Rocket League went free-to-play on all platforms in September 2020 after being a paid game for 5 years. This transition opened up the wildly fun and competitive soccer/driving hybrid to countless new players on PC and beyond. By shifting to a free-to-play model, Psyonix and Epic Games could expand the player base dramatically while still profiting from in-game purchases like customization DLC and Rocket Pass. For both newcomers and veterans, this guide will breakdown everything you need to know about getting into Rocket League for free.
Downloading and Playing on PC
The base Rocket League game is 100% free to new players on PC through the Epic Games Store. Just make an Epic account, search for Rocket League, and click install. The download is around 7 GB total which is very manageable compared to mammoth game files like Call of Duty at over 100GB. Previous Steam owners can still access and play the Steam version they paid for, but new downloads must go through Epic. Once installed, you‘re ready to hop into matches against players on PC and consoles!
Performance Optimization on Lower End PCs
A key benefit of Rocket League‘s stylized graphics is that it can run smoothly on budget gaming rigs. You‘ll want at least a dual core CPU, integrated graphics like Intel HD 4000, and 2 GB RAM at minimum. For ideal 60fps gameplay at 1080p, Psyonix recommends a GTX 1050 or RX 560 GPU paired with a quad core processor and 8GB RAM. Make sure to lower Video Quality and Render Quality if you experience stuttering. With some tweaking, hitting high framerates is possible even with modest specs.
Purchasing DLC Customization Items
While the core game is free, dedicated players often purchase DLC packs to customize the look of their car and other cosmetics. These range from a few dollars for simple decals or boosts to $20 for bundled car packs. There is no gameplay advantage from purchasing cosmetics, but they allow you to personalize your style. Another monetization method is the Rocket Pass which unlocks tiers of exclusive cosmetic items as you gain XP and complete challenges.
Mastering Rocket League‘s High Skill Ceiling
Ask any top player and they‘ll tell you Rocket League has nearly unlimited room for improvement. While easy to start, perfecting advanced mechanics takes hundreds if not thousands of hours. According to pro player Chicago, "Rocket League is probably one of the hardest games in the world to master." Here‘s a glimpse at the techniques needed to rank up:
- Aerial Control – Hitting and adjusting mid-air
- Dribbling – Controlling ball on car
- Wall Play – Utilizing vertical space
- Fast Kickoffs
- Accurate Shooting
- Smart Positioning
- Boost Management
High level gameplay is lightning fast, demanding precision and consistency. But with quality training and smart play, both casual and aspiring competitive players can reach new heights.
Rocket League Esports Scene
The experts at the highest level demonstrates Rocket League‘s immense skill ceiling. The professional 3v3 scene continues to grow since the first tournaments in 2015. Now with official league play, championships boast prize pools over $1 million! Here are some of today‘s top pro players:
Helpful Resources for Getting Better
- Reddit: /r/RocketLeagueCoaching for replay analysis
- YouTube: VirgeRL, Wayton Pilkin, Thanovic
- Twitch: SquishyMuffinz, Lethamyr, ApparentlyJack
Engaging with the Passionate Community
Beyond competitive play, Rocket League boasts one of the most passionate gaming communities out there. Fans engage through:
- YouTube Highlights and Tutorials
- In-depth Training Packs
- Modding with BakkesMod
- Fan Art and Cosplay
- Custom Game Modes
- Twitch Streams and Discords
- Reddit Discussions
The shift to free-to-play brought an influx of new talent and content creators. 8 years after release, Rocket League remains a one-of-a-kind multiplayer phenomenon with limitless room for mastery and expression. Whether you‘re a newbie or seasoned expert, the pitch awaits your unique playstyle. Start your engines and take your best shot!