Rocket League Basic Aerial In-Depth Guide
Rocket League Basic Aerial In-Depth Guide by Bits_n_Bobs
After creating my last guide on the Basics of Backwards and Freestyle Aerials I found a large portion of people are still having trouble hitting their basic aerials and after getting multiple requests to create a similar guide I’ve decided to help those that are either just beginning rocket league or may not feel confident hitting those simple aerials and hopefully help them move on to more advanced shots.
In an attempt to keep all of my guides following a similar format this guide will be broken into 3 major parts:
1. Getting off the ground
- Understanding momentum
- Position yourself before you jump
- Go for every aerial
2. Controlling yourself in the Air
- Boost management
- Correcting yourself
3. Getting comfortable with more advanced aerials
- Wall hits and follow up aerials
- Adding variations to the training modes
- Redirects and setting up teammates
Q: I can hit my aerials in freeplay and training, but I can’t hit any of them in online matches. What am I doing wrong?
A: Freeplay and aerial training will help you judge the ball’s trajectory, but it won’t help you learn when to go for an aerial or when to leave it. Play online, take it slow and when you see an opportunity go for it. Remember that an aerial is not always the answer when it goes high in the air.
Q: I can hit my aerials fine, but I just can’t seem to figure out how to get it to go in the goal. What can I do to improve?
A: Play and watch others. See what sort of situations other players put themselves in to hit the aerial. Watch pro’s or various other streamers and ask them for tips.
Q: What are some good videos to help me get better at aerials? What about streamers?
A: I have quite a few suggestions…
Kronovi – Does a lot of advanced aerials, but hits a few regular aerials. A great streamer for aggressive players.
Kuxir – Does TONS of advanced aerials and very little regulars. I would suggest this channel for advanced players, but nonetheless he is very entertaining to watch
Gibbs – Lots of regular aerials, plays defensive and gives great tips for beginners.
SadJunior – He gives great tips to those who ask. Helped me immensely with some of his tips on training exercises. I highly suggest him to players of all level.
Me… – No I’m not “fishing for views.” I may not be as good Kuxir or Kronovi, but I’d be happy to help you with any Rocket League questions you have.
Getting off the ground
Tip #1 Understanding Momentum
Players just starting aerials often find themselves going too fast or too slow to make proper contact with the ball due to a lack of understanding of how your forward momentum affects you in Rocket League. To start understanding your car’s momentum in Rocket League you should begin by going into Freeplay or set up an Exhibition match with unlimited boost.
First, you are going to position yourself on one of the far sides of the map, then accelerate, jump, pull slightly back and begin to aerial.
What you want to get out of this lesson is learning how your car’s acceleration will carry you in the air. For instance, you can clearly see in this EXAMPLE that as long as you do not have the front of your car going backwards past 90 degrees you will always continue moving forward.
Once you feel you feel comfortable with this idea stay in freeplay and position yourself in the center of the map. Next you will face one of the goals and attempt to aerial at thebulbs. You should begin by exiting ball cam, jumping once or twice, pulling back and aiming towards one of the bulbs on the other half of the map. If you wish to change your starting position to make this a bit easier or challenging, then feel free to do so. Continue this training until you feel you have got the hang of it.
Next you will go into the rookie aerial training (or pro if you’d prefer) and just begin by making contact with the ball. If you fail to hit the ball, reset and start over until you do.
Eventually try to attempt to score the aerial goals by using the front of your car’s nose. You will notice how much power goes into hitting the ball with the top and sides of your car compared to the bottom. If you find that hitting the ball with your nose causes the ball to go too high, then this means you are not getting high enough. If you cannot seem to hit the ball with anything but the underside of your car use this tip:
Fly towards the ball and attempt to make contact with the center of the bottom portion of your car. About a second before you hit the ball tilt your car forward. This should cause you to hit the ball with your nose and push the ball down or forwards towards the goal.
To keep your momentum after you hit the ball make sure you use your air roll to land accordingly on the ground.
Tip #2 Position yourself before you jump.
This part of aerials is by far the most overlooked in my opinion because your starting position is very important when ensuring proper contact with the ball in the air.
When you first attempt an aerial I would suggest that you position the front of your car a bit ahead of the ball. By aiming slightly ahead it will allow you to use less boost and potentially hit the ball with a more direct hit.
This rule is meant to be broken and you will eventually learn when it is and isn’t okay to follow it.
It is a bit difficult to give direct instructions for this tip as it is incredibly circumstantial and would require thousands of examples to tell you exactly what to do in each situation. Here is one demonstration of setting up yourself and positioning yourself before you go for the aerial. EXAMPLE
Tip #3 Go for every aerial
Go into an online match in 3v3’s or 4v4’s and go for an aerial every time you see the ball go high in the air. While this may seem like a horrible idea it will help you better understand how to judge the ball and what the ideal moments are for attempting an aerial. Don’t wait. Don’t hesitate. Just do it and if you fail, recognize what you did wrong and try it again. Sometimes it may not even seem like you can make the aerial from your current position, but you still have to attempt them so that one day you can learn what to go for and what to leave.
