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Tekken 8 tier list - best characters June 2024

Utilize our Tekken 8 tier list to discover who the best characters are in the game and if you're at the right skill level to play as them.

Tekken 8 tier list: A character with jet black hair receives a punch to the face from a gloved hand and winces

Who is on the Tekken 8 tier list? The only way to become the King (or Queen) of the Iron Fist tournament is to pick a powerful character, someone capable of defeating the majority of the roster without breaking a sweat.

The Tekken games are known for their exceptional character balancing, meaning you should be able to pick anyone on the Tekken 8 roster without having to worry about any glaring weaknesses. That being said, even the best fighting games with amazing character balancing still feature tier lists, and Tekken 8 is no exception. We’re going to break down each character and highlight their strengths and weaknesses to determine who tops our Tekken 8 tier list.

Tekken 8 tier list

Don’t forget that it’s very early days for the game as the Tekken 8 release date has only just arrived. There have been numerous rounds of character balancing since the closed network tests took place throughout 2023, sometimes drastically altering the combo potential and damage output of each fighter. There has been a balance patch since the game launched, but don’t worry, that patch mainly affected moves with buggy animations.

This is our take on the Tekken 8 tier list right now based on what we’ve experienced in-game and during the closed network tests, but don’t be surprised if someone we thought was bottom tier ends up being dominant in the future. Again, Tekken is extremely well-balanced, so it’s nearly impossible to count any character out.

Here is the latest Tekken 8 tier list for February 2024:

Tier Characters
S Hwoarang, Jin, Claudio, Jun, Dragunov
A Kazuya, Shaheen, King, Lili, Paul, Lars, Jack, Bryan, Devil Jin, Reina, Lee Chaolan, Alisa, Feng Wei, Steve Fox, Azucena
B Law, Xiaoyu, Nina, Leroy, Asuka, Victor Chevalier, Leo, Yoshimitsu, Raven, Panda and Kuma

S-Tier

Hwoarang, dressed in his taekwondo gi, Akira slides into the top of the Tekken 8 tier list on his motorbike.

Hwoarang

Hwoarang can be incredibly annoying to deal with thanks to his incredible variety of kick attacks. He doesn’t disappoint here, and so long as you take the time to learn his stances, he can be a considerable and constant threat. We expect Hwoarang to excel in Tekken 8 as he benefits heavily from Heat mode, giving him even more tools to open up his opponent’s defense to deal heavy damage.

Tekken 8 tier list: Jin Kazama is wearing a white and black bomber jacket with a black hoodie and red gloves. He is standing in the middle of Times Square.

Jin

Unlike the previous Tekken games where Jin’s moveset was surprisingly complex given his popularity as the cover star, Tekken 8 makes him a lot easier to pick up and play for newbies. Jin has tools for every situation, and his moveset has been simplified to make it obvious when you should use specific actions. He’s a great character to learn all of Tekken 8’s mechanics, and on top of that, he looks super cool with his heavy Sasuke-eqsue vibes.

Claudio is staring at the fallen body of Bryan, having just beaten him in his fight to get to the top of the Tekken 8 tier list.

Claudio

Another easy-to-learn character, Claudio has a high skill ceiling which makes him a great fighter to attempt to learn right away as he can take you extremely far. You won’t be doing super long combo strings with Claudio, but he has access to a handful of powerful moves that can seriously frustrate your opponent, especially if they’re new to the game.

Jun Kazama is holding her finger out for a bird to stand on. She's probably about to talk to it about why she's near the top of the Tekken 8 tier list.

Jun

Jun is another character that hugely benefits from the Heat system. Her unique ability to buff her attacks by sacrificing a tiny bit of life can make all the difference in tight matches. She retains a lot of the moves that she had way back in Tekken 2 but has some new techniques that bring her right up back to speed with the current juggle-heavy mechanics that the series is now known for.

Dragunov

High-level players can take advantage of Dragunov’s extensive moveset by forcing their opponents to be cautious of all of his options. On top of this, it’s incredibly easy to get up close and personal thanks to Dragunov’s jab coupled with his impressive mobility. Once you understand all of his tools, it won’t take long before you’re baiting your opponent with pokes, hitting them just enough to find the perfect opportunity to send them flying with a launcher.

A-Tier

Tekken 8 tier list: Kazuya stands in the middle of Times Square, punching the air while wearing a scaly purple trenchcoat.

Kazuya

Just like his son, Kazuya is one of the game’s most popular characters which makes him tricky to get good with as everyone and their mother knows the match-up. Kazuya has access to various highly damaging and, more importantly, long combos. If he gets one good hit in, he can easily start to mount a comeback. He also has great Heat-exclusive attacks, taking advantage of his Devil form to add that extra chunk of damage. Our main issue with putting Kazuya in S-Tier is that you’re going to have to be exceptional to dominate with him.

