Killer Instinct Tier List: All 29 Characters Ranked

Our Killer Instinct tier list ranks all the characters from best to worst to help you select the right ones.

Killer Instinct has 29 characters for you to choose from, and all of them are different in their own way. Some specialize in close-range scenarios, while others can help you handle your opponent from far away. Nevertheless, to help you select the right characters, we have curated a Killer Instinct tier list, in which we have ranked all characters from best to worst.

An important thing to remember is that the following tier list is based on our personal preference, and you might find some characters not belonging to a certain tier. This is totally okay as the choice varies from player to player. For example, you might think that a character is not S-Tier only because you find its playstyle too difficult. But for others, that character might be too easy to play with. 

Killer Instinct Tier List Table 

TiersCharacters 
S-TierOmen, Aria, Aganos, Rash, Fulgore
A-TierTusk, Arbiter, Glacius, Thunder, Eyedol
B-TierShadow Jago, Spinal, Eagle, Hisako, Jago, Kilgore, Mira, Cinder, Maya, Gargos
C-TierTJ Combo, General Raam, Kim Wu, Riptor, Shin Hisako, Kan-Ra
D-TierSabrewulf, Sadira, Orchid

S-Tier 

S-Tier characters on our list are the strongest characters in Killer Instinct. These characters have some of the best stats and offer unrivaled moves. While you’re here, you might also want to check out our DBZ Dokkan Battle tier list

Fulgore

The first character we would like to mention on our list is Fulgore. At the time of writing, he is one of the best zoners and rush-down characters in the game. In a game like Killer Instinct, your priority is to prevent the enemy from getting close to you. And by using attacks such as Fireballs and Lasers, Fulgore does this job well.

Killer Instinct Tier List
Fulgore

If you like to move around a lot, you will never get bored with Fulgore. His Teleport ability (as its name suggests) allows you to disappear and teleport to the location of your target, something that helps you get close to them quickly. And when his meter is full, no one can stop Fulgore from annihilating his target. 

Rash

Next up, we have Rash. This is yet another excellent character when it comes to destroying opponents quickly. If you like to play around with combos, then Rash is the one for you. This is because the character offers some of the best combos in the entire game, and some of them are pretty difficult to break.

Rash
Rash

Rash’s skillset does not only allow him to handle opponents on the ground, but he can also tackle them in the air. This is something that helps him with keeping things in his favor.

However, an important thing to remember is that while his offensive skills are pretty decent even without a full meter, his defensive skills are not that great without a meter. Therefore, you need to avoid making mistakes before the meter is full, as one wrong move can snatch away the win from your hands.

Aganos

Now, we know Aganos is not the best character when it comes to movement and size, but hear us out. At the time of writing, only a few characters in the game have powerful close-up attacks, and Aganos happens to be one of them. Furthermore, his overall defense stats are pretty amazing, and he can not be broken easily.

Killer Instinct Tier List
Aganos

An important thing to remember is that Aganos is a difficult character to master, so he is not well suited for new players. But if you’ve been playing the game for some time, it will be wise to give him a try. After spending a few weeks with him, you will realize his power. 

Aria

Aria is yet another character on our list with powerful range attacks in her arsenal. In fact, only a few characters offer a range as amazing as her. Aria’s combos are also extremely powerful and hard to break, and you can trust them against any kind of opponent. 

Aria
Aria

With a meter, Aria becomes extremely powerful and can deal a massive amount of damage. However, without a meter, you will need to be extremely careful. But overall, Aria is an excellent character who won’t let you down. If she does, that’s on you. 

Omen

The final character in the S-Tier category of our Killer Instinct tier list is Omen. During a match, if you’re movement is great, nothing can stop you from winning. As for Omen, there isn’t any character who offers better mobility than him.

The best part is that the character is not only amazing on the ground but can handle air situations pretty well as well. His wings allow him to excel in air combat, and he has a lot of moves to perform during this time.

