Street Fighter 6 tier list – best characters December 2023

Take a look at our expert SF6 tier list to discover the best Street Fighter 6 characters capable of taking you to Diamond rank and beyond.

Street Fighter 6 tier list: Blanka is wearing an orange bandana on his neck and is gearing for a rolling attack.

Who is on the Street Fighter 6 tier list? If you want to win, you need to pick a top-tier fighter. Character loyalty is cute, but it won’t get you anywhere. The fact of the matter is that if your goal is to win games of Street Fighter 6, you should pick an S-tier character.

We’ve spent dozens of hours with Street Fighter 6  – something you can read more about in our review – putting every member of the Street Fighter 6 roster to the test to bring you the definitive list of the best SF6 characters to grace Capcom’s fighting game. Naturally, this will be an ever-evolving SF6 tier list as any potential updates arrive.

Street Fighter 6 tier list

Here is the latest Street Fighter 6 tier list for September:

Tier Characters
S Ken, Luke, Guile, Cammy, JP
A Manon, Zangief, Dee Jay, Blanka
B Jamie, Ryu, Marisa, E. Honda, Chun-Li, Rashid
C Lily, Dhalsim, Kimberly, Juri

It’s always difficult to determine how powerful fighting game characters are, especially in the first year where a lot can change in just a matter of weeks. Since Street Fighter 6 launched, we’ve seen almost every character on the roster win tournaments, though some of these wins have been more significant than others.

Characters like Ken and JP are undoubtedly the best right now, but even undervalued characters like Kimberly and Ryu have surprised people by taking the top spot at big events. Don’t let this tier list or any other deter you from picking your favorite character in the game.

A.K.I is the latest character to join the roster. As an apprentice of the former Shadaloo polson master, Fang, A.K.I utilizes poison to slowly drain her opponent’s health bar. She also packs quite a punch, dealing hefty damage specifically in corner combos. A.K.I’s play style seems to suit zoners and she’s capable of stopping her opponent from getting using a range of poisonous projectiles. We’ll be keeping an eye on A.K.I’s performance as players slowly start to use her in tournaments.

S-tier

Based on our hours of experience with the game, we can confidently say that these are the best Street Fighter characters right now.

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Ken

Ken has proven to be not only one of the best characters in Street Fighter 6 but statistically, he’s also one of the most popular. This latest version of Ken retains his run mechanic from Street Fighter 5 while providing more options to his close-range toolset to make him unpredictable up close. Ken is at his most powerful when he gets his opponent into the corner, and that comes naturally to him as his special moves travel surprisingly far. Give our Street Fighter 6 Ken guide a read to learn more about his powerful rush-down abilities.

Luke is celebrating by pumping his fists because he is currently at the top of the Street Fighter 6 tier list.

Luke

He may not be the most complex character on the roster, but Luke has everything he needs to become a dominant force in the meta. Luke can apply a lot of pressure using his strong normal attacks from a distance, then you can follow up with special attacks or a super art to deal lots of damage. We knew Luke was going to be strong going into the full launch of Street Fighter 6, but he has exceeded our expectations so far. His destructive damage output means he only needs to land three solid combos before he’s close to winning the round. Give our Street Fighter 6 Luke guide a read to learn some basic combos.

Guile

It’s very difficult to know what to do against an experienced Guile player as it can feel like he has an answer to every move you make. Guile’s Sonic Booms have never been better thanks to the introduction of the ‘Perfect’ mechanic, making his charge moves stronger when timed correctly. While every character has the ability to parry moves, Guile can simply control the speed of his projectiles to throw off your opponent’s timing. His basic combos can deal devastating damage in an instant, and his advanced combos can last ages before ending in a super art. The perfect character for both beginners and experts, read our Street Fighter 6 Guile guide to learn about his deadly moves.

Cammy is about to kick someone's face off, in a bid to reach the top of the Street Fighter 6 tier list. She is wearing a blue jacket with tassles which are flowing in the air.

Cammy

Since her reintroduction in Street Fighter 4, Cammy has always been a strong character thanks to her fast movement speed and tricky moveset. Once Cammy gets up close and personal, it’s difficult to break away from her as she can quickly close the distance using her long-range normal attacks. Combine this with Cammy’s Hooligan Combination special attack and your opponent won’t know how to handle you. We predict Cammy is going to be very good in Street Fighter 6 as it looks like aggressive characters have the upper hand in this game.

JP, with his pearly white beard, standing in the dark, waiting for his time to climb to the top of the Street Fighter 6 tier list. He is wearing a fedora.

