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Ever wondered what would happen if soccer and rocket-powered automobiles collided? Probably not, but if you ever did, there’s Rocket League. This cross-platform title from Psyonix quickly amassed a legion of fans when it was released in 2015. Since then, it’s become a major esports title, with annual tournaments hosted by Major League Gaming, the ESL, and Psyonix itself. Getting started with this multiplayer game is fairly easy, but you’ll need to put in the work if you want to really excel. To help you on your way, we’ve put together some of the best gameplay tips for Rocket League newbies.

1. Keep Your Eye on the Ball

It can be tricky to dribble the ball in Rocket League. Thankfully, it’s surprisingly easy to center your camera angle on the ball itself. To make your life easier, access the ball cam feature to keep your viewing angle centered at all times. Although the ball cam limits your viewing of the rest of the game, you’re less likely to be distracted by what’s going around you.

2. Don’t Waste Boosts

Boosts can prove invaluable during a Rocket League match. For first-time players, it’s tempting to use boosts when you want to move across the pitch quickly. However, it’s best to be economical with them. Save them for an opportune moment when you’re in the position to score an open goal. Alternatively, save that speed for when you need to get in the way of an incoming car that’s making a beeline for your own goal so you can shore up your defense.

3. Take to the Air

When you’re playing a game that sees turbo-charged games on a soccer field, all bets are off. Once you get your head around the singular nature of Rocket League, you need to start putting your vehicle of choice through its paces. Many rookies struggle to perfect floating and flying in Rocket League. However, these maneuvers are some of the most useful. For beginners, it’s best to stick to certain vehicle types if you want to master aerial controls. Stick to Octane and Dominus cars if you’re just starting out.

4. Take the Time to Master Handbrake Turns

If you’re a driver in real life, you’ll know how tricky it can be to perfect a handbrake turn. Thankfully, they’re a little easier to master in Rocket League. In this game, the handbrake is your best friend. Tight maneuvers aren’t just going to ensure you maintain control of the ball, they can also be used to confuse the competition.

5. There’s No Shame in Staying in Defense

As with real soccer, any Rocket League team needs a solid defensive line. If you’re brand-new to the game, it might be worth stepping away from chasing the ball and lingering closer to the goal end of the pitch. You can breathe easy as you watch other players demonstrate their skill, picking up some tips as you do. That being said, you’ll still need to keep an eye on what’s happening.

6. You Don’t Have to Stick with Soccer

Rocket League might have been inspired by soccer, but it’s not the only game you can unleash your battle car on. Are you a basketball fan? Why not enjoy a game of Hoops? Prefer ice hockey? Try the Snow Day game mode instead.

7. Watch the Experts in Action

The Rocket League Championship Series has been going strong since 2016. Every year, 16 of the best teams on the planet come together to do battle. The likes of Gen.G and Team Liquid currently reign supreme in Rocket League circles. If you’re looking for some inspiration, these rosters are definitely the ones to watch. Need to plan your viewing? For the latest RLCS major schedule click here.