To unlock the story mode in Mortal Kombat X, you must first complete the in-game tutorial. If you played the story mode in Mortal Kombat 9, you know that NetherRealm has a cinematic story-driven experience in store for Mortal Kombat X players. While the story mode in MKX is not as long as it was in MK9, it still has plenty of fights, and it’s the only way to unlock Shinnok as a playable character (you can also grab stages and alternate costumes along the way).
You can’t select your favorite character and play through story mode like some other fighting games. Instead, you play through the cinematic experience, taking control of the main character in the story at the time of each battle. There are 12 chapters in the story, each featuring a different playable character. You’ll even battle against a few characters that are not playable in the game.
There are also Quick-Time Events (QTEs) that pop up throughout story mode. When you see a button on-screen, you have one chance to press that button before time is up. If you fail to press the button fast enough or press the wrong button, it may have an impact on the story. The button inputs are random, but if you take your time and focus on the button on-screen you can make it through the story unscathed.
Most of the story mode battles are made easy enough to defeat your opponents with a character you may be unfamiliar with. However, if things get too difficult, by default you can skip three story mode battles. Simply pause the game and select the option to skip the fight. You can earn more skip tokens by finding them in the Krypt. You can also adjust the difficulty of story mode in the options menu.
This will serve as the Mortal Kombat X story mode guide. In order to unlock story mode, gamers must first complete the tutorial, and doing so will reward them with the That’s How You Do It trophy for the PS4, and achievement of the same name if you’re playing on the Xbox One or PC. Completing the story mode will also unlock Shinnok as a playable character in the game, as well as various costumes and stages.
Unlike some of the other fighting games that players might be familiar with, Mortal Kombat X will not allow you to select your favorite fighter and play as them the entire way through the campaign. Instead, each of the 12 chapters in the game will feature a different playable character, as gamers work their way through the cinematic experience full of Quick-Time Events (QTEs).
While most of the story mode battles are fairly simple, and defeating your opponent shouldn’t be that difficult, it’s the QTEs that can trip you up. For example, if you fail to press the button indicated on your screen fast enough, or even hit the wrong one, it can have an impact on how the story plays out. It’s for that reason that we have a list of all the QTEs in the game, helping to ensure that you don’t slip up along the way.
It’s also worth noting that if players do find themselves getting jammed up in the single-player story of Mortal Kombat X, there is an option to skip the fight in the game’s pause menu. You can do this up to three times, and if you need more there are opportunities to find them in the Krypt. With our help and those options, you should be set to go.
By completing half of the story mode players will unlock a trophy called A New Beginning, and when they finish 100 percent they’ll earn one called There is a Ruler. Of course, if you’re playing on the PC or Xbox One, these would be called achievements rather than trophies.
Note: Between the battles and Quick-Time Events are going to be loads of cut scenes that help to deliver the story behind Mortal Kombat X. We’ve covered the parts that require your input, but we make no mention of these cut scenes, preferring instead that each player get to experience them on their own. We’re only here to help you get from one to the next.
Before you begin, we’d strongly advise that you read our in-depth review of Mortal Kombat X, espeically if you have yet to pick up the game.
Note: After doing some investigating, it looks like the QTEs are not standard for every player. By that we mean it might ask you to press the Triangle button, and us to press the Circle. For this reason we’ve removed them from our guide, but we’ll still tell you when they pop up so you can be prepared.
Chapter 1 – Johnny Cage
Chapter one will see players taking on the role of Johnny Cage and completing a Quick-Time Event. Unlike some of the following chapters that require them to win one or more battles, this one is fairly straightforward.
Chapter 2 – Kotal Kahn
The second chapter features Kotal Kahn, starting off with another Quick-Time Event, followed by four battles against Kano, Tanya, Rain and finally, Mileena. Below you’ll find the QTE inputs for both Xbox One and the PS4.
Chapter 3 – Sub-Zero
Chapter three brings a fan favorite to the spotlight in Sub-Zero, and is also the first chapter to be void of any Quick-Time Events. Instead, players will battle against three opponents, including Cassie Cage, Takashi Takeda, and Kung Jin.
Chapter 4 – Kung Jin
In chapter four of the Mortal Kombat X story mode players will get some stick time with Kung Jin, first battling it out against Erron Black. Unlike previous chapters, however, a QTE event will follow, and then some additional battles against Ferra/Torr, Raiden, and last but not least, Kotal Kahn.
Chapter 5 – Sonya Blade
The fifth chapter of Mortal Kombat X will see players take on the role of Sonya Blade, doing battle against Scorpion, Jax, and Quan Chi before engaging in a Quick-Time Event. Just like the previous chapter, when that is over there will be one more battle against Kano. Just keep in mind that if any battle is too difficult for you, there is an option to skip it in the pause menu.
Chapter 6 – D’Vorah
The sixth chapter of the game will begin with a battle against Baraka, and will be followed by a QTE event, then battles against Rain and Mileena. It’s also worth noting that this is the midway point of the campaign, and completing this chapter will unlock the PS4 trophy, A New Beginning. Of course, if you’re playing on the Xbox One or PC, this will not be a trophy, but rather an achievement.
Chapter 7 – Takashi Takeda
Chapter seven will kick off with a battle against Kenshi, followed by the now standard QTE, then three more battles to finish things off. When the QTE is out of the way, expect to face off against Reptile, Erron Black, and finally Ermac. Keep the option to skip a fight in mind if you’re struggling.
Chapter 8 – Jax
To begin chapter eight players will need to battle Kung Lao, Sindel, and Kitana. This will again be followed by a QTE, then an additional fight against Liu Kang.
Chapter 9 – Scorpion
Chapter nine of the Mortal Kombat X story mode follows the same formula as many others before it, but this time out you get to unlock something for your troubles – Scorpion’s Hanzo Hitachi Alternate Costume.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, start out by defeating Sonya, then completing the chapter’s QTE event. When that’s done, battle it out against Johnny Cage, Sub-Zero, and finally, Quan Chi. As mentioned, the latter of these battles will unlock Scorpion’s Hanzo Hitachi Alternate Costume, a decent reward for a chapter of work.
Chapter 10 – Raiden
Unlike previous chapters, the QTEs are all done for the remainder of the Mortal Kombat X story mode. From here on out it’s nothing but battles, and in chapter 10 players will step into the role of Raiden, fighting against Baraka, D’Vorah, Kung Lao and Liu Kang. Unfortunately, there are no unlocks or rewards for your troubles.
Chapter 11 – Jacqui Briggs
Chapter 11, the second to last chapter in the MKX story mode, will feature four more battles. Gamers will be playing as Jacqui Briggs, taking on Reptile, Ermac, Ferra/Torr, and finally Kotal Kang. Just like the previous chapter (and the one after this), there are no Quick-Time Events to be concerned with, just battles and cut scenes.
Chapter 12 – Cassie Cage
The final chapter of the game is going to see players battle first against Sindel, but it’s the next three interactions that will bring the rewards. The second battle, for example, is against Kitana, and will see players unlock the Infected Sky Temple Stage upon its completion. The third fight against D’Vorah also has some pretty sweet rewards, such as the Infected Jinsei Chamber Stage and Two Souls in the Mortal Kombat X mobile game.
The final battle in the Mortal Kombat X story mode will be against Corrupted Shinnok, and winning is how you unlock Shinnok as a playable character. It’s also how you complete the campaign, unlocking a trophy called There is a New Ruler for the PS4. Again, players on the Xbox One and PC will see this appear as an achievement, although it has the same name.