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How to play Tekken 7

Tekken 7 Beginners Guide

Elizbar Ramazashvili
Updated: 17 min

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So, do you want to learn how to play Tekken 7? This guide has been written specifically for beginners to this amazing fighting game who want to start their breathtaking journey. Check out some basic info and boost your progress in Tekken 7 from the first steps!

Of course, to achieve mastery in the seventh part of the Tekken series, you have to train hard for a long time. However, there are still several ways that allow you to get into the gameplay quickly - for having fun and enjoying your first victories. 

Do I have to know other Tekken games?

No, Tekken 7 is reasonably accessible to beginners, and you can jump into it with no prior experience. 

If you’ve played the previous installment, this gives you a significant advantage. All Tekken games have a very similar controlling pattern.

Experience in other fighting games, such as Street Fighter V, can be even unhelpful - you need to forget old habits and develop new ones to become successful in this particular gaming universe.

Where to start? (To mash or not to mash?)

Tekken 7 is quite forgiving to newcomers to fighting, who tend to press all the buttons chaotically. This is called Button Mashing, and it’s quite a bad habit for fighting gamers.

Still, at the initial stage, Tekken 7 is quite forgiving to such a “technique.”You can start the Story Mode and complete a few fights before you reach the limitation of the mashing style. Only by developing a simple and basic understanding of the game principles will you be able to move forward.

The Tekken 7 Story Mode is an excellent place to start the game! It is called The Mishima Saga, and here you’ll discover… ok, it is tough to repeat the story or even get it while playing. It seems like its primary purpose is not to tell some plot but to introduce players to the world and characters. In the Mishima Saga, you get to know a few key fighters and start feeling the overall atmosphere of this fighting franchise.

Then, there are Character Episodes of the Story Mode. It is a very good addition to the Mishima Saga. They do not bring lots of info, but you will know even more fighters thanks to them - these episodes are fun, and the fights are quite challenging.

Don’t expect to complete all the stories in one go. When the opponents smash your character, and you can do nothing, it is time to visit Offline Practice and learn this particular character better. The opponents here are not attacking unless you make them, so you can learn moves and attacks in the relaxed mode.

Then, take these characters to Offline Arcade and Treasure Battles. Both are quite similar - they give you a series of opponents to defeat. The Treasure Battle rewards victories with various cosmetic items.

These battles are a perfect chance to abandon button mashing. Learn how to fight in Tekken 7 properly, effectively. Then return to the Story Mode and complete it.

Practice more in Offline Battles - but this time, with the character of your choice. Know him or her better, explore every feature of this fighter. And then try out your skills in the Online Mode. Start here with the Player Match - it is a good way to “taste” multiplayer battles without ruining your online rank. People come to Ranked Match with a serious intention to win, so don’t rush into this mode. The Tournament section will be a kind of ultimate challenge for your fighting abilities.

The scheme of discovering game modes of Tekken 7 is quite similar to one in other fighting titles - even in such different games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

How to choose a fighter?

The answer here is simple and complicated at the same time. Pick someone you really like - not only their fighting style and effectiveness of hits but the personality, appearance, and the general aura around the guy or the girl. You are going to spend a long time with this character.

The difficult part is - it is better to give everyone a chance. Someone may be dropped out from the very beginning. But what about that powerful man? Or that… robo-creature?

Take your time to get to know different characters. The Story Mode is very helpful here, but don’t limit yourself with it. Of course, taking different fighters to the Arcade or Treasure Battles is a nice practice - good players should know not only their fighters but also their opponents.

Basic Moves in Tekken 7

You can’t go anywhere in fighting games without attacks. Let’s learn how to deal damage!

And let's start with controlling!

There are four attack buttons in the game for each limb of the character:

  • Left arm - 1, Square (PlayStation), or X (Xbox)

  • Right arm - 2, Triangle (PlayStation), or Y (Xbox)

  • Left leg - 3, X (PlayStation), or A (Xbox)

  • Right leg - 4, Circle (PlayStation), or B (Xbox)

The Tekken community uses the following input designations, and it can be useful to memorize them for any future use.

