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Best Tekken 8 Characters: Tier List Rankings

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Best Characters Tekken 8 Characters of 2024

The tier lis of the best Tekken 8 characters is meant to represent each character’s difficulty level, and how effective they are in online play, taking into account multiple factors such as:

  • Simplicity of gameplan – simpler it is, the easier it is to grasp
  • Ease of execution – not only combos, but also bread and butter moves / strings
  • Tricks – how tricky the character is, includes evasive moves, mixups
  • Visual clarity – how hard it is to discern between move properties (moves that hit mid but are actually high, stances applying pressure even when interruptible etc.)
  • Flexibility – can the character do multiple different things, making it harder to adapt to
  • Heat use – how well they utilise heat (extra properties, heat smash etc.)

It’s important to remember that there will be more patches in the future, it’s preferable to play something you enjoy rather than something just because it’s in a good state as it may change in the future.

Note that these rankings do not take into account Patch 1.05. We’ll update for that meta as soon as we get some experience with it!

Tier Tekken 8 Tier List
S Alisa, Kuma, Dragunov, Feng, Viktor, Law, Leoy, King, Eddy, Shaheen, Lili, Jin
A Jun, Asuka, Lars, Paul, Leo, Hwoarang, Jack-8, Nina, Raven, Reina, Yoshimitsu, Xiaoyu, Bryan
B Azucena, Zafira, Claudio, Lee, Devil Jin, Steve
C Kazuya

best characters in tekken 8 tier list


Before going over the strengths and weaknesses in each tier, let’s get a brief reminder of notation and frame data to help us better understand our reasoning.

short press= short press

hold= hold

neutral= neutral, don’t press any movement buttons

full crouch= full crouch

while standing= while standing, transition from crouching to standing

Frame Data

When discussing moves, frame data is the amount of frames that takes a character to go from a neutral position to executing a move (15f = 15 frames from startup), after which they go into recovery, which varies.

Frame advantage (+x) means that the character will execute his next move x frames faster compared to his opponent. For example, a character being +5 means the opponent is -5.

S-Tier: Top Tier Characters

Tier Tekken 8 Tier List
S Alisa, Kuma, Dragunov, Feng, Viktor, Law, Leoy, King, Eddy, Shaheen, Lili, Jin

As it stands, Tekken favours offence above defence, especially in ranked play. Every character in S tier has multiple moves that cover almost every option, making defending against them nearly impossible and as a result they specialise in relentless offence, no breaks, all gas.

As a result, picking any S-Tier character will be about equally beneficial, since all of their kits are overloaded you should pick your character based on what you find enjoyable to play.

All S-Tier characters exhibit the following characteristics, they may vary in execution but provide the same end result:

  • Infinite pressure
  • Moves that cover most / all defensive options
  • Oppressive in heat

For example:

  • Jin – Simple gameplan, very effective with a few moves, especially strong heat smash
  • Kuma – High combo and wall damage, great counter hit tools and a big knowledge check character, great heat usage.
  • Feng – Overloaded kit, hard to find weaknesses

You will find Xiaoyu to be missing from S-Tier compared to other lists, this is because she is a specialist character. She can be bumped up based on player experience.

Leroy went from competing for the worst character in the game, to a solid S-Tier character. His buffs significantly improved his overall damage, especially giving him absurd chip damage. Additionally, successfully executing his perfect parry almost ensures a half hp combo whilst healing himself.

Notable characters

These notable characters can be extremely effective with only a few essential tools, making them easy to pick up.


Many would consider Alisa the most carried character in ranked, and for a good reason. Key strengths:

  • Great movement
  • Long range punishment
  • Amazing power crushes alisa power crush or victor safe high power crush or dragunov next to wall transitioning into chainsaws…
  • …Or neutral on block

alisa neutral on block

  • Simple to use with a very high ceiling (mainly due to movement)


Victor is incredibly strong and quite simple to pick up, he relies on mainly 5 moves:

  •  Highly damaging mid running move, +5 on block and very tricky to sidestep

victor mid running move or dragunov mid running move

  • Safe high power crush, 15f fast and is also a heat engager

alisa power crush or victor safe high power crush or dragunov next to wall

  • Highly evasive move, safe on block in heat and deals a huge amount of damage, and high cheap damage on block.

victor high evasive or law nunchuck

  •  20f fast low, which is a counter-hit launcher, unsafe but often goes unpunished

victor fast low

  • 15f safe mid counter hit launcher

victor safe mid counter

You will often find victor players (all the way to tournament level) use these moves to cover pretty much all options. Additionally he has fairly easy to execute combos, and great mix-ups with his stances as you get to a higher level.


While not as simple as the previous two, Law has a very well rounded moveset, with good pokes, and with the simplification of Dragon charge (hold forward after certain moves) has many moves with great frames. Some notable moves include:

  • Great launcher, safe on block, with pretty good tracking

law great launcher

  • 20f fast, counter hit launcher, and +3 on block, amazing counter hit tool

law counter hit launcher

  • Nunchuck, counter hit launcher, while unsafe, is very good for hitting grounded opponents. In heat it launches on normal hit, which is insanely good

law slide

  • Slide, great range, and guarantees a hit with nunchucks on hit

law very fast mid

  • Very fast mid, you can enter dragon charge by holding forward, becomes +5 on block, or +16 on hit, on the wall guarantees a 96 damage combo

Additionally, his combo damage is quite high, especially if you can get to the wall.


