If you are anything like most people then you may have spent hours scouring the internet for the next “secret tip” that will instantly make you better at Rocket League.
One of the tips that you’ll have seen on your travels online will be to get into the habit of analysing your replays. Perhaps you’ve liked the idea but never really known how to start?
Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, I’m going to be giving you my advice for how to use replay review to rank up.
I’m Sabi. I have over 10 years of coaching experience and a Masters Degree in Sports Psychology. I’m a Rocket League coach on GamersRdy and you can find my coaching profile here along with other experienced coaches. GamersRdy also offers courses on various topics from mastering mechanics to understanding how to pass and play as a team.
There are many “quick fix” videos on YouTube that are suggesting the next secret to improve instantly in Rocket League.
Let’s get things cleared up from the start: there are no secret tips to improving at Rocket League. Changing your camera settings will not make you play like Fairy Peak. But if you are serious about getting better and want to do it more efficiently, I am here to help you get started by teaching you how to review your own replays.
While it can be true that changing your key binds, camera settings, or optimizing your interface can give you instantaneous short term improvement the only way to truly start developing your game for the long term is to put in the work.
So let’s begin!
When starting to get into replay reviews, it can be difficult to be critical of our own gameplay, especially when first starting out.
The best way to begin is by doing some drills. There are a few drills that you can do in order to help introduce you to replay reviews:
One very efficient replay drill you can do to help get into the swing of things is to go to ballchasing.com and filter by pro players. Pick and download any of those replays and watch it from that player’s perspective, focusing on decision making, positioning, and rotations.
Watch through the replay and look for situations where the ball is about to be influenced: either a 50/50 or a shot, pass, clear etc… Pause the replay right before the play happens and take a look at that players positioning, take into account the best, worst, and most likely outcomes of the play and see if that player is well positioned to deal with them all.
In general, you want to try to put yourself in a position that allows you to cover a wide variety of different outcomes with minimal loss of momentum. So try to square up towards the play in such a way that if the ball goes left you can transition for the shot, or if it goes right you can transition back to defense all without slowing down your car and losing momentum.
This is great practice that will help you be more decisive in game while playing faster and more efficiently because you don’t need to use boost to make up for positional mistakes as often.
After you have gotten the idea of some basic replay skills, you can move into watching your own gameplay. Use old replays that you don’t remember and begin by applying the same analysis you did with the pro videos.
Once you’ve done that, we can also get into the nitty gritty of your own gameplay in a different way. When writing an essay for school, you may ask someone else to proofread for you because it is hard to catch your own mistakes (this is why we usually reach out to a coach).
When looking at your own gameplay, one thing you can do to make it easier to be self critical is to watch back your replays from someone else’s perspective, either an opponent or a teammate.
This allows you to more clearly see where you are cutting rotation, where you are tunnelling for boost, and where you are giving the other team too much space so that they can set themselves up for a play where they are 100% in control since we have nobody pressuring.
The next step is to watch from your own point of view. This is the hardest but also the most efficient way to review your own replays when done properly.
Here are some tips and tricks to get you into the habit.
Use the Resources Available to You
Ballchasing.com is a fantastic tool to help you get some ideas of what to look for before you even head into the replay. You can take a look at things like boost usage, average speed, time spent in the air, and many other statistics on your gameplay compared to a playlist average.
For example, you might notice that you used 500 boost while supersonic and spent an minute and a half of the game with less than 20 boost. This would then direct your focus to catching yourself using boost inefficiently.
If you think something is a teammate’s fault, try to rewind a couple of clicks and see what you could have done better.
There is almost always something you could have done to prevent a goal. Watch for decisions you made that led up to that moment. Could you have taken a more efficient path back to defense? Did you waste boost on that high challenge? Did you recover poorly that caused you to get back to the net too late?
Watch for your boost management. Are you using boost when you don’t need to?
Fun fact: you need just above 40 boost in order to make it to the ceiling with a fast aerial. See how often you stay relevant in the play when you are at and around 40 boost and how many times you start looking for a large boost pad even though you don’t need it.
Watch your momentum. Are you coming to full stops either due to hesitations or poor position?
Decision Making Matters
Incorporate the previous drill with decision making. Are you squaring up to the play and putting yourself in a position to account for the best and worst scenarios? Or are you pushing too far forward, playing it optimistically.
Look at your camera work. Are you using the rear view camera? Are you driving blind into your teammates?
Rotation, Rotation, Rotation
Watch your rotations? Are you rotating ball side? Or wide extended back post rotations collecting boost along the way?
Anyone who has done a session with me knows that I have no trouble at all discussing a replay for over two hours.
When first starting out, though, and especially when reviewing your own gameplay, I would recommend two things : first, while you are playing your ranked session for the day, take a break at what you think is roughly the halfway point of your play session and take a quick look at a replay. This doesn’t need to be in depth at all just try to highlight one or two key points that you can work on for the remainder of the session.
Secondly, proceed to finish playing ranked for the day before ending with another slightly more detailed review to see if you managed to improve on the specific skills you set as a goal for yourself. This will help give you something notable to work towards rather than that next shiny rank.
The short term serotonin boost of reaching the next division is nothing compared to the long term gratification of growing and developing as a player, so instead of looking for secret short cuts that don’t exist, it is time to take matters into your own hands and take an in-depth look at what you are doing that is keeping you in your rank and what you could be doing to improve faster!