It’s been eight years, (though only four if you count his non-playable appearance in Mortal Kombat 11’s Krypt), but Reptile has finally come back to Mortal Kombat, and the Mortal Kombat 1 Reptile incarnation might be the coolest of the bunch. The first secret character in the history of fighting games, Reptile returns to Mortal Kombat 1 with a new backstory, a new moveset, and the ability to transform into his Zaterran form when he uses certain attacks. As such, you will need a detailed Mortal Kombat 1 Reptile guide to get the most from his moveset.
While he retains several of his most iconic moves, like the Force Ball, this version of Reptile, like many of the characters in Mortal Kombat 1, is unique. Fortunately, he’s also a lot of fun, and as highlighted in our Mortal Kombat 1 tier list, he is quite good. Now that Mortal Kombat 1 is out on PS5, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC and we’ve gotten to spend some time with him, we’ve put together a guide on the key things you need to know.
Mortal Kombat 1 Reptile guide
- Playstyle: Mid-range all-rounder
- Key Normal Moves and Combo Starters: Stage Hand, Klowning, Around, Roundhouse, Devastating Blow, Kroco-Die-Le, Toekrusher, Serial Gila
- Key Moves: Dash Attack, Force Ball, Death Roll, Invisibility, Falling Fangs
- Kameo Choices: Sareena, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Sektor
Reptile’s greatest strengths are his range and his movement options, so he’s best suited to using his exceptional neutral tools to harass the opponent. He can then convert the hits he lands into damaging combos that make use of his exceptional special moves, like Force Ball, Death Roll, and Falling Fangs, and his Kameo partner.
Reptile isn’t great at opening people up by himself; he generally needs his Kameo to help him set up his best stuff, like Invisibility, safely. However, when Reptile lands a hit, he can do a lot of damage and has great tools for poking at the opponent from a safe distance.
Best Reptile normals and combos
- Stage Hand – 1 (square [PS], X [Xbox], Y [NS])
- Klowning Around – 2 (triangle [PS], Y [Xbox], X [NS])
- Roundhouse – Forward + 2 (triangle [PS], Y [Xbox], X [NS])
- Devastating Blow – Back + 2 (triangle [PS], Y [Xbox], X [NS])
- Kroco-Die-Le – 3 (cross [PS], A [Xbox], B [NS])
- Toekrusher – Back + 3 (cross [PS], A [Xbox], B [NS])
- Serial Gila – Forward + 3 (cross [PS], A [Xbox], B [NS])
- Sticky Foot – 4 (circle [PS], B [Xbox], A [NS])
- Kold-Blooded Blow – 1, 1
- Killer Kick – 1, 1, 4
- Tale of Two Hitties – 2, 4
- Froggy Knee – 2, 3
- Raking Blow – Forward + 2, 1
- Dr. Wreckyl – Forward + 2, 1, 1
- Kneet Trick – Forward + 2, 3
- Sneaky Lizard – Forward + 2, 4
- Bloody Trail – Back + 3, 4
- Hidden Klaws – Forward + 3, 1
Reptile’s normals lead to big damage, so it’s best to get acquainted with them. Thankfully, Reptile’s combo theory is pretty simple: In general, you want to hit an opponent with a good starting string like Raking Blow, cancel that string into Force Ball, juggle them with your Kameo or a move like Sticky Foot, and cancel that into a different version of Force Ball. From there, you can either jump cancel that into Natural Selection, Reptile’s best air combo, and end with Falling Fangs, or go into Visceral Klaw and then Death Roll, a set play Kameo, or Invisibility.
If you’re up close to the opponent, you’ll want to get started with Stage Hand, one of Reptile’s only moves that is plus on block. On block or hit, you can cancel it into Kold-Blooded Blow or Killer Kick, both of which are great combo starting strings, and safe on block. We recommend going into Kold-Blooded Blow, and then Force Ball.
Klowning Around is another great combo starter. It’s fast, has good range, and is zero on the block. On hit, you’ll want to confirm into Froggy Knee, then Force Ball, and then follow the combo path we outlined earlier. On block, you can reset pressure or use Tale of Two Hitties to try to hit them low. Be warned: Tale of Two Hitties is unsafe on block unless spaced out.
If you’re looking to move forward and attack, you’ll want to use Roundhouse, which is fast, safe, and a very high-damage combo starter. On hit, go into Raking Blow or Dr. Wreckyl, both of which are also safe on block, for combos or to continue pressure. It can also be confirmed into Kneet Trick, which launches the opponent up in the air and leads to some of Reptile’s highest damage combos. Alternatively, you can use Sneaky Lizard to try and trip them up with a low.
If your opponent is blocking low, open them up with Devastating Blow, and overhead you can charge. When fully charged, it launches the opponent, but it takes a while to charge, leaving you open. It’s extremely punishable unless charged, though you can cancel it into Acid Spit, Death Roll, Invisibility, and Reptile’s Fatal Blow before it comes out. On a fully charged hit, go into Froggy Knee, walk forward slightly and hit them with Sticky Foot, and finish the combo with Death Roll.
