If you can’t keep your head straight after a 15 loss streak, maybe it’s time to step back and see if you’re doing something wrong; so take it from our resident Tekken guy – here’s a list of 5 things that you should immediately consider in Tekken 7 if you’re struggling.

1. Stop throwing out random Rage Arts

Guys, I get it – this Tekken installment added some honestly great comeback mechanics and a rage art is a super cool way to end a desperate fight on a clutch moment; but do you know what happens if it gets blocked or whiffs?

Rage arts are very unsafe on block – leaving you wide open to pretty much any combo your opponent wants to do on you. This will get you killed since rage only activates at 20% health remaining.

So what do I do instead?
Easy, you either use Rage Arts to catch your opponent in the middle of their animations;

Or better yet, utilise it in a combo!

This way you’ll ensure that your enemy can’t punish your RA and it will actually lead to wins!

2. Don’t get tunnel vision and focus only on combos

I get it, you just learned a sick combo from YouTube that does 85 DMG, and you can’t wait to use it online! But what’s this? Your pesky opponent won’t stop pressuring you and you can’t land your epic launcher on him?
Too many times, I’ve seen people in fights doing ONLY launchers, in hopes of getting a combo in on you – they don’t seem to realise that most of these are seriously punishable on whiff and block.

Sick EWGF brah, but I’m gonna punish that whiff hard

But I thought this game is all about combos? The pros keep doing them all day.

No, Tekken’s an extremely movement-heavy fighter – owing to its 3D nature. You want to make your opponent whiff their moves, punish the whiffs, and be able to predict what your opponent might do. That means if you spam your launcher on someone every time you walk up to them – they’re gonna catch on.

Your combos are for the moments when you finally do get a whiff punish going – don’t just start doing them from ten feet away, thrice in a row. Rely on your neutral game, or footsies. Do weak but safe moves as pokes in order to force your opponent to do something stupid. That’s when you do your combo.

3. If an opponent keeps spamming one particular move, learn.

That’s right. Very few things in this game are legitimately cheap – so if you keep getting hit by a particular move, take it to the training mode and learn the proper punish for it; complaining about it online and sending hatemail are fine for the soul but they won’t make you a better player.

For example, if your opponent keeps doing that annoying sweep – block it and punish that crap; it’s hella unsafe on block.

A good resource is Just Another Frame Data App courtesy of reddit user Darth_T0XICATED. Whenever a particular move annoys you, check the frame advantage on block – it’ll usually be -17 or worse for sweeps, and you can learn any move from your character’s movelist that’s fast enough to punish it. (The fastest moves in the game are 10 frames long)

4. Try being more patient if you feel like everything you do is getting punished.

Odds are, you don’t know which moves of your character are safe to throw out – and you keep using unsafe moves that open you up for huge amounts of HP loss; I’d recommend checking out what other players who play your character use – and also reading some basic frame data in order to massively improve your chances of not eating a combo in the face.

In this scenario I’d recommend playing more defensively, and reacting to your opponent more – watch what they’re doing and see if there’s anything unsafe you can try to punish. You don’t need to be pressing the punch or kick buttons all the time. 
Sidestep, backdash, crouch – utilise all these things to deal with your opponent better.

In short; rely on movement;

It is a 3D fighter, after all.

5. Learn to throw break

A lot of people that I know have this attitude towards grabs in Tekken;

This is actually true if you’re fighting King.

But throws aren’t such a bad thing – you can easily break out of most of them by tapping Square on PlayStation, or X on Xbox.
Unless the character you’re fighting is a grappler like King or Nina, most characters have two kinds of throws;

  • Normal throws – the good ol’ square+cross (X+A) or triangle+circle (Y+B) throws that every character has.
    You can break out of these by pressing either the left punch (LP) or the right punch (RP) button as soon as you see it.
  • Command throws – unique throws that have to be performed differently depending on what character you’re playing.
    You can usually break out of these by pressing LP+RP together – or pressing the shortcut for that if you have one configured.

Again, characters like King and Nina have throws that require specific buttons to break – but you can break out of most other throws by pressing either LP or LP+RP.
The usual giveaway of what button to press is the way your opponent extends their arms –

  • if one arm is ahead of the other, you press LP or RP.
  • if both arms extend equally, you press LP+RP.

This title has made the timing for breaking grabs much more generous compared to the previous entries in the series – so there’s no reason you shouldn’t give throw-breaking a shot if you notice your opponent going for one throw again and again.

Video footage from here.  (courtesy of Just Frame)

That’s it for now!

Just focusing on these things should make you a better player and at least get you started on your journey to learning more about this game while having fun and losing less (hopefully).

You’ll still lose every now and then, probably more frequently than winning – but that’s just how fighting games work, don’t let it get to you. Instead of focusing on winning, you should aim for minor improvements in your play style that’ll make the wins come naturally. You only lose when you give up.

Let us know if you have any tips yourself, and if you’re interested in more fighting game related articles in the comments!