Is Rocket League Worth Playing? 7 Reasons to Start This Year

Rocket League launched in 2015 but it’s still going strong. Is it worth joining in now if you’ve never played before?
Image credit: Psyonix

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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 eShop that I finally decided to take the plunge and play for myself. And wow, I’m so 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, rest assured: 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 going 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. We had to wait a long time for a concrete date to come out, but we now know for sure that Rocket League will be free to play starting September 23, 2020! And when the game is openly available to everyone at no cost, that’ll mean there will be absolutely ZERO RISK in trying it out for yourself.

Nintendo Switch players will NOT need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to play, nor will PlayStation players need a PlayStation Plus subscription. (But Xbox players WILL need an Xbox Live Gold subscription!) PC players will need to download via the Epic Games Store.

Image credit: Psyonix

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 dedicated 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.

At the same time, 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. Easy, right?

5. Many Game Modes

Not a competitive person? That’s okay. Rocket League separates the 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 (it attaches to you) 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 technically possible to type out full messages, the gameplay is so fast and most players are on a console, so they don’t have time to do that.

And while Psyonix does penalize people who abandon matches, you’ll get the occasional leaver. It’s annoying when it happens, but it doesn’t happen as often as you might think. The result? There’s far less outright toxicity in Rocket League compared to other online multiplayer PvP games.

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 to purchase a different copy for each device you want to play on, but with Rocket League going free-to-play, this won’t be an issue soon.)

Play on PC
Play on Switch
Play on Xbox One
Play on PS4

So if you haven’t played Rocket League yet, there’s never been a better time to give it a shot. Are you going to see what all the fuss is about? It’s fun, I promise!

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