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So I started playing Rocket League about 11 months ago.
When I first found out about the game, I saw my brother playing it. I did not think much of it until I watched the gameplay, which furthered my interest in it. I then purchased it myself on Steam and started my Rocket League career. I did not start playing competitively until I reached the 400 hour mark. After that I started to really try to improve my gameplay.
How did I do this? I played a lot. I watched pro players from RLCS, I watched streamers that were very good such as Pyre, MasonRL90, Arigato, etc. Watching pro players or people that are very good at this game will help you improve, overall. Until I watched them, I did not know some of the things they did were even possible.
So to get started with improving, you first need to understand that I am far from a pro player myself. The highest I have achieved is Champion one, but I do believe I can make a guide to help people in the lower ranks improve and learn from the mistakes that I did. Let me also add: this is a guide for lower ranks. If you are above platinum three, this will probably not benefit you much.
Muscle Memory and Mechanics
Rocket League consists of a lot of mechanics. You will start to form habits and muscle memory to certain things after practicing them, just as you would with with anything. One thing that improves mechanics for this game is playing one vs. one. This will teach you when to challenge plays, when to go for shots, when to aerial, and ball control, as well as much more. If you are not a fan of ones, I suggest giving it another go.
Aerial and Ball Control
If you are in lower ranks, you may notice people trying to take their car into the air and hit the ball. Sadly, they may fail, or not get such a good hit on it. This is because it is hard to do if you are not used to doing it. It takes a lot of practice to be able to get your car up into the air, control it, and know exactly how fast you need to go, the right angle, etc. If you cannot aerial well or even at all, I suggest that you practice in free play and custom training. Free play will help with ball control, such as dribbling the ball on top your car. This is also a must for one vs. one. Controlling the ball will allow you to have the upper hand in almost any situation when it comes to one on one.
Do’s and Do Nots
Have you ever had the perfect shot on a ball to slap right into the other team's goal? Have you even had possession of the ball and a teammate comes out of nowhere and SMACKS the ball down the pitch? If so, you are probably in a low rank with ball chasers. This also means you have probably done the same. When I first started, I did the same thing. This is because I did not play properly. Ball chasing is a no go. If your teammate has a good clear on the ball, or is in possession of the ball, then give him a chance. You can’t always run straight for the ball and whack it down the field just because the chance is there. This game requires teamwork, and for there to be teamwork, you have to work with your team, not against them. By chasing the ball or slapping the ball down field and losing possession, this is and not helping anyone but the other team. This leads into my other point: Toxic players. There can and will be toxic players in ranked, possibly even casual games. The best thing to do is ignore them. I cannot tell you how many games I could have won if I stopped arguing with the person on my team about which of us had the better shot six goals ago. It’s not worth it. Depending on what is said, you might even get reported and banned. It is also not good sportsmanship. Do you think Dappur or Fireburner go into a flying rage because they lost RLCS? No. They do not. This will help overall with winning more games. Keep it fun and clean. At the end of the day, it is just a game.
Core of Improving
The main secret to improving is time invested. That is with anything. To get better at something, you have to practice and practice more. It is like math. Unless you are a genius, you won’t just know how to do polynomials. You have to practice them. Same applies here. If you are wanting to improve your rank, keep playing.
Practice while waiting for a match. Go to free play, drive the ball around and practice hitting it; practice different types of shots. You can also go to pre-made practices made by other people. This is important to do, in my opinion. As said above, I did not know some things were even possible until I watched pro players.
Of course, as stated above, watch streamers that are good, watch Rocket League tournaments and events.
When you first log on, get warmed up. Go practice for a bit, or start out playing a casual game. This will help you get in your zone for the real deal. There is nothing worse than logging on and starting a ranked such as I used to do, only to find out then I missed the easiest goal or messed up an aerial simply because I was not warmed up. It sounds goofy, but I promise it happens and does make a difference.
Do not be afraid to link up with other players. Playing with a full team for three vs. three is a great way to improve. This goes for twos as well. If you want to get a team going, but do not feel you are good enough, it does not mean anything. You have to start somewhere. Keep in mind it is usually easier to win as a team vs getting matched with other random players. Another reason I say find a team—preferably as soon as possible—is because it is painful solo queuing all the way to champion one alone. It starts to get hard.
'Rocket League' Cars
There are many different cars to choose from in this game. Each one is different in its own way. They all have different hit boxes in which it affects the way the ball is hit. I personally feel the octane is the best. Overall, I think it has the best hitbox. It is good for aerials, air dribbling, and dribbling in general. So branch out a little bit and try different vehicles, since they are all different in some way.
That is the end to this guide and I hope it has helped you get a better understanding about the key parts to this game for improving.