[Top 10] SFV Best Beginner Characters That Are OP

Picking up Street Fighter V just now? These are the strongest and easiest characters you will want to learn.

Who are the strongest and easiest Street Fighter V characters?

Street Fighter is one of the most famous and esteemed Fighting Games franchises out there, but even though Capcom has been releasing Street Fighter titles for almost 35 years now, there are still newcomers to the series who are just starting their journey.

With Street Fighter V out since 2016, and throughout many updates and game balance patches, these 10 characters remain as some of the most destructive powerhouses at the beginner level.


10. Ryu

Street Fighter V - Ryu Move List

Kicking off our list is this wandering vagabond in constant search of better control over his power. Having been the poster boy for the Street Fighter series ever since its first installment in 1987, Ryu’s probably the most recognizable face in all of the franchise.

What makes Ryu such a great character for beginners is that his gameplay design is pretty much the whole foundation for the remaining members of the cast, so learning how to play him will serve as a gateway to learn more complex characters later down the road. He is the perfect All-Rounder, having access to a skillset prepared to face multiple situations, although not particularly amazing in any of the aspects of the game. A true Jack of all trades, master of none.

His combos are also fairly simple and easy to learn and can cause massive damage to your opponent if used at the correct timing.

What Makes Ryu Great:

  • Comfortable with fighting at multiple ranges
  • Easy and powerful combos
  • Dynamic gameplay adaptable to opponents with different playstyles
  • No particular strengths, but no particular weaknesses either


9. Guile

Street Fighter V - Guile Move List

Sonic Boom! Guile is undoubtedly one of the main characters in the Street Fighter universe. This American Air Force major first appeared in Street Fighter II, seeking revenge for the death of his best friend, Charlie Nash.

Despite being a charge character (meaning that you need to hold down a certain direction for 1.5 seconds before using a Special Move), Guile stands out for having one of the most straightforward game plans in the game. He only possesses 2 Special Moves: the iconic Sonic Boom and the Flash Kick, which serve the purposes of zoning and anti-airing, respectively. 

Because both these moves require the player to essentially be defending for 1.5 seconds before usage, Guile is perfect for those who prefer playing a more defensive style, keeping the opponents away with Sonic Booms and stopping their jump-in attempts with the Flash Kick to stay in control of the matchup.

Learn how and when to apply his useful buttons and unique attacks that are part of his arsenal, and Guile’s wall becomes nigh impenetrable.

What Makes Guile Great:

  • Only 2 Special Moves, easy to pick up
  • Simple and straightforward gameplay
  • Great defense
  • Excellent zoning game


8. Ken

Street Fighter V - Ken Move List

Ken Masters is Ryu’s eternal rival and he’s always ready to turn up the heat. Even though he started off as an exact replica of Ryu but with a different design in the original Street Fighter game as well as in the vanilla edition of Street Fighter II, he became more and more distinct from his Japanese counterpart as time went on.

Ken shares similar Special Moves with Ryu, so learning him will also give you good fundamentals that you will be able to use later on if you decide to learn more complex characters. The main difference in Street Fighter V, when comparing him to Ryu, is that Ken is designed to take a more offensive approach, and his moves are best applied when in close range.

His heavy Shoryuken, the flame version, has a massive hitbox that can be used to catch your opponent off guard, right when he thinks he's safe and out of range. Also equipped with great mobility, Ken is the perfect character to use if you want to play an aggressive and in-your-face style. 

What Makes Ken Great:

  • Outstanding offense
  • Combo versatility
  • Heavy Shoryuken has an enormous hitbox
  • Many moves can easily be canceled or linked into his Critical Art


7. Chun-Li

Street Fighter V - Chun-Li Move List

As the tritagonist of the series, the Strongest Woman in the World has been a mainstay throughout its multiple installments ever since Street Fighter II. Not only that, she’s also often top tier in whichever game she’s in.

There are many reasons for Chun-Li’s stellar popularity but aside from her iconic design, it’s her gameplay that hooks so many players to this character. Street Fighter is a ground-based Fighting Game and therefore, footsies play a major role on who will take the victory. Buttons with tremendous speed and long reach combined with great mobility, dynamic movement and the overwhelming power of her Lightning Legs (or Hyakuretsukyaku) make Chun-Li the perfect character for a hit-and-run, poking style.

