Becoming the Best Rocket League Player You Can Be – The Theory Behind Learning in Rocket League

Becoming the Best Rocket League Player You Can Be – The Theory Behind Learning in Rocket League


Hello, everyone – I’m Pasadena. I’m an experienced coach under the Rocket League Coaching Discord. I have coached many people both in and outside of the server, and I like to consider myself a good coach, with a fantastic approach to individual learning styles and understanding my mentees. In this editorial, I’ll be writing a piece on the theory of learning in Rocket League – follow this piece wisely, and use it to make the most out of receiving coaching, practising and improving in Rocket League.

How To Get Good At Rocket League – A New Perspective

Firstly, I’d like to introduce you to a new perspective of learning in Rocket League. This will help you to make sense of my understanding of skillsets seen in different ranks. Like any skill, we improve mainly through practise and through observation. Rocket League is subject to many variations of plays, styles and scenarios due to it being a physics-based game.

Consider the following: for the first time in an online match, you see somebody air dribble, this maneuver manages to shatter your defenses and award the opposing team with a goal. Now that you’ve seen someone make this play, you know that such plays are possible, and will be mindful of them in the future. As you become more and more resilient to these air dribble attacks, your opponents will adapt accordingly, and will try to create nuances in this play to beat you once more, such as faking the air dribble or blocking the clear. The competitive meta is a constant tug-of-war, and in order to succeed, you should be mindful of this – make note of any plays that outwit you and learn to defend against them: consider your actions.

How To Get Good At Rocket LeagueSuppose now that we liken the skillsets within Rocket League to the alphabet, and place them in order of difficulty, in arbitrary fashion. For example, A could be analog stick control, B could be flipping, and K could be ceiling shots. If we were to list every minute detail about Rocket League in this, of course we’d need close to an infinite number of letters to work with, so we’ll try to keep it down.

Rocket League SkillsetsI believe, although it evolves as the meta changes, that each rank encompasses a specific few of these letters. Perhaps Bronze encompasses A, B and C. I also believe that you should imagine this alphabet to be foundational, such that you must achieve C before D, D before E, and so on and so forth. Now that you have this in your mind, let’s move ahead.

Understanding the Rocket League Meta for Your Tier


  • For further understanding, you can assume each of the skills to have sub-sets of their own, such as A{A,B,C…}, B{A,B,C…} so on and so forth if you wish to imagine it that way.
  • I am a Grand Champion player myself, and through observation at lower ranks, it is clear that whilst there is a large variance in microgame, macrogame (see Applicability for terminology) is certainly consistent within their respective ranks, and should be considered if you feel like you’ve hit a wall.
  • To go into more detail about the foundational skills: I believe that in order to understand and counter an offense or defense, you need to understand what exactly is under inspection in the first place. For example, a Silver player will not understand backboard defensive maneuvers if they don’t understand why backboard shots are so effective, from not having encountered them in their games. As such, backboard defense would never be part of the Rocket League meta if they were deemed not worthy of a counter.

How To Rank Up In Rocket League – Understanding The Four Stages of Competency

In psychology, the four stages of competence, or the “conscious competencelearning model, relates to the psychological states involved in the process of progressing from incompetence to competence in a skill. Source: Wikipedia.

Stages Of Competence

If you’re serious about wanting to improve in Rocket League, you should learn to love this triangle, and also understand it. I will refer to the four sections in 1a as UC, CC, CI and UI for their respective acronyms.

