Tekken 7 is considered more beginner-friendly than other installments of the series. Combos are more streamlined, throw breaks are easier, and mechanics like Rage Arts create more comebacks. That doesn’t necessarily mean the game is easy. Tekken 7 is still difficult compared to most fighting games.
The most difficult characters come with higher execution barriers like precise inputs and near frame perfect timing. Some even take several years to master because of unique playstyles. Whether that grind is worth the personal satisfaction or respect from the community is up to you. Here are five of the hardest characters to learn in Tekken 7.
Geese Howard is the game’s most popular 2D fighter. The King of Fighters (KOF) icon retains most of his original moveset. KOF games are notorious for complex inputs and that transfers over to Geese in Tekken 7. Most of his moves require quarter-circle or DP motions that require practice to consistently pull off.
Geese’s complex button patterns require higher execution than most other characters. Like other 2D fighters, his backdash and general movement are lackluster. Geese is one of the best characters in the game, so the potential results might be worth the effort. If you are already familiar with King of Fighters, play may come more naturally. There are many pros that main Geese, including Tennessee’s Trung “Trungy” Ma.
This series veteran is often regarded as the most difficult character to play in Tekken 7. His combos are notoriously difficult, and don’t yield that much damage unless at the wall. He also has the best 10-frame jab punish in the game (Acid Rain), but it takes lightning-quick inputs in succession. Playing Lee also takes extreme patience and familiarization of the opponents’ tendencies to make the most of his counter hit game.
The Silver Haired Demon is quite speedy and has a host of counter hit attacks that force opponents to slow down their offense. He can go into Hitman stance after many of his moves as a mind game tool. If the challenge isn’t enough to entice you to play Lee, then maybe his flashiness, personality, and voice lines might win you over. While a rare sight in Tekken 7 tournaments, longtime Lee main Ariel “FightingGM” Capellan has kept the character relevant.
Mishimas (Kazuya, Heihachi, Devil Jin)
The Mishimas refer to similar characters noted for their Electric Wind God Fist uppercuts and Hellsweeps. While there are also faux or pseudo Mishimas, the true members of this category are Kazuya Mishima, Heihachi Mishima, and Devil Jin.
These characters require heavy fundamentals and attention to detail. With the exception of Heihachi, most of their attacks are unsafe on block and many of their best moves are launch-punishable. Mishimas can be an overwhelming force in the right hands, and they tend to be favorites amongst Tekken veterans. The key to maining one is the ability to wave dash, which uses a DP stick motion to quickly advance forward while tech ducking highs and forcing Hellsweep mixups.
Mishima mains are less common these days due to their difficulty. They require a strange combination of fundamentals and risk-taking that many players can’t balance. Fortunately, there are still plenty of guides for the poster boys of Tekken.
Nina Williams is one of the eight original characters introduced in the arcade version of Tekken 1. She’s also extremely rare in tournaments because of her execution barrier. Nina has some of the most difficult commands and combos in the game. Take advantage of her plus frames to excel through unpredictable options.
Like King, Nina has a wide variety of chain throws that can be a nightmare for unpolished foes. She is something of a jack of all trades, master of none, which can make it difficult to find an optimal playstyle. Nina is one of the first female characters introduced in Tekken and serves as an icon for the franchise. Many modern Nina mains have been playing her since the very first Tekken game.
You might even struggle to find guides given her rarity in the community.
No character masters the art of crazy like Yoshimitsu. The leader of the Manji clan has a long, eclectic, and seemingly intimidating move list. Yoshi’s difficulty comes from optimization instead of execution. His tricky playstyle has been a fan favorite ever since the original Tekken.
Players must be fully aware of all the tools at their disposal and come up with clever, creative ways to implement them in their offense. Learning defensive maneuvers like Flash (Soul Stealer) and Spinning Evade (which depletes some health) are also essential, while his self-healing stance is a helpful mind game tool.
Yoshimitsu isn’t as popular in Tekken 7 as he was in other games, but players like South Korea’s Minhyung “EyeMusician” Park continue to prove that the character can still succeed at high levels.
If you are up for the challenge, take one of these characters into Practice Mode and figure them out. If they’re too intimidating, check out some of the most beginner-friendly characters in Tekken 7. Will one of them become your main in the Open Series?