If you‘re a fan of brutal, bloody beat ‘em up games, then Mortal Kombat 11 is right up your alley. As the latest installment in the iconic fighting game franchise, MK11 packs a punch with gorgeous graphics, hard-hitting combat, and of course, spectacularly gory Fatalities.
But one key question lingers in the minds of new and veteran kombatants alike – exactly how many playable characters come free in Mortal Kombat 11?
Well friend, you‘ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll break down the complete MK11 roster and detail which fighters are freely unlocked versus needing to be purchased separately.
Whether you‘re new to the series or an expert kombatant, this guide will help you understand precisely how many free characters are included with the base version of Mortal Kombat 11.
So tighten your black belts and get ready for kombat, because we‘re about to dive in and reveal everything you need to know about the playable MK11 roster!
A Quick Summary of MK11‘s Free and Paid Fighters
Before we get into the nitty gritty details, here‘s a high-level overview of how many characters come unlocked in Mortal Kombat 11:
- The base game includes 20 playable fighters unlocked by default
- Pre-ordering granted access to Shao Kahn as a bonus character
- 12 additional fighters are available through paid DLC
- In total, MK11 has 37 playable characters on the roster
So in summary, you get access to 20-21 free characters depending on if you pre-ordered or not. The other 12 kombatants must be purchased separately if you wish to unlock the full roster.
Now let‘s take a deep dive into the specific characters that come with the standard version of the game compared to those requiring extras purchases.
MK11 Base Game: 20 Fighters Unlocked by Default
When you first load up Mortal Kombat 11, the select screen displays 20 playable characters ready for you to choose from right away. This base roster provides a diverse selection of returning MK veterans along with exciting newcomers.
More specifically, here are the 20 default characters included with the standard edition of Mortal Kombat 11:
- Cassie Cage
- Erron Black
- Geras (new character)
- Jacqui Briggs
- Johnny Cage
- Kotal Kahn
- Liu Kang
- Sonya Blade
Looking at this list, you‘ll notice many iconic and long-running Mortal Kombat characters like Scorpion, Raiden, Sonya Blade, and the deadly rivals Sub-Zero and Liu Kang.
These fighters allow you to recreate all of your favorite classic showdowns straight from the start. Whether it‘s Scorpion yelling “Get over here!” as he fires his famous spear, or Raiden electrocuting fools with lightning, the MK11 base roster delivers on franchise nostalgia and fan service.
You also get several returning characters from more recent titles like MKX, such as Cassie Cage, D‘Vorah, Erron Black, Jacqui Briggs, Kotal Kahn, and Skarlet. This provides a mix of old and new faces in the default lineup.
And of course, every Mortal Kombat introduces exciting new characters, with Geras making his debut in MK11. His time manipulating powers bring unique gameplay mechanics, providing a fresh new challenger.
The only base game character not freely unlocked is Frost. You must complete Chapter 4 in the Story Mode to unlock her, at which point Frost will become available bringing you to the full 20 default fighters.
In summary, purchasing Mortal Kombat 11 grants instant access to 19 freely playable characters, with a 20th unlocked shortly after starting the game‘s story.
Shao Kahn – Pre-Order Bonus Character
Pre-ordering Mortal Kombat 11 granted bonus access to one additional fighter – the evil emperor Shao Kahn.
As the recurring final boss and chief villain throughout the Mortal Kombat mythology, long-time fans were thrilled to finally be able to take control of Shao Kahn themselves and pummel opponents with his menacing hammer and taunts.
So if you pre-purchased MK11, your initial roster included the 20 default fighters plus Shao Kahn, for a total of 21 free unlockable characters right from the start.
However, Shao Kahn has also been made available as separate DLC for $5.99. So even if you didn‘t pre-order, you can still purchase him individually and add Shao Kahn to your roster. But he does not come included free for standard purchases after launch.
Mortal Kombat 11 DLC Adds 12 More Playable Fighters
Beyond the base 20+ characters, Mortal Kombat 11 has substantially expanded its roster through paid DLC content packs and Season Passes.
These DLC releases have added 12 additional fighters to the mix:
- Kombat Pack 1 (6 fighters): Shang Tsung, Nightwolf, Terminator T-800, Sindel, The Joker, Spawn
- Kombat Pack 2 (6 fighters): Mileena, Rain, Rambo, Robocop, Sheeva
Combined with the 25 base game kombatants, this brings the total MK11 roster up to 37 playable characters at the moment.
However, none of these DLC fighters are freely unlocked by default. They must be purchased separately if you wish to access them:
- Individual DLC characters can be bought for $5.99 each
- Kombat Pack 1 containing 6 fighters is $39.99
- Kombat Pack 2 with 6 fighters is $14.99
Occasionally there are free DLC character trial periods, like a Free Play Weekend in June 2020 that temporarily unlocked The Joker. But generally, the additional kombatants must be paid for.
Let‘s take a quick look at each DLC pack and the characters they include:
Kombat Pack 1
The first round of MK11 DLC delivered 6 new fighters, including some highly requested returning characters:
- Shang Tsung – A shape-shifting sorcerer and popular boss, Shang Tsung last appeared in MK9.
- Nightwolf – Back by popular demand, the Native American fighter Nightwolf brings his tomahawks and spirit magic.
- Terminator T-800 – Straight out of the future, the iconic cyborg killer arrives with tons of movie references.
- Sindel – The resurrected screeching Queen of Edenia makes a royal return.
- Joker – Batman‘s arch-nemesis brings hilarious tricks and violence as a guest character.
- Spawn – Image Comics anti-hero Spawn joins the roster wielding his chains and dark powers.
