The best tips and tricks for beginners and intermediates to improve their skill in Rocket League
So, you may have seen our last guide on how to rank up in Rocket League. We talked about the way the ranking system works, the distribution of the various tiers and the rewards that you can get for achieving your rank. If you haven’t seen that, it may be a good place to start.
Though, even if you know exactly how the ranking system works and are pretty experienced in Rocket League’s game modes, it can still be tricky to climb the ranks and get better.
We gave a few simple tips to hone your skills and get more consistent results. Though, a few small tweaks are often not enough to raise the bar. You’ll have to really work at your craft and that means training in a lot of areas.
You need to be a well-rounded player to reach the best tiers. This means you’ll need to find your ideal playstyle and train your brain to be constantly engaged. Always thinking of the easiest way to get one over on your opponent.
We understand though, that this is a tough thing to just do. You need to have a guide. A series of hints and tips that will point you towards success, more wins and higher ranks. Well, it just so happens that we agree and have put together an in-depth guide around some of the best methods for successful, game-winning play styles.
Just a disclaimer before we begin:
Reading this guide is by no means a guaranteed path to grand champion rank. These tips combined with hours of practice and hard work and skilful play will lead to more consistent wins. Though we hope that you can break the mould and use these tips and tricks to help you rank up fast.
#1 Learn to power slide
As a novice player, you’ll find yourself chasing the ball only for it to be behind you.
So you’ll more than likely take a really wide turning circle, wall riding then bombing down towards the ball again. Meanwhile, the other player has used all this free space and time to dribble the ball calmly into your net.
It’s really frustrating and can lead to you falling down the ranks rapidly if not corrected quickly.
Thankfully though, there is a quick and easy solution to this issue. By holding the square button/X button/ shift key while moving, you can make your car powerslide. This drifting action allows you to turn on the spot. This allows you to change direction in an instant, meaning that you can adjust your position when defending much easier, correct mistakes faster and launch devastating counter-attacks when the situation arises.
Without this huge turning circle holding you back. You can be first to every ball, shadow players will ease and ensure that your opponents aren’t gifted any more free runs at goal.
#2 Know where your teammates are
This is only relevant for those that don’t play solo. If you play as part of a team. One thing you need to be aware of at all times is the position of your partners. If you don’t know where they are, often you can find yourself in the wrong area of the pitch. Leaving gaps in your defence and inviting opponents to score on you.
In a defensive sense, what is most important is knowing who is playing what role.
If you are meant to be a dedicated goalkeeper, the last thing you want to do is go bounding up the field. If you do, your teammate will be attacking as well, leaving no one at the back and making you vulnerable.
Then in an attacking sense, you need to know where your teammate is to create chances. If you are more of a playmaker, you need to pick out passes to your partners. This means assessing where you need to put the ball before crossing or passing. Then if your partner plays this role. It’s about knowing where they are when they are going to pass and positioning yourself correctly to score.
So, to be aware of where your team is at all times. You can establish a rotation system where the player closest to your own goal is the defensive player. Essentially playing the last man back. Plus, always being mindful and switching camera modes to search for teammates position can be helpful. If you do this, you’ll see your results improve drastically.
#3 Don’t Always Collect Boost
It’s fair to say that if you have a full boost bar, this often gives you an advantage over players that are running slow. Allowing you to zoom past or rise into the air to get the ball around them. Though in a lot of situations where you go searching for boost, the other player will gamble, punting the ball into your net before you can collect boost and zoom back into position. Making your acquired boost a wasted trip.
It’s best to assess the situation. If a player is far off you and boost is close, it’s pretty safe to collect it and start forming an attack. Though if they are scraping for a ball with you, don’t peel off to get boost unless the ball is in a safe position. The best way to ensure this is by hitting the ball long or behind the player. Buying you some time to nip over and grab some boost.
Then another tactic is to execute fake outs. Making it look like you’re going to flick or punt the ball. This forces the player to react and can sometimes offer a window for you to grab boost before you engage with your attack. This is a hard one to master and requires you to really analyse the opponent closely. Though if you pull it off, the results can be excellent.
If you can remain mindful of the ball and opponents position, then usually it is clear whether you can get to the boost safely. If there is a risk, the best thing to do in most cases is playing defensive. Then you can launch blistering counter-attacks, leaving your opponent helpless. Just try to read the situation before you react.
#4 Learn Basic Mechanics
What we mean by basic mechanics is the way to move your car and play effectively. Examples of mechanics a player should know how to use to a reasonable level before they play ranked matches are aerial shots, aerial saves, bicycle shots, tactical demolitions and dribbling.
