Tekken 8 Tier List: Best fighters ranked & explained (April 2024)

Carver Fisher
Tekken 8 tier list

Here’s Dexerto’s definitive Tekken 8 tier list, with every character ranked (including Eddy Gordo) and updated for patch 1.03.01. If you’re trying to figure out who the best characters in Tekken 8, here’s what you need to know.

Tekken 8 is shaping up to be one of the best fighting games of all time. Even during the so-called “Golden Age” of fighting games, it stands out as a title that takes everything great about the Tekken series and refines it.

Whether you’re just hopping into the series for the first time or are returning and want to see how your main stacks up to the competition, we’ve got an updated tier list that’ll give you an idea of where each character ranks as of patch 1.03.01.

Bear in mind that this tier list is subject to change and that Tekken 8 is fairly well-balanced. While picking a top-tier will give you an edge, you can ultimately win with any character. We’ll also update with more characters as DLC fighters get added, with Eddy already being on the list.

Here’s our full tier list for Tekken 8.

Tekken 8 Tier List for patch 1.03.01 (April 2024)

For those just looking to see where your favorite character ranks, here’s a quick rundown:

There’s a shortcut to the explanation for each fighter on the above list, but you can read the full list below if you’re curious about why we ranked each fighter where they are.

Additionally, each fighter now has a recommended pro to watch for that character if you want to watch a high-level player with mastery of how that character is supposed to be played. Searching that pro’s name on YouTube and skimming through replays will give you a goalpost to shoot for as you try and develop your own playstyle.

Each character also has a difficulty rating for how difficult they are to pilot if you’re looking to give them a shot for yourself and want an idea of what you’re getting into.

S-Tier: Azucena, Claudio, Dragunov, Eddy, Feng, Jun, Reina, King, Shaheen, Xiaoyu

S-tier characters are the absolute best of the best. Though they’re not unbeatable, you’ll gain a massive edge by picking them. The S-Tier is fairly bloated at this time, but Tekken 8’s elite class all have their individual strengths.

Azucena (Easy)

Arguably the game’s strongest newcomer, Azucena has a bunch of spammable moves with strong frame data that will put new players on the ropes, but she’s also got great stances and counter mechanics that give her some strong and unique defensive mechanics. Additionally, she’s got some great launchers that can send her opponent flying as well as some deceptive lows from stance, often forcing 50-50s. Additionally, her WR 3,2 is one of the most oppressive moves in the game even after being nerfed.

Azucena’s pretty easy to pick up, and you’ll start winning matches fast once you get the hang of her.

Pros to watch: Arslan Ash, Ulsan

Claudio (Easy)

Claudio’s a tricky character to play and play against. While his small moveset is welcoming to new players, it makes him difficult to play against those who have experience fighting him. Additionally, his lack of strong lows outside of his Heat Smash force Claudio players to manipulate timings and spacing to find an opening rather than just spamming lows.

However, Claudio has been tearing up early Tekken 8 tournaments and local scenes. In a game all about aggression, Claudio has arguably the best tools out of any fighter when it comes to creating distance between himself and his opponent. That, combined with high damage, strong launchers, and a ton of great mids, makes him an S-Tier pick that’s easy to learn and hard to master.

Pros to watch: Mulgold, Shadow20z

Dragunov (Easy)

Dragunov quickly rose up to S-tier in the days following Tekken 8’s release, and he’s still at the top of the table even after his nerfs. Though some of his pressure has been mitigated by nerfs to his plus frames on certain bread and butter moves of his, he’s still a pressure monster with strong mix-ups and unholy frame data. This man just doesn’t let you get a turn in. There’s a reason Dragunov is one of the most popular characters on the ladder in Tekken 8.

Pros to watch: JDCR, Nobi

Eddy Gordo (Easy)

While he doesn’t seem to be at the level of release Leroy or Fakhumram in T7, DLC character syndrome seems to be alive and well in Tekken 8. Eddy’s new moveset and enhanced evasion mechanics are super strong, elevating the character far past his prior iterations.

Once you get enough Mandinga stacks going, Eddy is nigh unstoppable. His oppressive strings, strong frame data, hard-to-read mix ups and high mobility both on sidestep and backdash make a case for him being one of the best fighters in the game.

