Rocket League is a game that tests the mettle of devoted players. After years of being a popular game both to the general public and to esports players, Rocket League continues to thrive on skilled and inventive players.
If you want to become a better Rocket League player, here are some top Rocket League tips on how to do that.
Bottom Line Up Front
You should consider doing all of the following if you want to improve your playing:
- Change your camera settings. The default settings won’t give you the edge you need to get better. Make changes according to what would boost performance and what suits your personal preference. For example, consider turning up the FOV, having balanced Distance and Height settings, or adjusting settings like the Swivel Speed to taste.
- Find a good car. Certain cars are sought after for their better offensive or defensive capabilities. They offer things like sharper cornering or a bigger hitbox, so make sure to pick one that suits your style and can match other players’ cars.
- Learn new moves. To effectively keep the ball away from the other team and score often, you’ll have to learn many mechanics like aerials or flips or hitting the ball at certain angles.
- Practice. There are plenty of moves to learn if you want to become better at defending, scoring, or even keeping the ball in the air. They’re hard to pull off unless you know how they work and have done them enough.
- Coordinate. You’ll be playing with other people in most cases, so work with them to pull shots off. Rocket League is a team exercise as much as it is an exercise in individual discipline. You can’t do everything alone, nor can anyone else on your team.
- Be decisive. You’ll miss opportunities to beat your opponent if you spend too much time deciding what to do.
- Study the greats. The Rocket League community doesn’t follow the guidelines of the pros for no reason. These are top of the line players who know the most efficient way to play the game, so spend some time watching them play and learn from what they do.
- Warm up. There are tons of things you’ll learn as you become a better player, and it can be difficult to manage them all. Warming up before matches allows you to get a refresher and could help you win more often.
- Rotate. Being on top of where you’re positioned and working to fill the gaps where enemies could score are essential to winning matches at a higher level.
Tip #1: Camera Settings
Camera settings are one of the most essential aspects of Rocket League, believe it or not. I used to be surprised about this; when I first researched Rocket League, I didn’t think they would play such a huge role. But as it turns out, they’re the difference between winning and losing.
So why are camera settings so important? Well, success in Rocket League is all about visibility and lining things up on screen. You want to be able to see things like the arena, the opposing team, or the ball as clearly as possible in order to score or defend effectively. And although they are decent, the default settings just don’t give the edge in visibility that high-level players want. Enter the obsession with camera settings in Rocket League.
Here are some ideas for improving your camera settings (and therefore, your performance):
- Turn off Camera Shake. It will hinder performance since it’s distracting and doesn’t let you focus on the action in front of you. It also adds nothing, so turning it off isn’t a loss.
- Turn the FOV setting up. Pros like having it very high (often all the way up) because it lets them see more of the arena. This is huge because you can see where the ball or cars are going much easier.
- Be sure of what Distance setting you want since it determines how your car lines up with the ball. Having the car too close or too far from the screen can significantly disadvantage you. Most pros have a higher distance since it allows for more visibility, but remember to avoid extremes.
- Avoid turning the camera Height up too high since it’ll be too far from the car, and lining up shots will be more challenging.
- The Angle shouldn’t be too high or low. If it’s too high, you’ll be looking too far up, which can be disorienting; turning it too far down means you’ll be looking at the ground, which doesn’t help at all.
- Find the right Stiffness for you. Higher Stiffness means the camera will follow the car tightly and vice versa. If the camera is too stiff or not stiff enough, it’ll be hard to play since you can’t control the camera how you want. Try different settings and see what works best.
- Find a good Swivel Speed. This one is one of the most important settings since it controls how quickly you can turn the camera. If you feel you can successfully manage a camera that turns really quickly, crank it up. Turn it down if you want more control over the camera’s movements. This one is more about what feels right.
- Be careful with Transition Speed. Having an instant teleport between the ball cam and the car (or a prolonged transition) can be distracting and detrimental to your success. Once again, I recommend you try different things and see what feels best.
