The fighting game genre is one of the fastest and most thrilling in gaming. The speed, precision, and skill it takes to master just one character can take a staggering amount of effort. Picking your main is one of the most critical and personal decisions players have to make. To try to help you get off on the right foot with your Tekken 8 journey, I’ve compiled five characters to recommend for new players. Each of these Tekken 8 characters is strong in the style of play they utilize while also being fairly easy to pick up.
For Players New To The Genre: Steve
For those new to the genre, fighting games can present a level of intimidation few other genres can match. With basic controls, meters, and every character having special gimmicks, any chance to simplify the experience for new players is a huge win. Tekken 8‘s resident pugilist, Steve, does this thanks to his unique control scheme.
As a boxer, Steve has no kicks to learn. Rather, those buttons are mapped to special lateral moves that allow him to slide into the foreground or background with a single press. This makes utilizing Tekken‘s 3D plane much simpler for new players. Other Tekken 8 characters require you to double-press up or down to achieve the same effect. He also has a back and B button dodge that causes enemies to completely whiff some high attacks, giving Steve a great opening to unleash a bevy of punches.
These speed-laden combos are great for maximizing the openings new players learn to look out for. Steve’s speed is above average, and with only two attack buttons, new players have fewer points to start from, helping you feel less overwhelmed when learning the basics. The only danger Steve presents to players is how easily he can suck you into his offense. While it’s fun to unleash a hailstorm of punches, defense is still critical. Don’t let yourself get carried away with how good it feels to land that jaw-breaking haymaker. Steve can end up on the mat as easily as anyone else.
For Players Looking For A Balanced Approach: Jun
While most Tekken 8 characters are fueled by high levels of emotion and ambition, next on our character recommendations list is one that forms a calm within the storm. Reflecting her balanced personality is a balanced gameplay style that leaves her with few weaknesses and surprises that’ll catch opponents off guard.
The most surprising element of Jun’s kit is how much range she can utilize. A few key attacks in her kit allow her to project a beam of light from her palm. This attack can easily catch opponents off guard. Making this element of Jun’s arsenal even better is the fact that one of these maneuvers can be used as a Heat Engager, while the other is her Heat Smash itself. I’ve played Jun dozens of times so far, and I’m still frequently surprised by how far her reach can go.
Another stand-out element in Jun’s repertoire is her great low game. Highlighted by a spinning sweep that can hit up to three times, Jun can fully punish opponents who don’t keep their defense low to the ground.
For Players With A Need For Speed: Victor
This French James Bond isn’t just the suavest looking character in Tekken 8, he may also have the fastest punches in the game. His only rival in the speed department may be Xiaoxu, and then I’d say his reach gives him the edge there. His blistering fast punches work to set up some powerful combos that can leave an opponent dizzy. However, his attacks aren’t the only thing that makes him fast. Victor also feels fast thanks to his use of a teleporter. Being able to blink away from opponents gives the fighter an added sense of speed. And as a fun bonus, the visual effect that accompanies it is extremely cool to see.
Victor is another entry on our Tekken 8 character recommendations list that can surprise opponents with his reach. While the vast majority of his punches utilize a pair of fighting knives, Victor also has a katana on his hip. Not just for show, when this weapon comes out, Victor’s reach can catch enemies off guard, allowing you to follow up with some big damage.
Another highlight of Victor’s is his Heat Smash. Opening the attack with a sweeping horizontal slice from his katana, it’s one of the easiest Smashes to initiate from a reach perspective, as well as being a low attack. Making full use of Smashes is an important element of the game, and nobody makes it easier than Victor.
For Players Looking For Maximum Power Per Hit: King
For those looking to punish their opponents with maximum power, it’s gotta be King. Thanks to his balanced offensive capabilities he stands out as the easiest to adopt for a new player. Both his punches and kicks have great reach, and his grabs are second to none in damage output. These combine into a great arsenal that can keep an opponent guessing. His relatively slow attack speed means you have to be patient and keep a good guard up when your opponents come in hard. However, if you can weather a few storms and respond by landing your major attacks and pepper in just a few extra strikes along the way, your opponent’s health bar will melt like snow in August.
For Players Looking For Maximum Aggression: Reina
Reina is all about dishing out damage by punishing opponents’ mistakes and utilizing her unique tricks to catch them off guard. Every time you go on the offensive with Reina, you feel like you are unleashing a monster. Her moves always drive her toward her target and she hits hard, given her speed. She has no significant weaknesses and she sports some of the coolest maneuvers in the game, especially her Rage Art. If you want a character that delivers an impressive amount of stopping power, combined with a solid amount of maneuverability, she’s your fighter.
There you have it—five Tekken 8 character recommendations for new players. Bandai Namco has crafted a stellar fighting game here, and I hope these suggestions help you take your first steps towards glory in The King of Iron Fist tournament!