MK1 Sub Zero Combo Guide: Fatalities, Bread & Butters, and More

"I am stronger than you realize."

by Drew Kopp
Image: Attack of the Fanboy

Sub-Zero has always been one of the best fighters for beginners in Mortal Kombat, and his Mortal Kombat 1 incarnation is no different. Sub-Zero is a decently straightforward combatant, especially compared to more technical fighters like Kitana. That said, there is quite a bit of depth to Sub-Zero’s aggressive fighting style for players who want to make the most of his innate agility and trademark cryokinetic abilities. Here’s our breakdown of Sub-Zero’s best combos in Mortal Kombat 1.

Sub-Zero’s Best Bread & Butter Combos

Image: Attack of the Fanboy

In Mortal Kombat 1 (and almost every Mortal Kombat game that proceeded it,) every character has what is referred to by fans as a “bread-and-butter combo.” These short, effective combos can inflict a decent amount of damage on your foes, making them the go-to attack in situations where you don’t have time to decide on a more complex combo or need to break a block quickly. Here are some of Sub-Zero’s best bread-and-butter combos in Mortal Kombat 1, performed on PC with a PlayStation controller.

  • Basic Combos
    • Spinal Tap – Right + Triangle
    • Brain Freeze – Down + Triangle
    • Lin Kui Storm – Square + Triangle
    • Arctic Hammer – Square + Triangle + Triangle
    • Slip-Slide – X + Circle
    • Shin Shatter – Left + X
    • Permafrost – Left + X + Circle
    • Low Sweep – Down + X
    • Frozen Over – Right + Circle + Triangle
    • Deadly Viper – Down – Right + Circle
    • Advancing Chill – Right + Square
    • Withdraw – Triangle + Square + Triangle
  • Aerial Combos
    • Icy Knuckles – Up + Right + Square
    • Slick Strike – Up + Right + Square + Square
    • Ice Maker – Up + Right + Triangle
    • Frostbite – Up + Right + Triangle + Square
    • Freezer Burn – Up + Right + Triangle + Triangle

Related: Mortal Kombat 1 DLC Roadmap: Omni-Man, Homelander, and Peacemaker Release Dates

Sub-Zero’s Best Special Moves

Image: Attack of the Fanboy

Sub-Zero has a long list of special moves, almost all of which incorporate his ability to summon bursts of cold and ice. Not only are many of these abilities easy to use and beautiful to behold, but some can freeze enemies for a few seconds, giving Sub-Zero time to unleash hard-hitting combo attacks while his opponent is stunned. Here are some of sub-Zero’s best special moves.

  • Ice Ball – Down + Right + Circle
  • Ice Klone – Down + Left + Square
  • Ice Klone Charge – Left + Right + Triangle
  • Ice Slide – Left + Right + X
  • Diving Glacier – Down + Left + Circle
  • Deadly Vapors – Down + Right + Circle

Sub-Zero’s Best Fatality

Like every character in Mortal Kombat 1, Sub-Zero is armed with two brutal Fatalities he can unleash on his enemies once their health bars are gone. Sub-Zero’s Fatalities are both spectacularly gory displays of the deadly potential of ice, with the first seeing him impale his foe with a surprisingly aerodynamic icicle and the second seeing him bash their heads to wet powder against an ice pillar. Here’s how to perform both Sub-Zero’s Fatalities in Mortal Kombat 1.

  • Long-Range Fatality – Right + Down + Down + Triangle
  • Close-Range Fatality – Right + Down + Down + Circle

- This article was updated on September 18th, 2023

About The Author

Drew Kopp has been a writer at Attack of the Fanboy for three months and has covered Baldur's Gate 3, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Ahsoka. He has a Bachelor's in Creative Writing and loves writing about indie games and celebrity gossip. When he isn't writing, he can be found reading fantasy books or rocking out as Bard in Dungeons & Dragons.