How to block punish in Tekken 8 cover image

How to block punish in Tekken 8

Be ready to convert your effective defense into lightning attack. Block punishment may be crucial for winning matches

Blocking is a key technique to learn in any fighting game. Tekken 8 is no exception, with the Block Punish being one of the most important of all.

First, lets recap methods of blocking incoming attacks Tekken 8. You should hold the directional button back from your opponent. Standing block protects from high and mid attacks. Crouching block (back and down) helps your character be safe from low's. Let’s take this concept much further and learn block punishment.

Modern fighting games strongly prioritize offensive actions over defensive strategies. It feels like most players adore the rushdown style. Developers support that with various game mechanics, and playing defensively becomes harder.

To succeed in Tekken 8, you need to know how to block punish and effectively turn your defense into offense. Here's how to do it:

Tekken 8 block punishment explained

When you block an attack, you can find a moment to activate your quick move and punish your opponent while they are still in recovery frames.

The moment for block punishment varies from a character you play, your current opponent, and a move they finish their blockstring with.

To simplify the technique for a clear universal guide, here is how to block punish in Tekken 8.

  1. Block and pay attention to your opponent’s blockstrings.
  2. Wait for a relatively massive move that potentially has high recovery.
  3. Quickly stop blocking and press 1,2: left and right punches. It’s the quickest attack for most Tekken characters.
  4. Try and confirm the initial hits with a combo starter or the next combo move.

Understanding Tekken 8 frame data for block punishment

The universal formula works well in many cases, but to take your block punishment skill to the next level, you must understand frame data for characters in Tekken 8.

It’s both a simple and complicated topic.

Frames data is simple as it has one common pattern for everyone.

Attacks/moves have these structure

  • Starting frames
  • Active frames
  • Recovery frames

If an attack is blocked, it becomes plus or minus on block (amount of recovery frames). This means it’s safe for the attacker to activate their next move (plus on block), or they are at a disadvantage and can be punished (minus on block).

In terms of block punishment, starting frames of your quick attacks should be fewer than frames on block of the attacking character.

Say, Jin Kazama attacks your blocking Kazuya Mishima with D+2, and this move is -14 on block. You feel the moment and press 1,2, which has 10 frames of startup. You will have 4 frames of advantage to block punish.

The difficulty with frame data in Tekken 8 is that we have lots of characters and every single one of them has lots of moves. The universal formula becomes complicated due to this variety.

We have a dedicated guide on frame data in Tekken 8, so please check it out for more info.

Quick punch of Jin Kazama in Tekken 8 (image via Bandai Namco)
Quick punch of Jin Kazama in Tekken 8 (image via Bandai Namco)

How to learn block punishment?

Practice makes perfect. This rule works well in Tekken 8. So, take the basic pattern to your lab of the training mode and develop muscle memory of moving out of the block with your fastest attacks.

The trick should be to:

  • stop blocking quickly;
  • land the attack;
  • confirm the initial hit.

Don’t spend too much time in the lab, though. Take the idea to real matches with different opponents. Follow their actions attentively to see patterns—how they finish their blockstrings. Big moves with many recovery frames are visually notable. Punish them!

If you have troubles with specific opponents, take them as your training opponent and set their Primary and Secondary actions. Experiment with different moves you want to punish (Primary) and with moves you risk to get punished with (Secondary). Can you squeeze your block punishment in between?

It may turn out to be a long process, but dedication will be rewarded. While you improve the block punishment, don’t hesitate to use 1,2 out of your block after big attacks. It should work in many situations. 

Block punishment training in Tekken 8

You can use the built-in punishment training during your Tekken 8 practice.

Punishment training in Tekken 8 (image via
Punishment training in Tekken 8 (image via

Special color patterns will inform you on the bot’s actions and the status of your character.

  • Turn Hit Analysis ON to see when your character is safe. When they are blue, you are safe to activate your block-punish attack. This feature is disabled by default.
  • Keep Attack Warnings ON, so you will see when the bot is going to attack. An orange circle and a sound will highlight a moment when your safe frames for block punishment are over. This feature is enabled in Tekken 8 by default.
Blue character—safe to punish (image via
Blue character—safe to punish (image via

Another excellent option of the block punishment training is a suggestion of the best attack against different moves of an opponent.

  • You will see a recommended punishment move. If it lands, the game congratulates you with “Great”. Then you can continue with the next attack of a chosen opponent.
Success during punishment training (image via
Success during punishment training (image via

There are two modes of the Tekken 8 block punishment training. 

Medium—you will see a recommended punishment technique before the attack. Hard—a block punish recommendation appears on the screen after the attack lands, when you fail.

Medium and Hard difficulties of punishment training (image via
Medium and Hard difficulties of punishment training (image via

It’s better to move to the hard mode when you’ve grown some confidence and want to test your skills.

For more Tekken 8 guides, stay tuned to