Why is Gouken low tier?


  • very fast fireballs/good zoning (can also switch between 45degree angle and horizontal to punish for example a honda neutral jump fierce)
  • decent health and high damage all-around
  • demon flip mixups
  • ambiguous dive kick/cross-up dive kick mixups
  • fast normal pokes
  • a super-cancelable very high damage parry that makes attempting cross-ups EXTREMELY dangerous. the damage on this parry is so high that if you only hit it say 1/3 of the time it’s worth it. It even seems to hit me when I empty jump
  • retardedly high damage palm rush combos that break armor
  • throw into a VERY high damage ultra. Most broken thing in the game imo.
  • haven’t looked at the frame data, but everything he does save for parry seems to be safe

I am by far worst against Gouken players online than anyone else with all of the characters I play (Dictator, Ken, Ryu, Honda, Boxer, and Blanka), yet everyone I know that plays SF at a high level acts like Gouken is Dan-tier or worse. When I ask them to explain why, they simply say he is bad all-around, and that I really shouldn’t have so much trouble with him. No matter how I play, Gouken can easily counter what I do. If I play agressively/mixup based (like I usually do) I get hit with parries/palm rushes. If I try to be defensive I get hit with a million low-recovery fireballs.

Is there some glaring weakness that I’m missing? I haven’t found anything. I know he has very little link combos but that doesn’t seem to matter when he can do an ambiguous and safe dive-kick palm rush combo for 50% health or an EX parry for 15.

How is Gouken not considered among the top 5 in the game?


how about the fact that when your close to him he has no real solid normal pokes that can combo properly? And I’m guessing everytime you jump in you do an attack? Well if the Gouken you play keeps doing parries just jump in without doing an attack for a free combo? he really isn’t that good. Also, his backthrow into ultra might be good, but against a good player he will rarely get a backthrow, because it is easy to counter due to long parry frames to tech.


Not after we get an DLC update or play at arcade… I think he will be at least akuma level…


Stopped reading at

If grab > ultra is broken, what about Zangief? T. Hawk? Hakan? Honda? Any other character with grab ultras? Oh yeah, and you can’t even tech out of those.

Gouken has poor links and hit-confirms, can’t deal well with people just focus absorbing his fireballs, has quite punishable specials, no good reversal…he has to be right next to the opponent to do any damage, but he is a zoning character. His overall design just has poor synergy, IMO. He is not terrible, because nobody is terrible in this game. But he is outclassed by a large majority of the cast. Fingers crossed for sensible Arcade Edition buffs.


Well lets have a look at all these points and see where we get

I love the big G’s Fireballs, but they aren’t fast(well still a decent speed). In fact they have the same total frame data as Ryus fireball. Gouken trades a faster recovery for a much slower startup, which does make them better when meatying someone on wakeup. Downsides are that while he has heights he can’t change speeds. Also his EX while covering 2 areas is great, will never 2 hit and thus loses to other ex fireballs and takes a lot more time to execute. That he can charge to 2 hits without ex is fun, but limited to certain times.

I’ll second that, average health and great damage when he gets a hitconfirm. However hitconfiming into that big damage is very difficult to him if he doesn’t have meter. He needs to bait people to get it. But he is someone that mkaes others wary of making tiny errors. AE is looking really good in this regard as he received a hitconfirm off close MP, sadly still not able to hitconfirm off a low move like a lot of other characters.

Not sure why these got 2 bullets. They are decent, but far from infallible and not even remotely as Good as Akumas version. He can’t start these without a knockdown though and doesn’t have stuff like akumas hitconfirm to sweep(except in the corner).

Aye, but all very situational and none of them safely cancel to hadou like Ryus c.MK. I still love them though <3

Empty jump does not work that way, stop pressing jab after landing, if you’re baiting a counter from a jumpin dont follow up with high attacks. Or you know, just throw. Yes crossups are dangerous, so don’t press a button, leads to a free punish for you. This is one of the things that you simply need to guess versus a Gouken. It has its uses, but if you’re getting hit by counter a lot, you need to ask yourself why you are so predictable. Hits 1/3rd of the time? It does 180 damage. Those 2/3rds where if you only throw punish? Probably 260 damamge together(depeneds on your throw of ocurse), not to mention if you actually went for a combo.punish.

