This is a Tutorial for Installing Mods for the for the PC on Steam. Installing mods on other platforms isn't easily or legally possible thus this guide won't address it.
Note that at the moment, modding for WWE 2k20 mostly will not work the way it's described here as the game files appear to be encrypted or compressed in an unknown format. Stay tuned for updates on the matter. The guide should be updated for WWE 2k20 once everything is sorted out. This guide should be fine for WWE 2k19 and older games, however.
- 1 Preparation before you install your first Mod
- 1.1 Tools and Resources used in this Tutorial
- 1.2 Set Steam to Offline Mode
- 1.3 Create Backups
- 1.4 Clear the Chunk Cache file to fix Startup Crashes with Mods
- 1.5 Download Mods
- 2 Installing Wrestlers/Characters
- 2.1 Character Pac Files
- 2.2 Installing Alternate Attires
- 2.3 Pofos and Movesets
- 2.4 String File
- 2.5 Entrance Music/Themes
- 2.6 Tron Videos
- 2.7 Character Renders
- 2.8 Entrance Motions, Victory Motions and Props
- 3 Installing Tag Teams/Stables
- 4 Installing Custom Matches
- 5 Installing Arenas
- 6 Installing Other Mods
Preparation before you install your first Mod
The following are a couple of things to do before you begin to install your first mod.
If you have already done this before installing your first mod, you can skip it for any additional mods to install and head right to the Installing Mods Section of this guide.
Tools and Resources used in this Tutorial
The following are the Modding Tools used in this Tutorial. Ensure you always have the latest version of these tools and resources that are compatible with the latest version of the game you're trying to mod. Please click on their name(s) to find more about each, download them and install them and have them ready to use before you follow the rest of the Installing Mods Tutorial!
Custom Character Tools (also referred to as CCT) - used in this Tutorial to install Wrestler Mods including chXXXYZ.pac files, .pofo, .moveset, .team_info, .match files, Tron Entrance videos, Character Renders, Empty the Chunk Cache file, rebuild the Chunk0.def file and more. CCT is the most proven and "safest" tool to use for installing mods.
Data Editor - used in this Tutorial to create, verify and modify .pofo, .moveset, .team_info, .match and .attire_names files and unlock Alternate Attires for your Wrestlers. A must-have tool that works in synergy with CCT.
Sound Editor - used in this Tutorial to replace Entrance Music and sounds.
Super String - used in this Tutorial to add wrestler names for mods that aren't normally available in the game. It's highly recommended to install it into the \WWE 2k19\mods\Super String\pac\string\win folder for WWE 2k19 or the \WWE 2k18\mods\Super String\pac\string\win folder for WWE 2k18 (you'll have to replace the original files for older games for they don't support the \mods\ folder).
Note: Ensure that you update the modding tools, resources as well as your game(s) to the latest version frequently. The latest versions of Mods, Modding Tools and Resources in this tutorial will only work with the latest official, updated Steam (as of this writing, Steam is the only platform these games are available for on the PC) version of each game. Any other versions are unsupported and won't be moddable, due to the nature of modding these games and the memory structure changing for each version.
Set Steam to Offline Mode
This step isn't required, but it's highly recommended to set Steam to Offline mode before you mod, to test mods, etc.. It will also make it easier to restore your save game.
Follow these steps to start Steam in Offline Mode:
1. Start Steam. 2. Click Steam->Go Offline. 3. On the Prompt that comes up, click Restart Steam in Offline Mode. 4. Steam should now start in Offline mode.
Note that while Steam is set to Offline mode, it will prompt you to remain in offline mode or go online every time. Select the Offline mode option until you are sure that all your mods are working properly.
Once you have verified all your mods are working, you may safely start Steam in Online Mode again.
Important - Don't forget to create backups of your original game files outside your game directory and save game data before you mod! In case something goes wrong, you'll want to revert to your original files and/or save!
Backup your unmodded Game Directory
It's highly recommended that you backup your unmodded Game Directory to another location (outside the game's folder!), ideally a different drive (or at the very least, a different partition) before you begin modding. You can do this by simply copying your WWE game directory, which can be found in \Steam\SteamApps\common\<GameName>, to another folder. This way you will always be able to restore any files that you may have overwritten and aren't working for whatever reason to restore the game to it's original state.
