Rocket League has become a runaway hit on the PlayStation 4 and PC. With the game offered free to PlayStation Plus users last month, and a rumored Xbox One version being hinted at constantly, people are looking for ways to get better at the game. If you head into a public match, chances are you're going to find a lot of players who don't know what they're doing. If you're one of those players, we've got some tips that will help you elevate your game to new heights.
Use a Triangle Formation
The most popular mode in Rocket League is 3v3. You can get a lot of great teamwork opportunities, but it's not as chaotic as 4v4. While some teams like to assign a designated goalie, that isn't always the best strategy. Rocket League is a game that evolves as it's being played. A dedicated goalie will have to leave the goal if a ball is cleared in their direction, and that can leave the goal open against a skilled team.
The best way to handle the goalie situation is to have a rotating goalie. You generally want to use a triangle formation, with one person in the back near the goal, and two players out in front. As the ball moves around and players rotate, the person closest to the goal should take over that position, while the other two play forward until the ball moves again. This way you always have someone on goal and two people playing more offensively, and you won't have anyone upset that they have to play goalie all the time.
Follow Your Shots
A lot of players take pride in hitting the ball squarely and launching it down the field. That's great, but don't stop there. Unless you're playing goalie, every time you hit the ball you should be following it as quickly as possible. There are plenty of occasions when you'll hit the ball toward the goal and it will be slightly off or an opposing player will boost in to stop the shot. If you follow the ball you can hit it again to change the trajectory, score off of a rebound, or hit the ball before an opposing player can get to it.
It's also important to watch where the ball is going after you hit it. If you see that another player is going to reach the ball before you, back off a bit to see where they're going to hit the ball. You still want to be close enough to get another hit on the ball, but far enough away to react to how the opposing player hits it. Once again, in this scenario you can follow up your original hit with a potential goal just by watching how the opposing player reacts and following the ball accordingly.
Side Hits Are Key
There will be plenty of times when you can hit the ball but you're perpendicular to the goal. Some players try to back away and get a better angle so they can send the ball into the goal. This takes far too much time, time that you won't have against better teams. Instead of trying to get a better angle, just work on hitting the ball in different directions using side hits.
It's not all that difficult to hit the ball at any angle in front of or to either side of your RC car. All you have to do is jump and hit the ball to either side at the angle you want. This may take some time in practice mode to get down, but once you have learned how to easily get the side hit and the angle you want, you should be able to score from almost any angle.
Don't Cluster Around the Ball
Far too often entire teams will swarm to the ball and there will be a giant cluster of RC cars. Eventually the ball goes flying and everyone continues to chase after it in a giant cluster. This isn't necessary and it's not how real soccer is played. It's far more advantageous to split up and watch what's going on so you can react to it.
If you see multiple players going for the ball, stay back a bit and try to predict where it's going to fly. As soon as it flies away, you'll have a head start on the cluster of players that was surrounding the ball. If enough people close in around the ball, when it flies away you'll have a clear shot on goal, or an easy defense to clear the ball away from your goal.
Switch Camera Angles
A lot of players like to use the camera angle that homes in on the ball so they can see the ball at all times. While this camera angle can certain work out for players of any skill, it's best to get accustomed to changing your camera angle based on the situation. Most high-level players use the free camera setting so they aren't stuck on the ball when it's high in the air.
It's important to pay attention to the field and the other players just as it's important to keep a close eye on the ball. Even if you end up settling on Ball Cam, try the free camera setting and only switch to Ball Cam when you need to quickly locate the ball (then switch right back). This will help you become more aware of what's going on around the field.
If some of these tips are a bit over your head, be sure to check out our beginner's tips for Rocket League!