Officially, Bandai Namco’s new mobile Tekken game is simply called “Tekken,” but since we don’t want to lump it in with the numbered titles console and arcade gamers are more familiar with, we shall refer to the game as Tekken Mobile. That said, this is the gaming giant’s attempt to bring the Tekken universe to mobile devices, and it allows you to collect different characters from this in-game universe, from the familiar ones (Paul, Kazuya, Xiaoyu, Nina, etc.), to the more obscure ones. Each character has their own unique fighting style, their own unique moves, and specific rarity tiers. And while this is a fighting game at heart, it also includes card-collecting game mechanics — you can build a deck of Waza cards, which allow you to unleash special moves against your opponents, and string better combos together apart from the ones you can normally launch. You can take part in the game’s story mode, or compete against your friends or other human players in Dojo Challenge mode.
We could go on with the features of this all-new mobile entry in a long-running video game franchise, but you’re probably here to learn how to play it. With the CCG mechanics and others in play, even veteran Tekken players may be in for a challenge or two. But we hope to walk you through these unexpected twists and turns, and tell you everything you need to know about winning more battles and unlocking more fighters. Read on, as we’ll be covering all that and then some in our Tekken Mobile ultimate guide.
1. The Basics Of The Game
For those who are used to playing Tekken games on PS, Xbox, or on arcade machines, the mechanics of Tekken Mobile may be a bit of a curveball. Indeed, it’s extremely easy to attack and defend in this game — tap on the right side at a normal pace for a simple attack, tap-and-hold on the right for a heavy attack, tap quickly on the right for a combo, tap-and-hold on the left side to block. There’s nothing to it, but the addition of Waza cards, which you can collect in the game as you build your own decks, is one wrinkle that underscores the fact that this is a title specifically designed for the mobile gamer.
Talking about the battle mechanics, the game will have you choose a team of three fighters, preferably of different elemental alignments, so as to ensure that you have an edge over the enemy, regardless of which fighter you’re fielding. Battles consist of three individual rounds, and it’s important to take note that your fighters do not immediately heal up completely after they’ve taken damage in a round. So if you’re planning to have your rarest, most powerful fighter compete in more than one round, you may want to check if they’ve still got enough health to justify using them more than once.
The game has an in-depth tutorial period, which you should use to familiarize yourself with the basic mechanics. But once you’re done, you should have no problem believing that this new entry in the Tekken franchise is as different from the console/arcade games as night and day.
2. Battle Basics – What To Do During Those Early Fights
As is the case in any fighting game, it’s the fighting mechanics that deserve the most attention in any strategy guide. So with that in mind, let’s look at a few things you can do early on to gain an advantage on your opponent when playing the game.
One of the more basic things we can advise you to do is to play the game with both hands. As tapping right and tapping left allow you to do different things, it goes without saying that it’s best to have your right hand ready to take care of the attack, and your left hand in place for defensive maneuvers, or to jump backwards to avoid damage. It pays to be quick with your right-hand taps, because that’s what’s going to allow you to string together some impressive combos that could take out a huge chunk of your opponent’s health. Heavy attacks can do the trick as well, though you have to remember that these are slower than the normal attacks.
Naturally, you shouldn’t ignore the defensive aspect of the game — that’s what your left hand is for. Opponents, especially if they’re AI-controlled, will act as quickly as possible to reduce your health with some combos and heavy attacks, and that means you’ll need to be alert when tapping-and-holding left to block those moves.
3. Team Rating Is Especially Important In Story Mode
If you want to progress quickly in story mode, you should always make sure that your team rating is at least equal to, or better yet, higher than a chapter’s recommended level. This allows you to have more room for error against tougher opponents, while, of course, having an easier time defeating them. Computing your team rating is easy — aside from the game showing you this information by tapping on any unlocked chapter, all you need to do is add up the ratings of all three fighters.
Now if your team rating isn’t up to snuff compared to what the game recommends, you can easily upgrade your characters, to make them more powerful and more competitive. Go to the Fighters tab, tap on any fighter of your choice, tap on Level Up, then level them up with any shards you may have collected corresponding to that fighter. This allows you to improve their Basic Attack, Waza Attack, HP Bonus, and other key stats, while also improving their overall power rating. And don’t forget the Skills menu, as you’ll also want to upgrade those fighter-specific skills!
4. The Elemental System
As this is a Tekken game optimized for mobile, it comes as no surprise that each fighter has a corresponding elemental alignment, and that the game itself has an elemental hierarchy much like RPGs do for heroes and enemies. The game will show you this information on the bottom part of the chapter information screen, but we’re going to break down the hierarchy nonetheless — Fire beats Earth, Earth beats Electricity, Electricity beats Water, Water beats Fire.
