Rocket League is taking the gaming world by storm. Free on PlayStation Plus in July, just £14.99/$19.99 on PC, with fast-paced and addictive multiplayer, easy-to-play and hard-to-master controls, shareable and competitive gameplay - it’s a dangerous concoction of gaming bliss.
When you start to find yourself rising the ranks online, only to be getting stuck in a rut of losses despite believing you aren’t doing much wrong, you need to start asking some questions.
Should I target the ball or the man?
Sometimes, it's best to go for the ball, sometimes, it's not. When you see a player waiting to line up his shot, standing still, just waiting, you hit them. Knock them away. If you are both charging towards goal with a full tank of boost, smash them to pieces to give yourself a few seconds of respite.
In attacking instances, such as if the ball is heading towards your opponent's goal at pace and you see them lining up a killer save, smash them to bits and you have yourself a tremendously satisfying goal for you and an embarrassing and frustrating concede from your opponent.
Can my teammate have a better shot at this than me?
It may be hard to understand this without comms but once you get a feel for the game and what your allies normally do, you may know that there is someone behind you lining up the perfect shot, only for you to whiff or just nudge the ball out of their line of fire, costing you a precious point.
Think about your positioning and what you last saw your teammate doing, as well as their trends when attacking on-goal - you may be smarter just leaving it for them. Don't be too selfless though - if it's obvious, grab the glory.
Can my teammate make a better clearance than me?
Similar to shooting, be wary of your positioning on clearances, again, someone could be ready to make a perfectly good clearance when your only opportunity is to nudge it slightly out of reach.
Do I have a teammate/sufficient defense from a counter?
Whether you are going for the ball in an all out attack or just trying to press the ball forward, you need someone covering in case of the worst possibilities.
Without comms, on-the-fly defending is key: work out what's going on in the game and defend accordingly. Nobody else defending? Then it's your job.
You have just gained an unfair advantage by reading these questions. If everyone did the same, Rocket League would be highly competitive even at the low ranks, but the fact is, even some of the higher-ranking players are falling short with some of these mistakes.
Even if just one of these questions has made an impact on you, leave a comment below telling us which one. Got any suggestions for follow-up questions? We’d love to hear them, too.
If you missed the previous part, then click the series link.