[Top 10] Street Fighter 6 Least Played Characters

Rashid uses his best Super Art on Luke
Rashid being a memetic guy against THE memetic guy.

Every fighting game will have several popular characters that the player base will gravitate to for online play, and Street Fighter 6 is no exception. The list of the most popular characters online is largely unsurprising, though a few unexpected faces are scattered about. But this inevitably means several other characters are being shortchanged in terms of their perception, and are hardly commonly encountered when fighting other players across the internet. Let’s talk about the characters most of the player base just hasn’t jived with, for whatever reason. Some of them, notably, WERE among the “Most Played” faces at one point.


10. Chun-Li

Chun-Li's only getting more popular after the discovery that she's actually good.

Chun-Li has been part of the Street Fighter franchise since Street Fighter II, the first actually-good installment that put the franchise on the mark. She was the very first female fighter introduced in the franchise, and is, by extension, the most popular female fighter not only in Street Fighter, but the fighting game genre overall. When it comes to her perception, there’s no doubting that she’s indeed the strongest in the world.

When Chun-Li isn’t moderately challenging to learn how to play, she’s quite difficult, depending on the game. She’s firmly within the latter category in Street Fighter 6, with her moves and combos requiring tough timing and strict execution. It doesn’t help that the commands necessary for her to execute some moves, like the Hundred Lighting Legs, haven’t been consistent across each game. Her move properties have also changed between installments.

Chun-Li will always be one of the most popular Street Fighter faces around. The simple fact is that most online players do not want to put in too much work to learn a character. It’s understandable. Not every player has ample time to learn the most intricate characters, however rewarding they can be, when they have the option to control easier characters like Marisa, Luke, and Ken.

It might be a little tough to believe given her position here, but Chun-Li’s has actually increased in these charts since the game launched. She was once around the mid-teens in the online player rankings, but she’s barely out of the top ten at this point. Now that several players have put in the work to master her, they’ve realized that she’s actually a much better fighter than most initially realized. It’s amazing what an increase in the tier list will do for a character -- moderately, anyway.


9. Manon

Meanwhile, Manon has only fallen on these lists after players have discovered how limited she is.

Manon is one of the new faces in Street Fighter 6, one who brings a new style with her. Her move set fuses her expertise between judo and fashion ballet, specializing in powerful throws and versatile kicks. It’s also reflected in the outfits she wears, especially her first alternate one with the fur around her collar and large glasses.

The element that further distinguishes Manon from the other characters is how she qualifies as a grappler, but her overall move set doesn’t veer too far into the style. This lends her solid options in terms of mix-up potential, meaning she doesn’t have to completely rely on baiting the opponent into a throw. But doing so is still important considering how powerful her throw will become once she’s gained enough medals.

Manon was higher in the rankings shortly after the game launched, but she’s dropped a bit since then. Players in that time have discovered the tragic secret of how unfortunately limited she is, with low combo damage and her lack of options for starting them. Her command throw is extremely powerful once enough medals have been gained (done, of course, through command throw usage), but that only takes her so far.

This isn’t to say that she’s incapable of winning matches, especially when skill levels vary online depending on the rankings. The combination of her being good enough and her appealing design (regardless of the alternate outfit) and personality were enough for her to maintain some level of popularity. Perhaps the next balance update with buffs will come soon enough to keep her relatively high in the rankings.


8. A.K.I.

A.K.I. might be a little too tricky, and not in a good way.

A.K.I. is the newest character to join the Street Fighter universe. She’s a poison user who serves as the protégé of F.A.N.G., himself a new character introduced in Street Fighter V. She shares his proclivity for slowly killing people with poison, alongside his desire to reestablish villainous organization Shadaloo as a powerful force.

A.K.I. has a very tricky move set. She has a slow-moving projectile and a command throw where she’ll grab the opponent by slithering over to them, which travels under several techniques. The intention behind her was to take F.A.N.G.’s unorthodox style and move set and put it on a female character with a far more appealing design. This has not entirely worked out.

This was supposed to be a case where the apprentice would outdo the master, with A.K.I. herself succeeding F.A.N.G. (F.A.N.G has prepared for this possibility story-wise.) That IS how assassins tend to work. But her placement on current tier lists is, well, right on par F.A.N.G. in SFV. She’s near the bottom, with far more disadvantages than positive traits. Combine that with a move set that’s difficult to master, and it’s a recipe for an unpopular character.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if she sunk further on the tier list, given how many disadvantages she has against most of the cast. But fear not. The Capcom Cup is set to conclude in February, so perhaps she’ll maintain this position on the player list until then IF she gets buffed. If she’s truly a successor to F.A.N.G., buffs are far from a guarantee. Poor lady.


7. Guile

Guile might be the definition of a "slept-on character."

Guile has been with the Street Fighter franchise since it achieved popularity with Street Fighter II. Alongside being an American Air Force soldier, one of his most memorable traits is how he only has two main moves: The Sonic Boom and Flash Kick. But the combination of those two being strong and his great normal attacks have ensured that he doesn’t need anything else.

