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Tekken 6 uses the basic control format used by all previous Tekken games. The four buttons represent each of the four limbs of the character you are controlling. Steve Fox, who uses a traditional boxing style of fighting, doesn't have basic kicks, and instead uses quick side-steps when Arcade-Button-Kick.png is pressed.

Dodging left and right into the foreground or background is performed with all characters by pressing Arcade-Stick-Up.png or Arcade-Stick-Down.png. Running forward is done by pushing Arcade-Stick-Right.png twice and holding Arcade-Stick-Right.png.

Basic throws can be performed with both left buttons or both right buttons. There are many more specialty throws that depend on different stance relationships and the characters being used. There are around one hundred different moves and combinations for each fighter based on different variations of button and joystick presses. Quicker attacks have priority over slower attacks, and counter attacks have damage priority over attacks that do not counter (interrupt the opponents attack animation).

Blocking high or medium range attacks is done automatically as long as you are not attempting to move forward or attempting an attack of your own. Blocking low attacks must be done by holding Arcade-Stick-Down.png. While holding Arcade-Stick-Down.png, you will duck high attacks and block lows – but medium range attacks will hit you. Many characters use combinations which hit at all three attack levels making consistent defense quite challenging.

Once knocked down, you can still be attacked by your opponent until you regain your footing and properly defend yourself. To get back up on your feet there are several options including rolling back, standing straight up, rolling to either side, and getting up with a variety of attacks as you rise.