Welcome to Part 3 of the Daily Esports Rocket League Ranked Guide. This guide will be listing the key mechanical and strategic skills we believe Rocket League players should invest in to reach Champion rank. If you’re still striving for Diamond rank, then check out our Rocket League Ultimate Guide to Diamond.
Meeting the ball mid-air, after a backboard bounce and striking it back down onto your opponent’s net, is one of the most effective ways of scoring in the Champion ranks and above. This is because the redirection of the ball can be too quick for goalkeepers to predict.
How to do it:
The best way to get better at backboard shots is by practicing them in various training packs. As you familiarize yourself with many scenarios and angles in practice, you’ll be able to recognize them quicker in ranked games.
As well as developing your aerial consistency, there are two skills you should also work on to make your aerial touches more meaningful.
Reaching around the ball with an air-roll before you shoot or pass can greatly increase your hit power and the angles that you can strike from.
How to do it:
You can put more power on your strike if you can hit the ball with the front corner of the car. To help with this, you can also turn your car slightly left or right after your jump so that your car’s corner is more lined up with the ball before you start to air-roll.
You can adjust the power and angle you hit the ball by air-rolling while mid-air.
How to do it:
A common type of shot is to air-roll 180 degrees and then strike the ball while upside down, boosting and arcing your car into the shot. This allows you to strike the ball downwards very hard.
Practicing your air-rolling will all add up to your mid-air car control when it comes to more advanced mid-air shooting.
Another requirement for Champion rank in Rocket League is staying relevant in the game as much as possible and not giving your opponents time to build up their attacks. This means being able to recover quickly and be more efficient in your movement.
The key skills to work on are as follows:
A wave-dash can help you move around the pitch faster and recover lost momentum quickly. It can be used on the ground and to transition from two surfaces, e.g., from the wall to the ground.
How to do it:
In the above replay, you can see the flash of light after the wheels touching the ground. This signifies that the car is starting its flip. It’s important that you allow your rear wheels to make contact with the ground first; otherwise, your car will still complete a normal front-flip.
After some of your high mid-air challenges, you may have found yourself at times falling slowly through the air, only to crash-land and lose your momentum. To improve your recovery time, after any aerial, you should be air-rolling to land wheels first on the nearest surface and facing in a direction that will maintain your momentum.
If you’re landing on a wall, aim yourself to look downwards so you can return to the ground quicker. You can also use some boost to thrust yourself to the nearest surface quicker, instead of waiting for yourself to fall.
Meaningful passes are one of the best ways to create great shooting chances for your teammates. The more accurate you are at passing, the greater your setups will be. You can start up passing plays with a simple tap or chip-up in their direction.
If you’re traveling up the field with possession of the ball, and you notice that you have a teammate to your side, you should try to pass the ball over to them. The advantages of passing to your teammates mid-field are removing opponents from the play (if they were about to challenge you) and setting your teammate up for a one-on-one shot.
If you receive a passing play like this, it’s usually best to take the shot on first contact of the ball. This is to take advantage of the redirect shot, which will be hard for the goalkeeper to predict.
Learning wall-to-air ball control is great for building your mid-air car control. If you can start doing them consistently, with two or more meaningful touches, you can set up passes for your teammates by hitting the ball off the backboard or passing it over to them.
The basics of wall-to-air setups are as follows:
To maximize the distance you can travel with the ball, you should feather your boost on your approach (light tapping) and aim to make contact with the center half of the ball (relative to your angle).
Developing this skill is strictly for making two touches on the ball after leaving the wall – not carrying the ball all the way into a goal. While you should practice wall-to-air dribbling for the greater mid-air car control, we don’t encourage you to attempt this each time you think you have the opportunity in ranked.
These are some skills that you can add to your game to create better chances for yourself to shoot when you don’t have an immediate option to pass or shoot.
A bounce dribble should be used to approach the net for a closer shot. It allows you to maintain possession while opening up more choices on how to shoot. You can choose to follow the bounce dribble up with shots such as hook shots, chip shots, or air-roll shots, or you could catch it on your roof again to then flick it.
How to do it:
An aerial setup is to hit the ball up high, in front of yourself or off the wall first, and then follow up with an aerial shot or a pass to your teammate.
How to do it:
Maybe the biggest requirement to reaching the Champion ranks is to become a reliable player in the air. In short – if you commit to an aerial, you need to hit the ball. Not every touch in the air has to be an amazing clearance, pass, or goal – but you do have to be consistent with making contact with the ball in the air.
We advise you spend as much free time as possible, in free-play and training packs, practicing your aerials to make sure you’re building your aerial accuracy.
We suggest you practice the skills in this guide before introducing them into your ranked games. Here’s a Rocket League training pack code for PC that will help you perfect these offensive skills.
Champion Offense: 902C-62A4-6FCC-4D47
When you reach Champion, take a moment to appreciate that you’ve just earned the second most desired rank in Rocket League. There’s a long way to go to get Grand Champion and there’s still a lot to learn, so make sure you stick around for our Rocket League Champion Plus ranked guide.
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.