Five Basic Rocket League mechanics you need to Master
In this video we take a dive into Rocket League mechanics. Mechanics in Rocket League are defined as as a type of movement or skill that’s ingrained within the Psyonix game engine. A few examples include: Air dribbling, flip reset, redirects, pinches and powersliding. But there are many, many more. I’m going to walk you through five basic Rocket League mechanics you need to master if you’re going to have any chance of reaching Grand Champion.
That was quite a long video with quite a lot of talking. I’m going to try and summarise what I went over but sorry if this ends up quite long. I will identify the Rocket League mechanic and its use within the game. I will then talk about how you can practice this particular mechanic yourself.
BASIC ROCKET LEAGUE MECHANIC #1 – DODGE/JUMP
We use dodge and jump mechanics throughout the entire game to get around the map, reach the ball, dodge demolitions, initiate demolitions, shooting, defending.. Need I say more. But, we also use this mechanic for more advanced movements such as fast double-dodging, gaining more speed, delaying second dodge to make shots unpredictable, delaying dodge for defensive purposes and even performing redirects. It’s not until you really think about it and realise just how important this single button on your keypad really is. Between your first and second dodge you have approximately 1.5 seconds to react.
How to practice
Free-play training packs to help you improve your cognitive timing. You’ll want to practice scenarios where you use single jumps, double jumps and delayed jumps to achieve your objective.
BASIC ROCKET LEAGUE MECHANIC #2 – CAR CONTROL
I discussed this mechanic in a previous video that you can find HERE, however it an essential topic and I couldn’t leave it out of this video.
Having control of your car when in the air is potentially the most important mechanic you will learn at higher ranks. The more control you have over your car, and therefore actions, the more you will be able to positively impact the game. This is an extremely difficult skill to master and you will need to spend plenty of hours practicing.
How to practice
Free play and training packs are the go-to place to practice this skill and Rocket League mechanic. On PC you can use workshop maps such as ‘Obstacle Course 1’ and ‘Obstacle Course 2’. If you’re on console, a great alternative is to aerial in and out of the border boost pads on freeplay. I was doing this before I discovered workshop maps!
BASIC ROCKET LEAGUE MECHANIC #3 – WAVE DASH/RECOVERY
Disclaimer – In my current position I can truthfully admit that I am not the best teacher for this mechanic just yet. However, my good friend Kronovi (he doesn’t have a clue who I am) has an amazing tutorial on how to do the wave dash. You can check out his video HERE.
Wave dashing is great for moving around the map with little or no boost and transitioning from the wall down to the ground, elegantly. The wave dash mechanic can also be used to shift the car and ball to the left or right in order to weave past an opponent.
How to practice
The easiest and most effective way to practice the wave dash is simply to use free play. Drive around the map and practice wave dashing off the ground and walls.
Other recovery mechanics
Air roll recovery – Simple yet extremely important. Air rolling your car will allow you to land on all four wheels when coming back to ground. Think like a cat – always land on you feet. The quicker you’re on all four wheels again, the quicker you can get moving and pick up speed. If there’s one thing you won’t see the pro’s doing, it’s landing upside down and looking like a helpless turtle.
Power slide landings – Holding your powerslide button when landing on your wheels is important to maintain control of your car. This should be used in situations when you’ve been bumped at speed and need to regain control and direction quickly.
Half flip – At the time of creating this video this mechanic was one of my weak spots. The idea of a half flip is to reverse, turn and move in the opposite direction as quickly as possible. You never want to be stuck in reverse for too long because you’re going to be near enough useless. Half-flipping can be tricky to learn to begin with because it’s a bit fiddly with the controls. There are some really good Youtube tutorials out there that will show you the controls and gameplay at the same time. These will be a little more comprehensive than my example.
BASIC ROCKET LEAGUE MECHANIC #4 – BOOST MANAGEMENT
This one’s a sensitive topic because I absolutely deplore boost junkies. I won’t go into another rant about it because I feel like I expressed my opinion thoroughly in the video. Boost management in Rocket League isn’t so much a physical mechanic that you control with your hands, rather an understanding of your current level of boost, the boost you require and how to gain boost as efficiently as possible.
Boost management can be split into the five following aspects:
- Conservation – Keeping hold of the boost you have and not wasting it unnecessarily is vitally important. This applies in situations such as when you’re already in supersonic and travelling at maximum speed. Also, if the ball is airborne without imminent danger on your goal then don’t bother wasting boost to get back. Be conservative.
- Small pads – A small pad gives you 12 boost. You need 25-30 boost to perform the majority of mechanics so that’s 2-3 small boost pads. Don’t disregard these little beauties because you’ve seen a large pad come up half way across the map.
- Timing – This refers to knowing when the boost pads, the large ones in particular, are going to spawn in the arena. Large boost pads take 10 seconds to respawn. This skill is highly mental and the best way to improve it is to stay conscious of the map around you. Try to keep an eye on whenever boost pads are taken in your field of view and mentally record this happening. From here, you will know that you have 10 seconds until that boost pad spawns again.
- Feathering – Feathering (or tapering) is lightly tapping the boost button while in the air to manipulate the speed and direction of your car. It will help you meet the ball in the air at the right time to take or block a shot. It will also help you when dribbling the ball in mid-air by giving you the ability to maintain air-speed and direction.
- Stealing – Stealing boosts provides you with a great opportunity to hinder your opponents defence. If they’re back-tracking to defend an attack and you steal one of their boosts, you may well leave them arriving to goal with their pants down. However, it’s vitally important to consider whether stealing a boost is worth your time. Don’t sacrifice your own position for the sake of stealing a boost.
How to practice
You can practice collecting small pads by simply driving around the free-play arena without unlimited boost turned on. Navigate the small boosts as quickly and efficiently as possible, and this will also help you develop your memory of the maps parameters. Over time you’ll gain a greater understanding into your position on the map, your teammates position and the opposing teams position. You will then be able to determine which boosts to go for at what time.
‘Speed Jump Boost’ is a workshop map by DMC. This map allows you to practice making the most of the boost you have available as well as refining your overall boost management AND practicing car control. This is the perfect workshop map for polishing up 2 of the five Rocket League mechanics you need to master.
BASIC ROCKET LEAGUE MECHANIC #5 – KICK OFF MECHANICS
In every match we play there will be at least two kick-off situations. A player will either be coming at a diagonal towards the ball, or a player will be coming straight on towards the ball. There are specific techniques to reach the ball as quick as possible but sometimes it’s not always about reaching it fastest. There are full touches, slight touches, fakes and other tactics that can be employed to use against your opponents.
How to practice
I like to give credit where it’s due and the Rocket League player ‘amustycow’ has a great video tutorial that details kick-off mechanics. He covers great points about car positioning, boost management during kick-off and how to adapt your kick-off when facing particular opponents. You can check out his video HERE.
Rocket League kick-offs are now easier to practice in freeplay because we actually spawn in normal kickoff positions! Remember, turn off unlimited boost in freeplay to make sure you’re replicating normal game conditions.
That’s it for this post about five basic Rocket League mechanics you need to master. We covered a lot here but all are essential skills if you want to be heading towards Grand Champion. Check back soon for my next video.
Seen my article about how to get to Grand Champion? If not, check it out HERE.