Rocket League Air Dribble Guide by jetserpent
I’d like to preface this with the fact that you’re not going to be able to do these without a large amount of practice. Freeplay, where you have infinite boost and nobody to get in your way, is the perfect place to do it. You won’t pick this up right away, but keep at it and you will get there.
So what is an air dribble?
An air dribble is a fairly advanced move where you touch the ball many times with your car to ‘carry’ the ball across the pitch. It is basically like normal dribbling on the ground- hence the name. It’s a move that RL pros have been amazing us with since the start of RL. It’s important to note that having 2 or 3 aerial hits without landing isn’t really an air dribble. It’s a double/triple touch aerial (which I might do a tutorial on in the future if there isn’t one already) Air dribbles are useful in all gamemodes. I’ve found they’re the most useful in 1v1 because you need a fair amount of space, especially when you’re first beginning, to get the ball in the air and start dribbling. Because you keep touching the ball in the air, it’s very hard for a defender to predict the flight path- it keeps changing. Added to the fact that you can take the ball to the very top corner, this technique is like holding a toy above a baby’s head and laughing as it cries. So here’s how to do it!
1.Chipping the ball
4.Starting an air dribble
There are four ways to start an air dribble. The first three sections are the prerequisite abilities you will need to start one.
Section 1: Chipping the ball
This section is fairly easy to do. When the ball is rolling towards you on the ground, you can drive into it without jumping to get the ball to jump upwards. If you are travelling fast, the ball will go very high up and quite far forward.
You can press reverse just before you hit the ball to get the effect we want, which is that the ball pops in the air and stays fairly close to you. You can practice this in All-Star striker training, when the cannon rolls the ball along the ground.
Section 2: Bounce dribbling This is a great way to dribble if you have a lot of space in 1v1. It is useful for powerhits (see /u/megachip97 ‘s tutorial HERE) and for starting air dribbles. To do it, chip the ball up very slightly, as we covered in the previous section. Boost into the ball again just after it bounces. You can keep repeating this. The timing is quite hard to get down at first, and it’s much easier with a car with a tall hitbox like the Octane.
This is useful because you can do techniques that require hitting the ball after the bounce like powershots.
You can also get a higher arcing shot by jumping just under the ball- right after it bounces. Markydooda uses a backflip straight after doing this to kill his momentum, but the backflip is not essential for this shot.
If you’re not using a backflip, get used to lifting your nose up (pulling back on LS) when you jump. This means you can fly after the ball to get a second touch or an air dribble.
Section 3: Balance dribbling
This is the harder type of dribbling. The only way to get consistently good at balancing the ball on your car is to practice it in freeplay. Experiment with altering the throttle amount (if you’re on a controller) and feathering the boost (tapping it repeatedly instead of holding it) to balance it.
Balance dribbling is useful because you can juke your opponent with it. Once you get the ball onto your roof, practice jumping or flipping in any direction to see the effect it has on the ball.
Section 4: Wall hits To practice wallhits just go into freeplay and hit the ball up the wall. Then drive up the wall and hit it. For harder hits try and be lower down than the ball when you hit it. Practice them a lot until you can hit the ball from the wall every time (accuracy is less important for if you want to do an air dribble with it)
Section 4: Starting your air dribble Here is where I will cover the four ways to start an air dribble. The easiest way is using bounce dribbling. Do the pop we covered earlier where you jump under the ball when it’s just bounced. Now, as you pull the nose of your car up, instantly start boosting. Aim your car for the bottom of the ball and fly at it. Practice doing this- we’ll cover the actual dribble in the next section.
The next way to start your air dribble is from a balance dribble. Make sure the ball is on the centre of your car, and slightly towards the front. Jump or doublejump as if you were to pop the ball over a defender. But, just like in the last dribble, instantly put your nose up while boosting. This should put your nose in contact with the ball. Note: it’s a lot harder to sustain a long air dribble with this method, because you won’t have the momentum from the bounce dribble start (which effectively works like a powershot).
The next way is to start from a chip. This is very tricky to control and the same method can be used to start an air dribble from a ball that someone else put in the air. This makes the method a lot more useful because you don’t have to have control to start with. Chip the ball up medium height in the air. Fly to it and aim your nose for the bottom of the ball, slightly towards you. This should mean you hit the ball upward and forward. Try and feather your boost so your car doesn’t have much speed when you hit the ball, otherwise you will hit the ball away from you and won’t be able to dribble it. Get a very soft touch.
The next way to start is from the wall. (Technically there are two ways from the wall, but I’ll combine them). For the first method, practice driving up the wall with the ball infront of your nose. Just push it up. Now, jump after you and the ball are on the wall. You want to jump about a second after you go onto the wall, otherwise your car will get stuck on the curve and not leave the wall. You should end up in a perfect position to do an air dribble.
The other way to do an air dribble from the wall is to treat it like a normal wallhit. Instead of flipping off the wall into the ball, however, just jump. Now fly to the ball and hit it gently. (Note: Air dribbles from this start will be slightly different as you will need to guide the ball downward instead of hitting the bottom of the ball- you have plenty of height already)
Section 5: Air control
There’s not much to say in this section. Learning to control your air dribbles is mostly practice and fine car control. A great way to learn to control your car in the air is freestyling- check out THIS TUTORIAL by /u/bits_n_bobs . Some things to note are:
Once you have a decent height, use very little boost. Remember that a little tap of boost can send you quite a distance (in proportion, of course).
When you want to carry the ball forwards, be slightly behind and under the ball. When you are high enough, you can guide the ball in different directions, but remember, if you stop touching the bottom of the ball, gravity will take hold, so only do it at the end of your dribble.
Also, make sure your car is travelling roughly the same speed as the ball. This is essential if you want full control of the ball.
Section 6: Fancy stuff
Once you’ve mastered the basic air dribble, whether from any start or just one, it’s time to get fancy. Something that isn’t fancy but can catch your opponent off guard is to begin an air dribble, but before your second jump runs out, do a front flip for a powerful hit towards goal. If your opponent is expecting an air dribble, they will be stranded as the ball curves gracefully towards their goal with the finesse of a dead swallow coming out of a catapult.
As with freestyles, this part is sort of up to you. You’ll get much further if you go up with a plan for what to do, rather than just flailing about with LS and praying.
Freestyle air dribbles are a thing, and they’re great fun to pull off. Try and only do spins that keep your nose on the ball- if you do a backflip etc. you’ll quickly lose control. The air roll button is your friend.
You can also pull off flicks similar to jukes in balance dribbling. Get the ball under the main part of your car and hold the LS down, or S on keyboard. You should achieve something like
Required watching: Twitch.tv/paschy90 – a streamer who is well known for his air dribbles.Other Rocket League Articles
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