WWE 2K23 Reveals Universe Mode Details, Rivalry Additions, and More

After a week of reveals, it was finally time for 2K to pull the curtain back on its Universe mode, and longtime fans can look forward to some key additions. Universe mode allows you to take control of WWE in every way, but this year’s entry will look to increase your actual engagement with the storylines and rivalries you are creating. You can now assign rivalry actions through the use of momentum your superstar builds through the mode. That gives you more control over how the rivalry plays out from beginning to end. Want to attack someone before the match starts? Do you want your superstar to hit the other person with a chair or give them a handshake? Do you want to bide your time and attack after a match? Those are just a few options at your disposal.

For instance, the Mutual Aggression Action allows you to attack your opponent before the match with fierce punches, and because of the attack both of you will enter the match damaged. However, both of you can gain a surge of Momentum if you win. Other Actions include Post-Match Humiliating Attack, Provoked Attack, and Revenge Attack, which has your superstar pounce on the opponent as soon as they get in the ring. You don’t have to do any of that if you would rather just have a free moment, and all of these choices are made by you. That also means you have direct control over how many of the various cutscenes you see,

WWE 2K23 developer Alan Flores broke down a bit of how these additions give players so much more control over how their stories and rivalries progress in Universe mode, increasing the effectiveness of the sandbox feel the mode is known for.

“So in the past, Universe has always been this giant sandbox of things that you can create. The only way you can engage in the story and Rivalry system was basically to just, I’m going to create a Rivalry between two wrestlers and it’s going to play out the way that it plays out. So what we’ve done this year is we’ve given the players a lot more control,” Flores said.

“What happens is if you play your Universe and as your wrestler starts winning, he’s going to gain a Momentum resource. Then he can use that resource to go, I’m going to apply a Rivalry Action to this Rivalry. And then you can say like, I’m going to decide the way that this storyline plays out,” Flores said. “Do I want to have my wrestler hit the other wrestler with the chair before the match starts? Do I want my wrestler to give them a handshake? Do I them to attack him after a match?”

“We give that into the hands of the player now, so they can do that whenever they want by using the momentum system, or if they want to not engage with that, we can have a free moment,” Flores said. “They could just go, I’m going to put whatever Actions I want. I want to have my guys do all this crazy stuff before the match starts. So basically what happens is you, they’ll earn this momentum resource and then they can spend it at the end when they get to a PLE to end a Rivalry to go, I want my guy to shoot up in the rankings after he finishes this rivalry.”

“It’s so much more fun this time. It’s a lot more control, which was missing completely before when we had Universe. So now people used to complain about not being able to see all the cut scenes that we had in there. Now they could choose whatever cut scenes they want to see, and they could craft the storylines the way they’d want to craft one,” Flores said.

Are you excited for Universe mode in WWE 2K23? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things wrestling with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!