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Tekken 7 tips and tricks for beginners

Tekken 7 tips and tricks for beginners

In 1994, while Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat were drawing millions to arcades and millions more to their console counterparts, Bandai Namco – then known as Namco Bandai – released the first Tekken into arcades. A few months later it was released on the PlayStation One, where it went on to become the first game on that system to sell over one million copies, launching one of the strongest fighting franchise in the world in the process.

With the release of Tekken 7 – despite the number, the ninth game in the series – Bandai Namco franchise is back in the public spotlight once again. The game was released in arcades months prior to its debut on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, but this marks the first time a Tekken game will appear on this generation of consoles. With that new home may come a new fanbase as well, and that’s where this Tekken 7 guide comes in.

To be clear, this Tekken 7 tips and tricks for beginners guide is just that – it’s for beginners to the series. If you are a longtime fan of the franchise, you will probably be familiar with most of these tips. Hopefully, there will be a few things that could still help you, but it is primarily for people that aren’t familiar with Tekken titles, or those that haven’t played one in years.

If you have any Tekken 7 tips and tricks of your own you’d like to contribute, please add them by way of the comment section. Now on to the King of the Iron Fist!

Fighting Philosophy

Tekken 7 tips and tricks for beginners

When it comes to fighting games, each franchise has its own philosophy when it comes to the control scheme. There is a lot of crossover, and most of the games have expanded so much over the years that there is plenty of overlap between them all, but the core mechanics remain the same. So if you know one, that shares the same philosophy, you at least have a leg up on learning the later versions.

For instance, take the most well-known fighting franchise in the world, the Street Fighter series. Anyone that spent more than a few quarters playing the game back in the day knows that the control scheme is based on a series of smooth, continuous movements. There are a few exceptions to this, but the famed hadouken is a semi-circle with a punch, Chun-Li’s spinning kick is back then forwards with a kick, Dhalsim’s yoga flame is a half-circle and punch, and so on.

On the other hand, a series like Mortal Kombat tends to use a series of seperate moves to pull off specials. Sub-Zero’s freeze is down, then forward and punch; Scorpion’s rope spear is back, back, low punch; Liu Kang’s fireball is forward, forward, high punch, etc., Tekken’s system is a little different.

While Tekken 7 has a list of moves that reads a little like a programmer’s guide, it all stems from the same philosophy. The movements are based on the idea of creating combos more than pulling off special moves. That’s not to say there aren’t special moves, far from it, but the idea is based on the combination of movement paired with multiple button hits.

So for example, if you are playing a Tekken game for the first time, or if you played an earlier Tekken and decided to jump back in with Tekken 7, you should start by combining something like moving forward on the D-pad and striking a series of punch buttons, alternating between the left and right punch, in quick succession. Then throw in some kicks and you have a combo. If you want to try more powerful moves, try something like hitting back and both punch buttons, or forward and both kicks.

The controls for Tekken 7, like previous Tekken games, demand that you learn combos. It’s possible to hit and block and hit and block over and over, but you’ll do a fraction of the damage a quick five-hit combo will do. And while the best way to learn the moves is to read the move list and try out the practice mode, if that isn’t for you just look at the character’s movements in the game. If right punch is a jab, it makes sense that you can follow it with a left hook and follow it with another right jab. What you can’t do is throw a left hook and then try a right kick. The Tekken series has a very loose attachment to real martial arts, but you can’t outright defy things like the principles of motion. You need to use your character’s momentum to your benefit.

This reliance on button combinations also gives hope to button mashers everywhere. If they get the right character, one that is quick and fluid, they can mash their way to victory. There is an easy counter to this, however: just block. When the button mashers unleash an attack, block and wait until their character has to reset their stance, then unload on them.

Juggles are also a big part of the Tekken franchise. If you can get in a few combo punches and kicks then end it with one that knocks the opponent into the air, you can get a few more hits in. After that, once they are on the ground, you can follow up with a stomp or two.

And speaking of blocking, in Tekken 7 blocking is an important tactic given the reliance on combos. Being aggressive can win a match, but there will come a time when you need to block and weather an opponent’s storm. Dodging is also important – it can be defensive, but it also leads to offensive opportunities, especially against opponents that can launch into lengthy moves.

