Rocket League tips and tricks - become better player and improve skills
Four years since its release Rocket League has evolved from simple car soccer game to a showcase of aerial craftsmanship. Psyonix has gifted us a fun tool in the shape of rocket-powered vehicles soccer. Now we have a privilege to admire pro players and freestylers performing stunts I wouldn’t be able to execute even if my fingers weren’t wooden. Check out our Rocket League Tips and Tricks now!
Table of Contents:
General piece of advice
Laws of physics
There are rules that every Rocket League player needs to take into account. It doesn’t matter whether you’re pro, high rank or total newbie - the way that ball will bounce off of your car body and chassis remains the same. There are also other factors that influence the hit like:
your car speed,
ball flight angle,
opponent speed and hitbox against distance from the ball etc.
With time this will become your second nature. You’ll feel your car movement as if you were literally driving it in real streets jumping around. But don’t try jumping or boosting in real life!
Rebind your controls
For example, boosting and jumping are bound to Circle and X button on PlayStation or the A and B buttons on Xbox. Note that you need to use your thumb to push either of them. This gives you less precision performing certain moves and tricks. If you ever wished to use them separately, you need to rebind them.
Since we’re nearing the topic of settings, it may be useful for you to check your deadzone. Have no worries! No dead entities here.
Controller deadzone setting determines the size of analog stick input deadzone players want and allows them to adjust the sensitivity of the stick. This means that the stick will react only when you are over this deadzone. In other words, this is how sensitive your car driving is.
The default value is set on 0.3. It means that you have to tilt the analog stick 30% in one way in order to make your car go that direction. Among the pro players value of this setting varies from 0.00 to 0.3. As you can see the spread is quite significant, so there is no golden mean to unlocking the ultimate deadzone power. You must choose what's the perfect fit for yourself.
You can also choose between cross and square deadzone.
This value determines how far in a certain direction you need to pull the analog stick to fully complete the dodge. The default value 0.5 means you need to pull your stick 50% of the way to complete the move.
Setting it higher gives more control and leaves less room for misclicks and unwanted commands with less sensitivity. Setting it lower gives less control, but more sensitivity.
They say that default camera settings are unplayable. One of the first things for you to do should be going into the menu and set your camera so it fits your playstyle. Basically, a wider perspective is better than the narrow view.
Moving around the arena
Going backwards will allow you to move around the pitch while maintaining vision of the whole area. You can be there to guard your net and quickly rush to attack when the time is right. Seeing more is power (cough… CIA… Cough).
Driving fast either backwards or forward and pressing your jump button puts you into the flick motion. It’s a much faster way of quick moving around the field. Go into the game and check it right away, you’ll see it gives you noticeably more speed than casually driving and allows to cover more distance.
Correct usage of boost is game-changing. You don’t want to lose the game because of empty boost tank, am I right?
Boost lets you go significantly faster than normal and performing some moves (like aerials) is impossible without it. There are many small boosts that will restore 12 boost and four large boost orbs in four corners, that will give you a full 100 boost. Keeping it high is important, but not important enough, to ignore the action and wait for it to respawn.
Remember that you share those boost capsules with your teammates. Collection all of them gives you power and denies opponents advantage, but also lowers your team overall strength. In team games, unless you’re really next generation genius, always play for the team.
A good habit is to pulse the boost button, instead of continuing to hold it down. This will offer more precision in controlling the car and eats less boost in the process.
Also, there is no point of boosting, when already at max speed. Against popular myth - pushing the button harder will not make you go faster.
Positioning and reading
Ever heard of Dennis Rodman? He was an NBA player notable for his rebounding ability. He wasn't the tallest, the strongest or the highest jumping player, but he was grabbing an absurd number of boards. At one moment of his career, he had more rebounds than points and led the League in rebounding for seven consecutive seasons! No one before him and after him never achieved something like that. It was due to his tremendous talent to read, where the ball is going to fall.
In order to improve in Rocket League, you need to be like Dennis Rodman driving a car. Better position will give you enormous advantage both in offense and defense and knowing where to go for the ball will allow you to position yourself preemptively. Knowing some laws of physics will definitely help, although playing the game a lot should also suffice.
Some of you may think on how are pro players and high ranks gaining speed without flipping or boosting. Well, they may be using wavedash. It’s a simple technique, but still requires a tiny bit of practice.
What you wanna do, is to jump into the air, pull back and land. This way your car saves the power from the flip and transfers it into the wheels allowing you to accelerate effortlessly.
Although personally, I have been always praising defense as a mean to win the game, without the doubt you can’t actually win the game without scoring a goal. Especially in Rocket League. When the time is up, there is a sort of ‘sudden death’ mode - the first team to score, wins. There is no comeback possibility.
