Fortnite’s more than just a battle royale game, a sandbox survival game with Lego, and a metaverse playground where you can watch a giant Eminem perform. It’s also an arcade racer now, thanks to the addition of Rocket Racing, a new game in Fortnite built by the team behind Rocket League.
It’s also incredibly fun, and at just 2-3 minutes per race, Rocket Racing is worth checking out if you have even marginal interest in games like Need for Speed, Trackmania, or Hydro Thunder. (I only mention that last one because the trailer for Rocket Racing includes flying race cars launching through waterfalls that obscure shortcuts.)
Rocket Racing takes the imaginative car physics and customizable cars of Rocket League and throws them onto fantastical, impossible race courses. Cars fly through the air, turbo boost at hundreds of kilometers per hour, and even drive on walls and ceilings.
It’s the opposite of a driving sim; this is boiled-down, heavily purified arcade racing action, delivered in short but potent doses. Developer Psyonix describes it as an arcade racer played at 11, with mechanics focused on rocket-powered boosts and freedom of movement. Having played it earlier this week at a hands-on event in New York City, that description of Rocket Racing feels accurate. Tracks are plastered with obstacles that can damage your car, as well as speed pads that will give it a jolt of acceleration. Drifting around corners also gives your car an instant boost and fills up a turbo boost meter, which you can deploy on straightaways for ludicrous speeds. There’s even a starting line boost, à la Mario Kart, if you’re looking for even more speed-boosting potential.
Rocket Racing, much like Lego Fortnite, also brings in some cosmetics players already have from Rocket League and the base version of Fortnite. (Epic says the Octane, Cyclone, Jäger 619, and Lamborghini Huracán STO car bodies in Rocket League carry over to Rocket Racing, as do certain wheels and decals.) And like the other Fortnite games, XP earned in Rocket Racing goes toward your Fortnite battle pass, ensuring that whatever you’re playing, you’re unlocking stuff across multiple games.
More details on cross-game ownership for players of Fortnite, Rocket League, and Rocket Racing is available at Epic’s website.
Psyonix launched Rocket Racing with 26 tracks. The racing game’s first season is themed around the canyons of the southwestern U.S., with future seasons bringing new themes. Psyonix is also promising more modes, including a speedrun time trial and a track editor in 2024 that will let players design their own wacky courses.
Rocket Racing is now available for free in all versions of Fortnite, which is on Android, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.