2018 is going to be a big year for Rocket League. Not only are there going to be a ton of updates to the game, but Psyonix announced that they’re going to test a new roadmap for releasing those updates. All of this is right around the corner, with the first series of updates set to roll out between March and April of 2018.
The New Road Map
According to Psyonix, they want to take a more methodical approach to updates in 2018. Rather than simply releasing content at random, Psyonix has defined two specific categories of content that they intend to alternate between. These categories are “Content Updates” and “Feature Updates.”
Feature Updates will focus on adding to game functionality, and will include things like graphical updates, long-awaited cross-play, and general quality of life updates. Content Updates will contain new maps, competitive seasons, and the like. You can check out the complete roadmap on the official Rocket League website to see what is in store for the game in 2018. While you’re here, though, check out the following highlights!
A Switch to Better Graphics for the Nintendo Switch
One aspect of the Spring Feature Update that’s garnering a lot of attention is the Switch performance and visual quality update. This update will include two new graphical modes: Performance Mode and Quality Mode.
In Performance Mode, Rocket League will run at 900p when the Switch is docked, and at 720p when playing handheld. Whether docked or handheld, resolution will scale dynamically in order to maintain 60fps in Performance Mode. Quality mode, on the other hand, will enable the game to run at 1080p while docked, and again run at 720P in handheld mode. Although this represents a marked improvement in visual quality while docked, it is accomplished by locking the game to 30fps.
Whether they choose to play in Quality Mode or Performance Mode, this update will provide a huge quality of life update to everyone who plays Rocket League on Switch. Presently, the game is capped at 720p on Nintendo’s newest console, and players sometimes experience drops to 576p. The Switch is capable of much better, as can be seen with other games on the console, so it is nice to see Rocket League making this improvement.
Another major Feature Update landing in Spring is the new Tournaments Mode. Psyonix has said that some sort of tournament mode is “something we’ve wanted for Rocket League since our launch in July 2015.” Tournaments would be open to players of all skills, and would provide an opportunity to compete without having to leave the game client. Tournaments Mods appears to be taking a familiar form, with players competing “against other players in bracketed, single elimination tournaments.”
Although players will have to wait until March or April to experience the full release of Tournaments Mode, Psyonix has stated that the beta for this feature would open on Steam in February of 2018. Get your game face on, and get ready to compete in Tournaments!
Cross-play at a Crossroads
Cross-play has been a fantasy of gamers for decades, but it has come to a particular head in the context of Rocket League. Also known as cross-platform parties, this feature would allow players on different consoles to participate in chat and matchmaking with one another. In other words, if you have an Xbox One and your friend bought a Switch, you could play Rocket League together!
There has been talk of implementing this feature for Rocket League for quite some time now, but so far it hasn’t happened. Toward the bottom of the Spring 2018 roadmap, though, Psyonix stated that cross-platform parties are definitely in the works for later in 2018. That means that we probably won’t get it this Spring, but it should launch before the end of the year.
There’s an important caveat that comes with the crossplay announcement, though. The roadmap says that players will be able to “party up and matchmake with players from other (participating) platforms.” Why the qualification? Because Sony continues to resist crossplay, citing reasons such as the inability of Sony to keep its younger players safe in a cross-platform environment, and the need to have other “commercial discussions” first.
So, for now, players on the PS4 are going to have to play alone, while Xbox One and Switch players can go hand-in-hand into what is almost certainly the future of online matchmaking.
Update: There are Even More Updates!
The Spring 2018 Roadmap is pretty big, and we recommend following the link above to check out the full thing on the Rocket League website. There are a couple other big releases that deserve a quick honorable mention, though.
Beginning in March, a new Spring Event will be launching. For those of you who have been playing Rocket League for a while, you know how zany and fun these events can be, so we’re looking forward to finding out what Psyonix has in store for Spring.
There are also going to be a host of quality of life updates that are going to make the Rocket League experience even smoother and more enjoyable. These improvements include Rocket League item stacking, better item filtering and sorting, and connection quality info.
Finally, although these things won’t be landing in Spring, Psyonix also has new maps, new arenas, and a bunch of progression updates slated for later in 2018. The progression updates will include the ability to earn decryptors through playing the game, unlocking new rewards for reaching high levels, and a promise to “make XP relevant again.”
As you can see, Psyonix has big plans for Rocket League in 2018. The game that already has over 40 million players worldwide only promises to grow in popularity and influence. We look forward to following this exciting roadmap with you. Stay tuned for more Rocket League news!
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