The Importance of Shot Accuracy - A Guide With Yukeo
Sun 10th May 2020 - 8:00am
Although Rocket League is certainly one of those games where you would just love to hit the ball absolutely anywhere on the field, there is something you need to be aware of if you're wanting to climb the rank ladder. That 'thing' is shot accuracy (amongst many other things, of course). As a lower rank, a familiar sight might have been the thoughtless actions of you and your teammates. In Bronze, especially, you are not thinking of where you are going to precisely hit the ball. You're just hitting it!
So we got the help of Maurice "Yukeo" Weihs to weigh in on this subject and to tell us why just hitting the ball aimlessly is the complete opposite of what you should be doing.
Ground Shots vs. Air Shots
Of course, the placement of where your shot is going to be differs depending on the shot type. If you're taking a shot from the ground, you'll most likely be aiming for a different part of the net than if you were in the air.
When asked where you would want to place your shot from the ground, Yukeo replied, "That always depends on the situation of course, but ideally in the opposite direction of where the Goalie is trying to save the ball. If you can't see the opponent, placing it right below the crossbar is a pretty good option 95% of the time."
As for air shots, there are a lot of options for this, so let's focus on air dribbling. When asked where you should place your shot whilst doing an air dribble, Yukeo states, "The reason why air dribbles are so effective is because you can delay your touches and it's difficult to read how powerful you are going to hit the ball. So if you, out of nowhere, go to the far top corner of the net they will have a hard time defending it."
The largest factor of shot accuracy is to make it as hard as possible for the opponent to save. Below is a video explaining this in more depth and how to get better at shooting in general.
(Credit: Relent - YouTube)
The Upper vs. the Lower Halves of the Net
Sometimes it is more suitable to shoot for the upper half of the goal, and vice versa for the lower half. But how exactly would you know which is the better option at any given time?
Well, as for shooting for the higher part of the net, Yukeo suggests, "Whenever the opponents don't have much boost, you want to try and make it as difficult as possible for them by placing it higher." If the defender has no boost, it is much less likely that they will be able to save a high shot.
Other times it may be suitable to go for a higher shot include:
- When the opponent has only just got back in net.
- When the opponent is coming down from a pre-jump, as they will not have much time to get back up.
- When you are performing an air dribble or other aerial shot.
On the flip side, there are times where you should aim for the lower half of the net. When asked when this is, Yukeo responded, "Whenever the opponents are prejumping or coming off the wall (backboard)".
Other times it can be suitable to go for a lower shot include:
- When the opponent is only just making it back to their net.
- When you want to go for a fake.
All these situations have one inter-weaving theme. That is...
The Awareness of Your Opponents
Being aware of your opponents' positioning and actions is crucial. Very crucial, in fact. Without knowing where your opponents are frequently, you are going to make a lot of mistakes. To elaborate on this, Yukeo says this is, "Very important. If the opponent is trying to predict where you are going to place the shot by focusing on your car movement, he can just prejump and save impossible shots, but if you see that and adjust you can just mindgame him and place it where he doesn't want you to place it."
Shot accuracy is not the only aspect of the game where you need to be aware of opponents. Others include:
- When you want to control the ball
- When wanting to pass to a teammate
- When going for a fake or 'mind game'
And many, many more. It's just as important as being aware of your teammates.
The Power of Your Shots
You may be wondering if the power of your shots is just as important as your accuracy. To that, Yukeo replies, "Of course. If your opponent has 0 Boost and you shoot the ball with maximum speed right, he will have a difficult time defending it. Also, when someone is prejumping and you fake a powerful shot and end up shooting it slower than he expected can sometimes be a smart move, but can also be risky if not executed properly."
So as with everything else, your power is very situational. If you're wanting to perform a power shot, it may be useful for you to read "Getting The Most Out Of Power Shots - A Rocket League Guide" to expand your knowledge of powerful shots.
As Yukeo rightly mentions, it is sometimes effective to go for slower shots too. Although these are risky, taking a slower shot when the opponent is expecting a faster one can be very effective in the field of mind games.
Yukeo's Top Tips
When asked what his top tips for shot accuracy were, Yukeo suggested, "A lot of shooting training packs and playing a lot of 1v1, because in 1v1 if you miss your placement you will get punished 90% of the time, so it automatically forces you to place the ball well everytime."
If one versus one matches get a bit too much for you though, shot accuracy can certainly be practiced in other modes. Yukeo's final note was, "It is considered to be basic, so if you can master that early on, you will definitely have it easier to rank up."
As mentioned in previous articles, the basics should never be overlooked. As a lower rank, do not always look to master ceiling shots and air dribbles. Make sure your basic mechanics are mastered first. Think of it as a skill tree. Once you've completed the more basic skills at the bottom of the tree, more branches open up to more advanced skills such as the impressive mechanics you see the professionals perform. It is all about working your way up from the bottom; from the basics.