How to Restore your backed up Game Files
In case you ever wish to revert to a backed up game files, follow these steps:
1. Ensure neither the game nor Steam are running. 2. Delete your game directory (usually in \Steam\SteamApps\common\<GameName>). 3. Copy the backed up <GamName> game directory from your backup location to \Steam\SteamApps\common
Restore original Game Files via verify the Integrity of Game Files via Steam =
In case you've forgotten to backup your game directory, you can always open Steam, right-click on the game, click Properties, then click Local Files and Verify Integrity of Game Files. This will tell Steam to check your files and replace any files that are corrupted or changed from the original files with the original ones that Steam will re-download. Note that any modded files that aren't in the mods folder will be replaced, so backup any modified files from the sounds, \movies\titantron folders, etc.. you wish to keep first. Note that this will not affect any files inside the \mods\ folder, they are safe and you will be able to continue to use those. All you'll have to do is Clear the Chunk0.arc file and Regenerate the Chunk0.def file via CCT again after Steam is done verifying the game files. If you don't do this, the game will run in it's original state without mods instead, which is good for testing any stability issues, etc..
Backup your save game directory
To backup your save game, ensure that Steam isn't running and copy the entire \Steam\SteamApps\userdata\<YourSteamUserId>\<SteamGameId> folder to a different directory (not the game directory), ideally on another drive. It's highly recommended to keep a backup of an unmodded save game as well as create an additional backup of your save game data every time you install new mod(s) (especially when you inject something into the memory/save) so you can easily revert the last changes.
The <SteamUserId> is the unique ID assigned to your Steam Account, the <SteamGameId> is the unique ID assigned by Steam to the respective game. You can find it out by visiting the Steam Store page for your game and reading it. For example, the Steam Store URL for WWE 2k19 is http://store.steampowered.com/app/817130/WWE_2K19/. The <SteamGameId> for WWE 2k19 is thus 817130.
<SteamGameId>s for some WWE 2k games:
WWE 2k20: 1015500 WWE 2k19: 817130 WWE 2k18: 664430 WWE 2k17: 510510 WWE 2k16: 385730 WWE 2k15: 240460
Note that Steam creates automatic backups of the saves for some games as well (SAVEDATA_BACKUP for WWE 2k19, for example). However, it tends to overwrite them pretty quickly, so it may be that the automatic backup also gets updated to a corrupted/undesired version that you wish to restore. Thus it's highly recommended to make manual backups as described above instead.
How to Restore your backed up Save Game
In case you ever wish to revert to a backed up save game directory, follow these steps:
1. Start Steam. 2. Click Steam->Go Offline. 3. Restart Steam in Offline Mode. 4. Exit Steam. 5. Rename or delete your Save game folder. 6. Copy the entire backed up Save game folder to your \Steam\SteamApps\userdata\<YourSteamUserId>\ directory.* 7. Start Steam in Offline Mode again. 8. Start your game. 9. The game should now start with your backed up save (or blank one if you chose to not restore a save game*). 10. Save the game by changing an Attribute or Boo/Cheer of a superstar in the game (in WWE 2k19 and later, you'll want to select "Save All Settings" when prompted). This will mark the save as being newer than your previous one so Steam won't replace it with your old save form the cloud. 11. Exit the game. 12. Start Steam in Online Mode. 13. If Steam Asks you which save to use, choose to upload the local save to the cloud. Wait for the save upload to complete. 14. Start the game in online mode and save it again as described in step 10. just to be sure. * If you wish to create a new save game because you don't have a backup, want to start from scratch, wish to access a fresh save game or some other reason, simply skip step number 6., in which case the game will create a new save game on the next startup.
Clear the Chunk Cache file to fix Startup Crashes with Mods
Before installing any .pac files, you will have to clear the Chunk Cache file. This only has to be done once. It will stick unless the game updates or you verify your game files through Steam, in which case you will have to repeat this step. Note that if you do this, the game can take a long time to start up the first time after reboot (depending on your computer's hardware - it ranges from more than 10 minutes if you have a really slow computer on a slow-spinning mechanical hard disk drive, up to a minute or two on a fast computer with fast NVMe SSD) - so don't panic thinking the system has hung, just wait for it to finish loading.
