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The 7 Reasons to Avoid Playing Rocket League (and What I’m Playing Instead)

Rocket League Football Gaming Art

The 7 Reasons to Avoid Playing Rocket League (and What I’m Playing Instead)

Rocket League is one of the most prominent online games in the world, often exceeding more than 90 million players per day as of April 2023.

First released in July 2015 for the PlayStation 4 and Windows with ports arriving for the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch shortly thereafter, Rocket League has stood the test of time and multiple console generations. 

Even though it’s a popular game, that doesn’t mean Rocket League is right for everyone. Between its overly competitive and addictive nature and an often toxic community, Rocket League is a title that can be skipped. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at 7 reasons why you can avoid playing Rocket League and what games you can (and should) play instead. 

What is Rocket League?

When you think of Rocket League, think of soccer, but in fast cars that can easily defy the laws of physics anytime they want. As a player, you control a rocket-powered car and will use various speed boosts to hit a “soccer ball” that is 3 to 4 times the size of the car itself.

While driving this car, you have free range of motion and can jump and hit a ball while it’s traveling in mid-air or you can drive on walls to hit a ball off a bounce. “Boosts” are available throughout the field and provide the opportunity to use the “rocket” aspect of the vehicle to outrun your competitor and hit a ball first. 

Rocket League matches usually last around 5 minutes with a sudden death round available if neither team wins during regular play. Games can be played with one player versus another or up to four players per team. Just as is the case with soccer, a point is scored every time the ball is hit into the “net,” which is essentially a very large goal. 

Now that you understand the basics of the game, let’s look at why you can still avoid playing Rocket League today, tomorrow, and forever. 

Defy Physics!
Rocket League Ultimate Edition – Xbox One
$73.06
  • Xbox One
  • Ultimate Edition
  • Great to play with family and friends
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03/11/2024 10:21 am GMT

Reasons to Avoid Playing Rocket League

#1: Bad Physics

If you are a gamer who values real-world physics as part of any game, Rocket League is not for you. There is no question the abilities of the vehicles within this title can perform stunts that defy the laws of both gravity and physics and do it without worry.

What makes it even more difficult is that learning to control your vehicle during these gravity-defying antics leads to a very deep learning curve making Rocket League incredibly difficult to master. 

Even before you worry about mastering any of the car’s abilities, you still have to contend with how silly it is that Rocket League cars can drive up walls and every so often the top of a stadium like it’s a casual thing to do. 

#2: Difficult Learning Curve

Let’s just be completely honest here and say that learning to play Rocket League, e.g. mastering how your vehicle performs its gravity-defying stunts, is incredibly difficult. In this case, the word difficult means “so frustrating that you want to throw your controller” difficult. The bottom line is that Rocket League is challenging to master and takes both time and patience many gamers might not be willing to spend on this title. 

There is little question that the majority of video games all have various levels of learning involved to master them. However, few games reach the rage-inducing level of constantly trying to figure out the precise moment you need to jump to hit a ball in Rocket League. 

#3: Multiplayer Madness

Rocket League reliably offers a very large number of potential multiplayer partners, which is helped, in part, by still being one of the few titles that don’t require an online subscription from a console partner to play. Even with its free price tag, the caveat here is that multiplayer matches can be maddening. 

What has become all too prominent as part of playing online with Rocket League is starting a match with a full team only to be left alone after a few minutes. This thread on Reddit in r/RocketLeague perfectly demonstrates the level of frustration dedicated players of this title feel after a short time trying to start and finish a full multiplayer match. 

While it’s true that you can play Rocket League online in a 1 versus 1 matchup, part of the fun of this game is playing with multiple teammates. If you can’t do that without concerns over whether or not players will stick around if you start losing, what’s the point of playing at all? 

#4: Few Game Modes 

The core aspects of Rocket League are very much the same, which might be a problem for players who are hoping to find a variety of ways to play the game. The core aspect of the game, the individual matches or tournaments, can be fun, but they are pretty much all you have available to play. Some aspects change such as the type of stadium but, overall, there isn’t much here beyond the primary core experience. 

