Goro is a great character who has safe special moves, plenty of frame advantage and a decent amount of damage without having to put in too much work. His Tigrar Fury variant should be your first choice as it has the best potential for setups to keep Goro on the offensive, but the Dragon Fangs variant has a few similar setups as well. His Kuatan Warrior variant doesn't bring a lot to the table, but if you're in a match against a character who likes to zone you out with projectile attacks, the Quake special move from this variant can be very effective.

Notation Key

PlayStation/Xbox
1 - Square/X
2 - Triangle/Y
3 - X/A
4 - Circle/B

Shokan Bolt
Notation: Back, Forward+1
Enhanced: Yes, but no armor.

The Shokan Bolt is Goro's projectile attack. It hits high which means an opponent can duck under it. The projectile also takes a moment to execute which limits how useful it can be when attempting to zone an opponent. It can't keep up with faster projectile attacks from Jacqui Briggs and similar characters. It does travel the entire length of the screen and you can combo into it, but for the most part you won't be getting much use out of the Shokan Bolt aside from the occasional full screen projectile attack.

Punch Walk
Notation: Back, Forward+4
Enhanced: Yes, with armor.

Punch Walk is one of Goro's best special moves across all variations. It covers almost the entire length of the screen and Goro is safe from punishment if the opponent blocks. However, the enhanced version (Fist Flurry) ends by knocking the opponent into the air allowing Goro to follow with a juggle. You can cancel most of Goro's combos into the Punch Walk to guarantee it will connect, but even if it's blocked you're safe from punishment. If the combo connects and you have meter to burn, cancel into Fist Flurry to maximize your damage. Fist Flurry also has armor making it Goro's best wakeup attack if an opponent is trying to pressure you after knocking Goro down.

Shokan Grab
Notation: Down, Back, Forward+3
Enhanced: Yes, with armor.

Goro's command throw, Shokan Grab, can be used to end a combo or to catch an opponent who is constantly blocking. However, the Shokan Grab will miss completely if used during a combo string whether the combo is being blocked or not. The only way to connect the Shokan Grab during a combo is by knocking the opponent into the air and using the command throw to grab them while they're airborne. The enhanced version (Shokan Slam) has armor, which makes it useful if an opponent is standing over your after knocking Goro to the ground, but if the opponent jumps out of the way Goro can be punished.

Stomp
Notation: Down, Up
Enhanced: Yes, with armor.

The Stomp is a trademark attack of the Shokan race of characters (Sheeva, Goro and Kintaro). However, with Goro being the only playable Shokan in the game, this is a unique special move in Mortal Kombat X. The Stomp is unlockable and will land on top of the opponent wherever they are on-screen. It is possible to knock Goro out of the air, or dash out the way to avoid the attack. If that happens Goro can be punished severely. If you anticipate this you can hold Back or Forward after the Stomp command to land directly in front of or behind the opponent.

The enhanced version (Krush) hits on the way up as well. You can cancel certain combos into this attack to guarantee it will land. The Prince of Pain combo (2,1) is one example of a combo that can be canceled into Krush. This is generally a risky attack to use unless you've knocked an opponent down in the corner or you cancel into Krush instead of Stomp.

Spine Adjustment (X-Ray)

Like most other X-Ray attacks in the game, Goro's X-Ray has armor allowing you to blow through attacks and still connect the X-Ray. While it's not the fastest X-Ray in the game, you can combo into it if the opponent is in the air. For example, you can use the Barbarian Blow combo (Back+1,2, Up+2) to knock an opponent into the air, then follow it immediately with the X-Ray for an easy 40 percent damage combo.

Basic Strategy

Goro is a beast in every sense of the word. Many of his best combos are safe, and most of his good special moves are also safe. You can throw out almost anything you want and it will be relatively safe so long as the opponent blocks the attack (if it misses completely you'll still be in trouble). You should cancel most combos into the Punch Walk because it's safe if the opponent blocks but deals decent chip damage. If the combo hits, cancel into Fist Flurry instead so you can follow with a juggle.

The Barbarian Blow combo (Back+1,2, Up+2) leads to an immediate juggle that can be followed by any number of options. While the combo is safe if the opponent blocks all three hits, a skilled player can interrupt between the second and third attacks with anything up to a 7-frame attack or most enhanced special moves that have armor. To prevent this from happening you can use the Blood and Thunder combo (Back+1,2,1) or cancel into the Punch Walk.

The Unfair Advantage combo (Forward+2,1, Back+2) starts with Double Slap (Forward+2) which isn't the fastest attack, but covers a decent amount of range. From max range this isn't a bad attack to use. The full combo leaves Goro at 0-frames, which means it's neutral ground with the opponent. However, Goro's Low Knuckles (Down+1) is one of the fastest attacks in the game, which means he can beat out almost anything the opponent can do after blocking Unfair Advantage. If Low Knuckles hits, follow it with an attack of combo of your choice, and if it's blocked Goro is still safe from punishment.

Once you've trained your opponent to stop trying to attack after blocking Unfair Advantage, you can get more create with your follow-up options. For example, you can follow it with the Shokan Grab in case the opponent is just blocking, Undefeated (3, Down+3) which is a high attack quickly followed by an overhead, or use any of Goro's low attacks as a nice mix-up option for Undefeated.

