Rocket League is a vehicle-base soccer game originally release back in 2015 by Psyonix. Since then, its various gameplay modes have gain it a large active gaming community of rocket-power-car maniacs! Following the original release, the game also got versions for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, macOS, Linux, and most recently Nintendo Switch. This might give you a little insight into the excellent engine optimization and customization that you can expect with Psyonix’s game, but more of that later on. Setting aside its ports, this big guide article is all about the original experience: playing Rocket League on Rocket League Gaming PCs, and aiming for smooth frame rates to maximize the enjoyment of the game.
Ever since its appearance, Rocket League has received very positive reviews from its players, thanks to Psyonix’s continuous support for the game. And its continually high concurrent user numbers on Steam (let alone its other platforms) really reflect those circumstances.
Whether you haven’t had a chance to play the game before, you’re looking to update an existing PC to get the most out of the in-game visuals, or you just want to know how much of an impact each of the game’s graphical settings has on performance—this guide will lead you on the right path towards an excellent Rocket League experience.
Rocket League Official Hardware Requirements and Specifications: Rocket League Gaming PCs
Minimum System Specifications:
- CPU: 2.4 GHz Dual-core
- Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 260 or AMD Radeon HD 4850
- RAM: 2GB
- Storage Space: 25GB
- DirectX: 9.0c
- OS: Windows 7+/li>
Recommended System Specifications:
- CPU: 2.5+ GHz Quad-core
- Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7950
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage Space: 25GB
- DirectX: 9.0c
- OS: Windows 7+
Now, when you’re looking at the minimum specifications, you could be forgiven to thinking that Rocket League could run off a potato. However, as with any competitive game, you might be wanting to bump up your frame rates to help with your reactions! So keep in mind that those specifications are simply so you can just get into game in the first place, with no concerns for stable 60 FPS or higher resolutions.
There’s a small note here about frame rates, though: although you could be running this game on a monster rig with the hopes of getting monster frame counts, the game engine itself tops out at 250 FPS. Now, I’m sure some of you RTX 2080 Ti fans will be disappointed to hear that, but hey… the eye can only see up to 60 FPS anyway, right?
It is also worth noting that some of the graphical options below will only really impact you on certain arenas. If you’re on an arena with a lot of weather and background detail, effects, etc.—then you will see a slightly larger impact for disabling these features versus leaving them on. Yet, as the engine is so well-optimized anyway, we’re talking about single-digit differences here from arena to arena; but it’s worth mentioning, because it is partly why we provide a small range of FPS percentage changes to expect.
1. 1080p 60 FPS [Low Settings] Rocket League Build ($390)
This build is designed to simply allow you to play the game. As such, we’re playing around with the built-in graphics performance of the Ryzen 5 2400G to bypass the need for a graphics card in getting the game to run well at low settings.
This is the lowest-tier build that we feel can comfortably promise consistent 60+ FPS in Rocket League at 1080p while playing with most graphics settings turned down to their lowest notch (or off, where applicable).
2. 1080p 60 FPS [High Settings] Rocket League Build ($550) For Rocket League Gaming PCs
CPU: AMD R3 2200G
Graphics Card: RX 570
Motherboard: MSI Pro B450M
RAM: 8GB DDR4-2400
Storage: 1TB Intel SSD
Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 520
CPU Cooler: Stock
Case: Phanteks P300
Operating System: Windows 10
Providing a little more horsepower than the first build, this option has been designed so that you will comfortably be able to play with all settings set to their highest at 1080p with 60 FPS.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. A Ryzen 3 2200G? Well, Rocket League is very generous with its CPU usage, generally not using much over 2 cores, making the overclockable Ryzen 3 2200G a perfect budget build option for 1080p 60 FPS gameplay on high settings. For more details, see the sources section at the bottom of this guide!
As for graphics, we’ve gone with an RX 570; technically this is a bit of overkill relative to our goal for this build, but the 570 is now so inexpensive that the next notch down in GPUs (like the GTX 1050) costs as much or even a bit more.
1440p 60 FPS / 1080p 100 FPS [High Settings] Rocket League Build ($900) For Rocket League Gaming PCs
CPU: AMD R5 2600X
Graphics Card: RX 580
Motherboard: Asrock B450 Pro4
RAM: 16GB (2 X 8GB) DDR4-3200
Storage: 1TB Samsung SSD
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G+
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S SE-AM4
Case: Phanteks Eclipse P400
Operating System: Windows 10
AMD’s CPU dominance for price-to-performance ratios is still showing here. That said, Rocket League will still not push the game super-hard on the cores, even at 1440p. This means that you can build a great 1440p 60 FPS or 1080p 100 FPS system for much less than you might expect when compared to other games.
This time we’re pairing the 2600X with an RX 580 (now that you can get those without breaking the bank, thanks to the cool-off in those old cryptomining issues).
We’ve also gone with more and faster RAM, and an even more absurdly fast stick of NVMe SSD storage.
Rocket League Graphical Settings Guide
This section takes a close look at the graphical options in Rocket League, and their effects on the game’s performance.
The ‘performance impact’ in each subsection below is the measured difference in average FPS between playing the game with all settings at their highest and turning only the setting in question down to the lowest (or off) while leaving all others untouched.
It is also worth pointing out that the performance impact is not necessarily perfectly additive. So if disabling one setting increases FPS by 10% and disabling another increases FPS by 10%, disabling both would not be expect to increase performance by 20%. Instead, the increase would likely be somewhere from 12-18% total.
Although you can (mostly) do this with the render quality setting, to completely enable all or disable/lower all available options requires you to manually change a number of them in the settings. Do note that, although your FPS will go through the roof dropping all of these options down, the quality has an equal and opposite experience.
Performance Impact: 100% between High Performance or Off and High Quality
Anti-Aliasing In Rocket League Gaming PCs
A common feature in most games these days, designed to smooth out jagged lines; yet it can be at risk of creating a slightly blurred image.
Performance Impact: ~5-10% between Off and MLAA
Motion Blur and Ambient Occlusion
I’ve placed these two toggles together as, like particle detail, they are hard to showcase in comparison stills and their impact on performance is quite match-dependent. Motion blur is a personal preference (it does look cool when you boost, but you can lose a little on-screen detail and crispness to the visuals) and ambient occlusion can make some smaller details on cars pop out of the screen more.
Performance Impact: ~5-10% between Off and On (depending on environment)
It wouldn’t be a good game of football without a little rain! Note that, on arenas with active weather effects, this will result in things like rain being directly in your line of view on the field. However, if there’s a background world effect for rain or fog, that will remain.
Performance Impact: ~5% between Off and On (depending on environment)
If you cannot tell by this point, we were hugely impressed by the overall quality of the optimization of Rocket League on PC, which is probably why it’s one of the best fast-action, player-versus-player games out there that still runs well on the Nintendo Switch.