The definitive wavedash guide: Everything you need to know for effective wavedashes in Rocket League.

The Definitive Wavedash Guide:
Everything You Need to Know For Effective Wavedashes in Rocket League!

What is A Wavedash in Rocket League?

We shamelessly nabbed the term wavedash from the Smash Bros. community, but our top Rocketeers made phenomenal use of it. In Rocket League, a wavedash refers to any flip animation interrupted by the ground. There are hundreds of wavedash exploits, enough to make Mr. Octane and his pals look downright silly.

After wavedashing, your car still receives the extra nudge in speed from a flip – without being forced to float around in mid-flip orbit for an extended duration.

Wavedashes have massive potential to speed up your game. Paired with a powerslide landing, they’ll also help you preserve momentum while traveling in otherwise impossible angles.

Wavedash basics: The cloud of smoke we've circled represents the immediate distance traveled from a successful wavedash.

Why is Wavedashing Useful?

The majority of wavedashes we see today sprout from the whims of freestylers. A good wavedash adds a personal touch of flair to anyone’s gameplay.

But they serve practical purposes, too.

I first burrowed into the world of wavedashes to add a zest of pepper to my dribbling game. I bet most of you popped in here for the same reason.

Opponent drives in to challenge a flick, but gets faked by a wavedash! Rocket League meme.

A well-executed wavedash-catch can fake defenders so ferociously they’re liable to cry themselves to sleep for months.

There’s no doubt about it: Wavedashes create filthy combos with solid dribbling skills. It’s almost unfair for anyone on the receiving end.

Although…

Now that I’ve perfected the art, I find myself more appreciative of more nuanced wavedash applications.

You’re perpetually forced to pressure opponents with speedy forward pushes in high-ranked lobbies. A full flip lunges your car into no man’s land – due to restricted maneuverability throughout the flip’s span. A mindful opponent will notice you in mid-flip, then knock the ball somewhere out of reach.

When a play is developing, it’s ideal to remain in adaptable situations. The opponent’s upcoming plans are still uncertain if he’s gobbled up possession and hasn’t launched a counter-attack yet. You don’t want to give him too much space to make an effective attack, either. So, a wavedash fits the bill perfectly.

Players who can't wavedash. Option 1: Push forward and look like an idiot. Option 2: Wait in net and get clipped on.

Wavedashes provide an excellent solution for reeling yourself into a play you’ve distanced yourself too far from.

Better yet, wavedashing from off the wall works wonders for reducing recovery time – compared to dawdling back down the wall before cutting in-field. Wavedashing from off of the wall proves advantageous in all ranks. For more detailed info, here’s an article on wall reads.

Wavedashes also help you whip out some ninja demolitions, too. You’ll catch a handful of opponents off-guard by reaching supersonic speeds at the very last second.

Ideal Air Roll Bindings for Wavedashes

Before drafting the finer details, let’s preface with some backend controller schematics.

Wavedashes are a mechanic that requires you to bind ‘Air Roll Left’ and ‘Air Roll Right’ to your controller/keyboard.

By default, Psyonix doesn’t tether these controls to any buttons. Directional air roll is one of Rocket League’s best-kept secrets. You’ll have to dive into your settings menu:

  1. Scroll to the controls tab.
  2. Click into controller bindings. 
  3. Search for “Air Roll Left” and “Air Roll Right.”
  4. Manually bind each input.
Visual of Rocket League settings menu and controller bindings. Air roll left and right are highlighted.

I recommend binding each input to its corresponding bumper or overlapping air roll right with your powerslide button. Why overlap? Because powerslide only helps on the ground. Air roll only helps in mid-flight. Plus, wavedashes often require powerslide landings anyway.

Note: While fiddling with your controls, remember that it’s best to have access to both boost and powerslide simultaneously.

How to Execute A Wavedash in Rocket League

Here’s the easiest wavedash method: Jump, tilt your car back, then cling to your front flip until the back two wheels have already made contact with the ground.

Rocket League is plagued with notoriously floaty jump physics, but you can execute faster wavedashes by exaggerating your backward tilt. Aim your nose upward by 60-70 degrees, and your back wheels will touch the ground earlier. 

Your car pivots through the air from a central point on its hitbox. So, further tilts land faster. Think of it like slanting an axis.

