Killer Instinct to receive surprise tenth anniversary Xbox Series X update soon

Killer Instinct
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Killer Instinct is coming back in a big way, thanks to a tenth-anniversary update due to release later this year.

The announcement was made on-stage during EVO 2023, the year's largest fighting game tournament, which took place over the past weekend. Notable figures such as IP head James Goddard, Killer Instinct lead combat designer Adam 'Keits' Heart, and fighting game YouTuber Maximilian Dood addressed the audience on the forthcoming surprise update.

Landing this year, the Killer Instinct update will feature Xbox Series X|S enhancements, including 4K support. The game's official Twitter account also confirmed that its developer, Iron Galaxy, is back to handle the update which will also include a balance patch and improved matchmaking, essentially prepping Killer Instinct for a new generation.

You might be wondering why a game that last had a major update six-plus years ago is receiving balance changes now. Largely, it's because the last few additions to Killer Instinct's roster - Kilgore, Shin Hisako, and Eagle - didn't get much in the way of tweaks or balance updates. Now, such characters can finally receive the polish they never got over half a decade ago.

I'm personally jazzed about the 4K update, too. Killer Instinct looked damn good way back in 2013, and it'll be amazing to see the console version looking sharper than ever on Xbox Series X. The game's enjoyed a sizeable player base over the years, too, thanks in no small part to its Steam launch back in 2017. The improvements to matchmaking, then, will be a must in pairing together players checking out the game for the first time.

And if you're curious about checking out Killer Instinct when the update drops, know that we consider it to be one of the best fighting games thanks to its lightning-fast moment-to-moment action, a deep but intuitive combo system, ingenious match-responsive sound design, and a killer soundtrack composed by Mick Gordon, Celldweller, and Atlas Plug.

Will you be playing Killer Instinct when the anniversary update drops? Consider checking out our guide to the best fight sticks if you're keen to pick up a controller that's tailor-made for fighting games.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.