Killer Instinct Tier List
Omen

Omen also happens to be a character with great range, and his attacks can let you deal with your target from a safe distance. Overall, while it may take some time to get used to Omen’s playstyle, he is an excellent choice. 

A-Tier 

A-Tier characters fall just below S-Tier characters, but they are still pretty powerful. They have some of the best attacks in the entire game and can help you quickly destroy your opponent. 

Eyedol

Eyedol is the unique character in Killer Instinct. This is because he has two heads, both of which have their own skills. The first one is his savage head, which only focuses on rushing toward the enemy to eliminate them as quickly as possible. The second head, on the other hand, is his warlock head, which is more patient and likes to take his time to destroy his opponent.

Eyedol
Eyedol

Eyedol’s full potential is unlocked when he enters instinct mode, as this combines the power of both heads. In other words, he becomes an extremely powerful killing machine. If both of his heads had been combined from the start, Eyedol would have been an S-Tier character. Also, check out our Steelrising weapons tier list

Thunder

Next up, we have Thunder. This character is capable of dealing massive amounts of damage with his attacks. In fact, only a few other characters come close to the amount of damage he can deal. While his range might not be excellent, no one can stop Thunder from destroying every single bone in their body if he manages to get close to them.

Killer Instinct Tier List
Thunder

The only downsides about Thunder are his slow speeds and jumps. When you’re playing with Thunder, you will notice that your opponents will try to keep a distance from you. However, your main priority should be to eliminate the distance as quickly as possible so you can start landing powerful strikes. 

Glacius

Glacius is yet another character on our list who has excellent range. He has powerful attacks that can let you stay at a safe distance while dealing with your enemy. He has a bouncing projectile you can throw around to attack your target. 

Glacius
Glacius

Glacius also has a skill called Hail, and many players consider it the best anti-air move. It lets you counter different attacks and won’t let you down, no matter what happens. Overall, Galcius is a pretty decent character who offers a great skillset. The only thing which prevents him from being an S-Tier character is his average movement. 

Arbiter

Arbiter is the kind of character who can help you stay longer in a match, as he has one of the highest health among all characters. He also possesses an energy shield, which not only absorbs the projectiles thrown toward it but also provides the users with an extra health bar. All of this contributes to helping you survive for a longer period.

Killer Instinct Tier List
Arbiter

Arbiter uses an energy sword in combat, which can be used in both close and mid-ranged scenarios. He is pretty amazing when it comes to trapping his targets, and you can trust him with depleting their health bars quickly. Overall, Arbiter is a character worth picking, and you won’t need to spend a lot of time mastering him. Before proceeding further, make sure to give our TemTem tier list a read. 

Tusk

Just by looking at Tusk, you will be able to tell that this character hits hard. While he may look like someone who moves slowly, Tusk happens to offer great mobility. The thing that makes Tusk worthy of being an A-Tier Killer Instinct tier list character is his Deflect Window ability, which allows him to counter attacks automatically. However, once the ability is down, you will need to do this yourself.

Tusk
Tusk

Tusk has a good number of attacks to use in combat, and all of them can drain plenty of your enemy’s health quickly. His high-damage dealing attacks make him a powerful threat in combat, which is why he’s feared during every match. 

B-Tier 

B-Tier characters are neither too powerful nor too strong. They offer decent stats and abilities, but they are nowhere near perfection. However, they can do wonders but only when in the right hands. 

Jago

Your health bar keeps you alive during a match, and you need to ensure it is always close to full. As for Jago, he does this job well. For those who don’t know, this character is capable of regenerating his health when in Instinct mode. The best part is that it does not take long to make his meter full, so you can always keep your health full.

Killer Instinct Tier List
Jago

You can think of Jago as a jack of all trades but master of none. He has good mobility, projectiles that he can use for ranged attacks, and great defense. However, while he has much to offer, his playstyle is pretty basic. In other words, his enemies can easily break his combos and pin him to the ground. If his playstyle was a little different, he would have been an A-Tier character. 

