What is Rocket League?
The name itself doesn’t mean much; it could be anything from a space warfare game, to a soccer game with a galaxy-wide audience. It is, however, neither of those two things.It is actually a soccer-styled game in which your player-characters are rocket-powered cars that can whoosh around the stadium pushing and launching the ball with one goal in mind: to win the match.
An online multiplayer soccer game with rocket cars – sounds nuts, right? Apparently, it’s also very fun and addictive, if you ask the players.
Launched on July 7th 2015, the game has become very popular over the last two and a half years. On January 2nd, 2018 the game surpassed 40 million total players. What makes this game so popular? How did it attract so many players in such a short amount of time?
Rocket League’s Rise to Fame
When Rocket League first debuted, it already had a solid base upon which to build its legacy – a game called “Supersonic Battle Cars.” With a sound foundation, things are almost always easier to improve, but that shouldn’t detract from the fact that the developers of Rocket League definitely made Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars better.
The simplified name surely helped, but so did the fact that Rocket League isn’t a PlayStation 3 exclusive title. Supersonic Battle Cars had an average rating of either 6 or 6.5, depending on the site giving the review, and there was some expectation that the game would be a hit, but being an exclusive made it fall back into obscurity pretty quickly.
The developer, Psyonix, confirmed in March of 2011 that they had a sequel in development for the original 2009 game. Fans would have to wait until 2015 before Rocket League was finally released on PlayStation 4 and PC. An alpha version was available in late 2013, however, and was accessible by the public for testing and community-building purposes.
Rocket League officially launched on July 7th 2015 on two platforms: the PlayStation 4 and Windows. Since then, it has enjoyed a steadily growing player base thanks to its ability to bring something relatively novel to the gaming scenewith gorgeous graphics and simple gameplay.
Not even 3 years later, Rocket League reached a milestone of 40 million players. This feat can be partly attributed to the game being available on every possible platform: PS4, Xbox, OSX, Linux systems and even Nintendo Switch.
The game itself is very simple to play, which made it instantly attractive to players. As an online game, it is appealing because the matches take only 5 minutes, and not a second longer, unless the game is tied. If a game does end in a tie, you enter sudden death mode, which lasts until the first person or team scores a goal.
The game is played with cars which are able to rush around an arena, pushing and moving a ball much larger than them, with the sole objective of scoring more goals than your opponent and winning.
The game has many game modes, which is something else that makes it attractive to so many players. You can play 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 3v3 standard(which gives you random teammates),Snow Day, Hoops, and Chaos.
The game has a ranking system which makes it competitive, and allows those who want to reach the top of the ladder in a certain game mode to try competingin a ranked mode dedicated to it, rather than the unranked modes.
1v1, 2v2, 3v3 and 3v3 standard modes:
These modes are pretty simple, with you making your own teams – or not, if you’re playing by yourself.These modes can be unranked or ranked, giving you the option of playing relaxed games or opting for something a bit more stressful and competitive. You can play unranked games to get familiarized with how everything works: the physics, the ball, the duration of the games, and so on. Then you can jump into competitive play once you’re feeling more experienced..
The ladder has 6 tiers, color-coded, and each of them has 3 divisions except the top tier, which has one. The tiers are in order, from lowest to highest:
|Bronze I||Silver I||Gold I||Platinum I||Diamond I||Champion I|
|Bronze II||Silver II||Gold II||Platinum II||Diamond II||Champion II|
|Bronze III||Silver III||Gold III||Platinum III||Diamond III||Champion III|
Winning 10 placement matches places you in one of the leagues. Playing and winning more games determines the rate at which you rank up – or down. Losing games reduces your rank, winning games increases your rank, and the way you play doesn’t matter. The game does, however, have a hidden MMR, or Match Making Rating, which determines whether you’ll skip a division or not once you rank up.
The more games you play, the more certain your MMR will be, and the steadier your ranking will climb. Once you get promoted to a new tier, you get placed into the second division, so you have breathing room not to get demoted immediately.
This mode is simple, enjoyable, and unranked. The ball gets replaced by a hockey puck which you can move around, with the same objective: to score as many goals as possible and win.
The name itself should give you some idea as to what you are about to face, but for those of you who aren’t familiar with sports jargon, you play in a basketball court and the goals are replaced by hoops. You still need to score as many points as possible, but the approach to scoring is different than that of the standard modes due to the physics of basketball.
This mode is aptly named, because it features 4 players on each team. This many players on the field at once makes the game completely unpredictable;The ball goes wherever it likes, most of the time. This is a game mode for those who want to try out something more similar to games like Dota 2 or League of Legends, where 5v5 is the standard.
Many people shy away from this game mode due to the chaotic nature of it and the number of exponentially increasing variables.
Whichever game mode you prefer, with 40 million players and counting, there is no denying that Rocket League is on the rise. The game stands as one of the most fun experiences in gaming today, and it doesn’t require a massive investment of your time.