Of course you should start with basics and provided you’re going for ranks - stick to it. Leave the fancy stuff for freestylers.
It’s a shooting technique, which allows you to send the ball with great power. You approach with a boost, where you try to hit the ball with front-end.
Redirecting a pass
This happens in a little higher ranks, where players play for the team, not just for a goal.
When you receive a pass from a teammate, you need to redirect the ball towards the net and make it as hard as possible for the enemy goalie to clear.
Every way you can flick is a potential shot mechanic for you. You need to dribble the ball and flick it. You can flick it directly on goal, into the backboard for double touch, pass it to your teammate or alley-oop for yourself. Possibilities are almost infinite.
It's a technique, where you hit the ball against the wall and follow it shortly after, a kind of what Dwight Howard did in NBA Dunk Contest in 2008. Here's a list of double touch variations:
classic - you should chip the ball up, aerial, hit the ball into the backboard and follow through to redirect the ball downwards into the net
half volley - you want to hit the ball into the backboard with a forward flip right as it bounces (half-volley), aerial, read the ball and follow it through to redirect it into the net,
wall aerial - you can either hit the ball into the backboard directly from the side wall or hit it as if you were going for air dribble. Both techniques are hard to pull off
aerial - you have to go into the regular aerial from ground, hit/redirect the ball into the backboard and follow it through,
ceiling shot/flip reset - both techniques are nearly impossible to execute, so unless you want to be a freestyler with some cool YouTube videos, don't try it. It rarely falls in and it is high risk, high reward play.
I know, nobody wants to do the dirty work. A day or two ago, when I was playing League of Legends I mained a support. The most unrewarding and disrespected role in the game. But guess what - someone has to.
Same reason soccer goalkeepers rarely take part in ‘The top 10’ YouTube highlight video. But their role is more important than anybody would think. To be fair, 2018 Champions League Grand Final shows exactly how important goalkeeper is (Forgive me, Loris Karius).
Being goalie in Rocket League also will not get you many views and subscribe button hits on your YouTube channel. But it will make you win more games by losing fewer goals. Also, higher ranks players are constantly repeating - mind basics and always be ready to rotate to defense. If you watch some RLCS reviews, you will notice, how pros are rotating.
Although most of the pro scene community use Octane preset, it’s the Dominus or Batmobile that reigns supreme at goalie position. It’s due to their wide and long hitbox, which gives them more surface than Octane. Car differences are subtle, but sometimes may be game changing, so it's worth knowing it.
You may find yourself in situations where the ball is hit by your opponents towards your net, but it will go too high or too wide. Your defensive task is to clear the ball without hitting it directly into your own net. This is hard and sometimes really unrewarding and depressing, when despite of your best intentions the ball ends up in your net, but you absolutely have to know it if you’re dreaming about higher ranks. So it’s worth spending the entire day in training tool, as it takes a couple of hours practicing.
Backboard double touch
This is essentially the defensive double touch. As enemies are passing the ball across your defensive zone, your goal is to anticipate the pass and make a clear by hitting the ball into the backboard. Then you follow the ball and pinch it into the backboard, forcing it into the corner or either way away from your net.
However, you need to be really cautious, when going for this move, because one mistake can cost your team an own goal.
This applies to the offense and the defense and by a majority of high-rank Rocket League community is pointed out as the most important skill. If you manage to master the art of rotating correctly, you’ll be one your way to the greatness.
This may sound brutal, but don’t trust your team mates. If you can count - count on yourself. Expecting one of two players in 3 v 3 to get back and defend the goal is like expecting a lottery win - it may occur, but most likely will not. There is no point waiting for anyone else to do the dirty work and clear the goal, especially in lower ranks. The lower you are, the greater is the desire to score. Cause you know, who scores more points, wins, aye? So they will rush head first to hit the ball into the enemies net and become heroes waiting for applause, but when something goes wrong, when enemies score on you, who do you think your teammates will blame?
Humbleness is very uncommon in lower ranks in almost every game. So it’s on you - either you swallow your pride or you’ll get stuck in silver with ‘mental diamonds’.
The basic rotation is like a queue. You stay back to rush to the offense, when one of your teammates is backing for boost, or when the time is right.
This one deserves a separate paragraph, because you’ll need great 50/50 mechanics both in defense and offense. The very start of each match is a 50/50, since racing to the middle for the kickoff is one of those duels.
