Want to learn how to play as Street Fighter 6 Ryu? There’s a reason Ryu is generally considered to be everyone’s favorite fighting game character. His cool new beard and drippy outfit definitely help to draw people in, but the most appealing factor has to be Ryu’s iconic moveset.
This latest iteration of Ryu in Street Fighter 6 has received a number of upgrades, including two new special moves and one super art. Be warned, picking the fighting game’s most popular character comes with its own set of challenges, but we’ll get into that later. We’re going to break down Ryu’s moves, combos, and your strategy in combat to help you rank up in the Street Fighter 6 beta this weekend.
How to play Ryu in Street Fighter 6
The best way to play Ryu in Street Fighter 6 is to take a defensive approach. As you fight, bring your opponent to the corner using special moves like Tatsumaki Senpu-kyaku. Once you’ve got your opponent cornered, keep them there using carefully timed Hadokens, and be sure to look for any jump-in attacks that you can punish using Shoryuken.
As mentioned earlier, the main problem when it comes to picking Ryu is that everyone and their mother knows how to play him. Beginner Ryu players typically spam Shoryukens, jump at all the wrong times, and they want to parry everything. Once you’ve got a few hours of combat under your belt, you should start to see these patterns emerge from beginner players. In order to separate yourself from the rest of the Ryu pack, you need to spend time learning how to master the fundamentals of fighting games.
Compared to the rest of the cast, Ryu doesn’t have to perform long combos to deal lots of damage. Practice the basic combos we highlighted in this guide until you can land them on command, always punish your opponent whenever the opportunity arises, and learn how to use your anti-air attacks to stop the enemy from constantly jumping in. This principle applies to virtually every character in the game, but things are harder for Ryu as everyone knows how to fight against him.
It might seem like we’re actively telling you not to pick Ryu, and to some extent we are, but you should feel free to play as anyone on the Street Fighter 6 roster. Generally speaking, you’re going to have an easier time if you play as a different character, but if you have your heart set on Ryu, don’t let us deter you from picking him.
We highly recommend checking out Daigo Umehara, one of the best Street Fighter players of all time, playing as Ryu on the FGC Translated Alpha YouTube channel. Daigo is known for his exceptional use of projectiles and his ability to predict precisely when to throw out an Overdrive Shoryuken.
Street Fighter 6 motions
All special moves and super arts use a specific set of motions along with a button input. To make things easier, we’ve broken down every motion used by Ryu in Street Fighter 6 to help you execute moves and combos.
Here are the most important motions for Ryu in Street Fighter 6:
- Quarter-circle forward – push down on the d-pad or stick and quickly rotate to the direction your character is facing.
- Quarter-circle back – push down on the d-pad or stick and quickly rotate in the opposite direction to the one your character is facing.
- Z Motion – press forward, then quickly press down and rotate so you’re pressing down and forward at the same time.
- Double tap down – tap down twice and follow up with a button to perform a special attack.
- Overdrive – previously known as EX moves, Overdrive attacks require you to press two punches or two kicks to execute an enhanced version of a special attack. Performing an Overdrive attack consumes two Drive Gauge bars.
Street Fighter 6 Ryu special moves
It’s important to know every command your favorite character has at their disposal in order to catch your opponent off guard. Each special move has its own set of strengths and weaknesses that you need to learn, but the only way to do that is to incorporate these moves into your general game plan.
Hadoken – Quarter-circle forward + Punch
Ryu throws a ki blast across the screen – the heavier the punch, the faster the fireball travels. Try not to become too predictable when firing off Hadokens as your opponent can use this to their advantage by parrying them. The Overdrive version of Ryu’s Hadoken hits twice and has juggle properties, giving you the option to follow up with certain attacks in specific scenarios.
Shoryuken – Z Motion + Punch
Ryu flies into the air with a rising uppercut – the heavier the punch, the further Ryu travels in the air. The heavy Shoryuken deals the most damage out of all of Ryu’s special moves, making this the perfect combo ender. Overdrive Shoryuken features lots of invincibility frames during its start-up, giving you an opportunity to hit your opponent while they’re in the middle of an attack.
Tatsumaki Senpu-kyaku – Quarter-circle back + Kick
Ryu launches himself forward with a spinning kick – the heavier the kick, the further Ryu travels. This attack causes a hard knockdown on hit, putting you in a strong position as you prepare for your next attack. The Overdrive Tatsumaki Senpu-kyaku spins Ryu in place like a tornado, dealing multiple hits while putting the opponent into a juggle state. If you land this attack in the corner, you can follow up with a range of special moves and supers.
Aerial Tatsumaki Senpu-kyaku – Quarter-circle back + Kick
Perform the same spinning kick attack while airborne. You can use this to alter the trajectory of your jump, great for mixing up the opponent. The Overdrive version of this special attack can be used to combo airborne opponents.