The premier rushdown character, has very strong moves from up close, and afar and is very unintuitive to counter, his bread and butter moves include the following:

  • Mid running move, counter hit launcher, +4 on block

victor mid running move or dragunov mid running move

  • Bread and butter low, decent damage, due to Dragunov’s strong mids, most people are unlikely to crouch, unless they have a solid read

dragunov bread and butter low

  • Very deadly next to a wall, part of Dragunov’s 50/50, +6 on block

alisa power crush or victor safe high power crush or dragunov next to wall

  • Low, transition into sneak, from there we have multiple options

dragunov low transition into sneak

  • Safe mid, second hit can be delayed and 3rd one launches

dragunov safe mid

He also has a ton of great generic tools, including his jabs, and various other strings which are very tricky to deal with, his combo damage is amongst the highest in the game, and with throws being homing, he’s very difficult to sidestep.


Probably one of the most infuriating characters to face as a beginner, many of his moves require knowledge to counter, and he thrives in an online environment where input delay and lag are commonplace. He is a grappler, so he has an extensive list of throws, some of which look identical to each other, making throw breaks very difficult. Some notable moves include:

  • Giant Swing, has the same start up as Shining Wizard, making it a 50/50. High damage if they don’t roll, and guaranteed next to a wall

king giant swing

  • Shining Wizard (tomahawk in-game), highly damaging throw, same start up animation as giant swing

king shining wizard

  • Safe launcher, 2nd hit is delayable

king safe launcher

  • Fast mid powercrush, hard to punish, 45 damage if first hit lands

king fast mid powercrush

  • Pretty fast low, big damage on counter hit

king pretty fast low

King also has the best heat smash in the game, acting as either a very long range punishment tool, a pressure tool due to the huge plus frames and free 50/50 that follows blocking the heat smash. King is also very tricky with multiple moves out of crouch, which are very tricky to deal with for lower level players:

  • Low launcher, -12 on block, very slow, but surprisingly effective

king low launcher

  • Mid launcher, -14 on block, pretty fast start up

king mid launcher

A Tier: High Tier Characters

Tier Tekken 8 Tier List
A Jun, Asuka, Lars, Paul, Leo, Hwoarang, Jack-8, Nina, Raven, Reina, Yoshimitsu, Xiaoyu, Bryan

Same as the S tier characters but to a lesser extent, you can expect a nearly unending barrage of moves, but they usually either have some counter play (be it side-stepping or blocking), some clear weaknesses, or very difficult to pilot, and require a lot of experience and training (specialist characters):

  • Strong pressure
  • Pretty good in heat
  • Some characters are specialist characters, require a lot of practice to use effectively

For example:

  • Lars and Leo – Moving between stances
  • Asuka, Jun – Strings and parries
  • Jack-8 – Gamma howl rushdown
  • Hwoarang – Great mixups when he gets up close
  • Raven – Knowledge checks, relies on tricks (low character popularity)
  • Nina – Strings, good neutral game and high damage

B Tier: Mid Tier Characters

Tier Tekken 8 Tier List
B Azucena, Zafira, Claudio, Lee, Devil Jin, Steve

Significantly less oppressive than the higher tier characters, usually have some upsides but clear counter play options. They are:

  • Mostly unable to keep up pressure
  • Rely on fundamentals rather than very oppressive moves
  • Heat isn’t overwhelming

For example:

  • Claudio – Small movelist, simple to execute but very easy to counter
  • Devil Jin – Has some decent tools, difficult to execute with fairly low damage, has some tricks and decent evasion
  • Steve – Pretty safe, but has difficulty punishing, relies on game knowledge and fundamentals

Devil Jin and Lee are here due to their difficulty more than anything else, with experience they can be bumped up to A tie.

Due to her recent nerfs Azucena is no longer an S-Tier character, notably her previously great running 3 move went from being completely safe when dodged with a huge frame advantage on block, to launchable on dodge with only +2 on block. Alongside damage, tracking and poking nerfs.

C Tier: Low Tier Characters

Tier Tekken 8 Tier List
C Kazuya

Currently the only character here is Kazuya, in his current state he’s incredibly inconsistent, with some of his core moves whiffing where they clearly shouldn’t. On top of that, he requires quite a bit of effort to pull off, due to execution demands (wave dash cancels, electrics etc.) and provides very little reward for the effort being put in, especially compared to the characters higher up on the list. He offers:

  • Some decent tools
  • Difficult and not as rewarding
  • Inconsistent move hitboxes (jab, twin pistons)

Since Kazuya isn’t in a good state, he is a character that relies very heavily on fundamentals and precise execution to do things other characters can do reliably with much greater ease. He may be a viable option if you want to really learn the game – do not expect to start winning anywhere near as early as other characters.

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