Welcome to Part 2 of the Daily Esports Rocket League Ranked Guide. In this edition of the series, we will be listing the mechanical and strategic skills that players should be investing time into in order to reach Diamond rank after reaching Platinum. If you’re still striving for Platinum rank, then check out our Ultimate Guide to Platinum.
The fast-aerial utilizes both jumps available to the player to reach the ball as quickly as possible. Anyone who can’t fast-aerial past Platinum is at a serious disadvantage. Single-jump aerials will still have their place for when you want to flip into the ball, but fast-aerials are a fundamental requirement for high-level saves and shots.
How to do it:
As you become more comfortable with fast-aerials, you should try to do it while boosting through all of the steps. You can also increase the dead-zone of your analog stick in the early stages of learning if you’re having trouble with backflipping.
The half-flip is used to turn 180 degrees on the spot when you’re out of position or have no momentum, e.g., collecting the full boost pad on the diagonal kick-off. This skill will also stay with you up into the higher ranks, so starting to learn it now is a great step forward. Learning the half-flip also introduces you to flip cancellations, which will be useful once you’re at Champion.
How to do it:
You can then reorient your car back upright by either pressing jump once your roof hits the ground or manually air-rolling your car sideways. You can map an air-roll direction to an unassigned button to aid with the air-roll.
This technique of goaltending will be the first step to learn how to shadow defend. Saving shots while parallel to your goal is more effective than facing the incoming shot directly. This is because your tackle will tuck the ball away in the corner, which is safer than into the mid-field where your opponents can follow up with another shot.
How to do it:
Don’t double jump to tackle a dribbling player in this situation. Single jump to match the height of the ball and then flip to tackle the ball from them.
As you build up your ability attacking the ball from a 90-degree angle, you will become more comfortable with saving aerial shots from similar angles too. This is also another more effective way of saving shots as it again pushes the ball into a safe area.
The next level of ball control is dribbling the ball on the top of your car. Dribbling opportunities show up more than you may realize, and it’s the inability to set them up that leads players to avoid them or not see the chance. To reach Diamond rank, it’s key to start learning how to set them up for yourself when the situation presents itself.
How to do it:
The key is to keep your car in the middle of the ground indicator and to keep adjusting the car for every bounce until the ball settles on your roof. Slow down for the first impact to absorb the bounce and stop the ball from bouncing away from you. The speed you travel at will also increase the ball’s speed, so don’t try to travel too quickly. Otherwise, the ball will be hard to control when you attempt to flick it.
Once the ball has settled on your roof you can shoot by flicking the ball. There are three types of flips you should look into learning:
Turning with your handbrake is a more efficient way of directing yourself on the pitch instead of being limited to the default turning radius of the Battle-Cars. You should use handbrake turns to keep up your momentum while making large changes in direction. It’s mostly used to quickly turn back on the ball or your opponent to make a challenge and catch them off guard.
How to do it:
By hand-braking around the ball like this you can turn your retreat into a dribbling play, a big clearance out of defense, or a 50-50 if your opponents are still chasing the ball. Building up your use of the handbrake will also help with your recoveries and fake challenging.
Full-team rotations won’t be expected in Platinum, but players will need to start putting the pieces together in order to stay in the game and have decent positioning in Diamond ranks.
When you’re attacking, you shouldn’t overstay your welcome in the opponent’s half. Adopt the idea of rotating out of the play once you’ve taken a shot and allow your team to follow up on the next touch.
You should also consider falling back after you’ve made a centering play instead of trying to follow up on it yourself. Don’t cut back in front of your teammates to take another touch as you’re likely to double-commit. Ideally, you should look to reposition yourself at the back of the team’s rotation.
On defense, 30 boost is enough to make a decent save. If you have more than 30 boost, then you don’t require a full boost pad; leave it for your team. Avoid the temptation of breaking rotation to collect one unless you’re completely out. This is referred to as “ball over boost.” Only collect a full boost pad if you can see an opponent is about to take it for themselves.
Don’t rotate on the near corner or underneath the ball after you’ve tried to make a tackle in defense. Proper defensive rotation pathing should be a circle around the front of your goal towards your back post. After rotating, position yourself to face the play. This is so each player on your team can queue to take their chance to tackle or block the next shot.
The skills above were chosen to increase your speed around the pitch and develop your car control. Like before, we advise that you practice these skills in casual or custom training packs before taking them straight into ranked.
Our Diamond Offense pack focuses on learning to dribble and being able to set them up for yourself while the ball is rolling or bouncing. Our Diamond Defensive pack focuses on making parallel saves and having to half-flip into position.
Diamond Offense: 2EAA-80F3-5E7C-0AA6
Diamond Defense: CEBB-085B-D05D-920B
When you’re Diamond you will start to feel the importance of maintaining rotations, being fast and efficient, and creating passing plays with your teammates. All of this will be covered in our Rocket League Diamond to Champion Guide. Stay tuned for that!
Ellis (Llexis) Lane is a writer and developer from Birmingham, UK. If he’s not currently playing Rocket League you’ll be able to find him talking about it on twitter.