Her crouching medium kick not only works as a great poke but can also be canceled into Lighting Legs or her Critical Art on confirm. With so many easy combo routes, pick Chun-Li if you’re looking for a more ground-based, tactical game plan, and get ready to kick your way into multiple victories.

What Makes Chun-Li Great:

  • Fast walk speed and overall movement
  • Poking game virtually second to none
  • Devastating, multi-layered combos with easy execution
  • Can easily dictate the pace of a match


6. Laura

Street Fighter V - Laura Move List

Laura Matsuda is a free-spirited Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu grappler, and one of the 4 original new characters introduced when the original version of Street Fighter V was released in 2016.

The way you should play Laura is simple: get close to your opponent and have him guess if you will hit a button or go for a command grab. After all, she is all about these mix-ups.

Laura has ways to quickly close in the gap with her Bolt Charge and thanks to the slow fireball option she has with Thunder Clap, you have plenty of room for set-ups when your opponent is knocked down. She can keep playing mind games with her opponents by knocking them down, throwing a Thunder Clap, forcing them to block on wake-up, and then having themguess if she’ll hit or throw.

What Makes Laura Great:

  • Fantastic mix-ups
  • Overpowering set-ups
  • Puzzling mind games
  • Devilishly dangerous at close range


5. E. Honda

SFV Champion Edition - E. Honda Move List

This bulky sumo wrestler has been tackling and slamming foes around his bathhouse since 1991 and it looks like he will continue to stick around.

Edmond Honda can switch from turtling strategies straight to bullying and brawling. His normals generally have huge hitboxes, his Hundred Hands Slap is easy to perform and safe on block, he has tons of anti-air options and, has some of the biggest health and stun bars in the whole game.

Honda can easily close out some distance with his Sumo Headbutt, which can be used as a merciless counter move, and he is even equipped with a command grab that can devastate even the strongest of enemies if they get too close. Both his V-Triggers can act as combo enders and he has tools like his V-Skill 1 that help him handle zoning tactics like fireball spamming. 

Also, you can get ready for a lot of rage quits from your opponents, as losing to E. Honda continues to generate salty and frustrated players on the other end of the screen, even 30 years after the character first debuted.

What Makes E. Honda Great:

  • Bulky resilience
  • Clear and consistent gameplan
  • Effortless counters and punishes
  • Hundred Hands Slap can be performed by simply mashing punch buttons


4. Birdie

Street Fighter V - Birdie Move List

Birdie’s a British punk with a bad attitude that will steamroll whoever he’s fighting against without them even knowing what hit them. A dim-witted brute alright, but a force to be reckoned with.

His normals are just too good, with his crouching jab serving as a scary poke in neutral and his crouching strong acting as a shamelessly cheap anti-air with a massive hitbox and small room for error. He has a fantastic array of different Special Moves at disposal, including an anti-air headbutt, another headbutt that can be canceled into his Critical Art, a long-range chain attack, and two outstandingly damaging command grabs, one of which even allows Birdie to use it at a distance from his opponent.

On top of all this, Birdie can also make use of miscellaneous gimmicks such as dropping a banana peel on the ground, preventing the opponent from getting close, throwing an empty can with a lot of mix-up potential, and spitting out a bubble gum balloon. His lack of speed can also be overcome with his V-Trigger 1 which makes Birdie not only faster but also increases the damage output of his attacks.

One might think that such a complete and crazy character would be too overwhelming and complicated for a new player, but you would be surprised how easy it can be to use Birdie at beginner level, as most of his moves are horrifically hard to punish. 

What Makes Birdie Great:

  • Big body with big hitboxes
  • Large arsenal of Special Moves
  • Gimmicks that will catch most players off guard
  • Can control spacing efficaciously


3. Rashid

Street Fighter V - Rashid Move List

Rashid of the turbulent wind is a new character that debuted alongside Laura, Necalli, and F.A.N.G. upon SFV’s release. He’s a middle eastern challenger with an upbeat personality and a keen affection for technology and acts as the main character for the general sub-plot of the game.

