4 Things You Could Be Doing Wrong in Rocket League

As you play hundreds of matches in any game, you can’t help but notice certain traits players display. And Rocket League is no different…

Although the points discussed aren’t blatant ‘mistakes’ per se, they are more subconscious. This in the sense that players don’t realise what they’re doing, and how it may be affecting their play.

Here are just four bad habits in Rocket League…

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4. Taking the first touch at kick-off

Unlike a lot of sports where one team kicks off, Rocket League allows both teams to reach the ball. I used to get the first touch a majority of the time, and even though I ‘won’ the ball, it would often end up in my half.

As a result, it often set up easy chances for opponents. I took a step back and thought: “Should I stop hitting the ball first, but instead get the second touch?”

First Touch

The world’s faintest first ‘touch’?

It makes more sense to allow the opposition player to take the first touch. The ball will bounce off your vehicle, sending the ball into their half.

Whilst I still go for the ball at kick-off, I time it so the opponent will hit it first. More often than not, the ball will end up in their half, or at worst, remain at halfway.

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3. Focusing too much on offensive or defensive duties

Rocket League requires players to be all-action, being in the right place at the right time. From personal experience, a lot of players focus on either attacking or defending.

Whilst this isn’t a bad thing, hanging at either side of the pitch all match can be detrimental to the whole team.

As players become more experienced at the game, they will realise the need to both attack and defend. As teams are small, it is best that team-mates support each other. Play as a unit, rather than individuals.

Save & Goal

Going from “what a save!” to “nice shot!”, in 5 seconds

The one exception would be a dedicated goalkeeper in 4-vs-4 matches. But even then, is it worth being sat there for 3 minutes just to make that one save? Or, would it be better to be at both ends, scoring goals and making saves?

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2. Attempting aerial hits, when there’s no need to

This is something that a lot of players are guilty of doing, and I used to do this (a lot). When the ball is in mid-air – regardless of where it is on the pitch – it is always tempting to hit. Whilst a lot of the time players hit it, it isn’t beneficial, except for gaining five extra points.

If the ball is in the air, and other players are flying to hit it, it may be wiser to stay on the ground. Put yourself in a good position to follow it up.

Aerial Goal

Unless you can hit the ball like this, of course

When you miss an aerial hit, you become vulnerable, and the team is susceptible to conceding a goal. Even worse if all players on the same team go for the ball at once.

It is not just about learning to fly and making an aerial hit, but knowing when/when not to take the risk of doing so.

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1. Following the ball, rather than ‘reading’ the game

The one thing I see in Rocket League match is players following the ball, like puppies chasing a stick. No matter where it is, or where it’s going, players will chase it, and will continue to do so until they get a bite of it.

The biggest mistake here is not following the ball, but a lack of awareness in reading the game. For example, attackers will roll the ball into the corner of the pitch, resulting in a ‘cross’ into the box. Instead of positioning to make a clearance, defenders will drive or jump at the ball. They miss it, and leave the goal open for a tap-in.

Defenders Chasing

Standard defending

At the end of the day, the ability to read the game is something that players will develop, as they play more matches. It is still funny to see most players in the match driving after the ball all match with no thought process behind it. Only for one person to come out of nowhere after waiting for the right moment to strike.

Beckwith Park

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