Overview, Basic Controls and Game Mechanics
WWE All-Stars is an over-the-top wrestling game pitting current WWE Superstars against former WWE greats. Like in most wrestling games, the objective of each match is usually to wear down your opponent with a variety of strikes and grapples, then perform a pin or finishing move to win, but there are many different types of matches with different rules.
- Slide Pad - Move
- Y - Weak Strike
- X - Strong Strike
- B - Weak Grapple
- A - Strong Grapple
- R (hold) - Run
- L - Push Off / Reversal
- Up DPad - Block / Reversal
- Left / Right DPad - Change Tie-Up
- Touch your Wrestler on the Touch Screen - Taunt
- Touch another Wrestler on the Touch Screen - Change target to that Wrestler
- Touch the Star in the middle of the Touch Screen - Context-sensitive action
- Tap Slide Pad Towards foe twice when close - Quick Step
- Slide Pad Away from opponent + X (hold) - Charge Strike (if your Wrestler has one)
- Slide Pad Away from opponent + A (hold) - Charge Grapple (if your Wrestler has one)
- Star while near edge of ring - Exit / Enter ring
- Star while near turnbuckle - Climb Turnbuckle
- Star while near grounded opponent - Pin
- Slide Pad Away from Ring + Star while close to the ring from the outside - Search for Weapon
- Star while near a weapon - Pick up weapon
- Star while holding a weapon - Drop weapon
- Star while near the edge of the Cage - Climb Cage
- B + Y or A + X - Extreme Move (requires at least one to be stocked)
- L + R - Finishing Move (requires the finisher bar to be full)
The HUD and Information Bars
WWE All-Stars displays the information for each Wrestler in a given match on the bottom screen. Beside each Wrestler's picture are three bars, from top to bottom, the Finisher Bar, the Health Bar, and the Super Bar. The Health Bar is the most important, this is representation of your Wrestler's current status. As you recieve damage from strikes, grapples, and other attacks, it will decrease, changing from Green to Yellow, then Orange, then Red, and finally, Flashing Red. As your Health decreases, it becomes easier to stun and pin your Wrestler, and if your health is Flashing Red, a Finishing Move will result in a KO.
The Super Bar is divided into three segments, and when one fills up, a star will appear. One full segment is needed to perform an Extreme Move, though if the Extreme Move does not hit, only half a bar will be consumed. The Super Bar fills up when you deal damage, but less meter is gained if you repeat the same moves.
The Finisher Bar indicates whether or not you can perform your finisher. When it is full, you can perform your Wrestler's Finishing Move, though if the Finishing Move misses, only a small portion of the bar will be lost. It increases in the same manner as the Super Bar, and it can also be increased by successfully Taunting your opponent. Landing a Finisher drains the bar completely.
Strikes, Strike Chains, and Charge Strikes
Pressing Y or X will cause your wrestler to perform a striking attack, usually a punch or kick, which inflicts a little damage. Wrestlers can link multiple strikes and grapples together to perform strike chains, a series of repeated attacks that inflict greater damage. Not all combinations of buttons are possible, and every wrestler in the game possesses different chains. As a general rule, it is usually possible to go from a few Weak Strikes to Strong Strikes, Weak Grapples, or Strong Grapples.
Certain Wrestlers (generally the Brawler or Big Man classes) can also perform a Charged Strike by holding away from the opponent on the Slide Pad and holding X. You can release X before you finish charging for a weak attack that does a little damage, but if you manage to charge the strike all the way, you'll perform a Charged Strike attack. The effects of the Charge Strikes vary by Wrestler, but they are generally powerful, unblockable attacks that often allow for a follow-up attack.
Big Men also have the ability to store their Charged Strikes, if they charge fully, their hands will begin to glow, but they will not attack. They will unleash the Charged Strike the next time you press X. In the mean time, you can perform any other attack, and being hit by the opponent will not cause you to lose the charge.
Grapples, Tie-Ups, Grapple Chains, and Charge Grapples
Pressing B or A will cause your wrestler to attempt to grapple the opponent, lunging forward with their hands. During this time, you can be attacked, but if you successfully grab the opponent, you will perform a tie-up, and can perform a grapple attack by pressing any of the four face buttons. Both strong and weak grapple have two different tie-ups, which possess different Grapple Attacks, and which one you get will depend on whether you grab the opponent from the front or behind. You can also switch between Tie-Ups by pressing Left or Right on the DPad, but the opponent can perform a reversal when you change the tie-up. Every Wrestler has different grapple attacks for each tie-up, so you'll have to experiment with them. You can also perform an Irish Whip by pressing R during a grapple, which will send your opponent running towards the ropes or turnbuckle, unable to control their character.
