Street Fighter 5 tier list

What fighters should you pick?

Tier List
Image via Capcom

Street Fighter is a series of fighting games made popular since the early ‘90s. With series such as Tekken and Mortal Kombat competing against each other and taking most of the spotlight, the Street Fighter games often get lost in the shuffle.

The hardcore fan base of the Street Fighter series stuck true to the games and with the introduction of newer gaming technology and consoles, more attention was being drawn to the series. All of this culminated in the excellent Street Fighter V, combining all of the best characters the series has to offer in one installment, along with updated graphics and gameplay elements.

With the advent of the Street Fighter V Definitive Update that came out in April 2022, there have been a lot of changes to game mechanics as well as fighters. As such, we have curated a tier list that showcases all of the characters in the game from worst to best, ranging from E-tier to S-tier. This list works both competitively and casually, making for good reference material either way.

E-tier

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The bottom of the barrel fighters. In this case, there is only one of them and, unfortunately, he happens to be a fan favorite of the series.

  • Blanka: Blanka takes the bottom spot on this list. Even though this crossover between Tarzan and a rabid wolverine is one of the most popular characters in the series, his limited fighting potential lands him in the E-tier. Even though he was recently buffed with increased recovery time while using normal attacks, that wasn’t enough to increase his overall win rate. Only time will tell if he will make it out of this spot.

D-tier

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These fighters can be strong in the right hands, but overall, we recommend avoiding them as most of them can be easily countered by better fighters.

  • Alex: Alex by himself, is a strong fighter. He is great in arcade matches against the AI, but against other players or in a competitive environment where precision is key, he does tend to struggle against faster fighters.
  • F.A.N.G: F.A.N.G has a ton of offensive potential but his weak defenses do not do him any favors. The current buffs to his ability to counterattack and increased defense make him stronger overall, but not enough to take a higher spot.
  • Falke: Falke works well as a defensive fighter but gets crushed by offensive powerhouses. The buffs to her being able to use successive attacks by utilizing the critical gauge add to her offensive potential, but not by much.
  • Gill: Gill’s fighting style relies too much on putting his opponents into an unfavorable position using his Anti-Type system. This can easily be exploited by better fighters. This complicated battle system also makes Gill hard to master.
  • Lucia: Lucia would have taken the other spot with Blanka in an earlier list but with the current buffs to her close-range combos and gap closing abilities, she makes it up to this tier. She is still outclassed due to her less than average damage and subpar V-Skill.
  • Necalli: Quite possibly the best character in this tier, with his amazing V-Trigger skills. That does not say much, however, since his overall damage output is still low, even with the buffs to his V-Triggers and gap closing skills.
  • Rose: Rose is almost exclusively a long-range fighter, leaving her open to gap-closing attacks. While her V-Skills are good, she suffers from the same lack of damage potential that most characters in this tier suffer from, which the buffs did not address much.

C-tier

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These are often touted as the middle of the roads fighters. They can win fights in capable hands but they also get destroyed by the later tiers.

  • Cody: Cody would have made it to a higher tier with his skill set, but the bad execution of his moves in conjunction with each other limits his prowess. His new Garbage Chute move is worth keeping an eye on, however.
  • Dan: Dan was severely lacking in power and would have been in the D-tier in previous lists. But with the current buffs to all of his normal attacks, he has definitely gone up a tier. He is still not strong enough to compete against higher-tier fighters, however.
  • Ed: Ed pretty much destroys all of the fighters in the tiers below him, but struggles with the fighters higher up in this list, making him the perfect middle of the roads fighter. The new buffs to his V-Skills and the EX Psycho Knuckle are great for controlling fights.
  • Ibuki: Just like Gill, Ibuki can be hard to master for newer players. The complexity of her fighting style also keeps opponents guessing what her next move will be, however. The buffs to her V-Skills and her new EX Kasumigake might just keep her at the cusp of the B-tier.
  • Juri: Once a player masters Juri, they will be rewarded with quick combos and high damage. The management of Fuharenkyaku is essential to playing her well and that can be daunting for newer players.
  • Ken: Ken is a good all-around fighter that does not excel at a lot but is a solid pick for any situation. Many players consider him as just a watered-down Akuma but the recent buffs to his V-Trigger keep him consistent.
  • Nash: Nash turned out to be so good initially that he was nerfed with every major patch. His basic kit keeps him from falling further down this list but he is just a shadow of his former self now. The buffs to Jumping Sobat made him viable for a bit till that got nerfed in the definitive update as well.
  • Oro: Oro’s overall damage output is just flat-out bad. This can be attributed to his low damage from his normal attacks which set up as a basis for the rest of his attacks. Fighters like Urien do everything Oro does, but better, leading him to fall behind.
  • Sagat: Sagat was buffed in the recent patch, with his Tiger Shot and Grand Tiger Shot dealing considerably more damage. Apart from these, he can be a good zoning fighter, but there is nothing special about him anymore.
  • Vega: Vega made a comeback from the bottom of the tier list all the way up here with his recent buffs. His propensity to take increased damage means that he is still terribly weak to fighters with overwhelming offensive power though.
  • Zangief: Zangief is great as a close-range fighter. This means he struggles with longer-range fighters, however, making him especially vulnerable to zoning because he has no proper means to close the gap.

B-tier

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An overall solid tier, most of these fighters can be picked up by new players and still find decent success.

