Rocket League blasts onto iPhone and iPad, but not as you know it

Rocket League blasts onto iPhone and iPad, but not as you know it

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Rocket League Sideswipe for iPhone and iPad
The free-to-play game is available to download now.
Photo: Psyonix

Rocket League has finally made its way to iPhone and iPad — but it’s not quite the same game that has proven popular on consoles and PC. Sideswipe is a brand-new take on the formula that’s built specifically for mobile play.

The free-to-play game features 1v1 or 2v2 matches in which players battle it out to get the ball into the opponent’s net. Both “soccar” and “Hoops” game modes are available, and the Rocket Pass and Seasons are coming soon.

Rocket League takes off on mobile

Rocket League struck gold when it fused rocket-powered cars with soccer back in 2015. The game has picked up countless awards across almost all modern platforms, and still sees hundreds of thousands of players every month.

Developer Psyonix was acquired by Epic Games in 2019, and after the success of Fortnite on mobile devices (before Apple banned it from the App Store), it seemed only a matter of time before Rocket League would also make the leap to smartphones. But unlike its cousin, it’s not a complete port.

Epic and Psyonix must have felt that fast-paced rocket car gaming probably wouldn’t have turned out so well on touchscreens, so it developed an entirely new title called Rocket League Sideswipe. It’s a different, somewhat watered-down take on the main game, but it’s a lot of fun.

Sideswipe lets small teams of two or individuals compete in two-minute “soccar” (like soccer) or Hoops (like basketball) matches in which the aim is to score as many goals as possible.

Like real Rocket League, but not quite

A lot of the same mechanics from the main game are present in Sideswipe. You can jump, flip, and boost up into the air to control the ball. You can also drive up the walls, which is particularly handy when defending your net.

Because Sideswipe is set in a two-dimensional world, it’s not possible to crash into or demolish other players. You simple drive through each other, since there’s no other way to avoid a mammoth crash-fest.

I’m a big Rocket League fan and while it’s certainly a slight disappointment that we don’t have the complete experience here, I’ve played a bunch of Sideswipe matches and it’s definitely a lot of fun as a mobile game.

You can download Sideswipe for free from the App Store now. It’s in “pre-season” for now, Psyonix says, but the Rocket Pass and Seasons are coming later, giving you objectives to carry out and new content to unlock. And if you do want true Rocket League on mobile, you can get it through GeForce Now.