Akuma is breaking into the Tekken universe with Tekken 7: Fated Retribution in arcades, and Tekken 7 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC when the game comes home in early 2017. We spent some time with the game and Akuma to give you a few tips on playing as the Street Fighter character, and how to deal with some of the new tools he brings to the Tekken gameplay system. Namco has gone to great lengths to make sure that Street Fighter players feel at home with Akuma, which means he does quite a few things that normal Tekken characters don’t.

Street Fighter Players

If you’re an Akuma player in Street Fighter, or really if you’ve played any Shoto character (Ryu, Ken, etc.), you should immediately feel a sense of familiarity when you first play Akuma in Tekken 7. The character retains almost all of his trademark Street Fighter attacks, including his ground and air fireballs, Hurricane Kick and Demon Flip attacks. You can even perform traditional combos such as crouching Medium Kick into Fireball, and it will combo.

Jumping isn’t generally a big part of Tekken (although there are some interesting setups possible in specific situations), but Akuma’s jump looks almost exactly like his jump in Street Fighter. In fact, if you were playing Akuma against another Akuma, it would probably look very similar to a Street Fighter match, aside from the fact that you can sidestep into the foreground or background.

EX Meters

When fighting as or against Akuma, you may notice that he has two stocks of EX meter at the bottom of the screen. This meter is used just like it would be in a Street Fighter game. When you have one stock you can use an EX version of Akuma’s special moves, such as his Fireball. When you gave a full “super meter” (two stocks) you can perform a super Fireball attack that inflicts more damage.

In Street Fighter, special moves cause chip damage if they’re blocked. That also goes for some of Akuma’s attacks as well. It’s quite noticeable if you block Akuma’s super move. While chip damage isn’t new to Tekken, it’s not commonly associated with the game. When Tekken first hit arcades, one of the options arcade owners had was to turn on chip or block damage. Given the nature of how Tekken plays, this was generally turned off, but it wasn’t surprising to see a Tekken arcade machine with block damage turned on back in the 90s.

Avoiding Fireballs

With Akuma having ground, air, EX and super projectile attacks, Tekken players should know that they aren’t all that difficult to avoid. You can sidestep in either direction, jump forward or neutral jump (straight up) or even use specific attacks to nullify the projectiles. You can check out the full list of attacks that will nullify Akuma’s fireballs, but most attacks that jump will allow you to easily avoid Akuma’s projectile attacks.

Once players get accustomed to Akuma’s fireballs you should limit their use to combos for the most part. Tossing out random fireballs outside of combos will make it easy for opponents to sidestep or use an attack to counter them, placing Akuma in a potentially bad position. Stay tuned to Prima Games as we’ll have more on Akuma and Tekken 7 as the game approaches its early 2017 release date.