High Blade Kick – Half-circle forward + Kick
Ryu lunges forward with his left leg, the heavier the kick, the further Ryu travels. Returning players may know this attack as Ryu’s Donkey Kick, a powerful special move that can be followed up with a super art. The heavy version of High Blade Kick cannot be combo’ed into, but it’s safe on block when used from a distance. The Overdrive High Blade Kick hits the opponent so hard that it triggers a wall bounce, leading to an extended combo.
Hashogeki – Quarter-circle back + Punch
One of Ryu’s new moves in Street Fighter 6, Hashogeki is a short-range attack that sees Ryu attack his opponent with an energy blast. This attack can be used as a counter to one-hit projectiles, placing the opponent in a spinning juggle state. Overdrive Hashogeki deals two hits and has a shorter cancel window to follow up with an additional attack.
Denjin Charge – Double-tap down + Punch
Ryu’s second newest move, Denjin Charge alters the properties of some of Ryu’s special moves and super arts by briefly charging up This move is easiest to perform when you find yourself full distance from your opponent.
Here are all of the special moves Denjin Charge effects:
- Shinku Hadoken
- Shin Hashogeki
Street Fighter 6 Ryu Super Arts
There’s no right or wrong way to spend your special meter. Depending on your playstyle, you might prefer to save your bars to perform one huge combo using a level three at the end of the round, or it could be better to deplete your opponent’s health whenever you get the opportunity using level one supers. The most important thing is to use your super meter as you cannot gain more than three bars at any given time.
Level One: Shinku Hadoken (Quarter-circle forward x2 + Punch)
Fire a large Hadoken toward your opponent, dealing five hits in an instant. This super art can be canceled from a range of attacks, making it highly versatile as it can change the tide of a battle in an instant. Unlike in previous Street Fighter games, this super art travels at the same speed no matter what punch strength you use. This special move performs slightly more damage while Denjin Charge state is active.
Level Two: Shin Hashogeki (Quarter-circle back x2 + Punch)
A stronger version of Hasagoki, this super art version can be charged up to three different strengths, each dealing additional damage and draining more Drive gauge. Shin Hashogeki has a larger hit box and can destroy up to three projectiles, allowing you to use it as a defensive tool. If you’re in Denjin Charge state, Shin Hashogeki deals additional damage to opponents.
Level Three: Shin Shoryuken (Quarter-circle back x2 + Kick)
Crush your opponents with a deadly Shin Shoryuken that is guaranteed to deal a hefty amount of damage. Be careful when using this attack as an anti-air as the cinematic animation won’t play unless you land a clean hit. This super deals more damage when Ryu has 25% health or below.
Ryu can perform hundreds of combos in Street Fighter 6, but as a beginner, you only need to know the most important ones. As you gain more experience fighting, you can slowly start to incorporate different moves into your combos. For now, we’re going to focus on your bread-and-butter combos, the ones you should aim to land in every match you play.
Standing LP, standing LP, standing LP xx Overdrive Hadoken
Ryu’s standing light punch can be canceled into any special move. If you’re within touching distance of your opponent, let’s say after a throw, you can throw out a jab to test the waters. If the attack lands, follow up with two more jabs and cancel into an Overdrive Hadoken. This might be the hardest combo on this list to land consistently, but it can score you a decent amount of damage without having to put yourself in an awkward position.
Forward HP, crouching MP xx Special Moves
Ryu’s Solar Plexus Strike is a great way of advancing forward while threatening your opponent with a strong two-hit attack. If this attack lands, follow it up with a crouching MP – this can be canceled into any of Ryu’s special moves, so your combo ender depends on your current situation. For example, if you’re mid-screen and you want to take your opponent to the corner, end the combo with a Tatsumaki Senpu-kyaku. Similarly, you may want to end the combo with Hashogeki or Shoryuken if you’re in the corner and you want to deal the most damage possible.
Crouching MK xx Hadoken
Short but sweet, this two-hit combo is a classic Ryu combo that forces your opponent to respect your space. You’re going to want to learn precisely how far Ryu’s crouching MK attack lands as this is going to become one of your most used attacks. Without becoming too predictable, you want to put pressure on your opponent by landing this two-hit combo whenever you can. If the crouching MK doesn’t land, don’t launch a Hadoken as this could potentially get you in trouble. Once you get comfortable landing this combo, you can change the special move you use after crouching MK to mix things up.
Jumping MK, crouching HP xx Heavy Shoryuken xx Shin Shoryuken
Jump-in attacks can be difficult to land at high levels of play, but you shouldn’t have too many problems landing a cross-up attack on your opponent in the early ranks. Once you’ve crossed your opponent up with Ryu’s jumping MK, go for the max damage simple combo with crouching HP into Heavy Shoryuken, then cancel that into your level three super art. This combo should remove at least half of your opponent’s health, so keep that in mind once you reach three super meters.
That’s all you need to know about Street Fighter 6 Ryu. With all of that information, you should have everything you need to take you to the Street Fighter 6 release date and beyond. If you haven’t had a chance to look just yet, we have a Street Fighter 6 tier list, as well as a Street Fighter 6 system requirements guide to help you see if your PC can handle running the game.