By Cody Perez
July 24, 2019
Street Fighter V is the latest entry in the long-running competitive fighting game. The series has been one of the most important esports for several decades now, as fighting games lend themselves well to dedicated competition.
As such, it’s no surprise that the Street Fighter V esports community is one of the strongest in the fighting game community even if it is only available on PS4 and PC. Though the roster started out small, it has since grown to 35 fighters at the time of publishing this.
Those 35 fighters have gone through patch after patch of changes, buffs, nerfs, and so on to get to this point. At this time, many of the fighters are in the best place they could be, emphasizing their strengths and minimizing their weaknesses.
As such, there is no bad fighter among the decent roster. Though there are fighters who fall behind the rest and some who are gods among men, the characters are balanced the best way they could be. That makes a Street Fighter V tier list even more important than ever.
UPDATE: With the release of Street Fighter V Champion Edition we’ve released a fresh tier list! Click here to check it out.
There are still players who are checking out this game for the first time even years after its initial release on PS4 and PC. With an expanded roster, too, this can make it hard to know who is the best for you to check out. Thankfully, that’s where the Street Fighter V tier list comes in.
The purpose of this list is to divide up all 35 of the fighters into tiers based on their performance in battle. Unlike with other esports games, only four tiers are needed for this list. Checking out the ranking of the characters will help you to know how good your favorite fighters are.
Perhaps more importantly, though, this list can prepare you for facing off against other real players online. You will know which fighters you need to watch out for. To help with this, I am going to give you details on each of the S Tier fighters so that you know what they do best as well as the C Tier ones on the list so that you know why they are at the bottom.
Beginning with the S Tier fighters, these are the characters who are the best of the best in the game. Some of them are like gods, able to eliminate opponents with ease. When up against a fighter on the rest of the list, an S Tier character will have a huge advantage from the start.
Akuma is the king of glass cannon damage dealing. A glass cannon is a character who is able to deal out massive amounts of damage to opponents but isn’t able to take it back in return. With Akuma, he does some of the best damage in the entire game.
You can decimate opponents within a few seconds if you know his combos well. The strength he has is unbelievable and unparalleled by the other characters on the roster. However, it does take a true master to unlock his devastating potential.
That’s because one wrong move could cause you to lose a huge chunk of your health in one go. He has one of the lowest health in the game and isn’t able to take too many hits. As such, it really takes strategy and back-up plans to get a firm grasp on Akuma. But if you can, you will find he’s one of the best in the game.
Birdie, like Akuma, is able to deal some heavy damage against foes in battle. But where the two differ a lot is in the fact that Birdie can deal damage from far away. In fact, Birdie does best at mid-range with his signature headbutts and other attacks.
He also has a good bit of versatility, too, that helps him survive against various attacks, be it close range, long range, or even air combos. All of this variation and damage allows Birdie to be one of the strongest fighters around.
However, he does come with his own faults, too. The main issue with Birdie that players have to account for is the long recovery for most of his attacks. These can leave you open some, but in the right hands, it won’t be an issue.
Ibuki is one of the most popular fighters in the game’s esports scene for a reason. This unique fighter has a special trait that no other character in the roster has: Ninjutsu. On the side of the screen, you will see that she has a meter that shows how many kunai she can throw at enemies.
These deal lots of damage and are at the core of what makes Ibuki such a strong fighter. Using a special move, she can refill her kunai and start blasting away at opponents again. Couple this with her bombs, and you have a terrifying combination that could go up against most fighters well.
Bison has been terrorizing Ryu and the rest of the Street Fighter gang since almost day one. And that doesn’t end in this latest game, either. This complex fighter takes some real skill to understand and use in battle correctly, but if you can, you will find that he will treat you right in return.
The biggest issue with M. Bison is his slow walking speed. But even that isn’t a problem for veteran players who know how to work around it. After all, he has an infinite dash that is helpful for closing in the distance as well as his special moves.
Once you close in, if you can use his combos in the right way, you will be able to challenge and take out enemies with ease. Many players in the community argue that M. Bison is the best character on this entire Street Fighter V tier list, and there’s a reason for that.
