Alternate costumes are features included in the more recent installations of the Street Fighter series and other 3D fighting games. The costumes are usually included as downloadable content, and have no real effect on gameplay, as they are purely aesthetic additions. While some designs are purely for show, others may allude to themes or people related to the character wearing it.
Street Fighter Alpha series
Alternate costumes were technically introduced in the Street Fighter Alpha series with Chun-Li. In her appearances in the series, she wears a set of athletic gear from her younger days. In Street Fighter Alpha 2 (and X-Men vs. Street Fighter), players can choose between this costume and her Street Fighter II clothing. In Alpha 2, the input for her Kikoken will differ depending on the costume (her "normal" costume uses a half circle motion, and her "classic" outfit uses a charge motion). This technically makes Chun-Li the only character with a costume that affects gameplay.
In Street Fighter Alpha 3, she wears her costume from the previous Alpha games in A-ISM and V-ISM. In X-ISM, only her Street Fighter II costume is available, due to X-ISM replicating the gameplay from that game/series. Her moveset would also change slightly based on the costume (which is tied to the chosen ISM).
Street Fighter EX series
In the original Street Fighter EX, some characters' alternate colors also change their outfit. For example, in his alternate color, Doctrine Dark wears a different uniform, and a different mask that covers his entire face, Cracker Jack wears a formal vest and round sunglasses, Allen has a long sleeved fit shirt under his gi, and Kairi fights shirtless. However, this does not apply for every character and color.
In addition, Bloody Hokuto had a secret costume that could be selected in Street Fighter EX Plus α. It consisted of a white and red Miko outfit, and choosing it would also replace her fans with paper wands.
Street Fighter IV series
Characters in the Street Fighter IV series games have multiple alternate costumes to choose from. In the original Street Fighter IV, each character had one alternate costume available as DLC. Super Street Fighter IV added second and third sets of costumes for the returning characters, and two sets for the characters introduced in said version and the Arcade Edition.
Retail copies of Ultra Street Fighter IV include every previously released costume. The characters introduced in Ultra had two sets available at launch, one unlocked by having a Street Fighter X Tekken save file, and the other available by pre-ordering the game. The second set was also released as DLC. USFIV also has three new sets of costumes available for every character, each based on a specific theme, the "Summer Vacation", "Wild" and "Horror" sets.
In the crossover game, each character has two types of alternate costumes. One is the "Swap Costume" where each side's costumes are inspired by the other; alternate costumes for Street Fighter characters are based off Tekken, and vice versa. The other type is the regular "Alternate Costume", in which fighters don the costumes of characters from their own series, as well as some-all new outfits.
The five PS3 and PS Vita exclusive guest characters (Mega Man, Pac-Man, Cole, Toro and Kuro) do not have Swap Costumes or alternate costumes.
Street Fighter V series
In Street Fighter V, premium costumes are giving to certain characters at the cost of $4 dollars, with Story Costumes cost both 40k Fight Money or $2. There are a variety of costume themes with 2 types been giving to all characters. Some costumes are limited time and bundles are available for Battle Outfits and Swimsuit.
- Story (Unlocked by playing character story, available for all)
- Battle Outfits (Premium, available for all)
- Nostalgia (Premium, available for Poison, Chun-Li, Balrog, Blanka, E. Honda, Akuma, Lucia, Karin, Birdie, Sakura, Alex, Ibuki, Seth, Juri, Kolin, and Zeku)
- Swimsuit (Premium, available for Poison, Chun-Li, Cammy, Lucia, Karin, R. Mika, Sakura, Laura, Ibuki, Seth, Juri, Menat, and Falke)
- Professional (Premium, available for Chun-Li, Vega, Karin, R. Mika, Alex, Kolin, Menat, Falke, and Zeku)
- School Uniform (Premium, available for Ryu, Chun-Li, Juri, Nash, R. Mika, Ibuki, Cammy, Ed, and Menat)
- Sport (Premium, available for Rashid, Ibuki, Laura, Zangief, Karin, and Kolin)
- Halloween (Limited Time Premium, available for Alex, Ryu, Nash, Necalli, Cammy, Juri, Vega, Dhalsim, Birdie, F.A.N.G, and Urien)
- Holiday (Limited Time Premium, available for Zangief, Karin, R. Mika, Ken, Juri, Laura, Alex, Cammy, Menat, Kolin, Cody, Sakura, Blanka, and Falke)
- Capcom Pro Tour (Limited Time Premium, available for Ryu, Ken, Guile, Chun-Li, Cammy, Necalli, Sakura, Akuma, Birdie, Sagat, and Kage)
- Akiman Chun-Li Collection (Premium, 9 costumes for Chun-Li)
- Crossover (Unlocked by obtaining four pieces in Extra Battle Mode, available for Rashid, Chun-Li, Nash, Ken, R. Mika, Ibuki and Guile / Premium, available for Karin, Urien, Menat, Juri, Falke, and Ryu)
- Doll (Premium, available for Cammy)
- B-Boy/B-Girl (Premium, available for Ryu and Chun-Li)
- Red Bull Collaboration (Giving to those who attended Red Bull Ground in Japan, available for Ryu and Chun-Li)
- Genbu (Not for the public, available for Nash)
- Crimson (Not for the public, available for Chun-Li)
- Byakko (Not for the public, available for Akuma)
- NASR (Premium, available for Akuma, Rashid and Zeku)
- UYU (Premium, available for Akuma, Rashid and Seth)
All costumes except Default, Story and Battle Outfits have a Costume Code that removes pieces of the costume or opposite by performing the code. The code can be performed when loading the match and in between rounds:
- Hold down Light Punch, Medium Punch, Heavy Punch, Light Kick and Up.
All of Urien’s costumes have a unique Costume Code that removes all his clothing and leaves him with his iconic thongs, but also keeping a little bit of that costume (he keeps his shades in his Story Costume for example):
- Holding down Light Punch, Medium Kick and Heavy Punch.
- In Street Fighter V, Chun-Li has the most costumes of the entire cast (having a total of 17 costumes if not counting the Crimson, Genbu, Byakko and Red Bull Collaboration Costumes), this has become a trend on the internet where when new costumes are revealed but not for Chun-Li, the infamous quote "No costume for Chun-Li?" is used.