Rocket League is a vehicular soccer video game developed and published by Psyonix. The game was first released for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4 in July 2015, with ports for Xbox One, macOS, Linux, and Nintendo Switch being released later on. In June 2016, 505 Games began distributing a physical retail version for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment taking over those duties by the end of 2017.
Described as "soccer, but with rocket-powered cars", Rocket League has up to four players assigned to each of the two teams, using rocket-powered vehicles to hit a ball into their opponent's goal and score points over the course of a match. The game includes single-player and multiplayer modes which can be played both locally and online, including cross-platform play between all versions. Later updates for the game enabled the ability to modify core rules and added new game modes, including ones based on ice hockey and basketball.
Rocket League mobile is a sequel to Psyonix's Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, a 2008 video game for the PlayStation 3. Battle-Cars received mixed reviews and was not a major success, but gained a loyal fan base. Psyonix continued to support themselves through contract development work for other studios while looking to develop a sequel. Psyonix began formal development of Rocket League around 2013, refining the gameplay from Battle-Cars to address criticism and fan input. Psyonix also recognized their lack of marketing from Battle-Cars, and engaged in both social media and promotions, including offering the game for free for PlayStation Plus members on release, to market the game.
Rocket League was praised for its gameplay improvements over Battle-Cars, as well as its graphics and overall presentation, although some criticism was directed towards the game's physics engine. The game earned a number of industry awards, and saw over 10 million sales and 40 million players by the beginning of 2018. Rocket League has also been adopted as an esport, with professional players participating through ESL and Major League Gaming, along with Psyonix hosting their own competitions through the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS).
Rocket League's for android and ios gameplay is largely the same as that of its predecessor, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. Players control a rocket-powered car and use it to hit a ball that is much larger than the cars towards the other team's goal area to score goals, in a way that resembles a soccer game, with elements reminiscent of a demolition derby. Players' cars have the ability to jump to hit the ball while in mid-air. The players can also pick up a speed boost by passing their cars over marked spaces on the field, enabling them to quickly cross the field, use the added momentum to hit the ball, or ram into another player's car to destroy it; in the latter case, the destroyed car respawns moments later. A player may also use a boost when in the air to propel themselves forward in flight, allowing players to hit the ball in the air. Players can also perform quick dodges, causing their car to do a short jump and spin in a given direction, which can be used to nudge the ball or gain positioning advantage over the other team.
A few months after it was released, Psyonix released an update that adds game modes known as "mutators", modifying some aspects of gameplay, such as increased or decreased gravity, ball size, ball speed and bounciness. For the 2015 holiday season, another update replaced mutator matches with an ice hockey-inspired mode (called "Snow Day"), played on an ice rink and the ball replaced with a hockey puck with different physics. Positive reception to the ice hockey mode led to it being extended for a few weeks after the holiday season. Snow Day was permanently added to the mutator settings for private matches and exhibition games on February 10, 2016. "Hoops", a game mode based on basketball, was added on April 26, 2016. A separate "Rumble" mode, which incorporates unusual power-ups, such as the ability to freeze the ball in place or cause a single opponent to have difficulty controlling their car, was added on September 8, 2016. An update in December 2016, known as "Starbase ARC" (based on Psyonix' mobile game ARC Squadron) added support for custom arenas for Windows players supported through Steam Workshop, along with other new content
Matches are typically five minutes long, with a sudden death overtime if the game is tied at that point. Matches can be played from between one-on-one up to four-on-four players, as well as in casual and ranked playlists.The latter serves as Rocket League's mobile 2019 competitive online mode, where players compete in various tiered ranks within game seasons, with victories or losses raising or lowering a player's rank, respectively. The game includes a single-player "season" mode, with the player competing with computer-controlled players. An update in December 2016 introduced "Custom Training" sequences that can be created by players and shared with others on the same platform; players are able to specify the ball's path and the presence and skill of opponents on the field as to practice specific shots-on-goal over and over.
Psyonix plans to continue to support Rocket League with downloadable content (DLC), intending to keep all gameplay updates as free and only charging for cosmetic items. In November 2015, a free update added the ability to "Mutate" a match, allowing for a number of different custom presets and match settings, including a low gravity mode and a cubed ball, among other improvements and additions. Through this, Psyonix is able to offer custom game playlists to test out new modes or for holiday-themed events. For example, during the latter part of December 2015, Psyonix introduced an ice hockey-based mutation alongside a special event featuring holiday-themed decorative items, replacing the normal ball with a hockey puck, and changing the floor to ice. This mode proved very popular and was permanently added to the standard playlists on February 24, 2016. In February 2016, a new game playlist called "Rocket Labs" was added to offer new experimental maps to players as a means to gauge feedback and interest in a map before adding it to the game's standard map playlist In April 2016, the developers added the basketball-based playlist to the standard playlists. A new rocket league mobile is a new project totally.