6 Months Later: How has the Street Fighter 6 Meta Developed?

6 Months Later: How Has the Street Fighter 6 Meta Developed?

A lot has been discovered in SF6 with more than half a year of dedicated play under its belt.

The Street Fighter 6 meta has changed a lot since its first few weeks out in the wild. Countless players of all levels have studied the ins and outs of the game and have made some solid conclusions. 

Whether you’re getting in or are looking to improve, you need to watch out for these in the current meta.

Drive Rush
6 Months Later: How has the Street Fighter 6 Meta Developed?
You’re never safe when you’re only a few buttons away from getting into your opponent’s face.

There’s a lot of power locked behind Street Fighter 6’s Drive system. Initially, everyone was worried that Drive Impacts was going to dominate the field but it was another, far simpler move that’s taken the throne.

Drive Rush is a universal ability that lets your character quickly dash forward to close the gap on your enemy. Straight to the point but immensely powerful, Drive Rush lets you keep up the pressure or pump out insane amounts of damage depending on the situation. Anyone who’s looking to master Street Fighter 6 needs to familiarize themselves with their character’s options using Drive Rush if they want to get those victories.

The move is so powerful that it’s actually become a point of contention among high level players. It creates a snowball effect during matches where someone is heavily punished the moment they make a mistake. Not only that, some Drive Rushes are clearly better than others, which really affects the strength of some characters. It remains to be seen how Capcom will change Drive Rush in the future (if they will at all) but since it’s a universal mechanic it’s something that every player has to learn to get used to.

Whiff Punishes

As a byproduct of Drive Rush being so strong, whiff punishes are once again prevalent. Whiff punishment means taking advantage of your enemy’s whiffed attacks and was very strong back in Street Fighter 5. People thought that they’d be toned down in Street Fighter 6 but now they’re even more important in the meta.

Thanks to the strength of the Drive System, it’s become much more rewarding to capitalize on your enemy’s mistakes. A single whiffed attack could lead to disaster in Street Fighter 6 so being aware of your own spacing and attacks is vital to your success. 

Perfect Parry
6 Months Later: How has the Street Fighter 6 Meta Developed?
There’s no better go signal than a sudden screen freeze.

Emulating Street Fighter 3 parries, Perfect Parries provide a clear window where you can turn the tide on your opponent. They’re not easy to get as you need to input a Drive Parry right at the moment you’re hit with an attack with a window of about 1/30th of a second. You’ll know when you get it however as the whole screen freezes and any action you do afterward will happen before the opponent can act.

Perfect Parries are a powerful defensive option that can quickly turn the tide of a match. There are already quite a few examples that show what Perfect Parries look like when used to full effect. As mentioned, it requires a good bit of practice, timing, and foresight to use properly. However, the benefits of being able to pull this out in a tight situation are worth the time invested. 

Throw Loops

Another Street Fighter 5 strategy that’s made its way to the latest installment. Throw loops, quite simply, involves getting your opponent to the corner and throwing them over and over again. Off-hand it seems like this shouldn’t work on better players but there’s a great deal of depth behind this strategy.

The main thing at work with throw loops is the mind games that happen when players are engaged with it. Street Fighter 6 offers many options for a player to get out of throw loop situations but that also means that better players know how to counter those options. It’s a dangerous game of rock-paper-scissors where one guess can either lead to escape or an even greater disadvantage.

Super Arts
6 Months Later: How has the Street Fighter 6 Meta Developed?
Use that level 3 Super Art to send your both opponent and their Drive meter flying away.

With how important the Drive System is to the meta of Street Fighter 6, Super Arts have become more than just flashy, cinematic attacks. The true strength of Super Arts comes from the damage they deal to an opponent’s Drive Gauge.

The Drive Gauge is the resource that lets you do your most potent moves. If you’re not careful with how you use it, however, you enter Burnout where you’re stuck in a disadvantageous state. Generally, you should avoid entering Burnout but there are ways for the opponent to drain your Drive Gauge, Super Arts being chief among them.

It’s really easy to gain meter for Super Arts so it’s a constant threat looming over a player’s head. Momentum swings happen constantly in Street Fighter 6 and clever use of Super Arts should be a key part of your strategy. They could be the difference between you making an epic comeback or closing out a round.

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