To clear the Chunk file, start the Data Editor Edition for your game, click on the Tools tab and click the Fix Startup Crash with Mods button and follow the instructions to install a clear Chunk file.
Alternatively, to clear the Chunk file for WWE 2k18, WWE 2k19 and later games, start Custom Character Tools, click on the Chunk Tools (WWE 2k19) or Utilities (earlier games) menu entry, then click Clear Chunk0.arc.
Naturally, you'll want to download mods before you install them.
You can find download links to mods on the Smacktalks Mod Database as well as the Smacktalks Forum (for the latter, more specifically the PC Modding/Mods sub-forums for each game) for your game as well as other sites and sources.
Alternatively, if WrestlePlus is available for your version of the game, you can use it to download select mods as well.
If you want to install a Character/Wrestler into the game, you need one or more chXXXYZ.pac files (at the very least the chXXX02.pac - see the Character Pac Files entry below to learn what the XXXYZ stands for and is to be replaced with) for the character model, textures and attire(s), a .pofo file for the wrestler information and a .moveset file for the moveset and entrance data.
Additionally, you can replace an entrance theme music for your character and add Tron videos.
chXXXYZ.pac, XXX.pofo and XXX.moveset files need to use matching Wrestler IDs (replace XXX with the correct Wrestler ID that is the same for all three) to work together. It's also highly recommended that added Tron Videos use this same Wrestler ID to avoid confusion and ensure they will work.
Character Pac Files
ch*.pac files contain the wrestler's 3D Model, textures and attires. There can be multiple files, one for each attire. The files are typically named chXXXYZ.pac, where XXX is the Wrestler ID, Y is the Attire Number (0 = Attire 1, 1 = Attire 2, 3 = Attire 4, 4 = Attire 5, 5 = Attire 6, 6 = Attire 7, 7 = Attire 8, 8 = Attire 9, 9 = Attire 10) and Z is the Attire Type (2 = Ring Attire, 4 = Entrance Attire). Note that if an Attire has no Entrance Attire, the game defaults to the Ring Attire during the entrance. If an attire of a wrestler is selected that isn't installed, the game defaults to Attire 1 (chXXX02.pac, which must always be installed or the game will crash. Note that while many chXXXYZ.pac files from older games will work without issue in newer ones when installed with the methods described here, many others won't work and might have to be converted in different more or less complicated ways (it's different for each mod, so there will be no explanation on how to do that here) in order to work. The safest bet is to always use mods that have been created for your particular game or properly converted to work with your game, however.
Installing Character .pac Files for WWE 2k19 and later games
1. Ensure the game is closed and not running as .pac files have to be installed while the game is closed and not running, for the game only loads files on startup and may actually lock them down from being modded while it's running. 2. Start CCT. 3. On the left-hand side of the main CCT Window, select Superstars. 4. On the right-hand side of the main CCT Window, right-click on the SlotID you wish to install your Character .pac files for (don't be alarmed by the names in the Name column - these are default names for Superstars or suggested names to use in this slot for mods - you can always install a different Superstar in each slot if you wish!). 5. Click on Import->CH-Pac-Files. 6. Click on the little buttons labeled ... for each attire you wish to install (the left-hand column is for Ring Attires, right-hand column for Entrance Attires). Once again, ensure to have at least the Ring Attire 1 installed for each Wrestler or the game will crash. If you are installing an alternate attire for an existing wrestler, leave the existing attire slot(s) empty and just choose the ones for the attires you wish to add. 7. Repeat step 6. for as many attires you wish to install (you can always install additional ones later; note). Note that any attires left blank won't be installed (but if they already exist, they will remain installed). Also note that if you select an attire that isn't installed in the game, the game will default to Attire 1. Also see the section in this guide about Installing Alternate Attires for information on how to actually enable them. 8. When done, click the Import button.
The above method will automatically convert any HSPC files to EPK8 format, automatically rename the file to the proper chXXXYZ.pac name, correctly set the EMD section inside to match the ID, Attire number and attire type, install it in the \WWE 2k19\mods\CCT\ folder and will also add them to the Chunk0.def file automatically if needed.
