Image via Mortal Kombat YouTube

Mortal Kombat 1 Liu Kang Guide: Moves List and How to Play

Liu Kang brings new heat in MK1. We've broken down how to play this fire god.

The ever-popular Liu Kang is back in Mortal Kombat 1, and this time, he’s a Fire God who reshaped a timeline. This also leaks into his gameplay where he has some new moves. From his moves list to some general pointers, this guide will go over how to play Liu Kang in MK1

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Mortal Kombat 1 Liu Kang Guide

MK1 Liu Kang 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

Liu Kang Basic Attacks

Move NameInputs
Bare Knuckles1
Dragon Scales1, 2
Cosmic Fire1, 2, 1
Fang StrikeForward+1
Shaolin StutterForward+1, 4
Low KnockDown+1
Double Dragon2
Dragon Fangs2, 2
Pyromancer’s Gift2, 2, 1
TwistedBack+2
TailwhipBack+2, 3
Rising FlameDown+2
High Flick3
Chosen One3, 2
Too Easy3, 3
Holding Back3, 3, 3
Side StepDown+3
Brain Buster4
Burning Desire4, 3
Time SweeperBack+4
Double StrikeForward+4
The CreatorForward+4, 3
Eternal PowerForward+4, 3, 4
Reverse HeelDown+4

Liu Kang Aerial Attacks

Move NameInputs
Snap BackForwardUp+1
Deep ImpactForwardUp+1, 2
KarmaForwardUp+1, 3
UnstoppableForwardUp+1, 3, 4
Heavy HandForwardUp+2
Ultimate PowerForwardUp+2, 1
New FutureForwardUp+2, 1, 2
Dragon ClawForwardUp+3 or ForwardUp+4

Liu Kang Throws

Move NameInputs
Toward ThrowForward+L1/LB or Forward+1+3
Cosmic Death SentenceL1/LB or 1+3

Liu Kang Special Moves

Move NameInputs
FireballBack, Forward, 1
Enhanced FireballBack, Forward, 1+R2/RT
(Air) Fire StormBack, Forward, 1
Enhanced (Air) Fire StormBack, Forward, 1+R2/RT
Low DragonDown, Back, 1
Enhanced Low DragonDown, Back, 1+R2/RT
Dragon’s TailBack, Forward, 3
Enhanced Dragon’s TailBack, Forward, 3+R2/RT
Dancing DragonBack, Forward, 4
Enhanced Dancing DragonBack, Forward, 4+R2/RT
Dragon’s BreathDown, Back, 4
Enhanced Dragon’s BreathDown, Back, 4+R2/RT
Close Dragon’s BreathDown, Back, 4+Back
Enhanced Close Dragon’s BreathDown, Back, 4+R2/RT+Back

Liu Kang Fatal Blow

Move NameInputs
Mark of The CreatorL2+R2/LT+RT

Liu Kang Fatalities

Move NameInputs
Double DragonDown, Forward, Back, 4

Liu Kang Brutalities

Move NameInputs
The KlassicDown+2

Related: Mortal Kombat 1 Fatalities: The Complete List

How to Play Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat 1

Image via Mortal Kombat YouTube

Liu Kang has always been a well-rounded fighter in past entries, and that isn’t any different this time around. His moveset has seen some change to reflect his godly status though. These are some things to keep in mind when learning how to play Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat 1.

  • The staple Fireball is a returning move that’s perfect for zoning on the ground or harshly punishing a jumping opponent when thrown in the air.
  • Joining it is the Low Dragon, which sends off a fiery dragon that travels across the screen and hits low.
  • Dragon’s Tail is another notable projectile, as it can quickly hit from across the screen and is followed up by his flying kick.
  • While the Bicycle Kick (his other staple from previous games) has been relegated to his Fatal Blow, his Dancing Dragon is a worthy successor and a flashy combo ender.

You should have a better understanding of how to play the new Fire God with our Mortal Kombat 1 Liu Kang guide. We’ll be updating this with new tips and potential moves once this fighter releases. If you’re just interested in brutal finishers, our MK1 Brutalities List has you covered. We’ve also got several other MK1 guides including unlocks and more.


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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.