Basic Defensive Playstyle for Beginners in Rocket League

Defensive Playstyle for Rocket League Beginners

This is a simple guide that teaches a basic yet effective style of play for beginners in Rocket League, so they can stop camping at the net for the entire duration of the match and easily climb out of bronze and go as high up as gold or platinum.The assumption I am working with here is that bronze players are weak hitters of the ball because they are new to the game. So their shots have less power and accuracy, and therefore they are not very good at offense. This is why I’m making this guide more defense-heavy. But as a bonus, I will include a 79-shot offense training routine at the end, so that when the chance arises you can place solid shots at the net for goals too.Defensive Playstyle for Rocket League BeginnersBut before we start, I want you to change the way you look at Rocket League. A lot of new players think winning games is about hitting fancy shots and executing flashy mechanics.That is not true.If you want to rank up, you’re going to have to start looking at rocket league games like the pros do – and the pros look at all games in terms of opportunities. In Rocket League, the team that wins does so because it is successful in creating more opportunities for shots on goal while shutting down opportunities that the opponents create against them before they become threats. It’s that simple.Keeping this new paradigm in mind, winning games becomes all about achieving three objectives.1. Objective 1: Correct positioning from time to time 2. Objective 2: Using simple mechanics to hit the ball 3. Objective 3: Creating disadvantages for opponentsAll three of these objectives can easily be accomplished by following six simple steps which we are going to go through one by one.Steps 1, 2, and 3 are all about defense and talk about what to do when the ball is in your half of the field.

STEP 1: Back Post Rotation (Defense)

I’ve spoken about this at length in my corner defense essay. In case you don’t know what back post rotation is, it is the basic process of rotations that you must follow in rocket league. When you rotate back post (or far post) you circle back to the side of the goal post that is opposite to where the ball is.
rotations in corner defense
rotations in corner defense
There are several advantages of doing this:
  1. You don’t get in the way of teammates who are trying to clear the ball.
  2. All teammates queue up in an organized manner at the far side of the post.
  3. In 3v3 if you’re waiting back post then there will usually be a teammate ahead of you challenging the opponents while another teammate will be making his way to the back post so you can move up.
A small note about boost-collection during defense. When in defense and low on boost, a lot of low-ranked players make the mistake of panicking and choosing the big corner boost over the ball.A simple change you can bring to your gameplay is learning the smaller boost pad paths or lanes that are present all across the field, that reset quicker, and 3 or 4 of which immediately get you to considerable boost to challenge even aerial attacks on the net.

STEP 2: Come in Wide (Defense)

During defense when you are coming in for a challenge or a clear, always make your approach as wide as you possibly can and as much as time permits. A lot of times, it can be tempting to not take a wide approach to the ball but cut right in but those shots often become weak, unprepared hits that are barely effective clears. Timing your hits is crucial in defense and going wide awards you the luxury of taking the time to build the right approach for your clear, challenge or 50-50.

STEP 3: Clear into sides and corners (Defense)

Saving goals is not just about stopping the ball from going into the net but also about ensuring that it is redirected to a safer place in the sides or corners from where opponents don’t have easy shots and teammates can safely attempt a clear.While defending, always ensure to clear the ball into a corner that preferably has a waiting teammate who can follow it up for a pass, clear, or 50. There is no point making awkward touches to stop a goal only to center the ball for the opponents or have it rebound right in front of your net so they can attempt another easy shot.Doing this is not hard and doesn’t require you to learn any complex mechanics. Most of it is just simple ball touches from the front of your car by driving or flipping into it, or single jumping and dodging.The main factors are timing and consistency both of which can be improved using a good custom goalkeeping training pack like Saves by Poquito (Code: 2E23-ABD5-20C6-DBD4).Steps 4, and 5 are all about offense and talk about what to do when the ball is in the opponent’s half of the field.

STEPS 4 & 5: Steal Boost, Bump, Demo Opponents (Offense)

Just like during defense, even during offense, it is advisable to follow simple rotations that are far side and not ball side. That’s why, when the ball is in the opponent’s corner and after you challenge for a shot at the net but fail, you must begin to rotate far side back towards the mid boost.But if you want to put your opponents at a disadvantage then while rotating, you can plan your path such that you can do two things on the way1. Bump and demo opponents that are guarding their goal 2. Steal their mini boost pads and if possible their big corner boostsBoth these things can become a drawback for the opponents who typically begin to panic as they run out of boost while being under attack or being out of position (due to demos and bumps).
Use Demos & Bumps Strategically in Offense
Use Demos & Bumps strategically during rotations in offense

STEP 6: Spread Out, Maintain Space, Trust Teammates (General)

This step applies to both offense and defense – teammates must always leave appropriate space between each other.But how to tell how much space is appropriate?Simple, you should be close enough to head up and get to the ball if your teammate loses a 50-50 and far enough to not confuse the teammate by squeezing into the same spots as them or coming in their way or stealing the ball from them. If you realize there is a double commit or triple commit and you are in it, back off and rotate.When solo queuing in ranked 3v3 games, it is hard to know whether teammates will follow things like leaving space, positioning correctly, and rotating. So to be safe you always have to assume a passive third man role, even if your teammates are avid ball chasers.So for instance, after making a touch, immediately rotate to get behind your teammate and let them get in on the play while you get in between the action and your goal so that in case the ball leaks backward, you must be the first to get to it.That’s it, following these 6 steps covers all three of our objectives that are needed to win more games and rank up.Objective 1 is covered under Steps 1 & 2. Objective 2 is covered under Step 3. Objective 3 is covered under Steps 4 & 5. Step 6 is the glue that binds it all together so all these three objectives work in favor of your team even if all your teammates ever do is ball chase.

Bonus Offense Training Routine

As promised here is a bonus offense training routine to help you work on improving the power and accuracy of your shots at the goal. These are 4 custom training packs that require you to learn and attempt 4 advanced mechanics.
My defense offense custom training routine
My defense offense custom training routine
These mechanics are Air Roll Shots, Aerial Shots, Hook Shots, and Volley Dodge Shots. For this routine, I use 4 custom training packs that have a combined number of 79 shots. Here are the names and codes.
  • Strength & Accuracy by Vince (9 shots): 6CF3-4C0B-32B4-1AC7
  • Aerial Shots by Poquito (48 shots): C7E0-9E0B-B739-A899
  • Pink Belt Hook Shots by Aircharged (14 shots): E114-58E9-CF91-DF9C
  • Volley Dodge Shots by Nbiink (8 shots): C6DD-C175-C638-AFE5
These are hard training packs for beginners but they are great for having fun and learning. If all your training packs are easy and you walk through them then you are not challenging yourself and you are not learning anything new.The way you are supposed to do this training routine is not to let yourself repeat shots even if you fail and log your scores every day. This way the training becomes very game-like where you don’t get second chances. Give it a shot and but don’t take it too seriously, just have fun. If you do that regularly with these packs, your shooting power and accuracy will improve faster than you might imagine.