Rocket Arena combines three versus three (3v3) multiplayer fights and traditional shooting mechanisms with mostly non-lethal gameplay, instead focusing on knockback and ring-outs. The game made by Final Strike Games, located in Bellevue, Washington, is built in association with publisher Nexon America. As such, the game is hosted both on Steam and Nexon's own launcher. Cross-platform play is also available with Xbox One and Playstation 4.
There are many influences in Rocket Arena, taking cues from games like Paladins and Super Smash Bros. Characters in the game come with both a fire and alternate fire, as well as an active ability. These tools are based on mobility, given the non-lethal nature of the game.
Rocket Arena is set in the fictional world of Crater. Players participate in the Rocket Championship Tour, in an attempt to obtain the Rocket Trophy. The competition is akin to the Olympics, where each hero represents their respective region in Crater. Every first and last event in the tour is held in the host city of the person who won the previous year. The championship is in its 98th year, with the character, Jayto, winning previously for their region of Boom City, a futuristic city built in the clouds.
The reveal trailer for Rocket Arena licenses the use of Chumbawamba's hit song, "Tubthumping."
While Rocket Arena has a main focus on a knockout mode, it is not the only thing available in-game. There are four modes known that each spin traditional systems with the game's non-lethal gameplay. Rounds are set to only last five minutes and include a matchmaking system.
Here are the four modes:
- Knockout: Akin to Super Smash Bros, players try to ring-out others. Each person is given three stocks, also known as lives, which are spent when exiting the play arena. The winner is the team who can deplete the opponent team of all stocks. Unlike Super Smash Bros, however, participants without stocks can still participate in the game, like in games such as Bomberman.
- Rocketball: Teams fight over a ball and try to throw it in the opponent's goal, like the Team Fortress Push map or Lawbreakers' Blitzball mode.
- Mega Rocket: A classic point control mode, except the capture zones are decided by the impact of large incoming rockets. Knockback gameplay can be used to keep opponents out of the zones.
- Rocketbot Attack: Unlike previous player versus player (PvP) modes, this is a player versus event (PvE) variant that lets players cooperate with each other to defeat a horde of artificial intelligence (AI) opponents.
Each hero in Rocket Arena represents their given region in the world of Crater.
Kayi is a fallen princess from the icy northern region of Crater. A studious type, Kayi also learned how to rappel to sneak out of their castle walls as a child. That skill translates in the championship today.
- Region: Serrata Peaks
- Fire: Charged Bolt
An attack that can be charged to shoot faster and straighter towards the desired target.
- Alternate Fire: Snow Globe
A deployed area that slows incoming projectiles and increases the potency of Charged Bolt
- Special Attack: Grappling Hook
Amphora is an aristocratic woman, born from scientist parents, with a knack for treasure hunting. Their life underwater has given them especially powerful legs that they can use for extra mobility.
- Region: Crystal Reef
- Fire: Charged Torpedo
Rapid fire torpedoes that can also be charged for more power.
- Alternate Fire: Bouncy Mines
Three mines that bounce and home onto enemies.
- Special Attack: Hydro Form
Amphora can morph into a pool of water, like Warframe's Hydroid, which can then be reactivated to launch opponents.
Izell is a spear-carrying jungle warrior, specialized in close range combat. They are adept in their region's martial arts style. They are asocial and focused purely on the championship, which they have trained for their whole life.
- Region: Gemstone Jungle
- Fire: Spear Rockets
Short range attack with rapid fire momentum.
- Alternate Fire: Bola Snare
A trapping attack that pulls enemies closer and makes the next Spear Rocket attack home in on the target.
- Special Attack: Jaaqua Charge
A charged lunge that shoots Izell towards the desired area.
Jayto stands as the current champion of the Rocket Championship Tour, though their win was attributed to luck. As such, their swagger and cocky attitude is hiding some impostor syndrome feelings within, leaving them with a lot to prove.
- Region: Boom City
- Fire: Skypiercer Rockets
Single fire, accurate attack.
- Alternate Fire: Rocket Swarm
Multiple rocket attack.
- Special Attack: Thruster Suit
Boost mobility while also shooting out Skypiercer Rockets.
A former champion of the Rocket Championship Tour, Blastbeard has used the event to put their troubled past behind. Winning the Tour made them give up their previous life as a pirate. Though they've won before, their forgetfulness made them misplace their Trophy, urging them to win again.
- Region: Crater's Edge
- Fire: Cannonball Rocket
An arcing attack with a large impact area.
- Alternate Fire: Charged Anchor
A charged attack with high impact.
- Special Attack: Shockwave
An area of effect attack that knocks back opponents and destroys incoming projectiles.
An 8-year old, upbeat boy, Plink comes from a desolate region in Crater, affected by the RocketBot Uprising. As such, they use their scrappy tech prowess to their advantage in the championship. Their fondness of tech also makes them close with Jayto.
- Region: The Wilds
- Fire: Scrap Rockets
Rapid fire homing rockets.
- Alternate Fire: Boomerang
A projectile that can bounce off surfaces and returns to Plink
- Special Attack: Skedaddle Ball
A deployed teleport that can damage opponents when activated.
Rocket Arena is set on the world of Crater. Regions have their own respective biome, from forests to icy mountaints or even an underwater colony. Every participant represents their region, though maps are set on specific locations within.
Regions also have their own old-timey flash cards, as seen below: