The Street Fighter series has been a cornerstone of the fighting game community for the longest time.
The latest iteration, Street Fighter V, is almost always at the top of main events in competitive tournaments worldwide.
Street Fighter V is an extremely technical and competitive fighting game. Because of this, players frequently consult tier lists to keep up with the game’s latest meta.
With the release of Champion Edition, the competitive meta of the game has been shaken because of the addition of new mechanics and a full roster count of 40 fighters.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive tier list of Street Fighter V, we’ve got you covered. Read on to know which fighters are the best to use and master in the game.
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About The Tier List
This list was made with the following considerations in mind:
- The fighter’s natural toolkit — their move set, V-skills and triggers, hitbox and frame counts.
- The fighter’s matchup profile — generally, characters that naturally match up well against more characters will be placed higher.
- Success in the professional scene.
With all these considerations, keep in mind that all characters in Street Fighter V are well-designed and can net you some wins if you practice with them. This guide is merely an objective attempt at ranking the fighters based on the existing data available.
With that out of the way, let’s dive right into the list.
These fighters are the best to use in the current meta. They have excellent move sets and V-Triggers/Skills that make them a matchup problem for most of the cast. They are great for either playing aggressively or coming back from a deficit. Given how successful these characters are in competitive play, it’s a small wonder why their pick and win rates place high in tournaments.
|G||G is arguably the top fighter in the game right now. His tool kit consists of good moves, strong specials and equally useful V-skills. His V-Trigger combos very well for a considerably long time and, because of its fast frame animations, surprises opponents most of the time. Unless they nerf him hard next season, G will continue to see his place in the top tier.|
|Rashid||Rashid has a whole arsenal of moves that rewards fast-paced play. His moves are fast, and both his V-Triggers and Skills are excellent. You can get away with whatever playstyle you choose with Rashid and you’ll still have a high chance of winning.|
|Abigail||It’s hard to overlook just how tanky Abigail is. He’s got the most health out of all the fighters, and he has top-tier damage output to boot. His combos are deadly and unblockable once you use his charge mechanic. As if that’s not enough, one of his V-Skills is a projectile attack that allows him to become more of a pest than he already is.|
|Ibuki||It’s always a guessing game when you play against Ibuki. Her caltrops and shurikens set her combos up beautifully under the right circumstance. With a high skill cap that rewards mastery, Ibuki is the pinnacle of Street Fighter V’s combat complexity.|
|Urien||Urien’s Aegis Reflector is one of the most devastating moves for the opponent if you manage to set it up perfectly. He has a good neutral game that can slide well into combos if needed as well.|
|M. Bison||For players who want to keep the relentless pressure on their opponents, The Dictator is a perfect fit. His V-Skills and Triggers matches his aggressive nature perfectly. His combos and powerful attacks can deplete an enemy’s health in a matter of seconds. He’s lacking in the defense department, but who needs that when the opponent is already dead early on in the match, right?|
A-tier fighters are strong in all aspects of the game. Although they lack the unique, almost game-breaking qualities of those in tier S, they still enjoy massive success in tournaments because of their well-rounded toolkit. These fighters can also excel above S-tier ones if the player dedicates significant time to practicing them.
|Zeku||Pro players have shown that Zeku is a dominant force if you take the time to master him. His mix-ups are some of the best in the game and his V-skill is devastating once you learn how to set the enemy up for it. You can play orthodox or unpredictable with Zeku and you’ll still find your efforts rewarded.|
|Chun Li||As in all Street Fighter games, Chun Li is a mainstay at the top of the tier charts. Her fast kicks and movement allow for an aggressive playstyle while avoiding severe punishes. Both her V-Triggers are excellent and useable in most situations. Overall, Chun Li is a solid pick both for beginners and veterans alike.|
|Akuma||Not only does Akuma hit hard with his attacks, but he’s also effective at creating openings in the enemy’s defenses. He dies quicker than most characters, however, so he’s stuck in tier A for now.|
|Guile||Simplicity is Guile’s best trait in Street Fighter V. With a strong, no-nonsense move set that can easily be tuned to fit any playstyle, Guile gets a lot of success with consistent practice.|
|Karin||Like Guile, Karin is a strong, straightforward character with good V-Triggers and Skills. She used to bully opponents in the corner with her toolkit, but the latest patch nerfed that out. Despite this, she’s still considered a top-tier fighter.|
Fighters in Tier B are excellent niche picks to fit a certain playstyle or counter an opponent’s pick. They have clear flaws, but most of those are eliminated if an experienced player is using them.
|Cammy||Cammy has steadily risen in viability since the last few seasons. This season sees that improvement again with decent moves and a second V-Skill that can prove problematic to opponents.|
|Poison||When Poison was released, people thought she was a weak entry. That was an unfair first impression because she has excellent zoning and unique counter to aerials in the game.|
|Kolin||Kolin’s strength comes from mix-ups partnered with decent damage output. The second V-Skill also helps surprise opponents with that unexpected grab.|
|Necalli||Necally has no glaring flaws. He’s an overall solid character with arguably the best V-Trigger skills in the game. He doesn’t hit too hard nor fast but can consistently pester the enemy with well-placed hits.|
|Kage||Kage now has a better combo setup that leads to his uppercuts quite well. His V-Skills are only viable in combination with his V-Triggers, though, and that’s why he’s not placed higher in the rankings.|
|Zangief||There are less bad matchups for Zangief now that he’s been buffed a bit. His second V-Skill helps him out of tricky situations and even sets up combos when needed. Zangief’s weakness is zoners or in-and-out players. He relies so heavily on close range that veteran players already know how to explore this weakness.|
|Menat||Speaking of, Menat is one of those zoners that Zangief should be scared of. She plays in a unique way compared to the rest of the cast, so players should have enough practice with her before going competitive.|
C-Tier fighters aren’t bad, but you have to invest a lot of time in practice to win with them in competitive matches.
It’s not impossible to succeed while maining a C-Tier but it will be difficult; this is why C-Tiers are mostly used as off-pick to throw experienced players off if they don’t encounter them in matches often.
|Ed||The closest fighter to play like Kage, Ed has decent combo output and promising V-Skills. He can dominate fighters who are naturally a bad match for him but struggles massively when he’s the one with the disadvantage.|
|Laura||Laura’s the type of fighter that takes a while to get going. This means that it’s crucial to have a good start in a fight for the momentum to take over. Her risky nature sits her in Tier C.|
|R. Mika||R. Mika is an offensive fighter who can do mix-ups well for decent burst damage. This makes her one-dimensional, however, so she struggles to adapt to different scenarios mid-fight.|
|Falke||Falke zones well, so she’s perfect for players who want to play it slow and safe. This defensive nature gets crushed by good players using highly offensive characters.|
|Cody||Cody’s V-Skills and V-Triggers are useful for any matchup. It’s the jankiness of his movement that seems to limit him to Tier C.|
|E. Honda||It seems E. Honda should be placed higher up in this list because of his incredible second V-Skill. At the moment, he isn’t visible in professional tourneys as much, so he’s more of untapped potential. Expect him to move up in the rankings once more players try him out and discover his strength.|
|F.A.N.G.||F.A.N.G. has a potent offensive arsenal that can overshadow his poor defense under the right conditions. His recent buff only ups his survivability when he’s pressured by a little bit, so he’s relegated to Tier C.|
|Balrog||Balrog hits hard, so he’s perfect for players who want to end a match quickly. Outside that, he is completely mediocre, and his V-Skills and Triggers are nothing to write home about.|
|Sakura||A quick fighter who can destroy opponents once she gets it going. The problem is many fighters do what Sakura does even better.|
|Birdie||Birdie used to have the best defense against aerials, but that’s been nerfed now. His V-Skills are also underwhelming to the point that his overall performance is compromised.|
|Sagat||Sagat is one of the more effective zoners in the game. The problem is the current meta handicaps zoners in a big way. You’d be better off with other, more polished fighters than Sagat.|
These fighters need a few buffs to have players pick them more often. With the current meta, the investment to reward ratio is not worth it at all. Use these fighters only if you want to confuse your opponent. Otherwise, leave them alone.
|Blanka||If some pro players decide to main Blanka to shine the spotlight on him, then he’ll probably rank higher in this list. His move set and damage potential are certainly there, but there are other fighters who do it better.|
|Ken||The only thing that shines for Ken is his second V-Skill. An argument can be made that you’d rather play Akuma than Ken, since his style is similar but miles ahead.|
|Ryu||As with Ken, the same argument can be made with Ryu. One thing to note, though, is that Ryu has good comeback potential thanks to his V-Trigger.|
|Alex||Alex’s success relies too much on opponents making mistakes. This is not going to work in competitive play where opponents are more precise with their movements.|
These are currently the worst fighters in the current meta. Good players can defeat these fighters even if it’s their first time seeing them. Their moves are predictable and their skills are lackluster. Use these fighters only if they hold a special place in your heart.
|Lucia||Lucia’s toolkit is quite pedestrian by Street Fighter’s standards. Her combo setups are easily countered with minimal effort. Her V-Skills and Triggers also seem uninspired for some reason.|
|Vega||Vega’s on his way to busting out of F-Tier soon, but he needs more buffs. Once he’s cornered, there’s a high chance he’ll lose the match.|
|Dhalsim||As the weakest zoner in a game that doesn’t reward zoners too well, Dhalsim is at a huge disadvantage. He has bad matchups with most of the cast and doesn’t have an impressive damage output.|
|Nash||Nash used to be in the top-tier until he got hit by wave after wave of nerfs. Now he’s a generic fighter with a few good moves under his belt, but none stick out.|
There you have it: a tier list to guide you on the best and worst characters in Street Fighter V, at least for now. The game is expected to launch 5 more DLC characters in its lifespan, so this list will be regularly updated when that happens.
For now, use this list as a reference if you want to maximize your winning potential in competitive matches.