Rocket League is one of the best games of all time. That’s a statement I feel pretty strongly about, and have only continued to believe in eight years after it launched. Yet the Rocket League community is in turmoil right now as publisher Epic Games and developer Psyonix announce the removal of player-to-player trading in the car football game, leading to a plummeting Steam reviews rating and a 10,000-strong player petition calling for its return.
In a post to the game’s website, Psyonix announces the removal of Rocket League player trading in December. “Player-to-player trading will be removed from Rocket League on December 5 at 4pm PST,” it says (that’s 7pm EST, or December 6 at 12am GMT). Trading was introduced to the breakout automotive sports game in September 2016, allowing players to swap items with one another through an in-game trade tool.
As for why it’s suddenly dropping a long-standing system, Psyonix explains, “We’re making this change to align with Epic’s overall approach to game cosmetics and item shop policies, where items aren’t tradable, transferable, or sellable.” Psyonix was acquired by Epic Games in May 2019. The team adds, “This opens up future plans for some Rocket League vehicles to come to other Epic games over time, supporting cross-game ownership.”
Rocket League cars have previously already made an appearance in Epic’s Fortnite, but this statement suggests that perhaps your owned cars might be usable in other future games. While that’s an interesting idea, the suggestion that a long-term feature was removed because Epic’s other games don’t include it has sparked some controversy.
Personally, I’ll be quietly glad to see trading gone – I already like my car customizations and don’t have a big investment in the cosmetics side of Rocket League. Conversely, I’ve had far too many games wasted because at least one player is sitting in place, not playing, and typing in chat that they are looking to trade certain items.
That said, removing the feature altogether is undoubtedly a net negative for the game as a whole, especially as it’s something a lot of active players still enjoy. As if to confirm this, a Change.org petition that has already raised nearly 10,000 signatures at the time of writing calls for Psyonix to rethink its decision and keep player trading in Rocket League.
Rocket League’s recent Steam rating has also plummeted, despite it being removed from Valve’s storefront in September 2020, when the game became free-to-play. Its 89% ‘Very Positive’ all-time user review score stands in stark contrast to the 64% ‘Mixed’ recent ratings, with less than 14% of reviews positive since the announcement was made. Players note that the ‘Swap Meet’ achievement for trading will no longer be available to earn, while others are simply disappointed that one of their favorite features is being taken away.
Psyonix notes that the in-game ‘trade-in’ system, which allows you to turn in duplicate and unwanted items, earning you a random item of a higher rarity when you’ve offered enough, will remain as a way to make use of cosmetics you don’t want. However, you’ll almost certainly get less value out of each item than you potentially could trading it with someone who actually wants it.
If this news hasn’t caused you to switch off your engine yet, take a peek at our best Rocket League tips to help you rise up the ranks. Alternatively, have a look through more of the best multiplayer games on PC for plenty more of our favorites.