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Street Fighter 5: Zangief Guide - Combos and Move List

Street Fighter 5: Zangief Guide - Combos and Move List

8 min

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How to play with this impressive Russian fighter

There are quite a lot of big muscled guys in fighting games, but Zangief Street Fighter is one of the biggest and… you know, the most muscled (of course he has such huge arms after fighting for so many years). And this appearance is nicely reflected in the in-game qualities of this guy.

What about taking a look at various Zangief moves in Street Fighter V and figuring out how to play with the fighter in the most effective way possible? Our guide is all about this well-known fighter from Russia.

Zangief origins

Strictly speaking, Zangief is from the Soviet Union, a big but currently non-existing country. Is this because the guy is so old? Probably yes, but let’s not forget that we talk about the Street Fighter series! When Zangief was added to the fighting roster, the USSR was still an actual thing (and no one heard about PlayStation 4, can you imagine?)

Zangief was introduced to the fighting games community in 1991 with the release of Street Fighter II (as well as Chun-Li). It was available only on arcades first, but after the breathtaking success of the game, the developers ported it to many other devices (including Nintendo Switch - Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers).

For a deeper dive into the past, we invite you to check out the history of the Street Fighter game series. For the purposes of this Zangief guide, let’s mention only that he was among the fighters in:

  • Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
  • Street Fighter Alpha 2 and 3
  • All the Street Fighter EX games
  • Street Fighter IV
  • Street Fighter V

Zangief Street Fighter V trailer

Zangief reveal for Street Fighter V

Zangief personality

It is highly recommended to choose your fighter not because of bare calculations - who is stronger and who has better moves. If you are going to play Street Fighter even on the casual level, you will spend quite a long time with that character on the screen. So, you should like him or her in general, including appearance and personality.

It is enough to take one look at Street Fighter 5 Zangief to understand this guy quite deeply. He has lots of scars - because he likes to fight with… bears in Siberia. 

Zangief loves his country and wants to protect its honor in every battle. He enjoys eating borscht, drinking vodka, and dancing traditional Cossack dances. It seems like the developers from Capcom had a good time while working on the Zangief personality.

Zangief SFV Introduction

Zangief Street Fighter V Introduction Trailer

Street Fighter V Zangief Guide

This fighter is heavy and tall. Thanks to his body, he is able to absorb a lot of damage and stay in the fight longer.

His moves and jumps are rather average - not too fast or too slow. Zangief has a good dash and can reach his opponent on a rather big distance. 

Try to come close to your opponents while playing as Zangief. He deals big damage in a short range

To understand the mechanics of the game, common for all the characters (including Zangief), check out our post Street Fighter V - an Ultimate Guide for Beginners.

You can see all the moves of this fighter in the official guide. This is a good way to learn the basics of the character

Zangief Guide by Capcom:

Official Street Fighter V Zangief Guide

Zangief Move List

Here are the attacks and combos of this Street Fighter V character:

Basic attacks

  • Light Punches are quick but not very effective - they do not deal big damage and you should stay very close.
  • Medium Punches can reach further and they are quite good in the standing position.
  • Heavy Punches are powerful in all the positions: crouching, standing, jumping. The standing Heavy Punch covers an impressively big distance - and you can charge it.
  • Light Kick is short and slow in the crouching position. While standing, this attack is much faster.
  • Medium Kicks are quite effective in all three positions.
  • Heavy Kick in the crouching position is similar to all the other low Kicks of Zangief, but this one is much more powerful. In the standing position, the fighter hits the head of his opponent. Jumping Heavy Kick looks quite impressive.

Unique Attacks - Zangief Combos

  • Press Forward and Heavy Punch to perform the Head Butt attack.
  • Press Forward and Medium Kick to perform the Knee Hummer.
  • Jump Forward and press Heavy Punch to perform Flying Body Press.

Special Moves

  • Double Lariat - Zangief starts spinning and hitting the opponent after pressing Light, Medium, and Heavy Punch simultaneously. This attack is also called Zangief Lariat.
  • Screw Pile Driver is like an iconic attack for this guy. He grasps the opponent, jumps high in the air, and then smashes his victim hard on the ground. You might need some practice to perform this attack from SFV Zangief move list - press Forward, then make a circle with the joystick clockwise, and press one of the Punches. Three types of the Punches change the effect.
  • Siberian Express is a bit similar to the Screw Pile Driver but without the jump. And to perform it, press Forward, make the half-circle with the joystick clockwise, and press one of three Kicks.
  • Zangief performs Tundra Storm when the opponent tries to kick him. This Russian fighter grabs the attacking leg and makes the victim spin in the air. Proper timing is crucial for this special attack.
  • Borscht Dynamite has been named after the favourite soup of Zangief. It’s, in fact, Screw Pile Driver performed while in the air.


  • V-Skill - Iron Muscle. Press Medium Punch and Kick at the same time. It seems like Zangief holds his breath and accumulates the power in his muscles. He turns red and becomes invincible for a while. In this state, he can come closer to the opponent and hit them when the Iron Muscle is released.
  • V-Skill II - Super Russian Kick. Zangief stomps on the ground and gathers energy, turning red. Then he performs an extremely powerful kick.
  • V-Trigger - Cyclone Lariat. From the Iron Muscle, Zangief starts performing something similar to Double Lariat. To activate Zangief V Trigger 2, you should have V-Trigger Gauge full, activate V-Skill, and then start pressing Heavy Punch and Kick.
  • V-Trigger II - Cossack Muscle. Zangief grabs the opponent (Screw Pile Driver / Borscht Dynamite) and then pushes them into the ground so hard that his whole body turns red.
  • V-Reversal - Muscle Explosion. Press Forward and all three Kicks while guarding. Zangief pushes the opponent back.

Critical Arts

  • Bolshoi Russian Suplex - Zangief smashes his victim so powerfully that even the floor under them breaks. This Critical Art attack is one of the fastest in Street Fighter 5 and one of the most difficult. You have to spin the joystick twice clockwise and press any Punch

Zangief Combos in Street Fighter V

To perform the most effective combos with any Street Fighter character, you should know all their basic attacks perfectly well and experiment a lot with chaining them into each other. Do this in Training Mode first, and then bring your combo inventions to the real fights. 

Here are some examples of combos for Zangief in Street Fighter 5. They will show you a direction for further practice.

Zangief may look impressive with his big muscles (and scars) but some professional SFV players consider him not a very good character. You should invest many hours to master him, and still, his moves are not the best in the game. Of course, it must not stop you if you really like the guy!

Stay tuned to DashFight on Facebook, Twitter, and Discord for guides on other Street Fighter characters. For example, you can take a look at this article about Cammy.

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