Have you ever played Tekken 7? Has someone discouraged you by saying it is a tough game to master? Have you looked at the roster and gotten confused by the plethora of options? Are you a decent player of another fighting game and are trying to figure out who to use in Tekken 7? If you are affected by any of the questions above, this is the article for you.
Bandai Namco’s Tekken is a very well-established game that has been around since the 90s. Its use of 3D models at a time when they hadn’t been heard of did a lot for its reputation, and over the years, it has grown to become one of the most popular fighting games in the world. This means that new fans are picking up Tekken 7 on a regular basis. The thing with Tekken 7 is this: it is unapologetic in how it is portrayed, which can make it seem unattractive to someone who is just picking it up for the first time. But, if you are willing to put in the work, Tekken 7 is an amazing game that will reward that hard work and ensure you have a good time.
So, this article seeks to highlight the best Tekken 7 character playstyles and the picks that best fit. For instance, the game doesn’t feature any fireballs, save for Akuma, who is a guest character from Street Fighter. So, if you are a natural zoner, you might want to pick a more defensive-minded character.
Here are the types of characters we’ll be looking at:
Most aggressive characters
Most defensive characters
Best mix-up characters
Easiest characters for beginners
Best characters for advanced players
Best characters for grapplers
Just remember this: regardless of your playstyle, there is someone on Tekken 7’s roster for you.
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Most aggressive Tekken 7 characters
This is for players who love to corner their opponents and pummel them. Aggressive characters tend to have impressive corner game, great poking options, unrelenting pressure, and some decent damage to keep opponents honest. Think about a character like Cammy from Street Fighter or The Joker from Mortal Kombat.
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The son of Nina Williams, Steve is a boxer with an amiable personality and a protective streak for those he loves. As a fighter, he is very aggressive. When you think of aggressive characters in Tekken 7, Steve has to come to mind. Equipped with only punches and sways and no kicks, he is the quintessential boxer character in the Tekken games. He is a character that relies on countering his opponents. So, he’s excellent for cornering your opponent, keeping them locked in position with a flurry of moves. He has all the tools to catch other players pressing buttons and appropriately punishing them. While he’s excellent at reactive fighting, he can also be great with his space control, and his wall carry game is one of the best in the game. However, he lacks a few things like a quick while standing move from a crouching position. Also, his whiff punishes don’t deal a lot of damage, except they are used during his rage drive.
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The inscrutable Russian operative is a menacing character that unsettles most people he comes across. As a fighter, he is insanely relentless and will absolutely destroy an adversary with little to no mercy. Relatively easy to pick up, Sergei is a pressure monster with incredible wall game, which makes him one of the best options for a player who excels at rushing down opponents. He comes equipped with a slew of powerful poke options that will catch other players pressing buttons and punish them accordingly. In addition, he is just as adept at keeping players away if need be. On the flip side, his height is a bit of a problem as some of his moves can be avoided since they are somewhat high. However, if you can work with that, there are few players that have a better wall carry or wall game in Tekken 7.
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Geese is a guest character from King of Fighters and will be a delight for those who like that classic game. In a match, he is also a convenient character to pressure opponents with. Thanks to his strong punish, wall damage, and parries. That said, Geese is all about meter management as his max mode state is where he does the most damage. He can pressure opposition pretty well and can keep other players humble and afraid to make any big moves against you. As mentioned earlier, Geese relies a lot on his meter, which means that without it, he isn’t half as effective as you’d like. That means you have to be a proficient player to use him with any real success. Therefore, if you have played fighting games for a while, and are used to managing meter, Geese Howard is certainly a great option.
Most Defensive Tekken 7 Characters
So, you’re not a fan of confrontation. You’d rather have people come to you and only attack when you have to. Or, maybe you like lulling adversaries into a false sense of security before unleashing a can of whoop-ass on them? Then there are a few characters that should work for you. In this section, we’ll consider characters who are defensive and are able to withstand a tonne of pressure in a bid to counter effectively.
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Asuka is the happy-go-lucky character who, despite her frame, is incredibly confident in her fighting abilities. She has an interesting relationship with Jun Kazama and is known to be someone who doesn’t mind her business much.
What will probably excite potential users is just how easy she is to use. She has an array of moves that are easy to execute and are effective against most opponents. Also, she has excellent defense due to her long reach. Her mid and low pokes cover quite a bit of range, making them suitable to keep opponents at bay. The next problem you might consider is that what happens if the player does get close? But, not to worry, because Asuka also has tools to annoy opponents at close range, most of which are pretty safe, making them hard to counter. This in itself is a sort of pressure that can wear the person holding the other controller down. Unfortunately, with Asuka, you need a lot of patience as her damage output is not very impressive, and therefore, she is extremely difficult to make a comeback with. While she is great against eager fighters who look to break her down with relentless pressure, she fares a lot worse against similarly patient players who have better damage output. If you decide to persist with Asuka, ensure that you are a proficient zoner and are excellent at evasion.