You may also run CCT's Chunk Tools -> Regenerate Chunk0.def option to "smartly" regenerate the Chunk0.def file and point it to the newly installed .pac files. CCT's "smart" Chunk0.def regenerator will ensure you don't have duplicate entries or other conflicts in the Chunk0.def file and will give priorities to any files/mods installed in the \mods\ folder. Do this if you run into any problems or oddities. Usually, CCT should add the files to the Chunk0.def file when installing .pac files automatically, however.
Installing Character .pac Files in WWE 2k18 and Older Games
Once the chXXXYZ.pac files are named properly, they can be installed with relative ease using Custom Character Tools and it's option Install -> CH-Pac file(s) (Custom Character Tools 2018, Custom Character Tools 2019) or Install -> Mass Character-Pac Installer (Custom Character Tools 2017). This method will automatically convert any HSPC files to EPK8 format, rename the EMD section inside to match the file name and will also add them to the Chunk0.def file automatically if needed. You can also run CCT's Utilities -> Regenerate Chunk0.def option to smartly regenerate the Chunk0.def file and point it to the newly installed .pac files (only needed for WWE 2k18, WWE 2k19 and later). Note that for WWE 2k17 and earlier there is no need to regenerate the Chunk0.def file for older games don't use one to point them to the .pac files.
.pac files have to be installed while the game is closed and not running, for the game only loads files on startup and may actually lock them down from being modded while it's running.
Additional Guidelines for Manual .pac file installation
While you can use CCT, WrestlePlus or similar modding tools to install mods, manual installation is also possible. This usually isn't needed as there are Modding tools available, but it's included in this tutorial nonetheless for the sake of completeness and understanding of how things work. You may skip this sub-section if you just wish to use CCT.
WWE 2k18, WWE 2k19 and newer only (older games don't support the \mods\ folder): Note that if you choose to install .pac files manually in WWE 2k18 or WWE 2k19 (it's still highly recommended that you use Custom Character Tools instead as the tool often can fix common mistakes upon installation), don't install them into the \WWE 2k19\pac\ch\ folder but install them into the \WWE 2k19\mods\<ModName>\pac\ch\ (where <ModName> is a folder with the name of your mod) folder instead (create it if you don't have it yet).
Then run Custom Character Tools and use the Menu option Chunk Tools -> Regenerate Chunk0.def(WWE 2k19)/Utilities -> Regenerate Chunk0.def (WWE 2k18) to smartly regenerate the Chunk0.def file and point it to the newly installed .pac files (only needed for WWE 2k18, WWE 2k19 and later). This is a "smart" Chunk0.def regenerator that will prevent duplicate entries from being added to the Chunk0.def file, prioritize files in the \mods\ folder and will keep your mods from being overwritten by Steam when the game is updated, files are verified, etc.. and will allow you to easily install, uninstall and change mods as well as provide ways to easily troubleshoot things as well as prepare you for compatibility of a Mod Manager in the future.
Note that using "Batch file scripts" to regenerate the Chunk0.def file can cause problems, since such batch scripts are "dumb" and don't check for duplicate file entries and doesn't prioritize the contents of the \mods\ folder, which means the game won't know which files to load and will behave erratically. Please use a "smart" Chunk0.def regenerator like the one in Custom Character Tools or WrestlePlus instead.
Installing Alternate Attires
To install Alternate Attires, you will have to install their ch*.pac files just like you would install new wrestlers, so follow the information described above. Since they already exist in the game, they already have a .pofo and .moveset installed, so you can skip that step and only install the ch*.pac files as described above.
After that, you will have to start Data Editor and use it's Alternate Attire Unlock functionality to unlock attires for the wrestler(s) you wish to use the alternate attires on (check out the Universal Alternate Attire Unlock Tutorials for exact instructions on how to do that).
Note that the Alternate Attires in this guide (as well as when it's relate to modding in general) don't refer to Alternate Attires created by the in-game Creation Suite (which are basically CAWs and thus a completely different format than default wrestlers or mods), but are modded Alternate Attires that are treated similarly to in-game wrestlers and mods.
