I played Rocket League for the first time just a few months ago—in March of 2020, in fact.
Why did it take me so long to jump in? Beats me.
The game launched years ago, and I’d hear mention of it time and time again. Clips would pop up on my Reddit feed and I even watched a few streams on Twitch.
But it wasn’t until I got my Nintendo Switch and saw Rocket League on sale in the Nintendo eShop that I finally decided to take the plunge and play for myself. And I’m glad I did!
I may not be good, but I’m having the time of my life. With 150+ hours sunk into the game so far, I’m still having a blast with every match I play—no, I’m having more fun now than I did at the start, and the start was pretty fun!
If you haven’t played Rocket League yet, it isn’t too late! Here are some of the most compelling reasons to give it a try.
1. Free to Play
After five long years, Rocket League is finally free-to-play.
While we don’t know any definite dates as of this writing, we do know that Psyonix’s announcement says Summer 2020. That might possibly delay to Fall 2020.
Rocket League has been free-to-play since September 23, 2020! Now that the game is openly available at no cost, that means there is absolutely ZERO RISK in trying it out for yourself.
Nintendo Switch players do NOT need Nintendo Switch Online to play. PlayStation players do NOT need PlayStation Plus. PC players just download via the Epic Games Store. (Xbox players DO need an Xbox Live Gold subscription!)
2. Low Time Commitment
Matches in Rocket League are only five minutes long. With instant replay after every goal, and the occasional overtime, matches could take up to 10 minutes. But it rarely goes longer than that—and as a busy person, I love that.
I stopped playing games like Dota 2 and CS:GO because the matches were too long. If I couldn’t dedicate the next hour to it, there was no point in loading it up.
Rocket League is great because you can hop in and play a quick round whenever you want. (Of course, if you want to kill the next two hours, it’s great for that as well.)
3. Big Active Playerbase
Over the past few months that I’ve been playing Rocket League, the online player count has routinely peaked above 200,000 concurrent users every day.
Not many online multiplayer games can boast such an active playerbase five years post-launch—and once the game officially enters free-to-play, those numbers are going to skyrocket.
What does this mean for you?
You’ll always be able to find other players who are on your level, and you’ll be able to find matches at any time of day without waiting too long for matchmaking to do its thing.
It also means that you can find all kinds of help on the internet: videos and articles that teach you how to play better, and fun communities on Reddit and elsewhere.
4. High Skill Ceiling
I’m a big PvP gamer, and I love that Rocket League has enough mechanical depth and tactical nuance to keep you mentally engaged. There’s always something to improve on, always a new technique or strategy to explore.
The difference between a Bronze player and a Grand Champion player is massive, and that’s what makes it so interesting to play.
But you don’t have to be good to enjoy the game. It’s still tons of fun even if you only know the basics, and the gameplay is simple enough that anyone can grab a controller and start playing. You just need to get the ball into the opposing team’s goal!
5. Many Game Modes
Not a competitive person? That’s okay. Rocket League has separate casual and competitive modes, allowing you to play stress-free if you don’t care for that sort of thing.
On the other hand, if you’re all about the competition, there’s a 1v1 mode where you can test your individual skill.
Psyonix also puts out fun game modes that let you play in whole new ways. For example, the Spike Ball mode lets you pick up the ball and destroy other cars just by touching them.
Other game modes include a basketball variant (Hoops), a powerups variant (Rumble), and even an arcade breakout-style variant (Dropshot).
6. Limited Toxic Behavior
Most players communicate using the built-in quick-chat messages, which are relatively clean and friendly.
Some of them can be spammed sarcastically (“What a save!” and “Wow!” come to mind…) but it’s easy enough to mute someone and keep playing. And while it’s possible to type out full messages, most players are on a console and don’t have time to do that.
You’ll also get the occasional leaver, which is annoying when it happens, but it doesn’t happen as often as you might expect.
The end result is that there’s far less outright toxicity in Rocket League compared to other online multiplayer PvP games. Any existing toxic behavior is fairly muted.
7. Cross-Platform Availability
Rocket League can be played on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch—and cross-play is supported, meaning players on one platform can team up with and play against players on the other platforms.
Not only does this help speed up the matchmaking queue, but it means you can play on pretty much any gaming device you own, and you can join in with friends even if they don’t have the same gaming devices as you.
You’ll need a different copy for each device you want to play on, but with Rocket League being free-to-play, it’s not a huge issue.