There are a lot of new players jumping into Rocket League for the first time in Season 3. The Epic Games acquisition has helped the franchise to grow and attract new gamers in 2021. These beginners have a lot to learn before they will be able to climb their way up the ranks. Rocket League is one of the most mechanically demanding games on the market, and it will take a lot of time to develop the skills necessary to be a good player.
However, understanding the mechanics is not all new gamers need to become competent players. Specifically, there are a number of rules that nearly every player follows. Knowing these rules will help inexperienced gamers get more wins and be better teammates.
Updated on September 17, 2021 by Payton Lott: Players that are grinding to reach higher divisions know that there are hundreds of Rocket League rules that are only discovered by logging dozens of hours on the game. As players move from platinum to diamond, and eventually to champ, following these rules and strategies is crucial. Unless people are playing 1v1, coordination and rotation will determine wins and losses. This updated guide includes several more unwritten rules of Rocket League for gamers attempting to climb the ranks.
Of course, the list has to begin with Rule Number One in Rocket League. This is already a quite comprehensive list, but there are still a few other tips that did not make the cut in the original writing, so a few more have been added. Every player should abide by these additional rules to have success in ranked play.
20 Rule Number 1: Never break a lock
One of the most widely accepted rules in Rocket League is that a player should never break a lock. A lock occurs when two players drive at each other, causing the cars to get stuck or “locked” together. There is no official rule on this, but the community strictly abides by it. Some teams will even own goal if their squad mate breaks a lock. People take it seriously.
It is acceptable for the lock to break organically; for example, if the run of play causes another car to hit the locked players. However, there is some debate about whether a teammate can break up the lock or not. Make sure to move the right thumbstick to avoid getting kicked, as locks can last for a few minutes.
Faking is one of the most common terms players will use in chat. It can mean one of two things. The first is a calculated attempt to make an opponent bite before hitting the ball. This can also encompass feigns before teammates hit a ball.
The second meaning is that the player completely missed the ball and is acknowledging the mistake to the team. A player saying that they are faking is more of a joke indicating that an egregious mistake was made.
18 Double Committing
An unnecessary double commit is one of the Cardinal sins of Rocket League. It is even worse if the person committing is the last line of defense. To communicate with teammates, players will often say “That’s a double.” This means that two of the three players have committed and there is only one to beat.
Consistently double commit, and the forfeit votes will come in relatively quickly. Double committing happens all the time in the higher ranks when a ball is hovering above the net. If two players go up for one ball, the result is usually a free goal for the opponent.
17 Believing An Opponent
As gamers climb the ranks in Rocket League, they will need to gauge the skill of the competition. Will a Diamond I pull off a ceiling shot to Musty flick? Probably not. Can a champ air dribble into the top corner? Definitely. People will often say “I don’t believe” when an opponent goes up for an aerial. The person who “doesn’t believe” will stay down and wait for the ball to collect it.
The gray area of skill is somewhere between Diamond II and Champ II. A lot of players have mechanical skill, but do not know how to play as a team. Likewise, there are some very intelligent players that can make it to high Champ without the need for fancy mechanics.
16 Stealing Boost And Bumping
It should be a ritual for every player to steal the opponent’s boost after making a pass or attacking on an opponent’s half. In tight matches, lack of boost often determines the outcome of the game. Keeping constant pressure is only effective if the opposing team is “starved,” or low on boost. Eventually, the defending team will not have the boost necessary to save shots near the top post.
Bumping is more of a heated topic. A lot of people despise demo-only teams that constantly try to take other players out of the game. The general consensus is that bumping and demolitions are a part of the game. Watch an RLCS match, they do it all the time.
15 Left Goes First
On a kickoff, the Rocket League rule is that the car closest to the ball or the car on the left will take the kickoff. On some European servers, the right player goes first, but for the most part, it is assumed that the left will kickoff. It may be a good idea to let teammates know you are going until Plat or Diamond rank anyway, as many of the lower ranks may be ignorant of the rules.
14 Cheat In 2V2 Not In 3V3
This is a universal unwritten Rocket League rule in competitive matches. Going for the cheat in 2V2 will result in a lot of goals if timed correctly. For gamers that do not know, a “cheat” occurs when a player not going for the kickoff creeps up to shoot after a drop or 50/50 ball on the midline.
In high-rank 3V3, cheats can be effective, but it is usually better to grab the corner boost to be ready for the counter-attack. The risk pays off more in 2V2 because far fewer players are in the air, meaning that having 100 boost is not essential in the first few seconds of a match. Gamers that choose to cheat in 3v3 should let their teammates know before the kickoff.
13 Teammates Go For Corner Boosts During The Kickoff
In 3v3, the two back teammates will almost always go straight for the corner boosts to be ready for an aerial challenge or hit. Turning ball cam off will ensure that the gamer will not miss the boost and can pick up the two pads on the way to the corner. In fact, it is rarely a bad idea to toggle ball cam when hunting for a 100 boost.
12 Leave Mid-Boost For Player Taking The Kickoff
It is tempting for one of the people in the back to grab the boost as they play the ball upfield, but it will leave a teammate without boost. A hard clear towards the net will leave these teammates in unfortunate situations in goal. This is especially true when one of the players is cheating, the person who went for the kickoff is rotating to the mid-boost while the cheater should be pushing upfield.
