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Rocket League Need Boost! An X’s and O’s Guide to Utilizing Midfield Pads. (Updated and Expanded!) By: RetroGamer2153


Need Boost! Title Card

I created this guide to help everyone who is struggling to stay viable, when queued with Teammates who tend to boost hog.

We all know boost starving is a viable strategy, but there is a fine line between starving the opposition, versus hoarding all boost, and starving out your Teammates in the process. If you get queued with these players who think they have a special 200% Boost Meter, follow these Strategies to complement their play style and square away the win!

Quick note: I had posted a crude version of This Playbook a while back, but received much criticism over the ASCII used to generate the visuals. I’ve taken the feedback, and created some simple Graphics using Pixlr’s Online Editor.



Your Boost Tank can hold about 8 Pads of Boost. (Who really cares about the last 4%?)

  • 12% – You only need one Pad to reach the next Pad.

  • 24% – Two Pads can get you up to Supersonic. A quick Boost, Flip through 2nd Pad, and Boost again will hurtle you down field at max speed.

  • 24-48% – An extra Two to Four Pads allow you to make a comfortable Challenge, Interception, or Save.

  • 48-72% – 1/2 to 3/4 of a tank can accept most Aerial Passes.

In the Lower to Mid ranks (yes, including Platinum…), if you use more boost than this for a single play, you may end up hurting your team. Save the Freestyling for when you are up several goals. Those high off-the-wall plays may be pretty, but strategically, they are lacking:

  • Hard to communicate effectively.

  • Adds Confusion and Doubt to your Teammate’s Go-or-No Instincts.

  • Sends your own car deep into enemy territory.

  • Temps you to ignore Positioning, when your tank is empty.

  • Encourages you to Crowd, Skip Over, or Steal Boost from ahead of your Teammates. (AKA: ignore Rotations.)

Tips for reading the X’s and O’s Playbook. In these Figures, you are the Blue Octane. Your Teammates are marked with 1, 2, or 3, depending on their position according to Rotation conventions.

The focus on the Boost Pathing may leave cars a bit out of Position than what is ideal. Use your own judgment, when implementing. There are many more variations than what is shown. Feel free to Experiment and see what works best with your own Playstyle.


General Strategy

General Strategy

(Fig GS: Layout) – Everyone knows there are 6 Boost Orbs on the outskirts of the field. We have all wanted to curse out a Teammate for ducking into the corner for Boost, instead of going for the save. However, there are smaller Pads littered throughout the field. Driving the same efficient path from Small Pad to Small Pad tends to generate known “Lanes”.

(Fig GS: Goal Lanes) – Many players have already figured out that there are 3 “Boost Lanes” cutting down the field, from Goal to Goal. These are a great option for when you need to retreat back to your Net, when dealing with a counter attack.

There are a couple more hidden patterns one can run though the lines of Boost Pads! What I like to call: X’s and O’s. The general strategy is to mix and match parts of these shapes to maximize Boost AND Positioning.

(Fig GS: Refill O’s) – If you need a refill while your Teammates have Possession, cruise around the 3 “Loops” at Midfield. This should help you remain in Goalside Positioning, so you are able to break away and Counter a Play, whenever you are needed.

  • To Recharge your tank: grab 6 Boost Pads from one of the larger Loops and add 2 Pads from the Central Circle.

  • For a quick Top Off: grab the 4 pads from the Central Ring. Line up 2 in a diagonal, U-Turn, grab the other 2.

(Fig GS: X Lanes) – The 4 Lines that cross though the X can be utilized to position quickly around the Field. Since they are straight paths, you won’t have to divert your attention too heavily from the play. Depending on the situation, you can:

  • Attack: Dive towards the play for a Challenge.

  • Support: Move laterally so you can position for a Pass, or Clean Up a shot.

  • Regroup: Recover Boost while you Rotate Out, and Circle behind your Teammate.

  • Intercept: Position for a Block. Otherwise, Charge in, over your opponent’s shoulder, and knock their Possession away.

