Rocket League is a sensation that took the gaming industry by storm thanks to its fresh outlook at the sports genre. Unlike your traditional FIFA, Madden, NBA, or Pro Evolution Soccer titles, this game takes an unrealistic approach at sports by pitching cars against cars in a gameplay similar to soccer / ice hockey.
What truly sets it apart is its Demolition Derby-like, very fast paced and third person take at the sports genre.
Another very important part of its success is that this game can easily be enjoyed on a PC with a weaker hardware. In other words, this is not a game that would require you to invest on a top of the line PC.
Since it has very little barricades of entry, gamers of all age can enjoy this game. Hence the game continues to see a large number of active monthly players with about 100 million users as of July 2021 (according activeplayer.io).
Due to its popularity and competitive gameplay mechanism, this game is a popular title among top championships across the globe with prize pools worth up to $1 million. In fact, PCMAG.com has called this one of the most popular competitive games of this year.
This comprehensive article is dedicated to building the right desktop PC for Rocket League. This article will serve as a build guide outlining all the official requirements and recommendations for the hardware.
Again, since this is a relatively light game, you do not need advanced hardware and a budget gaming PC should suffice in most cases. However, depending upon the resolution and the frame rate you are looking for, you may even want to go for a mid range gaming rig.
What is Rocket League in Brief?
Rocket League is a third person sports game where teams of gravity defying and unrealistically acrobatic vehicles are pitched against each other in a soccer like game.
The name “Rocket” is derived from the fact that the vehicles in the game are actually rocket powered giving them stupendous amount of speeds and outright flying capability.
The point of the game is quite simple. A gigantic ball is placed in the middle which then needs to be shot at the opposing team’s goal post using a combination of wild maneuvers and kickflips. The team with the most amount of goals at the end of the game time wins.
The skill set required is the real fun part here. The skill set is based on your vehicle driving prowess in a very fast paced scenario, the maneuvers you can perform and how well you can predict the position of the ball – which can often be seen flying across the pitch at ridiculous speeds.
The game can also be played in ice-hockey or basketball mode, where the soccer ball is replaced with either a puck or a basketball instead.
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Desktop PC for Rocket League Build Guide
Rocket League is generally considered as a very light game and does not require a top of the line hardware to maintain good frames at decent graphics.
However, if you plan to play the game at ultra graphics, very high resolutions such as WQHD or 4k, and at higher than 60 frame rates, then you may need to invest in a beefier gaming PC for Rocket League.
In any case, here we will look in depth into the hardware requirements of Rocket League and then elaborate on each of the components comparing them with the current gen hardware available out there.
Official Rocket League System Requirements – New and Old
The following are the official minimum and the recommend requirements. The NEW official requirements as stipulated on Epic Games official page are generally catered towards newer gaming PCs and particularly for competitive gameplay.
For reference I have also provided the OLD minimum and recommended hardware requirements for this game as well which were stipulated back when the game was originally released.
While the hardware mentioned in the old system requirements are discontinued, they are still good measure of what the game actually demands.
The newer system requirements are more or less an overkill for an average gamer in my opinion and as you will see in the benchmarks below too.
|CPU||2.5 GHz Dual Core||2.4 GHz Dual Core|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce 760
AMD Radeon R7 270X
|Nvidia GeForce 260 AMD Radeon HD 4850|
|RAM||4 GB||2 GB|
|Hard Drive||20 GB||25 GB|
|Operating System||Windows 7 (64 Bit) or Newer||Windows 7 (64 Bit) or Newer|
|CPU||3.0+ GHz Quad Core||2.5+ GHz Quad-Core|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060,
AMD Radeon RX 470
|Nvidia GTX 660
AMD Radeon HD 7950
|RAM||8 GB||4 GB|
|Hard Drive||20 GB||25 GB|
|Operating System||Windows 7 (64 Bit) or Newer||Windows 7 (64 Bit) or Newer|
As far as the official requirements go, we can see that this is a relatively GPU heavy game. The CPU requirement for the game aren’t too over the top. Almost all of the mainstream CPUs from the entry level Intel Core 3 and Ryzen 3 series feature Quad Cores with 3.0+ GHz.
