The best beginner characters in Tekken 8 cover image

The best beginner characters in Tekken 8

New to the King of the Iron Fist? These three Tekken 8 fighters are the best beginner characters for all kinds of players.

We all have to start somewhere, and if Tekken 8 is your first time with the series then the roster can appear daunting. Cyber ninjas, school girls, literal an actual bears? Where does one even start? Luckily, Tekken 8 is designed with the novice in mind and offers ample options for the best beginner characters.

We have three potential fighters to enter the Iron Fist Tournament with, all offering different styles of play. Stuck on who to represent? As fist meets fate, let us be your dojo master.

Tekken 8: Best beginner characters: Offensive

Credit: Bandai-Namco
Credit: Bandai-Namco

The Wing Chung master from New York returns off his debut appearance in Tekken 7. Last time around, Leroy Smith got a bit of a reputation for being... Well, busted. A late-stage DLC release, my man could have been balanced a little more fairly. However, this time around he stands as a strong early option for players looking to play aggressive.

And this may sound antithetical, but he accomplishes this through one of the best parries in the game. Leroy accels at turn stealing--interrupting your opponents offensive actions and placing them on their back foot. He's an excellent "watch and see" fighter who, once he does steal that turn, can turn up the heat.

Much of his offensive pressure comes from having one of the best launcher attacks in the game. His mid-hitting launch attack comes out in 12 frames, making it the fastest available. This is to say, Leroy can interrupt and start juggling enemies when it's least expected.

Pick Leroy if: You want to hit buttons, frustrate your opponent with mix-ups, and look cool.

For the defensive-minded enthusiast

Credit: Bandai-Namco
Credit: Bandai-Namco

Asuka returns! And she looks... um, very stupid. Look, I love my parrying queen, but her Tekken 8 costume is almost enough to disqualify her from this best beginner characters list. However, the young Kazama makes up for poor fashion sense with amazing parries, a long reach to sniff out pokes, and and a one-button whiff punish that must be respected.

Asuka is all about capitalizing and taking advantage of counter hits. She has the ability to fully punish poor button choices, which means accels against button mashers. Meanwhile, her long-range normals allow her to hold the mid-screen with ease.

Where you may run into trouble with Lili's rival is against defensive players or anyone good at jab-based offense. But that's a small price to pay for her F2 whiff punish--one of the best buttons in Tekken 8.

Pick Asuka if: You want to punish wanton aggression, don't mind a silly costume.


Credit: Bandai-Namco
Credit: Bandai-Namco

If you don't understand what Jack-8 is all about after one look then we might say that fighting games just aren't for you. A mainstay of the franchise since the first Tekken in 1994, Jack is always about two things: Power and reach. On and off a favorite at the professional level, this new iteration of the cyborg menace appears no different. That said, he doesn't simply play the same as those other seven or so versions.

This time around, Jack-8 has a stance with pre-loaded combos and mix-ups. He's also just terrible at the counter hit game, as well as sidestepping attacks. But the tradeoff is that he has the longest reach in the game and power to always make it a threat.

A few simple jabs from Jack-8 is enough to severely damage your opponent's health bar. And, as a trade-off for being the largest fighter in Tekken 8, he has a guard break that beginner players will want to learn and understand from the start. But, beware: That size becomes a great disadvantage if you can't learn to keep your opponent out of your personal bubble.

Pick Jack-8 if: You like long arms, big damage, and silly robots.

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