  • Unconscious Incompetence (UI) – Does not understand or know how to do something and does not recognize the deficit
  • Conscious Incompetence (CI) – Does not understand or know how to do something, but recognizes the deficit
  • Conscious competence (CC) – Understands and knows how to do something. Performing task requires concentration
  • Unconscious competence (UC) – The skill has become second nature and can be performed easily

Consider the aforementioned Bronze player, whose play encompasses skills A, B and C. Skills like E, say wall shots, will remain in the red zone, or UI for this player. UI, or Unconscious Incompetence, is whereby you are making mistakes and you are unaware of them or not implementing the skill at all. Eternally toxic players will remain in red, since they fail to realise their own mistakes and blame others for them. Don’t be this kind of player; it is disruptive to your learning and your teammates’ experiences. If you ever feel like you’ve hit a ‘wall’ in Rocket League, then you’re probably in UI about something – get someone to check it out! It is also worth noting that you will remain in UI regarding plays you’ve not encountered before, or were totally unable to stop – you learn nothing from a play not actually beating your defense, but rather you being miles away from it in the first place. A failure to realise this is endemic within Rocket League coaching, as a plethora of inquisitive and ambitious souls request to play Solo Duel against a high-rated player, and tell their masochistic minds that they learnt something in the process of being beaten 14 to 0 – it helps no one: remember these skills are foundational.

Now consider the Bronze player tackling skill D: basic dribbling. This player may very well have mastered A, B and C, but are very much in the orange zone: Conscious Incompetence; CI. To be in CI regarding a skill means to be aware of your mistakes/that you’re making them. This differs from UI, since the learner is aware of their mistakes. There are a few sub-stages to UI to consider:

  • Low-UI: I am aware that I am making a mistake.
  • Medium-UI: I am aware that I am making a mistake, and what that mistake is.
  • High-UI: I am aware that I am making a mistake, what the mistake is and how to rectify it.

Talking to a Rocket League Expert Will Only Get You To CI

It is important to understand that coaching, through means such as replay analysis or study, can only take you to the top-end of CI; a coach cannot put the hours in for you, and neither can they help you much when it comes to the yellow or green zones. Take note of this in your mind; make the most out of your coaching by making sure you are at the top end of UI before finishing your session with them – any good coach should be able to illustrate this. A good coach will make you aware of a few improvements can and should be made at your level; a good mentee will process this information and apply themselves to it, returning only when they feel they’re comfortably competent with the skill they were previously working on. Receiving coaching every day, or trying to improve too fast, will only work to your detriment.

To demonstrate the yellow zone, Conscious Incompetence: CC, we’ll consider skill C. Let’s imagine that our Bronze friend hasn’t quite mastered C yet, but is well on their way. If they are diligent, they’ll be consciously competent during their games regarding skill C. What does this mean? Well, in order to break a bad habit or establish a new one, whether it be muscle memory or mode of thinking, you must resist the urge to do so, and implement the new one appropriately. CC is just this; CC is actively and consciously thinking about making decisions in game in order to become better at implementing it. This can be tricky, daunting and quite disruptive – it will be very disruptive to begin with. With time, however, you will more quickly be able to implement this skill competently in game, until it becomes a nearly unconscious.

But wait – there’s more. What about green: Unconscious Competence; UC? This process sort of happens dynamically. You will achieve UC when you no longer have to think about completing an action, or you do so for such a short time that it’s negligible – do you have to consciously think about holding accelerate?

I hope not.

Rocket League Expert

If you follow this process of coaching, either through the RLCD, or by yourself, and getting to the top of CI, then grinding through to the top of CC, up until UC, then I promise that you will make far more use out of your hours, and will likely improve much more quickly than your peers. Do your best to keep your whiffs excuse-free and understand why each and every play occurred in the fashion it did. Save your replays and look at what skills are being used against you. Play against people slightly above your rating and try to see what tactics they’re implementing that are giving you trouble. If you take up the mantle and do these things, then you will be in a fantastic position to fly through those ranks – one red skill might just be the difference between Platinum III and Diamond I.

If you consider the picture above, you’ll see two coaches from the RLCD approving this method of learning.

Applying This Theory To All Rocket League Ranks

Where else can I apply this understanding in Rocket League? Well, everywhere. I like to separate Rocket League into two types of game or sections: microgame and macrogame.

With each type being incredibly important in understanding the patterns within your respective rank and figuring out why you’re there.

