Killer Instinct punches onto Steam and Windows 7

Monstrous pugilists including aliens, cyborgs, a mummy, a velociraptor, and a bona fide Battle Toad throw down in Killer Instinct [official site], a revival of the ’90s fighting game series. It first hit PC last year but was exclusive to Windows 10 and its store, which is always a bit of a downer. Now folks who use Windows 7 or prefer Steam can now join in the brawl, as Killer Instinct has swapped its old shackles for a set with a longer chain.

This here new Killer Instinct drags the series into the realm of 3D graphics but sticks to the old side-on action. You know, this sort of violence:

Killer Instinct hit Windows 10 in March 2016, following its Xbox One debut in 2013. That’s not to suggest this is all old and over, mind. Iron Galaxy Studios (who took over after Amazon bought original devs Double Helix Games) are still patching Killer Instinct and have added many characters over the years, the most recent coming in June.

Players with the Steam version can mostly play against people with the Windows 10 version, but the ranked mode can’t play across editions. If you’ve played on Winton and want to switch to Steam, bad news: you’ll need to buy it again, and saves and bought content do not carry over. In better news for Winton players, some skin packs are coming free to its Definitive Edition and the three most recent characters are now free for everyone.

Killer Instinct is out now on Steam, with a 25% launch week discount bringing it down to £22.49/€27.74/$29.99. While the Winton edition offers the option of a free-to-play version with one free fighter and others sold separately, on Steam it’s only available as a paid complete package with all characters and skins and bits.


  1. Kefren says:

    Mmm, I haven’t enjoyed a fighting game in years. I think it was when they added things like “combos”. I preferred just doing an attack. If I put together attacks that felt comfortable then it was kind of my own combo. Yes, that probably makes me old, but the height of fun for me was Streetfighter 2 (arcade) and Body Blows (Amiga). I spent years playing them. I bought Streetfighter 4 thinking I’d relive those glory days and just couldn’t get into it despite weeks of trying.

    • Creeping Death says:

      … Street Fighter 2 had combos. Sure it has no hit count or voiceover to scream “COMBO” but it is very possible to win a round in 10 seconds without your opponent getting a chance. To react.

      I expect what has actually changed for you is the shift in focus from sitting on a couch with a friend and bashing each other to online competitive, where it is far too easy to get mismatched and obliterated.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      I believe it was Killer Instinct specifically that originally added intentional “memorize button sequence to win” functionality and destroyed fighting games forever.

      • Ghostwise says:

        I think you should bold and cap it for emphasis. You know, DESTROYED FIGHTING GAMES FOREVER.

        Were the forum more fully featured, we could had some sort of RGB effects. Gamers love RGB effects.

    • Massenstein says:

      Soul Calibur II was the last fighting game I enjoyed and maybe one of the only ones ever. Would play it endlessly with my brother, especially in the arena that was slippery ice surrounded with a chasm. It was the perfect distillation of the formula that has barely changed at all during all these years.

      Whenever I see new fighting games they look identical to the ancient tekkens and mortal kombats with only updated graphics. There’s never anything new. The super overhyped x-ray thing for Mortal Kombat? I really thought they would finally do something new, that damage would actually do something to hinder your opponent. Hell, we have the technology for that kind of games. But what we got was just gorey visuals signifying tiny drop in the health bar.

      Only fighting game I remember doing anything interesting and new is Toribash. Haven’t played it in years because I sucked at it, but it’s pretty great.

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    Drib says:

    While I don’t care for this particular genre, I’m always glad to see a game company thumb their nose at Win10 exclusivity, even if it took them a year to do it.

  3. Banks says:

    I hope they eventually release Forza Horizon 3 on other platforms, I haven’t played a good arcade racer since Blur.

    I might grab this one at some point too, seems cool.

    • Slazia says:

      It’s on PC (Windows Store). By platform, you mean Steam?

      • Banks says:

        Yes. Steam, GOG or something else. For me windows 10 store is a total red flag.

  4. presence06 says:

    Worth picking up now or waiting for Holiday Sale?
    I loved KI on SNES.

  5. Couchfighter says:

    Ranked mode being excluded from crossplatform matchmaking has a much bigger impact than the store pages and many articles make it sound like. The vast majority of KI’s already small but dedicated playerbase on the windows store and xbox one versions play ranked exclusively outside of online tournaments.

    Iron Galaxy unfortunately killed this release by their own design with the Steam release, as steamcharts reveals that even now during the launch the peak concurrent players rests just under 450, which is far too small a playerbase for a game of this type unless you are happy fighting that one guy who happens to be similarily ranked as you over, and over.. and over. And it will only get worse.

    I really hope Iron Galaxy comes around about the ranked matchmaking and implents crossplatform there as well, KI is a great game that deserves to be on Steam, without players feeling sore about having bought it on the wrong platform.

    • Unclepauly says:

      450 concurrent isn’t too shabby for this point in time. That would mean the total per day could be any where from 1200-2000 players. Far cry from “the same guy” over and over. Also I played my cousin over 500 times on the original, so there’s that.

      • Couchfighter says:

        I get you, 450 may sound fine for a game that is several years old already. But that number is not the average player count, that is the peak we’ve seen so far, for a couple hours. The average player count has been in the area of 200-250. Both peak and average will of course drop rapidly after the newness of it being on Steam has worn off.

        Also those players are not all potential opponents when you search for matches, only a very small fraction of them will be a match for you ranking wise, and searching for a match the same moment you are. At higher ranks it is likely already very hard to find an opponent, just like it already is on the PC version of Marvel vs Capcom Infinite, top ranking players there wait and wait and wait sometimes not finding anyone to play against at all.

        Steam KI will desperately need crossplatform Ranked searching.