  • Akira: Akira is a fighter that thrives on cornering her opponents and inflicting damage to them. She has high damage and can defeat an opponent quickly with these tactics, but apart from that, she can be taken down quickly as well.
  • Akuma: Akuma is basically a stronger version of Ken, with the same advantages along with being able to exploit an enemy’s weaknesses better. Just like Akira, his weak defenses are his undoing as well.
  • Birdie: Birdie was a former A-tier fighter but nerfs to his defenses in the recent patch drag him down to this tier. The nerf to his offensive potential via his V-Skills also hamper his overall performance in prolonged fights.
  • E. Honda: E. Honda has been a staple throughout the series as a solid fighter. With the added buffs in the recent patch, he is on the cusp of a breakout waiting to happen. The changes to Neko Damashi might possibly be just what he needs to scale the tiers.
  • Kage: The recent buffs to Kage shoot him up into the B-tier. The only thing preventing him from entering the A-tier is his high reliance on his V-Triggers, to the point where it can be easy for a skilled opponent to anticipate what may be coming.
  • Laura: Laura is strictly a momentum-based fighter. If players are skilled enough to get her to survive the early portions of the fight using her counterattacks and her buffed defenses, the flurry of offense after Matsuda Sway will almost ensure a victory.
  • Menat: Menat is a unique offensive character, who uses a crystal ball in battle. Due to this, her attacks can be extremely varied and her strength lies in her versatile attacks. As with most offensive characters in this tier, her defenses are sorely lacking.
  • R. Mika: R. Mika’s strengths lie in her offensive power that allows her to rush in with a barrage of throws and strikes. Her weakness lies in her lack of adaptability, making her less of a jack of all trades and more of a master at what she does.
  • Sakura: Sakura is an offensive powerhouse whose strengths lie in quickly dishing out high amounts of damage. This leaves her vulnerable to attacks from better defensive heroes with good counterattacks.
  • Zeku: Zeku’s strength lies in his mix-ups and setup skills that lead to powerful V-Skills. He is one of the most unpredictable fighters that leaves even experienced players guessing what he will do next.

A-tier

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These fighters often outclass most of the others that come before them, with variations in battle styles and abilities that often keep the enemies guessing what their next move will be.

  • Abigail: Abigail is the beefiest boy in the game, with his heavy attacks ensuring that his opponents have to maintain a steady stream of attacks to take him down. This is no easy feat either, with him having arguably the highest health pool of all characters.
  • Balrog: Balrog’s strength lies in weakening his opponents. He is great at gap closing and inflicting those weaknesses so quickly that most opponents are defeated before they know it.
  • Chun-Li: Chun-Li is another iconic fighter in the series. She maintains an A-tier ranking despite the recent changes because of how strong her overall kit is. Her quick, aggressive attacks with fast recovery time and heavy counterattacks make her a force to be reckoned with.
  • Dhalsim: Dhalsim is a long-range fighter whose damage output was less compared to other A-tier fights. The recent buffs to his normal attacks, along with his control skills able to push back other fighters and maintain a range, elevate him to this tier.
  • G: G maintains his A-tier status as one of the most stable fighters, having a balanced kit of normal moves, special attacks, and V-Skills. Once he gets the momentum going, stopping him is extremely difficult.
  • Guile: Guile is a classic fighter from the series that has maintained an air of versatility about him, which allows him to be played in various ways. He is also one of the most newbie-friendly fighters which makes picking him up and learning him that much easier
  • Karin: Karin was a former S-tier fighter that was nerfed recently, leaving her cornering potential severely damaged. She can be just as simple and easy to learn as Guile, albeit with a higher skill cap.
  • Kolin: Kolin’s damage potential is amongst some of the highest of all fighters. This combined with the variety of mix-ups makes Kolin a very scary opponent.
  • Poison: Another fan favorite, Poison makes it to A-tier with her strong long-range combat abilities combined with her high defensive potential. She also maintains good zoning abilities, always keeping her at a distance from her opponent.
  • Ryu: Ryu is the poster child of the Street Fighter series. His iconic Hadouken along with his buffed attack stats in the recent patch makes for a terrifying mid-ranged fighter.
  • Seth: Seth is a combo-heavy fighter that excels at grounding his opponents. His constant barrage of high damage attacks makes short work of most opponents, save for the S-tier.

S-tier

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The cream of the crop. They are the meta fighters that end up winning most tournaments and can generally only be beaten by other S-tier fighters.

  • Cammy: Cammy was a strong pick throughout the lifespan of Street Fighter V. Her ability to keep other fighters at range while attacking them and then closing the gap to finish them off is unparalleled. Her V-Trigger is just the icing on the cake to finish off opponents.
  • Luke: Luke might be a controversial S-tier pick to some since his introduction to the game last November, especially with his involvement in a lot of top tournament finishes. This has eventually led to some nerfs, with good reason. Only time will tell if he still manages to keep his S-tier spot.
  • M. Bison: M. Bison is the personification of “Offense is the Best Defense.” While severely lacking in defense, his unstoppable offensive power can take down enemies without much risk of a counterattack. His Psycho Power into Psycho Nightmare transition can absolutely devastate his opponents.
  • Rashid: Quite possibly the fastest fighter in terms of dishing out combos, Rashid is a powerhouse whose fighting style adapts based on the player. His quick moves allow low chances of retaliation. This is good because Rashid suffers against characters who can counterattack his offensive, which is extremely few.
  • Urien: Urien is the best mid-range fighter that can consistently keep enemies at bay with his Metallic Sphere. Even if he is pressured, his comeback potential along with his Aegis Reflector keeps him alive in the fight longer than most others can.