5 Ways to Improve Rocket League Skills
Reaching the upper rankings of Rocket League competitive play is no easy task, but the allure of the skill involved is quite enticing. Even simply scoring a goal in Rocket League feels great. There's something truly addictive about this simplistic nature of Rocket League gameplay, and wanting to become better as a player should be a constant mindset. It's super impressive to watch Pro players make pinpoint accurate shots off the walls and ceilings, but make no qualms about it, it takes a lot of practice to get to that point. I've invested well over a dozen days of time into this game and have merely scratched the Platinum ranking circuit, so you can imagine the amount of time you'll have to commit if you want to get good. Luckily, this list of tips should ease the early and intermediate stages of your practice. Some of these tips might seem like Common Sense While others are a bit more specific, but trust in their importance. There's a lot of rookie mistakes I see new players make that are easily avoidable with some good advice. By the time you finish reading this list, you should be adequately equipped to enter Rocket League ranked play with some confidence.
1. Play the Tutorial Drills
This might seem like an obvious step, but you'd be surprised at just how many new players completely skip over the numerous tutorial drills offered in the game. Beyond the simple introduction tutorial that teaches you the controls, there are dedicated drills for defensive, offensive, and aerial maneuvers. Each drill offers different levels of difficulty, and generally speaking, you want to be able to complete the pro level of each if you want truly compete.
You might not have to be a pro at executing aerial attacks, but you'll generally want to know how to keep yourself in the air with Boost. You won't have to make insane saves every single time, but you should be comfortable with how fast the ball can approach and how quickly your car can react. These tutorial drills are also a great place to get a hold on the nuance of each different car type, and find the perfect fit for you.
Play your tutorials, kids.
2. Pick a Car that Feels Right
If there's one thing that the rocket League community likes to debate about, it's which car is the best. The game contains plenty of different vehicle types, and each one has small advantages and disadvantages. For example, the van like Merc is great for blocking shots and acting on defense, but it's not the best at taking accurate shots. On the flip side, flat cars like the Breakout and the Paladin are great for pinpoint precision, but lack a larger hitbox that benefits defense.
Generally speaking, there are a few cars that Pro players seem to prefer over others, but you shouldn't concern yourself with that. Over the many seasons of ranked Rocket League play, the "best car" has swapped between the Batmobile and some other basic car types. However, the actual differences between these "better quality" cars and the car you might choose are minimal.
Find a car type that you like and fits your play style and stick with it. I personally like to play with flat cars like the Breakout, but I've been beaten by players who used cars that I think are unwieldy and difficult. Generally speaking, it's more about the skill of the player behind the wheel and the car itself. Sure, some cars are better for dribbling and taking shots than others are, but if you fancy yourself more of a defensive player, then those cars might not be for you.
Make sure your car gives you the right feels.
3. Get to Know the Basics
Sure, high-ranked Rocket League play can seem very intimidating with all the flashing maneuvers and clutch shots. However, none of that is possible if you don't have a solid understanding of the fundamentals. This tip is kind of a general one and encompasses the idea of constant practice. Every moment you're not actively searching for a match, you should spend that time in training mode. Here you can practice dribbling, long-range shots, and self-serve aerial dunks. You might only be able to practice for a few seconds, but when you take all that time and add it up, it counts.
You should also be very comfortable with kick-off setups, and always know when it's your turn to attack, defend, or grab boost. This goes doubly for actual gameplay as well, as it's just as helpful to not hit the ball sometimes as it is to pass it. You want to get comfortable with your car, be able to handle it with precision, and keep possession of the ball. You're early hours of gameplay will likely consist of you randomly hitting the ball in different directions, but with more practice, you should be able to get it under control.
It also helps to know. That the default camera settings are not the best if you want a better view of the field. I personally play with a camera view that is more pulled out, and while this allows me to see more of the field at any given time, it makes things a little bit harder when trying to nail precise shots. You might want to go into training mode and fiddle with your camera settings to find what works for you.
Learn the nitty gritty.
4. Maintain Momentum
Rocket League is entirely physics-based, and using this knowledge, this tip should make sense. When you first start playing rocket League, it's easy to find yourself stops all together, reversing, or continuously missing the ball while driving by at low speeds. This is can mostly be attributed to the need to just hit the ball, which is something you should be working on anyway. If you find yourself driving in circles in the corner of the playing field, hitting the ball and it going nowhere, or generally stalling the ball and disrupting the flow of the game, then you need to relax.
Generally speaking, if you lose control of the ball, it's far better to loop back to a defensive position and realign your car before trying again. If your car has no momentum and you hit the ball, you're likely to set up a pass to the opposing team then to get a goal. Your shots and movements should always be predetermined and on purpose, and you should always make sure you're going fast enough to make sure connecting with the ball counts.
It's also incredibly important to learn when to go for a full Boost pack and went to snake around on your side of the field. Having enough boost to get to the ball and maintain aerial height is a must. If you hog the ball too much, fail to grab boost when you need to, or roam out of position, you probably won't be able to reach the ball when it is important. Finding a good flow between grabbing boost and playing the ball will take some time and practice, but it's an invaluable skill to have. If you can correctly control the ball and maintain your speed well enough, you can often out play even the best of strikers.
Relax and keep your momentum.
5. Stop Going for Unnecessary Aerials (Play to Your Strengths)
We all know how cool it is to watch an expert Rocket League player jump up in the air and boost their way to a stunning mid-air shot on goal. Pulling off precise aerial shots is one of the most difficult skills in rocket League to get down, and you should definitely practice your aerial maneuvers. However, this does not mean that every single shot you can take should be an aerial shot. This doesn't mean you should spend more time in the air than on the ground, or constantly try to make shots off the wall and ceiling. Aerial shots or something that should be purposeful and for a reason, not just to look flashy. If there's one piece of advice that's more important then maintaining your boost, its learning when and where to aerial.
I do understand that this goes against the general idea that practice makes perfect. If you truly want to practice your aerials in competitive play, and you should take it to solo duels, where you will be appropriately punished if you make a mistake. More often than not, it's better to wait and try and catch the ball and dribble it up the field then go for an insane aerial shot. This is especially true if you have teammates. If everybody is up in the air playing volleyball, then it leaves no one protecting the goal or counter-attacking.
Perhaps the better advice here is to focus on what you do best while working on your aerials instead of just focusing on being able to fly around in the air. Every shot you waste by trying to pull off a cool looking aerial maneuver is one that you didn't spend practicing dribbling, passing, or anything else. While aerials are definitely important in high ranked play, the ability to properly control and dribble the ball is far more important. This is especially true for solo play, where one wrong move will spell your doom. So yes, it's good to practice all things in Rocket League, but sometimes too much practice in one discipline can be a bad thing. Play to your strengths and stop taking unnecessary aerial shots, and I can assure you that you will find yourself making more shots in earning more points in each match.
Those are our five tips for improving your game in Rocket League, and we hope you enjoyed them. If you haven't played Rocket League before, you can pick it up on steam or other consoles by purchasing one of our discounted digital gift cards on U4Gold's trusted platform. You can also check it out on Xbox game pass, which you can also subscribe to using discounted Microsoft gift cards. We highly recommend you pick it up even at full purchase price, as Rocket League is one of the most addictive and fun multiplayer games to release in the past decade.