How to Master the 45-Degree Flick

Learn how to master the mechanics for the strongest flick in Rocket League.

Rocket League

Flicking is perhaps the most powerful way to shoot while dribbling due to how unpredictable the shot is to a defender. It forces them to try to prepare themselves for a shot at any placement on net that you choose. It makes it even harder because initiating a flick takes such a short amount of time. This means they also need to watch out because you can flick the ball, fake the shot, pop it over them, or force it under them all from the same position. This leaves defenders with very little time to react and a small amount of suggestive movement that they could use to predict what you will do.

The 45-degree flick is considered one of the most effective types of flicks for two reasons. The first is that it generates a large amount of power and speed on your shot even you are moving slowly with the ball before the flick. The second reason is because you can alter the placement of your shot so quickly that the defender will struggle to react and predict where you are shooting. This allows you to locate the defender’s weak point and shoot exactly where you want as fast as you can.

Matthew "Satthew" Ackermann, a well-rounded competitive player in North America, is considered one of the best flickers in the game because of how consistent his placement is with his 45-degree flicks. Being able to perform this shot consistently and putting it exactly where you want in order to get it past the defender is the most important aspect of learning this flick. No one will be very impressed if you fail nine out of ten times when attempting a flick just because the one on which you score is powerful. It takes technique and practice to stay consistent and those are things that will be discussed further down. Check out some of these highlights from Satthew’s 1v1 showmatch against Ayyjayy, and you will understand why some people call the 45-degree flick the Sath-flick. The full 1v1 showmatch can be found here.

It’s finally time for an in-depth breakdown of how do a 45-degree flick. Every part of the move needs to be done correctly, from the dribble to the jump and to the flip. I’ll make sure to go step by step and I will address a few common mistakes further down.

Preparing the Flick

After dribbling, and before you flip to shoot the ball, you need to jump with the ball on your car. Sometimes this is done quickly to fire the flick straight away and sometimes it is smart to hesitate after that first jump in order to delay the flick and confuse the defender. Either way, the position of the ball on your car is vital in practically keeping the ball glued to your roof while you line up where you want the flick to go. I’ll explain aiming and delaying in greater detail as we continue, but for now the focus is feeling out that sweet spot where you can let the ball rest while dribbling or jumping to prepare the flick. The sweet spot on most cars is located on top and in the middle but slightly towards the front of the car as you can see in the images below.

sweet spot for ball during 45 degree flick

Mechanics of the Flick

You can perform a 45-degree flick by either rotating your car to the left or right after you jump. For this explanation I will show the right-rotating version and I will break it down step-by-step. Match the step number to the number in the video below if you are confused as to what the timing, the controller input, or the result will look like. The controls are default except air roll and powerslide are on L1.

1: Jump while dribbling the ball on the sweet spot we discussed earlier. Do this by tapping the jump button. You can accelerate and use boost during this step as well, but it is not necessary for the flick.

2: Rotate your car slightly to the right while keeping the ball in the sweet spot. Do this by briefly aiming your joystick to the right. Don’t rotate too far before you do the next step or else it will turn into a 90-degree flick.

3: Air roll your car down and to the left and continue to keep the ball in the sweet spot. Do this by holding your air roll button while aiming your stick down and to the left. Once again, you will only need to do this for nearly a microsecond before performing the next step.

4: Flip diagonally backwards and the left, flinging the ball from your car into the net. Do this by pressing the jump button again while your stick is aimed down and to the left. Your stick should already be there from step 3.

Now that you know the basics, there are some helpful tips I can give you in order to learn faster, correct your mistakes, and improve the effectiveness of your flicks.


Common Mistakes

Ever since I made my first tutorial video for 45-degree flicks, there’s been a few things specifically that a lot of people seem to struggle with. The first one is when the ball slides off your car when you flip, rather than flinging it into the net. This has everything to do with keeping the ball in the sweet spot as you transition from dribbling to jumping and rotating before the flip. The more you attempt these, the easier it gets to feel out that perfect spot on your car. Also, it helps to imagine hugging the ball with your angled car and then flinging it as hard as possible, almost like a slingshot.

A very similar problem occurs when the ball bounces off your car too high when you make your first jump. The solution applies here as well, but it can be easily fixed by practicing dribbling. Drive around keeping the ball on your car, and occasionally jump up and down while keeping the ball from bouncing up off your car. The focus is on feeling out the sweet spot, and a great strategy is to imagine the ball is glued to your roof, and you need to keep it like that no matter what.

The last common issue is that some people struggle to get any power on the flick. When you watch someone consistent like Satthew, he can flick with a massive amount of power nearly every time if he wants to. Unfortunately, consistently getting that maximum amount of power is something that the majority of people learning this flick will struggle with. If there were any more pro tips, I would tell you, but all I can say is that you shouldn’t get frustrated if you struggle at the start because it all has to do with muscle memory. That is the reason the players with the most hours of practice tend to be the most consistent.

common mistakes

How to Aim the 45-Degree Flick

Aiming a flick is something that is very difficult to describe, but once you practice it enough, you can feel exactly how to do it properly. When adjusting the height of the flick, you need to alter the position of the ball on your car as you are about to flick. When flicking high, the ball will almost be sitting on the roof of your car. When flicking low, the ball will be falling slightly off the front of your car. If you want to aim to the left or right, you once again need to alter the position of the ball. It will obviously change depending on which way you rotate when doing a 45-Degree flick, so for this example I will use the right-rotating version.

When shooting to the left, your car needs to be further around the right side of the ball in order to pull it to the left. When shooting to the right, your car needs to be as much on the left of the ball as possible without letting the ball fall off the car. Aiming flicks is something that most people struggle with when they try to overthink it, but when they practice it enough it feels natural.

aiming your flick

How to Delay the 45-Degree Flick

Delaying the 45-degree flick is very important because not only does it throw off the defender who doesn’t know whether you will flick right away or not but delaying also gives you a chance to reposition the ball so it is exactly where you want it before the flick. If you jump to flick and you see that the defender has left the right side of the net open, you can let the ball roll into that sweet spot where you can aim your flick to the right. Even if you simply want a regular 45-degree flick, this time in the air allows you to correct your placement of the ball on your car so that you don’t fail the flick. In order to delay the flick, you need to initiate your first jump with the ball in a good enough position on your car so that it can stay there while you move around in the air. If you make the initial jump and the ball is too far from the sweet spot, the ball will either pop too high or fall off the sides of your car when you are trying to delay your flick.

Time to Practice

With all of this knowledge, you now know how to learn and master 45-degree flicks. Trying to dive into a game and doing it all at once is not something I would suggest to someone who just learned how to do these. It can be beneficial to set up a match with the game speed set to slo-mo in order to really break down each part of the flick and tackle each step one at a time. Mechanics like these involve a lot of muscle memory so the more you practice, the more you will improve. Personally, I like to warm up every day in free play hitting a 45-degree flick into the net and repeating that over and over in order to improve. That way when you get into a game your brain will tell your hands what to do since you’ve already done it thousands of times.

Best of luck to those of you learning this for the first time. Make sure not to give up on a mechanic like this because you struggle at first. That is what I did when half flipping was first discovered, and I ended up returning to learn it a month or two later because I realized how useful it can be. To those of you who just want to improve your 45-degree flicks, I highly suggest you work on one technique at a time. One day you try to hit every 45-degree flick as high as possible, and the next you can try to hit them to the left.

If you still have questions or need help, feel free to ask me on my Twitch Channel whenever I'm live. I hope to see everyone improve their flicks so they have a strong, extra mechanic in their offensive arsenal. Good luck on the pitch!

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How to Master the 45-Degree Flick
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