Visualizing mid-air axis tilt: In Rocket League. gravity only directly affects the center of your car. Notice how tilting the car back makes the vehicles center of gravity appear to shift.

Even with an exaggerated tilt, you might notice basic wavedashes are buoyant – and painfully slow. Let me run you through a step-by-step guide to building a more potent wavedash:

First, you’ll want to practice short hops. Shorter jumps augment a wavedash’s speed and efficiency. Short hops also reduce your failure rate. Remember, you only have about a second and a half before your flip timer expires. 

Short hops are a simple concept. The lighter you tap your jump button, the less air you’ll get. Aim for lightning-fast taps, faster than humanly possible… 

Then try to tap even softer.

Visual graphic of the height difference between a short hop and a standard hop.

Next, practice pointing your nose to the ground through the early stages of your wavedash. Use this time to burn a small spurt of boost. 5-10 boost is plenty. That’ll help negate the natural floatiness of a jump.

Afterward, you’ll need to reorient your vehicle nimbly. Adjust your car until the back two wheels still smash into the ground first. Once you line up those back wheels, you’ve found your golden opportunity to wavedash.

If done correctly, you’ll send your car through the motions of a wave, hence the mechanic’s namesake

That might sound like a lot of extra work, but each step adds a sliver of haste to your wavedash.

Here comes the most critical tip of all: 

The cunning of this mechanic lies in the ability to hold powerslide while landing. Once you’ve mastered that, you can maintain your momentum in any direction – facing sideways, backward, or diagonally.

Wavedashes pride themselves on flexibility. There’s nothing flexible about constantly wavedashing directly in front of you. We want to move in all directions.

After a bit of training with air rolls, you’ll be able to conduct diagonal wavedashes after a single wheel makes contact with the ground. Likewise, you can wavedash right by tilting your car until your left two wheels smack the astroturf (and vice versa.)

With a modest amount of practice fine-tuning your flip direction, you can add some forward momentum to wavedashes with a sideways setup, too.

The possibilities are boundless. Experiment with all the flip and angle combinations you can. You can even wavedash straight backward.

Combine all these tips, and you’ll master a skill that helps you stay relevant in any play. That’s the magic of conquering on-field recoveries!

Wavedashing With Ballcam

If you struggle driving on the wall or jumping for aerials coming in from behind, you’ll likely have difficulty wavedashing while in ballcam.

Don’t beat yourself up about it. 

Practice in-game. Spice up those moments when you’re rotating out of the play, collecting boost pads, or any time it feels safe to make a mistake.

It’s natural to spend some time nailing your muscle memory through regular-ol’ car cam! Once wavedashes become second nature, you can add ballcam into the equation.

The Complete List of Advanced Wavedash Techniques

Here’s where things get interesting, but let me be clear about something: 

Advanced wavedash techniques serve no rigid mechanical purpose. They only marginally improve your gameplay. These techniques are almost exclusively for adding unnecessary elegance to your movement.

A string of rapid-fire wavedashes may sound swift, but they’re strictly worse than a [speed flip] because you’re surrendering your wavedash’s natural fluidity to conduct a chain. More importantly, the extra momentum you gain from chained wavedashes is primarily sideways – essentially negating the previous wavedash.

Advanced wavedashes serve two functions: high-level fakes and flexing flashy top-tier mechanical skills on unsuspecting victims.

But graceful car-soccer goals are still pretty dang cool, right? So, let’s take a gander at the possibilities. I’ll include some image slideshows with the advanced dashes that warrant deeper analysis.

Double/Triple Dashes:

Double dashes have decent faking benefits, but it’s a lot of extra effort for a subtle fake that players in most skill brackets won’t notice. 

Theoretically, you could weave together as many wavedashes as you’d like using this method, but the window of opportunity gets smaller with each dash. Three seems to be the limit for most.

You can execute double wavedashes by landing a solitary back wheel on the ground and flipping diagonally toward the wheel furthest from it. You want to elevate your other back wheel pretty high in the air, almost high enough that you’ll fail the dash entirely and do an ugly diagonal flip that scrapes against the ground. 

This particular wavedash generates a powerful recoil, and you’ll see the wheel that initiated the wavedash pogo off of the ground. Flip the opposite direction before that wheel lands. Then, repeat the process in the opposite direction, if you’d like.

