Best Characters in DNF Duel: Ranked Tier List (February 2023)

Is your favorite at the top?

by Franklin Bellone Borges

Among the fighting games developed by Arc System Works, the studio responsible for some of the genre’s most acclaimed franchises and titles, such as the Guilty Gear series and Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, DNF Duel can be considered a sleeping gem, as the game features a wide array of exclusive mechanics and a rost of unique playable characters, all paired with the studio’s already known quality in presentation and character design. But who are the best characters in the game? Now, as we all wait for the debut of the game’s newest playable character Spectre, here’s a tier list of all the characters currently playable in DNF Duel.

Best Characters in DNF Duel: Ranked Tier List

Before we begin, it’s important to point out that, as in fighting games, each character’s overall performance is directly related to each player’s strengths and unique playstyle, we decided to scale our DNF Duel tier list into S+, for characters able to shine no matter the matchup, S, for characters capable to excel when used in certain ways, and A, for characters capable of shining the most in select matchups, as well as under specific conditions. Last but not least, the B-tier features the characters who, although fully capable of changing the outcome of a match, can’t be considered as a favorable matchup against most of the current cast.

S+Tier Characters

  • Berserker: The game’s best offensive-focused unit, Berserker’s ability to reward an aggressive playstyle with an increase in damage makes him the perfect fit for those looking to go for the kill from the start. He also offers players the perfect combo of close and mid-range attacks.
  • Crusader: The game’s best defensive and reactive unit, as well as its ultimate Tank, even after being repeatedly patched. The Crusader shines through his ability to withstand punishment, all while being able to counter efficiently and control the field. He is also the character with the biggest native HP pool in the game.
  • Swift Master: The Swift Master excels thanks to his ability to easily mix up normals and skills, as well as to control throws and keep opponents on their toes thanks to the way he can absolutely demolish targets when locking them into the corners or the air. With that said, using him and mastering his playstyle in order to use it efficiently and accurately takes time and any mistake can be fatal given the fact that he has one of the game’s lowest HP percentages.
  • Ranger: As his name implies, although the Ranger is a powerhouse at any portion of the map, he truly shines through his ability to slip out of range and deal massive damage while quickly closing in from long/mid to close combat, making him a great pick for any scenario.
  • Troubleshooter: A character capable of facing every available opponent efficiently, the Troubleshooter is able to deal high amounts of damage at all stages of the match thanks to the use of his effective combos, buffs, and defensive-focused passives, all paired with his effective and overall set.

S-Tier Characters

  • Striker: One of the game’s most intuitive and rewarding characters, the Striker relies heavily on the use of her normal combos in order to deal damage. Overall, her biggest strength lies in her ability to mix up ground and air moves and leave opponents open for damage, as well as keeping them on their toes through the many ways in which she can initiate an onslaught of attacks.
  • Dragon Knight: A great character for first-timers, as well as for those capable of making full use of her skill set and thus looking to apply pressure to their opponents from the get-go.
  • Inquisitor: The Inquisitor shines through her ability to deal chip damage through Burning Wheel, control the field, and excel against all kinds of enemies thanks to the versatility of their overall set. She is also capable of effectively tanking or facing off against more aggressive opponents through the use of her Awakening and field control abilities.
  • Kunoichi: A character who excels through her exceptional mobility and has her ability to mix up skills as her biggest strength, Kunoichi is one of the game’s best and most adaptable characters. She is especially deadly in putting pressure and keeping opponents on their toes.

A-Tier Characters

  • Vanguard: A character capable of mixing up both close and mid-range attacks while also making use of his unique abilities to break through enemies and guarantee an opening for a great deal of damage. Struggles against characters capable of performing fast and ever-changing combos, such as Striker, as well as against those capable of constantly applying pressure.
  • Enchantress: Although she has the lowest HP pool in the game, the Enchantress can be a great pick against many enemies, as she excels in her ability to control the field and punish them at close intervals. Like the Dragon Knight, she needs to expend mana constantly in order to stay proactive, and that’s exactly where her biggest weakness lies.
  • Hitman: Capable of excelling in close and mid-range scenarios, as well as of performing great comebacks through the use of his Awakening. Not recommended when fighting characters capable of punishing from range, such as Ranger and the Enchantress.
  • Launcher: Capable of dealing massive damage through the use of her skills and while dealing with enemies in the air, The Launcher also has her ability to control the field as one of her biggest strengths. But that comes with a cost, as she is unable to make a true impact through ground-normal combos and struggles against opponents capable of reversing at low intervals.
  • Grappler: Although the Grappler is capable of dealing massive damage through the use of normal combos, his low movement speed makes him a tricky pick, especially when facing neutral or defensive characters capable of performing extended combos, such as Swift Master, or long-range powerhouses, such as the Ranger.
  • Ghostblade: Ghostblade has his ability to control the field as his biggest strength. His abilities also allow players to deal pointing ounces of damage, stop enemies in their tracks, and enhance their own damage, all through the use of his Ghost.

B-Tier Characters

  • Lost Warrior: Although a powerhouse damage-wise, thanks to his highly damaging skills and time-stop unique ability, the Lost Warrior suffers through the way most (if not all) of his truly game-changing abilities can be easily avoided through their low buildup speed as well as the fact that most of his damaging normals can be easily telegraphed by opponents.

You can play DNF Duel exclusively on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC, via Steam. The game will also be arriving on the Nintendo Switch on April 2023.

- This article was updated on February 1st, 2023