Microgame covers all things mechanical and configurable, from your ability to flick the ball to the configuration of your deadzone and camera settings. Microgame is incredibly important to keep on top of, both to keep the game enjoyable and consistent. Professional players are incredibly in-tune with their microgame, and it really comes as a result of a lot of practise, which means lots of hours if you want to be on their level. Microgame is still subject to time-use-efficiency, though: use your time efficiently to practise on specific mechanical aspects of the game, and you’ll once again be ahead of the game.

It is important to not put too much emphasis on improving your microgame, or mistaking poor macrogame for poor microgame and vice versa. There are many players trapped within their rank despite their microgame being excellent, and this can happen to the best of us if we become stuck in a rut. Practise fundamental and exotic mechanics ad infinitum, paying attention to the levels of competency, and you will succeed.

Macrogame microgameMacrogame asserts itself within the deeper understanding of the game: rotation, where and when to flick the ball and why we do these things. Macrogame is arguably a more important factor of your rank, as is exhibited in the Solo Duel playlist. Improving your macrogame, thankfully, requires far less time than your microgame, although it demands a deeper understanding. Coaches and more experienced players will be well-equipped to explain the macrogame observed in your respective ranks – and how to conquer it.

A brilliant way to improve your macrogame over time is to play conscientiously: pay extra close attention to your teammates; analyse the play; be a hawk on the field. Aside from explicit tutorials regarding macrogame, even watching professional players’ games and taking notes is a marvellous way to improve your understanding. If you use your time rightly, then you can quickly become a macrogame connoisseur; if you don’t, you cannot expect to improve, be this with -or without- a coach.

In Conclusion

In order to take full advantage of this method of learning, first make sure you understand the content fully. Read and re-read any parts you lack understanding of, or ask for explanations via other mediums, such as aural ones, if needed.

Make sure to schedule yourself. If you wish to coach yourself or be coached, then create a schedule. It doesn’t have to be fancy, or rigorous – just make a promise to yourself that you’ll commit to this style of learning on a regular basis.

Do not play too much; it’s very easy to become overly engaged with the gripping story of Rocket League (and uncover the mystery of those weird egg people) and play for a few too many hours. Regular breaks will ensure you have time to process the information. In the event of tilting or losing your nerve, then take some time out to consider your situation before trying again.

Finally, if you’re set on improving at Rocket League, then use all resources at your disposal. There are plenty of training maps, tutorials, coaches and altruistic minds out there who’d be happy to help. Have some humility – do not miss out on an opportunity to learn! Visit the RLCD for a myriad of resources and such persons, and engage with the community discussion, if you dare.

For all you teachers and learners out there, here’s a couple of quotes to send you away with.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.” – Brad Henry

Good luck; have fun.

About Author

Pasadena is a Grand Champion level Rocket League player and RLCD Coach. She has been a Grand Champion and top 100 player since Season 3. She is a regular on our discord and a incredible coach and analyzer of Rocket League play. She is also a great resource for tweaking your Rocket League Camera and Display Settings.

The Rocket League Pro Camera Settings, Controller, and FPS Guide for PC Players

The Rocket League Pro Camera Settings, Controller, and FPS Guide for PC Players

Hi all. Chupa49 here again with another guide. This post is all about Rocket League Pro Camera Settings, Controller Settings, and how to optimize your frames per second (FPS) on PC. When I provide Rocket League Coaching to new players on PC I always run through a technical review of the players settings before I dive into a coaching sessions. I had a template I would go through as I’m a pretty process oriented person. I wanted to share my technical guide with you all today so you can implement several of the optimization steps I go through with players everyday.

Rocket League Camera Settings

One of the first things I will see with new or low tier players is some have never changed their camera settings. The default camera settings are frankly piss poor for higher level play and do not provide the adequate field vision you need in order to see most of the field. The major issue with camera settings is there are so many out there and the settings feature is pretty diverse so it’s difficult to find one that works for you. Let’s break down each setting first then I will go into best camera settings and pro camera settings.

Rocket League Camera Settings

Camera Shake

This option toggles camera shake when you make goals, hit the ball hard, demo someone, or get demo’ed yourself. It should be the first thing that you turn off when modifying your camera settings.