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Kazuya is the central protagonist of the Tekken series, just as Ryu is for Street Fighter. So, you would expect that this means he’s a powerfully pressure-heavy character. But this is untrue as Kazuya is actually more suited to defensive-minded players. In fact, Kazuya is one of the most defensive characters in Tekken 7. As with other Mishima characters in the game, Kazuya can be a bit tricky to use, but he has excellent punishers that can catch opponents unawares. For instance, he has a Hellsweep move which is a powerful low that does significant damage. He also has a pretty cool Devil form that enhances and changes the properties of some moves. Conversely, his poke game leaves a lot to be desired, and he is, therefore, not a character you want to use to pressure others with.
As with almost every Tekken game, there is a Jack for you to use. Also, what Tekken does with Jack is pretty unique as unlike most other games where larger characters are typically characterized as grapplers, Jack 7 is a more defensive character. Just like Asuka, he has a plethora of ranged moves that are great for playing keep-away. His ability to block and withstand pressure is remarkable and has made him a pretty popular zoner character. Also, the ease with which you can use him also makes him such a suitable character. Sure, he’s not a grappler, but he does have decent throw game, including one that gets you against the wall. In addition to all this, Jack 7 has some deceptively fast moves that make him a dangerous opponent to contend with when cornered. Unfortunately, he suffers from some of the most common issues that larger characters do: speed. His lack of mobility means that he is open to extended combos and has a harder time evading pressure from assailants.
Simply going for an aggressive character, grappler, or zoner might seem pretty predictable. You know what to expect from these people, meaning that you probably have something up your sleeve to deal with them. But what if the player bases their game on unpredictability? The ability to launch into a bunch of combos that people aren’t prepared for is pretty helpful in a fight. Here, we’ll look at some characters whose mix-up abilities are top-notch and will leave opponents guessing what’s to come next.
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Cold-blooded and unfeeling, Nina is one of the nastiest assassins you’ll ever come across in fighting games. She is also a very difficult character to excel with as she has a lot going on. She’s an aggressive character, but with a difference as she not only leaves her opponents with no room to breathe but can also be evasive while doing this. She can link combos together in an almost endless barrage of pokes and punishes. She even has the ability to sidestep while executing combos without breaking stride. She makes it a point to keep herself in her opponent’s face and leave them with no room to escape. On top of that, she also has access to some nice counter hits, and she’s nigh on impossible to backdash from. She sounds perfect, right? Well, as long as she’s in your face. You see, Nina has little to no long-range game, meaning that she is virtually useless if she isn’t close to her target. Consequently, she fares poorly against strong keep-away characters who can ensure that she doesn’t get into their space. If she is able to get in, however, then she has a big chance of winning fights.
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Marduk’s playstyle will incite some debate as some consider him to be a grappler. I don’t think such people are wrong, but for the purpose of this guide, he will be listed as an excellent mix-up character. This is because of the variety of mids and lows he has at his disposal. His ability to keep opponents in a state of confusion as he switches between all sorts of moves is notorious. As a grappler, he has incredible throw game, and his tackle mix-ups are right up there with the best in the game. While slow, he deals a tonne of damage that more or less guarantees games. He can also go into rage mode in the middle of a combo which just inflicts more damage. Most importantly, he is an excellent option for mind games as once he is on top of an opponent, there are various options that the opponent has to guess if they hope to counter. He does lack mobility which is not exactly a great thing, and his punish game isn’t all that impressive.
Easiest Tekken 7 Characters
If you’re a newbie to the game and take a look at the command list, you will most likely have a headache. This is because each character in Tekken 7 has a laundry list of moves and combos. Therefore, getting to fully master a player could be a tall ask for a new player. So, what do you do in these situations? Well, just pick an easier character. Tekken 7 has a couple of characters with simple enough movesets that you can master quickly enough and use against opponents. Understandably, you probably won’t be able to use these characters at a high level, but you can at least earn some bragging rights with your friends.
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This Tekken 7 debutant caused quite a bit of controversy due to how broken he was when he first came out. He is a pretty simple character to pick up, and he has some insane damage that would be perfect for most players. Up close, Leroy is inevitable. He comes equipped with a confirm jab that could lead to a combo and some sick counter hit buttons that make him a terrifying opponent to stand up to. Even worse, his long-range is also really decent, and he has a lot of options to come in with and leave you stranded. You think running away from him will solve the problem? No. He has a very effective hellsweep which keeps his opponents afraid to move too suddenly. His weaknesses aren’t obvious except for some weak punishes and a pretty useless dog. He has been nerfed since then, but even with those, he is still a terrifying character to come up against and is pretty high up the tier-list. So, for players who are new and aren’t wedded to any playstyle yet, Leroy might be a really helpful character to go with.
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Alisa is an android character created by Dr. Bosconovitch to look like his dead daughter. She is a likable character that has more human emotions than the typical robot. She is a perfect character for people new to the game as she has a lot of moves that can be considered safe. She is excellent at slowly chipping away at an opponent; she is recommended for those who enjoy taking the game slowly. She is a patient character who can easily challenge foes from a decent range without getting in too close. Therefore, new players who might be scared of directly confronting assailants have a safe option in Alisa, who can also dash out of situations if they get too risky. If there’s a list of the fastest Tekken 7 characters, she’d be on it. The problem, however, is that since Alisa excels in chipping away at people, it means that typically she doesn’t deal much damage. This means that she is one of those who can get absolutely battered in some games, and there is almost no hope of staging a comeback.