Hit Confirming these has been mentioned. Also the fastest one is 13 frame startup, not counting extra for distance. Ryus tatsu(for comparison) is 7 frame startup. Also they are all -3 to -6 on block depending which active frame got them.

Giggle. I think it’s silly that it doesn’t scale, but still, giggle. AE has this covered for you.(Just tech it, you’ve got ages)

Really? Are you serious? Have you not seen his tatsu? Palms I already mentioned, but seriously. His tatsu. Heck his demonflips aren’t safe either. Especially on whiffs.

Gouken has the fun advatage of being a rarely played character. When you meet up against one thats good, hell probably destroy you simply for sheer lack of knowledge how to deal with his nonsense(I use it till my opponent proves they know how to get out of it^^), not to mention his actually solid stuff. If playing aggresive isn’t paying off, it just sounds like your reading the Gouken isn’t going well. Gouken is a fun and solid character whos great flaw is his wakeup. Untill you get that knockdown though He’ll be a lot of trouble.

As I mentioned, horrible wakeup and lack of hitconfirms. Versus good opponents getting a divekick to hit is very unlikely, most will simply block if they must. After a block should gouken land a hit on the grounded combo you’ll unlikely see any damage come off it(unless its a c.HP xx Hadou and he has 3 bars left) These weaknesses mean Goukens strengths are entirely dependant on the Goukens ability to outguess his opponents(especially parry) You find one that does? You’re in trouble. Then again you’d have the same if they used any other character.

I love the old man and all he does, but his weaknesses are there and damaging. Is Gouken an easy opponent? Hell no, but he has a struggle versus a lot of other characters. He has the unusual ability to not be free to a lot of nonsense in the game thanks to his counter, but that creates a new guessing game. AEs changes will likely shoot the old mans tier rankings up a lot, but even then I doubt he’d be close to top 5.


No hit confirms, no viable cancellable reversal, poor up close pressure game (both on the dealing and receiving end).

Gouken is decent if you can retain some semblance of match control and favourable momentum. Once you lose this however, it can be difficult to find your footing and spacing again against good opponents.

Gouken is also one of the few (if the only) character the vast majority of the cast has no fear of molesting on wakeup. This hurts him a lot and also ushers in a nasty guessing game which many characters can exploit for big damage.

Gouken’s forthcoming changes address some of these issues, but his up close pressure game (on the receiving end) appears to remain. It remains to be seen what changes have been made to his light attacks and if lp palm can now function as some kind of cancellable reversal given its altered properties in these situations though.

Time will tell. At any rate, Capcom have given Gouken some much needed attention that hopefully makes him a solid contender. Right now he simply isn’t and at high levels his weaknesses are seriously exposed.


Gouken currently stinks:

  • No useful links.
  • No useful hit confirms. If you don’t jump in with a deep kick/punch, you aren’t able to hit HP into EX pain train. There really isn’t anyone else in the game like this.
  • No big buffs for the two items listed above. It would be one thing to have him a very heavy hitter (think t-hawk/gief like), but he isn’t really much above what other shotos can do with 1-3 EX bars.

His bad matchups are the characters that can poke like mad and Gou is really just in D all the time without many opportunities to get in (minus guessing). I’ve found the “easier” matchups are Seth/Dhalsim because you will kongo their pokes, but the most difficult are very poke-heavy characters like Cammy, Balrog and Rufus.

All his bumps are in the areas of useful links, faster normals (he has nothing that is 3 frame as a normal, c’mon) and a few special tweaks (LP palm will be the horizontal shoryuken, like it should be) – a clear indication of what he is lacking.


You missed the updates from Arcadia magazine. cl.MP > cr.HP is possible in AE.


In SSF4, these don’t exist. When AE lands, we’ll have one LESS thing to complain about with the old man. I’m very eager to play him in AE with the buffs, especially since I’ve been playing him since vanilla.