While you are collecting Pads, stay aware of the play ahead. Snap Ball Cam off and back on, then attempt to drive your chosen path from memory. It’s not necessary to grab absolutely Every pad. Momentum and Positioning are more important than any Boost gain (12% OR 100%). If you overreach for boost pads, you may see a Clear sent right past you.


Offensive Pressure

Offensive Pressure

When you are are in your Opponent’s half, the Corner Boost are a very tempting option to Steal away, as you Rotate out. If your Teammates already have that role on lock, the Small Pads are the next best thing! Allow your Teammates to control the Walls, while you command from Midfield.

The focus here is be as Adaptable as possible. Keep scooping up Pads, so you can quickly:

  • Block and Retrieve Clears.

  • Clean Up after Shot attempts.

  • Remain a Passing Option for your Teammate.

  • Pass off the Back Wall to your Teammates.

(Fig OP: Support) – If your Teammate is coming in hot, use the X Lanes to escape and reposition yourself to the appropriate Goal Lane to receive his Pass/Shot attempt.

  • If your Teammate tends to Roll it high along the Corners, or throw it against the Backboard, zoom up the Middle Goal Lane.

  • If he has strong Clears/Passes, or often pinches the ball to the opposite corner, position yourself along the Far Goal Lane.

  • If your Teammate has consistently weak touches, play over his shoulder (on the Near Goal Lane) and prepare to clean up after his Challenge.

(Fig OP: Attack) – When you are Rotating back, and you notice your Teammate has slinked away for a Full Boost (or is camping on an Empty Orb Dispenser…), use the two X Lanes to Aggress! Dive in and harass your opponent in the Corner to maintain Pressure! Attempt to pound the ball High off the Side, Corner, or Back Wall so your Teammate has ample time to Read and Aerial to the ball.

(Fig OP: Recovery) – If you have a good Rotation going with your Full Boost nabbing Teammates, use the Front Loop to fill your own tank. There is a great benefit to recharging this way, as you are free to break your path at ANY time to scoop up any Loose Balls for a solid Shot on Goal!

(Fig OP: Versatility) – You can utilize the Goal Lanes and Pads in the Central Circle to quickly recharge your tank. This allows you to quickly turn towards goal and Aerial at a Cross Goal Pass.


Retreat Funneling

Retreat Funneling

If your Teammates have both retreated and assumed defensive positioning, it’s up to you to pick up the slack:

  • Block – Bait out their Flicks, and Flips. They may make a desperation play, and give up possession to your waiting defense.

  • Shadow Defend – Delay the opponent to buy time for your Teammates to recover Boost.

  • Harass – Come up behind and force your opponent to waste their Boost, .

(Fig RF: Support) – Use one of the X Lanes to become a “1-Man Iron Wall”. Force them to make the play in front of you. Waste their Boost, while you continue to pick up Pads. Push the ball towards the Corner where your Teammate is located. Finish out by picking up a few pads in front of Goal, while you take up position as Back Post Goalie.

(Fig RF: Attack) – If you already have a Teammate at net, Use the X Lanes and extend your “Iron Wall” all the way over to the Side Wall. Be careful not to Clear the ball up INTO the wall, or it will bounce back over your head, into Midfield. Instead, aim for the Ramps! If you manage to Funnel the Ball and Opponent up the Wall, the subsequent play will be affected by Gravity, and become more predictable.

(Fig RF: Recovery) – If the net is left wide open, It’s time for a Retreat Save! Use any of the Goal Lanes to make a hasty retreat to Goal. Point your nose at the opposite Post, have Patience, and time your Speed/Flip with the ball, so you deflect it to the Backwall. Prepare for those incoming “What a Saves!” (from Either outcome…)

(Fig RF: Versatility) – Drive along side your opponent on the near Goal Lane, so they can’t take the ball infield for passing options. Harass them to speed the play beyond their control. Ideally, you want to get a piece of the ball, and attempt to tip it into your corner as a Back Pass to your waiting Defense. Otherwise, just guide them straight in front of your Teammate’s nose.


