Rocket Race is a Halo 3 gametype based on VIP. Rocket Race matches involve four teams of two invulnerable players, each using a Mongoose and a Rocket Launcher to reach a destination. The gametype was in development during June 2007 and has since been retired. It appears on occasion in the Double EXP Weekend playlist.
A Rocket Race match starts with four teams of two players—Red, Blue, Green, and Orange. At the start of the match, one player from each team is randomly selected to be the VIP. The VIP rides on the back of the Mongoose, using their Rocket Launcher, while the other player acts as the driver.
The driver's objective is to escort their VIPs to the current objective. The VIP's objective is to use their Rocket Launcher to hinder other teams' progress. Damage is disabled with the VIP, so vehicles cannot be destroyed unless there is no one in the vehicle, and players can only be killed by a non-VIP. The only way to kill someone is through an assassination. These settings result in fun and chaotic gameplay.
- As per the release of the TU2 update, Rocket Race has been retired. It is now incorporated into Multi-Team, with a low priority.
- It will still be used as a Double EXP Weekend from time to time.
- On Sandtrap, the Elephant is a usable alternative vehicle in Rocket Race. A few players have reported that they managed to win a few games using the Elephant.
- Rocket Race replaced Social Doubles on the social playlist of Halo 3 during a Bungie Weekly Update.
- You can still get MVP in Rocket Race, but it's determined by the number of enemy VIPs you killed in-game.
- The only ways to kill in Rocket Race are to assassinate or to use environmental obstacles, such as the Brute Landmines in Sandtrap or the edges of the map in Standoff.
- If a VIP's teammate quits or lags out, the VIP will have to gain points on their own, by walking to their destination or by "rocket jumping"—VIPs can't drive vehicles in this gametype.
- There are several advanced tactics players can use to gain the lead, such as propelling themselves with rockets—commonly called "boosting"—and finding shortcuts.
- There are a number of groups formed that currently play organized Custom Games.
- Rocket Race lends itself easily to prolonged griefing, especially on maps like Rat's Nest, as players can choose not to race and seek instead to prevent other players from scoring and ending the game by:
- Controlling choke points in the map.
- Cornering non-VIP players so they cannot assist their VIPs nor assassinate their griefer.
- Spawn-camping and destroying all unoccupied vehicles.
- Driving vehicles carrying enemy VIPs off the map or away from the waypoint.
- Rocket Race returns in Halo: Reach.