Bots that play Rocket League

The short answer is yes, there are bots that play Rocket League. Experienced programmers are using popular coding languages like Python, Node.js, and even visual programming with Scratch to build bots that play Rocket League.

Are you losing to them in ranked? Let’s talk about that.

Can bots allowed to play ranked Rocket League?

Again, there’s a short answer, which is “no.” There are two types of bots that play the game:

  • Legal bots
  • Illegal bots

The good news is, Rocket League is such a complex game that illegal bots are wildly difficult to create, so they basically don’t exist. Let’s talk about the fun ones, the legal ones, that you can actually create!

Bots Psyonix wants

Psyonix actually built a way for bots to play the game, called RLBot, but you have to boot the game up in a special mode that won’t allow you to play ranked. Why would they build a way to make bots? Because it’s fun, and it’s better to go ahead and give programmers a LEGAL playground to build in than have them all trying to build bots that actually compete in ranked.

You can play against these bots (the best one is currently around GC2 level in 1v1’s), or you can program your own. It’s easy to get started, and I’ll show you how.

Playing against bots in 5 minutes

To play against bots like Nexto or Tecko (the machine learning bots developed by RLGym), just…

  1. Go to the RLBot website and click the link for Windows download
  2. Make sure Rocket League is not open
  3. Launch the RLBot GUI (shown below) and drag-and-drop the bots you want to play against
  4. Hit the “Launch Rocket League and start match” button
Rocket League bot launcher

If you want to play against the bot yourself, you can add “Human” to the players and join the game while it’s in progress. I also have a free video series on Skillquest showing how to do this (it will show everything from setup to starting to code).

How to program a Rocket League bot

Starting to program a Rocket League bot is easy, too, although making one that beats humans will be difficult. I teach how to become an RLBot verified developer on Skillquest, and you can get started for free! You’ll also get progress tracking and support from professional developers.

If you take the challenge of building a good bot, you’ll become a competent software developer (and probably a fair Rocket League strategist as well). Here’s how to get started:

  1. Download the programming language you’ll use (Python is easiest to start with)
  2. Download a text editor to use while programming (VS Code is my recommendation)
  3. Download a starter project (a list can be found on the RLBot website, but this Python one is my favorite)
    1. Download and unpack the zip
    2. You can just unpack it to the desktop
  4. Load your starter bot into RLBot using the RLBot GUI program
    1. Click the +Add button
    2. Browse to the folder you extracted in the previous step
  5. Open the folder in your code editor and start making changes!

Here’s all of that in a YouTube video, although again, you can find more on Skillquest!

What you can do with a Rocket League bot

I’ve been a professional software engineer and a hiring manager, so I know that hiring managers want to know one thing: can you figure out how to build? Building a Rocket League bot could literally be the item on your resume that gets you hired, because it demonstrates what you know and allows for a deep conversation of programming.

If you’re interested in more ways that Rocket League can impact your career, check out my other article on ways you can use Rocket League to learn to code.