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Street Fighter 6 Ken ultimate guide: gameplay tips and updates

Want a Street Fighter 6 Ken ultimate guide with all of his moves, gameplay tips, and update for the latest game? Here is everything you need to know

Street Fighter 6 Ken Ultimate Guide: Ken can be seen in art

Ryu’s eternal rival is back and, apparently, better than ever. Ken Masters, the iconic shoto character with fire techniques, is ready to kick some ass in Street Fighter 6. In this Street Fighter 6 Ken Guide we will take a look at what makes him so special.

The next Street Fighter entry in the series isn’t creating a lot of hype just because of its amazing visuals, breathtaking style, or its huge amount of content. The fighters themselves have more tools than ever before, and Ken is one of the best examples of this.

Is his running move back? Can he still perform fire Shoryukens? Check our Street Fighter 6 Ken guide to learn these answers while also checking his new abilities, mechanics, and more.

Street Fighter 6 Ken Overview

The days of Ken wearing bananas as hair are over. His new hairstyle, which resembles his classic style, goes along with the rest of his fashion redesign: a large coat, sweatpants, and big boots. All these elements help to portray the oldest iteration of this character that we have ever seen.

He also looks the best he ever has in 3D, with the best version of his beautiful He-Man face and mind-blowing burning attacks ready to destroy his rivals.

Speaking of moves, Ken seems to have more offensive options than his counterpart Ryu. This invites you to a more risky playstyle, but with the chance of earning higher rewards — a constant in Street Fighter 6. The variety of options that allow for decision-making is one thing that can make fighting games so fun, and there are several tools you can use with Ken.

Street Fighter 6 Ken Guide: Ken can be seen standing in a map

His core mechanic is one returning from Street Fighter V. The Run, which is called Quick Dash in Street Fighter 6, is performed by pressing two different Kick buttons. Ken will start running a short distance, and it will do a different action depending on which button you press next.

Pressing Low Kick will cancel the run, while the Medium Kick is his classic overhead (Thunder Kick). On the other hand, press Heavy Kick after Quick Dash and you’ll perform a Forward Step Kick, which no longer knocks down the enemy, but can now be cancelled into other moves.

Unsurprisingly, Ken’s Super Arts involve devastating moves with flames. Dragonlash Flame, his Level 1 Super Art, is a chain of kicks that has invulnerability frames at the start. Shippu Jinrai-kyaku, his second super, is a lovely callback to his classic super move in Third Strike, and it will help you end a good number of your combos. Finally, Shinryu Reppa is pretty similar to his classic Street Fighter IV Ultra, with the difference that it has a reference to Sean (Ken’s disciple) when performed at low health.

Street Fighter 6 Ken Guide: Ken can be seen pulling a pose with his arm behind his head

Ken character changes and updates

Perhaps the most shocking change that Ken has received in Street Fighter 6 is that his regular super moves, even their heavy versions, don’t create flames. Yes, you can now do a Shoryuken with Heavy Punch and there won’t be any fire coming out of his fists.

However, that doesn’t mean that Ken has lost his flame punches or kicks — he just performs them in a different way. The Overdrive versions of his moves (the ones that spend one bar from the Drive Gauge) come with fire, but you don’t need to use your meter if you don’t want to. The trick here is that Ken can perform stronger special moves when running. For example, cancel a Quick Dash with a Shoryuken, and his fist will be surrounded by flames, just like we know it.

Street Fighter 6 Ken Guide: Ken can be seen performing a number of flaming kicks

Some other new additions are actually old moves with interesting tweaks. Apart from the legendary Tatsumaki Senpu-kyaku (back quarter circle + any Kick), Ken has two more special moves with his feet: Dragonlash Kick (forward Shoryuken Input + any Kick) and Jinrai Kick (forward quarter circle + any Kick).

The former is like the V-Skill he had in Street Fighter 5, a mid-range attack that pulls your opponent. It’s great for building pressure, and the Overdrive version of it makes the enemy bounce, which is perfect for linking Supers. Ken will also swap positions with his rival when doing this.

