Passing Plays: A Rocket League Guide
Wed 12th Dec 2018 - 9:12pm
Do you ever see pro players like Turbopulsa, ViolentPanda, and Kaydop play so well together that their passes seem seamless and easy, and the other team doesn't have a chance to stop them? This guide will show you why and how to do these plays with your teammates.
To start off, I want to give you an example of one of the most unnecessary team plays out there, just to give you an idea of what you and your team can accomplish if your positioning is correct.
The number of passes Cloud9 pulls off in this play is next to none, each one pulling out a defender and eliminating them from the play, while also advancing the ball down the field and into a scoring position, where Torment just flicks the ball past the last defender to score. In the bird's eye view in the video, you can see all three players formed a triangle on the pitch. This allows the player in the Dominus, Gimmick, and Torment to start off the play with a quick give-and-go (one-two). Then, Gimmick passes to the third player, Squishy, who passes it softly to Torment, who carries the ball around a defender and flicks it past the last man. Their triangular positioning made it easy to lightly touch those passes to each other without them being intercepted.
Weighting Your Passes
This brings us to my next point: weighting your passes. If you absolutely slam into the ball when you pass it to your teammate, chances are they won't be able to react quick enough to get a decent hit off. Weight your passes so that your teammate can get a nice, clean hit on the ball. A good way to attempt this is to hit the ball from the bottom, so that it loops up into the air, like in the image below.
Playing the Pass Ahead
This rule seems obvious, but so many people still pass the ball to where their teammate was, not where they were going to be. Pass the ball ahead of where your teammate is to allow them to drive into the ball instead of having to stop to hit it. Cloud9 in the video above does an excellent job of playing each of their passes ahead. It allowed them to keep advancing the ball up the pitch, instead of having to stop for the ball to get to them.
Now, as that teammate receiving a pass, you should be thinking either of two things: "Should I shoot?" or "Should I pass?". If there is another open teammate near you when you receive the pass, and there is at least one defender in the other team's net, then you should attempt a pass. If you have a good angle for a power shot on net and you don't see an open teammate, angle your car so you can redirect the ball into the net. Pro players like al0t have mastered the art of redirecting passes onto net, making them incredibly hard to save.
How to Hit Redirects
The secret behind redirects like the one above is simple: Rocket League IQ. After playing the game for a while, players know which parts of their cars' hitboxes hit the ball harder than others (Example: The top of every car hits harder than the bottom). Knowing this, they are able to spin their cars so that the ball comes into contact with the top or sides of the car in order to put a dangerous shot on target.
Here are the hitboxes of the most popular cars in Rocket League, starting with the most:
Preparing for the Counterattack
Sometimes the defense is prepared for your passes and can intercept them quickly, catching your team off-guard. In these situations, the furthest player back should turn around and challenge the other team's counterattack. They should waste the other team's time so that the two other players can get back on defense as well. Always be prepared for the counterattack, because you can easily get caught pushing way too far up to field if you aren't careful.
To get back on defense quickly if the enemy team clears the ball, you can half-flip. Half-flipping is a lot like backflipping, only the goal is to end with your car facing the opposite direction. When you press the jump button a second time to backflip, instead of pulling the left stick straight back, pull it to about 8 o'clock. Then, push it forward to 12 o'clock. This should make your car do a weird-looking spin and land facing the opposite direction. G2 Esports' Kronovi demonstrates how to half-flip in the tutorial below:
After learning the art of the Passing Play, try doing some in game! When you master passing, the enemy team will have no way of stopping you.
Good luck everyone!
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