Put the Pedal to the Metal with this Rocket League Guide
Maybe you know a lot about it and everything I’m going to tell you is review, but then again, maybe you have no idea about any of it. Alas, never to fear, newcomer! I’m here to help. I’ll give you a basic rundown of everything in the game that you need to know to start your experience off right with this Rocket League Guide. Before we start, welcome to the Rocket League community!
All right, first, we have to hit on the major point of Rocket League—what in the blazes is it? It’s like a car game, and it has something to do with, like, soccer or something? Righteo! In the classic mode, it consists of two teams of between two to four players on each team with two goals on the opposite end of the stadium. One team has all red colors and, rather unsurprisingly, their goal is red. It’s their job to make sure that the other team, who is blue or green, doesn’t put the soccer ball into the goal matching their own paint job.
The Red Team wants to score on the Blue Goal, and the Blue Team wants to score on the Red Goal. Each character, instead of a classic multiplayer game where you’re a person or a creature, is a car. The particular model varies and you can customize it, but they all handle the same in terms of speed and strength and all that jazz, so it’s really personal preference. In summation, you and your car buddies try to score on the goal that doesn’t match your paint jobs, while trying to keep the nefarious other teams from scoring on you. Is it really that simple? Yes, yes it is!
Competitive and Non-Competitive (Casual)
I gave you a basic understanding of the “classic” modes. However, there are a couple other modes that can be fun, if a bit different. There’s two basic categories of play—Competitive and Non-Competitive (or Casual). I bet you can guess the difference. You got it—one is competitive, and the other is not! But, in all seriousness, Casual Play is probably what you want to start out with. It’s a very relaxed form where the only big bummer about losing is your stats. As a newcomer, you might feel uncomfortable because you’re not utterly confident in your abilities and don’t want to look stupid. Trust me. Nobody, when starting, is going to wow you with their abilities. Get out there and give it your best shot!
Once you get the hang of the game and you’re feeling confident, you might want to move on to the Competitive category. That’s where things start seriously counting, because after a series of ten matches in this category to figure out your so-called “skill level,” you’ll be matched with players that the game thinks are about as good as you are for each game. Win, and your skill level goes up! Lose, and it goes down. It’s more exciting, but your teammates also take it more seriously generally speaking, so if you plan to just goof around and eat some pizza while playing with one hand, stick with Casual.
Within both categories, you can choose your team size. I told you earlier that the teams go from 2 to 4 people on each. True! But… also not true. I’m sorry, beloved reader. Allow me to explain. The teams, like I said, are between 2 and four people each, but if you’re a loner, you can do Solo Duels. That’s where you’re one on one, battling it out with just one person. So, technically, you can have between one and four people on a team. There are a couple fun things to try out, like the ice hockey mode where the ball has been replaced with a puck, or Dropshot, where you have to score through the floor, or Rumble, a chaotic mess of cars and superpowers. I suggest tooling around with the regular mode before going into the other genres, because boy oh boy, they can get insane—especially Rumble.
Getting Decked Out
The big question everyone wants to know is this—can I make myself look cool? Can I customize my car? The answer is that yes, you can absolutely make yourself look utterly rad so you can dazzle in the victory celebrations after a game. Make yourself get noticed! Hit ‘em with the ole razzle dazzle! Like I said earlier, there many different base models to choose from. It’s all reversible at any time, so don’t worry about picking the best one right off the bat. It’s honestly all personal preference. For example, the Octane is a very small, sharp car that looks like a motorcycle on steroids, while the RoadHog XL looks like a Hummer and the Mantis looks like a flattened Corvette.
I’d suggest using one that’s bigger to start off with, simply because it’s easier to hit the ball. Once you pick your model, you get to customize the paint job, wheels, toppers, antennas, goal explosions, engine sounds, and basically everything else. The more you play, the more stuff you’ll unlock. Go crazy! You can get a surprising amount of customization on both teams even starting off, so knock yourself out and experiment. Maybe you’re someone who wants everyone to look at you. Put some lime green paint on, your brightest wheels, and a loud engine roar! Maybe you like the cool, calculated look. Make yourself a deep crimson or purple and equip all black wheels. Make it yours!
Okay, so you’ve played a game and you had lots of fun. Right after the game ends, blamo! Something appears on your screen! It could be a crate, or a hat, or wheels, or something like that and it has the option of equipping now or just accepting it (unless it’s a crate, then it gives you the option of opening it now or hitting “okay”). Don’t panic! Don’t call an exorcist and don’t freak out, because it’s a good thing. That means that you got a Drop. Every now and then, through a randomized system, players get Drops. I could write for nineteen years and not get through all the things you can get, but most of them are fun toppers (hats, basically) or wheels, or crates. Crates are fun because you can open them with a key that you have to buy yourself and get an opportunity to get some really, really cool stuff randomly from the contents of the crate. Don’t want to do that? Feel uncomfortable, and don’t want to be tempted to spend any money? Not a problem. Go to settings and hide your crates. You won’t even get a notification that you have them. They’ll sit happily in your inventory for trading to other players or just as inventory spots. You’ll still get all the free stuff that you can use immediately.
Get it On
Trading. A biggee in the Rocket League community. Here’s how it works—you like someone’s wheels (I’m a wheel guy, so I talk about wheels a lot) and you message them asking to trade. They accept, and you join up in the Rocket League party system. Then, you click on their name, meander on down to “Invite to Trade,” and just like that, you’re a trader. Beware that there are a huge number of scams out there! Some people will lie to you and tell you an incorrect value, or they’ll try to replace an item with another item in the hopes that you don’t notice. Some particularly brave ones will even ask for an item to see how it looks before trading, which means you give the other player your item and they vanish off into the night, cackling evilly.
Just follow your gut, make sure you double check the trade before you accept, and you should be good to go. I would suggest finding how much everything is worth before trading. There are a couple sites, but there’s a Google Doc that a lot of people use that’s updated all the time and is comprehensive. Starting off, most other people won’t know how to trade, but once you play for a while, you might find yourself getting into trouble with experienced players. Never accept a trade if you don’t like it.
That’s it. That’s the basic formula on Rocket League. It’s a fantastic game, especially for buddies because you and your friends (up to four at a time) can play on one console at the same time. So, what are you waiting for? Put this down and go play! Tool around for a while. Get to know your car, get to know the game. Don’t feel bad if you miss sometimes, or even a lot, for a while.
I’m a very experienced gamer and it took me a day and a half before successfully hitting the ball. All I can say is this—it’s worth it. It’s a great game that anyone can get into. All the other parts of it, like customization and trading, are awesome for people who want to do it. If you prefer to just hunker down and play without changing a thing, you’re welcome to do that as well. The only real thing you have to do is have fun. Get out there and have yourself a great time!