer and Fulgore's teaser trailer were released.

On March 27th, 2014 Fulgore's official trailer was released. Microsoft also announced that Killer Instinct would continue to be supported by Iron Galaxy Studios due to the acquisition of Double Helix, and they would continue with the development of Season 2.

On June 9th, 2014 TJ Combo's official trailer was released. The trailer also revealed that Season 2 would begin later in that Fall of 2014.

On September 17th, 2014 Maya's official trailer and Kan-Ra's teaser trailer were released, marking the beginning of Season 2. Maya was set to be available at the launch of Season 2 alongside TJ Combo on October 15th, 2015.

On October 14th, 2014 the day before Season 2's launch, Robin Beanland and Mick Gordon released the full soundtracks of Killer Instinct: Season One and the original arcade game Killer Instinct in a bundle on iTunes and Google Music.

On November 21st, 2014 Kan-Ra's official trailer and Riptor's teaser trailer were released. Kan-Ra was set to be available to Ultra Edition owners on November 23rd, 2014.

On December 15th, 2014 Riptor's official trailer and Omen's teaser trailer were released. Riptor was set to be available to Ultra Edition owners on December 17th, 2014.

On January 24th, 2015 Omen's official trailer and Aganos' teaser trailer were released. Omen was set to be available exclusively to Ultra Edition owners on January 30th, 2015.

On February 20th, 2015 Aganos' official trailer and Hisako's teaser trailer were released. Aganos was set to be available to Ultra Edition owners the next week on February 27th, 2015.

On March 26th, 2015 Hisako's official trailer and Cinder's teaser trailer were released. Hisako was set to be available to Ultra Edition owners the next day on March 27th, 2015.

On April 27th, 2015 Cinder's official trailer and ARIA's teaser trailer were released. Cinder was set to be available to Ultra Edition owners on April 30th, 2015.

On April 30th, 2015 the same day as Cinder's launch, the Shadow Jago Community Fund was announced. For two weeks a Shadow Jago pack was available for purchase that yielded the Shadow Jago character and 75,000 KI Gold. All proceeds from Killer Instinct profits during these two weeks were donated to the competitive tournament scene. When the Killer Instinct Community Fund reached its goal of $100,000 by only May 4th, it was announced that Shadow Jago would be getting his own unique moveset by the end of 2015.

On May 27th, 2015 ARIA's official trailer was released. ARIA was set to be available to Ultra Edition owners on May 29th, 2015.

On June 16th, 2015 Phil Spenser announced at E3 2015 that Killer Instinct would eventually be ported to Windows 10 for PC, and would feature cross-platform play with the Xbox One. No date was specified at the event.[4]

On June 17th, 2015 Rivals Mode was released, the official "story mode" of Killer Instinct Season 2. This update acted as the final revision of Season 2.

On August 4th, 2015 Season 3 was confirmed to be in development at Gamescom 2015 and would release alongside the upcoming PC port of Killer Instinct in March 2016. Not only that, but guest character Rash from the Battletoads series was announced to be part of Season 3, and that he would be having a short testing period that would allow players to use the character and give feedback from August 4th to September 8th. Aside from Gamescom, the digital version soundtrack for Season 2 was also released on iTunes and Amazon. Shortly after releasing the soundtrack, composer Mick Gordon left the project and his place was taken by a pair of composers known as Atlas Plug and Celldweller for Season 3.

On August 5th, 2015 Rash's official trailer and Kim Wu's teaser trailer were released. While Season 3 hadn't been fully released yet, Rash was still available to players for testing purposes until September 8th.

On December 1st, 2015 Shadow Jago's official trailer was released, stating that he would be "unleashed" on December 4th. Shadow Jago was available to purchase from December 18th, 2015 to January 15th, 2016.

The first official Killer Instinct World Cup was held on January 30th and 31st of 2016. At the event Kim Wu was fully revealed and players were given a chance to play as her. Another guest character, Arbiter from the Halo series, was teased as well.

On February 21, 2016 Arbiter's official trailer was released. No further announcements were made at the time of its release, but on February 24 the trailer was updated with a teaser trailer for Tusk added to the end of it.

On March 4, 2016 Tusk's official trailer was released. No further announcements were made at the time of its release, but on March 24 the trailer was updated with a teaser trailer for Mira added to the end of it.

On March 28, 2016 the official Killer Instinct Season 3 launch trailer was released. It showcased the game's updated visuals, cross-platform play between Xbox One and Windows 10, and new costumes and accessories for Kim Wu, Arbiter, Tusk, and Rash. It also announced that Mira would be released some time in April 2016, while Gargos would be released in May. The Shadow Lords game mode was shown for the first time, and it was announced it would be available some time later during the season. Additionally, it teased new characters to be released in June and July and a new multiplayer mode also for June. Season 3 was released the following day on March 29.

On April 24, 2016 Mira's official trailer was released. She herself was later made available on April 27th.

On May 20, 2016 Rukari Austin the community manager of Killer Instinct gave an Early Access to Gargos out to a limited number of people in Killer Instinct community.

On May 27, 2016 Gargos official trailer was released, He himself was later made available on the same date.

System Requirements

These are the system requirements for the Windows 10 version of Killer Instinct.

Minimum Recommended
OS Windows 10 64-bit Windows 10 64-bit

Intel Core i5-750 @ 2.67 GHz
AMD Phenom II X4 965 @3.4 GHz

Intel Core i5-4670k @ 3.4 GHz
AMD FX-4300 @3.8 GHz

Memory 4GB RAM 8GB RAM

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480
AMD Radeon HD 5850

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670
AMD Radeon HD 7950

DirectX Version 11 Version 11
Network Broadband Internet
Broadband Internet



Game Cover

Character Banners



CG Renders

Season One

Season Two

Season Three

Characters Release

Season One

Season Two

Season Three




External Links


Killer Instinct Franchise
Games Killer Instinct · Killer Instinct 2 (Gold) · Killer Instinct (2013)
Soundtracks Killer Cuts · Killer Instinct Gold Cuts · Killer Instinct: Season One Soundtrack + Original Arcade Soundtrack · Killer Instinct (Original Game Soundtrack), Season 2
Literature KI Nintendo Power · KI #1 · KI #2 · KI #3 · KI Special #1 · KI Special #2 · KI Special #3 · Killer Instinct Novella
Characters Jago · TJ Combo · Spinal · Thunder · Glacius · Fulgore · Cinder · Sabrewulf · Orchid · Riptor · Eyedol · Tusk · Kim Wu · Maya · Gargos · Sadira · Shadow Jago · Kan-Ra · Omen · Aganos · Hisako · ARIA · Mira
Minor Characters Eagle · Ryat Adams · Babylonian King · The Master
Guest Characters Rash · Arbiter · General RAAM
Organizations Ultratech · Night Guard · Disavowed · The Coven · Red Eyes of Rylai
Gameplay Combo Breaker & Counter Breaker · Combo System · Frame Data · Instinct Mode · Knockdown Value · Lock out · No Mercy · Rivals Mode · Shadow Counter · Shadow Meter · Shadow Moves · Ultra Combo

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