Miguel Caballero Rojo
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If you are a fan of the anime series, Bleach, Miguel might remind you of Yasutora Sado, a friend of the main character, Ichigo Kurosaki. But that is not what you are here for. So, how does Miguel figure as a fighter? Well, much like Alisa, Miguel is really poke-oriented. However, unlike Alisa, Miguel can deal a tonne of damage if left unchecked. He has a couple of solid counter hits, some of which can even achieve a wallsplat. Also, he has a stance, Savage Stance (or SAV for short), which can be used in various ways. He can switch into this stance in the middle of a combo that leaves opponents with no choice but to guess what you will use next. He is great for inexperienced players, and as long as he is in his opponent’s face, he is extremely dangerous. On the flip side, he has very few options from range. This means that his ranged punishes are negligible, and his homing move is quite slow, which allows for easier evasion.
Hardest Characters in Tekken 7
So, you feel confident in your abilities in Tekken 7? You don’t want to be like the scrubs that look for easy characters to use eh? Or are you simply looking out for the characters to avoid? These are the problematic picks you might be best served to avoid since they require a high level of execution to use. However, if you can get the hang of these characters, they can be pretty rewarding. Also, they aren’t picked by everyone, so there is less character knowledge which can serve as a huge advantage when facing an adversary.
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Panda is a character you don’t see often. This did not stop Rangchu from winning a tournament with the character, though. That said, Panda isn’t the easiest main to pick up. As an advantage, it has short stubby legs, which are difficult to judge in terms of range. Also, Panda’s arms have a decent amount of range which is great for keeping opponents out. However, there are a couple of problems, including horrible evasive techniques, which make Panda susceptible to pressure.
We have already mentioned Kazuya as one of the best characters for defense, but he also requires a lot of skill to use. His range of moves is best accessed by those with some experience, and those who have none should probably consider someone else. But, if you can get the hang of Kazuya, there are many advantages, including a massive defensive wall and some pretty damaging counter hits.
We have also mentioned Nina earlier. She has one of the higher damage outputs in Tekken 7, but she has a high execution curve which means she isn’t for the weak. If you get the hang of her, she could be a scary character, but she requires hours and hours of practice. So, if you have your heart set on her, good luck.
Grapplers have a very distinct playstyle in that they have strong defenses, high damage output, and low mobility. In Tekken 7, however, they are a little different due to the game’s mechanics. But, if you are someone who excels at command grabs, throws, and the like, there are a few characters you might like to consider in Tekken 7.
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This is one of the characters that have been there from the very beginning. King is as close to a traditional grappler character as you can get in Tekken 7. He comes equipped with a variety of throws which all cause some really high damage. He even has chain grabs that force the opposition to make some hard reads if they hope to get out. As with most grapplers, he has a really good wall carry game that could leave the opposition in unflattering situations that forces them to guess again and again. In this time, King can empty your life like it’s nothing. He is not without his disadvantages, though. His reliance on grabs means that a lot of his other moves are poor. For instance, he can’t poke his way out of a paper bag, and his whiff punishes leave a lot to be desired. But, if you are a hardcore grappler, you should be able to look past King’s frailties and enjoy his huge rewards.
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Armor King is what happens if you remove some of King’s insane throw game and add it to his other stats to create a more balanced character. So, Armor King isn’t as reliant on throws and has some cool poking tools. In addition, he is also equipped with some decent Oki, and a good whiff punish. Even though his throw game isn’t as great as King’s, it’s still one of the better ones in the game. Unfortunately, Armor King is something of a Jack of all trades, master of none. He has good basics and is well-rounded, but he doesn’t excel at anything at all. This could make him a boring character for many, and you can’t really be caught by surprise by anything he does.
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As highlighted earlier, Tekken 7 makes grapplers pretty different. With Gigas, what you get is a character with some very good pressure which isn’t what you would typically expect from a grappler. Gigas isn’t a grappler in the traditional sense, and while his throw game is good, it’s not at the level you would expect from a regular grappler. However, he has a long reach with his arms, which gives him some advantage with his pokes. Also, his rage drive forces opponents into a 50/50, which could lead to some damaging punishes. On the flip side, while Gigas can mount some severe pressure, it isn’t as suffocating as his low reach is poor. This makes the means of escape pretty straightforward. If you need an easy character to pick up with decent speed and decent throw game, then Gigas might be the character for you.
Tekken 7 is such a rewarding game that is modeled after real-life martial arts making it an accessible game for anyone. The roster is from all around the world and this only makes the game more endearing. Tekken 7 welcomes all who want to improve, and no matter what fighting style you prefer, you can be sure that there will be a character that fits into it.
So, that’s it. Is there a preferred playstyle you like to implement? Are any of these characters viable for you? Hopefully, you can get some use from this guide. If you want more longreads like this one, just check out the rest of the DashFight site, and look for us on Twitter, Facebook, and Discord.