11 Offensive Rotation
This is sometimes a huge issue in random fill games because people choose to do whatever they want. In any case, rotations are important on offense and on defense. Rotations are Rocket League 101. On offense, one player should be taking a shot or playing the ball in for a pass. The second player will be waiting for the opponent to hit the ball to them, or to take a shot once the first player is off the ball.
The person that is in the third spot is the safety. That person needs to be at least as far back as the midline to save shots and be ready to push up when needed. Unless the ball is sitting on the goal line with all opponents bumped out of the way, this player must wait for the teammates in front of them to get out of the play before attacking.
10 Defensive Rotation
On defense, there should be at least one player in the net. Teammates rotating back should always approach the net from the back post. The back post will always be the side of the net furthest from where the ball is. By rotating to the back post, people will be able to avoid their teammates in the net and have the best chance of saving any shot.
9 The “What A Save!” Random Fill
Being toxic and talking smack is common once players get past the gold hump. A ton of players will “What A Save!” after every goal scored. While it may be funny for a second, opposing teams will do everything they can to win from there on out. It is the same principle as celebrating before winning. Rocket League matches have a lot of karmic moments, and people do not want to experience one of them.
8 Playing The Ball Across The Net And Corner Clears
It is a poor tactical choice to play any pass or clear across the net because it will often result in a goal. Defenders should be playing the ball to the corner or up the field instead. Hitting the ball hard off of the sidewall is risky as well because it is effectively the same as playing the ball across the goal. People in the three position should try to get a large clear to relieve pressure. If only one defender is back, that defender needs to fake to hold down the net until the cavalry return.
7 Farthest Up The Pitch Should Make Runs
During a counterattack, the player making the clear should look for an outlet up the pitch. Anyone that is closer to the midline should make a run upfield and look out for the pass. Even in champ lobbies. opposing teams will get caught off guard by a coordinated counter.
The user in the striker position can deflect the ball onto the net or make a backboard pass to a teammate. Always be on the lookout for the ball when in the number one position. Playing off of the side walls is a good way to tell a teammate you are driving upfield for the pass.
6 Run Through After Passing
After making a pass off of the wall or backboard, look to get in the way of the goalkeeper(s). They will almost always be too distracted to see the demo coming. If they have to jump to avoid it, the act of running through will disrupt timing and often lead to a goal. Some in the community despise the practice as toxic behavior, but those looking to climb the ranks will need to incorporate disruption to have success. Communicating the bump is important, as teammates will want to know that the net will be open. The post-pass demo is an unwritten Rocket League rule in team play.
5 Guard Net On Kickoff
This Rocket League rule applies to people taking the kickoff and their teammates. Players taking the kickoff must shield the angle to the net with their car. This negates the worst-case scenario where the ball gets dunked through and onto the net. Likewise, the two teammates getting the corner boost must power slide and get ready to make a save across the net. Boost is more important than sitting in goal in the higher ranks, as champ-level players should be able to make the save.
4 Flip Constantly To Maintain Supersonic
Some teams love to pick up all of the boost on the pitch, creating a defensive war of attrition. Instead of camping the full boost pads, make up for a lack of speed by flipping. With just a few flips, gamers will reach supersonic speed. The speed can be maintained in a straight line with small turns. Incorporating a little boost and a flip is a smart way to conserve boost while recovering. In diamond lobbies and above, everyone should be flipping incessantly. Try to stay in control, but play fast.
3 Look For Demos While In Net
On the defensive side of the pitch, it is crucial that the last player in the net stay aware of the demo. Lower skilled players will drive straight at the keeper, so a small hop will usually be enough to dodge them. Although, good players will boost up into keepers that jump. One way to avoid demos, in general, is to always be moving. Keep flipping and oscillating to maintain movement and unpredictability. To get away from demo-heavy teams, adding forward or backward movement with a hop will often do the trick.
2 Flip Through 50-50s
This is an unspoken Rocket League rule that even pros mess up from time to time. In the prefect 50-50 scenario, if both cars flip, the ball will stay in the same position. However, if one car flips, the ball will roll over the hood of the car that just drove forward.
Taking solid 50-50s is an underrated skill, and it can be as influential as an epic save. Flipping through those contested balls will buy teammates time to recover. Even the worst well taken 50 is a floater across the midfield. If gamers can win the 50-50, it may lead to a goal-scoring chance.
1 Shadowing And Making Yourself Big
As the last line of defense, shadowing is the default. Mimic the opponent’s movements while driving to the net and buy time for the recovery. As soon as a squadmate is in the net, attack the dribbler to force a pass or shot. A similar principle applies to awkward balls on defense. People need to judge where the ball is going and shield the angle to the net.
In Rocket League jargon this is “making yourself big.” A small deflection may be enough to keep the ball off target. When players have low boost, they will have to be patient and wait for the right moment to make a clear. It is always better to make a sound attempt at a save than leave the net early. At that point, the opponents not only have a clear shot, but they can knock in an easy rebound as well.
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