Rocket League is a daunting game. Let it be known that if you want to ‘git gud’ at this game, then fasten your seatbelts because it will be a long journey. It’s a great game for some fun with your friends, but what got me hooked is the grind to improve my knowledge of, and skill at the game. With Rocket League set to go free to play this year, here are my top 5 beginner tips for Rocket League.
Just a rundown of my credentials before we jump in: I have roughly 500 hours in the game and am a comfortable low Grand Champion.
1. HAVE FUN!
Now this one might seem a bit useless, but trust me, keep this in mind when grinding out any game. Too often have I seen people getting frustrated while playing this game, and while it’s a part of online gaming, you have to remember why you’re playing the game in the first place. There will be times where you want to throw your controller out a window. When this happens, stop playing online. The game has plenty of offline options that can be used to hone your skills, so cool off in these modes or turn the game off completely. Ultimately, we’re here to have fun; the second it stops, there’s no point in playing.
2. TRAINING IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
I’m certainly guilty of neglecting training from time to time, but its importance can’t be understated; the built-in training packs are pretty useless. I would recommend going into free play and driving around as much as possible. It’s a good exercise to get used to how the car and ball move. A Rocket League pro, SquishyMuffinz, didn’t have a working internet connection when the game launched in 2015 so he spent all his time in free training getting used to how the physics of the game work. I’m not saying it’ll turn you into one of the best players in the world but it’s a step in the right direction.
3. CUSTOMISE YOUR CAMERA SETTINGS AND CONTROLS
This part is one that many people will neglect from the start, but remember, the more of the field you can see, the better you will be. You can chop and change things to suit your preference but one thing you must do is turn off camera shake! You can google any Rocket League pro and you will find their settings, but here are my camera settings. Finally, and this is really important for the later half of your Rocket League journey: assign air roll right to R1 or RB and air roll left to L1 or LB. This won’t be much use until you learn how to fly, but once that day comes you will be glad you changed the controls.
4. GAMESENSE IS KEY
If you start watching Rocket League tutorials you will see a plethora of videos explaining how to do crazy mechanics like flip resets, ceiling shots, and air dribbles. While these look cool and make you feel like a pro when you pull them off, your time will be better spent learning the ins-and-outs of how the game works. Firstly, learn positioning; where should I be in relation to my teammate? There is a very basic rule: break up the field into 9 equal sections and you should never be more than one section away from your teammate and never in the same section as them. Obviously, there is more complexity to these but from the start, it’s a good habit to get into.
Rotations were a foreign concept to me when I started, but they are vital in Rocket League. Basically, if you look at a top-down view of a game, teams should be moving in a circle. For example, if I got to challenge the ball, once that challenge is complete I should rotate out behind my teammate so they’re free to follow up with a challenge all while I’m falling back to a defensive position if their challenge fails. Again, there are exceptions to this rule but learn these basic rules and then you can start learning the fun mechanics like aerials and ceiling shots.
5. KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL
This last tip will take time to get, but go to where the ball is going, not where the ball is. You don’t want to get caught ball watching only to see the ball flying over your head and you’re out of the game. This is why tip number 2 is crucial. By getting accustomed to how the ball moves you can better understand where the ball is going. If you see the ball in the corner and your opponent is close to it, don’t drive to where the ball is, look at the car’s position and judge where the ball will end up when they hit it and be there to intercept.
Rocket League is a phenomenal game, it is easy to pick up yet hard to master. After 500 hours I still have much to learn. Many of us have the muscle memory for FPS so learning a game like Overwatch will come more natural to us. Rocket League is slightly different; the basics of driving are easy to pick up for any gamer, but the advanced mechanics of flying and wall play need time to learn. It may take multiple hundreds of hours but I can assure you, it’ll be some of the best time you’ll spend with a game. I will leave you with a great Youtube series for beginners.