These can all be trained in the training section of the main menu. Some have their own dedicated training while others can be practised in free mode.
Knowing exactly how to approach a shot, save or play in each scenario is one thing but you have to also know how to execute the moves. We have all had the best intentions of dribbling the ball right to the opponent’s nets only to lose the ball and find ourselves a goal down. The only way around this sadly is practice.
This allows you to be a well-rounded player with the knowledge needed to approach every play right. If you need to take to the skies, complete a tight dribble or blow another car to kingdom come to defend your lead. With this practice, you’ll be equipped for anything the game can throw at you.
#5 Don’t blame teammates
Ok, so let’s just be clear, you will play with players in Rocket League that you are simply not compatible with.
It’s an unavoidable part of random matchmaking. Unless you play in a party with friends on all occasions, this will eventually happen to you. Though, no matter how bad things get, you shouldn’t take things out on your teammate.
The first reason is that it’s just plain nasty. These guys are just trying their best. They don’t actively want you to lose because if you do, so do they. Plus, if you behave in a toxic way, you run the risk of reports, suspensions and bans.
So why risk that over a player you will likely only have to play with for one game.
Then secondly, the more you engage negatively with your teammate. The less they want you to succeed and the less engaged they are with the match.
This often leads to heated messages in the chat. With static cars inviting opponents to score as many goals as they like. This means that you are pretty much guaranteeing yourself a loss.
The best thing to do is to accept your teammate’s weaknesses, try and cover for them where you can. Then encourage them to play to their strengths. It seems like a small thing but this can really turn the tide in tough matches.
#6 Watch Replays
This isn’t always one that goes down well with opponents. Though this can be a great reason to do it. Watching replays allows you to analyse your mistakes, making it easier to correct them the next time you are in similar situations. These replays also allow you to analyse your teammates defensive and attacking styles. Making it easier to read their next moves and counter them.
For example, if a player likes to dribble and flick over the top. Then its best to sit off and offer fake outs. Then you can take the ball forward and tap it into the open goal. It pays to be observant.
Not to mention, if your opponent is impatient, this can be a great way to get under their skill. Making them play more carelessly and aggressive. Opening up their defence and granting you more chances to score. It’s a little bit lousy but if it helps you rank up it’s worth it, right?
#7 Control Your Nerves
In those tight games or clutch situations, palms can get sweaty and you can sometimes lose your nerve at the key moment. Though players at the top of the game don’t allow this to happen often, keeping these occurrences to an absolute minimum. This is through being aware of each scenario. That can be acquired with experience. Though there are some things even novice players can do.
The most important is to play with confidence. Believing that you can win and are better than your opponent is often half the battle. This allows you to stay calm under pressure, put away those harder chances and defend with an assuredness that is only present in confident players. With this self-belief, you’ll see your ability to make those close calls into sure things skyrocket.
#8 Never Hesitate
In Rocket League, no matter how good you are, you will make mistakes. It’s the nature of the game.
The one thing that is worse than committing to a move you shouldn’t, is doing nothing at all. If you’re a hesitant player this will often cause you to be second to every shot, cross, or aerial duel. The fast pace of the game require you to think fast and act fast. Those who lag behind are doomed to fail.
What players need to do is read the game as well as they can. Assess situations before they commit. Whatever you do choose to do, you have to be committed to your decision 100%. This means you have the best chance of executing your desired outcome. Any hesitation and you could miss opportunities, fail to save a shot or allow players to get past you without a challenge.
The only way to improve on this is by practicing in match situations, honing your skills and trusting in yourself and your judgment. If you can do this, you will likely see your actions translate to goals, successful passes and saves much more frequently.
#9 Boost Management
One thing that is key to successful attacks and defensive duties is boost management. If you are on the front or back foot, having no boost left in the tank can leave you with limited options. Sometimes leading to you looking foolish as your opponent uses their boost to nip in front, grab the ball and score with you helpless.
The key to boost management is picking it up as regularly as you can. That means collecting the large boost pickups for max boost, plus to prevent your opponent from collecting it before you. This gives you a full tank of boost in your arsenal to develop chances for yourself.
Though, as mentioned in tip #3, this is not always feasible. This is where the smaller pickups are vital. It is possible to save any shot with just one 12% pick up. So make sure you have at least one bit of boost at all times. Plus plan your routes to the ball, hitting as many of the smaller pickups as you go. This allows you to build boost while on a streamlined route to the ball. Giving you the best chance of scoring.
