Street Fighter 6 has been out for a little over a month, and surprisingly Capcom has already seen fit to drop its first major content addition for the game in an update led by returning fighter Rashid.
Considered the protagonist of SF5, where he was on a solemn mission to avenge a murdered friend, Rashid is living a lighter life in SF6. An infuriating live streamer who parkours and flips around endlessly for views, it's both great to have him back and see this character in a different place than in the previous game – and a growing roster is also a good thing.
But this update doesn't stop there – and it's a great proof of concept for how SF6's DLC setup isn't just for those entrenched in ranked matches and the online battle hub; it's for all three prongs of the game, including those who adored its single-player.
You see, Rashid isn't just a new playable character for offline and online multiplayer battles – he's also an additional Master character in SF6's World Tour mode. Once you own him, a new side quest pops up in Nayshall, the open zone area that unlocks in the second half of SF6's story. Complete that side quest to meet Rashid, who functions like all of the other main characters in the game.
That means Rashid can become a 'master' to the protagonist. Your created avatar can adopt his fighting style, learn his moves, and befriend him. As your relationship advances, Rashid dishes out a couple of side quests that'll take you to various locations around the world. There's voice-acted cutscenes and some comic book interludes along the way.
It's all lovely, but what I'm actually more impressed by is what else joined the game alongside Rashid. Capcom is clearly aware that a lot of players will have already finished World Tour by now – and so new content is required to make leveling up Rashid's style worthwhile. Their solution is simple, but a perfect fit for Street Fighter: tournaments.
The two main zones in Street Fighter 6's World Tour both feature stadiums – and so both Metro City and Nayshall are ready and raring to go, hosting fighting tournaments for players to participate in. There are daily tournaments, limited to participation once a real-world day and with stronger rewards, plus unlimited 'normal' tournaments you can grind as often as you like. These are honestly rather brilliant.
In Metro City, each tournament has all the trappings of a proper competition – round-based structure, brackets, and even commentators. Prizes are available for winning or placing in the top four. These are end-game challenges, with character levels for these tournaments starting in the sixties. The rewards are clearly geared towards helping players with an end-game grind, unlocking abilities and creating characters for online Battle Hub Avatar matches.
Over in Nayshall, the Tournament takes a different, pre-set format, where you'll need to fight through a pre-defined set of opponents in any order you like, and in the World Tour format – so with huge health bars, two or three-on-one fights, and so on. Each round of this completed gives the player a key which unlocks a mysterious door beneath the arena; each unlocked room containing oodles of useful end-game items. What's surprising is that this new side quest line actually introduces some minor new areas to the world, too. Quietly, and without much fanfare.
Each of the tournaments is also home to familiar faces. This is the part I particularly love. Characters from World Tour show up here as competitors - giving you a chance to face off against the likes of Li-Fen or Final Fight's Thrasher Damnd again, but at a higher level. For the unfamiliar, these World Tour NPCs always have the basis of their moves in existing SF6 characters - but they're all augmented with a few unique characteristics all their own.
Rashid even brings one such character with him. Azam, his manservant, appears in Rashid's missions as an NPC foe. Azam uses Rashid's move set, as you'd expect – but as a bigger fella, he also has a unique and absolutely sick-looking wind-powered command grab that sort of makes me wish he was a playable character.
Mega fans of Street Fighter and its extended universe may even find a surprise or two tucked away in these tournaments. Word is fans will find a character wearing a pink gi who rolls, taunts, and fires off weaker fireballs. Though this isn't actually the infamous Dan, it's clear one of his apprentices is running around World Tour mode – which is pretty rad.
It's amazing what a small difference a couple of unique moves can add to even otherwise random no-name marks – and the DLC seems to be leaning into that with content that serves to both enhance the big-name character additions and further flesh out Street Fighter 6's world.
If you're a competitive type, you've got a new character to toy with, bringing all the glorious chaos to the meta that such additions do. If you like the single-player, avatar matches, and other casual stuff, there's plenty for you here, too. In this, SF6 does well to relatively decently justify only offering four characters this year where SF5 typically added six per year, too.
It's so close to perfect... and yet Capcom trips at the finish line, in the pricing. To buy Rashid costs 350 Fighter coins (around $7). However, the smallest volume of Fighter Coins you can buy is $10 – theoretically leaving players $3 out of pocket.
Yes, you can earn fight coins for free in other ways. Yes, you can buy the season pass and just get Rashid by default – but that's not the point. A brilliant addition is undermined by the sort of cynical nickel-and-diming usually reserved for the most scummy mobile games, and that's a shame.
On every other front Rashid is a big win, though – and I can't wait for the other three characters over the course of the year. Hopefully Capcom does something about those Fight Coin bundles before newcomer AKI arrives in the Autumn.