It is also a good rule of thumb to try and get yourself in the air before the ball has reached its apex. Failure to do this will typically result in the player flying over the ball and leaving their side one man short.
Controlling yourself in the air
Tip #1 Boost Management
A question I get asked a lot is “How do you stay in the air so long?” The answer is simple. Feather your boost. Instead of holding down your boost keep pressing it and letting go. This will help your boost last longer and will make it a bit easier to control yourself in the air.
One piece of information that people often miss is that once you reach supersonic speed any boost that you use will not increase your speed. Use this to your advantage and preserve your boost in these moments.
Tip #2 Anticipation
Anticipation is by far one of the most important aspects of aerials and unfortunately is a bit difficult to teach. Anticipation helps you beat the opposition (and sometimes your teammates) to the ball, thus giving you a greater chance at scoring. Just play the game. Take it slow and pulse your boost if necessary because nothing feels worse than having the shot, but running out of boost just before you get there.
Understanding how ball physics work in real life may also help you with anticipating where it will land and how you should react. Notice in this EXAMPLE how the ball falls in an elliptical arc through space. Now notice how similarly the ball reacts in Rocket League in thisEXAMPLE. Rocket League’s physics are not 1:1 with real life physics, but the similarities between real life and the game might help you understand how to predict the ball better.
If you seem to be having issues with your opponents beating you to the ball then chances are you are either out of position or you aren’t quite quick enough to anticipate. Kronovi does a good job of explaining the variables being the first to hit an aerial inSubParButInHD’s video. The two variables are:
#1. Whoever is closest to the ball
#2. The person who jumps first can sometimes beat the other person, even if they are further away
If you still find that most players are getting to the ball quicker I have another trick that might be a bit difficult to learn, but is completely worth the effort.
Use the boost and jump buttons simultaneously.
Look at the differences between the standard aerial setup vs the simultaneous button tactic and you will clearly see the differences.
Tip #3 Correcting Yourself
Most rocket league players cannot perfectly predict an aerial and instead will adjust in the few last seconds to hit the shot correctly. To elaborate I will give a small example:
Let’s say you find yourself coming at the ball too fast while attempting an aerial. You have 3 possible options…
#1. Smash into the ball and hope that it doesn’t fly too far back to your side. You might get a lucky pass with this option if your teammates have positioned themselves well.
#2. Bail. Attempt to avoid the ball and hope that it gives your teammates another chance to hit the shot. This option can be troublesome if your teammates were expecting you to hit the ball, but can also cause the same confusion on your opponents.
No example for this one because I couldn’t get it to work
#3. Use the remainder of your boost to correct yourself. Pull backwards and boost, but not too much or it will cause you to wipe out and lose your upward height and momentum.
All of these options have a different possible outcome and it will be up to your expertise to decide which one is best in a situation.
Getting comfortable with more advanced aerials
Tip #1 Wall hits and follow up aerials
One of the easiest ways to get to a high flying ball first is to travel up the wall and hit it. Now I should preface this by saying that this usually only works with balls that are relatively close to the sides of the arena, but if you look at this example you will see how much faster a player going up the wall will reach the top before a player who is doing an aerial will.
Now if you find yourself having trouble with wall hits that are a bit far from the side of the wall then I have a simple trick that should help.
First, get on the wall and position your car’s nose of bit above where the ball is.
Second, do a single jump (or double depending on how far out the ball is).
Third, pull back a bit and begin to boost.
Last, but not least, smash into the ball using your remaining air roll (if you still have it) or use your remaining boost to hit the ball with more force.
Here is a gif that breaks it down if it still doesn’t make sense: Example
Now, following up with wall hits that didn’t go in the goal is fairly advanced and difficult to predict. Similar to positioning it is hard to give direct instructions for this tip as it is difficult to show you the different situations that arise.
Simply put, if you see your teammate going for a wall hit, then it can very beneficial to predict his shot’s path and follow it up just like my teammate did here.
Tip #2 Adding variations to the training modes
This section is meant to help those that can hit their aerials in training mode, but still have problems hitting them in online matches.
To begin, head into aerial training at whatever difficulty you feel most comfortable with. To help ready yourself for online matches you will want add variables to each aerial shot, such as changing your starting position in the first few seconds. Why? Because when you play online matches you will not always be given the perfect pass. Chances are you will have an awkward angle and be forced to adapt in order to hit the shot. Here is an example to help you better visualize this exercise.
Tip #3 Redirects and setting up teammates
Finally, hitting your aerials will all come down to you or your teammates (and sometimes opponents) setting up the aerial shot.
There are several ways to set up a aerial shot, such as, pop it up of the roof of your car, do a upwards wall hit, but possibly the most popular and efficient aerial setup for most people is pushing it up the wall. To set this up correctly you will need to understand how the ball reacts to your car and the wall ramp. To send the ball up the ramp smoothly you will want to hit the ball on the top half. Doing this will cause the ball to roll on the ground, rather than being launched into the air.
Well, that about covers all aspects of aerials that I can think of. I hoped this has helped.