What We Know About Street Fighter 6's Balance Patch

Coming alongside Akuma’s update, SF6’s biggest patch to date is slated to drop the same day on May 22nd. In a video this week, Capcom also previewed many of the changes that were coming to the cast. It also showed us how a change to one of the games underutilized mechanics, Drive Reversal, is getting a change that could help some of the game’s weaker characters. So here’s what we know, so far, about the update.

What Systems Are Changing in Street Fighter 6’s Update?

One of the biggest changes is universal across all fighters. Drive Reversal, a mechanic that allows you to sacrifice white health to stop attack strings, is getting a major buff. Previously, you had to be standing and in block stun to use Drive Reversal. This severely limited your chances to use it, and if your opponent was quick enough, you'll have no chance to use it anyway. 

Well now, you’d be able to use Drive Reversal when getting up from a hard knockdown. This essentially gives every character an invincible reversal on wake-up. While this doesn’t help certain characters like Ryu or Guile, it’s a massive boon to fighters like Manon who notoriously has no reversals.

Who’s Getting Buffs?

Two of the biggest winners so far look like Ryu and Kimberly. With Ryu, his Denjin Hadouken was a cool addition in SF6, but it had some drawbacks. If you activated the charge, your next hadouken no matter what was buffed. Well now, Ryu can save that Denjin charge and throw normal fireballs even with denjin up. This gives Ryu much more flexibility and doesn’t alert his opponents to when the charged fireball is coming out. 

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Kimberly is also getting some buffs that give her some additional combo paths. She can now do her EX Izuna Drop directly from her heavy Vagabond Edge launcher. Previously that was impossible. On top of that, she can now combo her Level 2 super, Bushin Scramble, from an EX Tatsu. This also give her some extra sauce when it comes to combo potential. 

Many other characters are getting small buffs. Juri and Marisa now look like they can combo into supers from target combos. Guile’s Sonic Hurricane now hits off the wall and Rashid can go right into his level 3 from his slide. That’s just some of what we saw in the video which did confirm that every character would be getting some sort of adjustment.

Who’s Getting Nerfed in SF6 Season 2?

This is arguably the more difficult of the two. While we saw plenty of buffs in Capcom’s video we didn’t see much in the way of negative adjustments.But we know they are coming. According to Japanese gaming news outlet, Dengkei Online, E. Honda’s Flying Hedbutt is getting a big nerf. Instead of flying to the other side of the screen, if his opponent jumps over it, he’ll stop. This leaves Honda in a very vulnerable position and is a big loss for Honda players. Other than that, there’s not a lot we know about some of the other characters. 

When Is The new SF6 Patch Going Live?

Street Fighter 6’s big patch goes live on May 22nd with the Akuma patch. Upon release be sure to check back with Esports Illustrated for more information on the full patch notes and everything coming with the start of the next chapter for Street Fighter 6.

Trent Murray


Trent has covered esports since the birth of the LCS. He also led content strategy and served as Senior Writer for The Esports Observer and Sports Business Journal, and worked on the development team for Rushdown Revolt.