Welcome to my freeplay guide!
In this guide I’m going to describe the drills I use in freeplay and other training modes and explain the reasoning behind them. Hopefully, this guide will help you train and improve!
If you watch a pro player's stream you will see that they spend a lot of time in freeplay. It's the best way to improve your mechanical skill at the game and a great way to warm up before starting playing. If you want to get better at the game- these methods will speed you up a lot.
When should I train?
When you first go on the game you should do atleast 10 minutes of freeplay to get used to the physics of the game, wake up your hands, etc. The other time you should use freeplay is if you are queueing. There's no reason not to hop into training and practice your aerials while you're waiting to find a game. The other time you could go into freeplay and train is if you're in a slump. It can help you get your head back into the game without the distraction of other irritating players driving into you and scoring goals and other annoying things.
The very very basics
In the Training menu, there are two tutorials. The basic one and the advanced one. Do both. This is really basic and effectively tells you how to fly and dodge. If you don't know how to do those, go and do that. You should probably be able to do basic aerial training as well.
This is a fantastic program written by Ra1n359. It allows you to effectively move around the cannons from the Training modes. You can download it here and it really helps with training some tricks that are impossible to do alone normally, like aerial redirects.
The first thing you should do when you go into freeplay is try and hover in midair. Feather your boost (tap it often instead of holding it down) in order to maintain an easier elevation. Get used to how much you need to tap it. (Note: this saves boost and is a good thing to do in actual games as well as freeplay) Then, start adding twists and turns as if you were freestyling. Try and press boost at the right times to stay at the same height in the air in the same way.
Aerials are a staple of any rocket league player's arsenal. You can practice these first in freeplay mode. From the goal line, fly across the pitch and try and hit the opposite crossbar. When you can do that every time, fly from different places on the pitch and also aim for either corner of the goal when you're flying, to make your aiming more precise.
Progress onto allstar goalie training to practice touching the ball in the air. When you feel you're ready, you can head into allstar aerial training and aim for the goal.
Practice hitting the ball not only towards the ball in Allstar Aerial, but also aim for any of the 6 large boost pads located around the pitch. This should give you proficiency in aiming the ball wherever you want from anywhere on the pitch- perfect for making tricky passes or shooting from surprising angles.
Flying off the wall to hit the ball is hard to comprehend, but there's an easy way to practice it.
Head into Rookie aerial training, and drive up the wall. Get fairly high, then jump off and fly into the ball. Do not use air roll to make your car face the normal way; you need to get used to flying sideways to achieve ultimate control over your car in the air.
You can try this in pro aerial training too, but it's trickier to get up the wall and fly into the ball before the timer runs out. You can get good enough with rookie training to practice more in the wallhits section.
Dribbling is a very wide subject that deserves its own guide. A few videos have been made already but let me know in the comments if you want a text post version. The basic drills are as follows:
Holding the ball on top of your car with the ability to manipulate it by jumping and dodging. First, roll the ball to the edge of the pitch. Roll it partway up the wall and catch it on the curve when it comes down. Practice driving along the edge of the wall without letting the ball go onto the ground. This helps train matching the ball's speed to keep it on top of your car.
Then pop it up by driving into the raised ball in freeplay. Let it land on top of your car and try and keep it there as long as possible.
Finally, drive into the ball in freeplay, rolling it slowly towards the ball. Now pop it onto your car and do a 180, dribbling it all the way to the other goal and scoring. Try and do this as fast as possible- record your best time!
Maintaining a small repeating bounce to enable powershots or air dribbles. Train these by rolling the ball slowly towards the goal. Drive behind it and then into it so it pops in the air. Practice boosting into it just after the bounce to get another pop.
Practice hitting powershots from this (flip into the ball just after the bounce- its upward momentum is added to your forward momentum to get a lot of power). You can also do a special powershot called the backflip shot, popularised and probably invented by Markydooda. Just as you're hitting the ball do a backflip instead of a frontflip- giving the ball a different arc in the air and stopping your forward momentum, so you're ready to attack a rebound.
These are the easiest thing to train in freeplay, in my opinion. There are two ways to hit them, but setting them up always looks like this:
Aiming wallhits is based on where you position your car on the wall relatively to the ball. In my opinion, it's made a lot harder by turning off ballcam, so keep that on. This is based almost entirely on muscle memory and feel, so you should put on a podcast or a Netflix episode or something, and just spend a few hours in freeplay getting used to the way the ball reacts from different hits.
Generally, hitting the ball from slightly below will give it more power and make it fly further. Hitting it from above (somehow!) or exactly level will mean less distance and a less powerful hit.
As a rule of thumb, doing a diagonal flip is the best way to hit the ball off the wall. It accomplishes the most power and puts you in the best position to fly towards it afterwards.
The only other way of note to make a wallhit is to not dodge off the wall at all. Instead, use a single jump. This puts you in a much better position to fly afterwards (as long as you practiced wall aerials earlier in the guide!) and will give you a more controlled hit of the ball- if you're high on the wall a flip into the ball could knock it into the wall high above the goal, removing any chance of scoring or even centering the ball.
Training air dribbles
I covered how to do air dribbles in my guide right HERE You can practice carrying the ball in the air by driving into the raised ball in freeplay and flying into the underside of the ball.
You can also start an air dribble from a bounce dribble by jumping under the ball just as it bounces to pop it up, then flying into the underside in the same way.
Wall air dribbles
Starting an air dribble from the wall is something else entirely. There are two ways: One is to treat it like a wallhit but fly into the ball and dribble it. This is easier to do if you knock the ball while staying on the wall first. That puts it in the perfect place to do an air dribble.
The other way to start an air dribble is to roll it very gently up the wall, so it doesn't go too high up. Boost up the wall after it, colliding about when it is reaching the top of its arc (going to fall down the wall again). Doublejump to knock the ball away from the wall and you'll be right next to it in the air, ready to do an air dribble.
Followup aerials- Use rocketleaguetrainer
These are fairly easy to do, but don't get practiced enough. Two shots in Allstar striker training roll along the floor like that. It's a little harder to train from, but better than nothing.
The other thing you can do is roll it along the floor towards the goal and then get behind it in the same way as air dribbles. Just hit the ball harder and get the rebound.
Wall rebound freestyles
A really cool thing you can practice using the same .shot file is to deliberately hit an aerial slightly too high or wide. This means that you can fly after it and get what is effectively a dunk on the crossbar or post to score a sexy goal. Add freestyle spins (later in the guide) and it looks really cool!
Aerial redirects look really cool and are stupidly hard to both save and score. The redirects in RocketLeagueTrainer already work fine for practicing it. After you get the hang of it, you can go into a private lobby with a friend and practice setting each other up for redirects (chipping it up as in a followup aerial, aimed wide and high of the goal, for your friend to redirect into the goal).
Repeat the drill for aerial training- flying into the crossbar. Then, reverse aerial into the crossbar. Maintain your height still height again.
When you have perfected that- you can get into proper freestyling. Fly up, and try and maintain exactly the same height while adding spins. If you ever do a spin where your car's nose is pointing downwards during it, fly a bit higher beforehand so you don't fall. At this point, NEVER boost downwards. It will throw you off, lose your height, and gravity is more than enough to maintain elevation.
You can set the ball up by rolling it either into the corner or diagonally into the back wall. Wait a moment, jump, and get freestyling!
Thanks for reading my guide! If you have questions or just want to see more of me, go to http://twitch.tv/jetserpent - I stream every saturday and a few times throughout the week when I can. -Jet
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