In addition to the textual description above, a Video Tutorial that shows how to Install and Unlock Alternate Attires in WWE 2k18 with the help of Data Editor and Custom Character Tools is available from Gamerz Zone. Click here to watch it. It's similar for WWE 2k19 and other games in the series. Note that the written Tutorial is way more accurate, however.
Pofos and Movesets
.pofo files contain the Wrestler Information while .moveset files contain the moveset and entrance data. They are both required to be installed alongside the chXXXYZ.pac file (see above on how to install that) for a Wrestler mod to work. Use only .pofo and .moveset files created for the particular game you are modding, their size and composition is different for each game and they will not work with other games without modification and could cause serious problems including serious glitches or an unusable save game if the incorrect ones are installed.
.pofo and .moveset files can be created and edited with ease using the Data Editor and installed easily in conjunction with Custom Character Tools by pressing the "Install via CCT" buttons in the respective Data Editor tabs (Please read the Data Editor Tutorials to learn exactly how to use Data Editor in conjunction with Custom Character Tools). Note that Downloaded .pofo and .moveset files often require the installation of a custom String file, like the Super String which adds names for modded wrestlers and attires to the game.
Alternatively, you can also import .pofo and .moveset files into the game with just Custom Character Tools 2019. To do this for WWE 2k19, the game must be running. Then start Custom Character Tools 2019, click on either Superstars (for MyWWE/Play), or it's sub-menus Universe1, Universe2, Universe3 (for the respective Universe Mode save - you have to install them separately for each!). Then right-click on the Slot/Wrestler you wish to import the files to, click Import, then the option you want (Pofo and Moveset, Pofo Only, Moveset Only). Note that these options will only appear if the game is running.
Also Note that in order for .pofo and .moveset files to be installed with Custom Character Tools, the game must be running with a save fully loaded into memory, for the .pofo and .moveset files need to be injected into the game's memory.
It's highly recommended that you load any downloaded .pofo or .moveset files into Data Editor first to check if all Wrestler IDs are set properly and match the chXXXYZ.pac files for your wrestler as well as if anything is missing/set wrong. Data Editor will also try to fix some minor issues with these files if you load and re-save them.
Be aware that for WWE 2k19 and later, you'll have to inject .pofo and .moveset files separately for MyWWE as well as each Universe mode save (Universe 1, Universe 2 and Universe 3). To do this, you have to select the appropriate option when importing .pofo and .moveset files in Custom Character Tools 2019 (Superstars = MyWWE/Play, Universe1 = Universe Save 1, Universe2 = Universe Save 2, Universe3 = Universe Save 3, etc.).
For additional names, a custom String File like the "Super String" has to be installed or alternatively, your string file edited manually. Since it's a .pac file, you'll have to do that while the game isn't running.
Custom Character Tools 2019 includes an installer for the Super String in the Install Mods->Super String menu entry, which is the easiest way to install the latest version properly (this installation will only work for WWE 2k19 and later, you'll have to install it manually for older games).
Entrance Music Themes can be installed using Sound Editor. Note that it is currently only possible to replace existing themes (including generic ones), but not add them.
Again, since the Sound Editor changes files, you will have to use it while the game is closed and not running.
Tron videos can be installed using Custom Character Tools, including additional ones.
For WWE 2k18/CCT 2018 and earlier, you can do so via CCT's Inject->Custom Tron menu entry, for WWE 2k19/CCT 2019 and later you right-click on the Wrestler you wish to install tron(s) while the game isn't running and select Import->Tron.
Then you select any .bk2 video file, select the Type of Tron and optionally the Tron-ID (for WWE 2k19/CCT 2019 the recommended one for the Wrestler should already be pre-set, for earlier games you'll want to set it manually to match the tron ID to the Wrestler ID), then click Import. Repeat this for each tron type to update or add all trons/graphics for your wrestler.
Note that for WWE 2k19 and later you will also require the Titantron Fix to be installed in order for the game to be able to play videos for Tron IDs not in the game by default - you can do so via CCT's Install Mods->Titantron Fix manu entry (only visible when it isn't installed yet).