Camera FOV

Camera FOV adjusts how much width you can see. Think of this like your cone of vision. You can see more of the field with a higher FOV. Gameplay will feel slower with a lower FOV and faster with a higher FOV.

Camera Distance

The option adjusts distance behind your car and where the camera will be. With a higher camera distance, you can see more of what is behind the ball because the camera is further away from you and less obstructed by your car.

Camera Height

This option adjusts the distance the camera is positioned above your car. The higher the camera height, the higher the camera will be be above your car. At higher distances this can provide a bird’s eye view of the field at the sacrifice of precise movement for the player.

Camera Angle

This setting will adjust the angle at which the camera is viewing your car. If you adjust this to the max you will have a more bird’s eye view which can make it harder to align shots. If the angle is too low you may not have a good view of the field in front of you.

Camera Stiffness

This adjusts how loose the camera is when following your car. At lower settings the camera will zoom out far when you are moving at fast speeds. At higher settings, the camera will be more rigid. Most players tend to just leave this at default.

Camera Swivel Speed

This is the sensitivity of the camera. Adjusting this will affect how fast the camera turns. The higher the setting the easier it will be for you to see the action as fast as possible. If you have it on lower settings, the camera will turn slower so you can have more control over what you are looking at exactly.

Camera Transition Speed

This is a new feature as of the Autumn 2017 update. This setting updates how quickly the camera transitions between ball camera and the default camera. At the highest setting, the camera will transition nearly instantaneous. The default setting for this is 1 and I believe most players have not adjusted this because it’s a newer update to Rocket League. Since this is a newer feature I have supplied at video from ItsJPwnAge so you can see what it does first hand.

Invert Swivel Pitch

This changes the up/down movement of the right stick. I’m a super old school combat flight simulator gamer from the X-wing/Wing Commander days so I have this on inverted. It’s all personal preference for you on what to pick.

Hold Ball Camera

If you turn this on you will need to hold the ball camera button to keep ball camera on. Most pros have this option turn off.

Ball Cam Indicator

Turns on the red ball cam indicator on the bottom right in-game

Ball Arrow

This is the white arrow that shows up in-game that tells you where the ball is when it is outside of your field of vision. This is a helpful tool and should be left on.

The Best Rocket League Camera Settings

Before I go into various settings, let’s first talk about what makes a good camera setting for the game. The best rocket league settings have the following:

  • They provide the players with enhanced field of vision without hampering car movement. Field of vision that is too great will lead to sluggish camera movement and loss of precision
  • The camera settings are low enough where you have precision on ball specific skills like dribbling and fakes, but high enough when you can see more of the field
  •  If you are new to camera setting adjustments, focus on FOV, distance, and stiffness to start as these are the most important camera settings to change

Rocket League Pro Camera Settings

When players are lost on what settings to go with, I usually ask if they subscribe or admire any current Rocket League Pros. The reason why I ask this is because pros have spent countless of hours increasing their skill set and knowledge in the game. They fine tune their camera settings to work best for their play style. If you admire a certain pros then there are likely two things going on here:

  1. You like their style of play so their camera settings will suit the play style you will eventually prefer
  2. You watch their tutorial videos or streams so if you use the same camera settings as them it is easier for you to pick up what they are reading and mimic how they play

I’m going to supply several Rocket League Pro camera settings to get you start so you can experiment. You can find a good list of camera settings on the team liquid wiki here if you want see the full list

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Rocket League Controller Settings

The next section I go over with the players I coach are controller settings. The default controller settings are not ideal for high level play as the setup does not provide easy access to buttons and controls for high level maneuvers. Below are the two most common settings I have players switch to.

FunctionPS3/PS4 ControllerXBox Controller
Power SlideSquare or L1X or LB
Air RollL1LB
Roll Right or LeftOB

What Is The Best Controller For Rocket League?

