As one of the most popular games in the world, Rocket League is everywhere. Rocket League has quickly grown into a prominent title with availability on every major gaming platform. At last count, Rocket League was passing more than 90 million players as of a report earlier this summer.
Interestingly, many of these daily players are not only adults, as kids love Rocket League as well. The good news is that children should love this title as it’s definitely an enjoyable gaming experience. This is especially true when compared to Call of Duty or Fortnite. Regularly considered a multiplayer game that can be played with both friends and strangers, it’s easy to set up matches with school friends and play a few matches after homework is finished.
With this in mind, let’s dive deeper into why parents shouldn’t worry about their kids playing Rocket League.
What Do You Do In Rocket League?
During a Rocket League match, players will choose a rocket-powered car and essentially play a unique version of soccer. With the rocket-powered car, players must hit a giant ball towards the other team’s goal. Your cars can defy the laws of physics, jump all over the “field,” and attempt to hit the ball in mid-air. Turbo boosters are available across the playing field to help give players a speed boost to get a ball before an opponent.
Within a Rocket League match, there is usually a five-minute play session unless a game goes into overtime. For the most part, matches are most likely to be played as multiplayer sessions. Within these sessions, you can go one-on-one or up to four players on both teams.
If you want to really get familiar with the game first, there is a single-player season mode. This is an easy recommendation to help get familiar with how Rocket League cars operate. A common complaint among parents is how challenging it is to hit a ball with your car. Like everything else you tell your children, practice makes perfect. Parents should be forewarned that there will be some complaints about the difficulty level.
Is Rocket League Safe for Kids?
Any question about whether Rocket League is safe for kids has to be addressed in two parts. The first part is the actual game itself. For the most part, it’s hard to find any major quibbles about why a parent wouldn’t want their kids playing this game. This is very much an arcade-style soccer game played with cars. It’s fun and engaging and even if it feels like it would be repetitive, every match can play out differently which keeps you coming back.
There is nothing about the cars or stadiums that should worry even the most concerned of parents. Everything about Rocket League’s gameplay appears to be very safe. The game is rated “E” for everyone according to the ESRB. As the governing body that rates video games for safety levels, the ESRB knows what they are talking about.
The only flag the ESRB has indicated is that there is one song lyric played in the game that contains a reference to tobacco. The lyric “I’ve been dining on coffee and cigarettes” but you can easily turn the radio off so your children don’t have to listen.
With the understanding that gameplay itself is very safe for kids, it’s time to turn attention over to the only real possible risk for children. If you are a parent who insists your child only plays with friends, then this really shouldn’t be a concern. However, if you are okay with your child playing multiplayer matches with other Rocket League players from around the world, you never know what another play will be like on their microphone.
It is possible for your child to hear inappropriate language and or play with someone who is much older. In the same regard, it’s possible to play multiplayer matches without a microphone and disable any opportunity for them to hear their teammates speaking. If you do that, then Rocket League is inherently safe for all ages.
Is There Violence In Rocket League?
The real-world answer is that there is no violence whatsoever in Rocket League. It’s just not that type of game. In many different ways, Rocket League is more of a sports game than any other game genre and that usually doesn’t come with violence. The only potential “violence” and we’re using that word generously is that when two cars accidentally collide at the exact right moment during a match, they can both explode.
Rest assured it’s a cartoonish explosion at best and it all happens within a second or two and then the game restarts you in your vehicle. There are no car parts thrown about or scenes of a driver flying around, none of that. Given this minor “explosion” or accident, there is very little risk as far as violence that parents can or should worry about.
How Much Does Rocket League Cost?
Rocket League is currently considered a free-to-play game no matter where you wish to play the game. On consoles, Rocket League is downloadable from any of the shops belonging to Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. For PC owners, downloading Rocket League requires signing up for the Epic Games store. Parents will likely need to assist children with this account setup to first get logged in.
However, there is a caveat around the cost of Rocket League as a free-to-play title. As is the case with many other games that are also free-to-play, there is a hidden danger lurking below this surface. This hidden danger shows up as in-app purchases in the free-to-play space.
What this means for parents is that it’s easy for children to get caught up in the idea that they only need to pay a few dollars to help accessorize their car. Whether it’s adding a new color, changing the wheels, or increasing the size of the spoiler, the options are plentiful. Most importantly, Epic Games is happy to sell you quite literally anything they can.
You can expect pricing to start around $4.99 or go up from there. As of November 2023, if a child wants a new paint job for their vehicle, this can range as high as $29.99 while a Season 12 Elite Pack is $9.99. As children see their friends playing with new cars and taking part in the latest season’s multiplayer matches, expect them to come asking you for money!
As an add-on to some of the points above, parents should know that with Rocket League, you can add parental controls to help mitigate in-app purchases. Many platforms, including the Epic Games store, offer a level of parental controls that will enable you to stop in-game purchases, control the amount of playtime available, and more. Epic also indicates the following controls are available across the different platforms Rocket League can be played.
- Playing on PC for Windows 10/11, parents can input restrictions on “purchasing, playtime, access to content, broadcasting, and more.
- On PlayStation consoles, Sony allows parents to “include spending limits, social features, access to games, content, and the internet.”
- For Xbox owners, Microsoft allows parents to put “restrictions on purchasing, broadcasting gameplay, and access to social features including communication, and multiplayer modes.”
- Last but not least, parents of Nintendo Switch owners can “include restrictions on purchasing, play time management, content viewing and sharing, and communication.”
The Bottom Line: Is Rocket League Okay for Kids?
At the end of the day, Rocket League is very safe for kids of different ages. If anything, the initial difficulty level should be more of a primary concern than age itself. Ideally, you wouldn’t want anyone under the age of 7 or 8 trying this game. At least until they have shown an appropriate understanding of hand-eye coordination with other titles. Rest assured there are millions of adults who complain about the difficulty levels of this game. Now just imagine how children will react when they can’t score a goal for weeks or months.
If parents are willing to encourage their little ones to keep practicing, Rocket League can be a ton of fun. It’s a unique game model that isn’t like anything else available today. There is a reason why Rocket League has millions of players every day. Plus, it’s free-to-play, and parents love free things to keep their kids occupied.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Printon Merchandise/Shutterstock.com.