Getting The Most Out Of Power Shots - A Rocket League Guide
Tue 4th Jun 2019 - 7:02pm
Chances are that you already know what a power shot in Rocket League is. If you're into the Rocket League community and watch content creators, you might be more familiar with the term 'boomer', but for the sake of sounding better let's stick with 'Power Shot' for now.
On the off-chance that you do not know what a power shot is, it is virtually exactly what it sounds like. It means when you hit the ball at the perfect angle, speed and direction in order to hit the ball with an immense amount of power across the field. This comes in extremely handy when you are in defence and the pressure is on you and your team, so a power shot would be great to relieve this pressure and immediately gain possession of the ball.
Boost vs. No Boost
For the best power shot possible, you are going to want to boost towards the ball when you go to hit it. One major aspect of power shots is momentum coming from you and the ball. The faster you are going, the more momentum you gain. That is, though, until you reach 'supersonic' speed. This is where your car reaches maximum speed and the trails left behind your wheels show which indicate that you are supersonic. At this point, you are carrying the most momentum.
As physics just so happens, as you hit the ball, the momentum you possess will be transferred over to the ball, meaning it moves at a pace that it relative to how fast you are moving. Or to put it more simply, the faster you go, the faster the ball will move. Below is a quick side-by-side comparison clip to show the difference between boosting and hitting the ball and not boosting and hitting the ball. You can see that the ball was hit at equal angles and at the same time, and that there is a clear winner.
Angle of Flip
The angle that you flip can have an impact on the shot but not always. In the clip below, this shows a comparison between flipping diagonally (left) and flipping straight forward (right) at the same time when the ball is at a complete standstill. In both, I was boosting towards the ball.
As you can see, in terms of speed there is not much of a difference between both. The later that you flip into the ball, though, the faster it will go. If you flip into the ball too early, you are likely to have your car land on the ball awkwardly. This is definitely the worst way to get a flip reset.
However, if you flip into the ball later, you are allowing all the momentum you have built to burst out into the ball at the last second, and the angle of your car will be much better for hitting the ball at high velocities. Alternatively, you could not flip at all, and you would still get a lot of power behind your hit. However, the problem with this is that the ball is more likely to fling upwards towards the ceiling rather than blasting forward and upwards. In order to hit it more forward and less high, you would have to drive into it slower, which defeats the whole purpose of a power shot.
When the Ball Is Not Stationary
So this is quite useful so far, but in a realistic setting, the ball is very rarely completely still. Don't worry though, the two factors above are still applicable to a moving ball. However, the ball moves all around the field in an online match. Whether this is in the air, off the wall or even off the ceiling, it is useful to know how to achieve successful power shots from every location on the map.
For starters, then, let's assume the ball is bouncing on the ground. If you are wanting to go for a power shot, there are a few factors to consider. These include:
- When you are going to hit it (Should you hit it when it bounces into the air, or should you hit it as it touches the ground?)
- Do you need to air roll to hit it? (This comes in useful when wanting to aim in a particular direction other than forwards)
- Are you going to flip forward or diagonally?
- Is a power shot even the best solution to your situation? (Make sure you think about other options)
In the clip below, the ball is bouncing on the ground. Here, I am experimenting with different ways of hitting the ball by hitting it at different heights, different times, different angles, and different flip types. I included the whole clip as there are far too many ways to hit the ball to cover individually.
What I found through experimenting with the variables of height, angle, and air roll is that the best power shots came down to where I hit the ball. For optimum power, height, and thrust forward, you will want to hit the ball at the perfect area, and this is actually known as the 'sweet spot' of the ball.
The sweet spot on the ball is basically around the bottom half of the ball, leaning slightly more central. If you can hit the ball perfectly between the centre of the ball and around the bottom quarter of the ball, you will find that your shot has a lot more height and power going forwards. In fact, content creator "Sir Timbers" discusses power shots and the sweet spot very well with a useful video tutorial. At around the time 1:30 in the video, he mentions this sweet spot a little further.
As he states, the area that you hit the ball is completely situational, but the middle to lower half of the ball is where you will find the absolute most power behind your shot.
Air rolling whilst doing your shots is definitely not crucial. If you just want to hit the ball forward, it's probably best to avoid air rolling, as it may blast in a different direction. If you want to hit the ball with a lot of power to the left or right, though, you can definitely air roll. If you want it to go to the left, air rol right and flip forward, so the front of your car flips more into the right of the ball, and vice versa for the other side.
Practicing Power Shots
As with all mechanical areas of the game, there are multiple ways in which you can practice power shots. For example:
- Online matches, so that you are in a realistic setting
- Private matches with a friend so you can try power shots and take turns in doing so
- Free Play, to try and hit power shots alone without pressure of other players
- Custom Training Packs, as there are actually many of these available to you
In fact, there is a training pack on the 'Featured' tab on the in-game custom training segment called "Power Shot Training", and this is the pack I used for the video demonstrations in this article, so it is highly reccommended to attempt all the shots availble to you there. Make sure that you mix it up by trying different shot types, bearing in mind all the factors discussed above, and enjoy hitting those 'boomers' in online games.
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