Your timing needs to be prompt. The recoil from each dash isn’t very high, so you only get a fraction of a second to commit to the extra dash. Don’t beat yourself up for missing a bunch. 

You’ll know when you screw up your timing because you’ll do a dry hop and float around feeling like an idiot.

The Horse Dash:

This wavedash is utterly useless, but if you want to turn your car into a motionless rocking horse, you abso-freakin-lutely can.

  • Land on a back corner wheel
  • Wavedash straight forward
  • Land on the opposite front corner wheel
  • Wavedash straight backward
  • Repeat

The trick is finding the right flip angle that won’t cause your car to hover, similar to a double/triple wavedash, except this dash rocks back and forth.

Chain Dashes:

On the ground, you can chain same-direction wavedashes by doing rapid double-tap jumps followed by an air roll. Generally, chain dashes are sideways or diagonal wavedashes.

It helps to reverse your thinking for the chain dash. Open up with a dry hop.

Think of the first jump input as the wavedash. The second is an additional short hop. Once your car looks like it’s ready to land, double-tap again to send your car floating. As long as your second tap is sharp enough, you can sequence these dashes until you run out of field space. However, if your inputs are sluggish, you’ll hover too long, and your flip timer will expire.

Thanks to chain dashing, you can move your car supersonic sideways. The trail appears and everything.

Constantly keep your powerslide held down to avoid extra timing hurdles. The moment you land without holding powerslide, every ounce of your momentum disappears.

It may take a few days to master the timing, but players of any rank are capable of chain dashing.

Waddle Dashes:

Waddle dashes are the lovechild of a chain dash and double dash. 

Waddle dashes are a little flowier (and slothful) than a standard double dash. You go through the same motions, but you want to allow yourself to jump a little higher and exaggerate your air roll more.

If done correctly, you’ll consistently keep your car hobbling around on two wheels, tilted from left to right.

The timing is similar to a chain dash: Brisk double-tap jumps upon landing.

The Hel-Jump:

Helvetia Gaming announced a new mechanic where players can have an infinite jump timer from the ground. 

You can achieve a wheelie by plunging the nose of your car into the ground and following up with an empty jump input.

When coupled with holding down powerslide, the wheelie pops a little higher…

Now, by adding a whole lot of boost into the mix, you can launch your car into mid-air with a permanent flip in reserve.

Some extra tips:

  • Tilt your car downward by 45 degrees.
  • Don’t accelerate. It’ll reduce your recoil.
  • Consume boost while diving your front wheels into the ground to add more recoil.
  • Use your empty jump slightly before your back wheels reach the ground.
  • You won’t get your flip if you jump too early because all 4 wheels won’t contact the ground.
  • If you jump too late, you won’t go wheelie high enough to launch.

A Hel-Jump isn’t a wavedash on its own, but you can utilize a wavedash with the free extra jump, which freestylers adore. The Hel-Jump also forms the basis of our next advanced wavedash trick.

The Sonic Flip:

The sonic flip bears inspirational roots. A silver-ranked player discovered it in training. He wound up getting a ton of love on social media afterward.

The sonic flip has an incredibly niche use as the quickest way to reach supersonic when you’re completely boost starved.

At its core, the sonic flip is a more practical variant of a Hel-Jump. (The sonic flip doesn’t consume boost, whereas the Hel-Jump consumes a boatload.)

A sonic flip is a full front flip followed immediately by a dry hop. Again, the empty jump causes your front two wheels to pop off the ground. You can use this boostless wheelie to perform a forward wavedash. These motions are guaranteed to send you into supersonic speed if done correctly.

The wheelie itself might require isolated rehearsal. Here’s a brief guide:

You’ll want to jump and point your front two wheels directly at the ground. When your front wheels land, they’ll recoil back upwards. The recoil thrusts your back wheels onto the ground, resetting your flip timer.

Tap jump with no directional inputs while your front wheels are first beginning to lift. You’ll do the boostless wheelie.

Voila! The opportunity for a forward wavedash has presented itself. 

Once you start getting consistent wheelies, you’ll need to reach that familiar position after landing a front flip. Luckily, you won’t need to fumble over extra buttons to stick a front-wheel landing.

