Tekken 8 Special Style will not be programmable, says Katsuhiro Harada

Tekken 8 is introducing a new control scheme called the Special Style, and Harada explained why it won't be programmable.

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Tekken 8 is introducing a new control scheme called the Special Style, and for fans wondering if it will be programmable, the director himself confirmed had a definitive answer.

Earlier this month, we got to try out Tekken 8 in a media preview event where we and other members of the Southeast Asian gaming press were able to ask questions to Tekken series director Katsuhiro Harada.

During our time with the game, we learned about and got to try the Special Style. This new control scheme essentially sets the face buttons to a recommended move and combo for each character with the press of the L1 button (on the DualSense). Basically, this feature gives players instant access to some powerful moves and combos from the get-go, making it a good way to ease new players into the game (we go into more detail about this Special Style here).

As this Special Style essentially gives players shortcuts to various moves, some fans may wonder if the game will let players tweak what moves can be set on the palette. That’s exactly what was asked by members of the press during our roundtable discussion with Harada.

Harada had a definitive answer, and that is no, the Tekken 8 Special Style will not be programmable. Harada explains why here:

Although it sounds like an interesting idea in theory, there are several problems with doing that. Currently, we’re thinking that this Special Style can be used in a variety of different modes, but if you’re able to program what moves are in the palette, then it’s pretty much the same as those controllers that you could program, and those are all banned in esports tournaments for a reason. Having that on the software side, to be able to program the moves, is probably not a very good idea, so there are no plans currently for that.

This explanation makes sense as a programmable menu like this essentially gives players a sort of cheat for high-level play. After all, pulling off a powerful move should take a lot of skill, and having players choose which moves they want to have at their fingertips isn’t in the spirit of the game.

Of course, having access to even just some moves and combos with the Special Style is already quite strong. But what does make it balanced is the fact that everyone has access to it and that the move/combo presets can’t be changed.

Still, with a feature like this in the game, it’ll be interesting to see if Harada and the developers decide on having it available for all modes. After all, Harada’s mentioned that they’re exploring how the Special Style can be sued in various game modes. So, we might just see it being used in competitive matches.

Tekken 8 will be released on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC, though there’s no word yet on a release date for the game.