Rocket League: The Evolution of Flip Stalls



Mon 1st Oct 2018 - 10:29pm

The flip stall is a move that is probably unfamiliar to lower ranked players, even if they watch professional play. This is because flip stalling is a much more commonly used move in the freestyling community of Rocket League. Competitive play still has yet to find an efficient use for flip stalls (as we will discuss later), but there are a select few who have utilized flip stalls to what is currently their fullest potential. In this article, I will give you a timeline of major events in the history of flip stalls, teach you how to do a flip stall, and talk about its implementation into competitive play.


The History of Flip Stalls

After digging through the oldest videos of freestyling I could find, I finally came across a video with a flip stall in it: “Pulse Toasty and Pulse Lynxi: Rocket League Dualtage!”, uploaded by Pulse Clan on September 28th, 2016.

At around 49 seconds into the video, we see Lynxi fall off the ceiling and perform a flip stall while still spinning his car around. This gives him more time to wait for his teammate to pass the ball, resulting in Lynxi scoring an incredible shot, even by today’s standards.

Although I was unable to find who discovered flip stalls first, this was the oldest video I found with someone performing a flip stall. From that video on, you can see that the freestylers gradually started to use flip stalls more and more often, continuing through current times. So flip stalling, in a sense, became a staple of the freestyling community. It was used mostly as a trick for freestylers to give themselves more air time without sacrificing their position while waiting for a pass. Since it was only really useful for freestylers, flip stalling had no applicable use for competitive play. It was just a trick used to style on others and to look fancy.

It remained this way for a little more than a year and a half, until reddit user u/SidewinderN7 uploaded a clip of him/her performing a triple flip reset on the ball.

The user did not use flip stalls to get resets like players currently do, but rather timed their dodge to hit the ball with the underside of their car. The Rocket League community had never seen a goal this outrageous and insane, so we all continued to watch it in awe. But instead of watching, others got to thinking about how to do this shot without some form of luck in dodging.

It turns out that even before the post was uploaded, players had been practicing this kind of move, and this skill was put in the spotlight eighteen days later on May 29th, 2018, when Rocket League caster JohnnyBoi_i uploaded a video entitled "Triple Flip Resets". The video featured two players from the Oceania region: Pulse Evample, and ATR Zen. In the past, Johnny had tried to make a flip reset only show match, but it was a failure, with only 1 goal being scored in all 3 games of the series. Evample and Zen, however, surpassed everyone’s expectations by constantly hitting flip resets.

Despite Zen’s clear skill in the area, Evample stole the show with his creativity, dodge style, and consistency in hitting triple flip resets. Nearly every time he went off of the wall, we all watched as he pulled off some ridiculous shot. During Evample’s shots, an experienced player will notice that he is using his flip stalls underneath the ball to stop his car from falling down, while hitting the ball with his wheels at the same time. Over the course of the stream, it was communicated through Twitch chat that both Zen and Evample are keyboard and mouse players, which explained how Evample could get such perfect flip stalls.

Many of us were disappointed upon hearing this news and it seemed like flip stalls that perfect would be nearly impossible with a controller. But as is the Rocket League community, someone proved them wrong and showed that maybe controller could do it even better than KBM. That someone was Nytro Ganer. On July 15th, 2018, Ganer hit the world’s first "Penta-Flip Reset".

Fifteen days after that shot was made, on July 30th, 2018, JohnnyBoi_i released another "Flip Reset Only 1v1", this time featuring Pulse Evample and his new challenger, Nytro Ganer. This was Ganer’s chance to show that multi-flip reset shots were possible for all variations of play, and he took advantage of it.

Evample seemed to be struggling compared to his previous appearance versus ATR Zen, while Ganer was scoring almost every time he went up with the ball. Ganer’s hours upon hours of flip reset training was manifested in his perfect stalling techniques, and overall consistency. Now we were convinced that anyone and everyone has the potential to do multi-flip reset shots, whether you use KBM or Controller.

After this show match, multi-flip reset shots were no longer a “once in a lifetime” type of shot, but rather one that players could eventually build up to given enough time and practice. So the following two months were relatively quiet while players were practicing their resets. Eventually the big Progression Update (Patch V1.50)'s release on August 29th came with the new progression system, Rocket Pass, and a small set of bugs and game issues each big update usually comes with.

However, these bugs were a much bigger problem in this update because Psyonix accidentally patched the flip stall mechanic, giving everyone quite a scare. Nytro Ganer, Pulse Evample, and many other well-known freestylers immediately tweeted out to Psyonix about this problem, and after confirming that the mechanic patch was unintentional, Psyonix released Patch v1.51 and v1.52 to fix the flip stall patch, as well as other physics bugs involving the ball and car’s centers of mass. Everyone breathed out a sigh of relief at this update, and that brings us to current day.

Implementation into Competitive Play

Despite how unsavable a multi-flip reset shot seems, you would think that a professional who could pull them off consistently would be a valuable asset to any RLCS team. However, those kind of shots require lots of time and space, which are two things scarcely found at the highest level of play. In professional play, both teams are always so quick to challenge possessions that players will often be blocked before they have a chance to jump off the wall with the ball.

Therefore, we still have yet to see any type of move that requires a flip stall to be used in competitive play. What it does mean, though, is that when players are given time and space, they can do incredible things with the ball.

How to do a Flip Stall

Flip stalls are all about correct timing, and muscle memory. Some parts of this mechanic will come with time and repetition. In this tutorial, I will be explaining as if you are going to be turning towards the right for the mechanic, and all the movements I talk about will be taking place when you are airborne.

First, make sure you have Air Roll Left bound to a button. Personally, I have it bound to the Left Analog Stick, and I will explain why in a moment.

Once in the air, push your Left Analog Stick directly to the right, so that your car is spinning to the right. Continue to hold the analog stick to the right for the duration of the mechanic.

Then, you will press your Air Roll Left button (the left analog stick, in this case), let go of it, and then press your dodge button while still pushing the left analog stick to the right.

The transition between letting go of your Air Roll Left button and pressing your dodge button should be extremely quick in order to correctly flip stall. It is the part of the flip stall that will eventually come with practice and reps, so just hop into freeplay and practice it in between each match.

What is essentially happening in a flip stall is this: You are air rolling in the opposite direction of your side dodge, both actions occurring simultaneously. Therefore, the physics of the dodge still take place (i.e. stunting your car’s downward motion), but the rotation of your car is canceled out by the air rolling.

If you are more of a visual learner and are having trouble understanding, watch Mariano ‘SquishyMuffinz’ Arruda’s quick tutorial of the mechanic. Squishy uses a controller map on the screen, which helps immensely in understanding and seeing which buttons he is pressing.

Final Notes

Flip stalls have proven to push the limits of Rocket League further than ever before. However, we still have yet to see it implemented into competitive play efficiently. Stalls take a lot of time to learn but are still a super cool move to use when styling on other players. And for the ones with enough dedication and training, they can be used to form a completely astonishing shot that only a handful of people can successfully pull off.

So once again, the community waits for one player to discover a mechanic that will stretch the physics of Rocket League to what seems like its limit. And for those who don’t want to wait, take it upon yourself to experiment and try out new things.

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