Street Fighter 6 – Zangief Character Breakdown

Every Street Fighter game that has come out in the last couple of decades always had a combination of legacy characters and a new generation. One warrior that has, more or less, been around is Zangief. The grizzled grizzly wrestler from Russia has always been a fan favorite. He is a particular fighter, excelling in grappling and pile-driving opponents in the dirt. His massive damage output can make him an opposing fighter. Especially when he is in the hands of a player that knows how to execute his moves efficiently. In this sixth entry, there are quite a few new moves under his belt.

Some players make the mistake of playing Zangief more as a brawler instead of a grappler. Even though he comes with his own amount of offensive attacks, they are made to be used secondarily. The main component of Zangief that players should master is his grappling and slamming moves. They are not the easiest input to get used to. It has been like this since the days of Street Fighter II. His move set can be a tad complex and it can take some practice getting used to. When it comes to seasoned Zangief players, this current version of him should feel pretty comfortable. However, there are some new and hidden mechanics to his move set that many can overlook if they don’t take the time to really see what he has to offer.

Of course, the new Drive System definitely spices things up a bit. It adds a little simplicity to the move list. In Street Fighter 6 Zangief is as powerful as ever. His Overdrive abilities will crush opponents with only a few moves. Of course, the tricky part is getting in close in order to pull this off. Which can get a bit hairy. Luckily, Zangief comes with a hearty vitality meter that helps him take all sorts of punishment. Also, he does come with some armor for his heavy attacks, which enables him to tear through another player’s attacks.

Zangief’s Power Moves

When it comes to Street Fighter 6, Zangief comes with a number of grapples and counters. Of course, some of these moves have a better reach than others. Thus, some of his power moves enable him to pass up projectiles. Even with his standard moves, Zangief can come with a high damage output. With the right timing, players can dominate their opponents with Zangief’s superb grappling skills. Especially, when the moves are enhanced by the Drive System.

Screw Piledriver

  • Hit forward and roll counter-clockwise to the back, then hit punch. Zangief will reach out and grab the opponent, spinning them high in the air before pile-driving them into the ground. This is best used as often as possible. There aren’t many combos that Zangief can pull off, but this one move can provide enough damage than any combo could.

Double Lariat

  • Just hit the two punch buttons simultaneously. Zangief will unleash a spinning clothesline move. This move can be especially useful for gaining ground and bypassing projectiles from Zoners like Guile or Dhalsim.

Russian Suplex

  • Roll one-hundred and eighty degrees back and hit kick. Zangief will grab his opponent and body slam them backward.

Borscht Dynamite

  • While in the air, roll clockwise in the direction you are facing and hit kick. This is a nice little air-counter move that will enable Zangief to grab his opponent and slam them straight down onto the ground.

Tundra Storm

  • Hit down, down, and kick. This is a technical move that will let Zangief counter kicks. He will grab their leg and spin them down onto the ground.

Siberian Express

  • Hit one hundred and eighty degrees backward and hit kick. Zangief will dash toward his opponent and slam them down. This move is a good alternative to get a hold of Zoners other than the Double Lariat move.

Zangief’s Super Arts Moves

Now, Zangief’s Super Arts  in Street Fighter 6 are generally very similar to his power moves. However, they tend to come in different layers, depending on where the opponent is placed in the arena. With the right input, players can place their opposition in corners, or the other side of the arena. Which, of course, puts Zangief in a tactical position to unfold some combos, if need be.

Cyclone Lariat

  • Roll one-fourth of a circle forward, twice. Then, hit punch. Zangief will basically execute a juiced-up version of the Double Lariat. He will really land a number of hard punches, which will knock the opponent back. When this happens, players can follow up with another grab, power move, or jump kick. Another way to use this move is to hold either left or right while the animation is unfolding. Zangief will grab the opponent and suplex them on the other side of the ring.

Bolshoi Storm Buster

  • Roll clockwise from the direction you are facing twice, then hit punch. A cinematic will start, showing Zangief mangling his foe with a super-spinning pile driver. This move is a nice way to finish off a small combo, or just a match in general.

Aerial Russian Slam

  • Roll one-quarter of a circle forward, twice. Then, hit kick. This is an anti-air move to where Zangief will grab his opponent from the air and bash them down onto the ground.


Zangief is certainly in top form in Street Fighter 6. He can be a complicated fighter to learn for the uninitiated. Seasoned players should have no problem jumping back into his boots, once again. The only real change to adapt to will be with the new Drive System. In any case, Zangief is another legacy fighter in the roster that has earned his keep in this franchise for the last three decades. Street Fighter 6 is now available for PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

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