Present and accounted for
This it it: we now know exactly who will be in Street Fighter 5. Fighting games have always been defined by their characters, and without a strong roster of compelling, unique fighters to choose from, brawls will inevitably end up feeling kinda 'meh'. But Capcom's legendary Street Fighter series has always offered a diverse range of competitors - and Street Fighter 5 is no different. Whereas Street Fighter 4 put a lot of emphasis on its eccentric newcomers, SF5 is bringing back plenty of old favorites (with some new twists).
We've rounded up all the for-sure fighters who'll be in SF5's 16-character roster at launch, along with all the DLC characters confirmed for post-launch updates. Which character will you be choosing as your go-to main? Time to make your selection.
It simply wouldn't be Street Fighter without series frontman Ryu. With his iconic gi, noble fighting spirit, and fireballs aplenty, Ryu is back to kick some butt in SF5. As always, his suite of specials - hadokens, shoryukens, and hurricane kicks - make him a well-rounded fighter that can deal with any situation, against any opponent. Ryu's the kind of character that appeals to beginners and veterans alike, thanks to his versatility and timeless moveset.
In SF5, Ryu seems to have retained his signature moves - including his normal attacks, such as the crouching medium kick that easily combos into a point-blank hadoken. His V-abilities are also perfect for anyone who loved Street Fighter 3: Third Strike. Ryu's V-Skill is a parry (the only one in the game), while his V-Trigger, Denjin Renki, lets him power up fireballs for extra guard-breaking power.
The first lady of fighting games is back, and it looks like her kung fu is better than ever. You no doubt know Chun-Li for her adorable hair buns, spiked bracelets, and thigh muscles that look beefy enough to snap bones like twigs. Like Ryu, Chun-Li has her standard special moves at the ready: lightweight kikoken projectiles, lightning legs that strike like a machine gun, and a variety of tricky flip kicks that can throw opponents off-balance.
Her playstyle favors agility over big damage, but Chun-Li's more than capable of some devastating combos and meaty hits. Counter to Ryu's lightning-based V-Trigger, Chun-Li enhances herself with the power of flowing water, which makes her normal attacks deal additional hits. Her V-Skill also enables tons of tricky mix-ups, since she does a short hop into the air.
In English versions of Street Fighter, he's Charlie; in Japanese, he's Nash. Convenient, then, that his full name clears up any possibility of mistaken identity. Charlie is a staple of the Street Fighter Alpha series, before he met a heroic end saving Guile and Chun-Li from a fatal explosion. So if he's dead, how is he back for SF5? One look at his new form, which appears to be bits and pieces of rotting flesh stapled together like Frankenstein's monster, should provide some answers.
Not only has Charlie's appearance changed - he also has some new game-changing special moves in addition to his previous toolkit of sonic booms and flash kicks. Through some kind of strange magic (no doubt related to the jewel embedded in his forehead), Charlie can now teleport around the screen for devious mix-up opportunities. He's also got a face-electrifying command grab, and his V-Trigger lets him instantly dash in any direction. Crazy!
For us, the moment M. Bison returned to Street Fighter was the most important day of our lives. But for him... it was Tuesday. The classic big bad of Street Fighter is back, and that head of white hair under his trademark cap indicates that yes, the ol' dictator can actually age. Known for his mighty Psycho Crusher and unrelenting Scissor Kicks, M. Bison is the perfect fit for players that like to apply pressure on their opponents and never let up.
In addition to his lightning-fast teleport, it looks like Bison will have another tool to get close to fighters that like to keep him at bay: a projectile reflector that sends a burst of Psycho energy back at whoever's chucking fireballs. And his V-Trigger mode lets Bison unleash his raw Psycho power on the poor opponent, complete with devastating double-headstomps and additional hits on his Scissor Kicks.
SPIRAL ARROW! Prepare to protect your legs for dear life, because Cammy's probably going to kick her way clear through your shins. This British special forces agent has been a fan favorite ever since her debut as a new challenger in Super Street Fighter 2, getting by without a projectile thanks to her screen-crossing dive attacks. Cammy's one of the most nimble, tricky-to-read fighters in the whole franchise, and her extensive, finesse-demanding combos always get spectators pumped up.