As far as the graphics card goes, the NEW minimum and the recommended requirements serve as a guideline for most competitive players. For average players, however, you could go for GPUs much weaker than these.
As you will see below, this is in fact a game that can even run on INTEGRATED GRAPHICS CARDS!
Take for instance NVIDIA GTX 1060 as stipulated in the new recommended requirements. An average gamer honestly DOES NOT require this card at all. This is a card that can run Rocket League on Ultra High Quality with 200+ frame at FHD resolution. So unless you have a 240 Hz or a 4K monitor, an NVIDIA GTX 1060 is MORE than just an overkill for this game even though that is what the official recommended requirements say.
I believe that the older system requirements are still a good measure of what the game truly demands in terms of graphics cards for an average player.
In the following text we will explore and recommend hardware that can give you the great bang for your buck so that you do not spend on something that is an overkill for this game.
I. CPU Requirements for Rocket League
According to the old and new processor requirements, Rocket League requires a budget or an entry level processor for its build.
The game official MINIMUM requirements stipulate:
- Old: 2.4 GHz Dual Core
- New: 2.5 GHz Dual Core
The game official MAXIMUM requirements stipulate
- Old: 2.5+ GHz Quad Core
- New: 3.0 GHz Quad Core
Considering, the following are the CPUs that fit in to this category:
|Vega 3||2 Cores
3 3200G ($99)
|Vega 8||4 Cores
(MSRP $339)Release Year 2015
5 3400G ($150)
|Vega 11||4 Cores
- Passmark scores taken from CPUBenchMark.net
- Intel Core i7-6700K is provided here for reference
Basically, given the current gen hardware, budget or entry level processors should suffice for your gaming PC for Rocket League.
The AMD Athlon 3000G is the bear minimum that we can recommend as it easily fits the minimum official requirements, both old and new. If you are building a Rocket League PC for your kids, or just a casual PC for light Rocket League sessions, then this is a good enough processor.
However, for a staple PC for Rocket League for both casual and seasoned players, our recommended processors are from the latest gen Intel Core i3 and AMD Ryzen 3 CPUs i.e Ryzen 3 3100, Ryzen 3 3300X, Intel Core i3 10100K etc
The Intel Core i7 6700K has been included in the table above as a reference here. This was one of the the flagship processors back when Rocket League was originally released in 2015. That goes to show how far the processors have come today.
Even an entry level processor can go toe-to-toe in performance compared to the flagship CPU of 2015.
Recommended CPU for Rocket League Build Benchmarks
- Scores taken from CPU-Monkey.com
The single core performance of the CPU is a very important consideration since most of the tasks and processes in a game or on any professional software are single core dependent.
Rocket League, like most online multiplayer games, would benefit more from a CPU with a great single core performance as compared to a CPU with more than 4 cores.
The newest generation CPUs, i.e 11th Gen Intel Core i5 11600K and the 5000 Series AMD Ryzen 5 5600X have the obvious advantage here. However, since they are expensive and feature an overkill amount of cores i.e 6 cores / 12 threads, these would only come in handy if you plan to stream or have plenty of background applications running at the same time.
In most cases the much cheaper entry level AMD Ryzen 3 3300X or an Intel Core i3 10100K would suffice. The AMD Ryzen 3 3300X has the best single core performance in the entry level market, however, it does not feature an integrated GPU (more on this below in the GPU section).
The multi core performance of a CPU basically defines how well it can multi task. This also translates to how well it encodes your game capture when you are streaming the game online.
Here we can see that the CPUs with 6 cores and 12 threads i.e the Intel Core i5 11600K and the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X have the best performance. Hence for a streaming build, this is what I recommend.