On the other hand, his Jinrai Kick is none other than his move from Street Fighter II, Crazy Kicks. However, now it has become a Eureka attack that will change its ending according to what input you press next. A forward Low Kick will make your enemy block crouching, while the forward Medium Kick is a move that needs to be blocked standing. The heavy version is a stronger kick that can be cancelled into other moves.

Street Fighter 6 Ken Guide: Ken can be seen kicking Ryu in a map

How to play as Ken in Street Fighter 6

Learning how to use and exploit your Quick Dash is a great part of what makes Ken one of the strongest characters in the whole game. This is a move you’ll want to keep mastering and connecting with other special attacks since it enhances those attacks and doesn’t consume your drive gauge

Using Drive Rush is also essential for getting the best out of Ken. There’s a combo that can take 50% of your opponent’s health bar, which we will explore below. Before that, let’s go over some simpler combinations first.

As in previous entries in the series, you can use Tetsumaki Senpu-kyaku and a Shoryuken as an ender in the same combo. This will be one of your most used tools with this character. In Street Fighter 6, Ken can also link a Shoryuken after an enhanced Dragonlash Kick. The enhancement can be from either spending one bar from the Drive Gauge or from cancelling a Quick Dash.

Street Fighter 6 Ken Guide: Ken can be seen punching Ryu

A successful enhanced Dragonlash Kick will make your rival bounce, which will leave them ready for a Shoryuken or better moves. In fact, you can use any of the three Super Arts you have to finish your combo and do a significant amount of damage. Or you can use both a Shoryuken and cancel it into Shinryu Reppa. This way, Ken will do an alternate version of his Level 3 Super Art that is less cinematic, but with the chance of adding one more attack at the end – like an Overdrive Tatsumaki.

To do a 50% damage combo with Ken, you will need to perfectly execute the following chain of moves: jumping Heavy Kick, down Heavy Punch cancelled into Drive Rush, Medium Punch, Heavy Punch, Quick Dash cancelled into Dragonlash Kick (which will be enhanced), and Shinryu Reppa. The tricky part about this whole combo is that the Quick Dash cancel needs tight timing to be performed correctly. Just practice it until you get it, the rest will come naturally.

Street Fighter 6 Ken Guide: Ken can be seen pulling the piece sign

When it comes to more general moves and situations, never forget that Ken has the basic fireball (Hadouken), which can be used for zoning (controlling the space between you and the opponent, mainly with projectiles). Throw as much as you want to mess with your enemy’s guard and try to gain space while doing so while moving quickly near them. Just be aware of your rival jumping near you, which can evade your fireball and leave you open to a hit.

Ken’s Shoryuken is the paradigmatic anti-air move. As usual, it has invincibility frames at the beginning of the move, which means that you can go against almost any move the other fighter throws at you. Also, you can use this move when waking up, countering a good amount of other moves and surprising your opponent in the process. However, beware of using the heavy version of the Shoryuken and being blocked, because you’ll be exposed to a hard counter-attack.

Street Fighter 6 Ken Guide: Ken can be seen prepping for a super

Shippu Jinrai-kyaku has a fast start-up and it’s hard to react to. Use it as fast as your rival is about to attack and you’ll surprise them pretty easily, taking a nice chunk of their health. However, incoming projectiles will stop your move and you’ll lose two bars. Your Tatsumaki can go through one fireball, but only with the correct timing (basically, after the first circle). If you activate it late, the projectile will damage you.

Finally, experiment with Jinrai Kicks, its different outcomes, and the possibilities that Quick Dash brings you. For example, you can use Kasai Thrust Kick, an Overdrive follow-up to Quick Dash that will deal a nice amount of damage to your rival. It’s important that you take advantage of the variety of options you get with Quick Dash since it might be better than using Drive Rush in some situations without costing anything.

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how to play as Ken in Street Fighter 6 since the game is in the very early stages and the community is still figuring things out. However, unless there are many changes implemented in the future, you’ll have a solid idea of the basics of Ken with everything that has been explained.

With this overview and guide in our ultimate Street Fighter 6 Ken guide, you should be more than capable of getting to grips with how this classic fighter works. If you aren’t sure if Ken is for you, then why not check out some of the other Street Fighter 6 characters to see who might be your main when you jump in?