Recently released on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, WWE 2K19 is a remarkable entry in the franchise not only because it actually worked on day one for most players, but also because of how it embraces its silly side. Since THQ stepped away and 2K took over, the series has gone more towards the grim realism of the modern WWE product rather than the arcade-y lunacy of prior games.
Though it might be less serious than recent games, you’re going to need some WWE 2K19 tips if you want to be taken seriously against other players. While the fundamentals are largely the same as last year, it’s in the little details and nuances that the wheat is separated from the chaff, the strong from the weak, the Goldberg from the Gilberg.
Here, then, are some WWE 2K19 tips to make the Sweet Chin Music that much sweeter.
WWE 2K19 Tips
1. Practice your counter timing
One of the most important things about the WWE 2K experience is how you approach the flow of affairs, whether you want to attack or soak up the attacks yourself. Learning how to counter is pivotal to making it to the later stretches of a match: nobody wants to get stuck in a whirlwind of powerbombs and submissions.
Timing your inputs to counter is key and certainly takes some getting used to if you’re unfamiliar with the series. Its tricky nature, thanks to the AI not always going for a move when you think they will and sometimes giving you nary a second to react, means that you should consider starting off in a stress-free exhibition match with no limits on counters and just finding the knack for it.
2. But don’t overdo the counters
WWE 2K19 is more a game about the small margins than ever; it’s unlikely that you will steamroller your opponent unless there is a huge gulf in skill. The limits to the amount of counters you can use at one time is evidence of that, meaning that you should reconsider before you try to swipe away that fairly innocuous punch to the back of the head in the early goings.
Instead, pace yourself. Leave yourself with plenty of counters for the later stages of match in which your opponent will (presumably) be gearing up to use their finisher. This entails you taking a “bump” or two in the early goings, but it’s better to take them in pristine condition than when your condition is worse for wear. Speaking of which:
3. Target limbs depending on your finishers and signatures
This has been a hallmark of WWE games for a long time, but it still bears repeating. If the opportunity presents itself to continually wear down a specific body part of an opponent, take it: it will just make them easier to either make them tap out or to make your finisher land even harder. We’re not saying constantly go for a hand stomp, because nobody has time for that.
It’s best to work away at your opponents based on which parts of their body your finishers and signatures are going to affect. Have a superkick waiting in the wings? Use a few DDTs to wear down their head. Looking to cripple them with an ankle lock? Gradually work away at their legs until they see red. If you’ve been working the body the entire match but your finisher is a kick to the face, that’s just a waste.
4. Utilise taunts (but choose quick ones)
Taunting is great, isn’t it? Just absolutely cheesing on your opponents with a total lack of disrespect. It does more than just annoy your friends in WWE 2K19, however: it can actually turn the tide of a match. Some taunts will improve your attacks and others will make downed opponents stand up, groggy and ready to take a finisher.
That being said, try not to use taunts that take too long pull off, or you may find yourself getting embarrassed. Typically long taunts include those that require climbing the turnbuckle or most heel ones, so be aware of how exposed they may leave you before you commit to one. If you have a MyPlayer, choose quick and still awesome taunts, like Taker’s throat slit, for instance.
5. Conserve your stamina
A WWE 2K19 tip that I am painfully guilty of just not following myself. I find the temptation to come out of the gates will all guns blazing at the start of a match to try and get myself an early edge, but I’m really just handicapping my guy for later in the match and totally gassed, unable to move beyond a snail’s crawl. Don’t do what I do and am trying to unlearn.
Instead, don’t go for move after move. Take your time with your next action after landing a slam; maybe taunt to the crowd or just stand idle. It doesn’t have to be for a pronounced period of time — maybe just a few seconds — but just slowing the pace down and being more methodical instead of mashing buttons will pay dividends for the long game.
6. Use your environment
Everyone knows that the outer areas are the hardest areas of the ring (at least that’s what they keep repeating), so why not utilise it? There are obvious limits if you’re in a DQ match, but while you shouldn’t pull out the steel chair, you can utilise things like barriers and ringposts to scratch away at your opponent’s condition.
Don’t forget that there’s also nothing wrong with dipping out of the ring every so often. Whether to catch your breath or to stop your opponent from building up steam, slipping out of the ropes is not cowardly as it seems — it’s just smart gamesmanship, which you can then prove by powerbombing your opponent through the announcer’s table.
7. Utilise your Paybacks at the right time
Paybacks are WWE 2K19’s special skills that unlock as a match progresses. They range from something as simple as allowing wrestlers to immediately get back to their feet to going all Hulk Hogan and making a comeback from looking down and out. These can be game-changers, but you need to really think of the “flow” of a match before using them.
Take, for instance, the Resilience Payback, which allows you to immediately get out of any pin or submission with the press of a button. It may be tempting to use it as soon as the prompt appears, but weigh up if you can just normally get out of the situation before committing to using one first. Hold onto Resiliency and it could be the thing that saves your ass in the dying embers of a match.
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