How to Hit Hook Shots in Rocket League

featured image for hook shots in rocket league

The first-ever goal that I scored in Rocket League was from a hook shot. With 20-something hours of gameplay and my half-baked ball control skills, I somehow managed to take possession of the ball. When their last man began heading towards me for a 50/50, I switched angles and nudged the ball away from goal towards the sidewall. It must have looked like I’m rotating off but I arced around at full speed for a solid hook shot at the net. We scored, my team won the game in overtime and I fell in love with the hook shot.featured image for hook shots in rocket leagueHook Shots (not to be confused with the grappling hook in rumble mode) are simple ground shots that are easy to hit but hard to save. A hook shot that is powerful, well-timed, and on target is very difficult for even a pro-level goalkeeper to stop. Additionally, since they involve no flipping or fancy mechanics, there is also no recovery to be done thereby making these shots very safe and beginner-friendly. Despite all these advantages, hook shots remain underutilized and underappreciated.If you have anything under a hundred hours in Rocket League, the first move you should learn as a part of beginner offense, even before dribbling, has to be the hook shot. You don’t even need fancy training packs or workshop maps to practice and master this mechanic, just good old free play will do. I’ll show you how in the later parts of this essay.

What is the Hook Shot?

A hook shot is a simple ground shot where you first roll the ball at a moderate pace at an angle to the opponent’s goal, then quickly proceed to circle around to hit the ball with opposing momentum. It’s called a hook shot because the path the car takes, resembles a hook.To hit a hook shot first rotate wide away from the ball and then immediately cut back into the ball while hitting it with either the front or corner of your car and aiming towards the net. Accurate hook shots are great for beginner ground offense because they are simple to execute, yet difficult to read and powerful enough to not be able to predict and/or stop in time.

How to hit a Hook Shot

The basic idea is to drive away from the ball, then turn into it to hit it with your nose for a powerful shot.The three things you need to string together a deadly hook shot is
  1. Ball possession
  2. A little time and space
  3. Low to Medium boost
To understand how to correctly hit a hook shot, you need to understand the concept of opposing momentum in Rocket League. If you’ve played the game for even a few hours, you’ll know that driving into a ball that is rolling on the ground away from your car won’t generate as powerful a hit as when you drive into a balling that is rolling towards your car.
opposing momentum for powerful hits
opposing momentum
This is because of opposing momentum. To perform a hook shot you need to boost away from a slow-rolling ball only to swing back into it from a slightly opposing angle aimed at the goal.Setting up a potential hook shot. Ensure you have some boost because you will need it. Step 1: Drive to the ball slowly and tap it forward to create a gap between you and the ball. But also be careful not to hit it too far so a defender interrupts and takes ball possession. Step 2: Drive away as the ball continues rolling. Step 3: Arc into the ball (like a hook) to intercept it in its path at an angle that redirects it towards the goal. Step 4: Boost and drive at the ball. You’ll want to ensure you get supersonic before making contact with the ball.The important thing is to try and hit the ball with the nose or corner of your car as squarely as possible whilst cutting off its original path.

Where and When to use it

Hook shots are zero-mechanics shots that require low to medium boost and are mostly handy when trying to make an offensive ground play in rocket league games from varying distances and positions on the field.Since hook shots require time and space to set up, they are highly effective in 1v1s, especially against opponents that are camped in the net. Or even in lower-ranked 2v2 and 3v3 games where new players often make the mistake of not challenging for ball possession and giving their opponents too much space.From a game sense point of view, learning to hit hook shots is also beneficial in defensive situations. A bonus of grinding for hundreds of hours mastering the hook will give you the insight to identify when the opponent has too much time and space for a potential hook against you, so you can either disrupt that or prepare for it before it well in advance.

Training Packs & Practice Routines

Perfecting hook shots is all about timing. I’ve seen countless players with thousands of hours in-game whiffing at a slow-moving ball while attempting to hit a hook shot. The reason I’m saying this is not to ridicule some players, but rather to highlight the fact that timing a hook shot can be tricky even for advanced players.So it all comes down to practice and training. The easiest way to practice hook shots is in free play. Simply approach the opposite net diagonally from either corner. Gently nudge the ball to set it rolling around the center half of the field and then proceed to hook it in the other half of the field.Practice playing around with the timing. Delayed hook shots that are taken at angles between 90-110 degrees can be very powerful hits. Don’t worry if free play practice is not your thing because there are also tons of great training packs for hook shots.Here is a list of codes for some really useful hook shot custom training packs.WayProtein’s Hook Shot Training Pack Code: 54C3-691A-4F62-801F Aircharged Gamin’s Custom Training Pack: E114-58E9-CF91-DF9C Slyk’s Hook Shot Custom Training Pack: DD80-88A2-D29B-972DFirst, you should learn to get comfortable with basic hook shots and start scoring over 90% in your training packs (without using shot reset). Once you’re able to do that, you should begin challenging yourself to advanced levels of training. We don’t just want to be able to hit hook shots, we want to master them. We do this by working on training for both power and placement.Try thinking like a defender/goalkeeper when practicing your hook shots. Will they be able to save the shot you hit with ease? If yes, then what can you do to make it much harder for them? How do you place your shot so that it lands in a very hard to save spot?
calling shots at net for improved accuracy
calling shots at the net for improved accuracy
For example aim for specific areas of the net like the top corner, top middle, bottom left corner, etc., and repeat shots over and over again until you hit that part, focusing on your accuracy and calling your shots before you shoot. This is the kind of practice that leads to precise hook shots in the game. Like the ones that sneak in just under the post and catch the keeper by surprise.