Rocket League: Three must-have skills to practice in the game



Mon 5th Oct 2020 - 7:05pm

Rocket League is probably one of the loosest sports games out there today. What I mean is that players have complete control of their movements and the ball essentially has a mind of its own. Because of this, the door of creativity is opened for you do things your own way. There are several elements to the game that can turn the tide of battle. It's a good idea to try and practice some of these things whether in practice mode or season mode for example. It's so easy to focus solely on scoring, but there's more to the game than that. 

There's more to it than getting saves and assists too. There are some things that just don't show up in the stat sheet. Sometimes it's these invisible stats that can be key to helping your team with a match. Although some of these things aren't going to necessarily fill up your stats at the end of a match, but they're still satisfying. And actually, some of these things do show up in your overall, all-time stats, just not after games. But even if that wasn't the case, the three things that I'm going to reference are still important to practice. It's some of the same skills that the most competitive players utilize regularly. 

You don't need to be a master to be a great player, but having these skills and knowing how to use them to your strategic advantage. Plus, on top of everything, it's just more fun when you have more abilities in your arsenal that you know you can use effectively. And each of these skills works on either side of the ball so there's some versatility there too which is always nice. One of the beauties of Rocket League is giving players the opportunity to be creative with their play, even in high octane situations. Practicing these moves will add to your creative flow on the pitch and we'll tell you why. 

Using Boost 

Rocket League just would not be the same without those cool flame bursts coming out of the back of the cars, giving you a greater amount of speed. And there are plenty of fun and silly kinds of boosts that can be unlocked throughout your time playing the game including money style, hearts, or even something a bit simpler like grass. Picking up the speed in key situations can be important to your team's success in matches. With the boost meter filled up, you can gain a ton of ground in a hurry. Tried to score but the opponent hit the ball towards your goal? Utilize the boost and get back on defense in a hurry. 

Boost can also lead to more aggressive attacks on offense as well. You can charge right at the goalkeeper if you have some daylight to work with (space away from opponents). You can then proceed to really slam the ball in the net. Feel free to get a little shifty if you can to shake the keeper enough for you to score. 

Probably the trickiest thing to master with boost is the ability to perform aerial shots. Playing in the air is what some of the best players in Rocket League do. If you watch Dignitas and some of the other teams out there, you'll notice how frequently they use aerial moves during matches. This can really have an impact on play if you can become good enough at it. Rocket League has a great practice mode where you can work on moves like this. Playing in regular matches against the CPU is also a great way to practice your skills in a real game setting. A key thing here is making sure you're grabbing boost often without losing sight of the ball and what you need to do. 

You'll likely use up a bit of your boost by speeding around the pitch, so staying fueled is important because you'll need a fair amount of boost to perform some good, solid aerial moves. It's about balancing things out. If you want to use your boost bits at a time, then that may be smart also. So when you see the ball in the air, you'll have enough boost to take off. But definitely balance between hunting down boost orbs to fill your meter and getting back to the action at hand. Many times, you'll probably drive over a refueling spot anyway. But take advantage of the practice and single-player modes and get comfortable with this and you'll be an even better pro than you already are. 

Making Good Passes 

Playmaking is always a great way to keep the defense on their toes and lead to scores for your team. There's nothing like a good pass that ends up crediting you with an assist to add a little extra sparkle to that stat sheet. Funnily enough, many players will earn assists by complete accident. Perhaps you're trying to score a goal but accidentally mishit the ball, causing it to bounce off of a nearby teammate who then hits it into the goal for the score. This happens a lot in Rocket League and although it's awkward and funny, you do get an assist so hey that works, right? 

But getting dimes is a great way to win games and give everyone a piece of the statistical pie. If you want to practice your passing ability, try playing in some single-player matches. Sure, bots may not always respond the way you want them too, but start off with some basic passing on an easier difficulty level. 

Then, from there, crank the difficulty up a bit more and bots should be able to respond better to some of your slick passes (Great Pass!). Or, if you want a more relaxing practice session, go into Free Play and have the pitch all to yourself. Although you don't have any teammates, you can still work on your dimes. 

Try passing to yourself and go for some goals. Lob a pass up, and have it bounce off the wall for you to smack into the net. It's almost like when NBA players on rare occasions throw alley-oops to themselves. That's kind of what you'd be doing here. A simpler approach would be just to work on your touch. Power judgment is critical to great passes, so in Free Play, just go for some soft touches and sort of visualizing how things would look in-game using that magnificent brain of yours. There are many creative ways to dish the rock, and you really have the freedom to practice them all. After getting some reps in, put your skills to the test in online matches and get some assists when the opportunities present themselves (or if you accidentally mishit your shot on goal of course). 

Clearing and Centering the Ball  

An underappreciated part of the defense in Rocket League is the ability to knock the ball out of your territory smoothly. Sure, getting saves might the prettiest or "coolest" thing to do on defense, but don't sleep on the art of clearing and centering the ball because this defensive skill can lead to great scoring opportunities for teammates. 

Both of these abilities are essentially the same, as they focus on getting the ball away from your scoring zone. Centering the ball is more about getting the ball towards the central area of the pitch. Meanwhile, clearing is more about giving the ball a good smack, knocking it into opponent territory. This is an excellent way to set your teammates up for a long distance score. If the goal occurs in time, then you should get credited with the assist. On many occasions, you might clear the ball and end up scoring from long range. These kinds of goals are always pretty satisfying and a great addition to your decorated highlight reel. 

Centering allows you to give teammates a chance in the middle of the pitch to get creative with their next moves. Or, of course, the defense might come at the ball as well so just keep that in mind. But centering is a great defensive ability that is underrated. More than likely you'll just automatically do this, but it's not always a priority. Sometimes you don't need to get epic saves (What a Save!) to play some great defense. Some good, solid centering, and keeping the ball away from your goal takes some pressure off of your team. And, as mentioned, if you play your cards right, can lead to some scores at the other end. 

You can practice centering and clearing in Free Play by having the ball positioned near a goal. From there, just focus on getting some solid hits in. You don't need to hit them dead center. Feel free to hit some shots off of the walls to send the ball in different directions. You can really hit as hard as you like, but you can also have a little touch on your defensive plays similarly to what we talked about with passing. 

However you go about it, feel free to practice at any time, and go for the sweet spot of the ball. And then of course, when it's game time, you can put your defensive skills to the test. Just remember that great defense is more than just getting saves. You can still rack up some points even with no saves, assists, or goals, and a lot of that is a testament to the type of defense you play so get out there and shut them down, RC car driving warrior.