Pros to watch: JeonDDing, Anakin

Feng (Easy)

Feng is all about punishing his opponents and finding opportunities. Whether it be poking them into submission with fast lows, strong counter-hit mechanics, and combos with very easily interchangeable enders that can mix up your opponents with ease. Additionally, Feng has some of the best whiff punish in the game and can easily mess with his opponent via switching up the timings on his moves and using his various stances.

Feng has it all and then some when it comes to poke tools and ways to punish his enemy for even the slightest mistake. And, with Tekken 8 giving him the ability to string together long combos he couldn’t before, Feng has almost no downsides.

Pros to watch: Knee, JoKa, Kkokkoma

Jun (Easy)

Out of everyone in Tekken 8, Jun seems to be the strongest fighter on the roster even after the 1.01.04 nerfs. She’s easy to pilot, has strong mix-ups and lows, and can carry to walls well. Many of her moves are deceptively difficult to sidestep, and she’s not easy to punish. Overall, she’s not unbeatable and certainly not release T7 Leroy level, but very strong.

Pros to watch: AO, PTJ

Reina (Hard)

Reina is sort of similar to Kazuya, except she’s got a lot more range and options when it comes to closing and creating distance. She takes a lot of the best parts of every Mishima character and brings them together into a moveset that’s borderline broken. Granted, all those options come at a cost: Though she’s a popular character, she’s also one of the hardest in Tekken history. At a high level, at least.

You’ll run into a lot of Reina players on ladder who just spam her jabs, and she’s got great frame data on these moves. Be careful of getting overwhelmed by mashers.

Pros to watch: JeonDDing, Ulsan

King (Intermediate)

King is an absolute menace right now. While Jun may be better as an all-rounder, a King expert will absolutely run you over. With how strong throws are in Tekken 8 and many of his throws having rather ambiguous tells and breaks, this character will throw even the most experienced Tekken players for a loop. Literally.

Additionally, King got buffed despite being one of the most powerful (and hated) characters in the game, leading to a near-universal community outcry as his Jaguar Sprint got changed. If you want a top-tier, King is the way to go. Just don’t be surprised if people aren’t too keen on rematching you.

That said, credit where credit is due, King’s playstyle is very different from other fighters. Getting the hang of him may take a while, especially if you’re swapping to him from another character. You’ll have to unlearn a lot of old habits to adapt to King’s playstyle.

Pros to watch: Lil Majin, Jesandy

Shaheen (Hard)

Shaheen is very good despite his low play rate. Getting caught off guard by his WR 3 will lead to at least 50 damage guaranteed, he’s got some great lows, strong jabs, the ability to quickly take out grey health, and one of the best power crush moves in Tekken 8 with his b3+4.

That said, a lot of Shaheen’s moves have some horrendous frame data and have very specific use cases. If you don’t know his BnB combos and which buttons to start them with, you’ll end up flailing. You absolutely cannot mash with this character, and that may be part of why his play rate is so low. However, just like Claudio, Shaheen has been a monster in early tournaments and is set to be the sleeper OP pick in Tekken 8’s early life cycle.

Pros to watch: Sephiblack, LowHigh

Xiaoyu (Hard)

Xiaoyu is easily the slipperiest character in Tekken 8. Her variety of stances and backstep options give her the ability to fight fire with fire in many matchups as long as she’s not up against a wall, and she can feel unstoppable if she’s got a read on her opponent. She may not have a whole lot of ranged poke options, but her evasiveness is so strong that it’s been a point of contention in the community.

Her Art of Phoenix stance (AoP) is allowing her to duck most normal lows and sidestep sweeping lows with the right timing. Lows aren’t really meant to get ducked, and it’s hard to imagine a character beside Zafina that can pull this off. And, even then, Xiaoyu’s been proven to be able to duck lower than Zafina in Tekken 8 with a stance that’s much easier to use.

In other words, Xiaoyu’s kinda busted and a pain to play against.

Pros to watch: Wecka, Sodam

A-Tier: Alisa, Devil Jin, Jack-8, Jin, Kazuya, Leo, Lili, Nina, Paul, Victor, Yoshimitsu

Our A-Tiers are still a step above the rest of the cast, and they’ve got their fair share of strengths. However, they either aren’t nearly as oppressive as the S-Tiers when it comes to unique strengths, or they have very clear and distinct counterplay that makes some of their moves a bit less safe against an opponent with matchup knowledge.


