Custom Training was introduced in 2016, but it has not been improved since.
The seventh of December, 2016, was a great day for fans of Rocket League: custom training was added on all platforms. From that day onwards, players could create their own training packs and upload them for everyone to play. It works much like free play, but the ball starts flying on its own and you have a limited time to score or make a save.
Now, three and a half years later, people are still creating training packs and practising their skills with them. But nothing has changed. No new features were added to this part of the game. Well, that’s not entirely true. They weren’t added to the game by Psyonix, but they exist in Bakkesmod.
What is Bakkesmod?
Bakkesmod is a third-party app for Windows that adds all sorts of new features to Rocket League. With Bakkesmod, you can see your MMR (Matchmaking Rating) in ranked game modes, you can change the look of your car and much more. Bakkesmod is updated by one person, but everyone can make plugins for it. This gives the mod even more versatility. Some recent tournaments have used Bakkesmod plugins to create an overlay that shows how much boost each player on the field has. Due to the nature of mods like this one, it is only available for pc. Playstation, Xbox and Switch players have to make do with what Psyonix releases.
You can’t get banned for using Bakkesmod in online games, because the app can’t change anything that affects the game or the other players. It can only change things locally. And when it comes to custom training, there’s a lot to change.
What can Bakkesmod do?
Even without any extra plugins added, Bakkesmod is able to take custom training to the next level. With the app installed, a whole new range of features becomes available. You can go back and forth between shots in a training pack with the direction keys or pad or you can randomise the order in which the shots appear. You can mirror shots so that they don’t always come flying at you from the same side. Adding variance is something Bakkesmod is exceptionally good at. Slight (or big) changes to the location, direction and speed of the ball and your car make every shot a lot less predictable.
When your training shots are not really predictable, it creates an experience that’s much closer to situations you encounter during a match. When you can’t memorise the next shot, or even the same shot if you do it again, you can’t rely on simply repeating the same inputs. Every ball you hit is unique, which adds a lot of depth to the custom training.
This different way of training in Rocket League is not just a gimmick. It’s actually a scientifically proven better way to improve at the game, as Youtuber Rocket Science shows in his explanation of Bakkesmod. Psychological studies show that mixing things up and adding slightly varying factors helps us retain skills better and faster.
Another interesting addition is the goal blocker. When you open the editor, you’re asked to draw rectangles. Then in training, you can only score in the space of those rectangles. With this, you can force yourself to hit that top corner every time.
Why are these features not in the game yet?
The most likely explanation is that some of these features are hard to implement on other platforms. The limitations of the Playstation, Xbox or Switch might hold custom training updates back. Psyonix has always released updates for all platforms, so they may want to keep it that way. There is one notable exception to this ‘rule’: with the same update that brought us custom training, came Steam Workshop support. Players on Steam can download and play custom maps. Again Bakkesmod had to step in to make it possible to play with friends on those custom maps.
Bakkesmod shows us what Rocket league is capable of. At the very least it can inspire Psyonix to develop updates to their old reliable custom training. Who knows, maybe those ‘future updates’ from 2016 are still on the table. They just need to be dusted off.
Images via Psyonix