This will take some practice and match experience to perfect, plus memorizing the smaller pickups locations on each map. This will come with time and you will be one step ahead of your opponent with more in the tank to work with.
#10 Warmup before matches
In every sport, its common knowledge that a warmup will boost performance. Well, that is no different in Rocket League. When you are jumping into a long session of games. The best thing to do is quickly jump into a training mode or local exhibition match. Especially if you haven’t played in a while and feel a little rusty.
This allows you to get a feel for the game again, get any silly mistakes out of your system without any penalties or consequences. Plus, it allows you to try out some techniques that you might not have tried in high stakes matches. Allowing you to sharpen these techniques until they are match ready.
It’s just good practice to get your bearings before you jump headfirst into ranked matches. The last thing you want to do is get on a losing streak just because you weren’t prepared. So jump into training and dust the cobwebs off before hitting the field.
#11 Train in RL Workshop maps
This is specific to PC players so sorry to the console guys and gals. Steam players will be able to use the workshop menu to download custom maps. These are usually maps made specifically for the purpose of training skills that the normal training modes can’t quite accommodate. This may be very intricate dribbles or incredibly difficult flying segments.
These are often made by professional and competitive players, so you can be assured these maps will be of the highest standard. Testing your skills to the max so you are well equipped for ranked matches. They also tend to be very aesthetically pleasing which is a welcome bonus too.
If you want to find out how to access these, plus the best ones to give a try. We did a whole guide on workshop maps. So be sure to check that out if you’re interested. Workshop maps are hard to master, though if you can, it will give you the edge over most players in the lower divisions. So be sure to try your hand at them when you get a chance.
#12 Control Your Aerials
One thing that definitively separates the more elite from the average players, is the ability to control and execute aerial shots, saves and dribbles. Without this in your arsenal, it can really limit your approach. Leaving you helpless as your opponent soars over you, scoring for fun and making you look silly in the process.
The best way to get around this is through training in the aerial training section and also using the workshop maps as aforementioned. Though its also about reading the game and carving out chances for yourself. For example, if you want to execute a successful aerial dribble, it is best to take the ball to the side of the pitch just about on the halfway line. Then scale the wall, pop off the wall and glide with the ball balanced on your car hood. Basically allowing you to fly right to the goal unchallenged.
These are easily the hardest skills to master in Rocket Leauge. Being able to execute these flawlessly and frequently will see you sitting comfortably amongst the elite players in the community. So we would urge you to put the hours in and hone your craft.
#13 Consider taking on a coach
No matter how closely you take these tips on board. It’s fully possible that you will still hit a wall in terms of progression. Sometimes its easier said than done and you need someone to actively show you the way to do this. Thankfully, there are a number of platforms that you can find players more than willing to help you achieve your potential. Though this will usually require a fee.
The cheapest but least direct option is to watch Twitch streamers play. Usually, this player will have a controller on the screen that will show their inputs as they do them. This allows you to see exactly what buttons they press in certain situations and gives you the chance to try and replicate that in your own games. This is best to try and do during free play mode so you don’t drop ranks while practising tricky techniques.
Then the paid option is to pay streamers to analyse your gameplay and send you detailed commentary on what you could do differently. Most pros have a setup that will allow you to make avail of their knowledge and expertise. Or you could look towards websites like Fiverr that host a series of players which can offer their services. This can often be inconsistent as you won’t know their skill level, unlike the pros. However, it does tend to be a little cheaper. So it really depends on your preference.
With this added guidance and the ability to learn new tricks and techniques that had once eluded you. You should see a rise in consistency, more goals, more wins and a higher overall rank.
Fake it ’til you make it
The important thing to remember above all is that if you are a novice player starting out, there are tonnes of players just like you struggling to get consistent wins. The beginning is a trial and error process. Mistakes will be made and lots of them. Though these mistakes are needed to learn and get better, so don’t sweat it. We all have to fake it until we make it.
What we mean by that is, no matter how out of your depth you feel, aim fo plays with confidence. Train and practice regularly. Take all the above tips on board and be mindful of all the considerations that need to be addressed. If you can do this more regularly and naturally in each game, you will eventually start to see a real surge in form. Allowing you to rise to the top of the rankings and reap the rewards of hard work.
Like we said.
There is no guarantee that this list of tips will get you into the pro leagues. Though what we can promise is that it will give you a much better chance. Offering a solid platform for growth in your playstyle and ability. So get out there with your new tips, try them out and see how you get on. We think you’ll do great!