Before diving into the gritty details on how to perform fast and consistent Kuxir pinches, I’d like to make an analogy:
Imagine yourself pressing your finger into a marble. It’s resting on a flat wooden surface. If you apply pressure on the center of the marble, nothing happens. Right?
However, when applying pressure along the marble’s edge, it attempts to escape by rotating away from your finger. The Rocket League physics engine is far from realistic, but a Kuxir pinch behaves similarly to pressing your thumb into a marble.
There are multiple ways of executing a mighty Kuxir pinch. The old-school JZR method of air rolling your car toward the wall works fine. Front flips work, too. Although, if you want consistent and speedy Kuxir pinches, I recommend diagonal flipping from behind the ball.
Now, let’s start with the basics.
Ideally, you want the classic ‘roll the ball across the field and up the wall’ setup, similar to an air dribble or ceiling shot. You’ll want to give yourself a considerable amount of space behind the ball to properly set yourself up for a Kuxir pinch – roughly a distance of three car lengths. A Kuxir pinch doesn’t require precise field placement, but the further back you are in your own half, the easier it becomes to target the enemy net.
There’s a good sideline field marker on each stadium that you can use as a reference for figuring out the right time to jump. Here’s an example:
Use your boost liberally while flying into the wall. You’ll want to ease off your boost before making contact with the ball for more consistent hits and a faster recovery.
The RL community still debates over whether a front flip or diagonal flip is better for pinching. Like I said earlier, I prefer the diagonal flip since it lunges your corner hitbox into the ball with minimal effort. But the truth is that individual situations will dictate which flip will be more effective.
Finally, you’ll want to build a habit of finding a solid recovery after each pinch attempt. Sticking a 4-wheel landing is an essential skill in Rocket League.
Since your goal is to perform consistent Kuxir pinches, I’d like to walk you through step by step by highlighting and correcting each error that can occur while setting up a pinch play.
The majority of RL players believe that pinches and 50/50’s are luck-based – or too chaotic to control. I promise you can wrangle either mechanic like a lion tamer tackles a wild beast. Stick with me, I’ve got photos to illustrate these bullet points coming.
I… understand those smooth-brain feels.
I want to play my part in preserving this beautiful piece of internet history, even if it won’t hold any real value in future centuries. Obviously, Kuxir97 invented the Kuxir pinch. The mechanic bears his name like a crest… But let’s dive deeper.
Kuxir’s real name is Francesco Cinquemani, and he’s arguably the most noteworthy legend to grace the RLCS circuit. He was the first player to tornado spin, an early air dribble adopter, and the first player caught in the wild performing a musty flick. Kuxir built a reputation during Psyonix’s early development days – entering the car soccer scene about a year into the release of SARPBC. Before that, he was a hardcore Tekken fan.
But flying car soccer was far too captivating for our boy Kux to abandon. By the time Rocket League hit the shelves, Kuxir quickly set the pro scene ablaze as the star player for Flipsid3 Tactics, alongside Markydooda and M1k3Rules. They dominated the early metagame – taking home golden trophies for 5 of 7 major events in 2015. No, that’s an understatement. They reached the finals in all 7 Rocket Royales.
Fun Fact: The Batmobile has a slightly different hitbox than every other ‘Plank’ vehicle in the game. That’s because Kuxir issued a complaint about the car shortly after Psyonix created standardized hitbox templates.
But the Kuxir pinch has a more monumental legacy than Kux himself.
Thanks to the plethora of content creators on Youtube, we have about a dozen methods of clean Kuxir pinch execution these days. We can also rest easy knowing that a Kux pinch doesn’t require a Batmobile or Dominus hitbox.
You get the point.
The Kuxir pinch is more than a flashy gimmick mechanic. It has practical uses for jolting the ball past defenders who have committed to challenging yet aren’t close enough to make contact with the ball.
It’s a more common scenario than you might think.
I mostly find myself pinching off of the wall right after opponents attempt a clear. Here’s an example:
The applications are limitless: A good wall pinch is an effective clear. That’s not all. You can blast monstrous saves by pinching the ball into a goalpost.
Most importantly: When deciding where to send the ball, a pinch won’t require meticulous game sense wizardry. Remember, these touches are lightning fast! Enemy on the backboard? Hit the ball high and send the pinch low. Enemy on the ground? Hit the ball low and lunge it upward.
Just take a good look at rotations before attempting a pinch. Cutting too hard across the field is often considered crossing the midline, and if a teammate were already in a position to make a functional hit, you’d likely double commit. Kuxir pinches shine in situations where teammates are gunning for boost pads or hesitating to push forward.
I’ve selected four training packs to aid you on your journey to mastering the Kuxir pinch and all of its variants. We’ll talk about the variants more below. For now, jot down these codes – sorted from easiest to most brutal.
Here’s a beginner-friendly pack that helps players get a feel for proper spacing between their car and the ball when attempting a Kuxir pinch. Here’s what you can expect:
Squishy did a great job of mixing up pinch shots. I consider this the premier training pack for improving the overall mechanic. Here’s what you can expect:
This training pack has six shots that can help push a player to true mastery. Here’s what you can expect:
I like DLG’s pinch training pack because it isn’t trying to replicate what other training packs already have to offer. He opens up with two AztraL pinch setups, which require incredible precision. Each shot sustains that level of difficulty, so you can complete this pack feeling like you’ve improved regardless of your current skill level. Here’s what you can expect:
Once the Kuxir pinch began to dominate the Rocket League meta in 2017, a whole slew of pinches became viable. Pinches genuinely are the most efficient mechanic in the game: High power, low boost consumption, and wildly diverse. Here’s a complete list of possibilities:
Important note: There are some skills you’ll want to master before attempting an AztraL pinch.
