Rocket League Trusting Teammates and Patience Guide?by Homebad
First, let me preface this guide. This guide has applicable information for people of all skill levels. However I wrote this with people around veteran skill level in mind.
For newer players: You?ve learned the basic controls, have an idea of what to do, but still don?t have all the mechanics down. You?ve decided you like the game, you?ve come here to learn more about how to play. While you might hit the ball the way you want all the time, might not have great positioning, and your teammates don?t either, there will still be times where this guide rings true. It might not be applicable all the time, but it should be some of the time.
For veterans: You?ve gotten to the point where aerials aren?t a complete mystery to you, you have a decent handle on how the game works, but you still want to improve your gameplay. You?re no longer just carrying your team trying to ?1v5? and win. You?re playing with players of a similar skill level, either that you?re communicating with them, or just random people. While this guide is applicable at lower levels, you should only trust your teammates if they are actually trustworthy.
If you already trust my words blindly, then you can skip this paragraph. If I have to earn your trust, then let me give a bit of info about who I am. I am currently in the top 100 solo standard (3v3) leaderboard. I did not play SARPBC, but I played about 20 hours in the alpha, and 250 hours of the official release. I have subbed for Stoney (current #1 on the solo standard leaderboard) on his team, and regularly play with them. I definitely am not top 100 in the world skillwise, and I?m not a force to be reckoned with at the top level, but I?ve got a decent amount of experience. I figure that while I still have recently gone through these realizations myself, I should write them down while I still have that sense of perspective. Even if you don?t trust me, look at the content of what I?m saying, don?t just take it on authority.
So, you?re good enough to play the game, and so are your teammates. What can you do with that in mind? With everything else aside, this is the actual guide:
First thing, this whole guide is kind of the next level of ?don?t just blindly chase the ball.? You?ve probably heard that, and tried to adopt it. But that statement is fairly nuanced. One part of not always going for the ball means that you should very rarely have multiple people on your team go for the ball at once. Most of the time, either one of you will hit the ball, and everyone that missed is useless and out of position. Or, everyone will miss the ball, and you?re all useless and out of position. There are a few common situations in this game that I see people even up to veteran level still struggling with:
1. In your goal
Keep this in mind while reading this section: If you?re in position, ready and able to block, you should be able to block most shots. Every shot is blockable based on your positioning, however some might not be reactable.
That aside, think of how not chasing the ball applies to defending. I?ll define a term I?m going to use: encounter. An encounter will be any time someone hits the ball. It can help to think in terms of encounters. Sometimes in tense encounters where the other team has a decent chance of getting a goal, people can panic. In these situations, if everyone goes for the ball, there?s no one left to put up any opposition and defend the goal. Go and look through your replays, or keep this in mind as you play from now on. Many times I see two or three people go to hit the ball, only to barely move it, or hit it right into an opponent. This leaves their goal open, and makes for what should be an easy shot for the other team. Some goals are from an actual missed attempt at saving, and that happens sometimes. You?ll make mechanical and technical mistakes. But look and see how many shots are either on an open goal, or people not prepared to defend. If you can eliminate those situations, you?ll block a lot more shots.
As a general rule, if the opponent has control of the ball on your side of the field, you should probably have someone in the goal ready to block a shot. So, it?s kind of simple. In situations where multiple people on your team can go for the ball, as a general rule, whoever is closest to the ball and in a position to get it, should be the one to get it. If your teammates are in a position where they can hit the ball, assume that they will. Trust that they?re going to go for it, and that they?ll get it. If you?re in the goal, let them go for the ball. Either they?ll clear it and gain more ground, or the other team will get an advantage. That?s where you come in. Ideally, the goalie should be involved in the last encounter near your goal. You either clear it, and then the game goes on, or they score, but you at least had the opportunity. If you know that there will be at least one more encounter before it gets to the point where they shoot on the goal, be careful going for the ball. One way to guarantee that is by only going for the ball if you are certain that you will get to it before the enemy, but your teammates cannot. However, if it will end up being the last encounter before the ball would go in, then you?ll have to do something.
On the other side of this, you need to do your job defending, but not being the goalie. Go for it when you have to. But also realize when you need to become the goalie. Good Rocket League gameplay should have a rotation. When your goalie goes out for the ball, someone needs to come back and quickly take his spot.
As a side note not really related to trusting your teammates, know when to go for a save/clear near the goal and when not to. If the ball is not going into the goal, like if it?ll hit the crossbar or post, then be careful about going for it. If you can clear it before it hits the wall, then you?re good. But if you expect it to go into the goal and jump for it, but then you don?t hit the ball, your goal is open for anywhere from 2-5 seconds, which is a huge amount of time. You have to land back on the ground, get into position, and then assess the situation.