The chapter screen will also detail the type of fighters you will be facing in the battle — for example, you may be up against two Fire enemies and one Electricity enemy. That means you’ll need to have two characters whose elemental alignment is Water, as they will counter the Fire enemies, and one character under the Electricity element to counter the Water enemy. If worse comes to worst, and this would especially apply in the earlier parts of the game when you don’t have all elements represented on your roster of fighters, you can field a fighter who has the exact same element as the enemy fighter. You won’t have any advantage against your opponent (and neither would they, but at least that’s better than being at an elemental disadvantage.
Again, this is something you may not be used to if you’ve played Tekken titles on different platforms, but the elemental hierarchy is quite easy to remember, even if the game chose not to display it on the chapter screen.
5. How Do Waza Cards Work In General
As we mentioned above, Waza cards are an addition to the Tekken mobile game that emphasize its fundamental design as a game specifically for smartphones and other mobile devices. Playing a Waza card allows you to launch a special move or skill against an enemy fighter, and once you have enough of these cards (nine of them, to be specific), you’ll be able to build decks, which you can then choose from before heading out to battle.
The game allows you to collect Waza cards through the fighter fragments you collect after winning a level, or opening a chest, among other methods. As you’ll find out, these cards basically eliminate the need to pull off an elaborate button-pushing/directional sequence, like you normally would when playing on a console or arcade machine. Another important thing to remember is that Waza cards are unique to a specific fighter — you may want to focus on building decks for your preferred fighters, as you’ll always want to have the best possible team of three, regardless of your preferred game mode.
6. When Should You Use Your Waza Cards?
So you’ve already collected several Waza cards and probably built multiple decks as well. You may think that you’re all set, and that you’ve got an arsenal of special moves that could help you beat even the toughest enemy fighters. But building a powerful deck is only the tip of the iceberg. As you continue playing Tekken Mobile, you’ll know how and when to use these cards in a game-changing manner, and when we say game-changing, we mean playing the cards at the right time, for the right situation. Not all Waza cards will serve you well in any given situation, and the best way to know when to play your Waza cards is to practice — it could take a lot of trial and error, but it’s something you should figure out over time.
As for our advice on when to use Waza cards, we can offer some general tips. The first would be to take into account how long it would take for the move to be actually launched. That’s because some cards will allow you to execute moves instantly, while others may require you to wait a couple of seconds, thus leaving you potentially vulnerable to enemy attacks. If you notice that your opponent is on the attack and about to land a blow on you, parry that blow first before playing a card, especially if it takes a couple seconds to load up.
In addition, there are Waza cards that correspond to melee attacks, and others that allow you to launch ranged attacks. You don’t want to be performing a ranged attack up close, or to be hitting the air because you triggered a melee attack from afar.
7. Combine Your Basic Attacks With Waza Strike Cards
Another good way to use Waza cards is to use them in conjunction with basic attacks, allowing you to string another kind of combo beyond the ones you perform by tapping quickly on the right side of your screen. Interestingly enough, the best strategy to employ when doing this is to chain together an ordinary combo of your own, rapidly tapping right until your opponent is on the ground. Once your opponent gets up, he or she will still be vulnerable; surprise them by playing a red, orange, or green Waza strike card to attack them while they’re open. If your opponent has their guard up, you can follow up some basic attacks with a guard break Waza card (the blue ones).
8. Launching A Waza Rush
Aside from combining one Waza card with a regular combo or basic attack, you can also string together a combo with two Waza cards. This is what’s known as a Waza Rush, but there’s more to this than simply playing two of those cards willy-nilly.
First of all, you need to make sure you’ve got at least two Waza cards active. Once again, remember all the things we told you a couple of tips ago — cards could be melee or ranged, moves could launch instantly or take time to charge, etc. The latter is of particular importance, as you may have to wait a couple seconds and move back a bit if the first card is active and the second is still charging. Once the second card is charged, you can then tap on the first card, then the second card — that way, your character will launch the move that matches the first card, then follow up with the move on the second card.
When planning your Waza Rushes ahead of time, you’ll want to have a deck that has strike cards and guard break cards alike; this could come in handy when your opponent is in a defensive stance. Stringing a combo together with two strike cards will only waste your Waza Rush, so what you’ll need to do is to make a guard break card your first card, and a strike card the second.
As there are different types of strike cards, you can also play around a bit and experiment with different colored cards, or cards of the same color — you’re sure to spot a combo that will work better than others do, so don’t be afraid to keep on practicing and trying out new ways to string combos together for a Waza Rush!
