How Important Mentality Really Is - Tips & Tricks With ViolentPanda



Fri 14th Sep 2018 - 10:37am

When thinking about what makes a player good in Rocket League, we almost always think mechanically. We think of how good said player is at controlling their car, their rotational ability, and how they click with their teammates. One aspect that is hidden in the shadows, however, is a player's mentality during gameplay. To expand on this part of the game, we took some time with Jos "ViolentPanda" van Meurs to ask him a few questions based around mentality in Rocket League.

Your Own Frustration

Becoming frustrated in Rocket League is an easy task. After playing the game for many hours and seeing almost no progress in your own improvement, and the number of games you have lost increasing exponentially, you are bound to become aggravated. 

Yet although this inevitability lurks, the question arises when we think how this can affect a player's gameplay. As put by ViolentPanda, "Becoming frustrated is a mental problem you have to get over." This was followed by, "If you keep getting frustrated and annoyed at yourself it is not going to make you play any better."

This supports the idea that becoming infuriated at both the game in itself and your own gameplay, you are really doing nobody any favours. Becoming angry at a few lost matches will just come to start a rabbit hole, in that you will only continue to play as you have been due to your frustrated mentality at the time.

Having the ability to overcome frustration comes with time, as ViolentPanda mentions, "Over time, I just achieved the attitude of not caring too much about losing and just doing the best you can do." Ultimately, in regard to your own anger, being able to achieve the mentality of not caring about your in-game losses is a huge advantage to have under your belt.

Coping Mechanisms for Stress

Being able to cope with the heat in online matches can be rather difficult, and this is not helped by the furious quick-chatters of both your own teammates and the players from the opposite team. When asked if ViolentPanda still feels stress in-game, he answered, "Nowadays, I don't have that much stress in-game anymore because over time you get used to being in high pressure situations." This comes to show that stress can be inevitable for those that are beginners to the game, but after a while the stress can really diminish.

In terms of beginning players, then, ViolentPanda states, "It's all about keeping your head cool and don't worry if something goes wrong. Just move on and don't think about it." Although this may sound simple, it is certainly the most effective way of managing your mentality in Rocket League. Forcing yourself to get over how badly you or your team played in that last match will prove to be one of the reasons you end up improving as a whole.

Things you should not do to cope with stress include:

  • Ball chasing
  • Stopping completely
  • Trash talking in the chat

This is an example of a player seeing their teammate make a mistake and becoming frustrated. In a match, this indicates stress and you should not stop playing if your teammates have a mishap.

Frustration from Your Teammates

On the topic of teammates, you may find your team becoming infuriated at either how they themselves are playing or at how you are playing. If you find yourself in a partied team in which you have communication on your side, relieving the stress of your teammates can be easier.

ViolentPanda discusses this subject by saying, "Do the best in calming them down. Once you are the captain in a team, you have to be the anchor that keeps your team going. If something goes wrong, don't get annoyed and try to keep motivating your team to focus on the future instead of what just went wrong." This perfectly sums up the methods you should take for when the heat is building and, again, this is much simpler to pull off when you are using communication. Having the ability to talk to your team and motivate them will ultimately give you better results and make you a better team player in general.

But by having a team that is frustrated and not doing anything to resolve the issue, it can severely impact how your team plays in matches. If you do not have communication, ways that you can notice that your teammates are becoming angered include:

  • Missing the ball much more regularly than normal
  • Chasing the ball
  • Going for more demolitions as opposed to playing well
  • Pre-jumping and pre-flying much more frequently due to tirelessness

Be sure to keep a look out for these signs of frustration and as ViolentPanda mentions, do your best in calming them down, as continuing as a frustrated team is not helping anybody.

Common Mentality Issues in Rocket League

Each and every player in Rocket League is unique. Needless to say, then, problems that relate to a player's mentality differ greatly over the community. However, there are some examples of mentality issues that are much more frequent than others. ViolentPanda brings up one of these examples by saying, "Getting annoyed at every mistake you make is the worst you can do. You have to keep looking forward instead."

To elaborate slightly, by missing the ball a few times or by missing a shot on the net once or twice and becoming annoyed, you are putting your gameplay at risk immediately. Like ViolentPanda said, looking forward as opposed to dwelling on the past will improve yourself and your mentality in the game.

Another very interesting point ViolentPanda makes is that "getting nervous and having the fear of failing is probably the main problem with new pros. It will always be there but just try to not worry about it too much." I find this a very good point, as the fear of failure can be a significant anchor on your own gameplay. By fearing how you are going to play as both an individual and as a team, this will lurk in the back of your mind and distract you from playing well. Unfortunately, the only solution to come over this fear is to play more, and as ViolentPanda says, try not to worry about it, because worrying will only make it worse.

Mentality vs. Mechanical Skill

Mentality and mechanical skill in Rocket League are both very important factors in how you are going to perform. This is interesting, considering how they seem like opposites yet can have such an impact on how an individual plays. One question that may come from this, then, is "Is having a positive mentality more or less important than having good mechanical skill? Or are they just as important as one another?"

Fortunately, we have the help of ViolentPanda on this one, who states, "I mean if you're bad at the game, it won't really help so just keep practicing and try to become better. But besides that, keeping positive really helps also with improving as a team and an individual player."

This statement in itself proves that mentality and mechanical skill are just as important as each other and there really is no 'better' aspect to the game. Practicing your mechanical skill through Free Play, Custom Training, and just ranked matches in general is crucial to becoming a better player. 

However, the part of the game that hides in the shadows that we have tackled here, a person's mentality, is also crucial in becoming a team player and an overall better individual player.

To wrap this up, if you do find yourself becoming very angry towards the opposite team or maybe even your own, as ViolentPanda quite cleverly mentions, "The mute button is a quick and easy solution."