Rounding out the S Tier list is Rashid. He is one of the new playable characters that you will find in the Street Fighter V roster and also the best of the new fighters. This Middle Eastern fighter is one of the most aggressive in the game and is all about cornering your opponent.
The point of Rashid is to trap your opponent, unleash attack after attack, keep away from their attacks, and rinse and repeat. It’s a simple formula making him not too hard to figure out even for newcomers. As such, he, too, has become popular in the online community.
His only issue is that he doesn’t have a lot of damage output compared to the rest of the roster. He more than makes up for that, though, in his speed and aggressive play style. In the right hands, Rashid can be a whirlwind of attacks that can stand toe to toe with the rest of this S Tier.
For the A Tier fighters, these are some amazing ones who are just one or two steps away from making it into the S Tier rank. You can’t go wrong with any of the fighters below as they will treat you right as long as you take the time to learn all of their quirks. With a tweak or two, or being used by the right player, they can breach the S Tier and take them on with ease.
The B Tier fighters have one or two things that hold them back from being as amazing as the A Tier ones. Regardless, they’re great fighters, nonetheless. These are solid characters who will be able to take on both A and S Tier characters as long as you take the time to master their combos and play style.
Last but not least, we come to the C Tier fighters. As I mentioned before, there are no bad fighters in Street Fighter V, period. As such, don’t think of the four following characters as terrible by any means. These are all good fighters who have some issues or weaknesses that keep them from moving up in the ranks.
With a buff or two in a patch, they could easily climb the ranks out of the C Tier and into one of the higher ones. In addition, if you dedicate time to figure out how to use them and cover the weaknesses that they have, you will be able to hold your own against just about any enemy in the game.
In an ironic sense, Alex is one of the least combo-centric fighters in the game. This is because he is all about grappling, which is something you don’t see too often in the community. But just because he doesn’t use a lot of combos doesn’t mean that he’s great for newcomers.
It takes a certain type of player to be able to use Alex well. You need to have the patience to think through the strategy of what your moves do and what your opponent is doing. You also need to be sure you understand the placement of yourself and your opponent at all times.
This makes Alex more complicated than he’s worth. His stats are fine all around, but it’s not worth the effort for most players. With the right player who is willing to take the time, though, you will find that Alex is a decent enough fighter.
Ed is a pretty good fighter — better than most of the ones in the C Tier. He certainly has the potential to move up from this tier to the B Tier with just a few tweaks here and there. He is one of the fastest fighters around, allowing him to overwhelm his enemies with quick attacks.
His combos are easy enough to learn, too. This makes Ed not the hardest character to control, unlike Alex, but Ed comes with his own issues. For one, Ed is awful when it comes to mid-range where several fighters excel. This one problem is detrimental against a lot of opponents.
What’s worse is it can be difficult to overcome this problem, too, making it so that Ed is only great against certain types of players. This limitation makes it so that you could be at a severe disadvantage because you picked Ed.
Laura suffers from a similar issue to Ed but in a different way. To begin with, Laura is one of the strongest fighters on this Street Fighter V tier list when it comes to close range fighting. She is a powerful melee fighter that is sure to wreck you if she gets too close.
But therein lies Laura’s problem. When it comes to anything other than close range, she is inept at doing much on the battlefield. And she isn’t the best at closing in the distance between two foes, either. This puts her at a disadvantage against a good number of foes.
As long as the enemy is able to keep their distance by dodging, dashing, and so on, Laura will probably be beaten. Only the most experienced players could overcome this and be able to win against mid- and long-range enemies.
Vega has speed that is uncanny compared to everyone else on this Street Fighter V tier list. With his speed alone, he can dash in close to foes and pound them to pieces before you know what’s happened to you. His attacks aren’t the best, but paired with his speed, he can be dangerous.
The issue is that his defense isn’t that great. If you can get past his speed and stop him for a moment to turn the tides, it’s going to be over for Vega. As long as a player can anticipate Vega’s instant ability to close the distance, he’s toast.
It also doesn’t help that his best combo is a technical one that requires skill and knowledge to pull it off. If you are able to, though, you will find that you can take out most enemies with it. But the challenge of getting there causes him to be in the C Tier on this Street Fighter V tier list.
Tags: Street Fighter V