Chances are you already know about Rocket League on Windows, PS4 and Xbox. It’s a indie success story of a game that became a hit and got acquired by epic. The game went free 2 play, acquired hundreds of thousands of users and is now considered to be an esports pillar. And now it transitioned to mobile phones. So, what is Rocket League Sideswipe? Let’s talk about it.
Rocket League Sideswipe is not a direct Rocket League port for mobile.
Ever since Psyonix dropped support for Rocket League on Linux and Mac, my interest in it dropped. I can’t play it properly nowadays since I have no computers in my office that run Windows (nor do I want to). I can’t play it on a PS4 since I spent 2000 hours playing it with a mouse and keyboard. A controller is no go for me. Thus, I stopped following the game. Until now that is.
The game’s release announcement on gamespress took me by surprise. For a second I actually thought they went down the route of porting Rocket League to mobile. I could just imagine doing the same air dribbles on mobile using a virtual touchpad. Or a controller. But then, the game designer in me pulled the emergency brain break. How on earth could you play Rocket League on a touchscreen? It’s hard enough with a physical gamepad.
Turns out, Psyonix thought about it. Rocket League Sideswipe is not a direct port of the game. It shares a lot of assets, visuals cues, mechanics (at least in principle) and goals (pun intended) as it’s bigger sibling, but it’s a different game. For a totally different platform. And that’s just perfect.
Why didn’t Psyonix port Rocket League to mobile as is?
Doing a straight Rocket League port would mean a huge barrier to entry for most people discovering it on mobile for the first time. I doubt it would have gained much traction and much of a player base. I can actually see the reviews now: “The camera controls are impossible, I can’t hit the ball 0/5 stars, please fix this shitty game“. It would have hurt the Rocket League brand.
Psyonix played it really smart. Why not take a different approach to the game, get some of the mobile casual audience to try it and maybe convert them to original one? And, while we are at it, give something to our hardcore players to do when not on their computers and consoles. Keep them thinking about the game.
How do you play Rocket League Sideswipe on smartphone?
Don’t expect Sideswipe to basically be Rocket League but you know, viewed from the side. You can only move on a 2D Plane (left, right, up and down). It only features 3 controls – boost, jump and move left and right. You cannot bump opponents and there are no boost pickups. Instead the boost regenerates when your are not in the air. And yes, it regenerates if you are colliding with the ceiling.
The tutorial does a pretty good job of explaining the controls and the good part about it is – you don’t even have to go through the tutorial till the end to play it. You can quit it at any time and just start playing online matches, like most of those in still stuck in Gold 3 ranking.
Can you Play Rocket League Sideswipe online?
Yes, Rocket League Sideswipe can be played online using an Epic account (you can register and login with your Apple or Google ID) so you can still play the game even if you are not an Epic account owner or you don’t have Rocket League.
There are online Ranked and Unranked matches, Leaderboards and 😱 even Hoops! And yes you can spam What a Save! from the in-game chat button. It’s everything you wanted in a Rocket League game just distilled for mobile. Even the kickass soundtrack is there.
Can you play Rocket League Sideswipe with a controller?
I tested Rocket League Sideswipe with a PS4 controller on my iPad Air. The menus cannot be navigated with it but gameplay works perfectly. I know I said in the intro to this article that I don’t want to play Rocket League with a controller but Sideswipe? I think it works pretty well.
Some players seem to have a problem with this, thinking those with a controller have an unfair advantage. I’m not sure I agree but it wouldn’t hurt for Psyonix to add a controller only lobby. Or a touchscreen only lobby. Or add keyboard and mouse support to the game, while we’re at it (I’m only half joking).
Here’s a video of me trying my first Rocket League Sideswipe online doubles game with a controller:
Can you play Rocket League Sideswipe on a Mac?
Sadly no. Epic really seems to hate us Mac (and Linux) users with a passion. I searched for Rocket League Sideswipe on the App Store on my M1 Macbook Pro and well, these are the results:
I’m sure at one point Steve Jobs and Linus Torvalds got together and said something bad about Tim Sweeney at some point because Epic is going at lengths to avoid Mac users having any fun with Rocket League (in all it’s forms). It’s not that Epic/Psyonix didn’t opt-in to have the iOS/iPadOS version of the game available on M1 Macs it’s that they actually OPTED OUT. Sorry Tim, but I do hope that at some point you will give us some love 💕.
Is Rocket League Sideswipe a good mobile game?
I think there’s a lot of love that went into the game for sure. You can notice the love Psyonix put into the game and the experience. The menu and interface is almost a perfect recreation of the main game. You can add toppers, trails and goal effects and perform flip-resets when on the ceiling. You can spam your favourite reactions. From my first few hours with the game? It sure seems like a fun smartphone game.
But I’m afraid Epic is gonna go gung-ho into monetisation. There are no in-app purchases that I can see, but knowing the mobile industry they will make their presence felt pretty soon. Especially if the game garners a pretty big mobile audience.
How to download rocket league sideswipe on iOS (and Android)?
The usual methods are available. You can grab Rocket League sideswipe for iOS and iPadOS from the app store and for your favourite Android phones and tablets from the Play Store. Also available on the mobile Epic Game Store from the… Galaxy Store I guess.
Congrats, you made it to the end of the article. I hope you learned what Rocket League Sideswipe is and that it was beneficial to you. It’s also beneficial to us to have you stick around the blog more. Having problems with Rocket League: Sideswipe crashing on iOS? We have you covered with an article on how to keep iOS apps and games from crashing!
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