JP

JP’s main ability appears to be on zoning out his opponents using a range of full to mid-screen projectiles. This is the type of character that will require a lot of patience as one wrong move can cause the game to spiral out of control. As Kakeru recently proved at the Gamers8 2023 Street Fighter 6 invitational, JP can be unstoppable in the right hands as he perfect parried his way to victory.

A-tier

The characters you see in A-tier have the potential to compete against the world’s best fighters, but they may be lacking that special X-factor to take them to the next level.

Manon is wearing a jacket with magenta feathers and retro-style shades. She is making a stylish effort to reach the top of the Street Fighter 6 tier list.

Manon

Manon is a bit like the Incredible Hulk, the more damage she deals using command grabs, the stronger she becomes during battle. Manon has access to the Medal system, granting her one Medla every time she lands a command grab. She can gain a maximum of five Medals, granting her access to the strongest command grab in Street Fighter 6. To top it off, these Medals transfer between rounds, so she becomes more dangerous as the game goes on. With players like the Capcom Cup 2019 winner, iDom picking up Manon, it’s clear she’s going to cause a lot of problems for players that can’t handle grapplers.

Zangief is pointing his fingers in the sky, as explosions erupt in the background, making his dramatic entrance on the scene in a bid for the top spot in the Street Fighter 6 tier list.

Zangief

Grapplers are only as good as the people that play them and there are plenty of high-level players that are ready to dominate as Zangief. Zangief is known for his outrageous SPDs which can deal over 30% damage in a single throw. That means if Zangief manages to punish you three times, that’s usually enough to win the game. We haven’t had enough time to play against Zangief just yet, but he could easily become a huge problem and we haven’t even factored in modern controls.

Dee Jay is posing with his finger in the sky as Kimberly falls to the ground, as he makes a bid for the top of the Street Fighter 6 tier list.

Dee Jay

Dee Jay can be summarized as being both stylish and tricky, able to dish out damaging combos while making the opponent look silly in the process. Judging by what we’ve seen of Dee Jay, it’s clear that he has a lot of potential, especially in the hands of clever players that can make use of all of his special move feints. His feints can be devastating in the corner as he’s able to bait his opponent into making mistakes. It hasn’t taken long for expert players to capitalize on his high-damage combos and mix-ups. A strong Dee Jay player only needs a handful of opportunities to destroy their opponent.

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Blanka

We were absolutely wrong about Blanka, who we incorrectly assumed was the worst character in the game at launch. MenaRD has proven that Blanka can be deadly in the right hands as he bamboozled his opponents to win the first Street Fighter 6 major tournament. When Blanka starts to incorporate his Blanka-Chan doll, it can be very difficult to keep track of where you’re supposed to be blocking. There’s definitely some untapped potential in Blanka, don’t be surprised to see more players pick him up now that his ability has been exposed at CEO 2023.

B-tier

There’s nothing like a strong B-tier character to lull your opponent into a false sense of security before you bring the hammer down. The characters in this category have their flaws, but a strong player can make up for them with tactical brilliance.

Jamie

Street Fighter’s first drunken fist fighter and self-proclaimed protector of Chinatown, Jamie has been inspired by his cousins of Street Fighter 3 fame, Yun and Yang. As you can see in our Street Fighter 6 Jamie guide, his full potential is unlocked when you reach drink level four. This can be difficult to achieve against some characters as you either need a spare second to drink from your gourd or you need to land a clean combo. To make matters more difficult, Jamie loses his drink level after every round, forcing you to go through the motions once again. If you can consistently get Jamie drunk, he can be destructive in the right hands.

Ryu

Ryu’s moves are mostly the same as they’ve been for decades, but his moves in Street Fighter 6 are similar to Street Fighter III: Third Strike as he can use the High Blade Kick to knock foes away. He has also mastered the Denjin charge, giving both the Hadoken and Hashogeki electrical properties, making him surprisingly versatile. We think Ryu is the best he’s ever been, even Daigo, one of the top Street Fighter players of all time, agrees with us on this, but his game plan is a tad predictable.

Marisa is flexing her muscles to try and claim her spot in the Street Fighter 6 tier list.

Marisa

Another large grappler character, Marisa is built like a truck and she sure hits like one too. Characters like this can usually be kept at bay using projectiles, but Marisa has some tricks up her sleeve to stop the usual game plan from working against her. Her Guard stance negates any high attack and instantly headbutts her opponent, creating an opening to land a command grab. Marisa is capable of dealing damaging combos that can slash up to 70-80% of her opponent’s health bar. She’s a newbie killer thanks to her armored moves, but with the right game plan experienced players should be able to find a way to take her down.