That said, he DOES have a little more in Street Fighter 6. The Sonic Blade, a Super technique in previous Street Fighter games (and attached to V-Trigger in Street Fighter V), is a regular move here. Giving Guile these alongside his other absolutely ridiculous combos has made him a unique powerhouse in SF6. It’s one of the best versions of Guile yet.

This makes it somewhat surprising that he’s one of the least played characters -- but only somewhat. His combos require a lot of practice to pull off. They require strict timing to utilize in the Training mode, and good luck pulling them off proficiently in a live match without ample practicing time. The player has to know when to charge some attacks before starting the combos, and others for techniques midway through them. The online-playing audience tends to prefer characters that don’t require spending too much time in the training room.

All that said, anyone who plays Guile will excel online. He has the combination of being a strong character with the element of surprise on his side, thanks to being uncommon among the online community. The fact that he lost his near-infinite combos from the beta-testing versions has barely hurt him. Anyone who runs into a Guile player online will be treated to a theater of top-notch damage and corner combos if they’re not careful. Well, that, or they’re just watching replays.


6. Kimberly

Kimberly might have been higher on this list if she was still as powerful as her beta iteration.

Kimberly is one among the several new characters to join the Street Fighter roster in Street Fighter 6, though she’s not entirely unfamiliar. She’s a Bushinryu practitioner like Guy and Zeku, both of whom originated from Final Fight before joining Street Fighter. Her fighting style is much closer to Guy’s, though she puts her own unique spin on some techniques. She’s a new hip and cool character on the block, after all.

Anyone who played Guy in previous Street Fighter games, especially the Street Fighter IV titles, can feel right at home with Kimberly. But there are several ways in which she’s better than he ever was. She knows how to use her ninja tricks better, by setting several traps and using techniques that will confuse the opponent regarding how to block her incoming attacks.

There’s one key reason why Kimberly isn’t as popular as she could be: Her damage. Kimberly has great mix-up potential and fun combos to use, but she’s lacking in the damage output. This means she has to work harder than other rush-down characters like Juri and Cammy. When both of those characters do much of what she can better, most players figured they should just play them instead.

It’s a shame her damage was so heavily nerfed from the beta testing period, where she was a powerhouse. But she’s still a lot of fun to play in her own right, which explains why she isn’t lower on this list. It helps that she displays a heap of personality during some of her longer combo strings and chains, and especially her Super Arts.


5. Rashid

Rashid might climb on this list after players have relearned him.

Rashid has the honor of being the first character introduced in Street Fighter V to return in Street Fighter 6. He’s an all-around nice guy with a significant fondness for social media and technology, and leans even further into the influencer bit in SF6. He brings most of his techniques back with him this time around.

It’s honestly a miracle that the development team found ways to implement many techniques Rashid used through the V-Skill and V-Trigger functions from SFV in this game. This has given him plenty of attacks and big combos, alongside bringing back his capabilities to confuse opponents thanks to his rush-down abilities.

It’s the staggering number of options that’s made Rashid a complicated character to use. Plenty of practice is required to unlock his full potential, thanks to his combos requiring strict timing and quick reactions. Not helping is how his damage is a bit lacking compared to his SFV self. The work involved with playing him and the lack of a payoff on par with the previous game has made Rashid less popular than he was, at least for now.

It took a bit of time for players to unlock Rashid’s full potential in SFV, and that could be the case here. If any expert players have found tricks with him, they could be saving them for tournaments like the Capcom Cup and Evo Japan 2024. If those potentially-excellent displays of his skill come with buffs after the Capcom Cup concludes (or nerfs if the tournament-level displays are just too good), he could rise substantially on this list.


4. Blanka

Blanka is much better than this position suggests.

Blanka has been the resident human/monster hybrid in the Street Fighter franchise since Street Fighter II. He even became a mascot for the franchise at one point, under the tenure of producer Yoshinori Ono. He’s still somewhat within that position even following Ono’s departure from Capcom, thanks to his likable personality and the character himself having his own mascot in the form of Blanka-chan. Talk about full-circle.

Blanka’s iteration in Street Fighter 6 is an amalgam of his move sets from Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter V. He's not quite as brain-dead to control as he was in the former game, with his move set depending further on combos and positioning. But he, of course, keeps his traditional and somewhat notorious techniques like the Electric Thunder and the Rolling Attack. He wouldn’t be Blanka otherwise.

The fact that he’s “not quite as brain-dead to control as he was” before is why he’s among the least-played characters in the game. Anyone who plays Blanka this time around can’t go online and rely only on Electric Thunder and Rolling Attack usage to win matches anymore, especially now that the online play is actually good. They have to put effort into learning some goddamn combos and utilize all of his techniques to outwit the opponent with mind games.

That said: It’s still a surprise that he’s this low on the popularity list, considering just how good he is. Blanka isn’t a top-tier this time around, but he places high on the lists. His mind games potential and powerful combos are enough to make an opposing player want to break their controller in half from frustration. Perhaps he’s also simply being slept on at this point, and will rise in popularity over time.


