Masato 'Bonchan' Takahashi talks about his experience testing Street Fighter 6 at the Red Bull Gaming Sphere in Tokyo, Japan on January 25, 2023.
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What You Need to Know About Street Fighter 6's Season 2 Patch

Street Fighter 6’s (SF6) first major patch is out in the wild. Let’s go over the huge system changes and see who the big individual winners are.
By Yassin Hussein
7 min readPublished on
When diving into the impact of Street Fighter 6’s new patch, it’s important to keep in mind that these are the first big changes after an entire year of waiting. Tekken, 8 for example, has had sizable patches at least every month since release. Some SF6 fans were feeling fatigued with waiting, so Capcom had a lot of expectations to really impact the game, and it seems like they’ve come through.
Overall, there were some big system changes for SF6’s season 2 patch. Many of the changes were designed in response to the dissatisfaction of players with the throw loops that dominated season 1.
Changes to Perfect Parry and Drive Rush’s hurtbox out of a parry are intended to make these options much riskier to go for, as they tended to carry little risk considering their reward.
It’s an easy pitfall to be upset with developers for not making radical changes to fix the perceived issues with a game, but Capcom has done a great job addressing what people wanted, while not overshooting on the patch.
Even though Capcom did well on the system changes, which was the most anticipated portion of the patch, unexpectedly, the character changes seem to have taken the spotlight.
Some characters had parts of their kit slightly nerfed, but arguably no one was hit with anything egregious. Though on the other hand, a few characters such as Aki have been buffed tremendously, and are already going from unremarkable to top 5 according to top players and commentators.

System Changes

The backbone of SF6’s gameplay is the Drive System, and a few of it’s mechanics received major changes.

Drive Reversal

Drive Reversal is now -6 instead of -8 so you’ll have to punish them with medium normals and not heavy ones. The most notable part of the change is that you can perform one on wakeup that hits 2 frames faster than the regular version.
This is a huge change that is most likely intended to give characters more of a fighting chance against the strong strike/throw offense in SF6. With another tool off a knockdown, characters without an OD reversal will have a better time if they know the mixup is coming.

Drive Parry

Drive Parry has 4 more active frames (when tapped) but also has 4 more frames of recovery. Since it was only 8 frames of recovery before this, the extra time will help you punish it much more consistently.
Many people felt tapping Drive Parry was simply too safe especially considering a well timed press will result in a Perfect Parry into a punish. Since it’s a punish counter, people still tapping parry will be taking huge damage until they reign in their parry button.

Drive Rush

Drive Rush got its hurtboxes adjusted so that it’s easier to hit people out of it in neutral, when it starts from a Drive Parry. Drive Rush out of a parry was very strong and hard to poke out, leading to an instant strike/throw mix up. In Season 2, it’s easier to deal with that situation before it even happens.

Light Attacks

All light normals now have 20% scaling rather than 10% scaling if they start the combo. This means damage overall is lower, since most openings are from light normals. To deal bigger damage, you’ll have to look for an opening to land one of your stronger normals.

Back Throw

Universally, throwing the opponent backwards now has less advantage, so as to weaken oppressive strike/throw offense. You’ll now have to walk forward and sacrifice some of your plus frames if you want any sort of offense.
It seems Capcom targeted overly strong offense in Season 2. Many players found success taking advantage of the Drive Mechanics to keep people locked in the corner with throw loops, and then dealing massive damage.
With overall damage nerfs, wakeup Drive Reversal, and weakening back throw, it seems Season 2 will feature less domination from either side. It will be important to remember to integrate wakeup Drive Reversal in your gameplan.
Options like tap Parry are much more committal, so you’ll have to use them less sparingly. And while damage is lower, the recovery added will make punishing much simpler.

Patch Winners


Ryu had already been significantly buffed in their precursor patch earlier this year, but Capcom clearly didn’t feel that was enough for the face of the franchise, as they once again blessed the shotokan karate user.
Ryu mostly received changes to his combo potential through buffs to special moves and big frame data tweaks to his normals. His ability to advance from his combos to safe and/or strong pressure was dramatically improved as well.
To do this, Capcom sped up his Light Blade Kick, giving him a strong knockdown from light normals. They also made this a safejump, so in the corner Ryu has a consistent and safe way to continue pressure after opening the opponent up.
Ryu now retains Denjin charge after light and medium Hadouken, so he can choose to expend it by using heavy or OD. This is bolstered by the fact that he can now end his MP>LK>HK target combo with a Denjin charge by holding 2P after.
He can also now use his level 1 super Shinku Hadouken even if there’s an EX hadouken on screen, so his midscreen neutral now has an extra threat for the opponent to consider, and his side of the fireball war is now much scarier.
As you play Ryu in Season 2, have confidence in your offense, as you will be rewarded for opening your opponent up with positioning, huge damage, or a Denjin charge to keep up the pressure next touch.


Aki was never really bad, Broski even used her to take 4 games off MenaRD at Redbull Kumite New York. But she was definitely not in the upper echelon of characters in Season 1. This might all have changed now.
According to Capcom’s reasoning in the notes, they felt Aki had to work disproportionately harder than the rest of the case to get her poison procs using Toxic Blossom. So despite her large damage potential, she often was out-damaged by the opponent.
To fix this, Capcom gave her key frame data changes to her normals to make her combo game much stronger. Her 5LK now combos into her Medium Serpent Lash, which might seem small, until you remember this gives her a crumple if the opponent has Toxic Blossom active.
In addition to her stronger combo game, she got overall safety buffs on her normals. Her 2MK is now plus 1 on block. Her 2MP got it’s recovery buffed to be more in line with the rest of the cast. Her anti airs are now much stronger, and her dive out of crawl simply doesn’t lose to projectiles, resulting in a damaging punish counter combo if the call out works.
Aki might have been the most buffed character this whole patch. Aki hasn’t fundamentally changed, she simply got much of her potential realized by Capcom. As Aki players, you’ll simply be better rewarded for opening the opponent up, and your pressure will be much scarier since you can easily reap the rewards of Toxic Blossom.


The last big winner of the Season 2 patch has got to be Zangief. The Red Cyclone wasn’t doing the best in SF6. There were definitely worse characters, but Zangief players felt like they were fighting an uphill battle against many of the roster.
Capcom wanted to lean into Zangief’s behemoth stature by giving his normals absolutely absurd Drive Gauge chip damage. They already hit hard, but now he can effectively force opponents to parry in order to avoid the chip, and you know what Zangief does to people partial to parrying.
If a bearhug isn’t enough to take down the opponent, Capcom gave Zangief way better combo potential by buffing his frame data and removing some pushback after a few key normals.
Playing Zangief in Season 2 will feel like bullying in some matchups. His Drive Gauge chip is just grotesque, so apply that pressure with his big normals so opponents start feeling the heat, putting themselves in danger of a SPD.