Tekken 8 release date speculation, trailers, gameplay, and story

The Tekken 8 release date is still a way off, but here’s everything we know about the next instalment to one of the biggest fighting game series.

Tekken 8 release date: A character stood in the rain looking at the camera

Want to know more about the Tekken 8 release date? As one of the biggest fighting games in the world, Tekken 7 was the most impressive game in the series to date, so it’s no surprise that fans are excited to see what the developers have in store for the next entry.

One of the most highly anticipated fighting games got its big reveal during September’s Sony State of Play, pleasantly surprising Tekken fans with the shock reveal that Tekken 8 was in development, with a trailer premiering showcasing gameplay in the new game engine. Given the critical and commercial success of Tekken 7, there’s a strong possibility Tekken 8 ends up on our best PC games list in the future. Now we know the game exists, here’s everything we know about the Tekken 8 release date, trailers, gameplay, story, and more so far.

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Tekken 8 release date speculation

While the games press has looked at a special build of Tekken 8 with a limited roster, Tekken 8 doesn’t have a confirmed release date just yet. It looks like Tekken 8 will most likely launch in 2024 at the earliest.  

During The Game Awards, a new trailer revealed several story beats and showed some of the returning characters. However, it looks like we’ll be waiting a while for news on the release date. Series creator Katsuhiro Harada confirmed that the game is being built from scratch in Unreal Engine 5, with no Tekken 7 assets being reused.

On a more interesting note, the games press had a chance to play Tekken 8 for a few hours in late March. While Bandai Namco hasn’t talked about Tekken 8’s release date, the fact that there’s a playable build featuring ten characters is exciting news. This might suggest Tekken 8 is closer to release than people may expect, but we still don’t expect to see the game launch until 2024 due to the sheer size of the rosters in Tekken games.

Tekken 8 characters list

Here are the confirmed characters in the Tekken 8 roster so far:

  • Nina Williams
  • Jin Kazama
  • Kazuya Mishima
  • Paul Phoenix
  • Marshall Law
  • Jack-8
  • King
  • Lars Alexandersson
  • Jun Kazama
  • Ling Xiaoyu
  • Asuka Kazama
  • Leroy Smith
  • Lili 
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Tekken 8 trailers

The first Tekken 8 trailer features the series’ two lead characters, Jin Kazama and his father, Kazuya Mishima, clashing in the middle of a barren, stormy wasteland. The two trade blows back and forth before Jin lands a finishing blow on Kazuya using the power his devil gene provides him.

One exciting feature of the trailer is the disclaimer at the start of the trailer seems to suggest that the footage is real-time, in-engine footage, which, if true, means that we can expect the final game to have similarly stunning graphics.

Over the past few months, Tekken 8 has launched many character trailers highlighting each fighter and some of their moves. The three most recent character trailers revealed: Ling Xiaoyu, a returning fighter who has been in every Tekken game since Tekken 3, Asuka Kazama, first introduced in Tekken 5 and has appeared in every game since, and Leroy Smith, a DLC character who made his first appearance in Tekken 7. Lili, who has been in every game since her debut in Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, is also joining the roster. However, so far, there are no brand-new fighters joining the roster.

Tekken 8 release date: One character flinging another into the air

Tekken 8 story

While the trailers seen so far don’t give too much away story-wise, it does confirm that the story will centre around Jin and his companions as they plan to take down Kazuya once and for all. We also see the canonical return of Jun Kazama, Jin’s mother, for the first time in the series since Tekken 2.

Tekken 7 finished with Kazuya seemingly killing his father, Heihachi, and continuing the now years-long world war between the G Corporation and Mishima Zaibatsu. Meanwhile, Jin recovers from a coma to plan to bring down Kazuya.

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Much of the more recent entries in the series have focused on the devil gene, a genetic power possessed by both Jin and Kazuya, allowing them to transform into more powerful devil forms. While Kazuya has already learned to control his devil gene, Jin hasn’t yet and is prone to be taken over by his devil form.

However, the ending of the trailer seems to suggest that Jin has now also learned to control the devil gene, so it will be interesting to see how this affects his story, as well as the presence of Devil Jin as a separate character.

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Tekken 8 gameplay

The graphics in the trailer appear to be a massive upgrade on those of Tekken 7, but the gameplay itself looks largely similar. Characters tend to retain most of their gameplay between titles, and we can probably expect the same to be true in Tekken 8.

Recently at the Tekken North America Regional Finals, Harada explained some of the gameplay features that you may have missed during the Tekken 8 trailer shown at The Game Awards 2022. Firstly, we see this game’s version of Jack being hit against a wall, which proceeds to explode and cause a huge amount of damage to both the stage and Jack.

One major addition in Tekken 7 was the Rage Art and Rage Drive systems which were a core part of the game’s meta. Rage Arts is set to return as we see Paul use one against Law.  It’s not confirmed if Rage Drive will return yet, but there is a new mechanic, “Heat”. This is completely separate from Rage, and there are two ways you can activate it: either by executing a “Heat Engager” move, which causes your character to run towards the enemy after hitting them with Heat active or with a single button press (the developers use a PlayStation pad’s R1 button in the video). This begins a timer that drains quickly but will stop briefly whenever an opponent is hit by or blocks your moves.

We know that Heat differs between characters, such as Jack getting a powerful combo ender, Jin getting a mid-combo cancelling move that allows skilled fighters to extend combos, and Kazuya transforming into his Devil form. There are also some shared actions, so be sure to check out the video above for the full breakdown.

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A new system coming to Tekken 8 is the Recoverable Gauge. The damage you take is similar to the Tekken Tag Tournament games in that a part of the damage you take by blocking big moves or from aerial combos will remain as a white chunk. This doesn’t recover independently, instead filling back up when you hit an opponent or they block your attacks.

Fancy playing something new with some pals? Our list of the best multiplayer games has what you’re looking for. Don’t forget to give our list of the best action-adventure games a read if you decide you want to take on multiple enemies at once.