Street Fighter V has been out for a while now but there are still plenty of players online, especially with the recent championship edition update.
This new update has probably attracted plenty of newer players which is great. One problem, however, is that as a new player, you may find it difficult to pick a character to play with.
Even for veteran players picking their next character to play with may also be difficult as you want to pick the right character to suit your playstyle.
This is why I have created this guide so that I can help players pick the right character to invest their time into and, of course, have fun at the same time.
I’ve also included, underneath each character’s explanation, a list of player(s) to follow so that you can quickly learn the in’s and out’s of each character and, as a result, improve your gameplay tremendously.
Easy characters for beginners
Ryu is great for beginners because he is primarily a ‘fundamentals’ character and will force you to play the game properly.
A decent fireball? Anti-airs? Footsies? Ryu has it all. Although he’s probably not the strongest in these categories, and his v-trigger is seriously lacking compared to the rest of the cast, he can still hang with the best if the player using him has the fundamentals down.
Ryu Players to follow
Like Ryu, Ken also has access to a range of useful tools for beginners. Although he’s more distinguishable in SFV as opposed to just a Ryu clone.
Ken is fast and aggressive and can provide easy punishment opportunities. He has a fireball but doesn’t necessarily need it. Pretty much all his main combos end with tatsus so bear this in mind when playing this character.
Ken Players to follow
Ed is a unique character in the sense that his control scheme is different to the rest of the cast.
Ed is ideal for beginners as he doesn’t require heavy execution. The leniency on Ed’s hit confirms allow beginner players to do some very decent combos with little effort. His anti-airs are very good and his corner pressure can be quite dangerous. Overall, Ed will teach you the basics of the game very quickly indeed.
Ed Players to follow
Cammy is another easy to learn fundamentals type of character. She doesn’t have a huge move-set or any complicated setups or shenanigans so beginner players can pick her up pretty easily.
Cammy has a number of useful tools for beginners including decent walkspeed, normals that give her frame advantage and a really useful full screen super.
Cammy Players to follow
K-Brad, CJ Truth
Ibuki is a character that requires high execution and patience to learn. Once you know the character however, she can be very dangerous and has access to a range of tools that make her a nightmare to deal with.
A decent walkspeed, great V-trigger, positive normals, safe moves, mixups and fast Kunai (fireball) can truly make her a force to be reckoned with. Just beware that you’ll be spending a decent amount of time in training with her.
Ibuki Players to follow
Akuma is an incredibly versatile character that has access to nearly every option in the game except a command grab. He can be played offensively or defensively but excels when applying pressure to opponents.
Akuma has access to a range of useful pokes that he can use to apply pressure. In addition, his demon flip can keep him on top of the opponent at all times. Just bear in mind that his health is one of the lowest in the game.
Akuma Players to follow
Rashid’s ability to mixup and pressure his opponents make him a great choice for offensive players. He has access to great mobility and can carry opponents to the corner to apply even more pressure.
Rashid is pretty versatile as he can be played in a variety of ways including defensive as well as rushdown. His only real weakness is lack of access to high damaging moves.
Rashid Players to follow
Gachikun, Oil King, John Takeuchi
Balrog can quickly overwhelm opponents when knocking them down or having them in corner. His dash punch is particularly useful for punishing whiffed moves and keeping the opponent at bay.
In addition, Balrog has access to some amazing anti-airs and his normals, like medium punch, have decent frame advantage.
Balrog Players to follow
The object of Guile’s gameplay has always been simple. Keep the opponent out. Although this has always been Guile’s gameplan, Street Fighter V also allows him to be a bit more aggressive as well.
Saying that, if you stick to Guile’s strengths which is zoning out opponents with sonic booms, meaty normals, and anti airs then you will do very well indeed. After you get good with this strategy you can implement some aggressive Guile combos and you’ll be sure to dominate players online.
Guile Players to follow
Daigo, Knuckledu, Caba
Introduced in Season 2 Menat is definitely one of the more difficult characters to learn. Like Guile she relies on zoning out characters and applying pressure through her Orbs and pokes.
Menat’s normals have a decent amount of range so you’re going to want to use these quite often to keep opponents out. As mentioned, Menat is a hard character to get good with so be sure to follow players like Justin Wong who use her quite often.
Menat Players to follow
Blumme, Justin Wong, Sako
Dhalsim’s gameplay hasn’t changed a great deal since previous iterations. He’s still pretty much a zone out character and relies on pokes to chip away opponents health.
Saying that, however, Street Fighter V has added some interesting moves to Dhalsim’s arsenal which can also make him apply a decent amount of pressure to an opponent.
Combining Dhalsim’s teleport with his divekick can provide for some interesting mixup opportunities. Although playing an aggressive Dhalsim is difficult to do, it can be incredibly rewarding and fun too.
