Street Fighter 6 – Balance, Controls & Mechanics

I have fought many matches against the entire cast (minus Luke and Lily, can’t seem to find anyone playing them at my level) and I landed square at Diamond. I think when the game matures we’ll see the common critiques come back to what I’m about to point out…


Dee Jay

Underrated character, his moves hit hard and he probably has the most fun with Drive Rush paired with his own bobbing leading to some serious mindgames. Astonishingly good and I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s found to be a top-tier.


Has some serious issues: Gladius is an amazing solution to Drive Impact but thats about it because it’s reactable, Phalanx is insane when used right and can lead into a combo that can cause some serious damage. I won’t even comment on the rest of her kit, if you’ve fought a good Marisa then you know how bad it can get. Will probably be top-tier or high-tier but she’s extremely fun to fight.

E. Honda

Headbutt is insane but that’s about it, rest of his kit feels like it’s lacking something to truly be threatening. Good character overall and fun match, probably needs a buff outside of his headbutt though. Expecting low-tier.


E. Honda but stronger, much more pressure than just spamming roll (headbutt equivalent). Doll can get annoying. Will probably be mid-tier when dust settles.


Despite being a zoner, JP is reliant on more unorthodox moves that make opponents confused. His zoning is pretty unique for the series but will probably end up in the mid-tiers if not low-tiers when people figure out his pressure is fake.


It’s her weakest appearance since…..ever. Doesn’t mean she’s bad, but holy crap is it heartbreaking to see so much punishable moves on a character that has historically been strong throughout the series’ life. Needs a buff badly, and until then will probably be square in the middle of mid-tier.


Incredible character, really tough to fight and needs actual engagement to win against her. Powerful, but I can respect anyone who puts the time in to get her to that state. Will probably be high-tier.


Extremely bad right now, Manon does what Zangief can do but better, faster and with more range. Needs some love or he’ll be a bottom-tier.


Disclaimer: I main Ken so assume that this is me underplaying

Ken is pretty good, his specials are great and he really emphasizes his role as the more aggressive shoto between him and Ryu, but he lacks quite a bit compared to the rest of the cast. Everything seems to be front-loaded into his run which makes him feel a bit awkward, his kick string sucks because you’re wide open after the second kick (yes I know it’s a frametrap, but you can just crouch it then punish hard), and despite 2 of Jinrai’s followups being for cracking someone open, the overhead is reactable so you can just crouch block the first hit then react with a crouching LP if the overhead kick is coming, medium Jinrai with heavy followup is a good combo tool though. I expect him to be top of mid-tier, if not in the high-tier despite all of this becuase his Jinrai loop can get crazy.


Not much to say, still the standard shoto we all know and love. Fun to fight, good Ryu players deserve all the respect they get. He’s doing great in this version too, so I expect him to sit at high-tier.


Crazy in the right hands but her damage is very low, meaning that the average Chun-Li will have to put in a load of effort for minimal rewards. She can otherwise completely bamboozle you and really start hammering your health away as you slowly lose your sanity fighting your 50th Chun-Li for the day. I think she’ll be rated as a mid-tier, MAYBE a low-end high-tier.


Dhalsim is weird, and that’s fine because he’s always been weird. He has some really good moves but his kit is pretty damn reactable so it’s just a patience test as you inch closer to him. Don’t be afraid to Drive Rush if he tries to run with a teleport. He’ll get rated as a mid-tier.


Very oppressive. Guile is incredible right now and it wouldn’t shock me if people point out that he’s a definitive top-tier. His frame data is insane and he can play zoning as he has forever, but his close range isn’t anything to scoff at either due to the insane damage he can dish out and his frame data being crazy good. Drive drain isn’t funny either.


Not too much to say, her spraycan grenades can get really damn annoying if you think you land a good Drive Impact because it just stops your pressure if it doesn’t trigger the super armor. Her damage is low but her options are amazing to balance it out. She’s probably gonna land in high mid-tier in most people’s eyes.


Like Manon, Jamie has a mechanic that essentially makes him better as the game goes on. His drunkenness can make his moves go crazy and dish out ♥ of damage; kill him before his own clock runs out or you’re fighting an uphill battle. He still lacks some options that other characters have so I expect him to be high mid-tier to low high-tier, but I lean more towards mid-tier.


Oh boy here we go…

Disclaimer: I hate fighting Juri, I have always hated fighting Juri in every game she’s appeared in and I will continue to hate Juri until the end of time. Take what I’m saying here as overplaying.

Juri is insane. You’ll see her be the highest rated top tier among the pros because she has so much going for her: insane damage, insane poke, insane frametraps, insane supers and insane combo potential. She seriously needs a nerf or everyone else needs a buff, and I think the latter is the worse option. Seriously, fighting a Juri that has just a minor idea of what to do feels like an uphill battle, fighting one that definitely knows how to play her makes it feel almost impossible to win.

Game Mechanics

Modern Controls

The fact this exists in it’s current state is insane to me. A 20% damage loss is nothing when you can consistently 1frame a level 1 super to prevent any threat of a Drive Impact can offer, or you can punish harder (or straight up win) with a level 2 or 3 super instead. Modern controls help people get into the game yes, but they also can completely ruin the balance the game has. Sure, you might lose some moves but with a character like Luke, he only loses 2 moves and only 1 is somewhat sad to lose, meanwhile he can just do everything else completely fine and still perform at high efficiency. 80% damage of a serious combo is still more than 100% of a short, pitiful one.

Drive Impacts

This mechanic is nice, but it’s so dangerous to use in it’s current state. Seriously, you can beat it on reaction with itself, a grab, a parry or 3 LP’s and 3 of those options puts you into a better situation than you would otherwise be if you simply jump. It has potential to be a fake pressure tool but it’s so damn slow that it’s true use is to beat frame traps, except only like 3 of the cast have frame traps and 5 characters can ignore the mechanic completely because of their own armor on their moves, moves that provide tons of hits, or longer reaching command grabs that help consistently stop the Drive Impact in it’s tracks. The payoff is nice, but it’s still a poor decision to use in a lot of cases.

Drive Reversals

Very poorly thought out mechanic. The concept of the Drive Reversals is nice but it fails to deliver on the job it’s meant to do: Break you out of a bad situation. Instead, the best way to use this is rigt after a Parry on a Drive Impact so you can actually punish, otherwise it’s usually better to just punish with your own combo instead.

Drive Rush

Raw Drive Rush is fine, but a Rush Cancel taking 3 bars of drive is hilariously bad, given that it’s already way too easy to use up your drive in the first place. Sure you can use it to extend combo’s, but most combo’s forgo it for other options instead because EX skills are more valuable at 2 bars of drive instead of what Rush can provide.

Buffer Size

By far my biggest complaint with the core mechanics: The buffer size is way too big. If you try to fight a projectile war against a charge character as a quartercircle character with a DP input, you will know why this is hell; shimmying forward into a qcf projectile can make the dp come out instead. It can get so bad at times that two back to back projectiles instead cause it to projectile > dp instead of just projectile > projectile. How this didn’t get red flagged in testing is beyond me, but it sucks fighting a projectile war as Ken and trying to throw out hadokens while slowly advancing, just to throw out a shoryuken and get punished because the game though it was a dp input instead of a qcf.

Anyways, that’s all for now. I think the game is great but it needs some work.

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