Kuatan Warrior Variant

The Kuatan Warrior variant gives Goro two special moves, Chest Lunge and Quake. Chest Lunge is not safe if the opponent blocks which essentially limits it to a combo ender. The nice thing about this is that it throws the opponent behind Goro. If you've got the corner to your back, ending a combo with Chest Lunge will turn the tables on your opponent. It also has decent range and executes relatively fast, but again, if the opponent blocks it's easily punished. The enhanced version (Chest Charge) also has armor.

Quake is an unblockable attack that covers the entire length of the screen. It works very well from across the screen where it's more difficult for an opponent to punish the attack if they anticipate it's coming. It's still susceptible to teleports or other such attacks that can quickly cross the screen, but with limited use it can be very effective.

Tigrar Fury Variant

Goro's Tigrar Fury variant is one of his best. He gains four new special moves in the form of Flame Ball, Close Ground Fire, Far Ground Fire and Dragon Breath. Flame Ball (Back, Forward+1) replaces Shokan Bolt, but is more effective in every way. It executes faster and travels faster making it much more useful if you're trying to zone your opponent with projectile attacks.

Close Ground Fire (Down, Back+4) and Far Ground Fire (Down, Forward+4) both hit low and can be used to end combos or simply to catch an opponent off-guard with an overhead/low mix-up. For example, Goro's Grand Champion combo (1,1,2) ends with an overhead attack. However, you can cancel into the Close Ground Fire after the first two hits to end the combo with a low attack. Using the enhanced version of either special move launches the opponent for a juggle follow-up, which means you can not only get an overhead/low mix-up, you can even juggle off of it if you have meter to burn.

What is arguably the best addition to the Tigrar Fury variant is Dragon Breath (Back, Forward+2). Use this at the end of a blocked combo string to get significant advantage. For example, when used at the end of the Fists of Fury combo (1,2,1) it leaves Goro with a 9-frame advantage if the opponent blocks Dragon Breath. That means you can follow with any attack up to 15 frames and the opponent will have great difficulty interrupting it unless they use an enhanced attack with armor.

The Lunge Kick (Forward+3) canceled into Punch Walk is a great option to use after a blocked Dragon Breath, but going right into Punch Walk or even the Shokan Grab are both viable options in this situation. Just be careful because the Shokan Grab attempt can be interrupted if the opponent blocks Dragon Breath crouching and attempts a crouching jab immediately after. In fact, depending on your opponent, you can continually use the Lunge Kick canceled into another Dragon Breath repeatedly until they use an enhanced special move with armor to escape. The one catch is that a 5-frame attack will interrupt the Dragon Breath and a 6-frame attack will trade with it, but if you cancel into anything else (Punch Walk or Fist Furry for example), the opponent won't be able to interrupt.

Dragon Fangs Variant

The Dragon Fangs variant adds blades to the bracers on Goro's wrists. While the damage of his normal attacks is not increased, he gains one basic attack (Shokan Trip), one combo (Bruiser)) and two special moves (Shokan Stabs and Fang Spin). Shokan Trip is the best of the additions as it has good range, hits low and leaves Goro at significant advantage if it's blocked. Depending on how far away you are when the attack is blocked, you can follow with most of Goro's special moves or his go-to combos with the opponent unable to interrupt unless they use an enhanced special move with armor.

The Bruiser combo (2,1,2) is an alternative to the Titan Krush combo (2,1,4) and works well to end combos. Shokan Stabs replaces the Shokan Grab and inflicts more damage than the Shokan Grab. The Fang Spin is very similar to the Punch Walk, but doesn't cover as much range and inflicts slightly more damage. It's also safe if the opponent blocks the attack. The enhanced version of both attacks have armor, making either useful if you're being pressured after Goro is knocked to the ground.

Sample Combos

25 percent - Back+1,2, Up+2, Forward+2,2,2+4
29 percent - Back+1,2, Up+2, Back+2, Run Cancel, 2,1, Back, Forward+4
32 percent - 2,1, Fist Flurry, 2,1, Shokan Grab (One Meter)
39 percent - 2,1, Fist Flurry, Jump Straight Up, 1, 2,1, Fist Flurry, 1,1, Shokan Grab
39 percent - Back+1,2, Up+2, Jump Straight Up, 1, X-Ray (Full Meter)

Note: If you have trouble with the Jump Straight Up, 1 in these combos, hold Up after Up+2 and press 1 as soon as Goro jumps into the air.

Fatalities

Peek-A-Boo - Back, Forward, Down, 4 (Close)
Shokan Amputation - Back, Down, Down, Up (Close)

Brutalities

Speed Bag - Win the match in two rounds, killing the opponent with the Shokan Grab (Down, Back, Forward+3) or Shokan Slam (Down, Back, Forward+3+Block), holding Forward during the attack animation.

Krush - With the opponent blocking, kill them with a Krush (Down, Up+Block)

Chest Bump - In the Kuatan Warrior variation, perform five forward dashes (Forward, Forward) during the match, then with over 50 percent health kill the opponent with a Chest Lunge (Back, Forward+2) or Chest Charge (Back, Forward+2+Block).

Tail Spin - In the Dragon Fangs variation, kill the opponent with the Dragon Spin (Down, Back+2+Block), but only the third hit of the Dragon Spin can connect, the first two hits have to miss the opponent.

Shokan Flame - In the Tiger Fury variation, stand close to the opponent and kill them with the Dragon Torch (Back, Forward+2+Block), holding 2 during the attack animation.

For more on Mortal Kombat X head over to Prima's free guide or check out our breakdowns of Scorpion or Cassie Cage!