50/50 is a situation where you go for the ball at the same time as your opponent. Your goal is to hit the ball first and push it into the desired direction while denying your opponent the possession.
flip sideways - provides more surface than the front-end and shrinks the window for your enemy; it really makes the difference
don't flip too late - it’s more power, but less reliability. If you flip too late, you’ll hit the ball with front-end, and given that your opponent goes for top surface hit - you’ll lose,
try to predict where is your opponent going to shoot the ball. Going in the right direction can save you from more than one problem. Yes, you can also lose but it's a 50/50 after all. With some practice and game knowledge, you'll be able to guess it right most of the times and even when your opponent beats you to the ball, you can end up in a winning spot.
Advanced Rocket League tricks
Well, there are some mechanics essential for the highest levels of play. And there are also mechanics bringing the game even higher. These are praised by freestylers and made me a huge fan of Rocket League.
Bread and butter of Rocket League. Aerials are a group of tricks made in the air. You might think that rocket-powered cars are made for this. And they are!
Beginners might refuse to go into the sky. Maybe they don’t know how to do it, or they’re afraid to do so. If you’re willing to learn aerials, you’re already above them. You need to master this move if you’re even thinking about going higher in the ranks, cause better players will not waste any second waiting for the ball to fall to the ground.
To do an aerial, you need to jump, pull back and boost. You need at least °45 to start an aerial. There are three possibilities:
- if you go with 45°, you'll gain more speed, than on the ground, but less height,
- going 90° will give you same speed as on the ground,
- going over 90° will slow you down.
Remember that hitting the ball in the air with the bottom part of your car is less powerful than hitting it from the side or front-end. When in the air, as soon as you reach the desired height, turn your car in the last moment to make the shot stronger.
To do it you need to chip the ball from the ground or from the walls and follow it into the air with an aerial. Your first touch must be really soft. If you hit the ball too hard, it will go off and you won’t be able to control it.
While in the air, try to position yourself underneath a ball and by short bursts of boost, keep it on top of your vehicle.
This technique is hard to execute, but rewarding, as the opponent will have no idea, what are you going to do. You can:
flick the ball towards the net
pass it to a teammate
flick it into the backboard for a double touch
(anything else you can think of).
In order to perform this move, you’ll need to hit the ball into the wall with just enough power so that it stays on the wall. Then you drive onto the wall and hit the ball without using jump. You go towards the ceiling then and as your car descends, you use that jump, you saved earlier, to redirect the ball straight into the net. If conducted correctly, the moment to use the jump and shoot is completely up to you.
It’s very hard to defend, due to the fact that both you and the ball are in the air. From the surface, it’s not easy to estimate where the ball will go and where to position in order to save.
This is a very hard and advanced technique, and it needs a lot of practice because if you hit the ball incorrectly, it doesn’t go the way it should, denying you the ceiling shot. The ball can’t hit the ceiling, cause it will go down too rapidly. Also, it can’t go too low, as you won’t be able to redirect it later on. Ceiling shot is as effective as difficult to execute correctly.
There are two variations of ceiling shot:
standard flip - you need to go off of the ceiling, air roll 180° and then flip into the ball to increase the power of the shot,
reverse standard flip - you go the same as for standard flip, but your car should remain upside down and you should try to get under the ball. Then you flip, gaining the lift on the ball and taking it over the goalie.
It’s a tricky way to cheat laws of physics, or should I say Rocket League physics. Flip reset is an extremely advanced technique, in need of many hours of practice to even learn it, not to mention mastering. It's basically leading the game into belief, that you landed on a surface, while in fact landing on the ball. This way you will be given an additional jump in mid-air, that you can use to re-adjust the ball and shoot it during one aerial. It’s a very surprising move and will often catch enemy goalie off guard. Timing and control are golden here.
- classic - the easiest one. To do it, you should chip the ball high up in the air, fast aerial, rotate mid-air and land all four wheels on the ball. This is the easiest way to do a flip reset, which means that more experienced players will attempt challenging
- wall aerial - you need to hit the ball off of the wall as if you were going for ceiling shot, but instead, you jump off of the wall, aerial upside down, and go for the reset. Then recover the car and flip the ball into the net. This is the second easiest way of flip reset and by many considered the most successful
- mid-air - you aerial for the ball (in many cases from the pass of a teammate) as if you were going for a casual power shot, but instead in mid-air you rotate your car, land on the ball with four wheels and use flip for shooting at the goal. It's relatively hard to execute, but rewarding, as there is barely any chance even for a skilled goalie to save it
- multi-flip reset - highly advanced and hard version. You'd need to go for a normal flip and then air stall to gain flip reset over and over until in a position to score. In terms of mechanics, this is by far one of the hardest tricks to pull off.