Shaheen

Shaheen is a tricky character to master as he doesn’t have any gimmicky tools for you to rely on, he’s extremely fair which can be to his detriment at times. Great Shaheen players typically have a strong grasp on the fundamentals of Tekken, knowing the right moments to attack and defend without putting yourself at risk. If you think of yourself as a strong fighter that can doesn’t need gimmicks to win, Shaheen is your man.

Tekken 8 tier list: King is celebrating his win by flexing his big muscles. He is wearing a leopard mask and has elaborate ring gear.

King

King has a lot of potential to be one of the best Tekken 8 characters thanks to his devastating follow-up throws. Where King’s game plan struggles a little bit is that many of his opener moves are unsafe on block, leaving him a bit open to counterattacks, but he at least has a variety of ways to start a long-hitting combo.

Lili is silencing her critics as she makes a move for the top of the Tekken 8 tier list.

Lili

Lili’s unpredictable attacks can be intimidating to new players, and you’ll likely be on the receiving end of a powerful Heat Burst and Heat Smash combo if you haven’t watched her play before. Some of her moves leave her wide open to counters, so you can turn the tables in an instant with just one strong read.

Paul is celebrating his win by cheering, hoping to make it to the top of the Tekken 8 tier list.

Paul

He may be one of the slower characters, but Paul’s punches pack some serious power. His combos aren’t very long, but he can easily use the Heat Rush to extend combos while having Heat mode active. Paul struggles to counter more nimble opponents and doesn’t have a lot of low-attacking options that link into his more powerful combos. In the right hands, he can certainly compete with top-tier characters.

Lars is wearing a layered white coat and is celebrating his victory that could take him higher in the Tekken 8 tier list.

Lars

Lars is incredibly unpredictable for newer players and can be frustrating when he gets going. He’s a bit like Lili in many ways, only with a few key attacks that leave him vulnerable to counters if they don’t land. Compared to some characters on the roster, he also doesn’t have all that many new techniques. His Heat attacks are something to be wary of if you’re fighting against him.

Tekken 8 tier list: Jack-8 is flexing as if he had muscles while a ruined building is on fire behind him.

Jack-8

One of Tekken 8’s largest and most destructive characters, Jack-8 may be one of the slowest characters but he can play a strong poking game with his long limbs. If you can get up close with Jack-8, he can explode his enemies using a variety of throws that will deplete health bars in the blink of an eye. He can get bamboozled by fast characters, so watch out for players who like to side-step.

Bryan is flexing his muscles in a bid to become top of the Tekken 8 tier list.

Bryan

Regarding explosive power, Bryan’s fists dish out a lot of pain. Because he has so many punching strings, it can be a little unpredictable to fight against him. Historically, Bryan has only a few low attacks that can extend into full combos, and while Tekken 8 does give him access to a few new options, none of them are safe on block.

Devil Jin

We would forgive you for thinking Devil Jin is akin to Evil Ryu in the Street Fighter series in that he’s an alternate version of his good counterpart, but you’d be wrong. Devil Jin has wings and a laser beam that fires from his forehead, of course, he doesn’t play anything like Jin. Steer clear from Devil Jin if you’re just starting out as his moveset suits players who know the Tekken mechanics inside and out. If you’re a fan of Just Frames and wave-dashes, check Devil Jin out, and if you don’t know what those terms mean, you aren’t ready for Devil Jin.

Reina

Heihachi Mishima may be dead, but his spirit lives on through Reina. It’s unclear how Reina has access to Mishima-style attacks like Thunder God Fist and Spinning Demon, but she does, which means she’s going to be deadly in the right hands. Don’t let her looks deceive you, Reina is one of the more tricky characters to master on the roster, you may want to avoid her if you’re new to the series.

Lee Chaolan

Another challenging character to get to grips with, Lee’s power truly shines when you manage to sus out your opponent’s game plan. Once you can answer your opponent’s attacks, it’s time for Lee to break out the counter-hit moves to deal massive damage very quickly. Beginners will struggle to know where to begin with Lee, there’s a lot to learn both about the character and the game.

Alisa

If you’re new to Tekken and you want to play a highly mobile character, Alisa is the perfect character to run around the arena to hunt for mix-ups. Her mobility gives her an amazing opportunity to smash your opponent when they’ve accidentally input a risky move, opening a window to punish them with a counterattack.

Feng Wei

Consider yourself to be somewhat of a turtle? What we mean by that is that you prefer to play defensively, punishing your opponent for making silly mistakes, or setting your opponent up to take massive damage with launchers. Feng Wei offers all of this and more, the only thing he’s missing is a Sonic Boom to throw at his enemies when they refuse to close the gap.

Steve Fox

Steve Fox, the Boxer from the UK, not to be confused with Dudley from Street Fighter 3, is extremely complicated due to his hard-to-learn stances. With several tools on hand ready to counter his opponent, Steve is a killer when the person controlling him is capable of reading the enemy. Newbies might be tempted to pick this blonde fighter but we highly recommend avoiding him until you get a substantial amount of Tekken time under your belt.

