Mortal Kombat 11 - How to Unlock Alternate Skins and Costumes
on 20 January 2019
Every character in MK11 starts with a base skin (costume) but players can unlock and equip several alternate costumes for each character (10+ each). When combined with gear, players can freely customize the way their character looks in cinematics and combat.
In this guide you'll learn how to unlock new skins in the game.
How to Change Skin
Roughly speaking, there are over 30 skins to unlock per character in Mortal Kombat 11. All of the skins you have access to are shown under the Kosmetics section of the character customisation screen. Above is an example of Sub-Zero's Kosmetics section, showing 12 of his available skins.
Just as a few examples, Sub-Zero's skins include the superb "Whiteout" skin which turns Sub-Zero into a real frosty looking character, the "Back to Basics" skin of Mortal rarity which turns Sub-Zero into his classic skin from the original series and also the "Hello, Ollie" skin which turns him green/yellow, resembling a more reptilian theme. These are just a few examples though.
Rarity Colours and Groups
Like other RPG games, all cosmetic items in MK11 are grouped by their rarity. The following rarity colours/groups are included in the game:
- Mortal - GREEN
- Mythic - BLUE
- Elder - PURPLE
As you might expect, green items are common cosmetics whilst purple are rarer and thus harder to acquire. Generally speaking, the Elder cosmetics look far better.
How to Unlock New Skins
Unlocking new skins in MK11 isn't that hard but it is time consuming - there are a variety of ways to unlock new costumes. It's more of a case of focusing on particular activities; players have the option to unlock skins at random but also "home in" on particular characters they want to max out too. Focusing on particular character rewards is a new change in MK11 which wasn't available in MKX.
Below are the numerous ways to unlock new skins...
Character Progression Towers
New to MK11 are character progression towers. As mentioned above, these towers are purposefully designed to allow players to target rewards for a particular character they want to progress. For example, you might be hunting for new Skarlet gear, augments, medallions and skins - so it would make sense to play her tower for the best chance of earning her specific rewards.
These towers are not part of the rotating schedule system that some of the other towers (e.g. Towers of Time) are bound to but they do still appear in the Towers of Time menu. Each character tower has its own progression system, allowing players to jump back and forth between towers without losing any invested time.Character towers are arguably the best way to focus on skins for your favourite characters.
Towers of Time
Towers of Time is a Tower based mode where players can attempt to beat a tower (series) of opponents with a defined difficulty rating and sometimes modifiers. These are comparable to the Living Towers from MKX.
Every Tower has a set of guaranteed rewards on completion. These can include consumables such as Nitara's Gemstone, Krystal of Life etc. but also character gear and more importantly skins!
For example, Sub-Zero's "Tundra" skin and Raiden's "Dark Watchman" skin were both shown as Tower rewards during the MK11 reveal event. Simply cycling through the available Towers allows you to view which skins are on offer from each challenge.
The best way to earn high level skins is to focus on the Boss fight tower and the Character specific tower (in the current rotation). Although both of these will be really hard, the rewards are handsome.
Towers of Time do come and go in MK11 - hence their name. So it's important to keep an eye on the Towers duration to ensure you complete the challenge before it disappears out of rotation. Players can also use consumable "Tower Keys" to unlock new Towers which might be otherwise unavailable. Remember though, these keys are a one shot attempt so plan wisely!
In contrast to Towers of Time, Klassic Towers are always available in MK11 since there's no duration or time limit. Klassic Towers comprise of a selection of opponents and sometimes a final BOSS at the end of the ladder. The Klassic Tower ends with a unique cutscene for the character you choose to complete the tower with. For example, completing with Raiden will show a Raiden specific ending cutscene.
Other Klassic towers include the survival tower where you attempt to play without ever losing and the health carry over tower where your health carries on to the next fight in the sequence.
The big difference between Klassic and the Towers of Time modes is that Klassic allows you to select the difficulty and even let the CPU play for you. Rewards are less generous and specific to each tower. It therefore makes sense to play a variety of Klassic towers, in between Towers of Time, in the hope of unlocking a variety of items.
I wouldn't focus on Klassic Towers for too long if you're after skins.
Story Mode is the linear single player mode in MK11 that's crammed with cutscenes. Players don't chose a specific character before entering story mode, instead, characters are pre-selected depending what stage of the story you're on.
Rewards are consistent during this mode. Therefore, it's worth playing through the entire story once to obtain the rewards and then progress other modes to chase the remaining gear and skins.
Certain skins are exclusive to the Story Mode so don't neglect this.
The MK11 Krypt is a massive RnG pothole which you can sink hours into and hopefully come out with something nice. Whilst the vast majority of chests (the Koin chests) contain random rewards, there are some exceptions for guaranteed skins in the Krypt. These chests include the Shao Khan Heart chests (250 Hearts to open) and the fiery Scorpion chests (100 Hearts to open) - both of these contain fixed location rewards and almost certainly skins. See the additional guide
for some heart chest locations.
As you browse through the available skins in the customisation menu, you'll notice that many skins are Krypt exclusives so there's no avoiding this mode if you want to collect skins for your favourite characters. Just remember to save up thousands of coins, hundreds of Soul Fragments and as many Hearts as you can before entering the Krypt.
Players can also receive fantastic rewards, including Elder gear and skins, by completing the severed head challenges. These are a real test of endurance, requiring players to perform x 50 fatalities on each of the games characters in Tower mode (Klassic Towers is fine). Each time you hit the 50 milestone, a severed head reward pops up on the screen. Return to the Krypt and place the character head onto the spikes in the Warrior Shrine (opposite the Shrine). Collecting all 25 heads will also open Shang Tsung's secret rooms in the Krypt which contain fixed location rewards for high level gear. It's certainly worth the effort.
One final point to make is that the Krypt has it's own Destiny Xur like character, the Kollector, who appears in Goro's Lair at fixed intervals. He offers some great skins in return for trade items. He seems to appear during 04:00 - 08:00 and you can also summon him using a special Kollector Koin consumable.
Question mark skins (???)
Some of the games skins have mysterious ??? (question marks) besides their name. These skins are very hard to find, requiring you to beat the games hardest activities (or get very lucky). As a couple of examples, Liu Kang's Fire God skin is a reward for beating Stage 30 of the Gauntlet tower in Towers of Time. This is an insane test of skill and patience. Other ??? skins are unlocked by finishing in the top 5% of all players in the Towers of Time race (resets each week). As you can imagine, this means playing the game consistently every day for a week, collecting as many points as possible.
Certainly an unloved mode in MK11. AI Battles consists of three AI characters fighting against another players AI team. Players select the three characters on their team, and when attacking, can chose who to fight against. It's a rather dull mode but following a recent patch, the game sometimes offers skins as rewards for participating in this mode.
An often overlooked mode in Mortal Kombat 11, character tutorials are designed to help you learn how to fight with individual characters, learning their special moves and prominent attacks. As a reward, there's a free skin for every character you complete the tutorial for. Jade's "Chosen of Argus" Elder skin is a particularly noteworthy reward in this section.