Street Fighter 5’s Winter Update has finally arrived, and yes, we are ecstatic. Street Fighter 5 has been a staple of the fighting game scene since it debuted, much to the mix of chagrin and excitement from the established fighting game community, and as it slowly fizzles out in anticipation of the inevitable announcement of Street Fighter 6, the development team are working hard to ensure the swansong to Street Fighter 5 is one worth remembering. This Winter Update is one of the biggest and most impressive content packages we’ve seen added to Street Fighter since the game launched. It’s so good Ryu even made it into Fortnite.
We’ve written up the biggest balance adjustments and changes below so you can get a handle on what’s new in Street Fighter 5 before you jump back in, and for everything else you need to know, just take a look at the full patch notes on Capcom’s site for details on balance adjustments for each character. But for everything else, we’ve got the details below. If you’re a more casual Street Fighter 5 player looking for information on what new features the Winter Update has brought with it, we’ve got everything you need listed below. For the details on new characters, stages, and bigger gameplay and balance changes, just browse down below.
Probably the very biggest deal to come from Street Fighter 5’s new update is the introduction of Dan Hibiki, the character once included purely as a joke and jab at arcade rival SNK is now in the game, and he is just as powerful as any other member of the roster while being potentially even more powerful thanks to his insane movement and silly tactics. This is a character that will bring you to rage online, and that’s beautiful.
But he’s not the only character introduced: Eleven is also joining the roster, a predecessor to Twelve from Street Fighter 3. Eleven will basically act as a random select, randomising the character, V-Skill, and V-Trigger abilities from those in the roster, and you won’t find out what you’ve got to work with until the battle begins. Picking this character in tournaments will be a huge boast, so let’s hope the players who pick him don’t choke.
There’s a brand new stage, and it is an alternate version of The Grid, Street Fighter’s iconic training room. You will get this stage for free, in addition to the background music that accompanies it. Yes, this is just an alternate version of a stage you’ve had since the beginning, but we love to see a new makeover come with a new patch. Brings a whole new mood to the proceedings.
Altered Background Animations
This is interesting. PC players have complained for a long time that PS4 players drop frames when playing due to stage animations and decorations that are, perhaps, a bit ambitious for the base console. After years of complaints, Capcom is finally fixing it, and background animations are being adjusted for reduced load in three stages:
- Bustling Side Street
- Forgotten Waterfall
- Underground Arena
This feels like too little too late, but it’s nice to know that Capcom are trying to make this version of Street Fighter 5 the definitive one.
V-Shift is the brand new mechanic being added to every character in Street Fighter 5 that has got players very excited. Just hit MK+HP with no directional input, and your character will avoid throws, punches, kicks, everything, all for just one V-Gauge meter. This can parry the opponent’s moves, and if you tap the input once more after a successful parry you can counterattack – that’s called a V-Shift Break.
This differs from V-Reversals as it can be used more aggressively, but unlike V-Reversals, this will not reduce your Stun meter. If you go up against a super-aggressive opponent, a V-Shift might be the best move to make, allowing you to reset the neutral and make your own gameplan.
Anti-Air normals are about to get less viable, in all honesty. Many normals could be used as anti-airs, even if that is not what they were intended to be used for. Characters now cannot be hit with a light attack as they are descending from a jump attack. Sorry Ryu mains, that jab just lost a lot of utility. In addition to that, crouching medium punches have now had an upper hurtbox added to them, making players attempting a crouched anti-air more likely to be hit first.
These are huge changes for certain characters, but don’t worry too much, as Dhalsim has not been given such nice advantages. You can still jab him out of his teleports and aerial attacks.
To add to this, characters that have wall jumps or other moves that can change their trajectory in mid-air now have counterable states added. Essentially, if you get hit out of a cheeky aerial attack you will be opened up to juggles until you land.
You can now tell when a player is either rolling back on the ground or standing up straight, more immediately thanks to a smoke effect that is visible when characters roll backwards. Characters also now have different voice lines for their recoveries, making it easier to immediately understand what you’re looking at.
Street Fighter 5 has many, many, many more balance changes to look at, large and small, and for all of the minor details, you should check Capcom’s official patch notes. You can see the general patch notes here, and specific details about character moves and attacks here.
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