Why is Ken considered better than Ryu?

I’ve been wondering, why Ken is considered overall better than Ryu. Other than the fact that he can confirm his Sa3 off multiple normals, does Ryu’s damage output compensate? Or will a good Ken always beat a good Ryu? I feel as if Ryu’s EX moves in particular can give him a real edge against Ken.

What you think?

Story wise… Ryu is better/stronger than Ken… but as casual gameplay and tournament rankings show, Ken is far better than Ryu. Ken is the most flexible in every situation in THIS game…it’s just how it is…

sa3 alone makes a huge difference. Not just because it gives Ken numerous hit confirms Ryu doesn’t have, but is a very strong defensive tool when used as a reversal. Can’t use DED technique with Ryu either.

The rest is minor differences. Ken’s uppercuts are better, Ryu’s ex fireball is better, blah blah. Ryu isn’t a bad character but his ex moves, or joudan, or denjin, or all the other stuff he has that Ken doesn’t still is not as strong as jinrai. Just being able to do a lot of damage isn’t enough on its own. Being able to do damage without exposing yourself to risk is ultimately the most important, and Ken is stronger in that regard.

Ken can do cross ups and break guard more efficiently than Ryu, his shoryuken(LP) can be karaed and add more damage to his BnB combos. Plus, his LP shoryuken has high priority and very little recovery time. He is one of the top tiers.His mix up game and hit confirms with sa3 guarantee constistent damage and good rush down game. He used to be known as the anti-Yun character in the good old days when many players had hard time to defend againt the twins(Yun,Yang).


Jinrai is done with kicks, and ken doesn’t have any move with qcf k as the motion, so if the opponent blocks, nothing happens. Since all of Ryu’s supers are done with punches, if your opponent blocks your DED attempt with Ryu, you’ll still throw out a shoryu or fireball.

Because Ken has sex with women.

Could you elaborate on that please. How does Ken expose himself less if at all? And how does Ryu do it more so?


Both characters are definitely capable of doing lots of damage. Without meter, Ryu can do more damage than Ken. The problem is the ways Ryu deals big damage are from comboing into tatsumaki, joudan (step kick), shoryu, or super. With some negligible exceptions, Ryu can’t hit confirm tatsumaki, joudan, or shoryu, and getting these moves blocked or whiffing them is an easy punish for good damage with pretty much the whole cast. Also, typical punish situations where you would land a joudan or tatsumaki combo with Ryu, you can probably punish with normal into shoryu with Ken for comparable damage. For super, Ryu has like 1/5 the number of options to hit confirm that Ken does. Ken’s super does good damage (about the same as Ryu sa1), sets up ambiguous cross ups, has a short stock (much shorter than Ryu sa1 and sa2), and 3 stocks possible(Ryu sa1 has 2, sa2 has 1).

Not just that, but reversal punishes with Jinrai give Ken guaranteed damage that Ryu doesn’t have. It’s not easy, but Ken can punish tons of normals on block like shoto low forward, Yun’s uoh in geneijin, Urien’s stand fierce, the list goes on. It can reversal punish many normals that hit Ken as well, such as Gouki’s far fierce. Jinrai has amazing range, and 2 frame start up. You’d be surprised how many normals are punishable on block and hit by Jinrai. The range also makes it strong for whiff punishment, so normals like Hugo’s stand strong, which is a very important normal for him, need to be used much more carefully against Ken.

Denjin Ryu is unique, and the gameplan is much more different than Ken or Ryu sa1/sa2, and its very hard to compare, although Ken is still obviously stronger.

Never thought of this before. Thx!

Hahaha, I spent a while trying to make it work with Gouki and I don’t want anyone else to go through that.

I could see someone thinking I’m painting an unfair picture here by not listing any of Ryu’s advantages over Ken, so to be fair…

Ryu has a stronger anti air game imo, mainly because of sa1 and sa2, although still not as strong as Gouki’s :devil: Along the same lines, resets are more dangerous with Ryu because of sa1 and sa2. I think this is probably Ryu’s most significant advantage, and because of this I feel more comfortable with Ryu over Ken against characters like Hugo or sometimes Dud and Necro.

Ex tatsumaki is safe and is a nice way to beat throw or tech attempts. Plus if you’re in the corner you can connect sa1, although its scaled pretty heavily so its not much damage considering how much meter you spent.

Ex hadou is better than Kens. I don’t think you can blue parry first hit of Ryu’s ex fireball when its canceled from low forward like Ken’s often times can. It’s also a safe move that knocks down.

Ex joudan allows some resets that set up cool ambiguous cross ups.

Stand rh is a beefy normal, and Ken doesn’t have it. Far mk is another good normal Ken doesn’t have.

In general the threat of stun with Ryu is more present than it is with Ken, and I’m not even talking Denjin here. Joudan and tatsumaki do a lot of stun, as does f+mp.

Has a very useful kara throw. About as significant as his strong anti air game.

Probably forgetting some other ones, but none of them are as impactful as Jinrai as for Ken. Ken has other advantages over Ryu too. His jump mk is fuckin sick and Ryu doesn’t have anything comparable to it. Ken’s ex tatsumaki as an escape tool alone imo outclasses Ryu’s ex tatsumaki. Also allows for heavy punishment against airborne foes. Kara uppercuts fucking hurt and cost no meter. Target combo gives you a meterless hit confirmable bnb.

That’s great info thanks alot. However I still don’t understand what you mean by Ken not “exposing” himself as much as Ryu? Also, how does the Denjin Ryu gameplan differ?

Hit confirm these? I am somewhat of an intermediate player, i was under the impression that only supers were hit-confirmable.

Or have I misunderstood that where as Ken can hit confirm super to get damage from multiple normals, Ryu can only hit confrim from really forward, short and jab to get his super out, and otherwise relies on punishment to land big damage?

because unlike Ryu, he actually gets laid and has a family.

Pretty much. You can hit confirm special moves tho, although for Ryu and Ken they are all situational as far as I know, except Ken’s target combo into jab srk/ex hadou/whatever. The situational ones would be like Ken’s low short, stand jab, jab srk against cornered opponents.

Not completely, Ken and Chun can reversal super it (Chun has to block the last hit standing though, not sure about Ken).

Great info. I think Ryu’s jumping strong punch is better than Ken’s jumping forward kick. Also, what is “DED”? I heard that on the podcast and here. From the context of this thread, I’m betting it’s an option select b/t a special move and a super.

It’s kind of an “i don’t give a shit” auto option select.
Basically, when you’re near to have your first SA stock full, if you think a clean hit (but not a blocked/parried hit) will add enough bar to get the SA, then you launch the whole thing without trying to confirm, the game will do it itself for you.


Hahahaha. Great description.