At far range, you’ll want to use Kroco-Die-Le, a fast, long-ranged tail whip that hits twice and is safe on block. You can cancel the first hit into Falling Fangs for more damage.
Finally, if you’re looking to approach, you’ll want to use either Toekrusher or Serial Gila. The former is an advancing low, and the latter is an advancing high. Very nice. If Toekrusher hits, go into Bloody Trail and then Force Ball for a combo. If you land Serial Gila, confirm into Hidden Klaws and then Force Ball.
Once you have the hit, all Reptiles combos are focused on juggling with Force Ball and strings like Raking Blow and Froggy Knee, before ultimately ending in Natural Selection and Fallings Fangs, or Visceral Klaw and the Special Move of your choice. Speaking of special moves
Best Reptile special moves
- Acid Spit – Down, Forward, 1 (square [PS], X [Xbox], Y [NS])
- Dash Attack – Back, Forward, 2 (triangle [PS], Y [Xbox], X [NS])
- Force Ball – Down, Forward, 3 (cross [PS], A [Xbox], B [NS])
- Death Roll – Back, Forward, 4 (circle [PS], B [Xbox], A [NS])
- Invisibility – Down, Up, 4 (circle [PS], B [Xbox], A [NS])
- (Air) Falling Fangs ( Down, Back, Circle) (circle [PS], B [Xbox], A [NS])
Acid Spit is a high projectile that generally has limited use but goes quite far when Enhanced. Enhanced Acid Spit also does much more damage and becomes a mid, meaning opponents cannot duck under it. A situational, but useful, special move.
Dash Attack is a two-hit attack that side-switches, making it a good way to end combos if you’re in the corner. Because it hits twice and the second hit is an overhead, it’s also great for catching opponents who are sleeping on defense. Reptile can also use it to move around the screen quickly.
Force Ball is Reptile’s main projectile and a key part of his combo game. There are three versions: normal, Slow, and Fast. Enhanced Force Ball goes full screen and does more damage. Unlike most projectiles, Force Ball is a mid, which means your opponent cannot crouch under it. You can use Force Ball twice in a combo provided you use a different version of the move (i.e. Force Ball and Fast Force Ball). Enhancing Force Ball breaks this rule, allowing Reptile to use it as many times as he wants in the same combo, provided he has enough meter.
Then there’s Death Roll, an advancing low, Reptile can use Death Roll to low profile projectiles and high and mid attacks. It is also an excellent ender for strings and combos. If Enhanced, it gains armor, so it can be used as a reversal on wakeup, and to go through enemy moves in neutral.
Invisibility is a great way to end a string that knocks the opponent down, like Visceral Klaw, as it turns Reptile completely invisible after a moment and allows you to force your opponent to guess on invisible mix-ups. Don’t enhance it.
Finally, Falling Fangs can only be used in the air, but it’s an incredibly strong special move. Reptile essentially teleports on top of the opponent, so it’s an excellent ender for his air combos. It can be used to fake the opponent out in neutral, but it’s very punishable on block, so don’t do it all the time.
Best Reptile Kameo character pairings
Sareena’s the most common Kameo you’ll see online right now, and it’s not hard to see why. She offers nearly unmatched combo extensions and she’s quite easy to use. Jataaka’s Kurse drains your opponent’s Super Meter if they stand in it. Kia’s Blades is an excellent way to start and extend combos that also helps Reptile’s fantastic neutral game, and Old Moon is yet another projectile she offers in neutral. Finally, Demonic Dance is safe on block and a great way to extend pressure strings. It also launches on hit for more combo opportunities.
Scorpion is probably the best overall Kameo for Reptile. He just does it all. Fire Breath allows Reptile to extend combos in ways no other Kameo does because you can choose where Scorpion will appear, offering combos off of strings he normally wouldn’t get. Get Over Here is great for getting out of tricky situations or mix-ups because it pulls Reptile away and has armor. Finally, Hell Blades is an overhead that, while unsafe on block, can be used to both extend combos and start them. Several characters make good tag team partners for Reptile, but Scorpion is our pick for the best.
Sub-Zero is a conditional choice, but he’s got some great options. Kold Shoulder is a safe on block mid that allows you to start combos or extend pressure. Iced Out freezes the opponent and allows you to start or extend combos. The real reason to pair Sub-Zero with Reptile, however, is Artic Armor, which keeps you safe from projectiles, allowing Reptile to deal with characters that might want to zone him out. We wouldn’t recommend him for every matchup, but he can be life-saving in the right ones.
Sektor gives Reptile mix-ups he wouldn’t otherwise have access to with his Up Rocket, enabling him to easily set up Invisibility and keep the pressure on once you’ve knocked the opponent down. He’s also great in neutral, as his Tele-Punch and Flame Thrower give Reptile more ways to frustrate the opponent in neutral, and he can help Reptile extend his combos.
And that, fellow Kombatants, is how you play Mortal Kombat 1 Reptile. At the very least, it’s enough to get you started. Be sure to pop into our Mortal Kombat 1 Kameo tier list as well, and while you’re here, check out how to unlock Fatalities, and read our full Mortal Kombat 1 review to get acquainted with everything Mortal Kombat 1 has to offer.