Here’s the real secret: Allow yourself to jump higher than you would for a typical front flip. Some players also find sonic flips easier after tilting their car a few inches forward before flipping.

Again, to nobody’s surprise, a firm powerslide landing helps keep things consistent.

180 Dash-Cancels:

A dash cancel is the opposite of a typical wavedash. Rather than air rolling in the opposite direction you want to travel in, you want to lean into your flip, following up with the motions of a half-flip.

Here’s a breakdown:

If you attempt to land on a single front wheel and flip toward that wheel, you can immediately initiate a flip cancel and watch your car do a complete 180 on the ground. You’ll need to hold your powerslide to succeed, of course. However, powersliding through this motion will take a lot of fine-tuning because it’s easy to spin out and do a complete 360.

The 360 has its perks, too, of course. But the 180 has more robust flicking applications. You also have more analog control over a 180. For example, holding down boost throughout the motion will slow your car down to a screeching halt, in case you out-drive the ball.

I admit I’ve scored a few goals, even without a flick, while spitting this insanely useless sequence. Why? Because the opponents charge forward, believing I’ve wholly lost control of my car. 

Does that make this a good fake? 

Not really. You need a lot of space to pull through the motions.

But if you obtain that space and the dribbling skills to hold the ball close, you can whip out some nasty-looking plays from a 180 dash-cancel.

The Three-Quarter Flip:

As an alternative to a generic old half-flip, you could:

  • Jump
  • Lift your car until it’s facing belly up 
  • Air roll without flip canceling
  • Wavedash forward

You still wind up completely turned around, and you have a free wavedash to apply in whichever direction suits you.

 

Does this awkward recovery match the breakneck speed of a half-flip? 

*Laughs in the legacy of Kronovi*

Not even close.

However, it offers escape opportunities from a horrendous initial jump or, better yet, a bad read. There’s some merit in that.

180 Reverse Wavedash (into half-flip):

This is where things start getting unnecessarily intricate.

Imagine driving forward.

Now, what if you wanted to keep thrusting forward… but felt a sudden urge to show off to your girlfriend?

Well, you can jump, turn your car 180 degrees, tilt the nose of your vehicle toward the ground, and do a reverse wavedash.

Now you’re moving in the same direction but backward. Don’t forget to drive in reverse, or you’ll lose your momentum. Sounds silly to bring it up, but defaulting to forward driving is a tough habit to break!

From there, you can do a flashy little half-flip and face forward again.

Congratulations! Your teammates and opponents now think your fingers are 30% more fidgety. You looked pretty cool, though. I’ll give you that.

Now, a quick tip for that flashy little 180 reverse wavedash:

I find it easier to hold off on my forward mid-jump inputs until I’ve rotated to the direction I want to face. If you dabble in airplane directional axes, that translates to adjusting your yaw before your pitch. If not, I made a reference image.

Aircraft Principle Axes Infographic. Here's the roll, pitch, and yaw axes visualized.

I’m sure Breezi would call me a scrub for sticking to basic cardinal direction inputs, but it’ll suffice. It’ll also dampen the learning curve.

The Wall Dash:

A good wall dash can come in clutch.

A wall dash is a sideways wavedash you can do while on the wall to build momentum without boost. If you tilt your car slightly upward while driving horizontally along the wall, it’ll force your car to stay close enough to the wall to wavedash back into it.

Simply combine that upward swing with a double jump. It’ll organically force you to use the right flip.

Afterward, you want to straighten your car by tilting it back down. This helps prevent spiraling out of control (by falling off the wall or launching off of it.)

Time your jumps to match each wobble back and forth until you master proper wall-dash timing.

The slower you’re moving, the faster you’ll need to place your jump inputs, making wall dashes challenging to use in their most opportune moments.

Although, the fake opportunities are endless. If an opponent hears a jump coming from the wall, they’re likely to panic jump.

Don’t abuse wall dashes too frequently! Remember that keeping yourself on the wall for too long is dangerous. There aren’t any boost pads on the wall! But as a recovery from an aerial or when preparing to receive a pass, you’ll get where you need to be a tad bit earlier with a reliable wall dash.

The Infinidash:

The infinidash is easily the wonkiest physic in Rocket League. Sometimes you’ll hear it referred to as a “Dinner Dash,” but I want to credit the original name and creator.

