Rocket League private matches are the best way to cool off after a disheartening ranked streak or encountering a toxic teammate. Maybe you introduced some of your friends to RL and want to minimize the skill gap. (Introducing more people to the game helps keep it alive, after all.) Mutators and custom rules are the best way to make RL a household hit. Today, I’d like to share my favorite custom game mode ideas in Rocket League.
From there, you can cycle through standard game modes such as Soccar, Dropshot, Heatseeker, Hoops, and Snow Day. But the bottom icon is where the real magic happens. Click into “Mutator Settings.”
Psyonix provides a few mutator presets at the top of the menu that are fun, such as pinball, moonball, and spike rush. We can create meatier custom game modes by fiddling with mutators ourselves, though.
These game modes will require comms between players since we’re making up house rules for each playlist. You’ll have to use your imagination to make them work. Cue the SpongeBob meme.
They’re worth it. These custom game modes are a blast.
If you don’t have real friends, scroll down to the next section. I’ll pour out a commemorative drink.
The turtle game mode is pretty simple. Each player needs to flip their car upside down and sloppily skate across the field by rooftop. Unlimited boost is a must. There’s no other way to move while turtled. Don’t go beating anyone up for flipping over by accident. They’re instinctively tapping reverse.
Turtle games are the closest game mode to reliving the hilarious glory days of bronze highlight reels. Whiffs and double commits are inevitable, and that’s okay! Everyone will crowd the corners of the map, and that’s also okay.
Turtle games are challenging and fun. They’ll help ignite the spark you felt when playing Rocket League for the first time.
In this custom game mode, players aren’t allowed past the half-field marker. You make every touch from your half of the field. You only drive within your half. Sometimes players might land in the opposing half after landing from an aerial, that’s fine. Sometimes players need to make more than one touch to send the ball into the other half. We allow it.
The idea here is to modify the classic boomer mode and refine our angles for long shots. It’s a lot of fun, and you’ll find yourself tightening up your defense in the process.
The player who lost the last point earns the right to the next kick-off. The first kick-off of the game can be decided by whoever lost the last match or both teams can dive simultaneously, depending on your preference.
Thanks to the anniversary ball, you can make touches upwards of 250 mph. A standard ball typically falls short at around 180-190 by the time it reaches the goal. Although using a puck could make for a fun air hockey variant, too!
I first learned of Juggernaut from watching a Lethamyr video back when he was coaching for MousEsports. Kuxir, Scrub, Speed, and Al0t chased one another around the field like hysterical monkeys. It was a riot watching pro RL players chase the ball. I consider Lethamyr one of the top 10 RL content creators on YouTube specifically for his creative game mode ideas and maps.
Anyway, this custom game mode builds itself around the idea that one player is a Juggernaut facing off against every other player on the field. When the Juggernaut scores, they win the game. But it isn’t so easy…
When a player on the other team scores, they become the new Juggernaut. The original Juggernaut joins the ranks of the crowded (and less important) team, fighting for another chance to become the Juggernaut again.
Unlimited match length is crucial. It’s pretty tough to score as the Juggernaut. Games can take upward of ten minutes before a clear winner arises!
Jon Sandman gets credit for creating this custom game mode. I’m avoiding the phrase battle royale since it’s become a buzzword.
Free-for-alls are a riot. Explosions and cheeky strategies for eliminating particular players will fill the evening with high-octane excitement. Friendly fire demos and disabled goal reset are essential for devising cynical strategies and sneaking into the spotlight.
Free-for-alls are round-based. If a player scores a goal, they’ve advanced to the next round. They back out and spectate until everyone else has made it through. The last player to score gets eliminated. Think along the lines of musical chairs from grade school.
Pro Tip: Once everyone but the last player has scored their goal, tell everyone to back out so you can fire up a new match. If someone goes AFK, make a joke about how their vehicle is being towed.
There are no teammates in this game mode. There are only players aiming for the same goal as you. The most exciting moments in an FFA are when the last players in the round are stuck on the same team fighting to steal goals from one another.
Additional Rules: If your name doesn’t appear on the screen, that goal isn’t yours. So don’t go spamming own-goals unless you want to help someone on the other team make it to the next round.
In the final 1v1, I’ve found it best to let the finalists play until a player scores three goals – preventing anti-climactic kickoff wins.
Jailbreak is more immersive than a typical game of chaos. When players get demolished, they have to spectate from the penalty box until their team surrenders a point. Once a team gets scored on, their whole team can join back in.
The jailbreak elements create a rubberband effect for players of different skill levels, keeping the match fresh and engaging. Sometimes players will flip ‘ball cam’ off in favor of ‘demo cam’ for entire games.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with demo-holic tendencies, this game mode is for you.