Alisa’s all pokes and range. She’s considered by many to be a sort of gimmick character, but she’s actually viable in high-level play. Strong lows that hit almost cross-screen, great comeback potential with her chainsaws, and strange combo timings that’ll catch your opponent off guard make her very strong. However, she works best with range from her opponent and can be easily overwhelmed.

Pros to watch: Cuddlecore, Chanel

Devil Jin (Hard)

Though Devil Jin isn’t exactly easy to pull off, it’s become hard to deny that he’s an S-tier pick in the right hands. He’s got some really strong mobility tools and lightning fast lows that come out of nowhere. Outplaying a competent Jin requires some really tricky reads that make him difficult to counter for even seasoned Tekken veterans.

However, he’s also been directly targeted with nerfs in patch 1.03.01. Devil Jin isn’t nearly as strong now as he was and his combos don’t carry the way they used to, lower him down a bit to A-Tier.

Pros to watch: Qudans, Momodog, Book

Jack-8 (Intermediate)

Jack is old-school Tekken at its finest. What he lacks in sidestepping and mobility options, he makes up for with incredibly long-range jabs and really strong frame data. A 10 frame heat smash is ludicrously strong. A good Jack player will make your life an absolute nightmare.

However, a lot of his normals are easily punished, and he doesn’t have a whole lot of great lows, and his poor sidestepping combined with Tekken 8’s generally nerfed backdashing means that guessing right and understanding matchups/frame data is essential. Jack looks easy, but he requires some practice and strong game sense.

Pros to watch: Anakin, Joey Fury, Saint

Jin (Easy)

Jin is the all-rounder. Quick lows, strong mix-ups, a ton of tools for every situation. He’s missing a lot of the Mishima staple moves in Tekken 8 and has swapped out for a much more traditional style of Karate. It’s a bit more standard than his move sets in prior games, but with some Devil Gene stuff sprinkled in to give him some flashy combo enders.

Jin does a lot well, and he doesn’t have many downsides. However, he doesn’t have too many big strengths, either.

Pros to watch: CherryBerryMango

Kazuya (Hard)

Kazuya is really, really hard to pull off. Getting the most out of his electrics will take a lot of practice, but there’s more to him than just spamming EWGFs. He’s got some moves that easily abuse lower level players, too, and he’s deceptively fast when it comes to closing distance on opponents. If you can stay in the enemy’s face and force them into 50/50s, it’s easy to gain the upper hand.

That said, executing Kazuya’s moveset is hard. It takes a lot of practice to get the hang of. A well-practiced Kazuya player is a huge threat, but be wary if you’re picking him up for the first time. You’re gonna struggle for a bit.

Pros to watch: Keisuke, Qudans

Law (Easy)

Law’s got a lot going for him in Tekken 8. Deceptive lows, relentless aggression, a Heat smash that can stall the game and quickly drain his opponent’s Heat gauge even on block, and some nunchuk moves that launch on counter-hit. Other than Hwoarang, he’s one of the most notorious spammers in the series, and for good reason.

Law can be very difficult to find an opening against, but players who know how to block and punish him won’t have too much trouble gaining the upper hand. He’s a strong fighter, but those who don’t panic and know how to keep a cool head under pressure can take advantage of clear openings in his assault.

Pros to watch: Double, Mulgold

Leo (Intermediate)

After his nerfs, Leo sits confidently in A-tier. Though you’ll get much more of an advantage now from blocking his mix-ups, they’re still pretty hard to predict. Leo allows you to throw a barrage of hits at an enemy and pressure them into the corner, though his stances can be punished by quick counterhit moves like Jack or Feng’s b1+2.

Fighting Leo requires a fair bit of matchup knowledge, but he has a lot of vulnerabilities if you know when to take advantage of him not being able to block in his stances.

Pros to watch: AyoRichie

Lili (Intermediate)

What Lili lacks in raw frame data, she makes up for in spades with range, mobility, wall carry, and really oppressive sweeps that counter sidestepping hard. Considering she has the slowest Heat Smash in the game and can be heavily punished by blocking her lows, she isn’t quite an S-tier pick, but she’s very strong. Be wary of her long reach and strong sidestepping.

It’s worth mentioning that Lili’s reliance on defensive movement and reading her opponent makes her a bit harder to play at a high level. She’s not unapproachable, but she isn’t easy either.

Pros to watch: Chikurin, SHINE, Shadow20z

Nina (Easy)

Nina’s got great options. She has some of the best hopkicks in the game, great wall carry, some strong Heat mode power buffs with her pistols extending combos, and some decent mix-ups. Additionally, she’s one of few characters who can eliminate grey health via some of her chain grabs. Players have begun favoring her more and more as they realize how strong she is, and she’s been steadily rising in tier after launch.

