How to play Ken in Street Fighter 6: Moves, combos & backstory
Do you want to learn to play Ken in Street Fighter 6? Street Fighter 6 has a roster of new and returning fighters, each with their own moves, strategies, and stories. Ken is the second character to ever appear in the game, originating as a palette swap for Ryu. A lot has changed in those 30+ years, so let's take a look at how to play Ken in Steet Fighter 6.
- To read what we thought about the game, check out our Street Fighter 6 review.
Street Fighter 6 Ken: The basics
For the longest time, Ken was simply another Ryu with some slight variations. Where Ryu favoured range and using fireballs, Ken was stronger with his kicks and his uppercuts. Over time, Ken developed from a typical Shoto (Ryu-like) character, into more of a rush-down character.
Rush-down as a concept is quite simple, it is a playstyle that puts pressure on the opponent. A rush-down character stays in their opponent's face as much as possible, constantly hitting them with moves from all angles.
In Street Fighter 5, we saw Ken move fully into this role, and now in Street Fighter 6, he continues to be strongest when played this way. While Ken still has very similar moves to Ryu like the classic Hadoken and Shoryuken, he has added new moves such as the Jinrai Kick and the Dragonlash Kick. Both are excellent tools for closing gaps and exerting pressure.
- Does Street Fighter 6 beta progress carry over to the full game? Click here to learn more.
Street Fighter 6 Ken: Moves and basic combos
Ken has added some new moves to his classic repertoire, giving returning fans some new tools to play with. Below are his special moves, unique attacks, as well as some basic combos to show you how to use them.
|Down - Forward - Punch
|Forward - Down - Down/forward - Punch
|Tatsumaki Senpu-kyaku (Hurricane Kick)
|Down - Back - Kick
|Forward - Down - Down/forward - Kick
|Down - Forward - Kick (followed by forward and any kick for follow-up)
|Chin Buster (Target Combo)
|Medium Punch - Heavy Punch
|Triple Flash Kicks
|Medium Kick x2 - Heavy Kick
|Any two kick buttons pressed together(followed by any kick for follow-up)
|(Down - Back/Down - Back)x2 - Kick
|(Down - Forward/Down - Forward)x2 - Kick
|Shinryu Reppa (Critical Art)
|(Down - Forward/Down - Forward)x2 - Punch
Ken has a handful of key combos you should know. First of all, his crouching medium kick is a perfect way to begin a combo. Follow it up with a Hadoken, then add a Tatsumaki or a Shinryu Reppa, his Critical Art.
For more damage, you can start a similar combo with Chin Buster, Ken's target combo. This can lead right into a Shoryuken, a Super, or a Critical Art. You can also follow the medium/heavy punch with his Quick Dash, then complete the combo with a kick or a special attack.
Ken's standing medium kick is a great tool for poking, even better because it naturally combos into a second medium kick, followed by a heavy kick. If you are new to the game or haven't played in a long time, this simple-to-execute combo is a great tool to get comfortable in matches.
Long story short, most of Ken's combos start with a hit confirm with either a medium punch or medium kick, followed by heavy, then a special move. More often than not, whenever you can combo into Hadoken, you can use the EX version and then immediately combo into a Super or his Critical Art for a pile of damage.
- Is there a Street Fighter 6 arcade mode? Check out our guide to know more.
Street Fighter 6 Ken: Backstory of the character
Ken Masters is a lifelong martial artist, much like his friend and rival Ryu. Unlike Ryu, Ken comes from a wealthy American family, from whom he inherits the family business. Ken's priorities have always been martial arts, and competing with Ryu to be the best. Ken is a world-champion fighter, but always feels a step behind Ryu.
By the time of Street Fighter 6, Ken has learned to move beyond his rivalry and friendship with Ryu, and focus more on his wife and son. However, fighting is forever a high priority for Ken, and while organising a martial arts tournament in the developing nation of Nayshall, he is caught up in a conspiracy to frame him for terrorism.
Although he is cleared of the charges, Ken loses almost everything and must go into hiding to protect his family. He returns to fighting in order to learn about the plot that destroyed his reputation, cost him his company, and drove him from his family.
That is it for our Street Fighter 6 Ken guide. For more on the game, check out our Street Fighter 6 commentators guide.