But ultimately, if you want to improve at Tekken 7, you need to practice with multiple characters. Fighting games are about skill, and you need to learn that skill in order to really get the most out of the game.

Character Types

Tekken 7 tips and tricks for beginners

There are 38 characters at launch in Tekken 7, with more to come via DLC. Each fighter has his or her own fighting style – even those that share a martial arts discipline have their own take on it – and from that style you can generally get a sense of how they will move. When you are first starting out, picking the type of character you want will have a huge impact on how you experience the game.

Although it’s something of a vast oversimplification, you can break the character types down into three categories: slow but strong, fast and fluid, and something in between that relies on special attacks. While each character in these classes will have their own unique moveset, understanding and embracing one type at first will help acclimate you to the game.

The slow but strong types are like Heihachi, Kazuya, and Paul Phoenix. They have powerful moves, but they require timing. If you like to tap buttons repeatedly, these characters won’t be a good fit for you, but if you are willing to block and wait for the proper moment to strike this group might be the best fit for you. If you want to get really good with them though, you’ll need to learn their moves so you can unleash their most devastating attacks.

The fast and fluid characters are easy to jump into and feel like you are a master at the game, and include characters like Eddy Gordo, Hwoarang, and Marshall Law. Each hit does a fraction of the damage of the heavy hitters, but they can link combos easily and if your opponent doesn’t block and dodge you can knock off a huge chunk of their health in a few hits. They are relatively easy to disrupt with a well place counter or properly timed block, however, which makes them easy prey for opponents with even moderate skills and/or patience. If you learn their moves sets and learn how to link combos though, you can crush enemies.

The third group lands between the previous two, with characters that have power and link fast combos, but they tend require a working knowledge of some of their moves. This includes characters like Bryan Fury, Devil Jin, and Yoshimitsu. If you get lucky and button mash the right buttons you can string together a series of devastating moves that will wreck an opponent. If you don’t know what you are doing though, you can find yourself getting pummeled. The good news is that you can generally learn a few moves and be dangerous enough to inflict some incredible damage.

Play with every character, try some vs battles, then once you have a character you like, head over to the practice mode and learn how to get really good with them. Once you have at least one go-to character, choose a few others to practice with. Different characters are better against different styles, so it’s good to have a few options.


Tekken 7 tips and tricks for beginners

Tekken 7 features a story mode that switches you in and out between a handful of characters. If you don’t know the story of Tekken, you may be a bit lost, but it’s still engaging enough to make it worth playing. It’s also a decent tutorial of sorts, albeit not an easy one and it is limited to a set of characters that aren’t generally most people’s go-to fighters.

The story focuses on the war between the Mishima Zaibatsu and the G Corporation, two powerful organizations vying for control of the world. It puts an emphasis on the Mishima family, including the ongoing feud between the elder Heihachi, his son Kazuya, and the youngest of the clan, Jin Kazama.

You’ll start out fighting a series of generic non-characters between cut scenes, then you’ll find yourself facing off against familiar names from the series as well as a few new characters. You can also back out to the story mode menu and take on side missions, but these are generally short, random fights that are a great way to try out new characters but don’t really add much to the story.

The story is short and will only take a few hours, so it’s worth playing whether you are new to the series or you’re a veteran.

If you’re looking for a very brief recap, check out these videos.

Offline Play

Tekken 7 tips and tricks for beginners

If you’re looking to jump into some fights immediately, head to the offline mode and jump into the arcade play.

Arcade play is the familiar mode for fighting game fans. You choose a character and fight through a random assortment of enemies, all leading to a boss fight. There are seven fights in total, with a mid-boss fight against Heihachi and one of two final boss fights. If you have lost and were forced to continue at least once along the way, you’ll fight Devil Jin; if you made it through without a loss you’ll face Akuma. Regardless of who you face or who you play as, the ending is the same. There are no individual character finales or movies.

The Vs. mode is meant for two players to go head-to-head. It keeps tabs on the number of wins each player has, and you can log in other accounts if you want to really keep a tally. It’s a straightforward enough game mode that is easy to navigate. Choose your characters, choose your maps, then get to it.