Finally, it’s crucial that you find a comfortable way to use the ball cam while playing; some players toggle it on and off, some have it on all the time, and some don’t use it at all. Generally, it’s best to switch between the ball cam and the regular cam. Doing so lets you figure out where you are and where other cars are going, which is great if you want to coordinate attacks with your team or prevent an enemy from taking the ball away. If you leave the ball cam on all the time, it’ll be harder to look around and anticipate your opponents’ movements.
Tip #2: Cars
Despite Psyonix’s desire to keep making car models for people to buy, only a select few of them can offer that special edge.
But how could certain cars be better than others if they’re just cosmetics? As it turns out, the cosmetics affect how the car moves and hits things. I guess they aren’t really cosmetics, then. Anyways, here are the main factors you’ll need to consider before picking a car:
Size: Cars in Rocket League have different heights and lengths, which affect how they corner and how much reach they have. Choosing a wide and long car would be good for defense since it has a larger area (and hitbox) to hit the ball. If you went with a long and narrow car, that would be perfect for making precise offensive shots, and you’d be more likely to reach the ball faster than someone with a shorter car. Height also plays a role here since a taller car will have a bigger hitbox than a low one.
Hitbox: All of the cars in Rocket League are placed under a group of six standardized hitboxes: Breakout, Dominus, Hybrid, Merc, Octane, and Plank. They each have different strengths:
- The Plank is very wide, long, and flat
- The Octane has good width and height but a slightly shorter length
- The Dominus has a great width and height but is one of the lower cars
- The Breakout is the longest hitbox and is decently wide
- The Merc is the tallest hitbox in the game
- The Hybrid is similar in width to the Dominus and height to the Octane
Related read: Comprehensive Rocket League Octane Guide.
Cornering: Certain cars corner better than others, which can be a big help in any situation. Longer cars offer more reach but have weaker cornering, while smaller cars handle better but lack the reach of bigger ones.
Overall, it’s best to pick a car that is either balanced and reliable in multiple situations or specialized and useful in a specific field.
It’s also important that you pick a car according to your preference and capabilities. If you’re usually the goalie, find a big car that would make blocking shots on your goal easier. If you like to be a striker, pick a car that moves fast and has enough reach to take shots.
For defensive players:
- The Breakout is a great choice. It’s a wide and flat car with a big enough area to provide a solid defense, and the flatness of it makes moving the ball around easy. Plus, it’s one of the default cars. It uses its own hitbox, which is the longest in the game.
- The Mantis is good for defense because it’s nice and wide and handles incredibly well on the ground and in the air. It has the Plank hitbox.
- The Sentinel is a capable defensive car. It’s both long and decently wide and has the Plank hitbox.
Now the offensive players:
- The Batmobile (2016) is a popular choice since it’s pretty long and handles well, and its design allows for precise shots.
- The Aftershock handles well and has great length and stability.
- The Nimbus is a good offensive choice. It handles well all around and has a slim build which is great for scoring.
And finally, the jack-of-all-trades cars:
- The Fennec is a versatile car. It uses the Octane hitbox and matches it very closely, making it reliable and a popular choice among pro players.
- The Dominus is a very balanced car. It’s stylish and handles very smoothly overall. It’s a decently wide car too, so it would work well for defensive players. It uses its own hitbox.
- The Octane is the ultimate Rocket League car. It performs well, works for defense and offense, and can easily handle various maneuvers. It uses its own hitbox.
Tip #3: Learning
Setting aside the mechanics of it all, Rocket League is a game about skill. The best way to become a better player is to learn new moves and apply everything you work towards. This means combining your car choice with your camera settings and all the maneuvers you know to create a style that works on the field.
There are tons of things to try and unique ways to use them. You’ll have to learn to master your car both on the ground and in the air. Before you get into the advanced mechanics, you should get all of these down:
- Figure out how your car handles; this includes how it turns and drifts.