But for an average gamer, these processors are a bit of an overkill. Instead, the four core processors such as the Intel Core i3 10100, AMD Ryzen 3 3100 AMD Ryzen 5 3400G or the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X are more than sufficient for Rocket League.
AMD Ryzen ‘G’ Series Processors – Great for Budget Builds
The AMD Ryzen ‘G’ series processors feature a powerful integrated GPU from the Radeon Vega Series.
These processors have a ‘G’ suffix in their name such as AMD Ryzen 3 3200G and AMD Ryzen 5 3400G.
While they have a weaker CPU performance than their non-iGPU grade counterparts such as the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 and AMD Ryzen 3 3300X, they are great for budget builds. Essentially, you would want to go for these if you do not want to invest separately on a dedicated graphics card.
How Many Cores Does Rocket League Need?
According to the official requirements, the recommended amount of cores is 4. However, the game can run perfectly find even on a dual core processor.
As such, the game isn’t quite taxing on the CPU resources.
However, if you have a lot of background applications running at the same time, particularly live streaming service, then you will need a CPU with a higher number of cores.
For Rocket League STREAMING PC BUILD, a CPU with High Core Count Matters
As mentioned earlier, if you stream your Rocket League sessions online on platforms like Twitch, YouTube, or if you have any kind of screen recording software running in the background, then that can take a lot of your CPU resources.
Streaming using the x264 software encoding can eat up your core and thread counts. In addition to that, the x264 software encoding scales up well with the more cores and threads you have.
In other more, the higher the core count of your processor, the smoother will be your streams.
While we do not recommend that you go over the top and invest on an Intel Core i7/i9 or and Ryzen 7/9 processor as they can get quite expensive, we do recommend that you at least procure an Intel Core i5 or a Ryzen 5 processor from the latest generation for a Rocket League Streaming gaming PC build.
This is what the official guidelines for Twitch say, this should give you an idea about streaming requirements.
Encoding can be taxing on your system. x264 will utilize a lot of your CPU, resulting in lower FPS. Alternatively, GPU encoding (e.g. NVIDIA NVENC) utilizes a dedicated encoder in the GPU, allowing you to play and stream without compromising game performance . If you want to use x264, start with very fast preset, and experiment with them until you find your sweet spot. – stream.twitch.tv
Summary of the Recommended CPUs for Rocket League
So in short, this is what I recommend:
1. For an Ultra-Budget – AMD Athlon 3000G
If you are building an extremely budget gaming desktop, then we recommend the AMD Athlon 3000G with its Vega 3 graphics.
It easily meets the minimum requirements and also has an integrated Vega 3 graphics, which is almost as powerful as the integrated Intel UHD 630.
The following video shows Rocket League performing at almost 60 FPS with some graphics setting tweaks at 1920 x 1080 on AMD Athlon 3000G.
Therefore, for a minimum standard, we recommend this CPU.
2. For a Budget Desktop without Dedicated GPU
If you are tight on budget, but want a beefier INTEGRATED graphics card that can support Rocket League at high graphics with 60 FPS at FHD, then we recommend either the AMD Ryzen 3 3200G or the AMD Ryzen 5 3400G. The former features the Vega 8 graphics while the latter features the Vega 11 graphics.
Essentially, these two will save you from investing in a dedicated GPU and still maintain excellent graphics details and FPS.
Also Read: Building Gaming PC Without Graphics Card
3. Recommended CPU for Most Users
For most of you with a decent budget for a dedicated graphics card, we recommend the AMD Ryzen 3 3100, AMD Ryzen 3300X or the Intel Core i3 10100.
Note that the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 and the 3300X do not feature an integrated GPU, therefore you will not be able to use the motherboard video out port with these CPUs. In other words, you will HAVE to invest in a dedicated graphics cards with these Ryzen CPUs.
