Rocket League is getting a big update on Xbox Series X, but PS5 misses out

Rocket League
(Image credit: Psyonix)

Developer Psyonix has revealed how Rocket League will look and run on PS5 and Xbox Series X, and the results are somewhat disappointing for PlayStation 5 owners.

In a blog post on Rocket League's website, the developer outlined that the game will have two display modes on Xbox Series X when it gets updated later this year: Quality and Performance. Quality mode runs the game at 4K resolution at 60fps, while Performance mode runs the game at 2688 x 1512 (70% of 4K) at 120fps. The UI will remain in 4K as well.

On Xbox Series S, Quality mode delivers 1080p at 60fps, and Performance mode runs the game at 1344 x 756 (70% of 1080p) at 120fps.

Interestingly, Rocket League on PS5 doesn't include a 120fps mode. In fact, the game will run at 4K resolution at 60fps, but uses checkerboard rendering to reach that target. It's likely that the game is simply running via backwards compatibility on PS5, as this is the same visual setting available on PS4 Pro.

In case you were wondering, checkerboard rendering is a rather complex graphics technique that essentially allows a developer to render graphical textures at 4K resolution, without actually having to render them at a native 4K. It's far less intensive overall, and achieves a similar, often identical picture to native 4K. 

The PS5 is obviously more than capable of outputting at 120fps, of course, which helps reduce input latency to provide a more responsive experience that can be crucial in competitive games. It seems that Sony's machine will be locked to 60fps for now, however.

Engine trouble

While we know that the Xbox Series X has an edge in terms of pure raw performance over the PS5, so far we haven't seen much variation between third-party titles. The differences in Rocket League, however, are stark, and we can only assume that the game isn't receiving a proper upgrade on PS5 for now.

With the upgrade set to arrive later this year, as it stands, the motorized soccer game will play best on Xbox Series X. Whichever console you own, though, Rocket League recently went free to play, meaning everyone can finally score a goal in a rocket-propelled car. All versions will also benefit from faster load times and better performance when using split-screen multiplayer. 

Adam Vjestica

Adam was formerly TRG's Hardware Editor. A law graduate with an exceptional track record in content creation and online engagement, Adam has penned scintillating copy for various technology sites and also established his very own award-nominated video games website. He’s previously worked at Nintendo of Europe as a Content Marketing Editor and once played Halo 5: Guardians for over 51 hours for charity. He is now an editor at The Shortcut.