Dribbling - A Unique Guide on Rocket League Mechanics
Tue 10th Jul 2018 - 9:06pm
So, undoubtedly, you are aware that dribbling in Rocket League is effective. Though this is very effective in one versus one matches, it also is an almost compulsory mechanic. Professionals in the community use this mechanic regularly to manoeuvre the ball around, over, or sometimes even underneath an opponent (or multiple).
Staying in the Circle
One useful technique that many players are unaware of is to maximize the potential of the white circle beneath the ball as you dribble it. This circle, as you already know, is to indicate the position of the ball whenever it is not on the ground. So, as you gently tap the ball such that it gains a small amount of lift, you should accelerate, not too harshly, underneath the ball so that you enter that white circle. I have demonstrated this first step below.
So, you're underneath the ball. The main challenge from here is maintaining the ball's position as you advance forwards. To do this, you will want to stay in the middle of that white circle as you drive forwards.
Things to make sure you are doing to keep the ball on top of your car:
- Do not drive too fast, as the ball will simply roll behind your car.
- Do not drive too slow, as it will roll forwards and you will have a hard time regaining control.
- Do not steer too much. This will only result in a loss of control. Steering harshly to the left or right will force the ball to roll off your car.
- Feather your boost. This will help you maintain a nice speed with which you can guide the ball more easily.
You may come to find that turning your car with the ball on your head can prove to be the next big challenge. To do this, you will want to focus on the white circle once again. By moving your car to the left of the circle such that your two right wheels are in the circle and your two left wheels are not, you can move the ball right as you steer right. Moving to the right of the circle and steering left guides the ball left. If this seems complicated, here is another clip of me doing this. You can replicate this in Free Play training.
This will help you to get around a defender, or multiple if you can master this technique. You may have also noticed how I slowed the ball down at one point to make sure I keep my control over the ball. To do this, simply accelerate slightly so that you are still in the white circle but more forwards instead of central. Make sure to brake slightly to return to a central position to continue dribbling smoothly.
Turning Your Dribble into Something Else
Assuming that you have mastered control over the ball as you dribble, you will want to convert this dribble into another trick to confuse opponents and ultimately score a goal. You have a few options. These include:
- Flicking the ball over the opponent
- Dropping the ball under an opponent
- Hitting the ball left or right to pass to a nearby teammate
- Double jumping or backflipping to gain height with the ball, perhaps for a teammate to aerial hit
Flicking the ball
In all honesty, the power that you will get behind a flick is dependent on your car type. This should be noted before attempting complex flicks. An Octane will often have less power behind a flick shot. However, a Dominus or Batmobile will have much more power, as they have a longer hitbox and therefore will push the ball forwards with more force.
To pull off a successful flick, you will want to flip forwards so that the back end of your car hits the ball instead of your front. This will make the ball gain height and head forwards at impressive speeds. Flicks can also be delayed. By jumping once, waiting for a second before descent, and then flipping forwards, you can confuse opponents. Below is me performing a delayed flick in Free Play mode. I fully recommend you use this mode to practice flicking the ball.
As mentioned, different cars flick the ball differently. I also recommend you try different cars in Free Play. I transferred from an Octane to a Dominus, as the Dominus gives more power behind a shot than the Octane.
Dropping the Ball Underneath a Defender
This mainly applies when the opposite team is following a pre-jumping mentality. As you dribble the ball, you should be aware of your surroundings, and this includes the area in front of the ball and you. If you see an opponent flying as they anticipate your flick, you may want to avoid flicking the ball and instead drop it either in front or behind you. This is easy enough. Simply drive forwards quickly or brake so that your car comes to a stop and the ball rolls forwards. If you do this when a flying opponent is coming towards you, you are much more likely to fake them out and confuse them.
The only issue with dropping the ball in front or behind you is that your control of the ball has been massively reduced. This is because it is rolling along the ground as opposed to on top of your car, and so it is much more easier for opponents to read and to predict your next move. At this point, you may wish to pass the ball to a nearby teammate either on your left or on your right. By passing the ball, you are converting possession to that player, which is sometimes the best move you can make.
In a nutshell, dribbling comes with practice, as does every mechanic in the game. In terms of what comes after your dribble, whether that be a flick or a fake, it is all about observing your surroundings and being aware of the threats or possibilities. Be sure to regularly check your rear view and carefully watch the enemy's actions. Good luck out there.
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