For gamers who value variety and different game modes, Rocket League is unlikely to fill their needs as a new and exciting title. This is especially true when other popular sports games like Madden or FIFA offer a variety of game types up to and including modes where you can take a single player throughout their entire playing career. Sure, comparing Madden to Rocket League might not be apples to apples, but it’s easy enough to make the case they could draw the same type of gamer. 

screenshot of rocket league game
The physics of Rocket League can be a big challenge to new players and cause lots of players to get quickly frustrated with gameplay.

#5: Car Soccer Isn’t for Everyone

If you are a fan of soccer aka fútbol, you are in good company as it’s the world’s most popular sport. However, the combination of cars and soccer doesn’t quite live up to the same expectations as the real-world game, and it’s okay to think this is a poor representation of the sport billions know and love. 

Better yet, maybe the idea of playing a game with a rocket-powered car doesn’t do anything for you. In this case, it’s also okay if Rocket League isn’t your thing. The reality is that this style of game isn’t for everyone and it’s very much an acquired taste, regardless of whether you can master the learning curve. 

#6: So Many Customizations 

Rocket League launched as a pay-to-play title but quickly went free-to-play, which is great news for anyone who wants to try the game. However, free-to-play can quickly turn against you as you realize that the hundreds of in-game purchases that help you customize your car, choose another car, or customize the cosmetics of your car can quickly turn expensive. Not to mention the cost of a Rocket Pass, which is a progression system in-game for Rocket League that helps you earn various decals, car bodies, wheels, and other prizes. 

As is the case with titles like Fortnite, the ease with which you can get started with Rocket League because of its zero-cost nature can become a real hassle if you want to do any personalization or customization at all. For parents, in particular, this can really add up as kids may want to continuously update their vehicles to match their friends or something they saw their favorite Rocket League Twitch streamer showing. 

#7: No Single-Player Campaign

Whether you are someone who doesn’t play nice with others or just wants to play alone, you won’t find much individual time while playing Rocket League. This is a title that is 100% geared toward playing online with friends or other gamers from around the world. If you want a single-player campaign or something else you can do without getting into the multiplayer universe with Rocket League, you’re out of luck. 

What’s worse is that it’s also very repetitive, which makes the absence of a multiplayer campaign to help liven things up even more notable. Without any other type of gameplay, it’s easy to get lost in Rocket League for a week or two and then realize without any type of campaign, you are simply playing the same type of match over and over. 

Sure, there’s an offline mode where you can play co-op with a friend, but it’s still the same as if your friend was at their own house playing online. 

What Else You Should Play: Better Alternatives to Rocket League

#1 Best Overall: Madden NFL 24

#1 Best Overall
Madden NFL 24 - PlayStation 5
$24.95
  • PlayStation 5
  • Anatomically accurate NFL player skeletons that are more responsive and true-to-life player motion
  • Enhanced gameplay foundation giving you greater control and delivering realism to all the ways you play
  • Select your position, body type and customize your Superstar and build your legacy
  • Smarter AI enables smoother and more realistic player action and reaction to the plays you call, providing more confidence your AI teammates will execute your game plan the way you intend
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03/10/2024 07:56 pm GMT

If you want a game that still brings the spirit of competition you can find in Rocket League but does with so many different types of gameplay, Madden NFL 24 is the answer. 

Between the variety of gameplay modes like exhibition, season, franchise, ultimate team, superstar, training camp, and more, you have so many different ways of playing Madden NFL 24.

Unlike Rocket League, which puts you in a box with multiplayer or offline co-op, you can play Madden NFL 24 alone forever. In fact, you never need to go online at all with the game, though you have the option of going online with modes like Superstar Showdown. 

