There are three main game modes in Rocket League:
- Play Online - This mode allows you to find a match with random players (Find Match) or to participate in a match with your friends (Private Match). An important thing to know is that before you begin your online session you can choose what types of matches interest you (like for example only 2v2 matches or only 3v3 and 4v4 matches). You can also decide if they are going to be standard matches or ranked ones (they are used for the purposes of the leaderboards). My recommendation is to avoid the online mode for at least a few hours. Spend your initial time with the game mastering tutorials and completing single matches so that you'll cover most of the basics of the game.
- Exhibition (single match) - Just as with the online mode, you can decide what type of matches you're interested in and that choice also involves picking one of the available stadiums. You can play with your friends (local play using split-screen) or take part in a match with bots controlled by the AI. If you've chosen bots you're allowed to decide on how advanced they will be. It's best to start with the Rookie or Pro levels so that you won't be constantly dominated by them. Once you've completed a lot of matches and practised all the advanced moves, you can try and set a higher difficulty setting for the bots to receive a real challenge from them.
- Season - This mode allows you to play only with bots - real players unfortunately can't take part in the season. Before the season starts you can decide on its length (=how many matches you will have to complete). The game also allows to set the number of players in both teams, AI levels for the bots, name and logo for the team (irrelevant changes) and how many teams will advance to the play-offs. The last setting is very important, because once the main part of the season has ended only the best teams get a promotion and join the play-offs. If you're aiming for winning the season you will have to be in the top four or the top six when the play-offs begin. Furthermore, each match in the play-offs must end with you winning, because otherwise you will end your championship prematurely. Winning the season is rewarded with a cup and some achievements.