- Learn how to fly and line up shots in the air.
- Get flips down so you can get around faster.
- Get used to driving on the walls and lining up with the ball.
- Try scoring at different heights and angles to get a feel for it.
After that, things get much more complicated. There are moves like air dribbling, aerials, backflip shots, wave dashing, and many more. Pro Rocket League players have also made their own maneuvers which people have adopted, like musty with his musty flick.
Again, it’s important that you nail the basics before moving on to effectively apply the advanced mechanics down the road.
Tip #4: Practice
Getting better at something requires practice. No one becomes a great anything overnight, especially when it comes to a mechanically complex game like this one. Try doing exercises to train your eye and get used to how your car feels. You could also research online and see what other people have come up with.
I’d say that playing matches is the best way to practice in Rocket League. Get used to working with your teammates and against other players. If you don’t want to do that, start by facing off against some bots and work your way up. Even if you get wrecked over and over, you’ll eventually find ways to work around it, and you’ll get better. Be patient and give it time and effort.
Rocket League also offers training that you can use to improve your skills. If you enter the Training mode, you have different ways of practicing:
- Free Play will drop you into an empty arena with nothing but your car and the ball. Here, you can practice maneuvers all day without any distractions or pressure to win. Scoring goals will reset your position, allowing you to try all kinds of things comfortably.
- Custom allows you to use training packs made by players which can be found in the training browser. These packs cover all kinds of skills that you can learn ranging from beginner moves like learning how to defend or strike all the way to advanced maneuvers. I recommend you give some packs a try if you’re unsure how to progress. And if you don’t know where to begin, check Youtube; many Rocket League content creators have released videos where they recommend sets of training packs for players looking to improve.
- Aerial lets you practice aerial shots. You can either have the ball launched into the air or leave it static in the air. Unlike Free Play, this mode has a time limit of ten seconds and doesn’t let the ball touch the ground. There are a number of scenarios ranging from rookie to pro that you can practice in this mode.
- Goalie will fire the ball at your goal and you’ll have to defend it. If you make contact with the ball and prevent it from entering the goal, it will disappear. You’ll be able to practice defending while on the goal or having to rush to the goal to block the ball.
- Striker teaches you how to score goals. You can either place the ball on the ground or launch it, allowing you to practice different ways of scoring. This mode a time limit which requires you to score within ten seconds.
- Tutorial shows the game’s key binds and how to effectively use the controls. This mode has either Basic or Advanced training.
Tip #5: Coordinate
I’ve already gone over this a bit, but coordination with other people is really important. I suppose that if you’re playing with bots, this doesn’t matter as much. But in most cases, you’ll be working with a team of people. They’ll likely have different preferences and playstyles, and you’ll have to contribute to that system if you want to win matches.
Do what you do best, but don’t do so if it sacrifices the team’s integrity. If you love to be a striker but hog the ball all the time, everyone else will feel that. If you spend most of your time far away from the action and don’t contribute much, you’re much more likely to lose. Rocket League is like a real sport; it depends on a collaborative mindset and effort from everyone involved to succeed.
Part of being a team player is using the quick chat. Rocket League doesn’t have voice chat, so this is the only way you’ll be able to communicate with your teammates. Using it effectively is what makes the difference between a well-coordinated team and a team where every player does their own thing.
Tip #6: Be Decisive
If you’re a new player or unsure about your playstyle, it can be hard to decide what you want to do on the field. A lot of people struggle with this at first. “Should I play aggressively or defensively?” “Where should I be positioned right now?” These questions get asked all the time, even among the more experienced players. Unfortunately, you won’t have much time to think about what to do while playing. Rocket League is a fast-paced game, so you’ll have to stay on your toes and make decisions quickly.