Gou’s mid to long game remains mostly intact, but the short game seems like a major buff. When I can punish specials after blocking FROM a LP poke, I’ll be a happy PAIN TRAIN DELIVERY MASTER.


LP now combos into LP Palm. I get that we don’t have these now, but you said no buffs to the above points, which is not correct.


Not to mention apparently the original change list, the close MP frame buff when thought as +5 was good for hitconfirms and links already, but now with signs pointing towards+6its just getting better :smiley: (please god let that combo be possible because of +6 and not a change to 5 frame startup, though that too would be a great change, and maybe kinda have the +6 come from hitstun instead of less recovery so we may combo hadous pretty please, ty)


My statement about the lack of buffs relate to:

  • No useful links.
  • No useful hit confirms. If you don’t jump in with a deep kick/punch, you aren’t able to hit HP into EX pain train. There really isn’t anyone else in the game like this.

In SSF4, with these limitations he doesn’t get any really great trade in damage/health/stun. It would be one thing to be all or nothing (as he is now), but you then gain more damage/stun capability and he could potentially take more damage. I could see Gouken going the way of Gief like health/damage output on his shoto style, but he isn’t like that at all. He’s average health/stun that doesn’t have any good pokes and nothing to counter the lack of pokes thats truly safe.

AE is nearly all buffs (very welcome ones), but SSF4 won’t have any Gouken winning major tournaments, ever.


That’s what I was referring to, and these issues are getting addressed in AE, which is inevitably getting a console patch as Ono has pretty much confirmed himself.


I look forward to proving you wrong

hurries off to go fix his damn execution issues


Everyone on this forum would love me to be wrong with the old man about SSF4, but he won’t be winning anything unless you were only against specific characters.

Until AE drops for everyone, Gouken’s listed buffs don’t exist. We’ll continue to play “theory fighter” until then!


I will ever remain positive about him, the moment I start thinking I can’t win with him I never will get anywhere. I am not blind to his limitations, but I think he has more potential than you give him credit.


I’ve always been able to win top leaderboard heads since vanilla but nowadays it getting more solid with beating better people more consistently… Recently addded watchman to my list amongst others this month.

I’m with puff, start doubtin start losing.
If you play him feeling he’s less of a character than the rest of the cast… You have already lost the most important fight…

He aint got enough weapons you say…?
Like smokeys mom said in friday…
.“Make it enough!!!”


Gouken is low-tier because he never has the initiative.

In close-range, he’s forced to block or dig his way out with a spoon. In mid-range he has to watch out for the countless counter-attacks to his fireballs, like EX fireballs, EX green-hand, or EX scissor-kicks, etc. At long-range, opponents can easily avoid his fireballs altogether.

I think it’s fine that he struggles in close-range, but there are many issues that need addressing.

I also don’t like the fact that all of his special-moves are hideously punishable - even his palm-strike. If the flip-dive-kick was safe, it would do wonders, however.


Gouken, like any other character in SSFIV, will always have his strengths and weaknesses. I have mained Gouken for a LONG time (I’m talking about within the week of SFIV’s release), and he is only getting better and better. Tier listings are good n’ all, but what really matters is HOW you use your character during combat. There is always a limit to overcome, that is what is called mastery. When one masters his/or her own character in the truest sense, tier lists do not matter. I am pretty damn good with Gouken, he is my main, and I know his everything. Never have I been in a situation where I thought "this is BULLSHIT! This opponent has SUCH and advantage!"
I do not claim to be the absolute BEST Gouken user, but I do consider myself to be one of the best (I am number 32 or 35 in the U.S. last I checked lol). Saying that Gouken is a low-tier character means that I have to work that much harder to beat a “top tier.” I have beaten EVERY character in this game online. And after every match I have never thought “I won because of Gouken’s tier ranking”, I think to myself; I won because of HOW I used him and HOW I read my opponent’s intentions.

Xbox Live Gamertag: MAd N FluEnz

  • I always welcome challenges. Playing new people is paramount.


^this guy…

RIGHT ON! Come to dojo sessions.

We share a common viewpoint! Sweet!