[Top 10] Weakest Street Fighter 6 Characters

A shirtless Ryu poses in Street Fighter 6's intro.
Wide Ryu in all his glory.

Street Fighter 6 is the new hotness on the block, but some aspects of fighting games will never be discarded. There’s no such thing as even balance, even though some would argue that’s how all things should be. It’s easier to win matches with some characters on the roster, those perhaps a bit too skilled in battle. Others, however, could use a little help, and require more effort on the parts of the players in matches. Let’s talk about those in the latter category, the faces which require extra work for a good payoff.


10. Dhalsim

Dhalsim displays his finest Yoga Flame.

Dhalsim has been part of the Street Fighter brand since Street Fighter II launched in the early 1990s. A peculiar-though-dependable character for the brand, Dhalsim can be counted on to bring his stretchy limbs and variety of Yoga-suffused attacks to every game he’s included in, alongside his teleport since Street Fighter II Turbo. He returns in Street Fighter 6 with several similarities and smaller differences compared to his older counterparts, fitting in with the new mechanics this game brings.

Dhalsim is low on this list because he’s a solid-enough character. He’s not top-tier, but the inclusion of his traditional stretchy limbs, combos that make use of Yoga Fire and Yoga Flame finishes, and the mind games he’s capable of playing make him a fine fighter, though little more than that. His normal attacks don’t have quite as much priority as they did in previous games, but remain useful for catching opponents off guard from a distance. The other normal attacks remain great for combos.

The biggest impediment for Dhalsim, as it always is and shall be, is how difficult he is for players to wrap their heads and hands around. (You’d better believe that pun was intended.) Playing Dhalsim requires for the player to adopt their own style when it comes to the best opportunities to use normal attacks, and for finding the best openings the opponent leaves for combos. The Level 3 Super Art is also great for combo finishes and getting the player out of trouble in a pinch. He requires patience, but the payoff comes not only through how solid of a character he is, but how the player can take advantage of others who don’t know how to approach a Dhalsim user thanks to them being so rare.


9. E. Honda

Credit to E. Honda for looking fearsome during his Super Art 3, however.

Japanese sumo E. Honda is another character who’s utilized a similar set of techniques as he did during the Street Fighter II days. He’ll always have the trusty Sumo Headbutt and Hundred-Hand Slap in every game, despite the differences in properties and move execution between each game. He returns in an even more refined form in Street Fighter 6, with a larger move set than ever.

E. Honda has sold mix-up potential in SF6. The Hundred-Hand Slap and headbutt remain great for poking opponents and especially for combo continuations and finishers. The Sumo Smash (aka the butt slam) remains great for catching opponents off guard and potentially crossing them up, with a good Ochio Throw needed for good measure at a close distance. The combos he’s now capable of using off the brand-new Sumo Dash do solid damage too. 

“Solid” is the key word to use here, because he doesn’t quite reach the “spectacular” level. E. Honda seemed like a high-tier character in SF6 during and slightly after the launch period. In the time since, however, he’s been revealed to be a little too predictable, as most players who use him must abide by a similar gameplan. Yet, he’s still a solid character among the lower-tier rankings for online and in-person play, someone for a player to have good fun with outside the most serious tournaments. This remains one of the better iterations of E. Honda around.


8. Rashid

Rashid did his part in making the wind turbulent again in SF6.

Rashid has made his mark as the first character introduced in Street Fighter V to return in Street Fighter 6, which works considering he was essentially the protagonist for that game’s story mode. He’s a quick-moving Middle Eastern fighter with an affinity for the newest technology, and frequently uses his mobile equipment to stream, like all the cool kids on the block do. He keeps most of his move set in this new installment, though the properties have been altered to fit SF6’s mechanics.

It's been mentioned previously that SF6 includes plenty of “Greatest Hits” versions of several characters, with Rashid among them. The development team found a way to bring not only his basic special moves back for SF6, but also most of those he previously used for his V-Skill and V-Trigger. This has given him a massive move set with plenty of options, which allows for anyone using him to craft their own strategies for how to approach the opponent.

Rashid is far from bad, but his biggest issue is how his strongest combos require burning most of his resources.  His longest and most damaging combos require plenty of Drive and Super meter usage, a limitation the game’s best characters don’t have. This also means getting these combos down will require a lot of practice in the lab/Training Room. But anyone playing him will still have a good time; and anyone fighting him will have a frustrating and head-twirling one if they’re not adjusted to his style.


7. Kimberly

Kimberly IS one of the strongest Bushinryu practicioners to grace a 3D Street Fighter game, on the other hand.

Kimberly is one of the new faces in Street Fighter 6, though her style is familiar for the franchise. She’s the clear protégé of Guy from the Street Fighter and Final Fight series, and uses a bunch of his techniques in battle. They’re part of the large repertoire she uses as she tamps down on the remaining crime left in Metro City as a friendly neighborhood Bushinryu-practicing ninja.

