In this article, I’ll be showing you guys how to master your boost control at the highest level of play in competitive 3v3 Rocket League.
Though I’m focusing on one specific game mode, these principles can be applied to all the game modes.
Hopefully this article will give you some insight into how the pros are one step ahead of the competition in this area.
For some quick background as to who I am, I’m an experienced competitive player and professional coach for GamersRdy. But some of you might know me best from a certain shot in 2019.
Good boost control is all about making sure you’ve got enough boost as a team to carry out your roles individually as well as you can in the situation.
The simplest challenge to start with is to ask yourself: “where are all the boost pads in the game?”
It’s incredibly important to memorize all the patterns of boost pads you can. Here are the key ones:
The first in red is the straight line from end to end:
The second is the orange circular line from end to end:
And the last is yellow goal line pads surrounding each net:
These lines will be extremely useful as you’ll soon discover when we dive through some advanced rotations which should help you to position in support of your teammates with boost.
To help explain concepts of boost control, I’ll be breaking down the role of the boost pads in Offensive, Defensive and Supportive rotations, starting with the most important of them all.
Defensive rotations in 3v3 require you as a team to remove the pressure thrown at you by having a constant flow of support.
When the pressure is high, it’s often difficult to escape defense and know which boost pads to go for without abandoning your defensive support.
Usually, the first man in a defensive rotation aggresses to force the opponents to do something. Normally in these situations, there are two players behind you: one following your challenge directly and one covering the back post or in-field.
This means you’ve got at least two challenges behind you before you’ll need to get involved, meaning extra time to go for boost. In a different situation where there’s only one defender behind you, you’ve got much less time to get boost. That’s always worth remembering.
Here’s where the line of boost pads play a massive part.
Let’s pretend the first man challenged near your back corner. After the commit, you can choose to take the middle boost (if there’s enough support behind you) or, as I’d recommend for solo queue, a line of pads to the back post area behind your third man.
This allows you cover the in-field on the way back to defense to prevent a pass and most importantly gets you back in time to support the worst-case scenario. If perfected, this’ll net you a much needed 60 boost which is more than you’ll ever need to help stop the future attack.
Now let’s pretend you’re making a save from the goal line or backboard area with low boost and no support behind you:
After making that save, you’ll need to rely on the goal line pads before positioning for another threat.
It’s simple ideas like this which are rarely implemented but you’ll need to be able to do this if you want to compete at the top level of play.
Offensive rotations in 3v3 are all about maintaining pressure long-term and making sure you’re playing for the best potential opportunities. Even at really high levels, players are still resorting to their own back boost when keeping up an attack. Needless to say, it’s usually not the best strategy.
The time you’re spending grabbing your own back boost is time you’re wasting positioning for a pass or contesting a hit.
If there’s no support behind you after you’ve made an offensive challenge, always take the fastest routes back, whether it be through the circular or straight line of pads or a combination of the two to turn back upfield. That way, you can mitigate the chances of a counter attack by being in a strong position to block passes and shots in future.
Never retreat all the way for back boost when you’re holding pressure unless it’s absolutely necessary. Being in the right position at the right time will always take priority over your boost amount when it comes to generating opportunity.
You only need as much boost as you’d need to counter a worst-case scenario clearance, and that’s rarely ever 100 so long as you’re in the right position. 60 or so is usually enough to get the job done, and you can easily get 60 boost from pads without needing to go all the way back.
Finally, we move onto boost management for supportive rotations. These are the boost pads you’ll take when supporting your first man in a passing opportunity.
When your first man has possession down the sideline, you’ll want to be positioned in-field and behind the play so that you can follow up on their pass or challenge whilst having a good view of the opposition.
Fortunately, the circular line of pads is in a perfect position to allow you to do this, even if you’re coming from defense with no boost.
If, however, your teammate is up the wall with a chance to boom towards the middle, the straight line of pads is often a better bet to follow.
Just like you do with possession, you can also use the circular line of pads to help you shadow an opponent when coming back to defense.
Along with most of Rocket League theory, the best way to improve your boost control is through practice in a competitive environment. Every time you miss an opportunity because of your greed for a back boost or throw away a free goal from missing too many pads on rotation back, there’s another opportunity to learn.
Saving your replays and marking the timestamps of mistakes and inefficiencies is one of the most useful ways to help improve your game sense.
Ballchasing.com is also a fantastic platform where you can upload these replays you’ve saved to see more in-depth statistics to track your progress. This includes heatmaps of boost pickups and how much you’ve used compared to the rest of the lobby, which can help you identify any obvious bad habits.
If you’re really struggling with memorizing pad locations, try to draw a mental map of where they are and practice driving through lines of boost with your ball-cam off. You’ll be surprised how quickly you pick it up!
Another way to get familiar with boost paths, especially small boost pad paths, is to jump into unranked and try to play without picking up the 100 boosts, at all! Try to maintain pressure and stay in the play without getting the 100 boost and you’ll see pretty quickly that its entirely possible to maintain pressure without going all the way back over and over again for 100 boost.
Mastering your boost management will take time and practice and loads of mistakes, so don’t get down on yourself if you feel like you’re not improving as quickly as you’d like. This is one of the most difficult aspects of Rocket League but its also one of the most neglected and you’ll be at a serious advantage if you’re trying to learn this.