A hard-hitting powerheavy bogie-flicking monster, Birdie can use his chains for long-range grabs and distance reduction, whilst laying traps around the stage when necessary. He struggles when characters get up close, but his Bull Head move gives you breathing space and has armour – perfect for interrupting potentially devastating start-ups.
With rapid and highrange projectiles, Rashid can force opponents into close range where he can chain quick, nasty pokes into a more damaging aerial combos. His V-Trigger unleashes a huge tornado that comes with a ridiculous hitbox – Rashid is an outright pressure character, and will be accessible to players that aren’t too clued up on SF.
With a V-Trigger that calls in wrestling partner Nadeshiko, Mika can open up some sneaky backattacks and command grab mixups, making her a good choice for players that like to get up close with their opponents and play the will-they-won’t-they throw game. Command grabs can be charged up, making her a very technical character to get your head around.
Karin’s main weapon is her new dash – a move that lets her close distance and follow up with either a throw or a high-low attack that’s a real pain to guard against. Do this enough times to build meter and you can unleash her V-Trigger, too, a technique that lets her let rip on opponents with multistring combos that are variable and totally unpredictable.
Returning with a highly modified moveset (which apparently ties into his story in the game), Ken now seems like a good rushdown character. With interesting mix-ups and an EX air move that lets him reset mid combo, Ken has become more than just a dragonpunch spammer for new players to grab a few quick and dirty wins as they begin playing the game.
A grappler with a projectile, Laura breaks the archetypes Street Fighter usually goes with. Think of her as between Blanka and Elena – she’s all about kicking moves and shocking the opponent, with some tactical command grabs high-damage supers. Her projectile travels at different velocities depending on input – making her fairly hard to read.
Bison is actually quite a bit weaker than he was in Street Fighter IV, but he makes up for it by being able to catch and return projectiles (including Supers!) He’s a slow damage dealer, relying on some charge attacks and teleportation to get up close and attack. With Bison, you’ll want to pressure the opponent hard – getting close is the best way to bring about the end-game.
In the builds we’ve played, Nash has the most amount of combo setups from his regular moves, and that makes him a prime choice for intermediate players. He has good mid-range pokes and projectiles and can soak up other character’s long-range attacks, to boot. Some of his attacks take a while to start up, but he’s got good anti-air to deal with that.
One of Street Fighter V’s new characters, Necalli comes off as a brawler that can deal big damage with his base attacks, and also comes with a kick that changes direction in mid-air (which makes up for his slow movement). He also has a command grab and a tricky selection of charge moves to get your teeth into. A refreshing new fighter.
Cammy’s Hooligan Roll is her main gimmick – you can use it to feint into low attacks or cut it short with a Canon Strike for a few nasty surprises. Her V-Skill – if timed correctly – can punish an opponent as they get up from a knockdown, dodging attacks and getting behind them for guaranteed combo startups and devastating results.
With a nice, rapid walkspeed, some quick and accessible pokes and a strong anti-air game, Chun-Li is now so much more than just a spam artist. Her projectile gives her a ranged option, too, making her great for technical players and newcomers alike. As another key legacy character you can expect to see her plenty in early online contests.
Ryu is one of the few characters that has a parry as a V-Trigger skill, making him a more technical choice for players that love to use mind games on their opponents. He’s got some interesting low pokes, too, and can make unblockable (and quick) fireballs with modified super moves. Beginner friendly, as you would expect from this iconic fighter.
Vega is quick, and can bounce around the screen on a whim, getting in good overhead attacks and sneaky mixups. He has stances, too, which will confuse new players but in the hands of veterans make him responsive to just about any situation the game will throw out. His V-Trigger sets up perfectly for aerial raids on opponents.
Because of his size, Zangief has a fairly slow walk-speed (but that’s made up for by his actually decent dash). His standard attacks are varied and have good range, and his grappling supers even have armour, meaning he can get through enemy attacks and projectiles and close distance for highdamage throws even when under pressure.