Defensive Viability

Defensive Viability

There is a fight in the corner, and your opponents have the upper hand by Boost starving your near Corner Orbs, and the Midfield Orbs. Your Teammates keep snatching up the Far Orbs, as soon as they are available.

The goal here is to gather just enough Boost while Rotating behind to ready for the next save. Avoid using your boost, unless you need to make an immediate save. If you manage to fill Half a tank, you might be able to surprise your opponent with a Powerclear, when they thought they had your team pinned.

(Fig DV: Support) – When you are rotating out from your Challenge attempt, grab a couple pads from the Center Circle. This puts you in a position to Intercept a Clear, Receive a Pass, or even Bump an opponent. Don’t camp at Midfield! If your Teammate didn’t see you as an option immediately, they usually don’t have the skills to use you anyways. Just move steady though, and Rotate on to Back Post.

(Fig DV: Attack) – If your last Teammate is cruising like a Sunday driver over to the far Corner Boost, zip back to Net via the Goal Lanes immediately. They funnel you straight into the net. All you need is 24% to make any Save. Use Powerslide to point your nose across Goal, and reverse to Back Post.

(Fig DV: Recovery) – There is a unique arc back to goal, if you are coming off the Side Wall from a Corner Challenge. There is a lone Small Pad along the wall. Start your Pathing straight away from the wall to the Second Pad, then scoop up the last 3 of the 5 surrounding the Strike Box. You may even have a chance to Bump their 2nd Man.

(Fig DV: Versatility) – If your Challenger is beat, and your Net is open, use a small chunk of Any Lane to get back to it as soon as possible! You’ll Save many more Shots with an Empty car, rather than a Full one too late. When things get dire:

  1. Grab the nearest Pad on ANY Lane, and Boost towards the Next one.

  2. Flip through the second Pad.

  3. Boost again to reach Supersonic.

  4. Point your car at the Post nearest the Ball

  5. Ignore any other Pads, and B-Line it back.

  6. Use the Ball Cam’s swivel to determine if you will reach the ball in time.

  7. Try Pinch it off the Post.


Counter Attack

Counter Attack Recovery

Your Teammate is in a Breakaway, pushing the ball upfield, and the remaining cars are plundering all the Orbs and Boost Lanes they can. This often leaves you

(Fig CA: Support) – If your Teammate is make a slow Push forward, and your 3rd Man is topping up at rear Corner Boost, follow along on any unused Goal Lane and use the Center Circle to as a nexus to switch into the best Goal Lane for the opponent’s half.

(Fig CA: Attack) – If your Teammate has made a Fast Break, zoom forward on a Goal Lane, and slot into one of the the X Lanes to find your Positioning. Be ready to Clean Up after a Shot Attempt.

(Fig CA: Recovery) – If both your Teammates have pushed forward, Zip around the Refill O on your half of the field. Top off with the line up the center Goal Lane. This helps keep your Momentum up, in case there is a boomer Clear, or to intercept an opponent’s Counter Attack.

(Fig CA: Versatility) – In the rare instance where the 5 other players have stolen ALL the boost, the 4 Boost Orbs and 3 Goal Lanes, DO NOT push up on an empty tank!! Grab any single Small Pad next to the goal, and simply wait the 5 seconds for one of the Goal Lanes to respawn! You will save many more Clears with the whole field in front of you.



  • Speed equals Boost! The faster you travel, the quicker you refill your tank! However…

  • You don’t have to stay at Supersonic, but keep your Momentum up. Instead of Braking, it’s wiser to loop back around in a tight circle.

  • Don’t zoom past your ideal Positioning. Read the play, and slow down, when you think you may be needed.

  • Follow Rotations and Spacing. Shift onto a farther Boost Lane, if you need to delay your approach to give your Teammate time to complete his Challenge.

  • It’s up to you to Maintain Pressure or Slow the Play, while your Teammates retreat.

With these techniques, you should be able to remain a very viable powerhouse, no matter the situation. Now get out there and Scoop up those micro Pads like a Roomba on overdrive!!


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