Hisako

A lot of players avoid picking Hisako, and this is due to her slow speed. They think that this character can’t do much in combat as she can’t even move properly. However, this is not the case at all, as Hisako can deal a great amount of damage with each hit. She has different tricks in her arsenal that prevents her opponents from blocking her attacks.

Hisako
Hisako

It will take you some time before you can properly control Hisako. But once you do, you’ll be able to take down your opponents easily. She also has a wall jump trick that can be used to confuse the enemy. 

Eagle

Eagle is one of the best zoning characters in the game. Unlike other characters who enter the ring alone, Eagle has a bird companion who assists him during combat. The bird can lock stun his opponent, after which Eagle can land powerful attacks on them. 

Killer Instinct Tier List
Eagle

The biggest downside about Eagle is his slow movement. Furthermore, when it comes to countering air attacks, Eagle does a poor job. However, this does not mean that he isn’t worth picking, as you can use his bow to target opponents from a safe distance. Also, if you’re playing Riot Game’s latest shooter, you need to check out our Valorant tier list

Spinal

Spinal is an extremely powerful character, but only when his skulls are full. When they are, Spinal can destroy whatever you throw at him. He is mainly an offensive character, so you should not expect much from him in terms of defense, as he has no reversals whatsoever.

Spinal
Spinal

A major problem with Spinal is that he starts the match with zero skulls, meaning that you will have to wait until his skulls build up for him to perform well. Before that, you will remain vulnerable, and you can’t expect Spinal to do much in this state. But once the skulls are full, no one will be able to stop you. 

If the skulls weren’t an issue, Spinal surely would have made it to the A-Tier category of our Killer Instinct tier list. 

Shadow Jago

Compared to the regular Jago, the Shadow version is faster and offers better skills. He can teleport to his opponent’s location, meaning that he can cover great distances in a short period. Furthermore, when it comes to zoning, he does a better job than the regular Jago. The projectiles he uses are stronger and faster. 

Killer Instinct Tier List
Shadow Jago

However, a big downside attached to Shadow Jago is that while he does everything better than the regular Jago, he needs a meter for it. Without it, he is nothing special and not someone who can help you when you’re struggling against your opponent.

Therefore, you should choose Shadow Jago only if you can handle the risk of playing without a meter first. But after the meter is full, your opponent won’t be able to stop you from sending them to their grave. 

Gargos

Just by looking at Gargos, you can tell he shouldn’t be messed with. He is a demonic half-gold who can harvest strength from his opponent, something that fills his Shadow Meter quickly. Furthermore, he can summon minions during combat, which attack his enemy ruthlessly.

Gargos
Gargos

When it comes to mobility, Gargos won’t disappoint you. He can move around his opponent quickly and can cover great distances. His defense is greatly increased in Instinct Mode, as his entire body turns to stone. However, while the enemy attacks no longer bother him in this state, his mobility decreases significantly. 

Maya

Maya is another character who excels on the offensive side. However, for this, she relies mostly on her daggers. She uses them as projectiles and can even transform them into something that can quickly break her opponent’s stance. Furthermore, when things get tough, Maya can combine her daggers to create Enmity, a powerful double-bladed weapon. 

Killer Instinct Tier List
Maya

The biggest downside about Maya is that she can’t do much after her daggers are gone. Throughout the combat, she relies mostly on them and can’t do wonders without them. Therefore, you will need to make the best use of them while they are still with her. Otherwise, you will be put in a tight spot. 

Cinder

If you are someone who loves using combos, then Cinder will easily become one of your favorite characters. This is because his advanced combos can help you destroy your opponent quickly. They aren’t easy to master, but you will get the hang of them in no time. And yes, he does look like Ghost Rider. 

