Holding the beacon as one of the best fighting game franchises of all time, the announcement of Tekken 8 was certainly well received late last year. Although there’s still a lot to learn regarding the launch of the game and the majority of its content, there’s still a fair bit of information to pull from the short trailers and insights we have received.
Despite the evident excitement of eager players, Bandai Namco has been pretty reserved in the promotional content they’ve put out regarding the release. That said, there’s still a good chunk of information to dissect from gameplay trailers and the roster itself, and we’ve pulled together everything there is to know so far about the release of Tekken 8.
Tekken 8: Cut to the chase
What is it? The eighth mainline Tekken game and the 10th overall in the series
When can I play it? The release date is yet to be confirmed.
What can I play it on? PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PC.
Tekken 8: Release date and platforms
Following its official announcement at Sony’s State of Play in September 2022, Tekken 8 is yet to receive any information regarding a concrete release date. Currently, the only information we have received regarding the game is a few characters available in the base roster, an insight into the new arenas we’ll be fighting in, a few windows into new and returning gameplay mechanics, and the platforms of which the game will be available.
Tekken 8 is coming to PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. In addition to this, it has been confirmed that Tekken 8 will be entirely cross-platform so regardless of which console you and your friends are playing on, you’ll be able to battle it out in the ring.
With the emphasis the game has on competition and the inspiration it’s derived from community-led events such as the Tekken World Tour and EVO, the online side of competitive play is expected to support players better than before. That’s because Tekken 8 will also feature rollback netcode, a huge improvement over Tekken 7’s online that should lead to vastly more stable connections when playing online.
Tekken 8: Trailers
The most recent Tekken 8 trailer was uploaded in February, and showcased a variety of characters, including the anticipated return of Jun Kazama, alongside a few new locations you can expect to brawl within.
More Tekken 8 trailers can be found on the Bandai Namco YouTube channel (opens in new tab), alongside the gameplay trailers for each announced character. Character trailers are dropping at a frequent rate, so expect this page to update as new and returning fighters announce their return.
With a new mainline Tekken game, players are desperate to see which legacy characters will return for the current-gen experience. Although many fan-favorite and storyline-integral characters such as Jin Kazama and Kazuya Mishima will return, we can also expect to see a handful of new fighters with entirely new movesets to master – though these are yet to be announced or showcased.
New characters and their coinciding gameplay appear to be dropping fairly regularly at the time of writing, with gameplay videos being uploaded to the Bandai Namco YouTube channel and Tekken social media. However, there are still many characters that remain unannounced for the title.
Tekken 8’s roster currently consists of:
- Emilie “Lili” De Rochefort
Given how extensive the roster of characters was in Tekken 7, there are still a lot of familiar faces we are patiently waiting to see, such as Yoshimitsu and Eddy Gordo, who remain unannounced for now.
That said, Tekken 7 had various DLC characters available on top of the standard roster, which appears to change in Tekken 8 since Leroy Smith will be part of the game’s base roster. That’s not to say that DLC characters won’t make a reappearance within Tekken 8, it might just be a case of entirely new characters receiving DLC spots as opposed to the ones we’ve learned to love.
This also raises the question of whether characters like Fahkumram and Lidia will debut on the main roster, but it’s hard to believe that the entire roster will be announced prior to the game’s official release. With the anticipated return of Jun Kazama too, it’s impossible to predict any future debuts, which only adds to the excitement.
Tekken 8: Gameplay
As expected from a game as high stakes as Tekken, a level of aggressiveness and competition is bound to be reflected through gameplay and the coinciding mechanics. However, Harada stated during an interview with IGN that “the key word to relay the concept for the battle system is aggressiveness.” Although fighting games already go hand in hand with aggression, expect Tekken 8 to be fast-paced and hard-hitting, especially with the introduction of a handful of new mechanics and the reintroduction of fan favorites.
A huge amount of gameplay within Tekken 8 has been inspired by the competitive side of Tekken 7, with particular emphasis on fan reception from the viewer’s perspective rather than just the players. In the same interview, Harada continued to state that “It’s not just important that a game be fun for the person playing it. It has to look fun to play to captivate and bring in new people.” So while gameplay might be the most technical and most aggressive we have experienced in a Tekken title to date, new players will also be able to enjoy the game without having prior experience with the franchise.
In a 35-minute Q&A shown during the Tekken World Finals, Harada shared details of a few new gameplay mechanics players can expect to utilize within Tekken 8, alongside discussing a few returning favorites and how they’ve been designed to match the new aggressiveness of gameplay.
The Heat System is a prime example of a new mechanic for Tekken 8, acting similarly to rage arts and rage drives but once again reinforcing the aggression Harada is desperate to introduce. A blue bar will sit under the health bar of each competitor and fill during combat, turning purple once ready to be activated. Activating your heat bar will have a similar input to activating Rage Art, or a newly titled Heat Engager.
During the active period, which lasts for about 10 seconds, the player will be able to perform Heat Dashes and a Heat Smash to cause a high amount of damage to the opponent. In addition to this, all attacks of the player will result in chip damage, which converts into recoverable health. At any point, the active player can consume the remainder of their Heat Bar to perform a Heat Dash, which functions in the same way as a Rage Drive would.
However, there’s still a huge amount to discover about Tekken 8’s gameplay, but with no official release date, there is still a huge window of opportunity for further elements to be explored via trailers and character debuts.