Take Your Rocket League Gameplay to the Next Level: 1v1 Tips & Tricks



Tue 6th Aug 2019 - 7:30pm

As a player, for about three months of consistent playing time, I was stuck in the high Gold and low Platinum ranks. I didn't understand why I wasn't rising up the ranks. It wasn’t until I began playing 1v1s that I found myself improve. My mechanics, though still very rough, began improving and became more consistent. I began to find myself in situations thinking “Oh, this is easy, I’ve done this before.” As a result, I went into matches with confidence, knowing when to be patient and knowing when to ball chase.

The 1v1 gamemode is unlike any other game mode, simply because you can’t act like a ball-chasing lunatic. There’s no second line of defense for you in case you make a mistake. And even if you do make an impressive play, if your opponent manages to save it and counterattack and you’re out of position, their score increases by another number. The meta for 1v1s is completely different than any other game mode. It requires more patience, more consistency, and more finesse. It also allows you to take a direct look into your strengths and weaknesses as a player. Are you good at taking shots on net but can't recover? Are you good at saving shots, but unable to advance up the field and take a shot on net?

Here are the 3 most important things that can help you improve in the 1v1 gamemode and, further, your mechanical game as a whole!

1. Boost Management is EXTREMELY important.

Firstly, you need to learn how to manage your boost spending. Having no boost is the worst situation you can possibly be in as a 1v1 player. You can't hold down your boost button when you're on attack because then you will almost always let in a counterattack goal if your attack fails.

Secondly, you need to know the position of every boost pad, including the small ones. You may not always have time to go to the large boost pads on the corners and the sides of the map, so the small ones can add up. Each of the small boost pad contains about 12 boost (11.8 to be exact), and they are located in 28 different locations around the field.

Here is a graphic of the locations of ALL the boost pads:

In the graphic, each of the boost pads are labeled by numbers, starting from 0 and going to 33. Each boost pad has its own importance and can be utilized well in the right situations. 

If you are on defense, boost pads 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 are important boost pads (reflected on the other side of the map is 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33). After you make a save with the boost that you've collected on recovery, the small boost pads 0, 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7 can be helpful in giving you the minimal amount of boost needed to make that next save, if a shot were to come. Large boost pads 3 and 4 are possible pads to help launch a counterattack, if you save the ball to one of the corners. 

If you are recovering back from an offensive attack, the side boost pads and corner boost pads of field should be utilized, labeled as numbers 3, 4, 8, 9, 15, 18, 24, 25, 29, and 30. Recovering down the sides provides a straight line with the most available boost for defense. On your opponent's side, you could also steal the larger boost pads while maintaining pressure on the ball.

If you are recovering from kickoff, the midfield boost pads 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 are helpful. After bouncing off of the ball in the center in an awkward position. These small boost pads and sometimes large boost pads can be helpful in recovering to attack or defend.

Though memorization can be considered, just generally knowing the positions of some of these boost pads and rotating through them cleanly can really help you out on both offense and defense.

2. Change Things Up When Challenging.

Don't just lunge at the ball every time. Please. Though it may work the first few challenges, your opponent is going to read that you've done the same challenge every single time. Your opponent then has the ability to fake a flick, or even just drive around your wild challenge. Change your timing, or even change how you challenge the ball.

Here is a video from Virge, a Rocket League Coach:

In the video, he outlines tips on how to challenge and when to do so. In a short concise summary, you should shadow your opponent (follow his path in front of him when he is making an offensive attack) and look for the perfect moment to 50/50. These perfect moments could be either when he loses control of the ball or keeps the ball in a place perfect for a defensive 50/50.

You can also fake challenge. Fake challenging is self-explanatory; it is when you get close enough or drive fast enough to make your opponent think you are challenging. This forces your opponent to make a move or causes him to panic and mess up any attack he possibly could have had. After fake challenging, you could either challenge and win a 50/50, or fake challenge again, playing around with your opponent's mind. But the same rule applies: do not fake challenge once every time, or constantly challenge. Switch up your timing and your opponent will have trouble reading your defense.

3. Delaying your opponent.

As mentioned in Tip #1, having boost is a game changer. But when you don't have boost, you need to figure out a way to delay your opponent. Keeping the control in your hands rather than your opponent is an extremely efficient way of delaying.

Lets say you finished your attack, and your opponent has saved the ball to the wall on your left. You are on your way to recovering back onto defense and retrieving boost, but your opponent is already in a really good position to quickly launch a counterattack. Though the ball is coming towards you, and it looks like you can get a touch on the ball before your opponent can. What you can do is hitting the ball lightly towards the wall, to an awkward position that your opponent can't use to attack quickly with. This will allow you to get boost and challenge, or fake challenge and challenge again.

Here is a video from amustycow, a Rocket League Coach and Content Creator:

His second tip in the video outlines the idea of touches to delay your opponent, and provides situations in his gameplay where he utilizes this tip.


These three tips can not only be utilized in 1v1 games, but in any game as well. Though other opponents and teammates should be accounted for, these tips can be translated easily. If you continue to use these tips and play the 1v1 gamemode, you will find yourself learning what you are bad at, and you can improve that by continuing playing the gamemode. Though being good at flicks and 50/50s can be helpful, these small tips can be helpful as well.

Good luck in your next Rocket League match!

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