You have several controller options when it comes to playing Rocket League. In my mind there are only 4 controllers that you should consider for Rocket League competitive play:

Best Controller For Rocket League

  • PS4 Controller – This is the preferred controller for Rocket League Pros. Also known as DS4 on forums. Works seamlessly with Rocket League on PC so you can just plug in the controller directly to your USB port without 3rd party software.
  • XBox One Controller – Good responsiveness and naturally compatible with other games
  • Xbox 360 Controller – Another good choice
  • PS3 Controller – Otherwise known as dual shock 3 (DS3)

Rocket League Controller Deadzone Adjustments

After getting the buttons changes, the next step is modifying the deadzone type. Within steam there is an option to change your dead zone settings for Rocket League that will increase the diagonal range for your controller. This will provide a slight speed increase to your turning. It might not seem like much, but in Rocket League any slight advantage you can provide yourself will add up. The first thing we want to do is change the deadzone type of your controller to square in Steam

How To Change Your Deadzone Type To Square In Steam

In order to change your deadzone type, you will need to enter big picture mode in steam. The big picture mode option in steam is located on the top right of your steam console as shown in the screenshot below:

How to Change Your Deadzone Type To Square In Steam

Once in big picture mode, select the gear icon on your screen:

Steam Big Picture Mode

Select Rocket League:

Steam Big Picture Mode Rocket League

Now go to the Gear Icon that says manage game. Click on Controller Configuration:

Steam Controller Configuration

While in the controller configuration you will see your controller layout the two points of interest here will be the Joystick Move for the left and right analog sticks. Let’s click on the left one so I can show you how to change the deadzone type:

Steam Big Picture Mode Controller Bindings

Now we are getting into the juicy stuff :). Go ahead and click on Additional settings button on the bottom left. Here we will want to click on deadzone shape and change it to square. The default will likely be on cross.

Steam Dead Zone Shape Square

That is usually all I mess with here. There are other things you can change here like the stick response curve. It defaults to Linear. You can change it to aggressive to get a really sensitive analog stick, but personally I found this hard to get used to as I was having trouble aiming shots and my half flips were getting jacked up with the sensitivity. Once you have these settings saved, you can disable Steam’s big picture and still use the controller configurations.

Adjusting Your Deadzone Settings Within Rocket League

After you have updated your deadzone settings on steam, the next step is to update your deadzone settings within the options menu of Rocket League. Doing so affects the deadzone in-game and makes controls more sensitive for you. The default setting tends to be not as responsive as you are going to like.

Rocket Legaue Controller Deadzone

I would suggest updating the controller deadzone to .15 to start then adjusting from there. There is another feature called Dodge deadzone that you can modify as well. The Dodge deadzone has been a new update from Rocket League and most players do not know about it yet. I keep mine at default. Some players have reported that increasing the dodge deadzone down minimizes back flipping. The lower you set it the more sensitive the dodges will be. Since this is a newer feature of the game, I have provided a video from Shmootz that goes into more detail:

The Rocket League FPS Guide – How to set up Rocket League for Max Frames per Second (FPS)

Frames per second or FPS is a big deal in rocket league. The smoother the game plays for you the easier it will be for you to be responsive during key moments in the game. Not a lot of guides I have seen go over this in detail and this is something I check out with anyone I coach. I want to ensure your rig and game are set up optimally so you do not have any feelsbad moments in the game when your FPS suck or you lack the hardware for the best responsive experience.

Increasing the Rocket League FPS Cap

The first thing we need to do is increase the FPS Cap to the max. Go to the options button in game and within the options window go to the Video Tab. In the video tab go to max FPS. Turn that max FPS to 250.

Rocket League FPS Cap

Adjusting Graphical Settings to Avoid FPS Drops

Increase the FPS cap is a great start, but we need to optimize your graphical settings to ensure you have maximum performance throughout your gaming session. We want to avoid a big graphical load on your graphic card, which would lead to FPS drops. GPU software does a horrible job of “optimizing” the game for performance, so we are going to want to do this manually.

Vertical Sync

Vertical Sync or “Vsync” syncs your GPU with your monitors frame rate. This keeps frames from display evenly and prevents screen tearing. Vsync is a hotly debated topic among gamers. Personally, I just turn the option off even though I only have a 144 hz monitor. Most folks I talked to say keeping it on produces input lag and input lag is something you want to avoid.