Tap Notation

Hold Notation

Tekken Move










Down & Forward










Down & Back










Up & Back










Up & Forward





No directional inputs





Side Step (Left/Right)





Quarter-circle forward





Quarter-circle back





Half-circle forward





Half-circle back





Counter Hit





While Standing





While Running





Left Punch





Right Punch





Left Kick





Right Kick




Basic attacks are divided into three groups - it is quite important to know where attacks of your fighter land.

There are three types of attacks in Tekken 7:

  • Low attacks - inflict damage to standing and crouching opponents. They cannot be blocked in a standing position - the block against low attacks works if you crouch.

  • Mid attacks - inflict damage on standing and crouching opponents. It cannot be blocked when you're crouching - the block against mid attacks works in a standing position.

  • High attacks - inflict damage on standing opponents but can't hit crouching opponents. It can be blocked while standing.

While practicing with your character, pay attention to the distance between fighters - how far this or that attack can reach. It is better not to hit the air because your fighter becomes vulnerable for a while.

Movement in Tekken 7

Tekken 7 is a 3D game, so it's silly not to use space. 

The best option against tricky enemy attacks is moving away or crouch. Backdash (press the back button two times in a row) and sidesteps (quickly press up or down) are the main moves in Tekken 7.

It's important to train your movements. Although, it's complicated: you need to carefully monitor the game and predict the enemy's actions, like in chess or any computer strategy game. But as soon as you figure out when you need to backdash, you will become several times stronger than most players in Tekken 7. Remember that your task is to move or crouch in time - when the enemy prepares to attack.

Sometimes just moving back is not enough; that’s where side steps come to the rescue. Before you dodge, it's worth finding out what tracking is. Commonly, you need to take a step to the right against strikes on the left and vice versa. Unlike backdash, the necessary step to the side will help to avoid a series of attacks.

Also, it is worth studying how to get up from the ground. Most players, being on the ground, stupidly mash all the buttons in a row, but this isn’t how it should be handled. The character can get up in different ways: with a footrest, a blow to the head, a roll to the left, right, forward, or backward. Each option has its own goal.

After you are knocked down, you can use one of several methods. You can press 1, 2, 3, or 4 to roll back and get up instantly. This movement is called a Techroll and is considered one of the safest methods to get on your feet after a fall.

If you hold b (back) after being knocked down, you roll back and get up. Also, try to avoid lifting to your feet while holding f (forward).

On the other hand, if there is no desire to get up immediately, you can lie there without any problems. Press u (up) to stand still without a roll, but in such a maneuver, the enemy can punish you. You can pause and press 3 or 4 to perform a lift with a simultaneous low or mid-attack. Experienced opponents expect you to make a mistake and perform one of the last actions. Therefore, it is essential to confuse them!

Attack in Tekken 7

In order to learn how to attack in Tekken 7, first of all, you need to control your character properly. This will be the first step towards improving your attacks. You will be essentially required to learn and memorize the most effective tools at your disposal – pokes, strings, combos. But it’s also of paramount importance to know not only how to execute your moves but when.

One of the better ways to learn this is to memorize the frame data of your moves. You could either get the in-game DLC that costs a couple of dollars or, alternatively, use any of the online resources.

Another important aspect is matchup knowledge. More often than not, this comes with experience because you can’t really sit down and memorize the frame advantages of all the roster.

After you’ve familiarized yourself with your character, you need to decide which fighting style is right for you. You can play aggressively, immediately seizing the initiative in battle. Pressuring your opponent into mistiming his blocks or whiffing counters is a very valid and viable strategy for many fighters.

Or you can also opt to fight defensively. Then your task is to poke with ranged attacks and quick opportunistic strings. For example, playing as Akuma, you can launch fireballs. In this case, maintain a distance between your opponent and yourself with the help of backdashing or dodging. 

Make sure to note that sometimes, depending on the opponent, you will need to adjust and choose your fighting style accordingly.

Combos in Tekken 7

To perform much more powerful attacks, you should use combos or a series of attacks - press specific buttons at specific moments. Learning combos, which includes chaining the types of attacks, is important in the initial stages of the game. They allow you to take the enemy by surprise: a quick switch from low to medium attacks and vice versa will let you go through the enemy's defense and cause severe damage.

You can see the list of combos (moves) in the game. The list is quite impressive - you don't have to learn them all. 10-15, the most effective for you, will be enough.