Kombat Pack 2
A second DLC pack added another 6 fighters to the mix, including the highly demanded return of classic female ninjas:
- Mileena – Kitana‘s cannibal twin sister Mileena comes back more vicious than ever.
- Rain – The Edenian demigod returns to the ring with his classic water-based attacks.
- Rambo – Sylvester Stallone‘s Vietnam veteran John Rambo joins the fight wielding machine guns, bows, and knives.
- Robocop – Everyone‘s favorite cyborg police officer arrives with his trademark weaponry.
- Sheeva – The four-armed, stomp happy Shokan warrior is back.
- Fujin – Raiden‘s wind god brother Fujin brings elemental powers to the fray.
As you can see, the DLC content delivers a fun mix of klassic MK fighters, wacky guest stars, and badass action heroes. However, these additional characters remain locked behind paywalls and are not freely included in the base Mortal Kombat 11 game.
Guest Characters Add Multi-Franchise Appeal
A major selling point of MK11‘s DLC content is the inclusion of several prominent guest characters from movies, TV shows, and other video game series.
These guest fighters help broaden Mortal Kombat‘s mainstream appeal and offer fans the sheer novelty of pitting their favorite pop culture characters against the MK roster in over-the-top cross-universe showdowns.
Here‘s a quick recap of the current guest stars available in MK11:
- Terminator T-800 – Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s iconic android assassin from the Terminator films
- Joker – Batman‘s clown prince of crime, voiced by Richard Epcar
- Spawn – Todd McFarlane‘s chain-wielding demonic antihero
- Robocop – Detroit‘s future cybernetic police officer
- Rambo – Sylvester Stallone‘s Vietnam vet John Rambo
These blockbuster guest fighters are a major draw for casual gamers and diehard franchise fans alike. However, you‘ll need to pony up extra cash through the DLC to unlock these special crossover characters.
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition – All 37 Fighters
In November 2020, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate was released, which includes the base game and all DLC content packs in one ultimate edition.
Specifically, the Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition includes:
- Base 25 playable character roster
- All 12 DLC fighters
- All bonus skin packs and costumes
- All game modes and story expansion
- Basically everything released for MK11 up until that point
So if having access to the complete 37-character roster is a priority, the Ultimate Edition provides the most cost-effective way to unlock every fighter rather than buying them piecemeal.
Currently retailing for $59.99, the Ultimate Edition delivers hundreds of hours of insane Fatalities, brutalities, different game modes, and of course kombat across the entire MK11 roster. All with one purchase!
Mortal Kombat 11 Character Unlock Cost Breakdown
Now that you understand which characters come unlocked by default versus paid DLC, let‘s break down the costs associated with unlocking MK11‘s full roster of 37 kombatants:
- 20 fighters – Freely unlocked in base game = $0
- 1 fighter – Shao Kahn pre-order bonus = $0
- 12 DLC fighters – Sold separately at $5.99 ea. = $71.88
- Kombat Pack 1 – 6 DLC fighters for $39.99
- Kombat Pack 2 – 6 DLC fighters for $14.99
- Ultimate Edition – Base game + all DLC = $59.99
As you can see, buying each DLC fighter individually gets extremely expensive at almost $72 extra on top of the $59.99 base game cost.
The Kombat Packs help lower the pricing a bit. But the best value is easily the Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition at only $59.99 for everything combined.
So while you get access to 20-21 fighters essentially for free, unlocking the full 37 character roster will cost you one way or another. The Ultimate Edition provides the most complete MK11 experience in a single package.
Mortal Kombat 11 Free Trial Unlocks DLC Characters
Occasionally Mortal Kombat 11 offers free trial events that unlock DLC fighters temporarily.
For example, during a Free Play Weekend held in June 2020, players could access The Joker for free. Xbox Live Gold members also gained access to The Terminator for free that same weekend.
So while not permanent unlocks, these free trials do allow you to experiment with DLC characters without purchasing them.
How Many MK11 Characters Can You Expect to Use For Free?
At the end of the day, if you purchase the standard edition of Mortal Kombat 11, you can expect to have access to around 20 freely unlocked characters to play with.
Pre-ordering got you Shao Kahn to sweeten the pot for a total of 21 fighters accessible with no additional purchases required.
This already provides a sizable roster to keep you busy mastering different fighting styles and completing single player content. Plus rotating free trials giving you temporary access to DLC fighters.
So you‘re not completely locked out of trying the extra characters, even if you don‘t want to pay more at the moment.
But for completionists who absolutely must "catch ‘em all" and unlock every single playable fighter from the get-go, the only way to go currently is springing for the Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition.
Otherwise, expect to pay à la carte pricing for individual DLC characters or content packs. Which adds up fast!
No matter what, rest assured you‘ll have plenty of freely unlocked world warriors to master your skills with using just the base Mortal Kombat 11 game. The rest depends on your completionist tendencies!
Finishing Thoughts: Prepare for Kombat!
We‘ve covered a ton of ground detailing Mortal Kombat 11‘s complete roster of characters, which come freely unlocked versus paid DLC.
To recap, you receive 20-21 base game fighters with standard purchases, with another 12 requiring separate purchases if you wish to unlock the full lineup of 37 kombatants.
This guide should provide clarity on precisely how many free characters are included with MK11, helping you set proper expectations when you jump into the game yourself.
Now the real question remains: once you have your roster assembled, who will you choose as your main fighter?
Will you pick franchise icons like Scorpion, Sub-Zero, or Raiden? Or master newcomers like Geras and The Kollector?
Not to mention violent guest stars like Spawn, Robocop, Rambo, Terminator, and The Joker!
The choice is yours. So get ready to test your might in brutal, bloody kombat! Flawless victories await.