You won't always get to play Gridiron, but when you do, you should make it count.
Most Rocket League players already know all the ins and outs of the regular game mode, Soccar. Luckily for players, Psyonix also offers a series of permanent extra modes, such as the basketball-inspired Hoops or the hockey-driven Snowy Day, to give them a different arena to try out their skills.
In addition to the numerous modes already in the game, developers work on and implement different rotating game modes throughout the year, keeping the gameplay experience fresh for new and veteran players alike. Trying out new game modes can be a ton of fun and offer competitive players a break from the stress of the ranked ladder.
Although the main mode, Soccar, is heavily inspired by soccer (as evidenced by its name), Gridiron shows what kind of game Rocket League could have been if it was modeled after football. Unlike the main game mode, however, Gridiron only becomes available for a limited time throughout the year and takes place in a four-vs-four format, one of the least popular types in Rocket League.
This means Gridiron isn’t available permanently, and players must wait until it’s in the rotation to try the mode. Gridiron usually appears at the beginning and end of NFL seasons, however.
Considering football can be more complex than soccer, bringing its core principles into Gridiron can make the mode a confusing experience for first-timers. Players will run into mechanics that they may never have seen before in this game mode, but it only takes a few matches to get used to them.
If you’re looking to get a head start, reading about the game mode before trying it out for yourself can be enough to give yourself a little edge over the competition, but you’ll still need hands-on experience to get familiar with the mechanics.
Here’s how you can play Gridiron Football in Rocket League.
Gridiron is a four-vs-four game mode where players will play with an American football instead of the regular Rocket League ball.
Though driving toward the ball lets players hit it in regular game modes, it’ll cause it to attach to the roof of your car. This means that if you touch the ball, you’ll start carrying it on your roof. If you come in touch with one of your teammates while you have the ball, that’ll count as a pass and the ball will switch to their car’s roof.
If an enemy player contacts your car while you have the ball, it’ll count as a steal, and they’ll snatch the ball away from you.
Jumping is allowed when you have the ball, but you’ll lose the ball if you perform a double jump.
The scoring system in Gridiron also sees changes to resemble football instead of soccer, and Goals can be worth three or seven points depending on how you score them. Successfully carrying the ball into the net to score a touchdown yields seven points. If the ball flies into your opponent’s goal by itself after a kick or a tackle, it’ll award the scoring team with three points.
Own goals will also reward the opposing team with three points, so you may need to think twice before trying to pull off risky moves close to your own goal.
Once you start carrying the ball in the Gridiron game mode, you’ll practically have a target icon on your back. All the enemy players will be after you, and there will be times you’ll be better off throwing the ball instead of carrying it.
Throwing the ball can look difficult at first since it’ll be attached to your roof, but you’ll learn to perform the move without any trouble as you get used to it.
Jumping and dodging in any direction will be enough to throw the ball. This trick can both be used to pass the ball to your teammates or to score field goals in situations where you know that you won’t be able to make it to the net to score a touchdown.
Most players prefer being the attackers of their team and chasing the ball throughout an entire match. While scoring can be fun, decent defending will be the difference-maker in most matches. Having dedicated defenders in your team will be essential to prevent the enemy team from scoring.
It doesn’t mean that you should never leave your side of the pitch, however. A defender who snatches the ball from the enemy can always join the attack and even try to score if there’s an opening. If you’re playing with your friends, taking turns as the dedicated defender will be a fair way of handling the rotation during a match.
Touchdowns award teams with seven points. If you see an enemy player going in for a touchdown, and your only option is to drive your car in front of them, which can also cause you to score an own goal, you may actually need to do just that.
Scoring an own goal awards the enemy team three points, less than the seven they would get for a touchdown. Settling for three points instead of seven won’t be ideal for your opponents, and they may start to crumble under pressure if you can also throw some counter plays at them.
One player can carry their team to victory in regular game modes, but you’ll need teamwork to consistently win in the Gridiron game mode. Even if you aren’t queuing with your friends, letting your team know about the role you’re trying to play during the match can help them strategize around you.