Rocket League Screenshots: A Library Of Proud Balls


An experiment with screenshots from game-of-the-season, Rocket League.

I love Rocket League [official site] dearly. It is a game about footballing cars which involves enough skill that you feel like there’s a game to learn – or even to master – but enough riotous joy that you can play chaotically with friends of all skill levels. At the moment I spend roughly 50% of my play time being competent, 25% sailing majestically past the ball because I can’t master three dimensional space and 25% being bullied and exploded by friends because “exploding Pip’s things and also Pip” is a favourite minigame across many titles and platforms.

Scoring a goal feels great, whether it’s a cheeky chip, a stealthy steal or a mighty biff from the halfway line that would rival David Beckham’s performance against Wimbledon is Beckham had a) been a car and b) Wimbledon hadn’t become the Milton Keynes Dons a billion years ago when I still followed football. A well-executed assist feels brilliant too. That urge to capture that joyful feeling and record moments of genius is why replays exist. You want to save and savour those goals.

Something I’ve been noticing is that I forget to save the replays. My instinct in these situations is always to reach for the screenshot button and thus I now have a LOT of images of circles heading towards rectangles, curiously bereft of any of the emotion I associate with the game. It’s partly because, without movement, you can’t get a sense of the personalities these little cars express and partly because in the few moments you see during the in-match replay there’s barely any time to frame or consider a shot.

I thought I’d try turning them into something else using some of the apps on my phone.

An explody goal chipped in from the right after a mighty Pip assist:

A cheeky chip which bounced in from a quarter of the way down the pitch:

A powerful accidental header (roofer?) which I claimed as “incredible skill”

Another explode goal which kind of ended up closer to a Rorschach test:

I really like how still this gentle roll over the goal line seems, along with the rain and what look like cypress trees in the background:

And to finish, I just like how some of these explosion close-ups remind me of nebulae in space photography:


  1. Sp4rkR4t says:

    I do adore this game but I am going to have to stop playing for a while until they have completed the server system overhaul since the rubberbanding and error 71 problems only seem to be getting worse.

    • geisler says:

      Yep, EU servers are a disaster for me too, with one in three games being unplayable due to the rubberbanding. Solution? Play on US servers, at least for me (playing from Belgium). Pings are high of course, but perfectly playable, and none of that pesky rubberbanding.

      • HothMonster says:

        That is a shame for you EU folks. I played a fair bit over the weekend (on US server) and didn’t run into the rubberbanding once. Was very glad that they seemed to have that sorted, now I’m scared it may come back :(

    • caff says:

      I found the rubberbanding started appearing on Saturday, and only affected about a third of the games I played…

      I’m sure it can be fixed, though I am kind of dreading the moment people start speed hacking or something.

  2. Stugle says:

    I see an evil demon face exploding out of the center of that Rorschach pic. Guess I won’t be sleeping soundly tonight. :)

  3. caff says:

    I like the rainy one. Very melancholic. Poor ball. Go on, get over that line.

  4. OmNomNom says:

    I hate football. Will i enjoy this?

    • Pliqu3011 says:

      That depends. Do you like fun?

      (In all seriousness though, just look at some gameplay footage on youtube. It’s not like there’s any real plot to spoil.)

    • Thulsa Hex says:

      I don’t watch much football but I like this so much. It’s like all the most exciting, show-off-y highlights of regular football, distilled-down into it’s purest essence, with rocket cars. It’s like comparing Mario Kart to F1, I think, but with a bit less random shenanigans.

    • trjp says:

      Why don’t you like football – is the real question?

      If it’s because a ball travelling around is something you cannot cope with – you won’t like this

      If it’s for some other reason – erm – you’ll need to enlighten us.

      • OmNomNom says:

        I don’t think it is the real reason but I will share for the lols.

        I’m not a huge spectator sport fan anyway but Football especially represents a hollow shell of what it should be. Having a team which entirely consists of people not ‘from’ where the team is based makes no sense to me. It is not for instance Manchester vs Liverpool it is a whole random assortment of people that have nothing to do with those places except for accepting the largest paycheck.

        For me the whole idea of ‘supporting’ a team which means buying an overpriced shirt and overpriced tickets to see a game at a distance that you can’t see what is going on very well and making lots of noise. Sure you are supporting the team with your money, but it is not YOUR team. I especially don’t understand why people get so happy or upset based on the outcome of a game (enough to start fights etc) when they have absolutely nothing to do with the team or the players. It is not ‘your’ team.

        The game revolves around money so much I wouldn’t be surprised if some action is staged, the amount of rolling around on the floor cry baby action is just upsetting.

        So, kicking a ball around in a park with mates is fine. Going to support a local team with players you know who grew up there is fine. The whole commercialism and bullshit that surrounds it is not fine. Football as a spectator sport is awful.

        • OmNomNom says:


          for god’s sake RPS – EDIT FUNCTION PLEASE

    • wraithgr says:

      As soon as you place it in a different context, football is just capture the flag, really… So think about whether you’d like capture the flag with rocket cars where the “flag” is spherical…

    • caff says:


      I hate football too but Rocket League is great fun.

    • bilstar says:

      I despise the foot-to-ball.

      But I love the Rock-it League.

  5. Thulsa Hex says:

    These are really nice, Pip.

  6. trjp says:

    I picked-this-up – it’s loads of fun – notable things

    1 – the bots are REALLY good, for the first few hours I doubt you’d notice the difference between them and real players
    2 – the grass is amazing – really, no reason to make it so nice, but it’s lovely

    I even managed one game which wasn’t mostly a ‘scramble in the corners’ – loads of midfield play – very cool

    I think I’ll probably get bored – I think, eventually, some people will be WAY too good at it – but for now, it’s a hoot

  7. Robert Post's Child says:

    Last image looks like when they accidentally catch a poltergeist on camera, as revealed through their ghost-detecting mid-90’s technologies.

  8. raiders says:

    I picked this game up a couple of days ago.
    Immediately, I understood what everyone’s been talking about.

    Playing a 34 game season on Pro. These bots are ridiculous.
    I’ve had to ban myself to play 1 game a night.

    If I were NIKE, I’d sponsor Rocket League.
    This is where the idiom “JUST DO IT” indubitably applies!

  9. Quistie says:

    I think the ball looks really sad in the rain picture :-( maybe it gave up rolling all the way into the goal. Fun pictures here Pip :-)