Killer Instinct Tier List
Cinder

Cinder is considered the best character in Killer Instinct in terms of mobility. However, his damage output isn’t great, so you can’t expect him to deplete the enemy’s health bar with his attacks quickly. If you’re new to the game, you should avoid picking Cinder as he isn’t for beginners. 

Mira

Mire is one of the most powerful characters in the game, but there is a catch to it. She is an excellent character when it comes to both ground and air movement. She can perform powerful attacks that can drain her opponent’s health quickly. In fact, only a few characters can perform attacks as powerful as her.

Mira
Mira

However, the biggest downside about Mira is that all of her moves are performed at the cost of her health. Whenever you use an ability, Mira’s health reduces. This means that while you will be delivering powerful blows to your opponents, your own health will keep on reducing as well.

Although there is a way to regenerate her health, the constant depletion of her health will keep her at great risk. Therefore, it is up to you to decide whether it’s worth the risk or not. Furthermore, this also makes Mira a character fit for experts, as new players won’t be able to handle this. 

Kilgore

Kilgore has an excellent range, and his projectiles are pretty fast. Many players consider him the best zoner in Killer Instinct, as he is pretty good at keeping his opponents in the corner while staying at a safe distance. He can use guns and missiles during combat to deal significant damage. Speaking of weapons, we recently wrote a Splatoon 3 weapons tier list, so you should check it out. 

Killer Instinct Tier List
Killgore

While Kilgore is amazing in mid to long-range combat, he isn’t someone who can do wonders in close-range scenarios. He lacks moves that allow him to handle close-up situations, which is why you must always stay back from your opponent while playing with him. Therefore, if you want someone who can get up close and personal with the opponent, you should choose someone else. 

C-Tier

C-Tier characters in our Killer Instinct tier list, are some of the worst in the game. You can’t expect them to help you do wonders during a match, and they don’t have powerful skills to offer. 

Shin Hisako

In Killer Instinct, you need someone who can perform well after getting up close and personal to counter zoning characters. Thankfully, Shin Hisako does this job well as she has many close-range attacks that can help her gain the advantage during the match.

Shin Hisako
Shin Hisako

However, while Shin Hisako is good in close-range scenarios, she isn’t the best when it comes to reaching characters quickly. In other words, if she is put against someone who is extremely good at zoning, she will find it difficult to get close to them before she can start using her attacks. This is a big negative point about her and something which prevents her from being placed in a higher tier.

Riptor

Some players think of Riptor as an A-Tier character, but we think it lacks a lot of stuff. Don’t get us wrong, Riptor is an amazing character who has decent attacks in its arsenal, but they aren’t as powerful or useful as the attacks offered by some other characters.

Killer Instinct Tier List
Riptor

Still, if you want to give Riptor a go, it has some ranged attacks that you can use to target your enemy from far away. For instance, its Fireball attack can deal a good amount of damage. Furthermore, she can also split her tail into multiple pieces and then attack her targets from a good distance. When in Instinct mode, Riptor’s speed and attack range increase. 

Kim Wu

Kim Wu is capable of dealing great damage with each attack as she is a hard hitter. Furthermore, it is extremely difficult to zone her as she can destroy her target in close-range combat. However, it can be extremely difficult to master Kim Wu as her playstyle differs from others. 

Kim Wu
Kim Wu

During combat, Kim Wu uses Nunchaku, and she can further enhance the power of her attacks using Damage Boost. Also, she does look like a character from Tekken. Speaking of this, make sure you read our Tekken 7 tier list before closing the page. 

General Raam

General Raam is everything you would expect from a General. He is big, strong, and can destroy his opponent quickly. His attacks can deal great damage, and once he grabs his opponent, he does not let them go. But this is also where the problem lies.

Killer Instinct Tier List
General Raam

You see, General Raam becomes dangerous only when he is up close and personal with his opponent. But because of his size, he walks slowly and can’t cover distances quickly. His defense is great, something that can help you stay alive while you look for an opening to attack. But other than that, you can’t do much with him. 