She’s also pretty easy to pick up considering she’s got some pretty simple combos and good launchers, so feel free to give her a shot if you’re struggling to find a main you like. Though there are some wave dash and wall carry mechanics on her that are really hard to pull off and give her a high ceiling, playing her at a base level is pretty simple.

Pros to watch: Arslan Ash, Jodd

Paul (Easy)

Paul is a very simple, straightforward character. He’s all about finding windows to land launchers, whiff punishing, throwing out some high-damage moves, and tossing some insanely powerful lows. However, he lacks flashy options and deceptive mechanics. Simple, honest Tekken is what you get when you play Paul. But simple, honest Tekken can be pretty damn effective if you know what you’re doing.

Pros to watch: Knee, Joey Fury

Victor (Intermediate)

Victor is notorious in Tekken 8, with many players 2 spamming their way through the low ranks against players who have no clue how to defend against his relentless offense. However, even when you learn to duck his pistol shots and punish his strings, he’s still got a lot of tools.

A low-hitting heat smash, killer evasive tools, strong tracking, and a variety of other strengths make Victor an absolute pain to deal with. It’ll take a bit to learn how to properly use his entire kit to its fullest potential, but taking the time to learn him rather than mashing will pay off.

Pros to watch: CherryBerryMango

Yoshimitsu (Hard)

Yoshimitsu still has the strange and kinda troll moveset he’s always had, but the additions he’s been given really push him into being a high-tier. The ability to heal with his sword in Heat gives him a ton of comeback potential, and it balances out the health cost that’s on some of his key moves. You don’t have to be EyeMusician to succeed with this character anymore, though he still requires a lot of practice, and a lot of the skill required to learn him doesn’t translate well to other characters.

Though he received a few nerfs in the latest balance patch, he’s still a strong pick.

Pros to watch: EyeMusician, KaneAndTrench

B-Tier: Bryan, Hwoarang, Kuma, Lars, Law, Lee, Raven, Steve, Zafina

The B-Tier exists as a base tier for characters who have some really big strengths, but also some huge drawbacks. Most of these characters are pretty well-balanced, and there’s no reason you can’t do well with them.

Bryan (Hard)

Bryan’s just really hard to play properly. He’s S-Tier in the hands of someone who can properly utilize his pressure and consistently Taunt Jet Upper, but the chances of most low-level players pulling that off is low. However, he’s got some great mix-ups and fast lows that can catch people off guard, so Bryan is still somewhat viable at all levels of play. Additionally, his Heat mode enhancements are underwhelming compared to the rest of the cast.

Bryan will only be effective in the hands of a player who’s got a wealth of Tekken knowledge under their belt, and he’s not great for beginners. He’s also not nearly as good in Tekken 8 as he was in Tekken 7, with only the most dedicated pros putting time into playing him.

Pros to watch: Knee, Starbreaker

Hwoarang (Easy)

Hwoarang is arguably Tekken’s OG spam character, and he’s about the same in Tekken 8. While higher level players will get a lot more mileage out of him than mashers, but he can still kick spam his way through most opponents. His barrage of kicks is hard to counter for someone who isn’t aware of when he should be punished, but Hwoarang gets a lot harder to play against people who know how to shut him down.

If you like the idea of throwing a flurry of kicks instead of punches, Hwoarang might be the character for you.

Pros to watch: Speedkicks, Yeonarang

Kuma (Easy)

Kuma has landed a tier above Panda despite their kits being very similar. Along with the high damage and long range both characters bring, Kuma’s EWGF in Heat not only makes him look damn cool, but gives him surprisingly strong and fast pressure. Tekken 8 Kuma isn’t sugar coating it, and he’s got a shot at being competitively viable.

Pros to watch: Rangchu

Lars (Intermediate)

Lars is much, much better than he was in Tekken 8, but he’s still not a top-tier. While he’s got some strong gap close and movement with some tricky stance mindgames, he’s very much so a casino character and is the epitome of feast of famine in a lot of ways.

Good Lars players are out there and know how to make the most of his high mobility and buffed DEN 3, but Lars is a bit too flashy for his own good and functions as Victor but worse in many cases.

