August 2, 2021

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Rocket League: Tips & Tricks for New Players

The popular game Rocket League has gone free to play. Here are some tips and tricks to help new players get past its high skill curve.

Rocket League has been a highly competitive and popular game since its release in 2015. What makes the game so fun is its exciting blend of soccer and racecars. The goal is similar to that in many other sports in which two teams compete to score points by getting a ball into a goal. However, thanks to the game’s design and mechanics featuring the car customization — which in itself has a strong following as a hobby — the competitive scene has been turned up to 11.

Learning how to maneuver a ball while driving a car fast or how to propel a car into the air to catch the ball can be a hard skill to learn, but with a bit of practice, players have learned how to flip their cars just the right way or hit the ball at just the right angle to score winning points.

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With so many longtime players increasing the skill curve of the game, newer players just discovering this awesome hybrid of fast cars and soccer now that it has gone free-to-play may feel like they don’t have much of a chance. Here are some useful tips, tricks and strategies for new players who want to be able to compete.

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Learning to Rotate

Making the proper rotations is an essential skill and really comes down to game knowledge. While it may seem like a viable strategy to constantly chase the ball, sometimes deciding where and when to position their car can really give a player the edge.

After a while, the pure and utter chaos that comes from playing aggressively and trying to hit the ball first becomes an inefficient way to play because, when players don’t rotate, often their goal is left undefended. No matter how fast a car is, boosting or flipping to chase after a ball headed towards their goal, they may be too late.

Knowing when your team has control of the ball and when you do not is the key to victory. It tells you when to play offensively and when you should be defending. Spreading players out allows a team to cover more area, making it more likely the ball will come to them by chance. This keeps it out of your team’s goal and allows you to bump it to the opponent’s side of the field. Whether it is 4v4, 3v3 or 2v2, rotating is a vital part of any Rocket League strategy, allowing player to properly position themselves and keep control of the ball.

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Use the Handbrake

Thematically, Rocket League is centered around moving fast. The ball moves fast, the cars drive fast and the timer for the game ticks by fast. However, this means the handbrake mechanic is often undermined by the boosting and flipping mechanics. It doesn’t matter how much boost a player has because, when they need to make a turn or a complete stop, they will be at a slow, point-costing pace.

The handbrake should be used just as much as boosts and flips. While the other two help with forward propulsion, the handbrake can be used to quickly change directions by drifting without losing too much speed. After all, the ball is not always going to stick to one side of the field, so using the hand brake to stop and reposition or to drift to face a new direction is a useful skill. This not only helps with making rotations, but may allow you to quickly snap or whip your car in a new direction fo you can get to the ball first.

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Use Your Team

Because of how fast-paced everything is in Rocket League and how quickly everyone’s positions change, it can be easy to forget about your teammates. Too often, a player will go at the ball offensively and alone, refusing to pass it because they have not kept track of their teammates or they forgot they were there among the high speed chaos.

Either way, it’s important to recognize where your teammates are and what they’re doing so you can work together. Keep in mind who is hanging back to defend, who is open for a pass and who can support a shot in case it misses. Knowing where everyone is really helps when formulating a plan of attack or defense during a match. It may be hard to do at first, because there are so many other things to keep track of like the ball and the opponent’s position, but knowing where your teammates are is vital for success.

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