Like soccer is the world’s game, Rocket League has established itself as the digital world’s game. And developer Psyonix is taking this summer to celebrate the car-soccer hit’s two-year anniversary. This update is live now, and it introduces a number of new features, tweaks, and the start of the fifth competitive season.
Rocket League has more than 33 million players across PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox one, and it is coming to Nintendo Switch later this year. The studio regularly updates the game to keep players engaged and returning regularly, which (along with esports) encourages a subset of fans to spend money on premium mictrotransactions for cosmetic items. Rocket League officially turns two years old July 7. The anniversary update is one of the biggest set of changes to Rocket League ever, and it will lead into further content drops throughout the rest of 2017 and beyond.
Here are some highlights of what’s new in today’s update:
- Champions Field arena
- Animated decals
- Custom goal explosions
- Rocket trails are now called boosts, and your tire tracks are now called trails.
- Tire trails and engine audio are now also customizable.
- Overdrive Crates that contain rare items
I spoke with Psyonix publishing boss Jeremy Dunham at the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) trade event in June. He explained how dedicated the studio is to cross-platform multiplayer while also giving me some extra thoughts about the anniversary update.
“It’s a big celebratory anniversary for us,” he said. “We’ll be introducing Champion’s Field, a new standard arena, meant to be very epic and large in scale. We’re adding two new customization options for the first time. You can now customize your ball explosions. You can customize your super sonic trails. Bit of a caveat there, we used to call them rocket boost trails, but because of boosts, we’ve renamed them boosts in the new update, and now those little streaks you see from your tires are the literal trails.”
The studio is also making some changes to the way Rocket League’s competitive mode works. Season five starts with this update, and it has a new “season reward level” that is separate from your rank. This ensures that you can still get great gear for playing in competitive even if you don’t play well.
Now, I’m just hoping that the Switch version comes out soon so I can grind my way through all the new customization options and season 5 in bed, in the car, and in the rest room.