It’s like a wall dash but flashier. The craziest part is that this mechanic led us to the more refined wall dash.

The most common infinidash looks like this:

Jumping onto the bell curve of the wall with your hood pointed perpendicular to the wall allows you to spam your jump button insanely fast to wavedash infinitely.

To do that, roll your car slightly away from the direction you plan to flip. The most consistent flip is the side flip that faces upward on the wall. 

You’ll need a good amount of forward momentum to get started.

You can also initiate infinidashes from directly on the wall. Side flips (with a very slight forward tilt) work if you’re driving straight across, and front flips work if you’re riding straight upward.

This trick is pretty easy compared to the other complex wavedash techniques. If you’re failing, odds are, you aren’t tapping your jump button quick enough.

Only jitter-clicks work for this mechanic, fam. 

You’ll know when you get the right results. It’ll sound like a machine gun firing off in the stadium. Even players halfway across the field will hear your clamorous ratatat noises.

The complicated part is keeping your car aligned with the wall so you can continue chaining infinidashes without flipping outward or getting caught on the ceiling. You’ll break off of the wall if you side flip when pointing your car too far upward or downward.

Note: Most early content creators claimed you need to powerslide to avoid wiping out, but that’s been disproven.

While the infinidash itself is pretty niche, landing a wavedash or two while latching onto the wall can help conserve boost while traveling downfield. Here’s a slideshow of a clean triple-tap infinidash that launches my car back in-field:

The infinidash itself is useful for catching up to a play that’s far ahead of you. You can preserve boost, and cover plenty of turf in an instant.

Evample Dash Flick:

Evample’s signature style lies in latching his finger to powerslide throughout an entire match. He likes to operate his car loose and fluidly.

While I can’t recommend playing like this, I have to admit his signature wavedash flick is powerful.

The Evample flick boils down to holding the ball on your car after doing a sideways wavedash, then instantly flicking it away.

  • Begin with complete control over the ball, preferably mounted on your hood. 
  • Jump forward as if initiating any other flick. 
  • Turn sideways and air roll until the roof of your car is tilted toward the camera.
  • Use your sideways wavedash to catch back up with the ball.
  • Hold powerslide before landing, and don’t let go no matter what.
  • Flick with a forward-facing side flip or a forward-facing backward-diagonal flip. The second option results in higher pops.

The Ceiling Wavedash:

While the benefits of ceiling wavedashes are sparse, I admit that they help with ceiling pinches. They’ll also speed up the action of falling off of the ceiling, allowing more agile ceiling shots.

The most compelling ceiling wavedashes are standard forward-facing dashes with no extra bells or whistles.

Don’t be fooled, though. These are tricky. You’ll need substantial aerial car control. You’ll also need A+ boost throttling skills. 

The transparent nature of the ceiling adds a layer of challenge, too. Having the extra visibility is handy, but it’s tricky to guess when two of your wheels have landed on a translucent surface.

But if you can consistently fly from the wall to the ceiling, you can handle a ceiling wavedash after a handful of reps.

The Ceiling Wavedash:

 I’ll end this segment by clearing up a common misconception.

The ceiling shuffle is NOT a wavedash chain.

I’ll include this mechanic because it falls under a similar category of recovery.

The ceiling shuffle is a mechanic that resembles a waddle chain dash (on the ceiling), but it doesn’t include any wavedashing at all. No jumps. No flips. No complex flip cancels. Just some awkward Rocket League wheel-clipping physics that freestylers have discovered and abused.

A ceiling shuffle glues a car onto the ceiling without falling off. It doesn’t require any boost. Each time gravity begins to drop your vehicle, you can waddle to the other side until the wheels on the opposite side of the car latch on. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Cars with fully exposed wheels will make this mechanic easier to manage, but you can pull it off with any vehicle. It’s 100% a visibility preference among freestylers.

The key to initiating a ceiling shuffle is a gentle approach from the wall. Too much speed causes your car to pogo straight off the surface or latch onto the ceiling with no opportunity to bounce.

Tilt your car to a point where precisely three wheels make contact with the ceiling.

You’ll need to hold down your acceleration trigger throughout the entire shuffle, or you won’t stick to the ceiling. Rock your wheels back and forth from left to right continually. Start by turning in the direction that matches the side of the car you’ve chosen to land.

