In almost every game in The King of Fighters series, characters are grouped in teams. Each team consists of three characters (or four on a few occasions).
There are instances where a character doesn't belong to a team, and are considered "Single Entries". There are also "Special Edit Teams", unique combinations of characters that have a special ending picture if the player chooses them together.
List of Teams
Below is a list of recurring teams in the KOF series:
Classic Teams (formed during the Orochi Saga)
- Japan Team: the first "Hero Team" in the series and the protagonists of the Orochi Saga. It is usually formed by Kyo Kusanagi, Benimaru Nikaido and Goro Daimon, though Shingo Yabuki has also been a member in some entries. Moe Habana and Reiji Oogami also join this team in the EX games.
- Fatal Fury Team: consists of characters from the Fatal Fury series, mainly the three protagonists, Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard and Joe Higashi. Other characters from the series, such as Mai Shiranui, Blue Mary, Tizoc, Kim Kaphwan and Duck King have also participated in this team. Though the members tend to differ, Terry is always the lead character.
- Art of Fighting Team: includes characters from the Art of Fighting series, mainly Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia, with the third member being either Yuri Sakazaki or Takuma Sakazaki. King has also joined the team, and with the exception of her, every member practices Kyokugenryu Karate.
- Ikari Warriors Team: formed by the lead characters from the Ikari Warriors games, Ralf Jones and Clark Still, alongside their commander Heidern, and the female soldiers Leona and Whip.
- Psycho Soldier Team: formed by the lead characters from the arcade game Psycho Soldier, Athena Asamiya and Sie Kensou, alongside their master Chin Gentsai, as well as other characters with psychic powers, such as Bao and Momoko.
- Women Fighters Team: formed by a variety of female characters. This team has changed the most over the years, though its original members were King, Mai and Yuri. Other members include Kasumi Todoh, Chizuru Kagura, Blue Mary, Li Xiangfei, Hinako Shijou and Alice.
- Kim Team (A.K.A. Korea Justice Team): formed by Kim Kaphwan, with the other members being either criminals he's trying to reform (usually Chang Koehan and Choi Bounge, and also Raiden & Hwa Jai) or fellow Taekwondo practitioners (such as Jhun Hoon, May Lee Jinju, Gang-il and Luong).
- American Sports Team: formed by American characters who practice sports, Heavy-D!, Lucky Glauber and Brian Battler. They appear in The King of Fighters '94 and have only reappeared once in The King of Fighters '98 (a Dream Match game which also includes its Ultimate Match version as well). Despite various cameo appearances, they have never been heard from nor seen again in the main storyline due to a running gag of their tournament invitations getting stolen by other characters.
- Rivals Team: a team formed by Iori Yagami, Eiji Kisaragi and Billy Kane in The King of Fighters '95, they act as rivals to the Japan Team (Iori), Fatal Fury Team (Billy) and Art of Fighting Team (Eiji). In KOF XI, the team reappears with a new formation: Elisabeth Blanctorche, Duo Lon and Benimaru, and, in KOF XIII, Shen Woo replaces Benimaru.
- Yagami Team: many of Iori's teams have been referred to as the "Yagami Team", with his most common partners being Mature and Vice. He has also teamed up with the Agents Team in 2001, and with Jun Kagami and Miu Kurosaki in the EX games.
- Bosses Team: this team consists of Geese Howard, Wolfgang Krauser and Mr. Big, all of which served as boss characters in previous Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting games.
- Outlaw Team (A.K.A '97 Special Team): a team formed by Ryuji Yamazaki, Blue Mary and Billy Kane at the behest of and through the machinations of Geese. This team is unique in that its members were chosen in a KOF fan contest via three Japanese gaming magazines (Famitsu, Gamest and Neo Geo Freak, respectively). It reappears in 2003, with Gato replacing Mary.
- New Faces Team: a team formed by Yashiro Nanakase, Shermie and Chris, they're the main antagonists of The King of Fighters '97, and have reappeared in Dream Match games.
- Orochi Team: the New Faces Team in their transformed and real states; Orochi Yashiro, Orochi Shermie and Orochi Chris.
- Sacred Treasures Team: Kyo, Iori and Chizuru, the three descendants of the clans that imprisoned Orochi. Commonly appears as an Edit Team and their endings are usually the canon ones. In The King of Fighters R-1, they are an official team.
NESTS Chronicles New Teams
- K' Team: The Hero Team of the NESTS CHRONICLES saga, it's led by K' with Maxima (as his partner), other members include Benimaru, Shingo Yabuki, Ramon, Vanessa, Whip, Lin and Kula Diamond.
- Benimaru Team: a team led by Benimaru and composed by Shingo, Lin and Seth, it appears in The King of Fighters 2000.
- Zero Team: led by the original Zero in 2001, it is unique in that Zero is the only one that fights directly, with the other three members (Krizalid, Ron and Glaugan) being strikers.
Tales of Ash New Teams
- Ash Team: The "Hero Team" of the Tales of Ash saga, it's led by Ash Crimson, and his teammates include Duo Lon, Shen Woo and Oswald.
- High School Girls Team: a team formed by Athena, Hinako and Malin in 2003.
- Mark of the Wolves Team: formed by B. Jenet, Tizoc and Gato, all of whom originated from the game Garou: Mark of the Wolves.
- Anti-Kyokugenryu Team: opposing the Art of Fighting Team in XI, its members are Eiji, Kasumi and Malin.
- Kusanagi-Yagami Team: a team formed by Kyo, Iori and Shingo in XI.
KOF XIV New Teams
- China Team: formed by Tung Fu Rue and his newest apprentices, Shun'ei and Meitenkun.
- South Town Team: led by Geese, and his subordinates, Billy and Hein.
- Villains Team: formed by three escaped convicts; Xanadu, Chang and Choi.
- Mexico Team: a team formed by Ramon, Angel and King of Dinosaurs, all of which are fighters hailing from Mexico.
- South America Team: formed by Nelson, Zarina and Bandeiras Hattori (all borned or raised on Brazil);
Dream Match Teams
- Masters Team: a team formed by master/mentor type characters; Heidern, Takuma and either Saisyu Kusanagi (98 and UM version) or Chin (2002 UM). It only appears in Dream Match games.
- Dream Team: a team consisting of Saisyu, Kula and Shingo, only appearing in The King of Fighters Neowave.
- Edit Team: Eiji, Kasumi and Shingo are grouped together in '98 UM, despite not having a special ending picture.
- Pretty Girls Fighters Team: formed by Xiangfei, Hinako and May Lee, appears in 2002 UM.
- Asian Triple Alliance Team: formed by Jhun, Lin and Shingo, appears in 2002 UM.
- South Town Team: Terry, Ryo and Kim, appears in R-1. In R-2, Mai replaces Kim in this team. Unrelated to the team of the same name in XIV.
- 'Heroine Team':Athena, Mai and Yuri, appears in R-1.
- 'Kusanagi Team': Kyo, Saisyu and Shingo; a team formed by practitioners of the ancient Kusanagi style. Appears in The King of Fighters R-2.
- Super Babe Team: Athena, Yuri and Kasumi, appears in R-2.