Tekken is one of the iconic game franchises that has been a fan favourite and hard for gamers to master at the same time. The unique characters in the game and their fighting styles are what make the game so complex despite being a two-dimensional arcade game. Chances are that if you are 90s kid, you have snuck out your home and played at one of those arcades and tried to make a ‘c’ with the joystick to launch a special move.
However, the game has evolved drastically since the franchise’s debut in 1994. From being a console-exclusive, the game ventured into new territory when publisher Bandai Namco launched it for PC gamers as well with Tekken 7 in 2017.
With new features like Rage Art and basic combos, Tekken attracted a large number of casual gamers but once you set the difficulty bar high or play against a technically sound opponent, the speed of the game changes.
Before we get into the basics of the game let’s understand the controls of the game on both Xbox and PlayStation controllers — square/X is left punch, triangle/Y is right punch, X/A is left kick, and circle/B is right kick. We also call them 1,2,3,4 respectively while explaining different moves, combos.
Blocking is essential
Before you attack your opponent, blocking is what you learn first. There are three types of attacks in the game — high, lows, and mids. You can block a high and mid-attack while standing and press the down button on D-pad to crouch and block low attacks. However, too much crouching will not help you as most of the attacks in Tekken are mid-attacks. Your opponent can easily launch you in the air and inflict serious damage if you are in a crouching position more often.
Also, breaking throw is something you need to learn. Unlike the previous versions of the game where you had to identify and break a kind of throw with a particular demand, in Tekken 7 you can simply do it by pressing 1 or 2 (right punch and left punch) buttons. You can also launch an attack after parrying a low move of your opponent by pressing df 2 (down forward 2/triangle/Y) in the direction of your opponent.
Move to survive
Movement in Tekken is what makes it stand out of the lot. There are options of back dash, wave dash, sidestepping in the game. Dodging the opponent’s move gives you a huge advantage. For example, Akuma’s fireball can be easily avoided by sidestepping (pressing the up or down button twice on D-pad quickly). However, sidestepping won’t help you evade homing attacks that track the movements of players. For example, King’s Jaguar Hook or Devil Jin’s laser attack while airborne.
With timely movements, you can evade the opponent’s launcher or basic moves and find yourselves in a better position to attack. Wave dash is still an advanced movement which a beginner will only learn with practice but back dash — simply moving the character backward by rapidly pressing the back button twice — is something that can be adapted into one’s game easily. Also, you should know when to duck and attack instead of being overdefensive. For example, you can do nothing while standing and defending Dragunov’s 4,2,1 move (while pressing back on D-pad). However, you can duck after the second move and use your move to break his attack.
Know your moves and opponent’s
There is no substitute for this. Tekken is a game where button-mashing won’t work for you. Go into the practice mode, open the move list of the character you choose, and learn. If not all of them, at least learn the ones that are bread and butter for your character. For example, if you want to play with Asuka like me, back 3 (left kick) and forward 2 (right punch) are the basic launchers you need to incorporate in your game.
But knowing just your moves won’t do the trick. You have to identify punishable moves of different characters to launch a counter-attack. For example, if you defend Asuka’s forward 2 launcher, you can punish it with your character’s launcher easily. If you wish to participate in Esports Tekken tournaments in future, there is also frame data that plays a major role in whether your character reacts slower or faster after defending or launching a particular move.
Unleashing the rage
When your character’s health is less than 20 per cent in a fight, the health meter starts to glow. That’s when you can perform rage art which is unique for every character similar to that of Mortal Komat’s super move once the power levels are up. If the opponent manages to identify and block you rage art, the round is pretty much over for you but if it doesn’t happen your character can make some serious damage. Once again, timing is the essence here.
Normally when the rage is activated, a character can cause more damage with normal moves. On the other hand, rage drive is something that helps you extend your existing combos.
Know your surroundings
Not just particular opponents, you have to know how to play in different stages. Unlike the Injustice franchise, you can’t throw things at your opponent and make use of surroundings. In Tekken 7, you have to find weak walls, floors in a stage that will help you extend your combos and inflict more damage. When near walls, your combos change as well as you try to carry your opponent towards the wall after launching them in the air. Also, wall-splats pin your opponents to the wall and basically make them your punching bag helping you to use combos to cause more damage easily. When playing on stages like Azure where there are no walls or weak floors, you have to just rely on your character’s strength to win the fight.