Rocket League Beginner’s Guide

Rocket League is a battle-arena themed sports game that can be described as soccer with rocket-powered vehicles. Rocket League has two teams with one to four players assigned to each team depending on what game mode you are playing. The player must use the rocket-powered vehicles to hit the ball into their opponent’s goal and score points over the course of a match.

Rocket League was originally released on PlayStation 4 and Windows on July 7, 2015, and was developed by Psyonix on the Unreal engine. The game is available for purchase in retail stores or on the steam marketplace for PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

One unique implementation in Rocket League is the cross-platform play. PC Players can play with other players across PlayStation 4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch. Although, console users are unable to cross-platform play with another console. For example, Xbox One users are unable to play against someone on the PlayStation 4 but can play against someone on their PC.

When you start up Rocket League, you will be greeted with a menu screen and your current battle-car. This is where you have the option to play in the online casual playlist, online competitive playlist, online tournaments, single-player season mode or in training. You can also go to the garage and customize your battle-car to your liking.

In the garage, you can customize your battle-car settings along with your title and banner. Inside the garage you can choose items from the decal of your car, paint finish, wheel type, rocket boost, topper, antenna, trail, goal explosion and engine audio. Everything in the garage is purely cosmetic as it doesn’t change anything in gameplay.

If you choose to play in the online casual playlist, you have a variety of game modes to choose from. There are four standard modes: Duel, Doubles, Standard, and Chaos. The other modes are Snow Day, Rocket Labs, Hoops, Rumble and Dropshot. This playlist is made for the casual gamer that just wants to play and relax or try new play styles out before going into a competitive match.

At the end of a match in the online casual playlist, players might be rewarded with a crate or an uncommon garage item. Crates are special item drops that contain exclusive bodies, decals, goal explosions, rocket boosts, trails, and wheels. Crates can be opened by purchasing keys or earning a decryptor during a special event.

The newest mode added to Rocket League is the introduction of tournaments. Players are now able to set up their own tournaments and people can join them. It’s a great tool for streamers to use to run tournaments with their community.

The singleplayer aspects of Rocket League can be found in the Season and Training game modes. In Seasons, the player is placed on a team with two bots. Your team will then go through a season competing against other bot teams. Training is where you can either drive around the arena trying new tricks with your car and the ball, or also play scenarios out. The scenarios can be built specifically for what you’re trying to improve on like shooting, aerial shots, and goalie.

If you choose to play in the online competitive playlist, you have a choice of four different game modes. The four options are Solo duel, Doubles, Solo Standard, and Standard. When beginning playing in competitive, players are required to play in 10 placement matches in a single playlist to gain a rank. The competitive playlist is broken up into seasons, and at the end of the season, players are rewarded with a unique prize based on their highest rank in the competitive playlist.

Online Casual Playlists

Online Casual Playlists

  • Duel – One versus one mode.
  • Doubles – Two versus two mode.
  • Standard – Three versus three mode.
  • Chaos – Four versus four mode.
  • Snow Day (3v3) – The ball is replaced with a hockey puck and will glide across the map. The maps in the Snow Day game mode are icy and snowy. The mode was added to the playlist on December 14, 2015.
  • Rocket Labs (3v3) – A series of virtual reality-like prototype arenas. There are currently five Rocket Labs arenas in the map rotation. The game mode was added on February 10, 2016.
  • Hoops (2v2) – A basketball-style game mode where the goals have been replaced with two half-circle baskets. It is the only game mode that uses the Dunk House arena. It was added on April 25, 2016.
  • Rumble (3v3) – A variation of the standard game mode. There are two teams with three players each, but what makes it different is the 11 power-ups that players get during gameplay. After a player uses the power-up, they must wait 10 seconds before getting their next power-up.
  • Dropshot – Newest game mode added to Rocket League on March 22, 2017. The game mode doesn’t have any goals, but there are two sides of the hexagonal arena. Players must keep the ball off the ground and get the ball to become super-charged. If the ball hits the ground, the panels begin to break away. Players score by getting the ball to fall into the areas where the breakable panels have been broken. Once a team scores, the panels are reset.

Online Competitive Playlists

Online Competitive Playlists

  • Solo Duel – One versus one. Considered the most balanced mode in the competitive playlist as it comes down to pure skill.
  • Doubles – Two versus two. One of the more popular competitive playlists.
  • Solo Standard – A variant of the Standard game mode. This lets you play competitive on a three-man team, but everyone in the match is solo. There are no parties allowed.
  • Standard – Three versus three. The most popular game mode in the competitive playlist. Can be played with a party.


Competitive Tiers

Introduced during Season 2 of Rocket League. Competitive tiers replaced the preceding ranking system and ranked points. The Competitive tiers introduced a brand-new set of skill tiers, skill rating, and a complicated progression system. When beginning a new season or competitive play, players are required to play 10 placement matches a single playlist to gain a rank. Each tier has four subdivisions, Division I being the lowest and Division IV being the highest. You will go up and down in Tiers depending on whether you win or lose, as well as how well you perform.

Competitive Tier:

  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Diamond
  • Champion
  • Grand Champion