Killer Instinct gets a rare update to future-proof its servers

Riptor roaring
(Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Killer Instinct is an aging fighting franchise from Xbox Game Studios, and hasn't seen much attention for the last several years.
  • On Wednesday, Killer Instinct across Xbox and Windows PC began receiving a surprising quality-of-life update.
  • The Killer Instinct team has been quietly keeping the game alive all these years, and are now moving to migrate all its online servers.
  • The servers are moving to PlayFab, which should help keep the game alive without affecting any content or progress.

It may not be the flashiest or shiniest fighting game on the block right now, but Killer Instinct still enjoys a passionate community of dedicated gamers even after years of relative silence. Things are heating up on Wednesday, however, as Killer Instinct is getting an important quality-of-life update on every platform.

The Killer Instinct team revealed in a blog post that it's becoming too difficult to maintain the game thanks to its reliance on legacy services, and so are beginning to migrate all of Killer Instinct's vital online servers to the PlayFab platform (which powers lots of games). The patch is rolling out now to Killer Instinct on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows PC via the Microsoft Store and Steam.

The Killer Instinct team warns that players may experience a longer than normal load time when first booting the game after the update, as Killer Instinct has to sync to the new servers. However, players won't lose any content, progress, or features. Killer Instinct will appear and function identically to how it was before, but with new backend servers to keep the game ticking for at least a little while longer.

However, players should note two potential issues. During the initial syncing process, players may be hit with a "Refreshing DLC Timeout" error message, in which case they should select "Wait" and try to be patient. Also, the KI Gold currency will be temporarily unavailable to purchase directly from the console Xbox Store until a larger backend change is completed, so players will need to rely on the online Xbox Store if they want more KI Gold.

There are also two bug fixes included in this patch, including resolving an issue where both players would lose points after leaving Ranked mode on Steam and fixing another problem where some characters would appear locked for players enjoying Killer Instinct Definitive Edition through PC Game Pass. It's worth noting that there will likely be more migration patches in the future, as the Killer Instinct team continues to move servers over to the new platform.

Killer Instinct may not be one of the best Xbox games anymore, but it's still a surprisingly fantastic fighting game that's also available through Xbox Game Pass. If you're in the mood for a more modern fighting game, however, Street Fighter 6 is shaping up to be an excellent addition to the 2023 release cycle of video games. Either way, it's nice to see Killer Instinct continue to stay alive for its players.

Killer Instinct Definitive Edition | $39.99 $9.99 at Microsoft (Xbox)

Killer Instinct Definitive Edition | $39.99 $9.99 at Microsoft (Xbox)

This legendary Xbox fighting game's definitive edition includes the base game, 26 characters from across three seasons, access to both classic Killer Instinct titles, and much more. Right now, its servers are being migrated to keep the game online (and it's on sale, wink wink).

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.