3. E. Honda

Note the staggering number of OG Street Fighter II characters on this list.

Like several other characters on this list (Chun-Li, Guile, and Blanka specifically), dear Edmond Honda has been with the franchise since Street Fighter II. He’s one of Japan’s best sumo fighters, and though he doesn’t participate in many actual sumo fights these days thanks to his older age, he remains on the Street Fighter roster. In addition to his fondness for travelling the world, he also works as a chef, and demonstrates his cooking skills in the game’s World Tour mode.

E. Honda notably has more techniques at his disposal than ever in Street Fighter 6. All of his best moves from previous titles return here, including the Hundred-Hand Slap, Sumo Headbutt, and Ochio Throw, along with several new ones like those attached to the Sumo Dash. These have made him a solid character, better than he ever was in Street Fighter V.

There are a couple of reasons for why he’s one of the least-played characters this time around. The reality is that Honda was never popular among the crop of online players in Street Fighter games, because they don’t find his character design appealing. This is why he was so late to arrive in SFV, though it’s clear the development team wanted to have all the original SFII characters assembled for the base roster again here. He’s also outclassed by other characters in terms of their aesthetics and abilities as a big brawler, in terms of his design and move set.

All that said, there’s a good chance that he could rise on this list. He’s hardly bad on the tier lists ranking his fighting potential, and he’s a likable dude. This all depends on the characters released over the next couple of years, some of which could be big guys and gals like Honda with designs the online audience might find more appealing. Only time will tell here.


2. Lily

Lily has Condor Dived onto the penultimate position on this list.

Lily is another one of the new characters introduced as part of Street Fighter 6’s base roster, though her origins are familiar. She’s a member of the same Thunderfoot tribe that the aptly-named Thunder Hawk belongs to. Every fighter in the tribe apparently trains with the same move set, as she uses several techniques that T. Hawk utilized, including the Tomahawk Buster and Mexican Typhoon.

Lily honestly seemed like she would be one of the more popular characters upon being first introduced before SF6’s release. This was Capcom putting T. Hawk’s moves on a character with a design more appealing to mainstream players these days. Lily herself also seemed like she would be a solid fighter, a character with a smaller frame who uses moves from a large and bulky character.

This is not the case, as evidenced by her position on this list. Lily inherits none of the positives from a small character inheriting the moves of a larger character, but many of the negatives. Her normal attacks and techniques are lacking in damage enough that her good range, command throw, and ease of use can’t make up for their setbacks. Anyone less experienced at Street Fighter (or fighting games as a whole) who didn’t want to use Ryu, Ken, or Luke has gravitated towards Marisa instead.

Lily is one of the worst characters in the game, if not THE worst, which explains why she’s found herself in this position. Perhaps she’ll be a prime candidate for buffs when the time for balance adjustments rolls around. She clearly needs plenty of them, including overall speed and damage increases, and more useful potential attached to the Condor Wind charging technique.


1. Dhalsim

The character who's hardest to play is always the least popular online.

Dhalsim is the newest in a trend of characters on this list: A familiar face introduced back in the Street Fighter II days. He’s been part of the roster in several Street Fighter and Capcom crossover games since then, as the character who’s mastered a unique form of Yoga. His move set utilizes his stretchy limbs and fire maneuvers for one of the trickiest among the Street fighter lineage.

There are certain techniques that Dhalsim will always keep, including the Yoga Fire, Yoga Flame, and Yoga Teleport. (It WAS mentioned that he’s a master of Yoga here.) But it’s the combination of all these Yoga moves and his uniquely stretchy limbs, and the options to not stretch his limbs on some normal moves, that makes it hard for players to wrap their heads around him.

Therein lies why Dhalsim is at the very bottom of this list as the least-played character. He’s had an unchanging reputation of being the hardest character to play in any Street Fighter game, with players needing weeks, if not months, of practice before they can play him proficiently. It’s all thanks to the sheer number of fighting options at his disposal, and his extremely unique properties. Most online players favor characters easier to use, like, well, everyone else.

Dhalsim is a mid-tier character in Street Fighter 6, far from bad. There’s a positive aspect for the character being rarely encountered when playing online. This means any players who take the time to learn his move set, the few there will be, will have the unique advantage of fighting other players woefully unfamiliar with matching up against him. Dhalsim players will go into online battles with a baked-in advantage for years to come.


Street Fighter 6 is bound to change quite a bit over the next few years, with new balance upgrades and characters being regularly provided. These lists will remain a good time capsule for where the game stands at this point. This will go double after larger updates, where characters could receive new techniques, alongside the potential for new gameplay features being added. Street Fighter 6 has different development team leadership compared to the prior games, meaning gameplay updates could be handled differently.


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Geoffrey is the lowest-level Druid imaginable who read too many gaming magazines as a child. This made him decide that he wanted to do this video game journalism thing professionally.
Gamer Since: 1985
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