Online and Tekken 7 Ranking System

Tekken 7 tips and tricks for beginners

The online mode is where many players will spend the majority of their time. There are multiple modes, but ultimately you’ll face off against another player – generally against someone at a similar rank – and then you’ll fight. This is presented a few ways, but that’s what it comes down to.

There are a few online modes to consider, starting with whether or not you want to risk your rank. If you choose to fight without rank, the game will attempt to pair you with someone in a similar rank then drop you into a fight. There’s no risk to it, and it’s a quick way to jump into a fight. If you spend a lot of time playing online, however, you’ll probably want the sense of progression that comes with the ranking system.

Tekken 7 offers a rating system that seems straightforward at first – you fight and win and raise in rank – but the game doesn’t actually explain how the system works and there are a few things that might seem counterintuitive. Bandai Namco is also protective of their ranking algorithms, so the current info comes from fans that know the series very well and who have spent a lot of time discussing it with like-minded fans.

Based on the previous Tekken ranking system, players have discovered that you actually earn less credit if you beat someone of a higher rank than if you beat someone of the same rank. This seems like an error, but it’s actually a way to prevent people gaming the rankings. It might seem a bit paranoid, but given the competitive streaks of players at the highest levels, it might not be.

Regardless, each player begins at a lowly beginner tier, and you work your way up to the top rank in that tier. When you face a promotion fight and win, you then jump into the next tier at the lowest level where you fight up to the to rank to earn promotion to the next tier, and so on.


Tekken 7 tips and tricks for beginners

While you play Tekken 7, you earn coins that can be spent on customizing your character. There are also special days and events that will reward you with additional coins simply by logging on, so it pays to be connected online, even if you don’t intend to use the online features.

You’ll earn this currency by playing all modes, but the Treasure Battles, found in the Offline menu, are the best way to earn them quickly. The fights reward you with a treasure chest filled with random coins and items, and the more you fight the rarer the chest. You also earn coins simply by fighting, so it doubles the results.

Once you have some coins saved up you can access the Customization menu and start changing each character’s appearance. They all have several custom items, and each purchase will cost you. The variations are nearly endless, so experiment and start creating your own look for each fighter. Once you have a customized character you can access that look by selecting the player’s outfit at the selection screen.

You can also earn special rewards to be used for customization by competing and doing well in tournaments, but this is obviously much tougher.

General Tekken 7 Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Tekken 7 tips and tricks for beginners

  • Throws can be broken in a variety of ways. If an opponent begins to grab you, try punching out of it. You may need a specific counter move, but start off with the basics.
  • Juggles are an easy way to score a lot of combos, and in the right hands can lead to devastating damage. Learn how to hit characters into the air and have a fast combo ready when they are airborne.
  • You can strike high, medium, and low – which means if you want to block, you may need to choose where the strike is coming from.
  • Tap up or down twice on the D-pad and hold it and you will sidewalk. Thsi si a great way to throw off button mashers, but eventually they will catch you.
  • Jump attacks are generally not very effective, and they leave you vulnerable if blocked.
  • Every character can beat every other character – start off with someone you like playing with, and go from there.
  • The first move of the match is often the most important, especially when playing real people (as opposed to the CPU). Some will always try to attack – which can lead to early domination – while some will block, leaving them in a position to control the fight’s tempo. Tekken is as much about tactics as anything, and this is the first decision you need to make in each fight.
  • If you are getting knocked down, immediately hit up or down repeatedly to roll out of the way of an incoming follow up attack.
  • In Tekken 7, each character has a powerful rage art and rage drive attacks. It takes time to pull off, but it’s worth learning each character’s move. When you launch it, you’ll glow blue – be warned though, it can be disrupted with an attack fairly easily.
  • Low attacks are a common practice, especially among newer players. It’s an effective way to disrupt a high or medium combo, but it can be annoying. Low attacks can be countered by tapping down-forward. If done properly, it will grab the opponent and toss them down.
  • If you can’t hit the buttons as quickly as your opponents, try holding the controller in a different way with two fingers on the buttons.
  • You can map the button configuration to your preference, including using the shoulder buttons for specific button combinations.
  • If you really like the game, consider investing in a fight stick. Be warned, they aren’t cheap.



Founder and DBP boss. Ryan likes the Kansas Jayhawks, long walks on the beach, and high fiving unsuspecting people.