Car Control VS Ball Control - A Rocket League Guide



Mon 26th Aug 2019 - 7:46pm

In Rocket League, control is a very important part of the game and in ranking up. The difference between ranks could be vastly down to how well you can control your car and control the ball. But which is more important to focus on first, and at what time should you be working on ball control compared to the time you should work on car control?

Car Control

A lot more goes into car control than you might imagine. As a new player to the game, you may notice yourself either:

  • Missing the ball frequently,
  • Struggling to ride on the wall,
  • Struggling to perform mechanical skills such as aerials or the like.

As frustrating as these mistakes can be, the best way to improve on them is to play more online matches as well as a lot of Free Play and Custom Training. This allows you to understand how your car works, how it moves, and how you can work on improving your overall car control. After all, cars in Rocket League are unlike cars in any other game, so this can be a strange difference to get accustomed to.

As your rank increases and you begin to understand the physics of your car and how it drives, you may find yourself wanting to focus more on mechanical ability. More advanced examples of car control might include:

  • Air rolling on aerials in order to get a more specific angle on a shot,
  • Dribbling on the ground or perhaps even in the air,
  • Impressive mechanical shots such as ceiling shots, although this is much more advanced.

Air Rolling

Air rolling is a control that is picked up later down the road. If you find yourself in the lower ranks, you may want to implement air rolling into your gameplay to expand your understanding of car control. Air rolling is just as it sounds; making your car rotate and 'roll' in the air by holding down your designated air roll button.

What air rolling allows you to do (other than freestyling) is to hit a specific angle on an aerial shot. This is seen in a lot of professional games and is a great way to demonstrate that you have good car control.

One fantastic way to use air roll is to hit the ball further left or further right than you may normally hit it. For example, if you drive towards a ball, jump, air roll to the right and flip forward, your car will almost flip left, meaning the ball will be hit with a good amount of power in that direction. This may be difficult to visualise, though, so below is a video by Youtuber 'FLuuMP' demonstrating how air roll shots work.

(Credit: Youtube - FLuuMP)

This is only one aspect of car control out of many. Another example of how you control your car is by dribbling.


In the lower ranks, you may find yourself avoiding dribbles and, instead, just going to hit the ball. You wouldn't be alone here; a lot of players in Bronze, Silver and even Gold do this, so it can be difficult to get a dribble started in these ranks. However, dribbling is a very important part of the game that requires a good level of car control. 

If you are dribbling on the ground, or even in the air for you higher ranked players, you need to know how to move your car to manipulate the movement of the ball. When air dribbling, you need to know how to feather your boost, so that you do not fly too far forward and completely lose control. The thing about dribbles, though, is that it is not all reliant on your ability to control your car. Instead, dribbles require a balance between car control and ball control.

Ball Control

So let's assume you know how to control your car. You understand how it moves, how its physics work, and how you can traverse around the field fluently with your flips and boost. The next question is how good is your ability to control the ball? It is one thing to have great control of your car, but a totally different thing to have great control of the ball.

As said previously, dribbling in Rocket League requires you to have a solid level of ball control. Other examples might be:

  • Ceiling shots
  • Wall shots
  • Ground flicks

You will see as your ranks progress that the game demands you to start to learn how the ball physics behave. This is something you will need to start to understand, especially including how the ball interacts with your environment. For example, bounces off the corners of the field may be surprising sometimes, but this is something you should gradually overcome as you continue to play the game.


One example of ball control would be dribbles converted into flicks. When you find yourself with an opportunity to dribble, the majority of the time it will be a good idea to take it. So, as you start a dribble, try and get the ball on top of your car. Again, this will require some good ball control, as you will only need to touch it lightly in order for it to pop up into the air.

Whilst the ball is on your car and you are in a dribble, you can go for a flick. Flicks demand a great amount of ball control. You need to know how the ball is going to react to how you move your car. As you make an initial jump, you should pre-determine where the ball is going to go and how you are going to make it go there with your flip.

For further reading into dribbles and flicks, you could read 'Dribbling - A Unique Guide on Rocket League Mechanics' on the Dignitas site.

Which Is More Important?

Whilst reading through this, you may have noticed a trend in each of the examples given. From simply hitting the ball to dribbling and ceiling shots, each aspect of the game needs you to have a balance of car and ball control.

With hitting the ball, you need to know how to drive the car into it, but also how the ball will react to your hit. With dribbling, you need to manoeuvre your car very well, but also control the ball so that you do not lose possession of it. With ceiling shots, you need to make sure you know how to drive up the wall and off the ceiling, but also how lightly or heavily you need to hit the ball to set yourself up for the shot.

Car control and ball control need practicing from the start of your Rocket League journey. A fantastic way to do this is with the Free Play training option, as it allows you an infinite amount of time to understand the ball and your own car.

To conclude then, do not see one as more important than the other, see them both as essential tools that you need to find a balance between. Good luck ranking up!

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