What makes Rashid overpowered is his excellent, unparalleled mobility. He has an actual run, not just a forward dash, he can jump off the wall and change his trajectory mid-air with dive kicks. He’s above all a rushdown character, so the game plan here is to get in your opponent’s face and overwhelm them with fluid combos from multiple angles.

Rashid can also exercise immense pressure on the corner. If he’s trapped, he has multiple ways out, including the aforementioned wall jump or his peculiar V-Reversal. If he’s the one cornering the opponent, well… let’s just say you don’t want to be on the receiving end of that, under any circumstance whatsoever. If Rashid has you cornered against the wall, you won’t get out and you can say goodbye to your precious health bar, it will be gone with the wind in the blink of an eye.

What Makes Rashid Great:

  • Multiple ways to get in quickly
  • Attacks can be dished out from all angles
  • Savage corner pressure
  • Agile mobility makes him hard to get hit


2. Abigail

Street Fighter V - Abigail Move List

Originally a boss for the Capcom beat ‘em up game Final Fight, Mad Gear Gang’s former member Abigail is now part of the Street Fighter roster, and he’s officially the biggest character in all the franchise, even topping Hugo at that. And with great size comes great… OP potential?

The truth is that Abigail continues to decimate players of all ranks and expertise, and the complaint remains that you don’t really need to think much to destroy opponents with this character. He’s so gigantic, and his moves have so much reach that you’ll be beating fighters up and right without having them even get near you. And while it’s true that Abigail is slow and can be handled with fast rushdown approaches, we can’t forget that he’s a grappler at the end of the day, and if you get too close, you will suffer.

He also can add multiple gimmicks to his overall gameplan of smash and destroy, like summoning truck tires and making his heavy attacks chargeable and armored. But through all of this, the most frightening thing about Abigail remains his mad damage output. Each blow from this big dude will chip out so much life it will easily demoralize any contender trying to take this monster down.

What Makes Abigail Great:

  • High damage output
  • Can deal with fireballs with his Giant Flip
  • Several opportunities for juggles
  • Great reach


1. Ed

Street Fighter V - Ed Move List

The head of Neo-Shadaloo intends only to help the ones who, like himself, were victims of M. Bison’s Shadaloo in the past. Ed fights using Psycho Powered boxing and is the perfect OP character for SF5 beginners.

One of the things that can often throw someone off when learning a fighting game is definitely adapting to the motion inputs required for Special Moves. Even though Street Fighter V is designed in such a way that you don’t need to do the perfect motion for a move to come out, there are still some complicated movements that can easily frustrate a newcomer, be it z-motions for the Shoryuken-like moves, or even half-circles for command grabs. Ed is the perfect counter for this, as all of his Special Moves can be performed just by pressing buttons in specific ways, without needing motion inputs whatsoever.

What distinguishes Ed from Falke (the other character in the game who doesn’t require motion inputs for Specials) is the simplicity of his game plan, which is similar to Ken. He has a fireball, strong (and easy to perform) anti-air options, and several tools that focus on closing the distance from his opponent. This makes Ed pretty much the only character in the game where you can (at beginner level) simply get close to your opponent and mash buttons without using much brainpower, all the while finding success and glory. And as you get more experienced, you will be able to use Ed’s tools way more efficiently and play a more tactical game if that’s your cup of tea.

What Makes Ed Great:

  • No motion inputs for Special Moves
  • Offensive and intuitive fighting style for new players
  • Super easy and effective anti-air options
  • Amazing capacity to close out the distance, which makes him really good at dealing with zoners


We hope that this list can be helpful if you’re just starting your Street Fighter journey and that it can give you some insight and assist you in choosing a strong and OP main character, to begin with.


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Andre walks the path of a fighting warrior to pursue self-improvement and to break his limits. His amazing power of creative writing and his unwavering love for games are the source of his willpower.
Gamer Since: 2003
Favorite Genre: PVP
Currently Playing: Street Fighter V: Champion Edition
Top 3 Favorite Games:Street Fighter X Tekken, Grand Theft Auto V, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

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