The Mortal Kombat 11 meta will soon get a significant shakeup

Upcoming patch to give each character a third variation.

Mortal Kombat 11 characters will each get a third variation in an upcoming patch, NetherRealm has announced.

In a developer livestream, NetherRealm said the patch would be out soon.

Character variations are a controversial feature of the fighting game because ranked play limits players to choosing from two developer-created movesets for each fighter.

As we've reported, Mortal Kombat 11's custom variation system is fun in theory, but in practice is frustrating.

Outside of ranked play - and the cool Kombat League - you can play with your custom variations. So, if there's a cool combo you've worked out using a unique combination of abilities, you can take it into all the single-player modes and have fun with it.

Venture online into the competitive world of ranked mode, however, and you're restricted to using two pre-set "tournament" variations. These variations were created by the developers at NetherRealm, and if you care about Mortal Kombat 11's competitive modes, you're stuck with them.

These tournament variations are not everybody's cup of tea. They don't include some of the characters' best moves. This was an issue at launch - and indeed it was something players were expecting. But it was exacerbated with the launch of DLC character Shang Tsung, whose eye-catching ninja special moves are not in either tournament variation.

Now, with the addition of a third tournament variation for each character, Mortal Kombat 11 should breath new life into the meta - and unlock fun special moves and new combos for ranked play. Some existing moves have been rebalanced and reworked because they were never meant for ranked play. Some characters are getting brand new moves and krushing blows.

And specifically on Shang Tsung, his third variation is a three-slot move that is a brand new ability. Here, Shang Tsung loses all of his Shang Tsung moves except the straight skull, but gains all the ninja moves. This is great news for Shang Tsung players as it means he can use Ermac's lift, Smoke's shake, Rain's roundhouse kick and Reptile's slide i ranked.

Elsewhere, NetherRealm announced a new mode called Team Raids, which sees a group of players fighting against a boss at the same time for special rewards.

NetherRealm told players to expect a balance sweep alongside the introduction of the next DLC character, The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger's likeness is used for the character, but not his voice). The Terminator comes out 8th October.

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editor

Wesley is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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