Street Fighter 5 Zangief Guide – How to Play, Combos, Tips to Play Against and Counter

Street Fighter 5 Zangief guide with tips and strategies to play Zangief, play against Zangief and counter Zangief in competitive games.

Zangief AKA the Red Cyclone is a Russian national hero who first appeared in Street Fighter II. Bringing a mix of Russian and American pro-wrestling style, Zangief is a direct rival to R. Mika in Street Fighter V.

For more help on Street Fighter 5 Combos List, read our Vega Character Guide, Necalli Character Guide, and R. Mika Character Guide.

Street Fighter 5 Zangief Guide

This guide details tips on playing as and against Zangief along with some basic combos and juggles listed to help you out!

How to Play as Zangief

Zangief is capable of absorbing a lot of damage which is your cue to take risks while you are advancing towards your opponent.

This character in Street Fighter V not only has additional health, but his V-Trigger allows him to take these risks to a higher level. By receiving more damage, you will gain access to his Cyclone Lariat V-Trigger much sooner.

With that being said, although you will have less health than you opponent, but if you manage to corner him or her with a full V-Gauge at your disposal; you will have absolutely no difficulty in pinning your opponents down and taking the round for yourself!

How to Play against Zangief

One of the most devastating tools at Zangief’s disposal is Screw Pile Driver with insane damage output and range. However, do note that it has 5 startup frames and you can counter-hit is with relative ease.

Some other attacks which Zangief players usually go with include Double Lariat and Borscht Dynamite which you can force them to whiff and punish them accordingly.

As soon as you see Zangief with his Cyclone Lariat; move away from the suction zone as soon as possible! This thing not only provides Zangief with insane mix-up potential, but also insane damage output.

At this moment, you need to stay clear of the suction zone and do not let the Red Cyclone corner you otherwise it is a lost round for you!

When it comes to ideal match-ups, characters such as Dhalsim, Rashid, Chun-Li, and F.A.N.G. can easily make Zangief’s life a living Hell.

Rashid with his insane mobility and Chun-Li with her far-reaching pokes are my personal favorites.


Combo #1
Cr. + MP, XX…


  • LK, XX, Follow-Up Punches
  • Critical Art

Combo #2
f + HP, XX…


  • Critical Art
  • LK, XX, Follow-Up Punches
  • Cr. + MP, XX, Critical Art

Combo #3
Counter Hit with HK, XX…


  • HK, UF, Critical Art
  • HK, HP
  • HK, f + HP

Combo #4
Counter Hit with HP, XX…


  • HP, HCF + LP
  • HP, HCF + HP
  • HP, XX, Critical Art

Do not forget to share your own tips and strategies with us in the comments section below!

Haider is a freelance contributor, who loves video games, playing guitar, and aviation. He is a competitive FPS player and also enjoys exotic RPG games like Diablo and Xenogears (his favorite game of all time) ...