The Intel Core i3 10100 does feature the Intel UHD 630 integrated graphics card, but we recommend that you pair this CPU with a good dedicated graphics card for achieving higher than 200+ frame rates or playing on very high resolution.
4. Rocket League Streaming Gaming PC Build – High Performance
If you plan to stream your game, then we recommend a CPU with a higher number of cores. We would recommend at least an Intel Core i5 11600K or the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X with their 6 cores and 12 threads.
II. Graphics Card Requirements for Rocket League
According to the old and the new official Rocket League requirements, the minimum recommended GPU is the Nvidia GeForce 260/AMD Radeon HD 4850 whereas the recommended GPU is the NVIDIA GTX 1060.
In my opinion, the NVIDIA GTX 1060 is an overkill of a graphics card for Rocket League (unless you want to play on 4k).
To explain, lets first create a baseline by using an integrated GPU.
Setting the Baseline: Can Rocket League Run on an iGPU? – Testing on Intel HD 630
Lets first set the baseline using the Intel HD 630 integrated graphics card released in 2016. This is a fairly old Integrated Graphics card so a good basis to test how the game does on a weaker GPU.
The processor used here is the Intel Core i7-7700HQ (4 Core / 8 Threads).
Playing Rocket League on Lowest Settings on Intel HD 630 – 1920×1080
On Intel HD 630 with Anti-Aliasing Off, Render Quality preset to High Performance and Render Detail preset to Performance, the game was consistently able to achieve 60 FPS!
That goes to show that, YES, the game can certainly work on an integrated graphics albeit at very low settings.
Now it must be noted that I was in the Training Mode. Having additional players may have some impact on the FPS.
Also it should be noted that the game was tested on Intel Core i7-7700HQ – a 4 Core / 8 Thread CPU. If you test the same GPU on a weaker processor, your results may be different
Playing Rocket League on Highest Settings on Intel HD 630 – 1920×1080
With the highest settings on FHD, the game was unbearable. It wasn’t able to maintain anything higher than 24 FPS and would drop to 15 FPS often.
With this baseline set, we can now review the rest of the graphics card and see where they fit in.
G3D GPU Benchmark
|AMD Radeon HD
|952||Old RL Minimum Requirement|
|Intel HD 630||1149||iGPU, As found on 7th Gen Intel CPUs|
|1207||Old RL Minimum Requirement|
|Intel UHD 630||1395||iGPU, As found on 8-10th Gen
|Intel UHD 750||1684||iGPU, As found on 11th Gen+
|3968||OLD RL RECOMMENDED Requirements|
|4776||New RL MINIMUM Requirements|
|9869||New RL RECOMMENDED Requirements|
- Results taken from videocardbenchmark.net
There are a few things to highlight here.
We have already established that the game can run on Intel HD 630 which has a G3D score of only 1149. Therefore, taking that into consideration, the new official minimum requirements of having NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 with a G3D score of 4776 is certainly an overkill.
The older minimum requirements of AMD Radeon HD 4850 and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 is more in line with our findings that the game can certainly work on a weaker graphics card with ease.
In addition to that, the new minimum requirements of GTX 760 is more powerful than the old recommended GPU requirement of NVIDIA GTX 660 which has a score of 3968!
As far as the new recommended requirements go, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with a score of 9869 is certainly an overkill for most users unless you want to play on 4k or on a monitor with 240Hz refresh rate. This is a dedicated GPU that can maintain 250 FPS on FHD resolution on high graphics as you will see below.
Also, most of the GPUs we have listed here are integrated graphics card. We have purposefully included these to indicate that the game can easily run on them.
Note on AMD APUs – A Great Alternative to Dedicated Graphics Cards
AMD APUs are processors with the ‘G’ Suffix such as the AMD Ryzen 5 3400G. These feature the Vega series graphics card which have perhaps the most powerful integrated graphics card of any generation. However, the G3D Mark scores for the newer Vega series iGPUs are not updated, hence not included in the table above.
