Tekken 8 release date, demo, betas, and trailers

The Tekken 8 release date has now arrived, so here’s everything we knew leading up to the latest entry in this popular fighting game series.

Feng Wei is flexing his muscles inside a colosseum, as he prepares to join the roster in the Tekken 8 release date.

When was 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 came as no surprise that fans are excited to see what Bandai Namco had in store for the next entry.

One of the most highly anticipated fighting games got its big reveal during a Sony State of Play stream, pleasantly surprising fans with a trailer premiering showcasing gameplay in the new game engine. Now that the game’s out and, according to our Tekken 8 review, is highly replayable and truly evolves the gameplay, here is everything we knew about the Tekken 8 release date, details about the various beta tests, trailers, gameplay, story, and more.

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What is the Tekken 8 release date?

The Tekken 8 release date was Friday, January 26, 2024 on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S. This announcement arrived during Gamescom’s Opening Night Live stream via a trailer showing a host of returning fighters. 

In addition, series creator Katsuhiro Harada confirmed that the game is being built from scratch in Unreal Engine 5, with no Tekken 7 assets being reused.

Tekken 8 versions and preorder bonuses

Tekken 8 included a Paul Phoenix avatar costume for the Arcade Quest mode as a preorder bonus for all platforms, while the Mokujin and Tetsujin avatar costumes are sadly PlayStation exclusives.

The Deluxe edition of Tekken 8 includes the Playable Character Year 1 pass, giving players four additional characters post-launch. It also includes the Kinjin avatar skin, and a Gold Suit pack compatible with all 32 characters. The Ultimate edition includes all of the above, avatar skins for Kazuya, Jin, and Jun, and 32 t-shirt patterns to personalize your avatars with.

Tekken 8 release date - the Tekken 8 demo menu screen

Tekken 8 demo

The Tekken 8 demo is now available on PlayStation 5, Steam, and Xbox Series X|S. Bandai Namco revealed the demo on Twitter. The modes available are the first chapter of the story mode, as well as a part of Arcade Quest, a gallery with digest movies spanning across the entire Tekken series, and local multiplayer against another player or the CPU across three stages: Urban Square (Evening), Sanctum, and Yakushima.

The available characters you can pick in the demo are:

  • Jin Kazama
  • Kazuya Mishima
  • Nina Williams
  • Paul Phoenix
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Tekken 8 beta

The most recent Tekken 8 beta took place between October 20 – 23. This Closed Beta test included the same character roster as the Closed Network Test, as well as the debut of Raven, Azucena, and Feng.

Players needed to register their interest at the official Tekken 8 website to take part in the last beta. If you already participated in the Closed Network test earlier this year, you will automatically be accepted into the Tekken 8 beta.

In July 2023, there was a Closed Network test on Steam, PlayStation 5, and Xbox. This test gave players access to 16 characters, which they could use to fight online against other players across five stages. Now that the full game’s out though, it’ll be fascinating to see how they fare on the Tekken 8 tier list.

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Tekken 8 closed beta changes

Here were the additions and changes, as listed by the official beta FAQ, that were in the Tekken 8 beta:

  • Adds Raven, Azucena, and Feng to the roster.
  • Adds the Ortiz Farm as a new stage.
  • Damage by Heat Burst (activated while in Heat State) has been adjusted.
  • You can now tank a Power Crush hit with a Heat Burst.
  • Reduced length of combos with Heat Bursts/Heat Dashes.
  • Recoverable damage granted by Heat State has been reduced.
  • Heat Gauge ticks down when attacks are blocked while in Heat State.
  • Heat Gauge drain caused by attacks enhanced by the Heat State is now increased.
  • Improved Power Crush move performance.
  • Reversals and parries decreased in effectiveness.
  • Increase in techniques that can’t be parried.
  • Dashes and Back-dashes are now easier to perform.
  • Restrictions added to wall-hit combos.
  • Overall balance adjustment.
  • Signature moves expanded.
  • Adjusted brightness of effects.
  • Shape and range of effects adjusted to improve visibility.
  • Visual effects visibility is now significantly reduced when set to “low” in the options menu.
  • Select different preset outfits for characters.
  • L3 and E3 buttons can now be assigned an action.

