The King of the Iron Fist Tournament is upon us. In Tekken 8, the fate of the universe hangs in the balance, and many are joining the fight for the first time. With 32 characters to choose from, making a decision can be a little intimidating. Fret not, however, for I have some solid suggestions for you. Whether you’re a grappler, heavily offensive, or looking for a balanced character, this guide will help you make the biggest decision on this journey. Keep in mind that while all characters have an extensive moveset and can be quite complicated, these can offer the best opportunities at base level. They’re also in no particular order. Without further ado, class is now in session!
1. Jin Kazama
The main character of Tekken 8 and son of Kazuya Mishima, Jin has been a series mainstay for over 20 years. Along with his father, he’s probably the closest you’ll get to a shoto character, or one that relies more on your knowledge of the game. He’s a great character to learn the basics with, and will most likely be many players’ first choice, and an excellent one at that. If you can get the hang of Jin, you’ll easily be able to play as other characters, especially the Kazamas and Mishimas.
King is an altruistic jaguar mask-wearing wrestler from Mexico, a la Nacho Libre. As to be expected with a wrestling character, he’s a grappler, capable of catching opponents mid air and even grabbing opponents as they try to kick him. Subsequently, he also has moves that are nearly impossible to escape. If you find that you go for grabs more often than not, he’s a great fit. Think Zangief from Street Fighter, but less annoying.
3. Jun Kazama
Jin’s mother, Jun, is a beacon of light in the Kazama family, only wanting what’s best for her husband and children. That doesn’t mean she’s not a formidable person. Jun’s one of the most powerful characters in Tekken 8, and after a few minutes with her it becomes clear why. Her moveset is full of attacks that can flow elegantly into one another, and her Heat Smash has some serious reach. After you get the jist of Jin’s capabilities, you’ll be dominating the competition in no time!
4. Marshall Law
Marshall Law is a martial arts expert akin to Bruce Lee, down to design and fighting style. I find that Law works great as a rushdown character, with his moveset allowing for easy mix-ups and aggressive combo damage. Be careful spamming his backflip kick though, as it will leave you open to some heavy damage if used too much. Still, he’s fast, strong, and has enough options to keep the opponent on their toes. For players that aren’t exactly the patient type, Marshall Law is your guy.
An astrologist imbued with the power of the demon Azazel, Zafina is a decently powerful mystical character. Admittedly she’s a little more complex than other characters in this list. Still, she has a variety of sidestep and knock-back attacks in her base selection. These allow for easier dodges and punishes when an attack is thrown your way. She has several stances that change mid combo, and I find that you’re bound to pull off a combo (even accidentally) thanks to that fact. She’s been nerfed compared to her appearance in Tekken 7, but she’s still pretty viable in my opinion.
If you didn’t know, now you know. Tekken 8 is filled to the brim with great characters for new and old players. That can make finding a main character a little overwhelming, even for me. While I’ve stuck with Jin for my ranked matches, I still find myself playing as just about every other character. They’re just all so good! Hopefully with this list you can make an easier decision and get a head start in Tekken 8. May your wins be bountiful, and may your losses help you grow!