In just a short amount of time, Psyonix’s Rocket League has become a phenomenon on both Steam and PS4, attracting players seeking soccer thrills with a twist. Yes, Rocket League follows the conventional rules of soccer, but replaces players with cars, where the right amount of throttle can lead to a high-scoring victory.
Rocket League is a tricky game to master, but it’s a lot of fun once you learn the basics. Follow these tips and you’ll be good to go.
Keep Your Eye on the Ball
The first thing you’ll want to do after starting a match is activate the ball cam. This is the best way to keep tabs on the ball inside the arena, in case you need to rush to the other side of the field to defend your goal. This can take some getting used to, especially if you normally view the action from behind your vehicle, but it’s excellent when it comes to keeping track of the ball on the ground and in the air.
There are other camera views available, but this is your best bet. It should be set to default automatically, but in case it's off, it's easy to switch on.
Turbo, Turbo, Turbo
Rocket League contains two options for speed. The default speed gets you around the field OK, and also lets you drive along the sides of walls in case you need to get vertical to gain leverage on a ball in the air. However, the best way to go is turbo so you can deliver a powerful shot on goal.
Pick up turbo by driving over colored markers as they appear on-screen. Your turbo will begin to slowly build, but it’ll deplete if you use it too often. Try to let it build up so it can reach a full tank (100) and give you the boost you need to make a run for the goal. Also, if you launch into a full boost with enough speed, you’ll be able to take out an opponent with a demolition shot, leaving the opposing team short-handed.
You’ll see turbo eventually refill if you leave it alone, and that’s the best way to go – unless you’re on defense and someone’s taking a shot at the goal, in which case a quick boost can be enough to keep the ball out of the net. Remember, timing is everything when it comes to using boost.
Spin to Win
You’re probably aware that you can make your car jump in Rocket League with a simple press of the button. What you may not realize, however, is that you can double jump once you’re in the air by hitting the button again. Furthermore, you can put spin on it by pressing a direction on the analog stick while hitting the button a second time.
A spin can make all the difference because it gives you enough momentum to knock a ball away coming towards you. It all comes down to timing – and maybe having a little boost – but that sweet spot is worth it with the right amount of contact.
When you have teammates keeping an eye on the ball, give it a shot and see what flips and spins can do for you. Once you master the timing, you can really make this work with a solid hit. If it doesn’t necessarily set up a scoring opportunity, it can do the next best thing – clear the ball so a teammate can score.
Practice Makes Perfect
Finally, before you try to take the action online, it helps to practice. Fortunately, the game offers single player mode where you can play with other bots in a number of team options, ranging from one-on-one sessions to full four versus four team play.
You might want to try the one-on-one first because it isn’t as frantic and allows you to get the hang of your vehicle’s handling. From there, add new players to the mix and start to work on your team dynamics, including ball clearing and setting up shots on goal with or without boost.
Once you think you’re ready, go ahead and hop into a match. Granted, you may get scored on and probably bombarded by fellow Rocket League players. However, with experience, you’ll eventually get into the rhythm of the game and becoming a scoring pro. It’s all about getting in the matches and figuring things out.
Good luck! We’ll see you on the field.