Rocket League is just a little bit more social, a little bit louder and a tad better moderated today. The much-hyped Patch v1.43 has officially rolled out for the surprise Esports mega-hit, adding automated tournament play, an option to actually listen to the game’s built-in soundtrack (fancy that) and some developer-level chat moderation features, allowing them to globally gag unpleasantly noisesome players.
The key feature on this update is the Tournament system. Invite a swarm of players, set the rules and the game will handle the job of matchmaking teams to run a tournament. Sadly, losers leagues and returning challenges don’t seem to be an option in this particular iteration, but I hope it’ll be added later on.
The other biggest feature for me (your mileage may vary) is the very belated addition of in-game music. Previously, all you heard during gameplay was honking horns, revving engines and the siren announcing a goal scored. Now you can actually listen to the (surprisingly extensive) soundtrack to the game, plus a bunch of new tracks introduced in this update.
Presumably to curb toxicity within the Rocket League community, Psyonix have introduced global chat bans for players that are loud, obnoxious and otherwise disruptive. Presumably these won’t be casually handed out (the game has a very large cross-platform community, and a relatively small studio supporting it), but chat-banned players will find themselves unable to use public text chat in-game at all, and will only be allowed to send pre-set Quick Chat messages every five seconds.
Naturally, chat bans don’t affect private or party events, but it should hopefully result in a few less abusive random players. One final feature introduced is a new set of HUD elements displaying connection issues as they arise. Distinct symbols for high latency, ping fluctuation, packet loss or server strain can appear on-screen if something is wrong, so at least you’ll know if it’s just you that’s lagging or everyone at once.
It’s interesting to see this added now, considering it used to be a standard feature back in the early days of PC online gaming, but Rocket League is rather more sensitive to connection issues than most modern multiplayer games. The update is live now, and you can check out the full patch notes here.