Some Wrestlers can also perform Grapple Chains, by pressing a button as the opponent hits the mat from a Grapple Attack, which will lead immediately into another Grapple Attack. The Grappler class of Wrestlers tend to be the main users of Grapple Chains, but there are a few Wrestlers who are not considered Grapplers but have some basic chains. The chains vary for every wrestler, so you'll just have to experiment with various buttons to see what they do.
Some Wrestlers (generally the Grappler and Big Man classes) can perform a Charge Grapple by holding Away on the Slide Pad and holding A. Releasing A before charging fully results in a very short range grapple, but if you charge it all the way, your Wrestler will lunge forward and attempt to grab the opponent. If successful, you'll get a special grapple attack, the effects of which vary by character. Unlike Charged Strikes, Big Men cannot store their Charge Grapples.
Blocking, Reversals, and Pushing Off
In WWE All-Stars, there is always a method of defending against the opponent's attacks, the three most common methods are Blocking, Reversals, and Pushing Off. Blocking is performed by holding Up on the DPad, and defends you against strike attacks, a blocked strike attack does no damage. However, blocking is useless against grapples, and some strikes are unblockable or will cause you to stagger slightly even if blocked. You can attack quickly after blocking an attack, allowing you to counterattack, often in the middle of an opponent's strike chain.
Reversals are your main defense against grapples. Every time the opponent performs a Grapple Attack, even during a Chain Grapple, you will have the chance to perform a reversal. To perform a reversal, you must press L or Up on the DPad during the reversal window, which is indicated onscreen by an "L" icon near the bottom of the top screen. If you time the reversal correctly (the timing is different for each attack, and if you press too early, you will lose your chance to reverse), you will glow blue and immediately turn the attack around, dealing slight damage to your opponent. However, the attacker can usually attempt to reverse the reversal, in which case they will respond with yet another attack, but it won't deal as much damage as the initial attack would have dealt. Certain other situations can also lead into a reversal, such as irish whips, turnbuckle attacks, and tie-up changes.
Some types of Grapple Attacks are considered submission holds and are reversed in a different way. When the opponent performs a submission hold, a bar will appear in your corner of the top screen. Mash buttons and spin the Slide Pad until it is full to escape the attack.
The final type of defense is Pushing Off, which is performed by pressing L. When you press L, the Wrestler will perform a swatting motion, if the opponent is attempting to Strike or Grab you, you'll push their hands away and counter the attack. This is the only defense against Extreme Moves and Finishers, but it can also be used against all grapple and strike attempts. However, if you miss you are left very vulnerable.
Of course, one final method of defense is to strike your opponent when they are performing their move. This is a good defense against grapple attempts if you are paying attention, and can even be used to counter Strong Strikes and Turnbuckle Attacks.
Exiting the Ring and Using Weapons
To leave or enter the ring, tap the star while near the ropes. You will roll or slide out of the ring, and during this time, you are invincible, so you can use it to avoid attacks (but you are vulnerable after entering or exiting the ring). You are vulnerable while getting up, though, and you can use this against your opponents too. To get in or out of the ring quicker, you can run towards the ropes and hit the star to slide under the ropes. Being outside the ring is much like fighting inside the ring, though you cannot perform Rope Springs or use the Turnbuckle, and being Irish Whipped into the walls of the ring or the crowd barriers causes damage. There are no count outs in WWE All-Stars, so you can stay out of the ring as long as you like.
There are also Weapons to be found outside the ring. In any type of match, you can pull a chair out from underneath the ring, by tapping Away on the Slide Pad and hitting the star (you must just tap away for a very short time, if you hold it you will move too far away). Assuming you find a chair (it occasionally fails), your Wrestler will pick it up and you can use it as a weapon. Extreme rules matches will also have weapons near the corners of the ring that you can pick up by pressing star, and you can also pick up a dropped weapon this way, or drop a weapon you are holding.
To attack with the weapon, press any button. The Weak buttons result in a weak Weapon Attack, that does little damage, and if the opponent blocks just before it hits, they can take the weapon from you. Pressing the Strong buttons results in a slower overhead attack that cannot be blocked and does more damage. Every time you successfully hit with a weapon, you will get a warning, and if you get too many, you will be disqualified and lose the match as though you had been pinned or KO'd. Weapons will also break if used too many times. You may also enter a weapon struggle if the opponent attempts to grab you while holding a weapon, mash buttons to retain or take control of the weapon.