Something to keep in mind that applies to all of this guide: If your teammates miss the ball and your opponents get an advantage, it?s their fault. While you might have been able to block it, you can?t blame yourself for your people missing. As you and everyone else get better, it?ll happen less and less. You can?t have your gameplan based on people messing up randomly, but that doesn?t mean you shouldn?t be prepared for it to happen.
2. In their goal
Applying this to offense, don?t get too trigger happy when teammates are setting up the ball. If your teammate is doing his thing in the corner trying to center it, assume he?ll try his best. Until he leaves the ball, he?s most likely going to keep trying to set it up. Don?t just run in there and try and help, you?ll probably just make it worse. Either be prepared for him to be successful and get ready to score, or be prepared for him to fail and be prepared for the other team to clear it.
So, you?ve gotten past that point. Now, let?s imagine you?re playing 3v3. Your teammate successfully sets up the ball. You and your other teammate are in position to score, regardless of where the other team is. Someone needs to go for the shot. Now, in this scenario, many times both people will go for the shot. Maybe due to lack of coordination, or you?re not confident in your teammate. ?Oh, he can?t score this, he?s not good enough.? ?I?m better than him, so I?ll take this shot from him.? Maybe you aren?t thinking this actively, but it might be something in the back of your mind. If not, then that?s good. Then you have no excuse for going for the shot while your teammate does. I?ve gotten many goals from my teammate trying to score, they accidentally hit the ball into the crossbar or post, and I?m in position get an easy shot on goal. Not only is the ball in position, but the other team is scrambling to defend the ball because they tried to block a shot that wasn?t going in, or didn?t bother to get back into a proper position.
3. Anywhere on the field
This is basically just taking the same ideas I?ve mentioned before, and applying them to any other point in the stadium. Imagine this: Your team is trying to move the ball up, and they either don?t get a strong hit, or someone on the other team blocks it and stops the ball, or hits it up. The ball isn?t high enough to go for an aerial, but still high enough that no one is hitting the ball right now. Maybe your teammate bails and tries to reposition, but imagine they?ll stay there.
If you take only one thing from this guide, it should be this:
If one of your teammates stays near the ball, clearly they?re going to try and do something.
Trust them to pop the ball up, or redirect the ball in some way. Position yourself back, wait for something to happen, then go in.
4. Passing the ball
This isn?t anything to do with a specific part of the stadium, but any situation. Passing the ball is a fairly underutilized option by most players. Part of the reason why is because most players don?t expect it. Passing can be really useful if it?s capitalized on. Alternatively, it can be really bad if your teammates don?t take the ball from you. This is something where communication can really help, with either quick chat, or voice chat with your teammates. Instead of just trying to blindly advance forward, pass it. There are essentially two kinds of passes.
A back pass can be useful if you?re too close to the ball to hit it forward solidly, but you have teammates behind you that can take the ball. You make it harder for the other team to get to the ball, and the added speed from you hitting the ball into them will make their hit forward a lot faster/higher/farther. This can be really dangerous if not coordinated, as you could essentially just score on your own goal if everything goes wrong. But if you give your teammates enough time to react, or call it out, it should work fine.
A side pass or forward pass can be useful for mixing up your opponent, and catching them off guard. Most people play either expecting you to take a shot, or set up the ball using a corner/the back wall. Passing the ball can add a lot of speed, and can be used to get through a hole in the other team?s defenses.
5. Side/closing stuff
All of this is more or less based on teamwork. Trust your teammates to do the right thing. Even if you can?t trust them to do the right thing, see how they play. Learn when they go for the ball, and when they don?t. Expect them to act based on how they?ve acted before. Position yourself accordingly.
Now, this guide has most players tendencies, and overall teamwork in mind. If everyone waits for their teammate to do something, nothing is going to get done. If someone on your team is a fairly passive player that waits for their teammates to do stuff, you might not need to apply much of this advice. But not everyone plays one specific in-game role 100% of the time. I?m not telling everyone to wait, but someone should wait.
A lot of what I said can go out the window, if you?re playing with a team that communicates really well and knows each other. Maybe your teammate has the ball midfield, and they?re waiting for it to get a position where they can hit it weakly. You call it out, they back off, and you get even more out of it than if you waited for them to hit it. Or you?re in your goal, and you have a better clear than your teammate. Instead of letting them hit it, you call it and take it from them. A lot of what I said isn?t hard rules, but a guideline. As long as you find some way to move the ball where you want, without wasting multiple people?s positioning, then it works out. Positioning and time is a valuable resource in this game, and you have to take advantage of it.
Thanks for reading, and I might look into writing more guides like this in the future.