If General Raam was quick with his movement, he would have been at least a B-Tier character in our Killer Instinct tier list. 

TJ Combo

TJ Combo, as his name suggests, is a master of combos. His combos are so great that it is nearly impossible for his opponents to break them. Furthermore, TJ Combo moves pretty fast and can cover distances quickly.

TJ Combo
TJ Combo

However, his attacks aren’t something that can deal a massive amount of damage. Furthermore, as he excels in close range, you will first need to get close to your target. In other words, you will need to risk getting your health depleted quickly as you might face someone who is better than you in close-range combat. 

Kan-Ra

Kan-Ra is a very different character. For some, he is an extremely powerful character. But at the same time, he isn’t worth it to others. This is because Kan-Ra is a trapper, meaning that he relies on his traps for the most part. If you are someone who can make good use of traps during combat, then sure, go ahead and pick Kan-Ra. But if you can’t, avoid picking him at all costs.

Killer Instinct Tier List
Kan Ra

Kan-Ra is also extremely difficult to use, meaning you should pick him if you are new to the game. Even old players struggle to play with him at first. 

D-Tier

D-Tier characters are the worst in Killer Instinct, and you must avoid playing with them at all costs. These characters aren’t worth picking as there are much better options available. Unlike our Dragon Ball Fighter Z tier list, where we had six D-Tier characters, this one only has three. 

Orchid

Orchid is one of the fastest characters in our tier list, as she can cover great distances quickly. However, she also happens to be one of the worst, as there isn’t much that you can do with her other than move around quickly. Sure, she has some decent moves that can help her deal a good amount of damage, but these moves aren’t something that can help you turn the situation in your favor.

Orchid
Orchid

If Orchid is thrown against a zoner, she can’t do anything. This is because while she can move around fast and reach her target quickly, she lacks the skill set to perform well in close-range combat.

Sadira

Sadira is yet another character in Killer Instinct who should be avoided at all costs. This is because Sadira relies mostly on her Instinct mode, and you can’t always stay in it. Furthermore, Sadira excels mostly in her jumping attacks, so you can’t expect much from her. 

Killer Instinct Tier List
Sadira

Furthermore, just like Orchid, Sadira also performs poorly against zoning characters, as she can’t do anything after getting up close and personal with her opponent. All in all, there are much better options available than Sadira, and you should go with them without a second thought. 

Sabrewulf

Finally, we have Sabrewulf. While the character looks badass, there isn’t much it can do. Just like the characters mentioned above, this one also fails to perform well against zoners as they can keep him at bay easily. 

Sabrewulf
Sabrewulf

When Sabrewulf enters the Instinct mode, all of his attacks start dealing more damage. But this is beneficial only when you are able to find an opening or are put against someone who isn’t good at zoning. Otherwise, you will stay in a tight spot while playing as Sabrewulf. 

Ranking Criteria

It took us days of research to create this tier list, as we had to examine the abilities and stats of every character in the game. The tier list has been carefully created to help new and even old players select the right characters for their playstyle.

The research process involved exploring different forums and watching multiple videos to develop an opinion about a character. After we did our research, we put each character in a certain tier based on the results. Nevertheless, the characters are subjective, and the rankings will differ for everyone. 

This was everything you needed to know about the Killer Instinct tier list. We have tried our best to rank all of the characters in the best possible way. It is important to remember that even if you choose an S-Tier character, it is not necessary that you’ll perform well with him.

This is because the style of the character might not suit you, and you might perform better with an A-Tier character. For this reason, it is important to try out multiple characters before sticking to one. Before leaving, make sure to check out our Dead By Daylight tier list as well. 

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Abdul Haddi


I'm just a guy who loves playing video games and writing about them. When not gaming, I can be found wandering around in the streets trying to create a film.

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