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Round One – 5 Recommended Fighters for Beginners in Street Fighter 6

Best Street Fighter 6 Characters for Beginners
Image via Capcom

You’ve got eighteen fighters to choose from in Street Fighter 6. Who should you pick, though? Long-time players might have a good idea, but if you’re fairly new to fighting games or the series, are there some solid first choices. I feel these five Street Fighter 6 characters are ones you can pick up fairly easily and start seeing some success with early on in this excellent fighting game. Keep in mind that these have been chosen by someone who’s competent at fighters and not a high-level competitor, though. There’s likely a lot of depth to these characters that highly skilled players can make use of. If you’re looking for some straightforward and fun characters to start your journey with as a beginner, though, you’ll still find you can get a lot of use out of the following fighters.

street fighter 6

Image via Capcom


Ever start trying to attack your opponent and just get blown up by an incoming strike? I guarantee you have, and I guarantee it will happen a lot in this game. If you want to get around that a little bit, Marisa is a character that will serve you best in Street Fighter 6.

Perhaps one of the most useful tools in her kit is Gladius, a straight punch you can charge that is armored. It will absorb some incoming damage and still go off, usually blowing through your opponent’s attack for some substantial damage. Especially if you hold the button to charge it, which gives you an instant, automatic follow-up. This strike absolutely decimated people during the review period, as I just slammed my way through what they were doing. Gladius mixes offense and defense in one move, and it will have your foes second guessing any move that has any sort of commitment to it.

If that’s not enough, Marisa can keep up pressure with her Superman punch, Phalanx, which lets you continue your attack pressure when blocked. Your foe doesn’t get an extra opening from defending against you, and the move comes at a higher angle that tended to screw folks up. If you just want to come straight in at a distance, her heavy Quadriga kick smacks folks at nearly full screen. Overall, most of her moves have great reach and solid damage, too, so you can catch folks with long strikes like Quadriga or just chew through their health with her basic buttons.

Finally, you have a counter stance with Scutum. This counters incoming strikes against you, again punishing foes for trying to hit you. If they catch you doing it and try to wait you out, you can immediately do a two-hit overhand, a powerful low strike, or a throw right from this position. Your opponent has to back off or play very carefully in this situation.

Marisa excels at screwing with the opponent’s game plan or just smashing through it. Her moves are pretty slow, though, so someone skilled with throws is going to mess up her day. Outside of matchups against skilled grapplers, though, if you just want to start the game and beat folks down, though, you’ll likely see a lot of success with Marisa in Street Fighter 6.

Image via Capcom

Image via Capcom


Speaking of great grapplers, Manon definitely got my attention. Normally, you have to get pretty darn close to throw opponents in fighting games, but most of Manon’s command grabs (throws that require special inputs) have ridiculous range on them. If you’re using Classic inputs, her command grabs are fairly easy to pull off. Half-circle and a button, and you’re in business. That makes her throws reliable and easy to use in a pinch, making her very dangerous.

Well, if you’re not feeling the half-circle, what about quarter circle and a button? Renverse sends Manon forward for a quick grab with a very simple input. Not only this, but you can hold the button to do a feint and do nothing. You can transition from this feint into a kicking strike, too. Part of the dangers of playing grapplers is that everyone knows what you want to do. They know you want to get in and grab people, so they often try to smack you back to stop you. With Renverse, it’s hard to know what Manon will do. Will she grab me or kick me when I try to hit her back? It lets you mix up your opponent fairly easily with some minor variations on your move.

If folks think they’ll try to strike you outside your grab range, they’ll be mistaken. Manon has a couple of moves that vacuum the opponent toward her with a handful of hits in Street Fighter 6. A Terre and Temps Lie just use two rapid punches to pull people into you. From there, it’s throw time. If you don’t want to toss folks, Rond-Point is a spinning upward kick that has really long range. Degage is another kick that can strike twice, hit from overhead, or clobber them down low. It’s versatile and can be hard to guess where it’ll strike, so enemies might choose the wrong block and eat a hit, opening them up for further punishment.

Finally, her throws get persistently stronger throughout the match. Manon has a Medal Level that increases with each successful throw, and you maintain the medal level between rounds. She deals some of the highest single move damage in the game at Medal Level 5. Combining her absurd throw damage with her mix-up long range strikes, as well as her ability to yank you towards her, and you have an extremely effective grappler with very little downside.

Best Street Fighter 6 Character for Beginners

Image via Capcom


As much as I just don’t care for Luke at all, I can’t deny that he’s one of the best starting characters in Street Fighter 6.

Sand Blast is just a really fast projectile. Any time I was trading fireballs with someone, Sand Blast would inevitably creep closer and closer, usually getting my opponent to stop and react with something else. In that moment, you could bust out the Rising Uppercut and smack them as they jumped in. The Overdrive version (hit two punches instead of one, but the move costs more Drive Bar) let you hit some more buttons during the move to get a little extra damage out of it, too.

