Should I use ball cam or not use ball cam? This is a hot question for so many beginners in Rocket League. This is because when you are new, ball cam feels weird and takes a lot of getting used to.
It’s not a question of whether to use ball cam or not, but rather how to get to a point where, as a player, you are always aware of where the ball is at all times. This can be achieved by learning to use both ball and car cam and knowing when to toggle.
Do pros use ball cam? Of course, they do. Ball cam is vital for field awareness and effective team play. Toggling between the ball and car cam is what the pros do, but more on that in the second half of this post.
First, check out the following clip and honestly ask yourself how different would saving this goal be if the player was not in ball cam.
I’ll admit it. When I started playing Rocket League, car cam felt like an easy and obvious choice. Luckily, I was quick to realize that not getting comfortable with ball cam early on will be a mistake that will be hard to correct in later stages.
How to get better with ball cam?
Simply put as a beginner, ball cam sucks – but there is no way around it. You just have to keep playing the game with it until it doesn’t suck so much. You might get dizzy and miss all your shots (at first). But you’ve got to persist. This is the same as getting used to non-default controller binds.
Once you get used to ball cam, you will realize that keeping ball cam on for 80-90% of play is objectively better.
Should you have ball cam on?
If you have less than 1k hours of playtime in RL and you still haven’t gotten used to ball cam then, yes. Play the next 200-400 hours ONLY in ball cam. Heck even if you’re above 1k hours, just do it.
As a beginner, I have become comfortable with ball cam. But I now have a new problem. Now I hate the car cam.
But I want to improve at the game and cannot settle into a comfort zone. Which is why I cannot stop there. Ball cam is weird but has its advantages. Car cam is accurate but also has its advantages.
Therefore, I’m going to spend the next 100 hours of play practicing switching between ball cam and car cam and deliberately trying to learn when to toggle from one to another.
Toggling between ball cam and car cam.
When to use ball cam?
1. To see where the play is, and what is happening around the ball.
2. To see where the ball is in relation to where you are, so you can plan your next move.
3. To see where other players (teammates/opponents) are
4. For wider visibility while performing aerials.
This means pretty much all of the time except for when you need car cam. Here are 3 scenarios when one needs car cam.
1. Going for boost
2. During ground or air dribble
3. To see where other players (teammates/opponents) are
Notice how point no. 3 is the same for both ball cam and car cam. That is because seeing where opponents/teammates can be situational depending upon the play. And based on the situation either cam can be advantageous in ganging a better perspective.
Additionally here are some scenarios where using car cam is subject to preference/playstyle
1. When you have control of the ball or want to take control of the ball
2. Sometimes during kickoffs
3. For bumping or demolishing opponents
4. As a goalie while defending shots that deflect off your backboard
5. At times when your car is facing over 90 degrees away from the ball
6. When the ball is high up directly above you
Besides these, sometimes for aerial or ground shots too, a lot of players (myself included) toggle to car cam for a harder, more accurate strike from the nose or the front edges of the car. But that’s just preference.
If all this sounds complicated as a beginner then here is a simple rule of thumb. Leave ball cam ON all the time except in three scenarios.
1. Rushing for boost
2. Dribbling, Ball Control, Flicking, Shooting
3. Seeing where other players are
Stick to toggling ball cam off in these 3 situations and keep playing. As you progress, you may identify scenarios where only you switch to car cam. This will be subject to your unique playing style and preference.
What’s important is that by that you would have learned to toggle back and forth between ball and car cam. Not just that you will also be comfortable doing it quickly and multiple times during the match.
If like me, you are fairly new to Rocket League too and play more casual than competitive matches, then you may not realize the need to toggle cam.
This is because games at our level are an unorganized mess of newbies just trying to hit the ball. But as you begin to rank up you’ll start noticing common scenarios where toggling is key.
For instance, assume you are in ball cam and say you clear the ball from your side of the field to the opponents’ side and are now rotating back to your end to grab one of the big corner boosts.
Since you are in ball cam you do not see your teammate heading to take the next shot and collide head-on – leaving you both out of position and your team vulnerable to attack while you both recover.
This is a common scenario that can be avoided by momentarily toggling to car cam as soon as you clear and turn around to grab boost. Doing so will quickly confirm multiple things like
1. Is the boost I’m headed for available?
2. Is my teammate headed up for the challenge?
3. Is our net open or unprotected?
2 seconds of car cam will give all the necessary information that will help you better decide what to do next which will be good for your team on the whole.
So that’s it. When you are ready to stop running around like a headless chicken simply trying to hit the ball stuck in one cam and ready to play for the team and wins then go grind freeplay and practice toggling the camera.