Rivalries and storylines will form the framework for WWE 2K18's Universe Mode, according to 2K Games. This shouldn't come as a huge surprise, as wrestling itself is nothing without great stories, but given how bare-bones the mode usual feels, it makes sense that the developers would lead with this point.
2K18's rivalries are limited to basic one-on-one and two-on-two feuds, and can potentially play out over several months within the WWE Universe. They won't just feature in-ring action and basic matchmaking, but a multitude of different cut scenes, promising to showcase wrestlers in ways players wouldn't normally expect from the series.
Gamers will have the choice in creating their own feuds or letting them occur naturally. They'll be split into two categories: potential rivalries and active rivalries. Burgeoning storylines will grow and develop through the former category, with a build-up meter showing the heat between the two. They'll progress to a standby state once this is filled, then move into the next active rivalry space, making the feud official.
Interactions will take the form of run-ins, promos, backstage segments, and more. They'll usually happen at random, but can be influenced by things like rankings, relationships, and personalities. Once in the active category, wrestlers will battle to build a momentum advantage over their opponent, culminating in a big payoff match.