To set Trons you have added for your wrestler (in case you haven't replaced any in-game ones), you will have to use the Data Editor to edit the .moveset file for the Wrestler you wish to use them for (or .team_info file if you wish to use them for a Tag Team or Stable) and set the trons to the ID of the newly added Trons, then Install them back into the game via CCT (note that you shouldn't load up the in-game create an entrance mode with trons that aren't in the game by default, or the game will reset them in your Wrestler's .moveset/Teams .team_info file. Alternatively, you can also use CAE Item Adder tool to add the trons to your CAE menus so you can select them in-game.
From WWE 2k19/CCT 2019 on you can also set the Tron ID by using CCT's Quick Actions right-click menu item for the Wrestler (only available while the game is running), although the Data Editor method may still be the safest bet. Read more about how to do this in the Data Editor Tutorials.
Character Renders can be installed via Custom Character Tools' Import->Render function (WWE 2k19 and later) or Inject->Custom Render function (older games). If you don't install a render for a wrestler, a default render will be used.
Entrance Motions, Victory Motions and Props
Installing Motion and Prop files
WWE 2k18 and later games
For WWE 2k18, WWE 2k19 and later, copy the .pac files of your Entrance and/or Victory motions as well as any sub-folders including effects, lighting settings, etc. they may come with/require to the \mods\pac\evt\ in your game directory and props to the \mods\pac\props\ folder while the game isn't running. Then open CCT and click on the Chunk Tools->Regenerate Chunk0.def (WWE 2k19), Utilities->Regenerate Chunk0.def (WWE 2k18). This is best practice and will ensure your original files will stay intact to easily go back to them, mods won't be overwritten, removed or otherwise changed when updating or verifying the game via Steam. It will also allow you to quickly backup all your mods by backing up your \mods\ folder.
For older games that don't support the \mods\ folder, you will have to copy the .pac files of your Entrance and/or Victory motions as well as any props, lighting settings, etc. they may come with/require to the \pac\evt\ folder while the game isn't running.
Setting Modded Motions for your Wrestler
After installing the Motion files, you'll have to edit the wrestler's .moveset file with Data Editor to set these motions for your Wrestler and install the edited .moveset file back into the game via CCT. Read more about how to do this in the Data Editor Tutorials.
Installing Tag Teams/Stables
To install a Tag Team or Stable, you will have to create a .team_info file with Data Editor or download one created by others and inject it via Custom Character Tools (CCT). While you can do this in the game as well, Data Editor allows you to access hidden team slots and set various settings that aren't settable in the game for a better Tag Team/Stable experience. Only install .team_info files created for your particular game, they are different in size and composition for each game thus installing ones from other games can lead to serious problems, including an unusable save game.
Note that the wrestlers you set as members of your team will have to be already available in the game or installed first (check out the Installing Wrestlers/Characters Tutorial above for instructions on how to do this).
Read more about how to do this in the Data Editor Tutorials.
On a side note, be aware that installing tag teams/stables for Universe Mode in WWE 2k18, WWE 2k19 and later games will have to be done manually via Cheat Engine, as contrary to MyWWE the tag team memory addresses for Universe Saves change on every load of the save game and thus tools haven't been able to automate the injection/installation process for those yet. In older games these addresses were static and thus tools can easily install them for Universe mode as well.
Installing Custom Matches
To install custom Matches, use Data Editor to create .match files (in many cases including combinations of Win Conditions, Match Settings and Environment that may not be possible to set via the in-game Match Creator) or download ones created by others and Install them via Custom Character Tools (aka CCT). Only install .match files created for your particular game, they are different in size and composition for each game thus installing ones from other games can lead to serious problems, including an unusable save game.
Check out the Data Editor Tutorials to learn how to do this.
On a side note, an even more flexible and advanced way to edit matches is via the Match Edit Trainer included in WrestlePlus, which can open even more possibilities.
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Installing Other Mods
For games that support the \mods\ folder (like WWE 2k18, WWE 2k19 and later), you'll want to install any .pac files inside the \mods\pac\ (or alternatively \mods\<ModName>\pac\) folder inside your game directory and regenerate the Chunk0.def file via CCT.
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