Mortal Kombat 11 has brought some amazing guest characters into the fray, but never in a million years did we expect John Rambo to make an appearance. With the release of Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, however, the one-man army drops in to take on every warrior the tournament has to offer.

If you’re super excited to see what Sly Stallone’s capable combatant can do, make sure you keep these five tips in mind when getting started. 

Mortal Kombat 11 | Rambo Guide

A quick note before we get started, in the interest of simplicity we will be using numbers in place of the buttons pressed for each move, so rather than this guide getting filled with Xs and Circles and As and Bs just follow this simple key:

Front Punch = 1 = Square (PlayStation 4) = X (Xbox One) = Y (Switch)

Back Punch = 2 = Triangle (PlayStation 4) = Y (Xbox One) = X (Switch)

Front Kick = 3 = X (PlayStation 4) = A (Xbox One) = B (Switch)

Back Kick = 4 = Circle (PlayStation 4) = B (Xbox One) = A (Switch)

Amplify = R1 (PlayStation 4) = RB (Xbox One) = R (Switch)

Got that? Good, let’s begin:

Leopard Without His Spots

The Leopard Krawl (Back, Forward, 4, Marching Orders variation only) may be one of Rambo’s most important moves in his first variation. The Krawl drops him belly first onto the ground, giving you the ability to crawl toward or away from the opponent. Few other Mortal Kombat characters have this kind of mobility, giving Rambo a distinct advantage when the Krawl is used well.

In this prone position Rambo can dodge nearly every attack, and while down there he has a few choices of his own. He can take a swipe with 1, grab the opponent’s leg for a combo with 2, parry an attack for big damage with 3, or just pick himself up with 4. Switch up these options as you work the Leopard Krawl into your strategy and your Rambo will be tough to track down. 

Traps for Days

Both of Rambo’s variations offer traps he can use to keep the opponent at bay. Marching Orders has the Snare Trap (Down, Back, 3, Marching Orders only), which grabs the foe by the foot and hangs them from the ceiling before dropping them, and the Whip Trap (Down, Back, 4, Marching Orders only) that sweeps the legs out from under the enemy with a swinging log.

Veteran loses the Snare Trap and replaces the Whip Trap with the Mace Trap (Down, Back, 4, Veteran Only), sending a giant log careening forward for moderate damage.

All of these traps are designed to keep enemies out of Rambo’s face, so be sure to use them frequently to keep your distance. Also, Amplifying the Snare Trap will cause the opponent to hang upside down for longer, letting Rambo follow up with a juggle combo. 

Rambo The Archer

Rambo’s Hunting Bow (Down, Back, 2, Marching Orders only) is a highly versatile projectile, each arrow shooting quickly from Rambo’s bow and dealing decent damage. Holding 2 down for a while, however, lets Rambo shoot multiple arrows at a time, and that’s where the bow truly shines. 

This is another example of Rambo being able to mix up how he uses specific moves in order to keep the opponent guessing. Firing quick arrows has its benefits, while holding the button down and shooting multiples can also work in long-distance bouts. The bow’s effectiveness relies entirely on mixing up the attack approach, so keep changing things up and you’ll dish out some pain. 

Rationing Out The Punishment

M.R.E (Down, Back, 1, Veteran only) will make Rambo stab a bug on the ground and then eat it for a quick health boost. It’s gross, but it’s good for a quick boost when an opponent is knocked down or recovering from a combo. Don’t use it too much though, or Rambo will get sick... literally. 

Each M.R.E. use decreased the amount of health Rambo gets back, until the seventh use makes him lose his lunch right where he’s standing. Don’t go for that seventh M.R.E right in front of an opponent, or you’ll absolutely regret it. Conversely, if you survive the seventh M.R.E and go for an eighth, that counts as a Krushing Blow and you recover four times the amount of health as the first M.R.E. Ration your rations wisely and that health boost could win you a match.  

Surprise!

We’re not sure where he’s keeping it, but the Hidden M60 (Down, Back, 4, Veteran only), is a massive gun that can inflict double-digit hits on command. It’s slow to come out when Rambo reaches for it, but the multiple hits on a successful use are worth the risk. 

Amplifying the move sees Rambo pull out two of the massive guns, increases the hit total to 24, and deals out nearly double the amount of damage. The Amplified Hidden M60 is the final trick card to play in a match that heavily features zoning, as the ability to lay that many hits on a far-standing opponent means their health bar is in serious trouble.