Rocket League 1.04 Adds Arena And Spectator Mode

Rocket League [official site] is our game of the month for August. Why? Because it’s ace and it’s about to get even more so with patch 1.04 and the upcoming DLC, Supersonic Fury. The DLC is on the way later this month, but the patch is laying groundwork for it and out now. It’s pretty hefty by itself, adding much-needed features such as spectator mode along with a new arena called “Utopia Coliseum” and some apology items for the downtime many users experienced when the game launched. Downtime that happened because it’s ace. Details below.

Along with Utopia Coliseum, here are the highlights:

  • Added “Vote to Forfeit” button to “Ranked” online matches
  • Added 70+ new Country Flags
  • “Servergate” Wheels, “Disconnected” Antenna, and “White Flag” are the free “Sorry” items
  • Added the ability to create or join Private Matches that can be named and/or password-protected
  • Added “Spectate” to “Choose Team” menu in “Private Matches,” allowing players the option to watch games rather than participate (3v3 match-type maximum)

Those last two will be particularly useful for the burgeoning competitive scene. Rocket League certainly has the playerbase, interest and skill ceiling to go full e-sports. It’s up to the community, Psyonix and places like ESL (who have already begun to run tournaments) to see how far they can push it. Regular new content, both paid and unpaid, will be a must to maintain interest, while it’s up to the people that play the game to provide viewership and attendance for a competitive scene.

You can see the full patch notes on Steam or the official site. As it’s our game of the month, we’ve been writing about it constantly. Here’s Adam’s review and the verdict from the rest of the team. Pip humble bragged about all her best goals via some lovely screenshots. I rounded up all the best clips from the first few weeks of the game and you lovely folks have even started up your own league.


Top comments

  1. ikehaiku says:

    The DLC is actually out, released today.
  1. ikehaiku says:

    The DLC is actually out, released today.

  2. ButteringSundays says:

    I love the new arena – some of the more ‘serious’ players seem to have some minor gripes – but boy is it beautiful!

    I can’t help but feel that the paid DLC is a bit cheeky – however I haven’t seen much chatter about it. I was happy to drop £15 for the base game, but isn’t charging £3 for some extra cosmetic collectibles a freemium strategy? I get a bit twitchy when I see paid-for games (that are a huge success) doing it. Can’t have it both ways… or I guess you can, but I don’t like the trend.

    • Piento says:

      Surely cosmetic DLC is the right kind of DLC? If you don’t want it then it makes absolutely no mechanical difference to your game, you are not worse off (other than your car looks less cool than mine) than had you not bought it.

      • ButteringSundays says:

        Of course – I’m not complaining because I want it and don’t want to pay for it (I’ve stuck it on my wishlist and will maybe pick it up when it’s 50p… maybe) – it’s pure principle, especially so soon after the launch date.

        Anyone that’s been alive as long as I have will likely feel the same.

        • Xzi says:

          I think it’s best to support reasonable pricing. $4 is nothing for DLC at launch when so many games release DLC at $10+. At worst, you should only have to worry about getting it for 50% off. Pointless to wait over a year or so for a 75% off sale on some very inexpensive DLC for a great game.

        • Blaaaaaaag says:

          May I ask how old thou ist? (I’m 35, when I was a youth I spent over a hundred bucks that I worked very hard for, to buy a Sonic cartridge that could be beat in under ten minutes. This game and it’s DLC look like the bargains of the century next to that, nevermind that Sonic money would’ve inflated massively in the years since. That’d be like $160 today)

          Considering also that they did a nice free update, with that new arena and other new cosmetic items, alongside the DLC, and I’m pretty pleased with Psyonix so far.

  3. fish99 says:

    It could use some mechanical improvements. For instance it has 2 view modes, one where you sometimes can’t see your car or where you are going, and another where you often can’t see the ball. I get that you’re supposed to switch between them, a lot, but that only helps some of the time. Also I think the ball is too floaty, i.e. too light and it gets stuck to the side of the arena too much. The game needs some TV style cameras which track the action too, and some match length options.

    It’s damn addictive though. I’ll have to give it a try online since I’ve only played against AI so far.

    • laiwm says:

      Having only played online, the weight of the ball feels right – it felt too beach-bally at first but once I got the hang of boost-flying and wall hits I realised that it was carefully tuned to support that kind of play, rather than everyone scrambling end-to-end constantly. Agree about the camera sort of – it’s pretty tough to see what’s going on as a keeper, but I don’t know what they could do about that really.

      • aircool says:

        I just use ball-cam all the time. A quick flick of the right stick is all that’s needed to check your position and the location of other players.

        • fish99 says:

          How about when the ball is high above your car?

          • ikehaiku says:

            Then, you have to get the hell out anyway. You’ll never have the chance to hit the ball in any useful manner.
            Unless, you are one of those fine folks who can master incredibles aerial hits from a stand-still – but in that case, cameras angles have stopped being an issue long time ago, I guess ;-)

    • Piento says:

      The ball getting stuck on the wall is something that happens much less as you (and your opponents) get better at the game. When you start out it’s 6 people chasing the ball and missing it a lot on the sides. Later on it’s this fluid ballet of little baby rocket powered kicky cars.

      And… I think they made the right choice with the camera. It’s a pain when the ball is directly above you, sure, but that’s how it is in real ball-sports, that feeling when a ball is flying high and you’re rushing to get into position as it flies over you. It’s absolutely about your judgement of things in (predictable) motion. There’s an awkwardness to it but when you judge it *right* it feels *so good*.

      • fish99 says:

        Hmmm…. I dunno, in a real sport, you can feel where you are, which direction you’re pointing and where all your limbs are. You don’t need to see them. In Rocket League, because it’s 3rd person, the car goes off screen when the ball is above you, and it’s quite easy to lose track of your orientation and positioning, especially when you’re near the goal. The goal often blocks your view as well.

        I can’t think of a solution though to keep both on screen without pulling the camera back a huge distance or pushing it under the terrain.

        • Marblecake says:

          The trick here is to quickly turn off ball cam to get your bearings when this happens. You can still keep track of the ball via the marker on the ground. It’s basically just another skill that needs to be mastered. And after a while you get a feel for the dimensions of the field, which helps in judging your relative position to each goal. (Not that I have mastered either. I’m still a relative noob but I’m on the edge of seeing how it works, I can feel what I need to do….I’m just not there yet :D )

          • fish99 says:

            Thanks for the replies guys :)

            I did just try it online for the first time (~10 matches) and seem to be pretty decent, scored plenty of goals but screwed up plenty as well. It’s so intense online :o

  4. Marblecake says:

    As was pointed out in the LoL article: why would regular content updates be necessary for such a skill-based, bare-bones game? Football doesn’t have new stuff added to it on a monthly basis and it’s still being played competitively.
    I think Rocket League could very well become the esport even people unfamiliar with the game would enjoy to watch. It’s so…basic, and yet ot works wonderfully. I really do hope it doesn’t change.

    • Bugamn says:

      Aren’t cosmetic updates similar to the use of new uniforms by a football team, or a new ball design, or even a new stadium? I think football gets those updates.

      • Marblecake says:

        Yeah, no, those are perfectly fine. But when I read “regular content updates *to keep things interesting*” it sounded like a call to keep tweaking the game mechanics in order to keep things “fresh”. Which would be terrible, no?

        • Bugamn says:

          When I hear about “content updates” I think about cosmetics, new levels, this sort of things, not changes to mechanics. At most I would think of new game modes.