How to Unlock Characters in Streets of Rage 4

This guide tells you how to unlock characters in Streets of Rage 4 (including retro ones), and how to get high scores faster.

If you're wondering how to unlock characters in Streets of Rage 4, then you've come to the right place. Unlike some other games that make you jump through hoops to unlock their hidden rosters, Streets of Rage 4 simply requires you to play through the game. You don't have to find any secrets or beat any of the game's retro levels. 

Below, we'll look at what characters you unlock when, and how to score the most points on each stage. 

How to Unlock Characters in Streets of Rage 4

Character Unlock Levels in Streets of Rage 4

Character unlocks are tied to your lifetime score. After you beat a level in story mode, boss rush, or arcade mode, for example, you will see a progress bar appear on the screen. The nodes on the progress bar represent character unlocks. 

The unlock nodes aren't exactly at regular point intervals, though. Some unlock after 300,000 points, while others become available after 730,000 points. One thing's for sure, though: you're going to need around 1 million points across your lifetime score to unlock the game's full roster.

I've accumulated 725,917 lifetime points after beating the game three and a half times. Depending on how well you play, you might have more points or fewer. 

Here's the order in which you will unlock characters in Streets of Rage 4

  1. SoR1 Axel
  2. SoR1 Adam
  3. SoR1 Blaze
  4. SoR2 Axel
  5. SoR2 Blaze
  6. SoR2 Max + Skate
  7. SoR3 Axel
  8. SoR3 Blaze
  9. SoR3 Eddie
  10. SoR3 Dr. Zan
  11. SoR3 Shiva

You unlock SoR4 Adam Hunter after beating Chapter 4 in the game's story mode. You can do this with any character, including Axel, Blaze, Cherry, and Floyd. 

Eight Streets of Rage 4 trophies and achievements are tied to beating the game: four with SoR4 characters and four with retro characters. 

How to Get More Points in Streets of Rage 4

The total points you get after completing a stage varies based on several factors: 

  • Stage Score
  • Time Bonus
  • Health Bonus
  • Star Bonus
  • First-Clear
  • Stage-Rank
    • New-Rank

Stage Score

This is the score you get while playing the level. It can be seen above your life bar. In-level score is increased by defeating enemies, getting high combos, picking up money bags and suitcases, picking up stars, and picking up food. 

To get higher combos, make use of back attacks, throws, weapons, and environmental objects such as cars, newsstands, barrels, and chairs. Don't always go into a full combo, either. Certain enemies can be staggered by a single hit (love-tap) over and over again, giving you time to line up other enemies or objects or to set up invincibility-frame attacks.  

By the same token, you can use environmental objects to keep combos going between enemy spawns, and you can throw weapons to elongate combos if enemies are out of reach. 

Always pick up food, even if you don't need it; it adds to your score, whether it adds to your life bar or not. 

Completion Time

The faster you complete a stage, the more points you'll get. In the hierarchy of points, you'll often get far more the faster you beat a stage than you would preserving your health and star bonuses. 

Health Bonus

The more lives you have when you finish a level, the more points you'll receive at the end of the level. Try to not only stay alive as much as possible but also to gather in-level points to get extra lives for the highest scores. 

Star Bonus

Star Moves are big special moves that can get you out of sticky situations. You start each level with one, which is denoted by a star underneath your health bar. As you play through levels, you come across more stars for more Star Moves. 

However, the more stars you have left at the end of a level, the more points you'll get. If you're trying to unlock characters fast, try to use Star Moves as little as possible.  

First-Clear Score

This is the score you get for beating a level with a new character, which includes starting characters and each secret character. You only get this score once per level for each character. 

Stage-Rank/New-Rank Score

Stage-Rank Score is the score you get for achieving any rank on a level. New-Rank Score is the score you get for achieving a new rank on any level. You will get more points for changing D-Rank to S-Rank than D-Rank to C-Rank, for example, but getting better ranks is always a good thing. 

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That's all you need to know about how to unlock characters in Streets of Rage 4. There aren't too many secrets to doing it quickly, but hopefully, these tips and tricks will help you unlock the game's retro characters as fast as possible. For more on SoR4, be sure to check out our retro levels guide, as well as our official review

Editor in Chief

Published May. 4th 2020

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