To clarify: Kimberly’s move set shares similarities with Guy’s, though they’re not identical. She includes many of his moves in her kit, and variations of the same chain combos he used, though with altered properties to give her a unique -- and sometimes literal -- spin. But she’s still similar enough to Guy that anyone who used the character in Street Fighter IV can gravitate right to her. There are more similarities between her and Guy than Guy and his master, Zeku.

Kimberly was a force to be reckoned with during the beta testing phase in SF6. The combination of her large combos and big damage output made her the game’s best rush-down character. Capcom sadly caught on and nerfed her damage for the final game. The combination of those nerfs, and her gimmicky and risky neutral game that focuses heavily on ninja tricks to confuse the opponent, are clear problems. But she’s still solid enough, with great combos and reversals, and remains fun to use.


6. Jamie

Credit to Jamie for bringing drunken kung fu to the Street Fighter universe.

Jamie is another among the new faces to Street Fighter 6. He joins the others in bringing a unique move set to the franchise. Jamie might look up to Yun and Yang from the Street Fighter III (and later Street Fighter IV) series, but he doesn’t play like them. He’s instead the first practitioner of drunken kung fu in the franchise, and makes significant use of these techniques in battle.

Sure, Jamie’s a bit cocky and arrogant in personality, but it helps when he mostly has the repertoire to back that up. He’s capable of producing big combos when he takes enough swigs, in a technique creatively referred to as The Devil Inside. The more he drinks, the more powerful his strikes become, and the more damaging his combos are.

Herein lies the precise problem with Jamie. He’ll need to take swigs of alcohol (healthy for him, don’t worry) to use all his best techniques, a process that will leave him wide open for attacks for a couple of seconds at a time. If he’s fighting a rush-down character, he’ll have a hell of a time finding the opportunity to have some sips. Even knocking down the opponent frequently won’t save him, thanks to how quickly they can rise. Even worse: The drinking levels don’t carry over between rounds. These issues limit Jamie’s potential, though he’s hardly a bad character.


5. Ryu

Being a jack-of-all-trades type like Ryu is tough when two characters do nearly everything he does better.

Ryu is the most recognizable face in the Street Fighter series, having been part of the franchise since the very first game. He’s also been the mascot for Capcom’s entire brand for several years now, taking the place of the apparently dearly-departed Mega Man. He can be trusted to bring his main three moves with him for every playable opportunity, specifically the Hadouken fireball, Shoryuken uppercut, and Tatsumaki Sempuukyaku hurricane kick.

He always comes with new techniques, however. He brings the Hashogeki energy smash and the Denjin Charge with him for Street Fighter 6, which distinguishes this version of Ryu from those in previous games. Both have their uses, and give the character enough variety to respond to several situations the player will find themselves in. Ryu has enough in his repertoire to attack and defend himself aptly enough.

This time around, however, Ryu remains a jack of all trades, but he’s a master of none. His traditional techniques work well enough, and he still has powerful combos. But the Hashogeki’s usability for combos is too limited, and using the Denjin Charge forces him to forgo potential mix-up opportunities with not enough payoff for the resulting juiced-up Super Move. Ryu here is solid enough, though hardly spectacular. He’s simply outclassed. It’s tough to recommend playing him when both Ken and Luke do everything he does far better. Not the greatest showing for the mascot, all told.


4. Manon

Manon's got style, though the substance isn't quite there.

Manon is another character new to the scene in Street Fighter 6, who gracefully combines her dancing maneuvers with her judo techniques. Her move set couldn’t make it clearer that she brings both her expertise as a dancer and fashion designer to the battle arena, with her combos making heavy usage of her long legs. The combination of the two not only helps her stand out from the other grapplers in this game, but among all in the Street Fighter franchise’s history.

Manon had plenty of promise when SF6 first released. Her combos seemed powerful, and her normal attacks have good reach thanks to her long legs. By far the strongest tool in her kit is the Manège Doré command throw, which does incredible damage when combined with her medal gain. The highest medal ranking will grant her a special version of the throw that’s more damaging than several of her longer combos. The medal gain, thankfully, carries over between rounds.

The emphasis should be on “had” in that last paragraph. Manon’s positives unfortunately don’t outweigh her negatives. Her normal attacks have good reach, sure, but few of them are Special Move cancellable, meaning she can’t follow them up with anything. That’s also harder to do because every single one of her normal attacks are negative on block, leaving her few tools to pressure opponents. Manon will more than often be out-pressured thanks to her lack of a “get out of jail” reversal outside the use of the Super meter, and can’t even respond to characters jumping back. Her special techniques that can help her close the gap, like the Dégagé, are extremely risky to use thanks to how wildly unsafe they are if they’re blocked or miss the opponent. 