Tekken 8 characters list

There are officially 32 characters in the base Tekken 8 roster. These include a whole host of returning characters from the series, including some that haven’t been in the main series for a long time, and characters introduced as part of Tekken 7’s final season. Reina is the last character in the main roster; she uses a mix of Taido and Mishima-karate.

Tekken 8 DLC

The Tekken 8 opening movie trailer that launched on January 14 featured a surprise at the end of the video, showing off a sneak peek of Season 1 ahead of the game’s launch. Eddy Gordo, one of the original characters in Tekken 3, has made his way to the latest entry. He’s been given a slight makeover in this game, opting for a Miles Morales-style haircut compared to his longer dreadlocks from Tekken 7. You can expect each new character to launch per season, with the last one set for Winter. Eddy Gordo is so set to join the game in Spring 2024.

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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. While the graphical fidelity isn’t quite of the same standard as that trailer, it’s somewhat close and runs at a consistent frame rate.

Over the past few months, Tekken 8 has launched many character trailers highlighting each fighter and some of their moves. Some of the returning characters include Dragunov, a Spetznax member with a chilly personality first introduced in Tekken 5: Dark Ressurection, while Shaheen is a military bodyguard who debuted in Tekken 7. Meanwhile, Steve Fox is a boxer fighting to uncover his mysterious past since Tekken 4, and we first saw Leo, a professional spelunker by trade, in Tekken 6. Both Yoshimitsu and Kuma debuted in the first Tekken game, though this Kuma is canonically the son of the first bear and debuted in Tekken 3. We also saw the return of Raven, who was not a playable fighter in Tekken 7.

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After the Closed Network test, we got our first glimpse at two other fighters at EVO 2023. Azucena is the first completely new fighter in Tekken 8, adopting a dodging-based fighting style. Her apparent rival is Lili, as they disagree on whether coffee or tea is the superior drink. She also has a unique interaction with Leo, where they both share their love for coffee.

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The second new character was Victor Chevalier, voiced by Vincent Cassel. As a descendant of distinguished knights, he soon positioned himself as the leader of the UN’s independent forces, swearing to protect the vulnerable against evil forces. His fighting style incorporates a gun, sword, and dagger into ninja-like movements. As the founder of the Raven unit, he’s also, unsurprisingly, Raven’s superior and tutor.

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The final new character is Reina, who has a deeply rooted connection to the now-deceased Heihachi. Neither Jin nor Kazuya seems to know who she is, but she’s very familiar with Heihachi’s immediate family. She uses a mix of Mishima-karate and Taido.

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 center 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 and plans to bring down Kazuya.

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 perhaps we’ll see how this affects his story, as well as the presence of Devil Jin as a separate character. There’s also the emergence of a new, never-before-seen Mishima relation in Reina, who is allegedly a daughter of Heihachi.

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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. While the game is visually stunning, there’s some controversy regarding the colorblind mode, as disabled players are saying that they’re getting migraines by looking at them.

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 canceling 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.

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.

Several cute cartoon humans huddled around two arcade machines with two players fighting it out upon the Tekken 8 release date.

Arcade Quest

Announced during the Tekken 8 release date reveal at GamesCom, Arcade Quest is a separate single-player mode that doesn’t replace the game’s story mode, which continues the Mishima saga that began all the way back in the first Tekken game.

The idea behind Arcade Quest is to recreate the experience of going into an arcade complex and inserting quarters to play the full arcade mode experience. In an interview with IGN, Harada explains further that the mode is to help newer players “learn the ropes” in much the same way he and other members of his team did back in the early 1990s.

There will also be an element of AI learning, which will tailor your CPU opponents to mimic aspects of your own gameplay style and even try to emulate real players.

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.