Choose Your Fighter
Capcom’s Street Fighter 6 has been unleashed on the public, bringing with it a roster of new and familiar faces with which to begin your journey to the top of the world… Or at least the top of your street. Every new Street Fighter brings in a squad of new and returning players, ready to lock horns in offline and online competition, and hoping to get a few good rounds under the belt in the early going.
Street Fighter 6 has launched with 18 World Warriors, all of which are, at least from first impressions, fully viable characters. But whoever you fancy taking into battle, there are, as always, several faces that will be particularly good at getting you up and running in the early going. Now, it is important that you play as a character that you vibe with. After all, you wanna roll with someone that you dig.
But whether is the rapid-fire excitement of Kimberly, the dangerous complexities of JP, or the stance-based combat of Chun-Li that appeals to you — You would do well to spend some time with the following five characters, especially if you’re starting out your Street Fighter journey. The road to victory begins at the Character Select screen, so consider taking a look at these Fab Five Fighters.
Here are five good characters for beginners to explore, presented in no particular order.
The final fighter of Street Fighter V, and the poster boy for Street Fighter 6, Luke is considered the all-rounder of the new generation, and is extremely capable at long distance and up-close-and-personal. Luke mixes speed, ability, and technique to provide dangerous tools in all situations.
Luke’s Sand Blast projectiles are easily executed and cover a lot of ground, while his Flash Knuckle attacks will help teach you combo and juggle skills. Luke also has reliable air attacks, while his Avenger sequences allow you to close the gap quickly without having to master the Drive Rush mechanic just yet.
He’s also a PMC asshole, but let’s try not to hold that against him.
The original Family Man is an extremely powerful character in the right hands. For the beginner, however, the Street Fighter veteran is key in teaching charge mechanics. Guile’s Specials are relatively uncomplicated, while his solid defense keeps his game plan fairly basic. Boom ‘n’ Kick, Boom ‘n’ Kick.
Playing Guile not only starts you off with an easy-to-understand, but rock-solid moveset — as well as an education in Charge timing — but if you choose to stick with Mr. USA, you will soon see how his initial simplicity evolves into brick wall defense and hugely damaging and reliable offense. Keep your distance, toss out Sonic Booms, and Flash Kick leaping opponents. It’s a technique as timeless as the series itself, and will help you learn solid defense and anti-air abilities.
Newcomer Lily is definitely a little different from your average Street Fighter all-rounder. The young Thunderfoot Tribe warrior does not have any projectiles, but teaches an excellent crash course in aerial maneuvers and long-range pokes. Spending some time with Lily will help you understand the all-important game of footsies, and being able to understand how important gauging reach is by eye.
Use Lily to explore attacking your opponent while staying just out of reach. Then progress to learning how to cancel long-range pokes into her fast-activating special moves. Lily also has a range of command throws, so you can practice both jumping and dashing into grabs, then learn how to retreat to arm’s length for continued prodding and poking of your prey.
In Street Fighter 6, Zangief is perhaps more powerful and dangerous than he has ever been — Able to cause unfathomable amounts of damage from his range of throws, while also afforded new moves to help him close the distance on fireball-tossing opponents, playing with Zangief will teach you patience in defense, and how to build a smothering offense. His Screw Piledriver and Russian Bear Grab will also train you in the ways of half-turns and 360 inputs.
With Zangief, stay calm at long distances, and learn how to use Block and Parry to fend off projectiles. When the time is right, utilize his leaping dropkick (Hold HK in air) and Rolling Wheel Kick (Forward + HK) to approach your opponent, before bringing a fast end to the fight with his staggering catalog of pro-wrestling maneuvers. Zangief will teach you patience and execution, while making every hit count.
As solid as he has ever been, Ryu remains the core of Street Fighter, as much as he is the core of fighting game genre itself. Ryu’s toolkit is great, dealing offensive and defensive capabilities at long distance, close-up, in the air, and against airborne opponents. There is a reason he is The Icon of Street Fighter, and age has only fine-tuned his timeless skills.
Use Hadoken, (along with its Denjin powerup), at long distances, while training your anti-air skills with both Shoryuken and his standard Down + HP strike. Practice canceling low attacks into Tastu in order to gain ground and corner the opponent, while mastering canceling his command normal, such as Forward + HP, into Shoryuken. Ryu’s Supers are also snugly related to his Specials, making him the best character for practicing Supers, either raw or in the middle of combos.
Ryu makes for a perfect training buddy when it comes to learning every aspect of Street Fighter. From footsies to anti-airs, low attacks into Specials, Specials into Supers. Whichever character you choose to walk the path of the warrior with, learn Ryu — either as your main character or on the side. Playing Ryu will teach you universal skills that will be vital to evolving your game.