With the release of WWE 2K16 just four days away, just about all aspects of the game have already been revealed and covered, except for the fan-favorite WWE Universe, the game mode that allows players to create and manage their own federation and shows. That's where we come in, breaking down everything that you need to know about this year's Universe Mode, with an in-depth look on what's new, what's changed and what's gone.

No more Rosters / Brands, now it's only about Shows

In all the previous iterations of WWE Universe Mode, including WWE 2K15, assigning superstars to a show first required you to assign them to a Roster/Brand, and then to set that Roster to partecipate in a show or multiple shows.

In WWE 2K16, the concept of Rosters/Brands is gone. But it's a good thing, as now partecipation to shows is superstar-based, meaning that you can individually affiliate each Superstar to a single or multiple shows, with each show being tied to a day of the week. This gives you more control and flexibility, for example allowing you to set specific superstars to only appear on SmackDown while still having the option to make others also appear on Raw, or to set certain main-roster superstars to be able to appear on NXT like Zack Ryder and others do sometimes.

In addition, you can also individually decide whether or not you want a superstar to make appearances on Minor Shows, allowing you to avoid matches between top stars to happen on Main Event for example.

The downside of this change might be that you can no longer "park" the characters that you don't want to use into a "Legends" or a "Free Agent" brand - but don't worry, you can simply not assign any show to a character to render them inactive - and also, obviously, no more Rosters means the "Universe Draft" feature is gone.

But with the Brand Split becoming non-existent in WWE in the past years and with superstars appearences on shows being much more flexible, lifting the Roster restrictions makes complete sense and gives you more customization also when it comes to custom federations and shows, for example allowing you to have someone like AJ Styles appear in both ROH and NJPW, if you were to create those companies shows.

Full Show Customization

And speaking of custom shows... In WWE 2K16 you can take advantage of the newly-reintroduced Create-An-Arena and Create-A-Championship modes, as well as the brand new Create-A-Show feature, to fully customize the whole appearance of your shows.

In addition to choosing a Show Name, selecting or importing your own Show Logo, setting all the Championships, the partecipating Superstars and deciding the number of matches of the show, you will infact also be able to design and personalize the following elements:

  • Arena
  • Match-up Screen
  • Nameplate & Locator
  • Transition Design
  • Replay Screen Design

Last but not least, also new to WWE 2K16 is the option to select Locations for your shows. You have the freedom to set your show to only be held at a fixed location, for example setting NXT to always be in Orlando and ECW in Philadelphia, or to decide the specific city for each Pay Per View. Or, you can have the location of a show to be chosen randomly each week among a huge list of cities both in USA and the rest of the world, by checking the ones that you want and the ones that you don't.

Stories & Rivalries

2K announced that they added more Universe cutscenes and revamped a large portion of the storylines to focus more on quality over quantity.

However, the Story Collection feature that offered the option to see and individually pick the storyline type for each rivalry (among a huge number of 861 story options), appears to be gone from the game after only debuting last year in WWE 2K15.
As thoroughly remarked by an user on the 2K Forums, the feature had many benefits that allowed you to have full control on how you wanted rivalries to play out and on what type of cutscenes you were looking to get, breaking away from the apparent "randomness" feel of previous years' WWE Universe.
The reason why the feature is being already removed is unclear, as we think it was a great addition to the WWE 2K15 Universe Mode and had a lot of potential.

On the upside, according to 2K everything will make more sense logically with the Superstars involved based on their Personality Traits.
This new personality system gauges a variety of stats to influence Superstar traits and actions in Universe mode. Meters display opposing traits like loyal vs. treacherous, respectful vs. disrespectful, and discipline vs. aggression. By default, these sliders are tuned to align with Superstars’ traits shown on WWE programming. Brock Lesnar, for example, will be highly aggressive while The Miz will be cowardly and egotistical.
By playing these characters against their base traits, one can gradually steer them to behave differently, but there’s also the option to go into the menus and adjust their traits manually.

Also, it is now much easier to track changes in rivalries. Whenever a rivalry match finishes, a new results screen details each superstar’s crowd reaction (face/heel), personality traits, relationships with other wrestlers and the new "Status Effects", informing you how the outcome of the match affected these elements.

Status Effects

Status Effects are another new element shaking up the flow of Universe Mode. Status effects are temporary bonuses and penalties that are triggered through gameplay or storylines. The most common effects temporarily boost a Superstar’s attributes, which are triggered by winning streaks and winning big pay-per-view matches in rivalries (replacing the "momentum" system). Some others affect how much a personality trait can be changed through gameplay, giving you the chance to solidify a trait or push it towards the opposite end.

Click here for the Full List & Details of all Status Effects & Personality Traits

Status effects also include Injuries, that are inflicted when you deal a huge amount of damage to a specific part of the body, and the level of the injury climbs from minor to major to critical. Superstars can continue to compete with minor and major injuries with penalties to limb health and attributes related to that limb. Once an injury reaches a critical level, the Superstar will be knocked out of commission until their injury heals up.

Entrance Breakout in Universe?

It's being speculated, but not yet 100% confirmed, that the Entrance Breakout feature might not be available in Universe Mode since you select which Superstar you want to control only right before the match starts, after the entrances have already taken place. If that's the case, that would be a really unfortunate oversight, as the feature would seem to perfectly fit the Universe mode theme. It may be possible to breakout if you select the person you play as before you start to play the match, but it's yet to be confirmed.

UPDATE: We can officially confirm that you CAN interfere and breakout in WWE Universe Entrances if you select the character you want to play as by going into match edit before you load into the match.


In Universe story options, along with the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak rivalry and the Royal Rumble winner’s rivalry, there is a new Survivor Series PPV specific rivalry that can be turned on.

Finally, 2K has announced that "the match generation system has been overhauled," and now "players shouldn’t see the same card when comparing Universes with their friends."



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