Mortal Kombat 1: How Invasions Mode Works

Invasions is the new single-player mode in MK1. Here's what you need to know about it.

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Arguably the biggest addition to Mortal Kombat 1 is the Invasions mode. It replaces the long-standing Krypt mode and the Towers of Time from the previous entry. There’s a lot to unpack about it and plenty of secrets to find, so here’s how Invasions mode works in MK1.

How Invasions Mode Works in Mortal Kombat 1


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The MK1 Invasions mode takes place on a board, with your character moving across nodes to find the end. Each step they take can lead them to fights, Test Your Might challenges, and Towers, which feature a mix of both. Many of the fights also include special modifiers, such as changes to gravity or the appearance of random sawblades.

There’s a bit of a learning aspect here, as well. Aside from various tutorial matches for certain mechanics, enemies will also perform some specials a little slower and highlight the opportune moment to punish them. Online play will be a lot quicker, but it’s still good knowledge to impart.

Other occasional things you’ll come across are projectile-dodging trials and treasure chests that reward gear and various currencies. Aside from those, you may also trigger random ambush fights and special secret fights.

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Once you reach the end of the board, you’ll be taken to another one. These seem to be based on locations from the universe and the Mortal Kombat 1 stages themselves. Work your way through all of them and you can challenge the current boss and earn some stylish rewards.

In many ways, this is a mix of both the various Tower modes from prior entries as well as The Krypt, which is seeing its first absence since Mortal Kombat (2011). Where it really switches things up is with the addition of RPG elements.

Fighters, Kameos, and Stats

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You can freely switch between whichever characters and kameos you have unlocked in Invasions mode. Aside from increasing their ranks, which can help unlock MK1 brutalities, you’ll also increase a mode-specific level.

This is important because each main roster fighter comes with preset stats. Increasing your level adds five Stat points for you to distribute across their stats. It’s good to remember that the stat point accumulation is applied to every fighter. That means you can earn 15 points from playing with Sindel, and then switch to Mileena and have 15 points to distribute for her, too.

Related: How to Unlock Havik in MK1

Invasions Mode Element System

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The Mortal Kombat 1 Invasions mode Element system is interesting. Each fighter and kameo will have one or two elements associated with them. Depending on the elements of your fighters and your opponents, it’s possible to inflict extra or inversely less damage. It’s a bit more complicated than a traditional rock-paper-scissors system and more in line with the type system from Pokemon among other RPGs. If you’re having trouble against a particular foe, this is a good reason to switch things up and try out some new characters.

Talismans and Relics

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Adding on some more gameplay mechanics, you can earn various talismans and relics to equip your fighters with. Talisams offers a unique attack, such as summoning fire skulls to attack your opponent. You can’t rely too much on these due to their limited charges though.

Relics offer unique buffs that can come with a nerf as a trade-off. For example, you might find something that provides increased defense against magic attacks at the cost of taking more damage from physical ones.

Shops and Forges

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Scattered across the boards for Invasions mode are Shops and Forges. The former is run by the Kollector from Mortal Kombat 11, while the latter is run by a Shokan. Shops can be a great way to buy new talismans and components to craft upgrades for them. A Forge is where you’ll want to go to recharge your talismans and upgrade them with new attributes.

Seasons and Themes

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Invasions will be updated through seasonal content that’s rotated in and out. Each is meant to revolve around a character from another timeline invading. That character dictates which maps you’ll travel across and what gear appears with them. With Season 1: The Spectre being focused on Scorpion, all of the gear is fire-based and is similar to what you’ll find being offered in the Seasonal Gear menu.

Seasons will eventually start repeating, although we don’t know how far in the future that will occur. For those who want to customize fighters with fresh looks, it’s a good idea to keep up to date with what the mode is offering each season.

That should cover the basics for how Mortal Kombat 1 Invasions mode works. If you’re looking to try out more characters, check out our guide for unlocking the remainder of the Kameo fighters. For all other tips and kontent, check out our MK1 guides page.

About the author

Samuel Moreno

Samuel is a freelance writer who has had work published with Hard Drive, GameSkinny, Otaquest, and PhenixxGaming. He's a big fan of the Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil series, but truth be told he'd sell his soul simply for a new Ape Escape game.