The last real update for Psyonix’s wildly successful Rocket League seems like a very long time ago. It’s only fair, then, that we die-hard fans are treated to something new; I mean sure, everyone loves a good Spring Event, but the real meat has always been in these infrequent but often game-changing patches. This time around, we’re being introduced to the brand new Tournaments, as well as a ton of quality of life improvements and neat additions that you didn’t realise you needed until now. So let’s stop dilly-dallying, old chap, and get our skates on.
This is the headline act. Rocket League‘s newest update offers an entirely new way to play, distinct from casual and competitive play but drawing from both. Created by anyone with the courage and time, you’ll be able to join competitions of up to a crazy 128 teams and essentially battle it out from qualifiers all the way to the grand finals. You will need to grab some friends/teammates/strangers in order to compete, what with Rocket League being a team game and all; the tournament creator has the option to change as many settings as you would in an Exhibition match, altering everything from the type of game player (soccer, ice hockey, basketball) to the active Mutators.
What you see below is the Tournament creation menu, detailing the arenas used, the min/max rank requirements, and a whole bunch of other things:
Quality of Life Improvements
Rocket League servers have always been a little temperamental. Fortunately for you, the new update adds a host of new iconography that is designed to help players suffering from connectivity issues mid-game. Icons denoting latency variance, packet loss, and server health will now display on your screen when it’s clear that you’re struggling; you’ll even receive pop-up messages on your home screen if the issue persists.
Psyonix have finally deemed it necessary to add a Chat Ban feature that – when implemented – prevents the offending player from typing messages during online play. Obviously, this is an anti-troll measure that solves the problem of Rocket League‘s conflict-ridden chat; the offending player will be able to send Quick Chat messages, but only once every 5 seconds. How’s that for a countermeasure?
In addition to all of this, the Inventory has seen an overhaul in terms of how you are able to sort it – you’ll be able to “favourite” items, for example, and you’ll now find that your duplicate items – for the most part – stack. There’s plenty more, so do check out the official patch notes when you get a chance: the same goes for the wide array of UI changes and new settings, as well as the general stability improvements and bug fixes.
Neat Additions that you didn’t realise you needed until now
Aquadome and Starbase ARC have returned to the competitive playlists, bringing with them four new country flag antennae and a variety of new MonsterCat-themed flags to boot. The colour palette for both blue and orange teams has been expanded (praise the Lord), and you’ll also notice the new “Triumph” crate that has been slyly dropped into rotation.
All of this pales into insignificance, though, in light of the news that you can now listen to the Rocket League soundtrack while you play. Just adjust one of the new Audio settings and turn the whining thuds of a standard match into something much more aurally pleasing. Oh, and on the subject of noises: you’ll also notice that the ‘crowd’ can now anticipate good shots or epic saves, and react accordingly with growing fervour.
One Last Thing
You thought I’d forgotten about the Switch version, didn’t you? Rocket League on the hybrid console has seen a huge graphical improvement, now offering “Performance” and “Quality” modes that run at 60/30FPS respectively. Speaking from personal experience, I was a little disappointed by the graphical cut-backs made for the Switch version of the game, so this is BIG news. You can also record 30-second gameplay clips, so fret not about having to describe that amazing cross-court wall-shot you performed without visual cues.
If you want a more comprehensive – though far less entertaining – run-down of everything that the Tournaments Update has added to Rocket League, head on over to the official patch notes right here. Otherwise, I’m about done; all that remains is for me to say that the Rocket League Tournaments Update was released on April 4th, on console and PC. Download it now, for free (duh).