Street Fighter 6 – One to watch for 2023

Street Fighter 6 looks like it’s going to be one of the biggest games in 2023, and today I want to round up all the info we have so far, plus give you some first impressions of gameplay, given I’ve been playing the Street Fighter VI closed beta over the past few days.

Before we dive into gameplay impressions, let’s round up the key details we know so far about the game.

When will Street Fighter 6 release?

Street Fighter 6 launches on 2nd June 2023, and it’s going to be available on PS5, PS4, PC and Xbox Series X. Not sure why it’s not releasing on Xbox One, that remains a mystery. Cross play is going to be available, which is good news for online players, and not fragmenting the player population into platform buckets.

Will Street Fighter 6 have Rollback Netcode?

Rollback Netcode is going to be available, and is a key part of having a successful online fighting game. This allows for super fast, responsive, minimal latency matches with players in your region. Many fighting games have coe and gone, and one of the main reasons the player base falls away is the lack of Rollback Netcode, so this is great news for Street Fighter 6 fans.

Street Fighter 6 Roster

Regarding the full roster, we haven’t had this confirmed from Capcom at the moment, the only official characters are Ryu, Luke, Chun-li, Guile, Jamie, Juri, and Kimberly. However, we have had a leak of Street Fighter 6 characters, and if you believe this then there are going to be 22 characters in total. Take it with a pinch of salt though, as this is a leak, and we don’t know if the full roster will be there at launch or some characters will release over time.

Here’s the leaked roster in full

Ryu
Ken
Zangief
Dhalsim
E. Honda
Blanka
Guile
Chun-Li
Cammy
Dee Jay
Rashid
Juri
Ed
Akuma
Luke
Marisa
Jaime
Mimi
Lilly
JP
Kimberley
A.K.I

What is the Street Fighter 6 Story?

Street Fighter 6’s story has moved past 1999’s Third Strike, which means no M.Bison or Shadaloo. Guile and Chun-Li are going to need new motivations, so we should expect new stories for them. There have been hints at Street Fighter 3’s characters returning with Hugo and Gill heavily hinted at in the trailers so far.

What are the Street Fighter 6 game modes?

There are three separate game modes; Fighting Ground, Battle Hub and World Tour. Fighting ground is where you can play local multiplayer and training modes to hone your skills. Capcom have said that all of Street Fighter 5’s modes can be found within Fighting Ground, which is interesting. That means plenty of arcade modes and survival modes, along side the regular co-op modes.

Battle Hub is where you can create an avatar and walk round a virtual hub world, challenge other players online and get involved in events. You can also jump on classic Capcom arcades and play old games like Final Fight. The most recent Street Fighter 6 beta focuses on this, and I’ll get into more of that in my first impressions of gameplay in a moment. The main thing with Battle Hub is this is your online hub world where you can challenge other players and climb the ranks to become a champion.

Finally we have World Tour mode. This is described by Capcom as open-world, where you can meet characters from Street Fighter and challenge them to matches. We don’t know too much about World Tour at the moment, but it sounds like Capcom are taking a unique angle to the story mode, which is going to be fun.

Street Fighter 6 First Impressions

I was lucky enough to get involved with the closed beta that ran from 16-18 December 2022, and I got to play on PC. This was probably a poor choice from my part, given my PC isn’t as powerful as my PS5 or Xbox Series X. I’ve spent about 4 hours playing so far, mainly playing with Ken, Ryu and my old favorite Chun-Li. I’ve had mixed results online, probably getting beaten about 70% of the time, but that’s about normal for me when it comes to Street Fighter.

First of all, the game feels great. It’s very responsive, it’s quick and I love the animations. I’m using classic controls, I tried to use the modern controls, but they didn’t really work for me, and Street Fighter moved are so in-grained into my head that it’s hard to get used to a new control scheme. While I mainly played with classic characters, some of the other characters really caught my eye including Jamie and Juri. I could see myself playing as Juri sometime in the future with her powerful kick attacks.

I didn’t play Street Fighter 5, so I don’t know if these are new moves, but I really like the blocking system where you hold down two button to block a series of attacks, then you can press both strong kick and punch at the same time to release an unblockable attack (unless your opponent does the exact same that is). Chun-Li’s 100 foot kick had change from hitting the kick button plenty of times to a fireball movement, again, I don’t know if that a change related to Street Fighter 6 or that happened in 5.

This closed beta was focused around Battle Hub, and it is a little strange to me to create a character in Street Fighter and walk them around a hub world. I imagine this is laying the groundwork for later adding micro transactions and adding costumes, items and other cosmetics. We haven’t seen what the store or microtransactions will be like yet, but creating this avatar gives off MMO vibes, and following that can often be some aggressive monetization, but we’ll have to wait and see. I am hoping Capcom release the game free to play, then I wouldn’t mind so much if they offered cosmetics to buy. I’m not traditionally into cosmetic items like this, but I can see why they have done it from a business perspective. Walking around a virtual world and sitting at arcades is an interesting take on things, plus you can chat to everyone else in the same instance, which so far has been well mannered as I think everyone is excited to get into the beta.

Street Fighter holds a special place in my gaming history. When I was a kid, I played Street Fighter 2 in the arcades and on the SNES and Mega drive. I used to go to these tournaments in Eastbourne with my friends in an old video game arcade called Hackers Alley. I wasn’t that good, but I won a few matches, still playing with Chun-Li. My good friend Rob also is a big fan of Street Fighter and it’s something we played together on various consoles, an old original SNES and then later a SNES classic. It’s something we can still play today, Ryu VS Ken or Ken Vs Ken, we may start out slow and rusty, but soon we’re into twitchy combat where we taunt each other into jumping or moving first… Great memories, so shout out to Rob, and also anyone who ever went to Hacker’s Alley in Eastbourne in the 90s to play Street Fighter 2 tournaments.

As first impressions go, this beta has only elevated my hype levels for the full game coming on 2nd June 2023. When I buy the game I’ll be picking it up on one of the next gen consoles rather than PC, given my PC is fairly old now, and it would look much better on next gen rather than my 5 year old PC. I definitely recommend trying it out though, if you are a Street Fighter fan, then this is going to be something you really want to try.

Let me know what you think in the comments.