Tips for Rocket League Beginners
Being able to perform double touches or flip reset shots is exciting and when done well they can be very effective. However, the flashy parts of Rocket League overshadow a lot of the more boring but much more important skills.
If you want to take your game to the next level then don’t make these common mistakes.
Hitting Every Ball Towards Goal
The best way to score is often by not hitting the ball at the net. I know it sounds weird but hear me out. Too often, all new players only think about is getting the next goal; so every hit they make is sent straight to the opponents’ net. The problem with this is that unless it’s a good opportunity to score, the goalkeeper will block it and you’ve wasted a play.
If you want those goals you’ll need to be patient and more creative. If your chances of scoring aren’t great or you’re at a difficult angle then look for a teammate to pass to.
More often than not they’ll be in a far better position than you to score. If there’s not a teammate in sight, playing the ball off the backboard or into a corner can be far better than giving away possession of the ball.
Not Trusting Your Teammates
One of the worst things you can do in Rocket League is double commit. If two people go for the same ball, you take two players out of the game and give your opponents an advantage. Most double commits happen because one player doesn’t trust that their teammate is going to get the ball and so they go up themselves.
You have to remember that you are a team and at any given moment you each have your own task; whether it’s something like dribbling, passing, or defending the front post/back post. If you’re charging across your goal directly towards your teammate so that you can clear the ball, even though it’s his job at that moment, then you risk a double commit. This can completely destroy your team’s positioning.
Running Into Goal ASAP
Whenever the opponents have possession and you’re heading back to defend, don’t panic. More often than not you have more time than you realize. It’s in your best interest to make the most of this by positioning yourself far away from the ball and into your own corner.
Be ready to drive across your goal or up your backboard at a moment’s notice. If you head straight towards your goal and 180 drift to become a goalkeeper, then you destroy two key aspects of defense: speed and space.
The best way to be a goalkeeper is to be ready to make a save from behind your own back post while keeping momentum. If you’re stuck in the middle of the goal then any shot in the corners is unsavable. In addition, any ball played on your backboard is easily scored by an opponent as your car flails about trying to get an extremely awkward aerial. Having speed and space means you can cover the entirety of the goal and your own backboard.
Hitting the Ball for the Sake of Hitting It
A much-overlooked aspect of Rocket League is the ability to think two steps ahead. So many players hit the ball because they’re in a rush to get it as far away from their goal as possible. In reality, you end up giving it straight to the opponents and you defend even harder.
If you have space then use it. Controlling the ball can make your next touch a lot easier and it will allow your teammates to collect themselves and get into a better position.
If a teammate isn’t free to pass to, then you’ve drawn an opponent in by controlling the ball and you can then proceed to flick or dribble past him. Even if an opponent is nearby, you don’t have to hit the ball straight away.
Simply staying behind the ball and letting your opponent do all the work by hitting the ball into you can enable you to maintain possession, and that’s if they even hit the ball. By pretending to go for the ball and stopping at the last second you can fake out a player and they’ll send themselves flying past the ball.
Challenging Too Early as the Third Man
Very few people know how to play the third man role well. Being the third man means you’re the furthest player back on your team and you’re the last line of defense.
Your most important job in this position is to buy as much time as possible for your teammates to come back and help. This means if an opponent is dribbling and you’re on your own, match the pace of them and only go for the tackle at the last possible moment before they shoot.
Most of the time you won’t even have to make the tackle. One of your teammates should head back and tackle from the side. If your teammates won’t be back in time after your challenge, don’t do it.