Notebookcheck.net has a great benchmark for the AMD Vega Series APU across different generations. AMD uses the same name for its iGPU in all of its successive series. However, with each newer generation the performance changes drastically.
So for instance the Vega 8 iGPU found on the Ryzen 5000 series APUs is far more powerful than the same found on the Ryzen 2000/3000 series APUs.
The following table shows the notebookcheck.net performance scores for different AMD APUs. I have included the Intel HD 630 for comparison.
|Intel HD 630||8.8 – Game Tested Above @ 60 FPS on Low Setting (FHD)
- The Performance Rating Scores are taken from notebookcheck. The scores represent an aggregate of 3DMark11, Fire Strike and Time Spy tests.
Also Read: Do Motherboards have Integrated Graphics?
Who Would Want to Go For the NVIDIA GTX 1060 or Better?
The NVIDIA GTX 1060 is the highest recommended graphics for Rocket League gaming PC build. This is essentially a graphics card that you would want to buy IF you want to play on 4K!
As tested by Notebookcheck.net, the GTX 1060 is an overkill for gaming at merely FHD as it can maintain 250 FPS on high details.
At 4k resolution, however, it barely scratches above the 60 FPS mark.
Therefore, unless you want to play on an FHD 240Hz monitor or on a 4k monitor, you do not need a GTX 1060.
Of course, if your demands are even higher than this i.e 8K resolution, or a 4k with 120Hz refresh rate, then you would want an even beefier gaming PC for Rocket League.
III. RAM Requirement by PC For Rocket League
As far as the RAM goes, the minimum and the maximum requirements for Rocket League range from 4 GB DDR4 to 8 GB DDR4.
In any case, I recommend that you at least go for an 8 GB DDR4 capacity for your desktop PC for Rocket League. While the game itself would not use anything close to 4 GB of RAM, a higher amount of RAM would ensure system stability.
If you have a lot of background applications running and if you are a streamer, then 8 GB DDR4 is highly recommended.
In addition to that, if you are a streamer AND a video editor, you may want to look into 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, but that isn’t recommended for an average user.
When buying a RAM stick, its capacity, clock speed and the CAS Latency matters a lot for its overall price tag.
The higher the frequency and the lower the CAS latency, the more expensive would be the RAM stick. For DDR4 RAM, we recommend that you stick with 3200MHz frequency with a CAS latency of 16.
Also, it should be noted that most of the PC today feature 16 GB of RAM by default. In fact, 16 GB DDR4 sticks are easier to be found than 8 GB RAM stick. For this reason an 8 GB stick has a higher cost/GB as compared to a 16 GB kit.
For instance, while writing this article, the cost of a single Corsair Vengeance LPX 8 GB DDR4 RAM stick with 3200 MHz and C16 was priced at $51. It’s 16 GB counterpart was listed for $88. Hence the 16 GB kit had a lower cost/GB.
IV. Choosing the Motherboard for Rocket League PC Build
The choice of your motherboard highly depends upon what processor you buy and what your overall budget is.
Socket and Chipset – Primary Factors to Consider
The first and foremost consideration is to choose a motherboard that has the same socket as your CPU. So an AMD Ryzen Processor requires the AM4 socket and the newer 10 and 11th gen Intel processors require the LGA1200 socket.
After the socket, the next primary consideration is the motherboard chipset. The chipset, to a large extent, defines the quality, features and its overall price tag.
The chipset essentially defines, how many PCIe lanes the motherboard offers and supports, how many expansion slots it would have, how many ports it would have and their version, whether it supports overclocking or not and also the size of the VRM and phase power design – something very important for overclockers.
