Beginners Tips For Rocket League I Wish I Had
Mon 13th May 2019 - 8:03pm
When I first saw Rocket League, I was very interested and was waiting for it to come out on Xbox. When it did, I was excited to get in and try it out, but then I realized it was much more difficult than it looked. I stopped playing until a friend convinced me to come back. I started looking for tips on how to play the game better and had to look all over for various different suggestions. Because of that, I decided to put together most of the things that helped me along the way, so that it may help someone else looking to get into the game.
Training is important to do. Even pros still do training after putting thousands of hours into the game. When you’re starting out, the basic training modules that are provided are all worth practicing until you get more comfortable with them. I recommend starting out every day by doing some of the training before you jump into games. Also, it isn't a bad idea to do a couple after you’re done with your games for a kind of post-game cooldown. You’ll notice that, after doing them time and time again, you will get much better and they will become easier and easier.
The custom training is amazing as well and the community has put together a lot of different packs for almost every situation you can imagine in the game. Through the game interface, it can sometimes be difficult to find the exact type of training you want but, thankfully, Wayprotein put together a Google Spreadsheet that lists over 100, breaks them down by skill level, and tells you exactly what is in them. A lot of them come with YouTube videos about the training packs as well. In my opinion, everyone should be familiar with this, whatever their rank: Wayprotein Custom Training Mastersheet
No one likes to be demoed. People will complain, but do it anyway. Demolitions are part of the game and they happen even at the highest level of pro play. It is one of the best ways to disrupt your opponents’ defense and, even if you don’t get a demo and just bump them, it will still throw them off. Be careful not to overdo it though, because chasing demos can easily put you out of position for getting back on defense. If I’m in the corner, I typically try to center the ball then cross the net and go for a bump/demo before trying to take the other corner boost and rotating back for defense. I will give you a warning. People will be mad if you demo, but don’t let it discourage you. It’s part of the game and you should use everything you have at your disposal to get an advantage.
Managing your boost throughout the game is very important. You want to become very familiar with where all the small boost pads are that give you 12% boost. You can quickly get up to a very useable amount just by driving in the right area. Plus, going for the large 100% boosts in the corner or middle can sometimes put you out of position compared to just grabbing a few small ones and having less boost but being in the right spot at the right time for a pass or clear. At lower levels, it seems like everyone needs to go for the big boosts and I would recommend breaking that habit as soon as possible and learn how to still be effective with low boost and picking up the smaller boosts that are available.
I’ve seen many goals be scored because the defender goes out of their way to grab the corner boost leaving a wide open net and an easy shot. Their typical response is they needed boost. However, if they would have just waited, even with no boost, they would have made the person shooting the ball have to actually aim instead of getting a free open net. Also, with no boost you can still jump and flip, so you can still get in the way and get a save without any boost. Just be mindful not to chase boost to put you out of position.
There’s an old football quote here in America (that's American football, not European football) that goes, “Offense wins games, defense wins championships.” The same can be applied to Rocket League. You might be able to with a solid offense but you’ll be more likely to win with a great defense. Defense isn’t a one man game in Rocket League either. At the lower levels, you might see someone sitting back playing as the keeper but that is not a beneficial strategy. Everyone should focus on learning defense in the game because you’ll never know when you’ll be the last man back and have to make a save to win the game.
A good rule of thumb to follow when in the net is to be parallel with the goal, on the goal line, with your car facing the side the ball is coming from. If you backup into the net with your car facing the back of it then it is a lot more difficult to go side to side to block a goal. Being parallel you can easily drive forward and block most shots. Training is a great way to practice some good goaltending. There are a lot of great uncomfortable save packs out there that really have some odd angles and put you into awkward positions to make saves that will get you used to seeing anything that could come at you. The main thing to take away from this is that everyone should learn how to defend because every will have to at one point or another in a game.
Rotations come into play with defense as well. You don’t want to constantly chase the ball because it doesn’t allow for the rest of your team to help out. You want to try to make something happen then as soon as you lose possession and cannot help the play anymore you should circle back, grab some boost, and let a teammate come up for their chance. This applies on both offense and defense so lets take a look at a basic rotation pattern for both.
On offense, you usually have someone middle waiting for a pass (1), someone in the corner trying to center the ball to them (2), and someone back by the midfield waiting to stop the ball if it gets cleared (3). In a perfect world, what would happen is 2 would center it and 1 would score. If that doesn’t happen and 2 can’t get it out of the corner 1 should go back to 3, 3 move up to 2, and 2 should go to the middle and become 1 and wait for the center.
On defense, you have a player in the corner trying to clear the ball (1), a player in net for any shots on goal (2), and a player behind net to tend to any shots off the backboard (3). Again, if 1 cannot clear the ball they should fall back to 3, 2 should move up to 1, and 3 should move up to 2. This keeps everyone in a useful position and will make it very difficult for the opposing team to score if done properly.
Hopefully this gives you a great base to start your journey to becoming a better Rocket League player. None of these tips will help you become a champion overnight but are all important to put into practice and work on over time. Eventually, everything will become second nature and you'll be playing at a much higher level.