Flash Knuckle gives Luke a multi-purpose tool for knocking opponents in the air or far away. It has solid reach, and you can charge the button to get a little extra power behind your hit to send foes flying where you want them to. Very useful if you have something in mind to follow up with. You can also hit two punches during the Overdrive version of this move to slip a DDT onto your foe, getting some great damage off of the attack. You can also use this move in the air to mix folks up about when you’ll hit them during a jump-in.

Avenger is a little rush in that you can turn into a highly-active charge that shoulders into enemies quickly in Street Fighter 6. You can also shift it into an overhead kick to hit them if they’re blocking low to avoid the tackle. If you like hunkering down and chasing folks, his Level 3 Super Art, Pale Rider, will have him rush forward until her catches the opponent, then hit them with a flurry of punches. This grab can catch people off-guard up close, or it may make them panic as he runs at them (which definitely happened to me a few times). Just expect a more knowledgeable player to hop out of your way and hit you for it if you do this from far away.

If you just want some easy combos, Snapback Combo will slap enemies around with four medium punches. Very easy to execute, and you can cancel the first two hits into Super Arts if they hit your foe, giving you some solid tools to use to really hurt people.

Best Street Fighter 6 Characters for Beginners

Image via Capcom


If you’re feeling at a loss on how to get to your opponent safely, Lily is one of the best characters to help you out in Street Fighter 6. She does have some more complex mechanics and a challenging input for her command throw, but she has some great tools for approaching foes.

Condor Spire shoots you forward at a variety of ranges depending on what you want to do. You can fling yourself full screen to move while attacking, or you can do a stubby charge to bait your opponent into trying to slap you out of the air. If the opponent is coming for you, you can use Tomahawk Buster to fling yourself up at them at an angle. It’s invincible on jump attacks, so it will make people regret approaching you. Which frees you up to continue your own varied approach with Condor Spire.

Condor Dive gives you even more tools to get in while playing Street Fighter 6. While jumping, you can fling yourself at a downward angle toward the opponent. This move is quite quick, so you’ll surprise people with it. There’s not a whole lot of wiggle room with when you can use it during your jump, though, so don’t bust it out too much. It’s another great tool to make your opponent unsure when you’ll reach them, though.

All of the above attacks can be improved by getting Windclad stacks. To do this, Lily needs to use Condor Wind. This sees her spinning her clubs around herself for a few moments to draw a charge. You can hold up to three, and these increase the power of the moves you use after. You’ve vulnerable while charging though, but not as vulnerable as your opponent hopes. If you do the Medium or Heavy charge, if you let go of the charge, you’ll do an attack that strikes on both sides of you AND moves you forward. So you can technically use this to approach while also charging Windclad stacks, or else slam someone who’s trying to hit you while you charge.

Once Lily’s right in front of an enemy, she can use Mexican Typhoon, a command throw that does really great damage. As she has so many ways of getting in fast and hurting people, she tends to incline folks to start blocking. This means you toss out the command grab upon landing (do the OverDrive version for a really solid smack), hurting your foe while also making them unsure if they should be blocking that much as you rush in. Which can make them more vulnerable to your zippy strikes. The only kicker is that the move uses a 360 motion on Classic Control Type, so it will take some practice to land it well. Once you do, though, you’ll have a deadly mixup game and a great means of getting in on opponents in Street Fighter 6.

Image via Capcom

Image via Capcom


Ken just felt really straightforward when I played him during the review period. He can fling fireballs at a distance to keep people at bay, launch a Shoryuken uppercut if they try to jump in, or surprise them with a Tatsumaki Senpu-kyaku spinning kick if they find some way to walk in.

If you’re the one closing distance, Dragonlash Kick flings you forward with a spinning kick that pulls foes in towards you. Your opponent might be inclined to block this, but you can try to sneak in a follow-up throw since they’re pulled in close when they block it. Or hell, just throw them if they don’t block, it, too.

Jinrai Kick launches a forward-moving roundhouse that you can follow up with an overhead or a low, making the opponent guess which one you’re going to do. If they’re wrong, they eat more hits. It’s a great move to make people guess where you’re going to hit from.

His Level 1 Super Art, Dragonlash Flame hits foes multiple times, but the potentially useful part is the position switch at the end. If you’re getting slapped around in the corner and can pull off this multi-hit strike, you’ll move to safety. I found it got me out of a fair amount of trouble.

For someone trying to find something straightforward to try while getting into the game, I found his tools very useful and that he could capitalize on opponent mistakes in a pinch. He could also create those situations with fireballs, forcing foes to play the game in a way that he could set up how to counter and attack. Plus, his attacks are just really satisfying to do.

As for why a Street Fighter 6 beginner should pick him as their character over Ryu, his speedy moves and rushdown style just make him feel best suited to swapping between pinning your opponent down with projectiles to delivering vicious beatdowns. Overall, I just really don’t feel you can go wrong with Ken (or anyone on this list) in Street Fighter 6.

Street Fighter 6 is available now on the PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, and PC.

Joel Couture
About The Author
Joel is a contributor who has been covering games for Siliconera, Game Developer, IndieGamesPlus, IndieGames.com, Warp Door, and more over the years, and has written book-length studies on Undertale, P.T., Friday the 13th, and Kirby's Dream Land.