Soccer (football) games have been around since video games were a novelty. But even if you’ve played every version of FIFA and conquered lesser-known soccer games, nothing could prepare you for Rocket League. Controlling rocket-powered battle cars in a giant game of soccer is awesome, and the game isn’t slowing down any time soon. Rocket League was explosively popular in 2016 and has even entered the eSports scene.
In December 2016, Rocket League developer Psyonix opened up the PC version of the game to the Steam Workshop. User-made maps, training courses, and game modes are now available. I’m going to give you a rundown on which Rocket League mods are worth your time, and what to steer clear of.
Wow! What a save!
Rocket League Mods: Getting Started
Rocket League mods fall into three main categories: maps, mutators, and training tools. Steam Workshop support was introduced in December 2016. At the time of writing, these are solely custom-designed maps. You’ll need a third-party application if you want to access weird and interesting mutators, as well as additional custom maps (some with integrated game modes).
- Maps are specially-designed Rocket League arenas. They can focus on skill development, or just provide some fun.
- Mutators are presets that modify the standard game. They include boost speed, gravity, ball shape, and so on.
- Training Tools are scenarios designed to build specific skills. They cover everything you need to become a Rocket League Grand Champion.
The Rocket League Steam Workshop is the easiest way to access modded content, but it’s limited to custom maps. However, there are still some good maps to choose from. For instance, if you think you suck at Neo Tokyo, there is a custom version of the map you can subscribe to and train on. The same goes for Starbase ARC, Wasteland, and the Hoops basketball arena.
Head to the Rocket League Steam Workshop page, ensuring you’re signed into Steam. Select Browse > Maps, then Sort by: Most Popular (Six Months). At the time of writing, there is no use sorting before that, since the mods have only existed for a few months. Scroll down and subscribe to Map Hoops Training, followed by Starbase ARC in Training. The maps will automatically download.
Open Rocket League. Head to Extras > Workshop > Map Hoops Training and select your new map. Check out the short video below detailing the process.
Most of the Steam Workshop custom maps are single-player. They’re great for training specific skills and building your knowledge of all the arenas featured in Ranked (Competitive) Rocket League. Other maps good for skill-building include Parkour or Obstacle Course.
You’ll be pleased to know that there are multiplayer custom maps, too. Some of them require third-party tools, such as Rocket Launcher.
Rocket Launcher is a major third-party Rocket League mod manager. The custom launcher features a massive range of mods, including Spider-Man Mode, Zombie Mode, random bot sizes, custom hotkeys, and more. There are more features planned, but developer ButterandCream has “almost no time this school semester,” so the project is on hold for the time being.
Note: Presently Rocket Launcher doesn’t run as it should. This is due to a version mismatch between Rocket League and Rocket Launcher. The developer has assured the community that this will be rectified.
Download the tool from its page and extract Rocket Launcher. Run the application and locate your Rocket League directory. There are four tabs, each with options: Menu Mods, In-Game Mods, Map Loader, and LAN.
Menu Mods alter the appearance of the menu. You can create a custom blog menu featuring your own messages, website, and message of the day.
In-Game Mods affect gameplay. You can enable unlimited jumps, random bot sizes, and the standard double jump timeout. If you’re feeling experimental, you can change the ball scale, car scale, maximum speed, and maximum rotation speed. It can quickly get silly. However, these lead to jolly good fun.
The Map Loader loads the full range of Rocket League maps, as well as any custom maps you’ve downloaded. Use the Map Loader menu to tweak any mutator settings, like those in the image below.
The LAN menu is for the setup of LAN games. Of course, you might not physically be with your friends. In this case, you’ll need to use a virtual LAN service, such as Hamachi.
RLMapLoader is another third-party Rocket League mod. It is used to launch the entire range of Rocket League maps, as well any custom maps already downloaded and added to the Map Package Manager. The maps are only available in Freeplay or Exhibition mode, and give you a chance to reminisce about great maps gone by or try something completely different.
If you’re new to Rocket League, you’ve missed some of the earlier Rocket Labs custom maps developed by Psyonix. Some of these maps were imported from Rocket League precursor, SARPBC (Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars), such as the original Underpass or Utopia.
Full installation details can be found in this Reddit post.
There are two ways to get better at Rocket League: playing and training. In my experience, playing is more important — at least when you’re just starting out. Once you have control over your battle car and have started ranking-up in earnest, training specific skills becomes much more important.
Until recently, the inbuilt Rocket League training was basic. It came in three flavors: Goalie, Striker, or Aerial. Then, you could choose from three difficultly levels: Rookie, Pro, or All-Star. A recent update changed this. Those training modes still exist, but have been massively expanded upon with the Custom Training feature.
Custom Training is full of user-made training scenarios designed to test some of the more advanced skills you’ll need to rank up. Skills like aerial-passes and shots, aerial-dribbles, wall-shots, and backboard clearances really set the top players apart. If you want to be a Grand Champion, you’ll have to train as well as play.
The introduction of custom training sets was inevitable. Before Psyonix integrated custom training, players desperate to train advanced skills used Rocket League Trainer. This third-party training tool featured many of the advanced, user-made training content now integrated into the game.
There are more custom training modules available. You can enter codes to access them on the custom training screen. Console players can enjoy these too, as these training modules are available for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. The RLCustomTraining subreddit is a great place to get started.
Rocket League Modification Complete
Rocket League is an immense game. It’s a natural winner for me because I enjoy competitive gaming, cars, and soccer. But don’t let my preferences put you off. Rocket League really is a game that anyone can enjoy, regardless of interest in sports.
Mods create an interesting mix of new maps, decals, and mutators. Furthermore, the custom training mode is really worth investigating if you want to scorch up the Rocket League rankings. They’re a free way to expand your fun with the game, so you’ve got nothing to lose!
What is your favorite Rocket League mod? Do these mods add to the experience? Or is vanilla Rocket League the epitome of rocket-powered battle-car action? Let us know your thoughts below!