In SF5, one of Cammy's existing moves has become an invaluable asset: the Axel Spinknuckle, which is now her V-Skill. This attack was already pretty effective at throwing your rival off-balance in previous games, but it can actually pass through opponents in SF5, making it one of the simplest and most effective cross-up attacks imaginable. Cammy's V-Trigger, Delta Drive, also makes all her special moves safer by giving them similar phase-through properties. Your enemies will be spinning in circles trying to figure out which way they should block.
We never would've guessed it before, but this stylish punk from the streets of England is back after being AWOL since Street Fighter Alpha 3. Birdie seems to have neglected his workout regimen, since he's got a spare tire where his six-pack used to be. That might have to do with his voracious appetite for junk food, a new character trait that factors into his existing chain-grabbing moveset. Basically, this is Birdie by way of SF4's Rufus, minus his iconic mohawk with the physically impossible circle in the middle.
Birdie's suite of V-Gauge abilities all revolve around food. His V-Trigger, called Enjoy Time, has him scarf down a hot pepper and go red with heat, adding extra damage and guard-break to his attacks. And his three distinct V-Skills feel like something out of Smash Bros.: Birdie can gulp down a donut for a V-Gauge boost, a banana for a stationary, opponent-tripping peel, or an energy drink which he rolls along the ground as a projectile. And Birdie's never sated - every match ends with him hungrily digging into a pastry that's the size of a small child.
Acting as the American yin to Ryu's Japanese yang, Ken Masters is as much a part of the series as his trusty sparring partner. The brash, dragon-punch-happy fighter is literally letting his hair down in SF5, showing off a magnificent mane of blonde locks and loosening up his trademark red gi to reveal his slick Under Armour-esque suit. Ah, Ken - ever the showman.
As before, Ken's special move set is a tweaked version of Ryu's tuned for quicker attacks and constant offense, with hurricane kicks that travel faster and Shoryukens that are more damaging (and flashier) in exchange for increased risk. When Ken activates his Heat Rush V-Trigger, he goes full-on Human Torch, adding searing flames to all his attacks. Meanwhile, his V-Skill encourages constant aggression, as it lets you dash in to close the gap if your opponents flee from your red-hot feet.
If Akuma and The Flying Spaghetti Monster had a lovechild, it would probably look exactly like Necalli, the first newcomer to be revealed for the SF5 roster. Necalli's tentacle-like dreadlocks flop around wildly whenever he goes in for the attack, which is pretty much always, given his in-your-face special moves and brutal command grab. He may not be one for conversation - or words in general - but Necalli lets his V-shaped tribal markings and 'crazed warrior' stare do the bulk of the talking.
Those who enjoy C. Viper's tricky Seismic Hammer attack in SF4 will appreciate Necalli's Culminated Power V-Skill, which slams the ground to trip up the opponent from any range. And when you're ready to go Super Saiyan, you can activate the Torrent of Power V-Trigger, which turn Necalli's hair into an explosion of demonic tendrils and significantly alters his moveset (including a super move that can only be activated in this mode).
Everyone's favorite high-flying, narcissistic pretty boy is back. Vega earned the nickname of the 'Spanish Ninja' with his acrobatic attacks and wall-jumping slashes, and his metal claw provides incredible reach on his normal strikes (provided the opponent hasn't knocked it off). If you're the kind of player who likes to frustrate the competition by wearing them down with tricky mixups and keep-away tactics, you'll be all over Vega and his beauty-preserving mask.
Dashing off of walls and into the air is still the crux of Vega's offense in SF5, and his iconic rolling attack gets an upgrade with an overhead kick to cap it off. The Matador Turn V-Skill lets Vega nimbly dodge incoming attacks - great for bypassing fireball spam - which can transition into a knockdown counterattack. There's also Bloody Kiss, Vega's V-Trigger, where he flings a rose at his target (not unlike SF3/4's dapper boxer Dudley); if it hits, Vega will unleash a savage zig-zag of slashes to carve up his enemy.