WWE 2K19's Universe Mode is one of the most interesting ones in wrestling video games. The mode essentially lets you play the role of pro wrestling booker. That is, you're in charge of which matches go on the show card, who wins championships, and who becomes the face of your company.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed trying to put on the best wrestling shows you can? Don't worry. We have a few things you can do to make your Universe Mode experience more enjoyable.
Start out with one show at first
To be honest, WWE 2K19 throws way too much at you out of the starting gate. The game starts you out with three weekly shows to manage all at once, each with half a dozen matches between as many as 50 different superstars.
That's… a lot. If you're having problems keeping up and juggling all your talent, delete some shows. I find it helpful to start with just one flagship show. Not only will it be easier to remember all your storylines and booking plans, but it won't be as much of a drag to get to each monthly pay-per-view event and advance your storylines.
Don't have much more than 30 superstars per show
In the continued spirit of cutting back, try and keep your roster size manageable, too. Universe Mode seems to work best with around 30 superstars competing for 3-4 different championships.
An optimal roster tends to have 5-6 main event and World Championship competitors, 9-10 mid-card superstars to fight for something like the Intercontinental Championship, 6-7 women to compete for the Women's Championship, and four different tag teams competing for the Tag Team Champions. Alongside championship divisions, I like to keep 2-3 non-regular superstars in the rotation for flavor.
The goal here is to focus on key rivalries while you fill the rest of your show cards out with interesting matches for superstars who aren't squabbling with enemies or fighting for gold.
If you try to put 100 wrestlers on your show, well, things just feel far too inconsistent from one week to the next, and you're never going to be able to give all of them the shine they need. Feel free to play around with these values and find what's best for you.
Rotate superstars in and out on a regular basis to keep things fresh
Notice when I said I keep a rotation? It's a good idea to shake the roster up now and then to keep things fresh. Try out some new superstars you haven't used before or in a while. Bring in a legend or two to build a big WrestleMania main event. Find some new wrestlers in Community Creations to keep new faces coming and going.
As you get deeper into your Universe, you'll likely add more shows and you could eventually use the brand split feature to feature more superstars at the same time. Don't forget to do an annual roster shakeup!
Customize your match tables for more realistic or crazy booking
New to WWE 2K19, you can customize your show's match table to change which matches show up on your shows and how often they appear.
Want something more realistic? Crank the bar up on normal singles and tag team matches. If you're running a hardcore promotion, maybe make every match of the Extreme Rules variety. It's up to you!
Let the CPU do its own thing a bit
While a full hands-on approach to Universe Mode can be fun, it can be far more interesting to see how things play out in your Universe if you let the AI handle booking.
It doesn't hurt to let the CPU take care of setting the weekly events during lull periods where you don't have a specific rivalry you want to see. I've found that it helps bring to light interesting matchups and rivalries I might not have thought about on my own.
Stick to auto booking until you've finished your first PPV event
As a matter of fact, why not just let your entire first month of Universe be completely random? It'll help settle you in and get some initial rivalries going without the stress of having to plan everything out on your own. It'll also give you time to learn all the different systems at play.
Simulate matches to guarantee a winner
WWE 2K19 now allows you to choose the winner of matches you decide to simulate. While it may sound like a small feature, this is a life saver for those with more meticulous booking plans who don't want to manually play some of the matches. While we'd always prefer to watch every match unfold, this tool ensures nothing ever happens in your Universe that you didn't intend.
Watch or play all the rivalry matches
Look, we get it — not everyone has the time to go through entire match cards. Many of the matches in Universe Mode can be simulated with little consequence, but you'll at least want to watch or play all the matches which are directly tied to a rivalry, denoted by a "Rivalry" badge when looking at the match on the show card..
These matches will always trigger some sort of cutscene, run-in, promo, or beatdown to help move the rivalry forward. You'll have a much better time in Universe Mode telling your stories when you witness actual animosity between these matches.
Customize your shows and events to make them your own
It's easy enough to start up your WWE Universe and leave it exactly the way the game has it, but the whole point of the game is that it's your baby. Don't be afraid to change from the status quo.
Upload a custom show logo and make a custom arena. Create your own monthly themed PPV events. Make an all-women's brand, or something more akin to an independent promotion. Use different music, graphics, and championship titles. Use crazy custom superstars you've never used before. No matter what you decide to do, just remember that it's all about what you want.
Remember, it's YOUR universe
At the end of the day, just do whatever it is that tickles your fancy in this mode. Nothing is irreversible in WWE 2K19, so if you don't like the direction you're headed, it's easy enough to make a new Universe or shake up an existing one. You can have as many as three separate Universes running at the same time, so play around with it and see if you can produce the sorts of memorable wrestling shows we've come to know and love.
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