On paper, that doesn’t make sense. Remember, your controls are inverted while you’re upside down.

You want to hold each turn input down long enough to land on your ‘opposite’ three wheels. Typically, you’ll spin out because of a poor setup and not from overcommitting to a turn.

Again, no boost is required to sustain a ceiling shuffle. You also get access to an unlimited flip timer like you would with a standard ceiling shot.

You can reverse ceiling shuffle by following the same steps as above but in reverse, using double-mirrored buttons. This trick isn’t very photogenic in still-frames, so here’s a video tutorial.

Recommended Training Routines

Wavedash Routine #1: Sideways Chain Dashes forge an exemplary training test. You’ll only be able to gain momentum by executing good wavedashes. You won’t have variables like acceleration to muddle your understanding of how much speed you’re picking up from the dash.

Practice going supersonic sideways. You’ll still see a trail animation.

Wavedash Routine #2: Practice different wavedashes from off of the wall. Drive back and forth across the field instead of taking laps. That way, you can evenly exercise air rolling left and right.

Do a few forward wavedashes, then experiment with adding extra air roll to commit to sideways and diagonal wavedashes. Test your limits on how high you can leap from while keeping your flip. Here’s a diagram that shows the height restraints for an off-the-wall wavedash before requiring boost:

Approx. Height limits for wavedashing off of the wall in RL. With boost, with downward momentum, with horizontal momentum.

As you can see, coming off of the wall with downward momentum increases your dash height boundaries. Adding a hint of boost can amplify that further.

Wavedash Routine #3: Push yourself until you can wavedash consistently after landing on a single wheel. Again, you’ll want to master air roll in both directions.

Perfection takes time. Wavedashing too early results in a regular flip. Wavedashing too late means losing your flip timer entirely. Either way, a failed wavedash isn’t very elegant. You’ll be able to spot the mistakes.

Wavedash Routine #4: Wavedash onto the wall, then leap off and try sticking a wavedash from off the wall. This exercise will help form the foundational blocks for more advanced techniques like the infinidash and double dashes.

Wavedash Routine #5: Finally, it’s time to open up a training pack to solidify actual hits on the ball. Yeeza created the perfect shot pack.

Here’s the code: F9EF-2D99-BA51-9E8A, and Here’s a link to his supplementary video.

Final Note: Total mastery of wavedashes takes roughly 6-8 hours of drilling. If you want to learn as efficiently as possible, dedicate a daily 20-minute session to wavedashing in the morning – when your brain is most receptive.

Who Invented The Wavedash?

The first pro player to successfully utilize the wavedash was Jacob. He harnessed them for snappier kickoffs, but the wavedash kickoff is severely outclassed by today’s standards.

If I were to pinpoint a pro player who popularized mixing wavedashes into his dribbles, I’d say Dappur was most influential.

But let’s offer more credit where it’s due:

 

Each link fires up the creator’s YouTube tutorial for their respective mechanics. You’ll want all the external resources you can get your hands on!

How Important is Learning to Wavedash?

Rank: D+

Usually, I’m all about insisting you study recoveries and general car control. Clean recoveries are an essential skill to master in Rocket League, and a wavedash is technically a recovery.

But the applications of this particular mechanic won’t apply to your gameplay until you wallop into speedy lobbies, high Diamond at the absolute lowest tier.

While I see low-ranked players accomplish wavedashes, they’re always clunky and lethargic. New players should also establish habits for channeling high jumps to master clean, fast aerials.

Wavedashes should be an afterthought. 

Once you develop a sturdy foundation for your skills and game sense, proper wavedash utilizations will come naturally – in the heat of the moment. Until then, you risk formulating bad habits and potentially slowing your team down to perform awkward wavedashes with improper timing.

Although, despite all that, vanquishing wavedashes from your mechanical wishlist feels like shattering the core mechanics of Rocket League, making the daily grind just a little more enjoyable in future sessions. Along with flip cancels, wavedashes are an empowering reminder of how nuanced a game Rocket League is.

Best of luck out there, my aspiring rocketeers! As always, much love and thank you for reading.

P.S. If you liked the eSports presets I used in my screenshots, you might enjoy a complete Octane eSports decal tier list, too!