Among the lengthy laundry list of things that Street Fighter 6 excels at, one of the most impressive has to be the sense of community and scale around the game’s online component. The MMO-style Battle Hub environment does a brilliant job of fostering arcade-like community over the internet – but did you know that the adventures can also continue, to some degree, on your browser?
Woefully under-advertised but nevertheless there and waiting for SF6 players is the Buckler’s Boot Camp, a subsection of the game’s official website that basically exists to give you a window into Battle Hub and the CFN (the Capcom Fighters Network) from outside the game. And the website is actually quietly brilliant.
At a basic level, this website would be fully functional if it were just a news feed advertising battle passes, DLC characters, server maintenance, and other news about the game. But the Buckler’s Boot Camp is actually quite a bit more than that – and it speaks to the level of care and attention Capcom has put into all aspects of Street Fighter 6.
So, yes, you can check your CFN Activities feed and play data. You can see your ranking (Platinum 5 Rank Cammy here, reporting in), plus see which players in your region and skill bracket are on hot streaks online right now. Data for any clubs you’ve joined is also available, and likewise your friends list. You can also undertake clerical CFN work here – adding friends, joining clubs, and so on. Anything you do on the website is reflected back in-game, which is useful.
This is all fine… but also, the Buckler Boot Came is also so much more than that. Some of it is handy. Like ‘Member Cards’ you can export which shows your rank, mains, and various other facts about you (handy for posting on social media). The lore-engaged can immerse themselves in Udon Comics’ Street Fighter 6 prelude comic, offered up as a digital freebie. Then there’s just lovely, weird stuff.
For instance there’s Pockest – a Street Fighting Tamagotchi in all but name, playable directly on the website. Here you nurture a little fighting monster, which evolves, eats, poops, and needs you to look after it like it’s dangling from your backpack in 1998. This encourages you to come back to the website to check in regularly, and is a neat little side distraction in its own right.
When you do return to the website, you might occasionally get a nice little surprise. If you’ve been playing SF6 as a specific character, for instance, they might drop you a message through the app – a little text message from Cammy, or Ken, or whoever else. These offer little tiny lore drops, but are also just meant to anchor you, to connect you to SF6’s never-ending journey for strength under the tutelage of master fighters.
All of this is entirely superfluous, obviously. You don’t need to engage with it. Your enjoyment of Street Fighter 6, or access to its content, is not remotely connected to your willingness to text message with Chun-Li, or clean up the little shites of a weird digital pet. But if you want it… it’s all there.
It’s a sign of a Capcom going above and beyond – building not just a great game, but a great platform. A great community space to hang out. A great thing to belong to. These are the things that set Street Fighter 6 apart, and it’s why it’s undoubtedly one of the best games of the year.