Rocket League is just a casual game for many people, but for others, it is a fiercely competitive one.
Suppose you’re trying to get better at the game, enough to compete in the higher ranks with competitive players that take every game seriously. In that case, you need to be familiar with advanced techniques and maneuvers that win games.
This is especially important if you’re running the game on an outdated system because you’re already at a disadvantage.
One such advanced technique is “flying”. Your aerial game in Rocket League directly affects how good your defense and offense are, and improving it is crucial to winning more often and climbing the ranking system.
What is an Aerial?
An aerial in Rocket League is a technique that is used to boost your car into the air to hit the ball. Put simply, a successful aerial occurs whenever you control your car to fly into the air and make contact with the ball.
I mentioned the fact that your proficiency in the air contributes to the strength of your defense and offense, and the reasoning behind it is that you can use aerial maneuvers to score, assist teammates, or defend your goal when the opponent is trying to score.
Learning the aerial maneuver is fairly straightforward, and we’ll get to that shortly. However, mastering it to the level that pros are on requires a ton of practice and patience.
First, let’s talk about the types of aerials in Rocket League.
Types of Aerials
There are five main types of aerials in the game. They include:
- Defensive Aerial
- Offensive Aerial
- Trick Shot
- Wall Shot
- Aerial Dribble
This aerial maneuver refers to situations where the opponent has the ball and they’re either approaching your goal or have already taken a shot at it.
Timing is always important with aerial maneuvers in Rocket League, but it is even more so with defensive aerials because you need to first adjust the position of your car and then get it up in the air at exactly the right time to make contact.
Failure in these scenarios is also often more punishing than others because it usually leads to conceding a goal.
For offensive aerials, you simply have to direct your car to face the ball before springing into the air to hit it. A little bit of practice should be all that’s required to get the basics, but constant application in different scenarios is the only way to master it.
Using an example of a game like Rocket League, football, where an attacker tries to score a header. It is often simple enough to make contact with the ball and direct it toward the goal once you’re in the right position, but it takes extra skill and technique to attempt glanced, lobbed, or diving headers.
The limits of what defines a trick shot in Rocket League are only determined by how creative the player can get.
Whether it involves dribbling the ball in the air before striking it or flying upside down, a trick shot is harder to defend because it is harder to anticipate. Even when it comes off successfully, there is often an element of luck to complement the high level of skill required to make it happen.
If you’re not a Rocket League pro but you’d like to add trick shots to your game, I recommend practicing them one at a time. Make sure that you’ve mastered one before attempting to practice another.
Remember, you can create your own trick shots!
With Wall Shots, you’re not springing into the air from the ground. These shots are instead executed by driving up the side of the pitch wall and then jumping off to hit a ball that’s in the air.
Wall Shots also require a fairly advanced level of skill, particularly with timing your jump just right.
Of all the types of aerial maneuvers that are discussed here, aerial dribbles are the most difficult to learn. Some beginners even struggle with dribbling when the ball is on the ground, so imagine how much practice one would need to master this!
The name is self-explanatory – you try to push the ball forward while it (and your car) is in the air. To do this, you have to conservatively use your boost to make contact with the ball with small taps. If I were to liken it to football, I’d say it’s like strafe dribbling with the ball and player in the air.
How to Perform an Aerial
Simply executing an aerial is fairly straightforward. All you have to do is jump off the ground and hit the boost while you’re in mid-air while directing your car toward the ball.
For accurate steering, you need to keep your hand on the left stick of the controller and gently move it in the direction that you want the car to face. Sharp, jerky turns will, more often than not, cause you to mess things up.
If you want to move faster into the air or add some extra power for the contact that your car will make with the ball, you can attempt a Fast Aerial. The Fast Aerial injects another boost into the regular Aerial, helping your car to fly at about twice the normal speed.
To execute this move, hold your left stick down while you’re on the ground. Then, press the jump and boost buttons at the same time and release the left stick when the nose of the car starts to look up.
Once you release the stick, you need to press jump and boost again. You can keep doing this until you hit the ceiling if need be. It can take a while to get the timing right, so it’s okay if you don’t get it right at once.
Fast Aerials allow you to increase the speed of your attack/defense, making it harder for the opponent to stop you or easier for you to block attacks (when the ball is moving quickly already).
I should mention that it’s important to have enough boost for these aerial moves. Most of the time, you’ll only use between 20 to 30 boost, but you’ll need more for fast aerials, so store up as much as you can before each attempt. You can drive across active boost pads to fill up at any time.
Mastering Aerial Moves
Practice is the most important thing when it comes to mastering aerial maneuvers in Rocket League.
You can test yourself against opponents in games where you’re leading comfortably and can afford to take risks, or you can go into Hoops mode and get some practice in.
In Hoops mode, the ball has to be in the air to score, so it’s a great simulation for in-game situations in other game modes where you want to attempt aerial moves.
While you’re practicing, consciously applying these tips should help you to achieve consistency as quickly as possible:
- When you’re in the air, reduce your speed. This way, the ball stays in front of you and you only need to focus on boosting forward rather than overcompensating and having to boost in reverse.
- Try to line up the trajectory of your car while it’s going into the air with the bounce of the ball
- Pay extra attention to mastering fast aerials and wall shots – they give you a competitive edge!
- Don’t rush! Boost at steady intervals. Prioritize staying on course instead of moving as quickly as possible. As you get better, you can try to do both at the same time.
- When you need maximum power on your contact with the ball, try to hit it through the center. When you need the ball to bounce high, hit it with a glancing touch off the bottom half.
Now that you know how to improve your aerial game in Rocket League, I recommend checking out our guide on how to level up fast in the game as well. If you’re trying to climb the rankings quickly, it will be helpful!