Azucena

Tekken 8’s biggest coffee fan, Azucena is brand-new to the series as the game’s first business entrepreneur/fighting master. Her goal is to enter the Iron Fist tournament to promote her brand of coffee, and realistically she could get far with her style fighting style which incorporates taunts into her stances. Azucena is easy to learn and she’s annoying to fight against as some of her stances automatically dodge certain attacks.

B-Tier

Tekken 8 tier list: Law stands in the middle of a colosseum, with a nunchuck in one hand.

Law

The Bruce Lee-wannabe, Marshall Law returns to Tekken 8 with a simplified moveset to make things easy to learn for newbies. Law has always been a popular pick in Tekken, and it doesn’t help that a lot of his biggest fans appear to be people with the worst internet connections, making for some terrible online matches. With that out of the way, it’s clear that by simplifying his moveset, the attacks that made Law what he was back in Tekken 7 have been nerfed heavily. As a result, he’s far from the character he once was back in the day.

Tekken 8 tier list: Xiaoyu, dressed in a short black and gold Chinese dress, is preparing to fight in Time Square.

Xiaoyu

The thing holding back Xiaoyu seems to be that her new moves and combos aren’t all that well-defined. She was one of the lower-tier characters overall in Tekken 7, and, from a fundamental standpoint, she hasn’t changed. Perhaps she’ll get more moves and be less vulnerable in her higher-risk stances in the future, but right now, she’s no power to back her up.

Tekken 8 tier list: Nina is wearing a purple evening dress, sunglasses, and a leather jacket. She is holding two pistols as the building behind her burns.

Nina

Nina’s pistols work wonders when extending combos beyond where they should be and do a fair chunk of damage. She retains many of her original moves, including her various grapples. That said, she heavily relies on long combos but has few ways beyond mid or high attacks, but has few ways to start them.

Tekken 8 tier list: Leroy is walking through the streets of Time Square with his American Bulldog ahead of him.

Leroy

How the mighty have fallen. Leroy may have been considered one of the best characters in Tekken 7, but his new moves fail to make much of an impact compared to the rest of the roster. His power level has also reduced significantly, and his moves leave fewer opportunities for follow-up combos than anyone else.

Asuka is leaning in to discuss with you why she should be top of the Tekken 8 tier list.

Asuka

Asuka was another well-balanced character with many options to combo low and high. She also has several command grabs and counter stances that can heavily disrupt an opponent’s momentum. She lacks slightly in power compared to the top-tier characters, but she gets a decent chunk of damage off with her Heat Smash.

Victor

If the sniper rifle equipped to his belt didn’t give you enough of a warning, Victor specializes in dealing damage with ranged attacks. The Tekken community doesn’t like Victor because his playstyle is a blend of Noctis and Kunimitsu from Tekken 7, two of the most annoying characters to handle. On top of this, he also has a host of offensive tools if the enemy starts to get too close. Enjoy frustrating your opponent? Victor might be the character for you.

Leo

Another powerful all-rounder character for both beginners and experienced fighters, Leo has been buffed significantly from Tekken 7, giving the fighter new moves and a lot more damage. The Heat gauge also benefits Leo heavily as they’re able to cause more confusion with speedy mix-ups for a short time. If you’re a Leo player in past games, you will be pleased to see these new upgrades in action.

Yoshimitsu

The legendary sword master Yoshimitsu appears yet again, designed to bamboozle his opponents using flashy attacks and abilities. This character is unlike any other in the game, featuring the most obtuse moveset designed to confuse and frustrate the opponent. Avoid this character if you’re brand-new to the series, but you may want to revisit Yoshimitsu when you want to start branching out.

Raven

Objectively speaking, there are few things cooler than a Black Ninja, that’s just a fact right there. Raven specializes in counter-hits, dealing damage to the opponent when they send out a risky move, or if they go for something that can be easily read. When you can get in as Raven, he can deal silly amounts of damage using his Ninjitsu abilities, and his powerful Heat attacks are the perfect way to end a round in style.

Panda and Kuma

We originally thought Punda and Kuma were the worst characters in the game, but as time has gone on, it’s become clear that there’s more to these bears than meets the eye. The bear’s weaknesses are incredibly obvious to even Tekken’s newest players, they have some of the slowest attacks in the game, and they rely heavily on Heat to apply pressure. With that all said, it bears repeating that the amount of fun that these characters can provide you with is almost unrivaled. If you’re looking to have fun in Tekken, you can’t go wrong with Panda and Kuma.

That’s our current Tekken 8 tier list. Don’t forget to check out our Tekken 8 review to see what we thought of Bandai Namco’s latest entry to the long-running series. We also have a list of the best upcoming games if you want to see what other top-tier games are coming out this year.