9. Duplicate Fragments Equal Bonus Waza Cards
Revisiting what we touched on briefly in one the earlier tips in this guide, we should remind you that Waza cards can be obtained in a number of ways. For one, you can get new Waza cards if you get duplicate fighter fragments. For example, if you’ve already unlocked Paul Phoenix by collecting ten of his one-star fighter fragments, the 11th will be automatically converted into a Waza card. Now that’s one good consolation prize for collecting duplicate fragments for a fighter who’s already on your roster.
10. Some Basic Deck Building Tips
When it comes to building the perfect Tekken Mobile deck, there is no specific way to pull this off. One person’s perfect deck may be another person’s idea of a less than stellar one, as it will all depend on your preferred play style. But there are some general pointers to keep in mind, such as having a good number of Waza Cards that don’t take too long to charge up. When doing this, you’ll want to prioritize those cards that deal out a lot of damage, but don’t have much of a charge time. (This isn’t always easy, as the tradeoff for high damage usually comes in the form of long charge times.)
Building a solid Waza card deck isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but the process of building any kind of deck is easy. Go to the Fighters tab, tap on a fighter card, then tap on Waza Cards — you’ll find the latter option on the right side of your screen. Tap the plus sign next to any card you wish to add to your deck, but going back to the general tips we mentioned above, it’s a good idea to arrange your cards in such a way that your low charge time cards are on the top row, followed by those that take a while to load up.
11. Be Careful When Abandoning A Chapter
It happens to everyone, including the best of us. There may be times when you’ll end up selecting the wrong fighter, choosing someone who’s weaker than another character of the same element, or a character whom you’re not particularly familiar or comfortable with. But you have the option to abandon a chapter and redo your choices — just make sure you’re doing this in the early stages of a chapter! Abandoning a chapter after the first or second round will require you to start from the very top, and that could be quite the inconvenience, especially if you’ve pulled off a tough win or two in those rounds!
12. Log In To The Game For Daily Rewards
Just as you would expect from any high-profile mobile game release (or any kind of mobile game release), Tekken Mobile makes sure to reward dedicated players. By logging in at least once a day, even for about a minute or so to claim your rewards, you can win all sorts of freebies, including basic packs with common items, character shards for upgrades, battle tokens for special items in the in-game store, and fighter fragments. But if you’re lucky, your daily rewards could include one- or two-star characters (not just their fragments), premium packs for milestone logins later in the month, and epic packs for your 30th consecutive daily login. Premium packs contain rarer items and a chance at rarer fighters, while epic packs, as the name suggests, include characters, fragments, and items of three- to four-star rarity.
13. You Can, And Should Heal Your Fighters
We cannot understate how important it is to choose the right fighters, and to abandon a chapter while early if you realize you’ve made a mistake with your original choices. Once you begin the first round of a chapter, you will not be able to replace a fighter with someone else — all your three choices will be locked until the end of the chapter, unless you leave the chapter. You won’t be able to level them up on the fly either, and they won’t be able to regain lost hit points, as we mentioned in the very first tip. If Nina, for instance, ends the first round with 80 percent of her HP remaining, she’ll still have the same percentage of HP if you choose to use her again in the next round. Additionally, you’ll need to have a minor revive potion or better handy if one of your fighters gets knocked out; unfortunately, they’ll still be knocked out if you abandon a chapter or finish it. So what can you do to prevent this from happening?
If a fighter starts a round with 100 percent HP and gets knocked out, there’s really nothing you can do to prevent that. But if you’re planning to use a fighter twice or more in the same chapter, you’ll need to use those potions to heal them up before beginning the next round. Furthermore, you’ll need everyone’s health to be at a decent level or better so you can have a good chance of beating the chapter boss!
14. How To Unlock New Characters
Tekken Mobile is loaded with characters from the franchise’s many installments, from the classic characters even casual players are familiar with, to lesser-known, more obscure characters that only the hardcore players remember. Either way, you’ll need 10 fragments in order to unlock a fighter — fragments, mistake them not, are different from shards, as the former is used for unlocking new characters (or collecting Waza cards through duplicates), and the latter for leveling up existing ones.
Aside from beating chapters in story mode, you can beat human opponents in Dojo mode — defeating other live players will allow you to win chests, which include several possible rewards, fragments included. Specifically, you’ll want to prepare yourself for Attack mode — this is a sub-mode under Dojo where you can pick your three best fighters to take part in 3 vs. 3 combat against a human-controlled team.
Likewise, you can also take part in the game’s live events, which reward players with two-star fragments, or better yet, actual fighters via the game’s Daily Battle Character feature. You have the option to buy characters with real money, though we don’t recommend this unless you’re flush with cash and really, really want to unlock a favorite character.