A player known as Pulse Evample2 has risen to fame with his ability to perform multi-flip resets. The technique he often used in order to do so is stalling. This is another way to fool the Rocket League laws of physics.
Basically what you wanna do, is go into the aerial and press ‘air roll left’ and ‘air roll right’ at the same time. It will cause your vehicle to kinda stop in the air for a while and allow you to adjust your position better in order to get multiple flip resets.
This section is divided in two, because stalling with KBM (Keyboard + Mouse) and stalling with either Xbox or PS4 controller are two different things.
Executing stall with a controller is much harder, than KBM, because it’s difficult (not to say impossible) to input precise command with an analog stick without ruining your deadzone setup. At the same time, it’s easily done with ‘left’ and ‘right’ key on the keyboard.
It would be better and easier to perform a stall, if you had a possibility to bind one mechanic to two keys. In theory, it's impossible to do so, but user 2inked2 posted a tutorial on how to do it on Xbox One. It’s available on Reddit.
As cool as it looks it’s more of a freestylers thing.
To perform Kuxir pinch you've got to push the ball into the wall, drive onto it, jump, use the boost and pinch the ball into the wall. If enemies net is on the right side, you should pinch the ball from the left side. The power of the hit should send the ball in the direction of the net. This is hard to pull off and even harder to master, but definitely looks cool, and can earn you some style points.
Avoid the risk and master the basics
Once a famous football coach was asked:
'Mr Coach, who's gonna win?'
'The one, who scores more goals' - coach replied.
It's the ultimate truth about winning in Rocket League. There is absolutely no need to use an opportunity to go for epic, crazy shots, which may, or may not go in. Unless you're not making a YouTube montage video or trying to impress a girl - let it go. Play safe and measured and go for 'joga bonito' only when the time is right. Keep in mind that cool plays do not win games, but points do. Throughout the research, for this article, I’ve bumped into many comments from high-rank players stating, that some of the players tend to go for a crazy play instead of safe and guaranteed one. This way they struggle to consistently climb higher, while players focused on basics like defending and hitting the ball hard and straight are reaching
Not much used and not very honorable but still works in certain situations. You all agree with me - it’s much easier to score when you knock down the enemy goalie, aye?
To destroy opponents car you need to boost directly into them.
Making the correct decision and executing it is the soil of success in Rocket League, as the game is fast paced and leaves no room for thinking much. Do not hesitate to make a move. Trying gives you at least 50% chances of success - either it goes well or not, while not trying leaves you with no opportunity at all.
Rocket League cheats and hacks
The question I asked myself was: “Are there any cheat possibility in Rocket League”?
Sadly, the answer is YES.
I have found a few programs that are estimating ball trajectory, enhancing positioning and aim and so on. There are even paid hacks!
But after all of this research, the conclusion is still the same - there is no point of cheating in this the game. Yes, you can be shown where the ball is going, how much boost do your enemies have or where you should hit the ball to score right away. But how is this hypothetical Rocket League cheat gonna help you? After all, you’re the one that has to execute the move. Without mechanical capabilities, you won’t be able to perform perfect aerial, that the cheating system is suggesting.
I’m aware that there are gaming community trash players, who don’t mind being despised due to cheats. They surf the Internet in search of best hacks, they are willing to pay big money (mostly parents’ money) for them and they are even uploading YouTube videos of them cheating!
I can understand cheats as a way of relaxing, having fun and trying something different (he, who never demolished Vice City with a tank, may be the first to cast the stone!). But cheats are not a way to win, especially in mechanically advanced Rocket League. After all pro gamers will crush any cheater with pure skill.
Rocket League Boosting and win trading
Same thing here.
The community will always think of the way to bypass the rules. And yes, you can buy some ranks or wins. Yes, it will give you a couple of extra points. But what then? You’ll still be a weak player but simply placed higher in the ranks. I bet that the game will quickly counter check your skills and soon you’ll be dropped down back to your true level. With few dollars less in your pocket.
What’s the purpose of buying a car, that you’re incapable of driving?
High rank tastes better when you earn it.
One of Champion II players said: ‘Don’t raise your skill ceiling - raise the floor’.
After all, it’s on you. Hitting an impressive double touch aerial straight into the net can be the icing on the cake and will make your YouTube montage a piece of art, but sometimes a solid hit is better than a fancy miss. It all depends on your ambition. If you are more of a ‘joga bonito’ guy, then freestyle is for you. Take Dominus or Batmobile and fly your way to the goal. However, if you aim for high rank or even pro play, then master the basics, maintain your focus and go for guaranteed shots over highlight reel.
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