Tekken is a game of many different and unique characters. That’s why many beginners find it difficult to choose which character to play with.
Fortunately, I have put together this handy guide. So whether you’re a complete beginner or you simply want to change characters, this guide will help you choose the best character for your playstyle.
Easy characters for beginners
Tekken is a hard game to master. Whenever learning a new fighting game, it’s recommended to use a character that encapsulates the entire fundamentals of the game. Essentially, you are using this character to teach yourself the basics of the game without getting caught up on execution.
Therefore, bearing that in mind, here are the best characters to learn for beginners.
Kazumi’s smaller move set compared to the rest of the cast makes her a pretty good choice for beginners.
Her game plan is simple. Outpoke the opponent. For that, she has a good range of effective high and low pokes that can annoy the opponent in close range.
Her punishment game is solid and her jabs are one the best in the game. Learning this character means you’ll have a solid grasp of the fundamentals of the game.
Another character with strong fundamentals. Leo is a good well-rounded character that can be played offensively and defensively.
She, particularly, excels at the wall. Her wall carry is extremely strong and because the wall is such an important element in Tekken 7, learning this character will help beginners understand the importance of incorporating wall combos.
Lars is a well-rounded character that has all tools you need for a beginner. From high and low pokes, crushing moves, corner pressure, throw game, solid mid launchers, etc. Lars, pretty much, has it all.
Because Lars has such a varied playstyle he can match any type of player – he’s perfect to learn the fundamentals of the game from.
Miguel Caballero Rojo
Miguel is an easy character to play due to his varied mixup game and plethora of pokes. His punishment game is strong and can take massive chunks off an opponent’s life.
Some of his moves have good frame advantage meaning you can go on the offense pretty quickly.
Similar to Miguel, Negan is an easy character to play with good jabs, frame pressure and decent pokes.
Noctis Lucis Caelum
Noctis has a simple playstyle and his combos are relatively easy to pull off. Add to that his strong parry and punishment options, and Noctis is a strong character for beginners.
Do you like to be aggressive? Pressuring your opponent can be a great way to force them into making mistakes you can capitalize on. These rushdown characters are all about the offense.
Law is all about being up close and personal. His close-range pokes are very good and will keep the opponent on their toes.
To keep his pressure going he has good access to a range of low pokes and hard-hitting lows like Dragon Tail.
Law’s keep out game can be weak, however, so be sure to take advantage of his pokes and keep up the pressure on the opponent.
Quite simply, a pure rush down character. Hwoarang mid/low mixups can easily overwhelm opponents with poor defense.
With Hwoarang, you have to be incredibly fast and aggressive, forcing the opponent to make quick decisions. His rage art is the safest in the game and is quick to boot.
If you like to be balls to wall aggressive then pick Hwoarang. Just bear in mind, his weaknesses are more against highly defensive opponents and his ranged options are limited.
Heihachi’s benefit of being a Mishima allows him to get in close using his wave dash and controlling space with EWGF.
Once Heihachi’s in close he has access to a range of hard-hitting lows, strong counter hitting mids, and jab confirms that will continually harass the opponent. Add to that, high damage output and mixups that will keep the opponent guessing, and you have a solid rush down style character.
Nina is deadly at point-blank range with her ability to cancel most of her moves into a side-step allowing her to continually pressure her opponent.
Nina can also bully highly defensive opponents with moves that have huge frame advantage on block.
Her wall game is also strong and she has a plethora of throws that can add to her pressure.
The only downside is her steep execution and learning curve.
Keeping out opponents, whiff punishing, and timing is generally what makes defensive players characters so good. If you’re the more cautious player, then these characters are for you.
One of the more recent editions in S3, Fahkumram excels at keeping out his opponents. His bf4 is great at pushing opponents back to create that extra space when needed.
In addition, Fahkumram’s strong block and whiff punishment combined with his movement favor defensive players.
Turtling with Fahkumram is a good idea, but he can also go on the offense if he needs to with his unique guard-breaking option and high combo damage.
A character who is all about punishing his opponent’s mistakes. Kazuya has strong long-range pokes that can keep the opponent out and create space.
Playing defensive with Kazuya is key to forcing the opponent into making mistakes that can be capitalized on and punished.
Although his close-range game can be a bit weak, he has some good mix-ups which can provide extra damage when needed.
A purely defensive-oriented character. Jack-7 has access to a range of long-range tools at his disposal. His amazing keep-out game can frustrate opponents trying to get in.
Jack’s low pokes can also be dangerous at a distance. And his throw game will keep the opponent guessing.
Jack’s weaknesses are when he’s being pressured by opponents, as he doesn’t have many effective panic moves and a decent enough side-step to get out.
Bryan is one of the most well-rounded characters in the game. His tools for keeping out opponents are great but he can also hang close if needed.
Bryan has plenty of counter hit setups and his b1 has a huge frame advantage and is great for getting in.