Unlike a standard Kuxir pinch, you’ll need highly tuned ball placement skills to pull this pinch off successfully.
The AztraL pinch is a corner pinch executed in an ultra-specific area on the wall – in the enemy half of the field. We can thank the chief map designer, Ben Beckwith, for making this mechanic possible. Notice how the corners of a standard Rocket League map aren’t round? Each corner has two distinct creases. That’s because Ben wanted to add speed to the game by making corner bounces more aggressive.
And touches don’t get any more aggressive than an AztraL pinch.
Setup: To perform an AztraL pinch, you’ll want to roll the ball to the corner wall crease furthest from the goalpost. The closer you are to the edge of the corner, the better your chances are to avoid a rolling ball along the backboard.
Vehicle Positioning: You’ll want to approach the corner from an area within the closest three boost pills surrounding the big corner pad. The closer you are to the diagonal pad, the better.
When jumping, you’ll position your car by air rolling 90 degrees, where the top of your car faces the nearest wall. Ideally, you want the wheels of your car flush and facing the ground.
How to tell if your touch was bad because of poor car positioning:
The Sweet Spot: Hit the ball on the far side (horizontally) and slightly below the center (vertically.)
How to tell if your touch was bad because of a vertical error:
How to tell if your touch was bad because of a horizontal error:
Timing: This is identical to the traditional Kuxir pinch, but I’ll write it out again for the skimmers and the forgetful:
The ideal time to hit the ball is right after it’s rolled past the slope/bell curve on the wall. Here, you’ll find the cleanest, fastest touch, and the ball still has the most momentum. In maps like Mannfield, this is where you see the RL advertisement banners. In maps like Utopia Coliseum, it’s where you see the decorative trim on the wall.
If we tilt our view of the stadium sideways, a pinch from the wall to the ground looks similar to a standard Kuxir pinch. Now, gravity plays a different role here, but I can promise you the shot is still 100% possible and not as tricky as it sounds.
But a ground pinch doesn’t need to be set up from the wall. Any aerial will do. I’d argue that a ground pinch is the best last-ditch effort you can attempt while losing altitude during an air dribble.
To master the ground pinch, practice air rolling to find pinch angles. Flips often cause more complications than anything, since a flip literally makes your car defy the laws of gravity throughout its duration.
You can execute ground pinches while jumping from the ground, too. You’ll need to pre-jump the ball before it reaches its half volley and point your nose toward the ground. If you time your touch perfectly with the moment the ball makes contact with the ground, you’ll get a high-powered touch that resembles the arc seen on a musty flick.
A ceiling pinch is pretty self-explanatory. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of it! A ceiling pinch is a deadly line of offense. When you climb high on the wall, your opponents will likely anticipate a ceiling shot or flip reset, creating an opening for a swift and unexpected pinch shot.
Team pinches are lethal because they can be performed anywhere on the field. They’re still risky since you’ll potentially be knocking two of your teammates out of the play, but when you find yourself out of position, a team pinch can become a powerful improvisation play at higher ranks.
Ideally, you want to communicate beforehand.
One player needs to face the opponent’s net, and the other player must smack the ball with as much force as possible. If executed correctly, both players will make contact with the ball simultaneously and squeeze it with more power than an elephant stomping on a bottle of toothpaste.
If both players are charging at the ball, the player who makes contact second will need to face the enemy goal to generate a shot.
Allegedly, Pulse Fire holds the world record for the fastest unmodded Kuxir pinch, knocking in a goal at a whopping 209 MPH.
Note: I found it annoying to shuffle through clickbait videos and modded replays. Someone may have annihilated this record without picking up any recognition. Anyway, 209 MPH is plenty powerful enough to illustrate the sheer power of the mechanic.
Importance Rating: B-
In each of my RL guides, I grade the importance of learning each mechanic. It helps newer players feel less overwhelmed by the sheer number of mechanics there are to master in Rocket League. So here’s a quick synopsis:
Scoring a pinch goal is a mega-niche trick shot that requires a ton of time and devotion to truly master. Learning to control a pinch, on the other hand, poses a ton of opportunities for fixing your in-game mistakes.
But consider this: It’s difficult to recover from a failed pinch. You’ll want to get comfortable and consistent before adding pinches to your gameplay arsenal. You’ll also need to be aware of the fact that you’re effectively throwing away possession with every pinch you land. If you face off against an opponent who gives you plenty of space, avoid pinching.
Don’t expect to pull off a successful pinch if the opponent is close enough to 50/50, either. You’ll need at least 5 feet of space to whip one of these bad boys out of your back pocket.
But those in-between moments are more frequent than you may realize. Slow down, catch your breath, and observe the play. If you find yourself in a lobby where opponents push for the ball constantly and push to the front post while defending, a solid Kuxir pinch will make your opponents respect your space in an instant. There’s no denying the power of that.
You’ll gain stability on the pitch. You’ll infuse your game sense with a signature style and unmistakable flair. You’ll be one step closer to clawing through the ranks of Rocket League.
Much love, my rocketeers! Thanks for reading.