Tekken 7 Basics - How to Play Tips - Prima Games

Tekken 7 Basics – How to Play Tips

by Bryan Dawson

Tekken 7 has only been available on console and PC for a few days, but players are diving in head first and finding that the game is a bit more difficult to understand. Whether you’re coming from Street Fighter, some other fighting game, or you don’t have a fighting game background at all, Tekken can be a complex game to grasp so Tekken 7 tips are always welcome. This article covers some of the Tekken 7 basics to help you get started and understand the game a little better. These Tekken 7 tips should teach you how to play Tekken so you can build on the foundation set here and potentially become a great player.

Blocking and Attack Heights

Some consider Tekken to be a very defensive game, but in reality it’s simply a game that is not forgiving if you don’t play carefully. Many combos in Tekken can lead to a large amount of damage, especially if a wall comes into play, so it’s important to limit the number of mistakes you make and don’t let your opponent get free damage. Understanding how to block and what the different attack heights are can help you avoid getting hit and create a solid defense.

There are three different attack heights in Tekken 7: high, mid and low. A high attack can be blocked standing, ducked (whether you’re blocking or not), or you can use a low attack that happens to duck under highs in order to avoid taking damage from a high attack. A mid attack cannot be ducked under, but it can be blocked in a standing or crouching position. A low attack must be blocked low, or you can jump over it with most attacks that feature a jump during the animation.

For the most part you can block standing and defend against everything except low attacks and throws. Most low attacks in Tekken are either low damage, slow to execute or severely punishable if you block it. We go into a bit more depth about punishment in the frame data section below.


Like many other fighting games, throws are attacks that cannot be blocked. A vast majority of the throws in Tekken 7 are considered high attacks. That means you can duck under them or use an attack that ducks under high-hitting moves. You also have a short time in which you can break out of a throw after it connects.

To break any normal throw (Left Punch + Left Kick or Right Punch + Right Kick) you simply press Right Punch or Left Punch during the start of the throw animation. You have to be somewhat fast, but it’s not overly difficult once you get the hang of it. Command throws, which are usually performed with a special command (diagonally up-forward, quarter circle forward, etc.) must be broken with both punch buttons simultaneously (Right Punch + Left Punch).

While throws inflict a decent amount of damage and sometimes lead to juggles, most good players will break almost every throw. If you watch closely, for a right or left throw (normal throws) either the right or left hand will be slightly forward during the initial throw animation. For a command throw both hands extend an equal distance. Top players can see the difference in these two animations and break the throw accordingly.

It’s very difficult to land a throw on good players, but you can still use throws to reposition yourself. Having your back to the wall is generally not a good place to be in Tekken 7. However, some throw escape animations will cause the two characters to switch sides. A number of skilled players will use one of these throws in hopes that the throw is broken and the characters switch sides.

Combos and Juggles

Tekken is all about juggling an opponent. A large number of attacks in the game lead to the ability to juggle an opponent if they connect. Even sweeps or other attacks that don’t necessarily launch an opponent high into the air can be used to start juggles. We have a growing list of sample juggle combos you can use to get you started, but it’s a good idea to have at least one go-to juggle combo so when you land an attack that you can juggle after, your muscle memory kicks in and you can secure a nice chunk of damage for your efforts.

If you’re new to Tekken or fighting games in general, juggle combos will likely not come easy. Timing can be very strict on some of these combos. It’s important to practice them over and over against in the Practice Mode until you have them committed to memory. Don’t worry if it takes you awhile to get even one combo down. Once you understand how the timing works, you’ll have a much easier time with other combos. If you continue to have issues, post a comment on our sample combo video above and we’ll see if we can give you a hand.

Walls and Breakable Surfaces

Many of the stages in Tekken 7 have walls that will stun opponents and allow for a follow up combo. Once you have your juggle combos down, you will have to learn how to change them up when a wall is nearby. Any fast-hitting combo or attack string usually works very well immediately after  an opponent hits the wall.

Some walls and floors in Tekken are breakable. This means that if you hit an opponent with a powerful attack, the wall or floor will give away and both characters will change to a new area within the stage. In most cases the player getting hit will bounce and the offensive player can follow with a small juggle combo. Even if you only get a few hits, it’s important to go for something in these instances so you can get as much easy damage as possible.

