'Speed Is Everything' - Tackling One of Rocket League's Greatest 1v1 Myths
Sun 10th Jun 2018 - 4:16pm
It could be argued that there is nothing more frustrating in Rocket League than the Solo playlist. Facing other players in a one versus one scenario can, indeed, be infuriating, yet many players in the community who find themselves struggling in this area may be blinded by the popular Rocket League myth: 'Speed is everything'. Yes, speed is an important factor in the game, I mean they're called 'Rocket Powered Battle Cars' for a reason, right? Sure, but let's take a moment here to explore areas of which going slower than usual and taking your time in a one versus one match can be vital.
Don't Get Hungry for Boost
You have probably heard of the term 'Boost Starving' in Rocket League. This is used by many players, including professional players, in order to take all available Boost from the enemy so that they have a quite clear advantage. It can be effective, as an individual with one hundred Boost is much more likely to score against an opponent with zero Boost. Though this might sound like a decent strategy, it is actually severely overused.
My main piece of advice here is not to overcommit to stealing Boost from another player. By possessing more Boost than control over the ball, you are immediately spoonfeeding the opponent and offering them a wide open net. You may believe that they cannot score with such low amounts of Boost, but there are multiple ways of gaining a lot of power on a shot with no Boost and we will get into this later on.
Managing your Boost
Let's suppose that you're on the receiving end of being Boost starved and it is blindingly obvious what the opponent is doing. In such a case, your Boost is important to you, more than ever. Boost management is something that professional players do extremely well. One player that shines in the Boost management department is the legendary Kronovi. Although this skill is utilised by many professionals in the scene today, Kronovi certainly shows it off the most. Not only this, but his mechanical skill has helped him to adapt to plays with zero Boost. This clip is one of Kronovi's greatest highlights, as he has no Boost whatsoever and yet manages to push past all three defenders.
This puts heavy emphasis on the fact that Boost really is not everything you need in the game. This was accomplished in a three versus three match, so to imagine it in a one versus one match really isn't that farfetched, is it? In fact, there are a few strategies to getting the ball in the net with zero Boost.
No Boost Strategies
So your opponent is Boost Starving you? Perhaps the best way to maintain pressure is through Wave Dashing. This technique is used in other games such as Super Smash Bros and Tekken. Rocket League uses the Wave Dash in a very similar fashion. The idea is that you can maneuver around the field with little or no Boost, allowing you to gain possession at unexpected times. To Wave Dash, you should make your car jump and tilt it forwards, so that the nose of your car is pointing towards the floor whilst in the air. Now, on descent, make your car lean back and perform your second jump as soon as your back wheels touch the floor. Below is a video I made myself to show you how to perform a simple forwards Wave Dash to gain momentum.
There are more complex ways of performing Wave Dashes which include air rolling but knowing the basic Wave Dash is important, especially in no Boost situations.
In order to score in a predicament where you have no Boost and your opponent is grabbing the corner Boost, you can combine this Wave Dashing technique with precise goal positioning. If the opponent is approaching the goal from the right, you will want to shoot the ball to the left of the net, as far away as possible from the defender. If they are coming from the left, you should shoot to the right. Precision comes with practice, though, and I strongly recommend getting into Freeplay training and practicing shooting the ball at specific locations. To one-up this, try Wave Dashing into the ball with no Boost and scoring in the far right or far left of the net. This way, you are much more confident in real games.
So in a nutshell, Boost is not everything in Rocket League, and certainly speed isn't either. Although you are at an advantage with more Boost than the other player, you should strongly consider learning how to beat your opponent with finesse when you're running low. By following this guide, then, you're in a much better position to grab that next rank as we approach Season 8 in the game. Let's try to be that 'mountain' that other players have to climb.
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