Running, Rope Springs, and Using the Turnbuckle
You can make your Wrestler run by holding R, though in matches with more than two participants, it is not always available. While Running, you can still maneuver as usual with the slide pad, and you can run into the Ropes to quickly turn around. You can also perform running attacks by pressing the buttons, or let go of R to stop running. Both Running Strikes and Running Grapples are possible, and as with most other types of moves, these vary depending on the Wrestler you have selected. You can also perform specific strikes and grapples when the opponent runs towards you.
Certain Wrestlers can also spring off the ropes for an attack by pressing a button while running towards the ropes. This is generally possessed by the Acrobat class, but some other Wrestlers can perform it as well. It is also possible to lunge over the ropes to hit an opponent who is outside the ring by pressing X while running towards the ropes, again only certain Wrestlers can perform this.
You can make your Wrestler climb the Turnbuckle (the corner of the ring) by pressing the Star while near the Turnbuckle. From the Turnbuckle, you can perform a Turnbuckle attack with any button, or you can press the Star again to climb back down without attacking. Each Wrestler has different turnbuckle attacks, and some can jump farther than others when attacking. Some Wrestlers even have Extreme Moves that they can only use while on the Turnbuckle, or can use their Finisher from there. Be aware that you are still susceptible to Strikes and Grapples while on the Turnbuckle, and being hit will make you fall off.
Stun Damage and the Stun State
As Wrestlers are hit by moves that knock them to the mat, they build up Stun Damage. The amount of Stun Damage is not shown, but different moves inflict different amounts, and when a Wrestler takes enough Stun Damage, they lie on the mat and flash grey and red. The length of stun depends on the amount of Stun Damage dealt and the current health of the Wrestler, but during this time, they are vulnerable to attack. You can press a Strike button to hit them (or you can perform a running Strike or Turnbuckle Strike), Weak Grapple will usually result in another type of attack, and Strong Grapple will pick them up into a weak Grapple tie-up, allowing for your choice of follow-up attack. You can also attempt to pin a stunned opponent, or perform a guaranteed finisher against them.
To perform a Pin, press the Star when near a grounded opponent. A bar will appear, similar to a submission hold, and the ref will begin to count to three. If you are the one being pinned, mash buttons and spin the stick to escape, if you are the one performing the pin, you can do the same to make it harder to escape the pin. If the wrestler does not escape before the count of 3, they are defeated, and this may end the match depending on the match type. There are no rope breaks in WWE All-Stars, and you can perform a pin outside of the ring as well.
Not all pins are equally difficult to escape. If the opponent still has a lot of health, they can escape easier. Also, some grapple attacks lead to pins that are slightly harder to escape than normal. But the most important factor in pin difficulty is the number of pins that wrestler has already performed. Every time they perform a pin, the next one becomes harder to escape, by the fourth pin escape is generally impossible. This still applies even if they change targets, so be wary of an opponent who has attempted many pins in a free-for-all.
Extreme Attacks and Finishers
Extreme Attacks are performed by pressing either B + Y or A + X together when you have at least one star in the super meter, which will cause your Wrestler to attempt a grab. If the grab connects, you will perform an extreme move, which generally deal big damage, a lot of Stun, and cannot be reversed. Some Wrestlers have Extreme moves that can only be performed against an opponent who has been knocked into the Turnbuckle, or after they have climbed to the top of the Turnbuckle. And of course, each Wrestler has different Extreme moves.
The Finisher is attempted by pressing L + R when the Finisher bar is full. If you simply tap the buttons, your Wrestler will pose briefly, then glow yellow. During the pose, they can be hit, but if they reach the Finisher state, they can press L + R again at any time to perform their Finisher. Alternatively, you can forego the Finisher state entirely by just holding L + R to perform the attack immediately, but you must still pose first and are still vulnerable. Finishers inflict huge damage and stun, and if the opponent has Flashing Red health, they are KO'd, which is similar to being pinned. Of course, every Wrestler has a different finisher, some are Grapples, some are Strikes, some hit Grounded Opponents, and some are launched from the Turnbuckle, but all will KO under the same conditions.
There is a way to guarantee that your Finisher will land. While the opponent is on the ground in a stun state, get near them and hold L + R (the Finisher state must not be enabled). They will be re-positioned appropriately (possibly even standing up in a groggy state where they cannot take any action), and your finisher will automatically connect. While performing a finisher in this manner, you are also invincible during the pose (though not after the pose finishes), so this is a more reliable method to land a finisher in a free-for-all.