Anti Alias

Run at FXAA low. MLAA for Rocket League does not provide much of a difference yet requires a lot of performance from your GPU. The graphical differences between off and FXAA is huge so I would not change that unless you have a low end PC.

Render Quality

Set this to high quality. The game does not look good without it. Only go with quality if you have a low end PC.

Texture Detail

This setting does not drag your frames per second performance down. You can probably keep this at 100% and be fine.

World Detail

Some players turn this off to avoid the detraction of additional background details. You will see less trees and less detail in the background if you set this to performance. Turn it off for max performance.

High Quality Shaders

Pretty much a must to keep on as the game does not look very good without it. Only turn off if you have a low performance PC.

Ambient Occlusion

This just provides extra shadows. Aesthetics for the price of FPS performance. I would recommend that you turn this off.

Depth of Field

Keep on, with it turned off the end of the field looks blurry when they are far away. Turning on the setting mimic real life. This is a video game so I would like to keep my super human vision thank you very much.


It enhances the lights of the game. For maps like Champions Field this may be distracting. It would be a good idea to turn off. It’s more of an aesthetic change then FPS related.

Light Shafts

This adds sunlight glare when you are going up for aerials. Probably a good idea to turn this off. It does not have a FPS performance affect, but it may cause game play issues.

Lens Flare

Similar to Light Shafts. Another option you probably should turn off to avoid any game play related issues.

Dynamic Shadows

This is useful as you use the shadows to to give you information on the field. However, it does have a major impact on FPS performance. I would recommend turning this off if you have a low-end PC rig.

Motion Blur

Oh god turn this off! I want my vision clear when I’m running at full speed. No FPS performance impact but it hurts the game play experience.

Weather Effects

Turn it off. It distracts you when playing and has a FPS affect. It looks nice, but in competitive play all I care about is optimizing and keeping my FPS from dropping. 

Monitoring Your FPS Performance

There are two ways to monitoring your FPS performance:

  • Download a tool like Overwolf. I am a big fan of overwolf as it not only tracks my FPS performance but it also displays the MMR ratings of the opponents I’m playing online
  • Turn on the the FPS counter on Steam with the settings menu. To do this in steam go to settings>ingame then go to the In-Game FPS counter and toggle it on.

While in-game check the FPS counter. Hopefully, you stay above the 144 FPS mark. If you are dropping frames during gameplay, look at the settings again and adjust as you need to. The key is to keep you above the 144 FPS mark throughout your entire gaming session so you can take advantage of your monitor’s capabilities and have slack for frame drops.

The Case for 144 hz Monitors

If you are really serious about Rocket League competitive play, I would highly suggest upgrading to a 144 hz monitor. A 144 hz monitor vs a 60 hz monitor helps you because the higher refresh rates makes everything look both faster and smoother. It makes a world of difference and frankly it is really hard to go back once you make the change. Pretty much all pro gamers these days are rocking at least 144 hz monitors as of the date of this post. It is worth every penny to invest. As I said before, some of these changes since marginal, but in sum they all add up. Rocket League and e-sports in general is a game of pixels and frames per second. Any advantage you can get you should take.

When shopping for a new gaming monitor, you will want to look at the input lag and responsive time of the monitoring. Ideally, you will want an input lag figure less or equal to 7ms and a response time of less than or equal to 1ms. Some gaming monitors these days market a 0 ms input lag.

About Author

Chupa49 is part of the RLCD.GG website staff. He joined us as a Challenger 1 back in Season 3. As of the beginning of season 6, he is a Diamond 3 player. He has benefited from the discord server by getting coached by several members. As a part of giving back to the community that has helped him get to a tier he never thought was possible, he wrote up this guide to help out many others in his situation with very limited time and with no direction to go to find the right type of settings that help optimize their gaming experience. Chupa49 has also published a detailed rocket league training pack guide for players ranked diamond and below.