Recent progress in the field of reinforcement learning has been accelerated by virtual learning environments such as video games, where novel algorithms and ideas can be quickly tested in a safe and reproducible manner. Google researchers have introduced the Google Research Football Environment, a new reinforcement learning environment where agents are trained to play football in an advanced, physics-based 3D simulator.
The resulting environment is challenging, easy to use and customize, and it is available under a permissive open-source license. In addition, it provides support for multiplayer and multi-agent experiments. The researchers propose three full-game scenarios of varying difficulty with the Football Benchmarks and report baseline results for three commonly used reinforcement algorithms (IMPALA, PPO, and Ape-X DQN). They also provide a diverse set of simpler scenarios with the Football Academy and showcase several promising research directions.