Rocket League Boosts Cross-Play With the Friends Update

Who'd have thunk a game about playing soccer with rocket-propelled cars would be so influential? Yet, over the years Rocket League has cleared the way for cross-platform play, and it's set to do so again on February 19, when it releases the Friends Update to make it even easier to play with friends regardless of what gaming platform they use. 

The upcoming Friends Update, announced today, will introduce a new Friends List containing four tabs: Friends, RocketID, Recent Players and Alerts. The new Friends tab displays people you've added who play Rocket League on the same platform as you. RocketID shows all the people you've added who play on a different platform. The other tabs are pretty much self-explanatory. Recent Players shows, well, recent players. Alerts gathers notifications, including those from the now cross-platform Clubs feature.

There are some changes arriving in the Friends Update that don't have to do with friends, too, such as new modes in Free Play and rewards from the game's ninth competitive season. You can learn more via the announcement, and more information about Rocket League's development is available via the Roadmap Blog published in late January.

Cross-Play Gaining Steam

All of these features seem like they should've been around since Rocket League debuted. But game platforms are incredibly divided. Luckily, that started to change for more than just a few titles in 2018. Epic Games made Fortnite cross-play available for non-Sony consoles--and even Sony eventually conceded to demands for cross-play support on the PlayStation 4--and other developers said they simply wouldn't make games for consoles that didn't make it easy for people to play with their friends.

Other companies have fully embraced cross-play. Microsoft and Nintendo have appeared to be fast friends since the Fortnite kerfuffle. And Microsoft could take things a step further, with recent discussions to potentially make Xbox Live available on pretty much every device without "PlayStation" in its name.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.