Bryan’s infamous taunt is where things get really interesting. Although requiring a high execution curve, his taunt is an unblockable move that can be canceled into an array of special moves, such as the jet upper. This can lead to some crazy and flashy stuff, especially at the wall.
The definition of style and elegance. Lee’s character is all about being flashy and his moves help him greatly in this regard.
Lee’s main tools consist of getting counter hits to set up combos. His wall carry is second to none and probably one of the best in the game.
Because of Lee’s offense-based style, it can be very difficult to face off against highly defensive opponents. In addition, Lee also has a steep execution curve and therefore is not recommended for beginners.
If there is one character that can be described as a bit of a party character, then it has to be Yoshi. His playstyle is pretty crazy and is based on creating unorthodox setups that confuse the opponent.
If you’re the type of person that likes to get creative then Yoshi could be right up your alley. In addition to his plethora of unblockable moves, Yoshi also has some unique evasion moves to get out of sticky situations.
Despite this, however, Yoshi’s combo damage can be quite low and his pokes, in general, are relatively poor compared to the rest of the cast.
Although Kuma and Panda have different character slots, they are essentially the same character except for their rage arts.
Both bears have unique moves that work best at close range. The bear’s Hunting Bear Stance (HBS) gives them access to mix up heavy moves that can, often, turn the tide in a match.
Most of their moves can be sidestepped, however, and their large hitbox makes them prone to higher damaging combos.
Mixup heavy characters
These characters rely on high-risk high-reward attacks that keep the opponent guessing. They can be good for making comebacks and can destroy highly defensive opponents.
Paul’s hard-hitting mixups can make him a very dangerous character indeed. He’s very much an ‘in your face’ character and relies on being close to the opponent.
Paul has a variety of mid attacks, such as the infamous deathfish, which is probably his best and most damaging mid. He also has a lot of homing attacks which is particularly good against opponents who like to sidestep a lot.
King is a grappler who forces his opponent into a lot of 50/50 situations. Opponents have to guess what King will do otherwise they will see their life go pretty quickly.
As well as King’s mixups he also has a plethora of throws that can be chained to further force the opponent into breaking these throws or face a big chunk of damage.
Eddy can frustrate opponents with his plethora of high and low attacks, particularly from his RLX stance.
Eddy’s strong pokes can quickly down an opponent’s health bar. His UF+3 can force the opponent to guess a hard-hitting low or devastating launcher into a combo.
Eddy is very much a high-risk high-reward character, but guess wrong with his mixups and he can be punished pretty heavily.
Marduk is a grappler-like character who has an amazing tackle mixup game. Once he has you on the ground, you have to guess which throw he will use or face a chunk of damage.
Marduk’s damage output is pretty high too, including his rage drive. He can, therefore, make some pretty decent comebacks.
Lei has a very strong mixup game due to his variety of stances. In these stances, he has access to some scary lows that can launch the opponent into damaging combos.
Lei can also play the long-range game and force opponents into whiffing attacks that can be punished.
Although Lei’s mixup game is strong, he can be a difficult character to master due to the complexity of his stances.
Originally from the Street Fighter series, Akuma is unique in the sense that he has access to a meter gauge. From this, he can land a variety of damaging mixups and combos.
Akuma also has access to his Shoryuken which is, essentially, a panic move for getting out of high-pressure situations.
Whilst Akuma’s mixups are strong, without meter, he can be punished quite easily.
High Tier Characters
Tier lists can, generally, be opinionated and shouldn’t be taken at face value. Nonetheless, they can give some indication as to who the better characters are in the game. Better, in the sense, that these characters have access to more tools/damage and can be easier to win with.
Here is what I think the stronger characters in the game are.
Probably no argument as to why Leroy is on here. He is one of the best characters in the game even with the recent nerfs he’s had.
Leroy has a variety of tools for a variety of situations. Up close, he can be very scary with his flurry of low attacks and damaging counter hit setups. He can also be played defensively with his amazing parry which leads tof a damaging follow-up.
He has a cane that can be used once per match to connect a huge combo and is safe on block.
Steve’s strong counter hit setups are some of the best in the game and make up for his lack of kicks.
A lot of Steve’s other moves are considered top tier and he can be played in a variety of ways including offensively and defensively.
Because of his lack of weaknesses, Steve is considered a top tier character in Tekken 7.
Dragunov can be very scary up close but his mid-range game isn’t too bad either. He has a strong range of tools for keeping pressure on the opponent including plus frame moves and a strong throw game.
Dragunov can be particularly dangerous at the wall. Once an opponent is backed up into a wall against Dragunov, it can be very difficult to get out.
With no obvious weaknesses, Dragunov is truly a force to be reckoned with.
And there you have it. I hope this guide has given you some help with what character to go with.
If you’re still unsure, just try and go with a character that you like and someone that matches your personality.
Don’t worry too much about tier lists or a learning curve. That will eventually come with time.