With WWE 2K15 releasing for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this week, wrestling fans everywhere will be able to grapple with some of the best wrestlers around, from the immortal Hulk Hogan to the powerful Undertaker to the unstoppable Roman Reigns. We already provided a guide of the best wrestlers, and now it's time to nail the fundamentals so you can show your superiority in the ring.
These basic tips will help you come to grips with the gameplay, including the grappling system, submissions and mastering the art of the reversal. These will help you get on the right track when it comes to being the best in the ring – or like CM Punk, perhaps even the best in the world.
Win the grapple
First, get into a grapple situation. This is where two wrestlers lock up until one of them gains an advantage enough to throw the first punch.
When you enter a grapple, you'll be able to choose one of three stances, indicated by diagrams that appear next to button prompts. You can choose whichever one you want, although you'll still play a guessing game compared to what your opponent chooses. No matter which one you select, however, what you do next is crucial.
Once you enter the grapple hold, you'll see a prompt indicating that you need to hold the right analog stick in a certain direction to continue holding the grapple. This may require you to move it around to find the sweet spot (you'll find it when your controller rumbles). Once you do, hold it until the prompt turns completely red and you'll go into the next part of the hold.
Continue this method until you successfully complete the grapple – or your opponent beats you to it – and then proceed with your assault, with power moves, punches and/or kicks. Just make sure you stay on the offensive, as the last thing you should do is let your opponent walk all over you, even if it’s Brock Lesnar.
Go for the reversal
Next, you'll need to get used to how reversals work. When your opponent attacks, you'll see a button prompt appear very briefly over your character's head, usually in the form of a right trigger. The key here is timing – you want to make sure you hit the trigger at just the right time. Doing so will let you roll out of harm's way for a second, or better yet, turn the punch or power move around on your foe.
The timing is critical with reversals, because there's always a chance you don't hit the button at the right time. The on-screen prompts will tell you if you're hitting a button too fast or too late. Don't bother with simply tapping the trigger, as the game will be able to tell that you're cheating.
Instead, look for the opportunity window. When it looks like your opponent is about to launch into a punch or kick, this is your opportunity to turn the move around. It'll take time to master, but once you do, you'll be able to get out of their assault and land one of your own.
If you need assistance, go into the options menu and push the reversal slider all the way to the right. This will provide you the most timing necessary to turn reversals around, although you'll still need to nail down the timing. Eventually you'll get the hang of it.
Lock in that submission and make them tap
Let's talk submissions. Not all wrestlers have them, but some like Daniel Bryan (with his "Yes!" Lock) and John Cena (with the STF) like to use them to make opponents submit.
Entering a submission is easy, as you'll be able to lock it on once you make enough progress in a match to earn the Signature and Finisher move (just wind down your opponent so he or she has a high percentage level). As it's locked in, you'll need to tap the A or X button (depending on your version) like crazy to keep the hold going. If you manage to fill the meter completely with enough taps, they'll submit and the match is yours.
However, even if they don't submit and manage to get out of the move, don't feel discouraged. By holding them in a submission for a good amount of time, you'll do specific damage to their body. Even if they manage to come back in the match, they'll be injured enough that you can re-apply the submission later on, and be more successful about finishing them off.
One word of warning: it's not smart to perform a submission move during a tag match. That's because the minute you lock it in, most of the time the other wrestler’s teammate will come into the ring and kick you to release it, even with the ref standing right there. Try to go with quick pins instead, as they'll have less time to react.
Finally, if you prefer the good old-fashioned method of using a finishing move on your opponent, you'll need to do some damage first.
With WWE 2K15, your success depends on the percentage of progress with your wrestler, which you can see on the lower part of the screen. It also shows you how your opponent is doing, as well as how worn down they're getting in terms of energy and damage to their body (as highlighted by color tones on a body grid).
It's here that you can surmise the best time to do a Signature move, followed by a Finisher. You'll see the "S" and "F" letters light up beneath your character when they're ready to execute, and then it's just a matter of finding the right position for your wrestler. It helps to get an idea of what kind of finishers they use.
For example, with Randy Orton, he's a more up-close wrestler. His Signature consists of roaming around his fallen opponent and kicking them like crazy. You'll want to make sure you're nearby your opponent, then press the "Y" or triangle button (depending on your version) to start it.
From there, Randy's main move, the RKO, will require you to stand right in front of your opponent. Hit the button and they'll launch into their animation, and should execute the move – most of the time. The game may provide a quick, fair opportunity to counter out, but otherwise, it's as good as landed.
Finishing moves vary per character. Rob Van Dam, for instance, has the Five Star Frog Splash as his finisher, so you'll need to climb to the top rope before you can execute it. You'll also need to make sure your opponent is firmly down on the mat – it won't work if they're moving about.
The best thing you can do is wind your opponent down so that they're laying on the mat for a significant amount of time. Wander around them and watch for the on-screen prompts, which show when you can use a Signature and Finisher. From there, just hit the button and watch the sparks fly.
Also, don't be afraid to experiment! If you think a wrestler's Finisher is going to be too hard to execute, try them anyway. It could be a process as simple as hitting a button, then watching them do their thing. Triple H's Pedigree certainly comes to mind – what looks like a complex maneuver is just a matter of winding an opponent into a pile-driver-like motion, then letting them have it.
Tomorrow, we'll go more in-depth with kicking out of a pin (or submission), as well as the different match types and using foreign objects to your advantage.
WWE 2K15 is available now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.