Best of all, Madden NFL 24 just feels real as you have players who have attributes determined by their real-world performance. There is no death-defying physics taking place in this game, just pure football as seen every Sunday throughout the fall and winter months. Instead, there are just a whole lot of different opportunities to play as different teams and try to reach the Super Bowl or manage your franchise to victory again and again. 

Check out Madden NFL 24 on Amazon.

Best Soccer Game: EA Sports FC 24

Super Fun to Play
EA SPORTS FC 24 Xbox Series X & Xbox One
$33.75
  • EA SPORTS FC 24 is the next chapter in a more innovative future of football.
  • The revolutionized Frostbite Engine delivers The World’s Game in lifelike detail, bringing a new level of immersion to each match.
  • 19,000+ fully licensed players, 700+ teams, and 30+ leagues playing together in the most authentic football experience ever created.
  • Feel closer to the game with three cutting-edge technologies powering unparalleled realism in every match.
  • Some features may require an internet connection and an online subscription
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/10/2024 07:57 pm GMT

With a slightly different name debuting in 2024, FIFA is back with EA SPORTS FC 24 and a true way to play a game of soccer without ignoring the laws of gravity. 

Now available with a whole new Frostbite Engine to deliver more lifelike graphics than this franchise has ever seen, EA Sports FC 24 is better than ever. With over 19,000 licensed players, 700 teams, and 30 soccer leagues from around the world, EA considers this title the most complete soccer game ever released whether you are online or offline.

What’s so great about this title is that EA used a technology known as HyperMotionV, which used 180 real players to recreate the type of authentic motion you might see in a real soccer match. Add to this great title one of the most demanded features of all time, welcoming women’s football to the Ultimate Team mode.

You can now draw from 6 different women’s soccer leagues and build your ultimate team, which is a fantastic effort to increase the prominence of women’s soccer around the world. 

You can find EA SPORTS FC 24 on Amazon.

Best Car Game: Wreckfest

Best Car Game
Wreckfest - PlayStation 5
$29.72
  • From old American heavy-hitters to agile europeans and fun asians, you won't find anything like this in other games
  • Change the look of your cars and upgrade their body armor
  • Have hilarious fun with crop harvesters, lawns mowers, school buses, three-wheelers, and more
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/10/2024 07:57 pm GMT

If you want a game where you can drive a car and perform some truly outlandish stunts and still keep going in your vehicle, Wreckfest is the game you want. 

No matter if you want to drive an old beat-up car and play good old fun demolition derby or race lawnmowers around a track, Wreckfest is for you. The variety of different gameplay modes helps make Wreckfest such a fantastic title, especially when you are allowed to just race and try to keep your vehicle on a track that is nothing like a professional race course. 

Better yet, Wreckfest will remind millions of Burnout, which is one of the most popular automobile games of all time. Before any race or derby, players have the ability to make various adjustments to the vehicle in order to find the optimal condition to win a race and, should you win, you have the ability to buy or customize a new vehicle and upgrade every car you own. There are 3 separate modes within the game including career, multiplayer, and custom events. 

Check out Wreckfest on Amazon.

Wrapping Up

While Rocket League has certainly earned the praise of so many gamers and currently sits with an 85 Metacritic score, this isn’t to say it’s the right game for everyone.

Between not enjoying the physics of the game or the lack of a single-player campaign, there are definitely reasons why you might want to look away from Rocket League to find your next video game obsession.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the number one reason to not play Rocket League?

The number one reason to skip playing Rocket League is just how unbelievably frustrating the game can be if you have not yet mastered the crazy physics. 

How much does Rocket League cost?

While it launched as a pay-to-play title, Rocket League is currently free to play for everyone. 

On what platforms can you play Rocket League?

Rocket League is currently available to play on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo platforms. This includes both the PS4 and PS5 as well as the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. 

When did Rocket League come out?

Rocket League was released to the world on July 7, 2015. 

Can you play Rocket League offline?

You can play offline in a local co-op against another player, but all other game modes require an internet connection. 

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