Releasing just this week, Rocket League has already become a hit on Twitch.TV and in the homes of millions of gamers. Absolutely worth every penny, or available free on the PlayStation Network, you’ve probably ditched hours of fun into the title already – but how do you get higher rank in Rocket League? Here are a few tips, from the basics to mastery.
Starting off in Rocket League, you’ll be presented with a few options: Either playing in the single player Season mode, giving a solo match a run in Exhibition, or stepping right into the big leagues with online play. As with any online game, Rocket League appears to have simplistic controls, but there is a large disparity in player’s skill. Some of this has to do with practice, but most has to do with understanding how your vehicle’s mechanics work. The game has only been out there a short while, so don’t worry, you’ll be running the show soon.
Stepping into your first match in Rocket League’s online play requires considerable knowledge of how the game will play out. I’m sure by know you understand that Rocket League is Soccer [Futbol] with cars. In its core this means something pretty significant. First, and most importantly, cars aren’t agile. When you’re out on the pitch in the real world, you’ll be moving along with your legs, stopping almost instantly and changing directions for you and the ball. You’ll be needing to focus a great deal on angles if you want to make a shot in Rocket League. That’s not only your most basic tip, but the most obviously required.
If you’re the sort of player who took the time and played out a Season before you stepped into the highly competitive multiplayer space, you’re probably used to a few easy shots or being first on-ball. This simply isn’t the case online. Across some 100-200 games I’ve been first on-ball many times, but it’s no easy competition, and typically this will end in stale-mate. Be sure to be around and behind the ball when it comes down off of the first touch, even if this means standing back on the goal while you’re team goes boost-crazy at the start.
Rounding out the basics, be aware of your environment. The field in Rocket League is unlike a traditional pitch – it has walls. When charging ahead trying to keep the opposing team from scoring on your goal, you don’t have to keep it on the ground, so get at the ball with full force and ricochet that monster off the wall. You can send the ball down full-field the opposite direction this way, and if you’re chasing an opposing team member this is the easiest way to clear the ball.
For anyone who has taken a few matches in, you’re likely thinking to yourself, “How’d they do THAT?” Players can fly, back-flip, and perform barrel rolls. You should be able to as well, so let’s get at it.
Barrel rolls, back-flips and front-flips are fairly easy to perform, and serve a dual-purpose. Of course these skills can be useful for scoring goals on difficult shots deep in enemy territory, but more importantly they are significant momentum changing abilities. Performing a back flip is simple enough – first, jump with your vehicle, then simultaneously aim in the direction you want your vehicle to spin and jump again. The second jump operation will trigger this controlled boost, giving you momentum shifts on the fly. In the same token, if you’re looking to gain MORE momentum, you can use the front-flip [or back-flip, in reverse] to pick up speed. Normally if you’re trying to catch up with the enemy team, you’ll need boost. If you’re short on boost and they happen to be picking every pad of boost up off the pitch, just perform a front-flip to catch up quickly.
With the highest curve of skill in the game, your vehicle can also FLY. Consider that for a moment. With flight being the absolute most impressive way to score a goal, mastery can result in your dominance on the field. To achieve flight, all you’ll need is some boost and air to fly into. Give your vehicle a jump, tip back a bit and boost away, but keep in mind there are very few ways to change your momentum mid-flight. Having flight in my repertoire for some time now, I’ve had my fair share of exceptional blocks, goals and midfield collisions, but with a combination of awareness and timing, it has become my best friend. Be aware of how you use your jump when attempting flight. If you need to stop suddenly while in-flight, you can use your “second” jump to perform a back-flip. Barrel roll for a slight change in your direction if you’re just off target.
Of course, only time can turn you into a true master of the game, so get out there and play. Rocket League is available on the PlayStation 4 as part of the PlayStation Plus program for July, 2015, retailing for just under $20. The title is also available on Steam for PC gamers, ready to play today with a 10/10 review score from over 2,000 entries.
For a more complete guide on the subtle difference between amateurs and professional-level players, head on over here.