How Important Is Being Fast? - A Rocket League Guide with Yukeo
Sat 16th Nov 2019 - 5:40pm
At first thought, being fast in Rocket League is an obvious 'must'. However, could there possible be reasons to take it slow sometimes? Is being quick all the time absolutely necessary? I have a lot of questions, and so I got the help of Maurice "Yukeo" Weihs to answer them.
Without question, though, being speedy is important at times. In fact, to expand on this, Yukeo claimed "Being fast in Rocket League is very important because, if you are able to see an opening to score and can beat your opponent to the ball, and also hit the ball on target on top of that, you will score way more goals. You don't necessarily need to be very fast to make good progress in your ranks, but it is definitely an easy way to." So, as it shows, being fast in general is advantageous a good amount of the time but is not extremely crucial.
Being as Fast As Possible
So acknowledging the effectiveness of being fast, how would you do this consistently? It may be difficult to maintain a good level of speed, especially due to one huge factor of the game: boost. When running out of boost, you may find it difficult to keep your momentum built up. For advice, Yukeo suggests, "You can stay fast by feathering your boost a lot. You should also only use it when you have to."
Be sure to flip, wavedash, and find other ways of building and maintaining speed. For more information on how to hold your momentum in Rocket League, you can check out Momentum in Rocket League - A Guide With Yukeo.
One way that you can be fast in the game is through a technique called a fast aerial. You may have heard of this technique but if you are a beginner or in the lower ranks, you may never have heard of this. For a brief description, Yukeo says, "Beginners tend to double jump first and then press the boost button. For a fast aerial though, your priority should be to tilt your car at a right angle towards the ball within the first jump and to use the second jump at the right time afterwards. I recommend watching our coach's Fast Aerial Tutorial on YouTube for more details."
(Credit: Virge - YouTube)
Knowing how to fast aerial allows you to get into the air quickly, which in turn allows you to beat opponents in the air in the event of an aerial challenge.
An aerial challenge is when you and an opponent (or multiple opponents) go for the same ball in the air. You win an aerial challenge by beating your opponent to the ball and hitting it so that it travels into their half of the field. A fast aerial is going to be very beneficial in winning those aerial challenges, but perhaps the most difficult part of going for an aerial challenge is actually understanding when to go for one.
As Yukeo states, "Being in the right position and judging the distance of you to the ball and also of your opponent to the ball correctly will help you understand when you can try and beat someone to the ball. If both of you are jumping for the ball and you were closer to it, you will have better chances of beating your opponent." Alternatively, if the opponent is closer to the ball, and you can see that, it may not be a great idea to go up for the ball.
There is a line between thinking you are faster than the opponent and actually being faster than the opponent. You need to make sure that you quickly examine the distance of yourself and the enemy to make a fast judgement on whether you should be going for the challenge or not. Speed is not just a gameplay thing, it is also a mental thing.
Being Sure Not to Ballchase
So being fast is important. But how do you know when you are being fast and when you are just purely ballchasing. Where is the line drawn and how can you distinguish the difference between the two?
Yukeo responds, "If you are supersonic the whole time and tend to go for the ball every single time even though you are further away from the ball, you are most likely ballchasing. I recommend only using your speed when you have to and know it will work. A good balance is the best playstyle in my opinion."
Be sure to be aware of when you are going for the ball. Being self-aware, understanding that you are going for the ball too often, and re-correcting your gameplay to cut down on this is the best way of ensuring you are not ballchasing.
Taking It Slowly
So what about the flipside of the argument? Sure, being quick is an important tool to have under your belt. However, are there times where being slow can actually be advantageous? Yukeo replies, "Whenever your opponent gives you a lot of space. As long as they are not challenging you, you don't need to throw away the ball."
In fact, taking it slow can help you to:
- Perform some great dribbles
- Pull off a good flick
- Fake your opponent
An example of taking a play slowly is shown below. I get a fake on one opponent and a flick on the other. This would not have been possible if I had just taken a quick hard shot on the opponent's net.
The short answer then is yes, you can make some good plays by taking your time. This becomes particularly useful when you find yourself in a situation where you have limited or no boost. In fact, with a helpful pointer, Yukeo suggests, "If you are low on boost, wavedashing and flipping can be a useful tool to maintain your speed. Also don't forget to pick up small boost pads."
Speed vs. Accuracy
So, which is more important? The speed of your car and overall gameplay or the accuracy of your shots, passes, and the like? For a quick answer, Yukeo replies, "I think both are equally important. Speed will create a lot of goal opportunities but would sometimes make you rely on your teammate's follow up or finish. Perfect accuracy will make you consistent and always hit the ball at the right spots, but probably wouldn't create as many goal opportunities."
In general, speed control allows you to:
- Beat opponents to the ball in aerial and ground challenges
- Open up some more opportunities to score if you are quicker than your opponents
- Keep possession of the ball, if you are slowing your play down
Alternatively, good accuracy allows you to:
- Make more tough shots
- Hit angles on the net that are quite difficult
- Throw off your opponents with your precision
So, really, there is not a definitive favourite here. They both have their uses, and this goes to show that speed, perhaps, is not a part of the game that you should be prioritising over every other aspect of the game.
As stated before, speed is not the be-all and end-all of everything in Rocket League. In fact, many players who are beginners (and also players in the higher ranks) find themselves focusing on their speed too often. As Yukeo says, "I even did that myself in the past. In my opinion, only playing one playstyle makes you predictable, so I prefer being able to switch it up."
As a general consensus, being fast is great for your gameplay. Choosing when to be fast and when to take it slow further makes you a fantastic player. However, after reading this guide, the takeaway should be that speed is something you need to have under your belt. But in a cluster of techniques and general aspects of Rocket League, it is merely one of many, and the best of the best of players understand that you need to find that balance of each and every part of the game in order to get to those highest ranks.