Both Intel and AMD have different chipset series catering to different budgets:
AMD Motherboard Chipsets
There are three primary chipsets series
- A Series for Low – budget builds (i.e A520)
- B Series for Mid range PC builds (i.e B550)
- X Series for Performance Gaming rigs (i.e X570)
Intel Motherboard Chipsets
Intel also follows a similar categorization of its chipsets:
- B Series: for Low – budget builds (i.e B560)
- H Series for Mid range PC builds (i.e H510)
- Z Series for Performance Gaming rigs (i.e Z590)
Matching the Chipset with CPU is the Key
The key is to match the CPU that you buy with the right budget category of the motherboard chipset.
So for instance, if you buy a budget or an entry level CPU like AMD Athlon 3000G or Intel Core i3 10100, then it would be wise to go for either the A or the H series chipsets respectively.
Similarly, if you buy a high performance AMD Ryzen 7 5800X CPU, then I would recommend that you pair this with either X570 motherboard ideally or with a B550 motherboard at the minimum.
More powerful CPUs require a better phase power design and a higher amount of VRMs especially if you want to overclock. The lower end motherboard chipset series do not offer a good enough phase power design.
V. Hard Drive for Rocket League
According to the new requirements, the game requires 20 GB of storage space. This is not a problem for most gaming desktops.
When building the PC for Rocket League, you have the option to go with either a hard disk drive (HDD) or a solid state drive (SSD).
We recommend getting an SSD in a heart beat. While SSDs are still about four times as expensive as compared to a normal spinning hard disk drives, their performance is multiple factors better.
It is normal to spend about $50-$60 dollars at the minimum on storage hard drive for your PC build anyways. With this budget you can either go for a 2 TB hard disk drive, or a 500 GB NVMe SSD.
If you value performance over capacity, then NVMe SSD is the way to go.
NVMe SSD vs SATA SSD
There are two types of SSDs, NVMe and SATA SSD. The former uses the PCIe interface while the later uses the SATA interface.
In terms of speed and performance, NVMe SSD is far superior than SATA SSD, and they cost relatively the same.
The only issue is that NVMe SSDs requires a free M.2 slot. These are rare on motherboards. The SATA SSDs can connect to SATA ports which are abundantly available.
As far as the performance goes, this is how the drives compare:
|Hard Disk Drive||200 MB/s|
|SATA SSD||550 MB/s|
|Gen 3 NVMe SSD||3500 MB/s|
|Gen 4 NVMe SSD||7000 MB/s|
- Gen 3 NVMe SSD uses the PCIe 3.0 interface, while Gen 4 NVMe uses the PCIe 4.0 interface.
Image: Seagate 3TB BarraCuda SATA vs Samsung SSD 850 EVO vs Samsung 970 EVO NVMe Source/Credit: Jollibeee86 Reddit
NVMe SSDs are essentially the gold standard for storage drives. Even a low end 3rd Gen NVMe SSD such as the Crucial P2 has a sequential read speed 2400 MB/s.
Therefore, as a primary hard drive for Rocket League, we recommend that you look into an NVMe SSD. This can be used to house your operating system as well as the game itself.
While the performance of the hard drive will have little impact on the game performance itself, it will help improve you overall experience on your new gaming desktop PC.
- Which is Faster PCIe or SATA?
- What are PCIe Slots? – Beginners Guide
- How Many PCIe Lanes Does M.2 Slot Use?
VI. Supported Operating System by Rocket League
Rocket league is currently supported on Windows 7 or newer operating systems on PC. As far as the other platforms are concerned, the game is also available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Is Rocket League Cross-Platform Supported?
Yes, Rocket League supports cross-play between different platforms. Rocket League PC gamers playing through Steam or Epic Game stores can play with their friends on gaming consoles.
Can Rocket League Work on Mac or Linux Operating System?
Rocket League used to be supported on macOS and Linux Operating Systems, however, it is no longer supported as of Jan 2020.
As we continue to upgrade Rocket League with new technologies, it is no longer viable for us to maintain support for the macOS and Linux (SteamOS) platforms – Psyonix Team
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