Being indecisive during a match can be pretty dangerous; for example, if I was speeding towards the center of the field towards the freshly served ball and I suddenly gave up, the opposing team would have an advantage. At worst, they instantly score a goal; at best, the ball is now on my side of the court, and I have to defend like crazy.
Don’t be afraid of failure. Just commit to your choice as much as possible unless you’re sure you can get out of it. It’s better to commit to something and not get it perfectly right than not to commit and give the opponent a chance to beat you. Teamwork can help with this; try watching where your team is going and doing something no one else is doing.
Tip #7: Study the Pros
Professional Rocket League players perform on a different level than the average player, as you can imagine. They are players who are as in control of their car as possible. They have practiced all kinds of techniques and lineups, have worked cooperatively and have played the game extensively.
Therefore, it makes sense to see what they’re doing. You don’t have to read into all of the things that the pros do, but it helps to sit down and watch them play every so often. And it doesn’t really matter who is playing or what level they seem to be at; this is more about learning something. Here’s an idea: try thinking about skills that you’re weaker at and seeing how a pro would approach that same thing. You might end up learning a lot.
Tip #8: Warm Up
With all of the skills and maneuvers you’ll take on in Rocket League, it can be hard to keep up with everything and be a versatile player. This is especially true if you go into a ranked match without preparing. Doing a quick warmup before a match can make a huge difference. For example, let’s say you’ve been practicing defense recently since it’s not your strong suit. If you try some defensive maneuvers just before you join a match, they’ll be fresh in your mind and you can successfully apply them right away.
Having to struggle to remember moves while in a match will undoubtedly make things harder for you, which is why warming up is so important. If you have enough time, I recommend you try to iron out both your strengths and weaknesses. If you want to warmup quickly, just focus on your strengths and any essential skills you might need before the match.
Tip #9: Rotate
Imagine that the ball is headed towards your team’s goal. Would you chase it from behind to try and lead it away? Or would you position yourself next to the goalie to prevent any scoring?
The correct answer would be to position yourself next to the goalie; this is because following the ball opens up the goal for attack and, in most cases, won’t help you get the ball anyway. This is just one example of thinking in terms of rotation.
Rotation is all about getting the positioning of your car right relative to your team members. If you rotate positions so as to fill in the gaps that your teammates can’t fill, you’re much more likely to keep your goal defended. Rotation can also be about attacking; if you find a position where you can either score the ball or keep it on the opponent’s side, your chances of scoring increase.
Being in a good position at all times requires coordination and control. Watch where your team is going and don’t force yourself into the same area as someone else. Instead, find a position that would help the objective. Soccer and soccar are both about being a team player.
Question: Is there a single best car in the game or what?
Answer: Everyone loves the Octane. The pros use it, and the community says it’s the best because the pros use it.
There is merit to using it since it has a great hitbox and dimensions. However, the “best car” is more about preference than anything. You don’t need the Octane or any specific car to be successful. It’s not about the car; it’s about the driver.
Question: What if I like the default camera settings?
Answer: I like the default camera settings too, but I don’t play Rocket League because I want to be a pro. Stick to what you enjoy, but manage your expectations. It’ll be much harder to get good at the game if you don’t use the tried and tested methods.
Question: What do I do if everyone on my team uses the same playstyle?
Answer: It’s an excellent opportunity to try something new. You could also have someone else do that. Over time, you’ll learn to adapt and be versatile or stick to one thing and become good at it. Whether or not the other players do the same is a different story. Just do your best and hope your team does too.
You made it to the end! Now you can take on the pros for sure. All jokes aside, these tips are helpful if you want to get better at Rocket League, even if it’s just a little bit. Most of the stuff I went over is useful across several levels and can be applied at any point in your journey.
Hopefully, you took something useful out of all of this information. Remember to give it time and be patient. You can get to the top, even without my advice. Just put in the time and work and keep it steady. If you rush it and aggressively pursue mastery, you’re more likely to get burned out or want to quit. I believe in you.