Rage Arts and Power Crush

Rage Arts are a type of super move in Tekken 7. Once your character has taken a lot of damage their health bar will begin to glow red. This indicates they have entered Rage Mode. While in Rage Mode all attacks inflict additional damage, but you can also perform a Rage Art or Rage Drive attack. The Rage Art is essentially a super move which will go through all attacks (although you still take damage from these attacks) and inflict a lot of damage to the opponent if it connects. A Rage Drive is a similar attack that allows you to extend a combo or inflict additional damage.

A Power Crush attack is a move that has armor against all high and mid-hitting attacks. That means it will go through all high and mid attacks negating the damage. However, to balance out this attack, they are usually very punishable if the opponent blocks, and low attacks will always beat them out. These moves can be found in the in-game move list with a red icon next to them.

Sidesteps and Tracking

Most attacks in Tekken 7 track to the left or right. If an attack tracks to the right you can sidestep to the left to evade the attack. Likewise, if an attack tracks to the left you can sidestep to the right to avoid it. Sidestepping is a key defensive maneuver in Tekken, but you can’t just sidestep randomly. You need to know when you can sidestep and what direction to sidestep in.

If you’re up against a player who is constantly sidestepping your attacks you can use a tracking move. These attacks are shown with a blue icon with an oval in the middle on the in-game move list. These attacks will track both directions and cannot be evaded with a sidestep.

How to Learn a Character – Practice Mode

The fastest way to learn a character in Tekken is to start in Practice Mode. Once there, go to the move list and look at every attack. One of the nice things about Tekken 7 is that you can see each move performed from the in-game move list so you know what it’s supposed to look like. Not every attack is safe from punishment, but going through a character’s move list will give you an idea of what’s in their arsenal. Pay close attention to any attacks that lift the opponent into the air and can be followed by a juggle combo.

Once you have a general idea of the character’s attacks, check out our sample combo list and commit one combo to memory. Now use the attacks that lead into a juggle combo to start one of the sample combos so you have multiple ways to start the combo. Most of our sample combos can be used from almost any “launcher” attack.

At this point you should have a base understanding of the character. Go through Arcade Mode or even hop online in a casual match and see how you do. Don’t worry, your first game probably won’t go well. The idea is to start to have a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Faster moves and attacks that lead into juggle combos should be your focus. Don’t worry too much about slower attacks. If you’re playing online low sweeps also tend to work well, although a good opponent is likely to block them even with online latency.

Keep shifting between Practice Mode and Arcade Mode or casual online matches until you have a wide set of attacks and at least one juggle combo committed to memory. Now you’re ready to move on to the basics of advanced play, namely frame data.

Frame Data

We won’t be going too deep into frame data because this article is only meant to cover the basics of Tekken 7. However, it’s important to at least know what frame data is and how it’s used in Tekken. Tekken 7 runs at 60 frames per second. Frame data is the speed and recovery of each attack. If an attack executes in 10 frames, that means it takes 1/6 of a second from the time you hit the button to the time the punch connects with an opponent. If an attack is -15 when blocked, that means it takes 15 frames before you can block, attack or move at all after the attack is blocked.

For the most part the fastest attacks in Tekken 7 are about 10 frames. That means most attacks that are -10 or better are safe to use. Even if an opponent blocks these attacks you can still block before they can retaliate with their own attack. Likewise, if an attack is +5 when blocked (advantage), the opponent can’t do anything for 5 frames. That means you can attack before they can.

Most skilled Tekken players know all frame advantage attacks for their character and use them to maintain an offensive edge. If you try to attack when the opponent has frame advantage, you will almost always get beaten out. There are several sites and even mobile apps that offer frame data for Tekken 7, but this is more of an advanced strategy.

We’ll have more on Tekken 7 very soon, so stay tuned to Prima Games!

Bryan Dawson

Bryan Dawson has an extensive background in the gaming industry, having worked as a journalist for various publications for nearly 20 years and participating in a multitude of competitive fighting game events. He has authored over a dozen strategy guides for Prima Games, worked as a consultant on numerous gaming-related TV and web shows and was the Operations Manager for the fighting game division of the IGN Pro League.