Street Fighter 6Guides

Street Fighter 6: A.K.I. Guide (Neutral, Matchups, and More)

How to Play A.K.I. in SF6

In this A.K.I. guide, we’ll be covering the fundamental aspects of her kit, including her playstyle, neutral, defensive capabilities, and more.

After her release, we’ll be updating the guide with more details for each section.

Although we do have a prediction of where she’ll end up on our SF6 tier list, that is also subject to change as well.

Being the second new character added (after Rashid), we can’t wait to see how her unique flavor and mechanics shake up the game.

Let’s dive in!


A.K.I.’s playstyle can be categorized as a hybrid zoner. A.K.I.’s character design and move set are heavily styled after her master F.A.N.G.

While she poisons her opponents similar to F.A.N.G., inflicting damage over time, her poison and Toxic Blossom actually functions more akin to Gill’s Retribution Mechanic.

Both Retribution and Toxic Blossom alter interactions with their opponents who already have a status effect inflicted upon them.

Gill’s burning damage, freeze status, and Retribution mechanic altered the properties of certain attacks, could increase damage, and create juggle opportunities.

chun li slide

Retribution is the most similar pre-existing mechanic in the Street Fighter series to A.K.I.’s Poison and Toxic Blossom. A poisoned opponent is susceptible to triggering Toxic Blossom’s increased bonus damage, and combo extensions.


Neutral is where A.K.I. really shines. Her moveset and Poison mechanic favors maintaining neutral positions. A.K.I. has great defensive and offensive options while playing in neutral.

Is the opponent trying to zone you? Use her projectile invincible Venomous Fang, low profile attacks with Snake Step and Sinister Slide, or jump over attacks with Cruel Fate.

Did you shoot Nightshade Pulse and your opponent correctly predicted the timing, and is mid-air about to catch you in the recovery animation???

No worries, just spend two bars of Drive Gauge and slither your way to safety with OD Snake Step.

orchid step

A.K.I. can also place Orchid Spring in between herself and her opponent creating a barrier they either have to wait out, or jump over. If the opponent is poisoned, however, they will be losing by waiting for Orchid Spring to run out as they are still being damaged by poison.


While not suited for pure zoning, A.K.I. can choose to play a powerful zoning game. She can utilize Serpent Lash, Orchid Spring, Nightshade Pulse and Nightshade Chaser, to create her wall of defense. Once the opponent gets in, she can always still pull out Snake Step to continue the game of keep away with her opponents.

claws of ya zi

Additionally, her Lvl 2 and Lvl 3 SA have GREAT punish range. If lvl 2 ends up beating out projectiles like Lvl 3 has projectile invincibility, the threat of possessing these to Super Arts will make her opponents extremely cautious of throwing out ranged projectiles and pokes.

A.K.I. having a strike invincible Lvl 1 that also anti-airs, and Lvl 2 and 3 that can punish at range make her a good candidate for modern control users!

aki tainted talons


On wakeup and when cornered, A.K.I. is not particularly strong. She’s definitely a character you’ll want to maintain neutral or advantageous positions with.

aki snakestep

Her biggest weakness is in her defense. Getting hit cleanses the opponent’s poison and takes away her opportunity to utilize Toxic Blossom. Moreover, her only invincible non-Super Art wake up option is OD Snake Step, which instantly side switches your opponent, and can quickly get you out of the corner, but gets Punish Countered when thrown!

If A.K.I. finds herself knocked down against an opponent with Oki on her, she should look to bait her opponents throw attempts even more than any other character.

This is because the opponent throw will beat all wake up attack options outside her SA (always a huge risk to use on wake up) and get the bonus damage if they catch her during OD Snake Step, and shut down her escape.

Be sure to utilize backdash on wakeup if you think your opponent is going to throw.


A.K.I. has solid combo strings off her normals and can spend Drive Gauge to open up new combo routes. Her best combos come out when utilizing her Toxic Blossom mechanic!

aki sinister slide

When a character is poisoned and an attack triggers Toxic Blossom, her attacks gain stun and juggle potential similar to how Punish Counter changes the properties of standard attacks.


A.K.I. is built for countering zoners and defensive players. She has great tools for getting around enemy projectiles, anti-airs and long range pokes. The OD version of Nightshade Pulse was demonstrated as canceling out both a regular Torbalan and an OD Torbalan from JP with just a single use!

aki and jp

Her lack of invincible Wakeup and weakness to throw loops means she may struggle against characters with strong wake up pressure like Ken, Luke, Cammy, Juri. She certainly has the ability to stop a rushdown character, but seeing as most of her kit is best suited for midrange engagement, you’ll need to be on top of your game to keep these aggressive top tiers at bay.

For players who struggle or get frustrated playing against opponents who like to turtle and always wait for you to approach them while they lie in wait to stuff your approach, or sit and block everything, A.K.I. is a MUST PICK.

While A.K.I. lacks a Dragon Punch attack, her strong anti-airs such as Heavy Serpent Lash still allow her to check airborne safe on block attacks like Blanka Ball, E. Honda’s Headbutt, and Marisa’s Phalanx.

  • A.K.I.’s good matchups: JP, Guile, Dhalsim, and Deejay.
  • A.K.I’s bad matchups: Cammy, Ken, Luke and Juri

Meta Analysis

Street Fighter 6 has shown to be a well-balanced game thus far. A.K.I. strengths are balanced out by a few notable weaknesses. First and foremost, she lacks a true invincible reversal.

a.k.i. anti air

Every current top tier character has an invincible reversal including JP’s incredibly powerful OD Amnesia. A.K.I. does have a corner escape tool with OD Sinister Slide but the fact that it is not throw invincible and instead gets throw Punish Countered makes it a risky corner escape. Thankfully, all 3 SA levels are strike and throw invincible so opponents cannot freely meaty her on wake up once she has at least one super meter.

A.K.I. ‘s greatest strength comes from Poison slowly eating away at her opponents vitality and the pressure this placed on her opponents to go for damage to cleanse the poison effect and take away the threat of Toxic Blossom.

Her incredible corner offense, ability to fight effectively at every range and threaten to punish opponents anywhere on the screen, multiple low profile attack and approach options, and Dragonlash-like neutral skip with OD Cruel Fate, more than make up for any weaknesses and make A.K.I. a sinister threat to the entire cast!

Our predictive A.K.I. tier list placement: S-

Thanks for reading! Check back soon for updates to this guide after we get some time to play with her.