How to win more games as a Beginner in Rocket League

how to win more games for beginners

Last evening I took part in one of those regional 2v2 tournaments that take place once every 24 hours in Rocket League. If you’ve taken part in one of these, then you must know how if you play solo you randomly get paired with another solo player. Me and this random teammate, we had some good games and then some bad games and then we eventually placed 4th.Now, ever since I started playing Rocket League, I’ve had the habit of saving and analyzing the replays of all the games that are closely fought or that my team loses and I did the same for some games that I played in this 2v2 tournament. After finishing work, I settled into a cozy corner, with a warm cup of tea to watch my replays. At the end of what seemed like 45 minutes of amusing replay analysis, I had so many insights that I decided to write an essay with a set of pointers for other beginners like me. If you want to win more games, you’re going to have to start working towards becoming a well-rounded player so you can appropriately fill in the gaps or at times even carry your team to victory.Here are the 4 things that we could have done better as a team in that 2v2 scenario. Note that this is also applicable to 3v3 but not so much to 1v1 since there it is a lot about playing with teammates.
  1. Learn to Fill Gaps
  2. Master the Fundamentals
  3. What’s your Role now?
  4. Be an All-Rounder

Learn to Fill Gaps

Effective team play is all about getting better at filling gaps. The biggest mistake you can make in a 2v2 or 3v3 game of Rocket League is going into the game with a fixed mindset about what you’re going to do. This is because games can be dynamic depending on both your teammates’ and opponents’ skills and playstyles. You always have to be open to adapting and adjusting to whatever is happening in the game and then trying to make the best of it.Having a hybrid, non-rigid playstyle gives you such a massive advantage in this game that it almost seems unfair. In fact, it is easy to tell which players have an adaptive playstyle and which don’t. If you play a couple of games back-to-back on the same server in ranked or casual 3v3 or 2v2 just look out for players that always come out on top and players that fluctuate.Such lobbies have 1 or 2 members leaving and joining after every game, plus when there are no parties, teammates keep switching sides as well. Under such varied conditions, the players with hybrid playstyle always end up finishing as the MVPs with points from a fairly equal spread of goals, saves, and assists. While those with a rigid offensive or defensive playstyle keep moving up and down the table but are always consistent in getting most of their points from only goals or only saves.

Learn the Universals

Teamwork cannot happen without everyone following a set of predetermined, agreed-upon universals. For example, a human being can move to any part of the world and live there because there are some constant universals like roads, cell phones, grocery stores, and gas stations. Likewise, to become a better Rocket League player, you’re going to have to understand, learn and master some universal fundamentals. Because when you don’t do that, your online matches become a cluster f**k of confusion and blame.Here is a list of common rocket league universals that all players must learn and follow.
  1. Unless stated otherwise in team chat, during kickoffs left always goes. This means the player to the left diagonal position of the ball must go for the kickoff. That, or the car that is closer goes.
  2. In both defense and offense, follow far post rotations to avoid accidental hits towards your own goal and bumping into oncoming teammates. Also learn the basic positioning for 2v2 and 3v3 and follow them. Take your shot and rotate away to let a teammate move up and try something else. While you rotate back, steal the opponent’s boost and demo or bump them to help your team. If for whatever reason, you’re choosing to rotate ball side to get behind the play, then drive on the damn walls.
  3. Always give teammates space. This is not for their sake or your sake. It is for the sake of winning. Sometimes the game can unpredictably change in seconds. So your team needs to be appropriately spread out to cover all possibilities in which the play can unfold. Plus it avoids multiple commits and botched shots.
  4. Get Goalside. If you play 1v1, this is something you must have already learned from experience. In all of your defense and your 50-50s, you must make it a habit of getting goalside.
  5. Don’t abandon an open net. Learn to cultivate patience for all the times that you have to play the last man. You cannot abandon the net only to whiff or lose a 50-50. Wait for a teammate to head into the challenge or rotate behind you.
rotations in corner defense
rotations in corner defense

What’s my Role now?

Loosely based on a system of the above universals, good players then ask themselves from moment to moment in their games – what’s my role now?For example in a 2v2, I see that my teammate is rotating away for boost and the opponents have given me some time and space as well (to refill on boost and better position themselves to defend). In such a situation what should I be doing?
  1. Lead the ball straight into the waiting hands of the opponents who then immediately start a counter-attack.
  2. Delay our attack by stalling the ball in their corner till my teammate is in position to receive a pass and take a shot. 
The answer is obviously choice number 2. But only if you take that moment, a split-second, to think about it. Sadly, teammates in ranked lobbies just believe in impatiently chasing the ball and slamming it hard at all times. It is no surprise that such players then begin to stagnate at particular ranks and struggle to get better.If you follow the above-mentioned universals and ask yourself what your role is at that moment, then you will learn to automatically start filling gaps effectively. This means you will fill clearly learn to identify and fill in for your teammates’ weaknesses while also recognizing their strengths and not getting in the way of those strengths (defense, offense, aerials whatever they are) helping your team.

Be an All-Rounder

I don’t want this to sound like a “my teammate sucks, therefore we lost” post. But I do want to point out that in that 2v2 tournament, we won most of the early games fairly easily because I noticed that my teammate likes to attack and not defend so I filled in that gap.But as we climbed higher, the teams got better and the games got harder. This is where it all went downhill because his attacks were not able to break the opponent’s air-tight defense but despite that, he would not rotate away or let me try to set up an attack. Instead, he kept squeezing himself into my space, stealing both ball and boost from me on several occasions.Then there were the ball-side rotations causing us to bump into each other, the erratic kick-off strategy, and him not getting goalside ever except accidentally on occasions. All this clearly showed how he either wasn’t aware of any of these principles or just doesn’t care about playing by them.And during all this time not once, did he head back to our wide-open net. It was almost like he saw it but chose to look the other way. So in our last game, I decided to not fill in for him defensively because I knew we barely had a chance to win. This is when I got to see the actual picture of his defensive skills. I don’t mean to be critical of him, but the truth is that his offense may have been mid-platinum level while his defense was pure-bronze.

Concluding Thoughts:

The bottom line is that the above-mentioned universals are not something someone pulled out of their ass. They are logical conclusions that have been naturally deduced over many years and thousands of iterations of the game – which is why they work. If you don’t learn or follow them then you may still improve but you risk ending up becoming a very lopsided player that can only do certain things.Rocket League is a dynamic game and you don’t have 10 teammates to hold several positions. There are just 2 or 3 of you, which is why everyone needs to learn to move about and do everything possibly needed to win games.