[Top 5] SFV Best Footsies Characters That Are OP

SFV Best Footsies Characters
These characters are bosses when it comes to the neutral game.

Who are the best SFV characters to use when you like to play a more grounded, neutral game?

Street Fighter V, like any other game of the franchise, is a game completely centered around footsies. This is, of course, the neutral game, which at high level represents the situation in which two characters are at a certain distance from one another, none particularly being in an advantageous position, forcing the players to reach into their deepest fortitude and engage in a contest of deciding when to advance, when to retreat, when to block and when to poke.

During this period, every small gap in the opponent’s offense or defense can be a game-changer and can quickly make a capitalizing player in control and on top. There are, of course, some characters that are most comfortable in this position than in any other, and we’ll be showing next who are the world warriors who best excel in footsies.


5. Kolin

Street Fighter V - Kolin (Helen) Move List

Kolin is, at her essence, a counter character. She is equipped with many tools that work as counter-attacks, such as her Frost Touch special move, which can shift the momentum of a situation if timed correctly against an opponent's attack, and her Inside Slash V-Skill, which will counter an opponent’s move if timed correctly as well. 

What makes her an extraordinary character though, is how she excels when playing footsies. Kolin has great pokes such as her Sniping Kick and her standing fierce crush-counter, she is equipped with a ton of target combos, making her a hit-confirm machine, and she has great ways of hit-confirming into her Parabellum, especially the EX version, which launches the opponents and can start high damage combos.

Kolin is most threatening when she has her V-Trigger II, Absolute Zero, activate, which gives her even more range to her punch normals, enhances her mobility, and most importantly, gives her a whole new set of combo routes she can follow. Since most of her more destructive combos come from hit-confirms, playing footsies against Kolin is something you want to avoid at all costs.

What Makes Kolin Great:

  • Technical combos off easy hit-confirms
  • Several counter-attack options
  • Tools that allow mix-ups and set-ups with Vanity Step and Hailstorm


4. Sakura

Street Fighter V Arcade Edition - Sakura Move List

Sakura is a shoto character that completely dominates the footsies game. She does not want to overwhelm opponents with terrifying offensive power, and she doesn’t have the greatest defense in the game either, but when she’s on those footsies, she’s in the zone.

She has a fast standing short that hits low and can be hit-confirmed into the Shouoken. This standing short is also a great tool to whiff punish sweeping opponents, and she can also combo cancel into the afore-mentioned Shouoken from her crouching forward, which has a decent range.

Her fireball is not the greatest in the game but it works as a decent poke, as well as her standing roundhouse. Sakura also has an amazing walking speed which allows her to freely move in and out of range, making it difficult to punish her and allowing her to easily punish the opponent.

Sakura also can keep the opponent from jumping in, due to her vast toolkit when it comes to anti-airing, forcing the opponent to stay in the neutral, and allowing her to remain winning in footsies. She also has multiple ways of launching the opponent into the air, granting her big juggling potential, which leaves the opponent vulnerable to extended combos that will quickly drain a health bar.

What Makes Sakura Great:

  • Queen of hit-confirms
  • Anti-air options prevent opponents from jumping in and shifting to the offensive
  • Superfast walk speed allows her to walk in and out of ranger and lets her fish for whiffed moves


3. Chun-Li

Street Fighter V - Chun-Li Move List

With long legs and superfast moves, Chun-Li has been a monster when it comes to footsies for many years and throughout every iteration in all the games in which she appeared. After all, the whole gameplay design of the Strongest Woman in the World is based around footsies.

What really makes Chun-Li stand out from the crowd in this department is the number of different types of normals she can use to great effect in the neutral game. She has excellent pokes in standing fierce and standing forward, her crouching forward can easily be canceled on reaction into Hyakuretsukyaku, Spinning Bird Kick, or even her Critical Art, Hoyokusen, and she can even poke and start combos out of her neutral jump roundhouse, that has great range and hits both sides.

On top of all this, one can argue that pretty much most of her normals can initiate devastating combos, and she has a ton of tools that allow her to remain at optimal footsies range, such as her V-Reversal. Her crouching strong will also let her slide below fireballs, and at the right range, it can be canceled into her Kikosho to juggle the opponent into more combos. Overall, her moves are fast, they have great range, and she is designed to be played at footsies distance, making Chun-Li a threat against any character in neutral.

What Makes Chun-Li Great:

  • Poking game virtually second to none
  • Can easily dictate the pace of a match
  • Fast walk speed and overall movement, including a wall-jump


2. Luke

SFV Champion Edition - Luke Move List

Luke will likely be presented as the main character for Street Fighter 6, and Capcom has been making sure we understand that. Luke was released as undoubtedly one the strongest characters in the roster, and now that the definite patch was released, all of the meta top tiers were severely nerfed, most notably Cammy and Urien. All of the top tiers were nerfed, except Luke.

His fireball, the Sand Blaster is so fast it’s hard to react to, he has a great uppercut and he has multiple forward-moving special moves that can be used in different situations. His meterless Flash Knuckle has 3 variants, each with different combo routes, and each one can be charged to have a different effect. The best part is that you don’t even need to charge for too long, and even if you don’t want to bother with timing your charge, you can stock it by using V-Skill 1.

Luke’s normals have such an advantage over the rest of the roster that playing footies against him is something most players will try to avoid. They have a great range, fast recovery, and a tiny hurtbox, making them incredibly hard to punish and deal with. Not only this, they actually move Luke forward, granting him the opportunity to convert footsies into offense in a heartbeat. 

What Makes Luke Great:

  • Fantastic neutral game thanks to high-quality normal attacks
  • Super easy to hit-confirm into damaging combos from short to mid-range
  • He has unique advantageous mechanics like his V-Trigger timer and forward-moving normals that make him stand out from everyone else


1. Karin

Street Fighter V - Karin Kanzuki Move List

Karin is a highly technical and fairly complex character, so mastering her is not an easy task, but it really does come with its rewards. Karin’s backdash is probably the best in the entire game, allowing her to escape pressure easily at any point, and even to bait out whiffed moves which she can severely punish.

In fact, her whiff punish potential is probably the scariest feature that’s part of her design as a character. Her normals have the perfect range and her crouching medium normals can be canceled to convert into devastating signature juggling combos. These combos are highly damaging and only increase in destructive power the more EX bars Karin has. Her V-Trigger Guren Ken even allows her to improve in every aspect of her gameplay, granting her a new special move with a vast number of possible follow-ups that can be incorporated into any of her combos.

To sum it up, what makes Karin the absolute best footsies character is her ability to quickly get out of range, poke with amazing normals, and bait out whiff punishes that will badly wreck the opponent’s health bar with juggling combos with great damage output. No one does it better than Karin.

What Makes Karin Great:

  • Best character at whiff punishing
  • Best backdash in the game
  • Juggling combos with great damage output


Footsies are, and always will be, part of Street Fighter’s very identity, and in Street Fighter V they are more evident than ever, as the entire game is based around punishing whiffed and block moves, and catching the opponent off-guard with carefully placed frame-traps.

As such, the characters on this list are best suited for the more ground-based players who truly live the Street Fighter essence and do not want to rely on gimmicks or other unorthodox tools to win their fights. Hopefully, this was helpful for you to realize what is your best pick if you want to be a footsies master.


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Andre walks the path of a fighting warrior to pursue self-improvement and to break his limits. His amazing power of creative writing and his unwavering love for games are the source of his willpower.
Gamer Since: 2003
Favorite Genre: PVP
Currently Playing: Street Fighter V: Champion Edition
Top 3 Favorite Games:Street Fighter X Tekken, Grand Theft Auto V, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

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