King of the Hill is a variation of your typical sweaty 1v1 playlists. It’s served best in a natural game state. Shadow defense, heavy dribbling, and crazy wall plays. All the usual offenders in a 1v1 match with some room to breathe between goals. Here’s how it goes:
At the start of each round, two players join up. The player who gets scored on backs out, and the next player on queue takes their place. Once the next player gets scored on, they surrender their seat to the next player. It carries on until the clock winds down to the final 30 seconds.
All players rejoin the game in the last 30 seconds and score as many last-second goals as possible. Think of it like a bonus stage in a retro platformer. Then, the player with the most goals on the scoreboard is declared the winner when the timer runs out.
P.S. King of the Hill is the perfect game mode to warm up with while partied up and waiting for a sanctioned 3v3 tournament to start.
If you’re feeling exceptionally cultured, you can turn a player into a ball for a match or two. That player must remain upside down and turtled throughout the match.
It’s pretty fun being the ball. That player is free to boost and spin around players as much as they’d like. Once the human ball gets launched into the goal, everyone wins.
Equip a scarab for maximum flair.
Step 4: Profit?
You can play these custom game modes without voice chat since the rules are straightforward. Instead, active mutators do the heavy lifting. The trick: don’t spam too many mutators at once. We want our Rocket League matches to feel vaguely familiar to prevent rage quits and finding ourselves blacklisted from invites indefinitely.
Although… there is one exception:
At surface level, this custom game mode reeks of over-modified eye-watering insanity. It’s also a fan favorite.
Quidditch is a fast-paced game mode that gives every player perfect ball control and lightning-quick maneuverability. The 10x boost strength will cause some significant whiffs. Missing the ball is pretty frustrating in other playlists, but it’s perfect for hoops. You’ll just have to try it for yourself and see!
Disabled goal reset helps keep the flow of the game brisk and energetic. The other mutators add challenge to landing spikes for dunks.
Spiky Square Ball is hilarious. Using spikes might seem like the pro strat, but it backfires a ton. If you spike yourself too high on the ball, you’ll find yourself lodged in place! Demos on contact help balance defense.
Beware, sometimes the ball is too big! You’ll knock a shot straight into the post and watch it bounce out in anguish.
It’s beyond amusing.
I’d like to give a special thanks to DLG for sharing this game mode. In his words: “It’s all about one long 50/50 and trying to outmaneuver your opponent.”
This game mode focuses on slowing down the pace to make more methodical decisions. It’s like reverse tug-of-war – Rocket League style!
This ruleset sabotages everything you know about heatseeker. You’ll want to push further up to try and get height on the ball. You’ll frequently want to bump your opponents. You’ll want to keep your fingers off of that useless jump button.
Thanks to the size of the ball, it’s easier for new players to land touches. The aim assist will also help bridge the skill gap without leaving experienced players feeling bored or uninterested in their custom Rocket League match.
This custom game mode benefits from high bounces and light ball physics since the ball never feels entirely unreachable. There will be the occasional overpowered touch, but the rumble powerups help mitigate it.
Plus, the occasional hundred mile an hour touch will generate wholesome laughter. Anyone who gets upset in a wacky private match like tactical nuke isn’t worth keeping around anyway.
This game mode rewards well-timed double jumps. I know. We’re giving up those sexy corner boost pads entirely. It’s still a ton of fun since you’ll get enough hangtime from the ground or the walls to hit just about any aerial.
Don’t expect to hit any bullets without boost, though! That makes it another excellent game mode to play with your blossoming silver friends. They’ll complain about not having any boost. Deep down, they’re glad you sent the invite and made the game a little fairer for them.
The default pinball mode that Psyonix created is decent. This version amps up the absurdity by swapping out high bounciness for super high and cranking ball speed from fast to super fast.
Now THAT’s what comes to mind when we hear the word pinball used.
Drip-drop is a custom dropshot mode balanced for 2v2 matchups. The extra boost helps players cover more ground. The smaller ball adds a touch of aerial extra precision. I kept this one pretty tame, but you’re welcome to barrage it in wacky ball physics if you’re looking to spice things up.
Canadian spike rush is a superb blend of fast-paced gameplay and clever ground jukes. Spike rush is already a game mode that rewards pass plays, and the 10x boost power helps liven those plays with an extra brisk feel native to standard Rocket League.
I sincerely hope Psyonix/Epic includes more mutators for private matches in the years to come. I’d love to see a gridiron game mode mixed with some of the newer rocket labs maps. I’d love to see a multi-ball mutator and more funky ball types implemented.
Imagine a ball-shaped like a sea urchin that gets lodged into the ground every time it should bounce, or a pyramid ball that awkwardly slides along the grass any time a flat surface hits flush into the ground.
For the love of the Egg Overlords, please quit time-gating new game modes, Psyonix!
Playing custom game modes won’t directly boost your rank, but you’ll secretly develop pretty valuable skills like learning to time bumps or demos. Your fast aerial launches and boost management will flourish. Most importantly, you’ll develop these skills while having fun. That makes you a winner in my book.