Tekken's Controls have two key sets of inputs:
- 8 directional inputs: up, down, left, right, and the four diagonals
- 4 attack inputs: left punch, right punch, left kick, and right kick
Left and right are almost never referred to directly. Instead, forward and backward are used, since for the player on the left side (Player 1), right is forward, and vice versa for the other player.
In addition to the 8 directional inputs, holding none of them is referred to as neutral, and could be considered a 9th directional input.
If player inputs opposite cardinal directions at the same time, they will cancel each other out and game will adjust the input as neither of those directional inputs were pressed::
- Pressing and holding forward will move you forward slowly.
- Pressing and holding backward will move you backward slowly and force guard.
- Pressing and holding down will move you to crouch.
- Pressing and holding up will do a jump.
- Tapping up and forward together will do a short hop forward.
- Tapping forward twice will do a forward dash.
- If you are far enough away and hold forward, or if you tap forward a third time, this will turn into a run.
- Tapping backward twice will do a backdash.
- Tapping up will do a sidestep into the background.
- Tapping down will do a sidestep into the foreground.
- Tapping up once, then pressing and holding it will do a sidewalk into the background.
- Tapping down once, then pressing and holding it will do a sidewalk into the foreground.
Tekken allows you to bind extra buttons to a combination of attack inputs. This is useful to avoid pressing one button before another when you intend to press both at the same time.
Binds cannot be made to a combination of 3 attack inputs. Such combinations are only used for taunts, which don't do anything (with the very notable exception of Bryan's taunt), and in chain throws, which can make use of button buffering.
You can bind a button to your Rage Art. For some stances, this button won't work even when the Rage Art can usually be done from that stance. For other stances, it will work despite the Rage Art not being possible to do otherwise.
You can bind a button to Assists. If you do, holding it and pressing one of the attack buttons will perform a specific move. If Basic Combos is also turned on, then holding the Assist button and mashing an attack button will do a basic combo.
In-game binds were first introduced in Tekken 3 and have been tournament legal since around 2005.
Input devices fall into 3 general categories: keyboard (or hitbox), pad (e.g., DualShock 4), and stick. For all of these, the attack inputs are handled by push buttons. The difference is how they handle directional inputs.
- On keyboard, directional inputs are handled by push buttons.
- On pad, directional inputs are handled by either the d-pad or the analog stick.
- Using the d-pad is more typical, hence the name.
- On stick, directional inputs are handled by a digital joystick.
Keyboards are not recognized on the PS4 version of Tekken 7.
- This is often called "simultaneous opposite cardinal direction" (SOCD) cleaning.