E. Honda is throwing Guile to the ground to assert his dominance in the Street Fighter 6 tier list.

E. Honda

Unlike in previous iterations of Street Fighter, E. Honda has received a number of huge tweaks that change the way he approaches combat. One of the biggest changes is Honda’s hundred-hand slap has changed from a mash input to a regular quarter-circle forward command. This opens up a number of combo opportunities as it’s very easy to link this move from Honda’s normal attacks. His Sumo Headbutt has also been tweaked to not be as punishable, making his game plan much safer than it’s ever been. Keep an eye out on Honda as we wouldn’t be surprised to see him rise in the tier list.

Chun-Li

It’s clear that even experienced Chun-Li players may struggle to get to grips with her. Chun-Li in Street Fighter 6 is one of the fastest characters in the game, and she has enough tools to approach fights both aggressively and defensively. The only problem is that her best combos can take a while to learn, so it’ll take a while to unlock her full potential. While top-tier players like Sako have us convinced that Chun-Li is going to become strong in the future, most normal players haven’t quite tapped into her potential just yet.

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Rashid

Rashid was a tricky character to deal with in Street Fighter 5 and that hasn’t changed in the sequel, he’s still a pain in the neck when he puts you in his vortex. The mix-up master also has fantastic combo potential, but your execution is going to have to be solid in order to get the most out of Rashid’s abilities. Sadly, his anti-air options are terrible, causing you to trade or sometimes outright lose in situations that most characters would be fine in. Overall, Rashid is a strong character, but we wouldn’t say no to any potential buffs Capcom has to offer him.

C-tier

Our C-tier list of Street Fighter 6 characters features those who either haven’t come into their own yet or will take longer to learn before reaching their full potential.

Lily is using her war clubs in an effort to throw her opponent to achieve top status in the Street Fighter 6 tier list.

Lily

Lily doesn’t score any points for having some of the best animations in the game, but if she did she’d be at least in the B-Tier. T Hawk fans will be pleased to see Lily has a number of the Native American’s moves while introducing some new mechanics of her own. If you give Lily a spare moment, she can build a stock of Condor Wind which buffs a number of her special moves. Don’t give her too much time as she can store up to three of these stocks, unlocking opportunities for stronger combos and mix-ups.

Street Fighter 6 tier list: Dhalsim is surrounded by the flames of Agni as he prepares to attack.

Dhalsim

Effectively using Dhalsim at long range is going to be tricky. While his normals are amazing regarding range and damage output, they are rather slow, so easily avoided. With the Drive Rush mechanic, he could get follow-ups that are just not possible in other Street Fighter games. On top of this, his fireballs can launch into the air or straight at the opponent, with Overdrive versions bouncing around. He can also hover and teleport to keep the opponent on their toes, but we get the feeling that his long-range game isn’t quite as good as JPs.

Kimberly is one of the better characters in the current Street Fighter 6 tier list.

Kimberly

We’ve had just over a month to analyze Kimberly and we’ve got to say, so far the results aren’t looking too hot. She has failed to produce strong results in either of the two major tournaments so far, and it appears her gimmicky style of fighting can be sussed out by high-level opponents. With a few tiny buffs, we could see Kimberly climbing up the ranks, but right now she’s very tricky to get the most out of. Remember, Kimberly’s placement on our list doesn’t mean she is useless. If you can vary up her attacks, you can utilize our Street Fighter 6 Kimberly guide to crush your enemies.

Juri

Good Juri players are hard to come by in Street Fighter 6, as her tricky tool set can be difficult to master, especially for new players. If you’re an experienced player who can reliably create mix-ups to characters on wake up, we highly recommend checking her out, as Juri’s lightning-fast moves can bamboozle other players. Juri’s recent fall from grace appears to be due to players having access to the cracked beta prior to launch. While her tricky mixups were difficult to predict at Street Fighter 6’s launch, most experienced players have no problems dealing with her moves now that they’ve seen her fight extensively.

Who is the best Street Fighter 6 character?

The best Street Fighter 6 character is Ken due to his aggressive move-set and mastery of up-close combat. The variety of his attacks and the range of his special moves make him a powerhouse SF6 fighter.

That is the Street Fighter 6 tier list as it currently stands. When the Street Fighter 6 launch finally rolls around, we’ll round off the SF6 tier list with the rest of the roster. In the meantime, why not learn more about Street Fighter 6 on Steam Deck and if Street Fighter 6 Game Pass is a reality or not.