She needs a lot of help, basically, in a game that has not been friendly to its grapplers thus far.


3. Zangief

Anyone with a fireball will give poor Zangief a tough time.

Russian bear wrestler Zangief has returned in another game since his debut in Street Fighter II, bringing most of his moves back with him. The Spinning Pile Driver remains a move to be feared, with superlative throw range when combined with the character’s massive size. The lariat continues to work well as a quick counterattack and an anti-air attack that also passes through projectiles. He also retains his other grappling attacks, like the Russian Suplex and Siberian Express.

The development team also found a way to have him retain several attacks attached to the V-Trigger functions in Street Fighter V. The key one here is the Cyclone Lariat, an askew version of the lariat that sucks the opponent in and will knock them into the air for continued juggles if it lands. Zangief remains a character the opponent should tremble at the appearance of in close range.

It’s a pity, then, how that doesn’t apply to the character from mid-range, and especially long-range. It’s true that Zangief has several quality-of-life enhancements for Street Fighter 6, but he still needs help. His slow speed makes it very difficult for him to close the gap on projectile-heavy opponents, which results in him having to take huge risks with usage of the Super and Drive meters to reach them. He also doesn’t have many options after closing the gap. His best attacks, like the Spinning Pile Driver, will put the opponent at a half-screen distance afterward. This means the Zangief player will have to start the guessing game at mid-range from scratch again. He’s fun to play, but could use more variety in his techniques. Maybe it’s time to give him that Banishing Flat (aka “Green Hand”) back, which he hasn’t used since the Street Fighter IV days.


2. A.K.I.

And A.K.I. had so much promise when she first released, too.

A.K.I. is the newest character to grace Street Fighter 6, though she comes with slightly familiar origins. She’s the protégé of F.A.N.G. from Street Fighter V, the latter of whom took Sagat’s place as part of the four kings within Shadaloo. Like him, A.K.I. utilizes poison in battle, and takes pleasure from watching and knowing that her opponents are slowly dying after she infects them. This girl isn’t Poison, but she IS poison, so to speak.

There was plenty of potential for A.K.I. to be better than F.A.N.G. in SFV, himself a stalwart fixture on the lower aspects of the tier lists throughout that game’s several seasons. She certainly looked the part in the trailers, with her tricky and long-reaching moves making her look formidable. Some players even thought she was a broken character early on. You can perhaps – possibly – tell that this very much did not pan out from her placement on the tier list here.

A.K.I. has plenty of problems. To start: Many of her normal attacks aren’t very good, with most having negative frame data on block, meaning she’ll frequently lose pressure battles to other characters. Many of them are also not Special Move cancellable, and don’t lead to anything. Her tricky-looking approaches like Cruel Step and Snake Step are wildly unsafe during their attack phases and can be easily countered -- the latter by a mere light punch from every other character on the roster. Like Chun-Li, she requires a lot of practice to play proficiently. Unlike Chun-Li, though, she doesn’t have the toolset to back that up.


1. Lily

Surely someone at Capcom realized having someone with a small frame feel like a larger character would be a recipe for disaster.

Lily didn’t have the most potential out of the new characters to grace Street Fighter 6, but it’s safe to say she had *some*. The character is among the younger fighters from the Thunderfoot Indigenous tribe from Mexico, the very same the Thunder (T.) Hawk originated from and remains a part of. This is shown through how she uses some of the same techniques he used, including the Condor Spire, Condor Dive, Tomahawk Buster, and the Mexican Typhoon command throw.

Not to imply that she doesn’t have moves of her own, though. The biggest one is the Condor Wind, a charging technique that powers up most of her special moves for larger combos and damage. It's also nice that Lily doesn’t look like the typical grappler that the Street Fighter series is known for providing. She also has some solid-enough normal attacks.

That’s the best that can be said about her at this time. Lily’s negatives far outweigh her positives, and the character herself. Many of her moves are very unsafe if blocked, while some can be countered if the opponent believes a Lily player might go for them. It’s true that she doesn’t look like a typical Street Fighter grappler, but she sure moves like one, because she’s slow despite her small frame. The Condor Wind charges up some special moves, but it takes time and spacing that a Lily player often can’t afford if the opponent is rushing them down and zoning with fireballs. The one saving grace for Lily is that she’s easy to play, a great beginner character for anyone unfamiliar with how Street Fighter works. She also works well with Modern controls. Otherwise, well, poor Lily.


This list only applies to the first season of Street Fighter 6, the halcyon post-launch time before Capcom shuffles up the character roster with a healthy dose of rebalancing alongside the new characters they’re continuing to release. But should they need a list of characters who could use some buffs during this process, this post fulfills that purpose. Hopefully select characters on this list won’t get passed over several times and get the F.A.N.G. treatment from Street Fighter V. Time will tell if A.K.I. is similarly cursed.


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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
Favorite Genre: RPG
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