Screenshot by GameSkinny

Mortal Kombat 1 Johnny Cage Guide: Moves List and How to Play

Johnny Cage is back with new moves and mechanics in MK1. Here's how to play him.

The egotistical Johnny Cage returns in Mortal Kombat 1. Anyone familiar with the character will be sure to notice some changes though, as he’s bringing plenty of fresh moves and mechanics with him. If this stylish action star speaks to you, we’ve got you covered. From his moves list to some general pointers, this guide will go over how to play Johnny Cage in MK1.

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Mortal Kombat 1 Johnny Cage Guide: Moves List and How to Play

MK1 Johnny Cage Moves List

Before we map out the move list, let’s break down the general notations. We’ll be using the number system that members of the community have long used for Mortal Kombat games.

NotationCommandPlayStation InputsXbox InputsNintendo Switch Inputs
1Front PunchSquareXY
2Back PunchTriangleYX
3Front KickCrossAB
4Back KickCircleBA

Johnny Cage Basic Attacks

Move NameInputs
Plot Fist1
Rough House1, 1
Knuckle Under The Buckle1, 1, 2
Kontracted Kick1, 1, 4
Breaking BackhandForward+1
Elbow’s WorldForward+1, 2
Under The TableForward+1, 2, 3
Back To The FootureForward+1, 2, 4
The Bee’s KneesDown+1
Talk To The Hand2
My Own Publifist2, 1
Dunking On Haters2, 1, 2
Legbanged RedemptShin2, 1, 4
Foot Loosey Goosey2, 1, 4, 4
GutbustersBack+2
Charged GutbusterBack+2 (Hold)
Rising StarDown+2
Reading Shoe3
Pow3, 3
FootlessBack+3
Dizzy KneeForward+3
Elbow Before MeForward+3, 2
On The ChinForward+3, 2, 1
Style PointsForward+3, 4
Ankle Of The CovenantDown+3
John Kick4
Cagenado4, 4
Sweep The LegBack+4
FlipperForward+4
Donkey KickDown+4

Johnny Cage Aerial Attacks

Move NameInputs
Sky DieForwardUp+1
Private JetForwardUp+1, 2
Air BloodForwardUp+1, 2, 4
Face XForwardUp+2
Air GoringForwardUp+2, 4
Star Wrecked: The Final FootierForwardUp+2, 4, 4
Toe TapForwardUp+3 or ForwardUp+4

Johnny Cage Throws

Move NameInputs
ShoveForward+L1/LB or Forward+1+3
Hands OffL1+R2/LB+RT or 1+3+R2/RT
Wombo KomboL1/LB or 1 +3
Hands OffL1+R2/LB+RT or 1+3+R2/RT

Johnny Cage Special Moves

Move NameInputs
Ball BusterBackDown+1
Enhanced Ball BusterBackDown+1+R2/RT
Ball Buster (Hype)BackDown+1, L2/LT
Show OffDownBack+1
Extend Show OffDownBack+1 (Hold)
Enhanced Show OffDownBack+1+R2/RT
Throwing ShadeForwardDownBack+2
Enhanced Throwing ShadeForwardDownBack+2+R2/RT
Throwing Shade (Hype)ForwardDownBack+2, L2/LT
Rising StarDownBack+3
Enhanced Rising StarDownBack+3+R2/RT
Rising Star (Hype)DownBack+3, L2/LT
Shadow DashDownForward+3
Enhanced Shadow DashDownForward+3+R2/RT
Extend Shadow DashL2/LT
Shadow KickBackForward+4
Enhanced Shadow KickBackForward+4+R2/RT
Shadow Kick (Hype)BackForward+4, L2/LT
HypeForwardDownBack+4
Wowing OutForwardDownBack+4

Johnny Cage Fatal Blow

Move NameInputs
That’s All FolksL2+R2/LT+RT
Or Is It?L2+R2/LT+RT (Hold)
Shadow DashDownForward+3

Johnny Cage Fatalities

Move NameInputs
Hollywood Walk of PainForward, Back, Down, 2

Johnny Cage Brutalities

Move NameInputs
The KlassicDown+2

Related: Mortal Kombat 1 Fatalities: The Complete List

How to Play Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat 1

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Johnny Cage has always been a rushdown character, and that’s remained the same, but he enters this new era with some new tools to replace old ones. These are some things to keep in mind when learning how to play Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat 1.

  • From Dunking On Haters to Flipper, Johnny has many normals that will launch his enemies into the air for a follow-up or a Kameo assist.
  • Shadow Dash is a new move in his arsenal, which is great for maintaining space during combos.
  • He has a unique throw escape called Hands Off, which costs a bar but will break the opponent’s arm and disable them from throwing for a while.
  • Holding the inputs down for his Fatal Blow will delay the attack and turn it into a parry state, with the hit coming after a brief period of time or after you let the buttons go.
  • The biggest highlight is his new Hype Meter mechanic that builds from special attacks and unique taunts attached to them. Fill it up to enter a Hype state that allows him to cancel special moves into others as well as use some enhanced moves without draining his bar.

Hopefully, you have a better understanding of the self-centered action star with this Mortal Kombat 1 Johnny Cage guide. Just like our other character guides, as well as our MK1 Brutalities list, we’ll be looking to update this with any additional tips we find once the game has been released. Check out our other MK1 guides covering unlocks and movelists.


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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.