Beginners can use the Assist Button that activates automatic combos - press the attack buttons while holding L1 (PlayStation) or LB (Xbox). This may be a good feature for casual players.

The Rage System in Tekken 7

Tekken also has a built-in attack boost available to every character – Rage Art / Rage Drive. They can be activated when the character's health is close to zero. These attacks have special power and can be activated with one button or a combination. This is a very helpful boost and can serve as a Hail Mary to try to turn the tide of the battle.

  • Rage Art is a super powerful hit, able to cancel the opponent's combo; it comes with a cinematic animation;

  • Rage Drive is more effective but also more complicated. It would be better to practice it with your character.

Defense in Tekken 7

Tekken 7 is essentially a two-way street. Your offense, in many ways, determines how well you defend and vice-versa. If you whiff all the time, go for unsafe launchers or lose many 50/50s, no amount of guessing on blocks will save you from punishment. And if you eat every mixup and can’t break throws, you won’t even get a chance to attack.

The most important attribute, if you don’t have godlike natural reflexes, is to know your matchups. Of course, this is a steep requirement for a beginner, but don’t worry, as it all comes with practice and experience. The more you play against or as certain characters, the more their most dangerous moves become ingrained in your mind. To build the necessary baseline skills, you could also hit up the training mode and practice against the AI.

When playing against a human, don’t risk using unsafe moves or risky hit confirms if you’re not sure how skilled your opponent is. Go for the safer options available to you. Once you’re better at the game in general, you can start anticipating the attacks based on your intuition or educated guesses.

Blocking in Tekken 7

Blocking in Tekken 7 is the cornerstone of defensive play. It completely negates the damage you would have received otherwise, and in many cases, allows you to start your own offensive movements.

There are two types of blocks in Tekken 7 – standing and crouching. Standing guard is effective against mid and high attacks, while crouching will defend you from the low ones. There is also a neutral guard that’s virtually identical to standing but is performed automatically without the player’s input. It’s inadvisable to rely on neutral guard to block.

  • Standing Guard - press back.

  • Crouching Guard - press down and back.

  • Neutral Guard - automatic, no inputs required.

The importance of block can’t be overstated. Every attacking move in Tekken 7 has animations -  windup and cooldown time measured in frames. The latter differs between landing a hit on the opponent and the move being blocked. Many powerful abilities are unsafe on block – they have a cooldown time longer than a windup time of the opponent’s own move. This is another aspect of Tekken 7 that you can get better at with experience. Frame data and matchup knowledge can be invaluable tools to achieve victories.

A successful block is something that can help you save the game in Tekken 7 when your health is near zero. You block the last hit or stop your opponent's combo, which was supposed to be the final one, and then gather your strength and start your combo series and win! Now back to the beginning - blocking.

Throw breaking in Tekken 7

Throws in Tekken 7 are designed to keep defending players honest. They can’t be blocked, so a defending player has to be constantly aware of them. There is, however, a remedy for them. Previously in the Tekken games, you had to match the input of the grab the opponent was performing. In the seventh installment, you only need to press 1 or 2 to escape their clutches. However, this is only applicable to the standard throws, not specialized ones that some characters have on 1+2, for example. Those still need to be matched to be escaped from. There are some character-specific recommendations on what button to use against whom, but this also becomes internal knowledge with more experience.

General defense tips in Tekken 7

  • Seize the initiative immediately. This way, you minimize the need to be good at defense. Pressure your opponent, mix them up, don’t let them breathe. But make sure you know what you’re doing; otherwise, the punishment will be swift.

  • Make sure to utilize the backdash and sidestep. Don’t just stand there and block. Minus frames on block are good, but they are even better on whiffs.

  • Don’t trust neutral guard; you will be mixed up and turned into mincemeat. Be proactive even when blocking.

  • Learn the patterns of your opponent. Condition them to expect one thing from you, and then serve them something entirely different.


Although Tekken 7 is a fighting game, it somewhat resembles chess. Each round is a separate party, where you must analyze the enemy's actions and adapt to them. It's not enough to have a good reaction and know the combinations - you have to think.

Practice makes perfect! Don't give up if something goes wrong - play more, and soon you will be rewarded with victories. And DashFight will help you with this!

Special thanks to Albina Krugliak and Ilya Kravtsov.

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