Rocket League

24 Mar 23

Guides

Apollo

How to Use Aerials in Rocket League - A Guide with Andy

With the assistance of Dignitas' Andy, we discuss the fundamentals of aerial play in Rocket League!

One of the most important fundamentals in Rocket League is aerial play. Without learning these core fundamentals, advancing the ranks is exponentially more difficult, if not impossible as you get higher up. In addition to the fundamentals, mastering the craft will elevate your game even further!

Joining us today is Dignitas professional player Andrew “Andy” Nolan. With his help, we’re going to look at aerial fundamentals and how they can be implemented to give you the edge over your competition.

The Basics

The most important thing you can learn when it comes to aerial play is the fast aerial.

Make sure you know the fast aerial. Jump, tilt your car back, boost, and hit jump a second time. It’s the first building point of a good aerial.

- Andy

In all honesty, this is a super simple mechanic, as Andy outlined. But the sooner you learn it, the better. In lower ranks, using the fast aerial will often result in you winning most battles in the air. But by the time you reach those upper middle to higher ranks, such as Diamond or Champ, they pretty much become essential if you want to keep up.

Mastering the fast aerial is one of the quickest ways to improve in the lower ranks. It’s really important because if nobody can beat you to the ball, you’re going to score more often and you’re not going to get scored on as often.

- Andy

Another super basic thing you can do to improve your aerial play is utilizing the walls. While the walls can be a bit tricky at first, getting a feel for it will take you a long way and will add another dimension to what you can bring to a match.

Obviously, you can use the wall to set up an air dribble for yourself on offense, which we’ll discuss later. But you can go even simpler than that and still get the beat on your opponents. Simply jumping off the wall and flipping into a ball that’s in the air has a good shot of going past at least one defender. With precise aim, you may even be able to score from it. Even if you don’t, you’re most likely going to hit the wall or the backboard, which can result in a very dangerous situation for the opposing defense.

It can be tough to read an aerial attack play, especially if you know they have a flip available. But using the wall can be a huge help.

You can use the walls to give yourself a bit of a crutch when challenging someone in the air. It’s a lot easier because you have more control over your car, and you also retain your flip for 1.5 seconds after you jump off the wall. It’s good to stay on the wall as long as you can usually!

- Andy

Not only do you get to retain your flip for the challenge, but there are other benefits as well. For one, you’re likely to use less boost than you would if you challenge directly from the ground. Additionally, you give the opposition less time to react, causing you to be more likely to put in a successful challenge.

Air Rolling and Air Dribbling

Air rolling basically just gives you an option to get a different approach to a ball. Depending on how you use it, it can get you different touches on the ball depending on how you’re air rolling and adjusting.

- Andy

Making adjustments is important in many aspects of Rocket League, and air roll is a great way to make those slight changes in your trajectory. If you can tell you misread your initial jump, you may be able to use air roll to correct yourself. You can also use it to change the path of your air dribble to avoid the challenge of the defender. Using air rolls during your dribble is also a great way to make sure you maintain possession of the air dribble.

The most important thing with air dribbling is making sure your car stays below the ball in a dangerous position. Stay in that area and use air rolls to make sure that you stay under it. You also want to be sure to feather your boost.

- Andy

Feathering your boost is also a great tip from Andy. While it may be instinctual to use a lot of boost, remember that it’s likely you don’t need to use as much boost on any given play as you think you do. Feathering your boost will not only keep you airborne for the necessary amount of time, it will also save you boost and make your car easier to control.

Air dribbles and air rolls are two great tools to utilize, and the skill ceiling for them is high. They have very basic uses, but as you get better and better, you can get even more out of them as you continue to build on your mechanics.

Advanced Mechanics

When you think of advanced mechanics, the first thing that comes to mind is likely flashy plays on offense. And we certainly will be covering those. But first, let’s talk about reads.

Reading the ball is something that comes naturally with practice over time, but it isn’t to be underestimated. Getting consistent reads and knowing what to do with them is not only advanced, but it will help you more than just about anything in the game, especially on the defensive side of things.

You can definitely use aerials to challenge the opponents in the air and clear the ball away. It’s also good because you can give your team an opportunity for a good counterattack if you cut off a pass or a shot really early.

- Andy

The key thing that Andy mentions here is cutting off a play early. Say you notice a member of the opposing team in the air carrying the ball towards the midfield. Not only that, but their teammate is waiting in the middle of the field to receive a pass. If you can use your fast aerial to get up and challenge the ball before the pass is complete, you have essentially sent the ball towards their net with at least two defenders out of the equation. From there, your options are limitless. You can land and try to go for a flick, you can try to read the ball’s bounce and slot home a shot, you can go for a bump if someone is back. Learning how to anticipate and have the aerial mechanics to disrupt play will help you be an absolute nuisance for the opposing team.

Now, the ultimate question: how can you get creative? Scoring aerials is only going to get harder and harder because defenders will continue to become more privy to it. So, the solution? Be unpredictable. And the best way to do that is keeping the defender guessing when you’re going to use your flip. With a basic aerial, this isn’t possible. But there are ways to keep that flip, such as a ceiling shot.

Ceiling shots are really useful because you’re high in the air and difficult to challenge, but you also retain your flip because you touched the ceiling. You can use that to be unpredictable and get past opponents.

- Andy

What you need to do for a ceiling shot is float the ball towards the ceiling, but try to avoid taking too heavy of a touch. Then, drive your car from the wall onto the ceiling and fall off naturally, keeping your flip. This will send you barreling towards the net with a flip at your disposal. Another way to accomplish this is by learning the flip reset.

A flip reset is when you land on the ball so all four of your wheels touch it while you’re in the air. That will reset your flip, so you’ll have another flip that you can use mid-air. It’s great to use in game because opponents aren’t always able to read when you’re going to flip and how you’re going to flip.

- Andy

Flip resets are incredibly difficult to master, but they’re also incredibly difficult to defend. Like the ceiling shot, the defender won’t have a clue when you’re going to flip, and you can use this to your advantage. Take note of the defender’s position and wait for the perfect opportunity to send it past them.

Conclusion

Aerial play in Rocket League is both satisfying to learn and effective in-game. After mastering that critical fast aerial, then learning how to use air roll and air dribbles, you’ll be well on your way. But if you can also start throwing in ceiling shots and flip resets, you’ll eventually be close to unstoppable.

The best way to practice is to either use aerial car control maps in the Steam Workshop, or you can go in free play and hit the ball as high and hard as you can. Follow it up with an aerial towards it and air roll to adjust so you hit the ball where you want to hit it.

- Andy

Be sure to give Andy a follow on both Twitter and Twitch! Thank you for reading and best of luck with your aerials!

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