The subtle differences between players in your average Rocket League match will always change the outcome. It’s time to break the mold, and become a Rocket League master.
If you’re just starting out, playing like a professional might not be your first concern. Have a look at our guide on the basics of Rocket League, including flight and core mechanics before moving on. With those skills in place at any level of proficiency, here’s an extremely useful guide on how to win more matches in Rocket League.
As the first core issue you will find with any player, everyone is already a master of the game and any fault at all isn’t on them. It doesn’t matter who is playing with you or against you, until they reach the highest level of play no one is willing to admit fault. Along side this mindset, that also means that everyone who plays the game with you is a “ball” player. A “ball” player is simply someone who must touch the ball at any given opportunity. The first step to winning more games in Rocket League is to shake the idea that you are the best person on the pitch and get outside of your own head.
In the best matches of Rocket League, players of all skill levels are willing to pass the ball. Whether that means up the court or off the wall, we’re playing together for the first time. Trusting that everyone in your match is at or around your skill level can go a long way to making more goals and faking out the opposing team. Passing can mean a variety of things depending on which role you choose in Rocket League, but at its core there are three examples.
The Goalie: If you are playing goalie your role is first to save goals – we know that. Secondly, you’re looking to clear the ball effectively. When a ball comes rolling up the field in your direction, be patient and ensure that you get the most effective hit away from your goal as you can. For the most part this means hitting the ball back up the direction from which it came. Goalies have many opportunities to deny strong shots straight back into the opposing goal, but patience is your first priority. You don’t have to be a hero in every match, just get those saves and the points will come. Passing down field will often guarantee you a mid-field opportunity.
Mid-Field: There is a reason in professional soccer (futbol) that mid-fielders exist. In Rocket League mid-fielders are the most likely players to make a goal shot, and the best way to avoid having to defend at your own goal. By keeping yourself or a team mate in the mid-field you can take advantage of any missed shots by your team, as well as passes off the back wall or steals by the opposing team. While playing mid-field, you do not have to be a hero as it is quite easy to roll a pas up the left or right wall and over the head of any opposing team members. Your forward player will love you if you pass in this situation, and you’ll likely get all of the opposing team thinking that you will take the shot – lucky for your team you don’t have to.
Forward: As Forward player in your Rocket League match, you might think to yourself that there isn’t much opportunity for passing. You’re dead wrong. By passing through less obvious motions, you can cause entire teams to follow your movements, rather than the ball. Pass with drop passing by talking to your team and simply flipping over the top of the ball. Pass off the back wall, angling the ball centered over the goal. Pass with a small *boop*, simply sliding under the ball and making it pop ever so slightly into the air. These passes can make any goalie frustrated and help dismantle teamwork on the opposing side of the ball.
When it comes to taking shots, everyone loves to take shots. What matters is taking shots which you can make. If you’re reading this guide and you aren’t proficient at flight yet, that’s OK but you’ll need to step up your game if you want to play at the top level. Take advantage of every opportunity you can at each position, assuming that you team follows the passing rules we’ve mentioned above.
Goalie: As you would expect, Goalies aren’t your top shooter in the game. Most of the Goalie’s job is to simply clear the ball really well. If you notice that the enemy team is in your face and leaves no goalie, take advantage of this to try and clear the ball REALLY well and get goals while you can. There’s no special finesse to this shot, just know your angles and get down to business.
Mid-Field: Your job is to bang in all the shots you can in the Mid-Field position. You must be proficient in flight and you must NOT step up for shots until they are set for you. Whether this set is from your team or the enemy team, be patient here and take shots that you can make. There’s no sense in you being in the Forward position as a Mid-Fielder. If you’re doing your job and they are doing theirs, everyone will get their shots and win this game – just remember that passing is important too. Spend the majority of your time behind your own half-court line as a Mid-Fielder. You’ll have plenty of time to setup for flights and react to any strange things that the defense can do to your Forward this way. Not only that, you’ll make more goals as well.
Forward: While your first priority should be setting up for your Mid-Fielder to get a nice shot, a Forward can take a small variety of shots to get easy goals. With the majority of your offense coming from Mid-Field, establish a variety of shot opportunities by playing to moves that are similar to your sets. As mentioned in the Passing category of this guide, you have your “drop” shot. Jump over the ball, then front flip before you reach the true top. You’ll bounce the ball right over someone’s head this way, allowing them to think you were stopping it dead. Sliding under the ball is another very effective play for a shooting forward, as they are defending actively against “flippy” shots from your Mid-Field and you can simply roll it in. Remember not to flip around too much as you’re very close to the goal – you’ll probably just mess things up.
With hundreds of hours of game play in, including playing in front of crowds at PAX Prime, I can assure you that most of the issues you’re having with your game play comedown to trust and understanding your team’s level of skill. While Psyonix does a fine job of making sure that similarly skilled players end up in matches together, you can’t lock yourself down to just one of these positions if you want to win games more often. Remember that this is a team game, and whether you’re scoring one point to win the game 1-0, or scoring ten points to win 10-9, a win is a win. If you notice that there is no goalie on your team, you’re going to want to be that role. No mid? Do the same. Your team needs you as much as you need them, and working to their strengths will get you more wins than almost anything else. The most important thing of all however – if you want someone on your team to pass the ball more, make sure that you recognize them for passing. The same goes for shooting and saves. A little compliment can drive someone to work harder and increased morale will make your team better. high stress never helped anyone, so keep it cool and get out there and get the win.