Pros to watch: KaizokuLars

Lee (Hard)

Lee is in the realm of being exceptionally difficult to play properly, but without the same payoff as characters like Kazuya or Reina. Maximizing Lee’s effectiveness requires multiple, frame-perfect inputs within standard combos, and, though he’s got a wide range of strengths, getting the most out of him requires a massive time investment.

Or you could just spam kicks. That’ll work for a while, though people will learn how to counter you eventually.

Pros to watch: SuperAkouma

Raven (Hard)

Raven’s a very tricky character in more ways than one. His normals aren’t all that impactful, and his raw frame data is nothing to write home about, but his clones allow him to have some very hard to read mix-ups and a ton of movement options. Raven won’t do anything in the hands of a masher, but he’s the sort of character that’ll do great in the hands of a seasoned player.

Pros to watch: PINYA

Steve (Intermediate)

Steve’s hurting from having a lot of his BnBs hit hard in the transition to Tekken 8, with even Tekken pros like Knee hesitant to invest time in the character despite having a competitive history with him. Steve is much easier to punish on block this time around, making his relentless barrage of punches less oppressive than before, and the commitment required to learn his unique, no-kick playstyle isn’t worth the time unless you’re really sold on him.

However, if you are, his jabs are still a serious threat, and decent Steve players can backstep and punch their way up the ranks. He’s still useful in the right hands.

Pros to watch: Knee

Zafina (Hard)

Zafina’s evasive movement isn’t nearly as strong as it was in Tekken 8, killing one of the biggest advantages her character had as a Tekken 7 top tier. And, though she’s got some really strong stance mixups, the learning curve on this character is insanely steep. If Zafina looks interesting to you, you’re better off playing another stance character like Xiaoyu or Reina.

That said, some high level players had made her look convincingly good, mainly Team Liquid’s Shadow20z. She’s still got some strong lows and seems to be viable in the hands of a master. If you’re down to learn a character that’s difficult and a bit strange and love the rewarding experience of being a low-tier hero, Zafina may be for you.

Pros to watch: Shadow20z

C-Tier: Asuka, Leroy, Panda

C-Tier’s fighters aren’t unplayable. Fortunately, this is Tekken, and the game is fairly well-balanced even when it comes to the roster’s weakest members. Picking one of these fighters doesn’t mean you’re going to lose guaranteed, but it does mean you’ll be fighting an uphill battle.

Asuka (Easy)

Asuka severely lacks any option other than aggression. It’s difficult for her to do any damage without rushing down her opponent, and the damage she does get from a launcher pales in comparison to what other characters can accomplish with the same amount of effort. While she has some fun evasive options and is fairly new-player friendly, she’s not great once you get to higher levels of play.

That said, she isn’t impossible to succeed with, and there are a few dedicated players still trying to make her work.

Pros to watch: Fergus2k8

Leroy (Hard)

Leroy is the epitome of a character who’s been nerfed into the ground, with him catching a nerf in the latest Tekken 8 balance patch despite not being all that great. He’s got incredible chip damage and can still bring the pressure if he’s able to get up close, but Leroy feels a bit underwhelming in comparison to the rest of the cast.

Additionally, Hermit stance is one of the worst defensive/parry stances in the game and pales in comparison to the rest of the cast. Leroy was built to be a defensive/parry-based character, and yet he functions worse than most other fighters in the game in this aspect.

Pros to watch: Chikurin, Rangchu

Panda (Easy)

Panda’s got some moves that make her stand out from Kuma, but her options are just worse unfortunately. Though she tries to copy Xiaoyu with an awkward bicycle kick, nothing Panda does can bring the sort of overwhelming force Kuma’s EWGF does. Panda scores points for being cute, but that’s about it.

Pros to watch: Rangchu

All that said, just pick what looks good to you. If a character being an S-Tier pick makes them more attractive to play for you, then do that. If you want to play Asuka anyways despite her being pretty weak, give her a shot. Enjoying the character you play is half the battle

Ultimately, pick who looks interesting to you. If you’re the kind of person who’s interested in picking what’s meta, then S-Tier has a ton of options. If not, disregard where your favorite character is on the list and play them anyways.

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About The Author

Carver is an editor for Dexerto based in Chicago. He finished his screenwriting degree in 2021 and has since dedicated his time to covering League of Legends esports and all other things gaming. He leads League esports coverage for Dexerto, but has a passion for the FGC and other esports. Contact Carver at carver.fisher@dexerto.com