Dhalsim Players to follow
Not only is Sagat a great defensive character but he can be great for players to perfect their fundamentals.
Sagat’s gameplan consists of zoning out the opponent and controlling the space with his high and low tiger shots. Again, as with most defensive characters, you’ll want to make use of his pokes and anti-airs to frustrate opponents trying to get in.
Sagat Players to follow
Being a wrestler Zangief has always been the go to grappler in the series. In SF4 Zangief could be played not only as a grappler but as a character who had great combo potential and could get huge damage off of simple whiff punishes.
In SFV Zangief’s gameplan has slightly changed. He’s still a heavy grappler and can get huge damage especially with his EX command throws, however his combo potential has been toned down slightly.
Despite this, if you’re patient, and you like to take big risks at the right moments, then Zangief can be an incredibly fun and rewarding character to play. Just be mindful that highly defensive opponents can potentially easily zone him out.
Zangief Players to follow
Itabashi, Snake Eyez
Mika is another grappler character who relies mainly on command grabs. Unlike other grapplers like Zangief who are deemed slow, Mika is fast and agile.
Mika’s main strengths include her ability to apply very strong corner pressure and combined with her high damage output makes her a great comeback character. Her command grabs are also very quick for a grappler and can provide ample mixup opportunities.
The only downsides to Mika is that she is a tough character to learn and her health is pretty low for a grappler.
R.Mika Players to follow
Alex is a grappler who also has some charge moves which differentiates him a little bit.
Alex doesn’t really rely too heavily on combos which makes him simple to use. With a little patience, he can punish opponents for huge damage, especially when he has v-trigger available. His normals aren’t too bad either as they have a decent amount of range.
Alex Players to follow
FANG is primarily a charge character who utilizes his unique poison to deceive and gain the upper hand over opponents.
FANG can be a difficult character to get good with due to his lower health and poison setup learning curve. Once you do get good with him however, he can be pretty wild and can be incredibly fun to play with.
FANG Players to follow
Blanka is another charge character who is easier to play with than FANG. What makes Blanka a bit wild and unothodox is his ability to be a bit random. This is often achieved with his Blanka balls which vary in speed, range and strength. It can be a nightmare for people that are not prepared.
Blanka also has some meaty normals which can be used to Anti-air and stop pressure. In addition, he can use his electricity to frame trap opponents.
Blanka may struggle, however, with highly defensive opponents as he doesn’t have any useful ways to get pass fireballs apart from his v-trigger and, as a result, can be zoned out easily.
Blanka Players to follow
Laura is a unique character in SFV as she has the ability to be a grappler who can be played in a rushdown style. She has great corner pressure and her command grab can be used to provide ample mixup opportunities.
Laura’s gameplan mainly consists of playing rushdown and keeping the opponent guessing. She uniquely has a fireball which not many grapplers have. In addition, she has high damage output which combined with her mixups can destroy opponents with weak defence.
Laura’s weaknesses, however, consist of her being difficult to use from range and she can be also be zoned out easily.
Laura Players to follow
Urien is a great all round character that can be played in a variety of ways. His long range normals and fireballs allows him to zone opponents. But, he can also apply a decent amount of pressure when up close with some decent frametraps and overheads.
Urien’s v-trigger, Aegis Reflector, allows him to create some crazy mixup opportunities that can take a huge chunk of damage off of an opponent. The only problem is that Aegis setups do have a bit of a learning curve and will take a lot of practice to pull off consistently.
Urien Players to follow
Seth returns in SFV and, like his SF4 character, has access to a range of tools that is useful for any situation.
Seth’s shines with his mobility, pokes and access to higher damage combos. He can quickly overwhelm opponents who aren’t too careful. Most of his specials moves are safe and so make it difficult to punish. Seth’s dive kick is also difficult to deal with as it’s -2 on block and so it allows him to continually apply pressure.
Seth’s biggest weakness, of course, is his health but being a glass cannon means he’s meant to be played quite aggressively anyway.
Seth Players to follow
Other Mixup characters
Bison’s gameplay mainly consists of being constantly in the face of the opponent. Many of his moves are plus on block and he has some decent pokes to always continually apply pressure.
Bison’s has some decent damaging combos which can be used to punish opponents effectively. In addition, he has a unique dash which makes up for his lack of walk speed.
M.Bison players to follow
Problem X, HotDog, LPN
Chun Li is mainly a footsie based character who relies on zoning opponents out with her fireballs and knocking them down so she can go on the offense.
Chun Li has a decent walkspeed and her fast dash allows her to get out of tough situations. Just be mindful of her low damage and health.
Chun Li players to follow
Punk, Humanbomb, Ricki Ortiz
Other charge characters
Balrog, Guile, Blanka, FANG