rocket pass car. RL stock photo. Rocket League cover image

Everything You Need to Know About Flip-Canceling in Rocket League:

What is a Flip-Cancel?

THis is it, my friends, the holy grail of Rocket League mechanics. Flip cancels are the foundations for learning speed flips, half-flips, and everything in between. We’ll cover it all here!

In 2021, being unaware of a flip cancel is a disservice to yourself. Even in low ranks.

Seriously, flip canceling is arguably the most innovative mechanic discovered in the game. It’s one of those things you can’t help but wonder if it was discovered by accident by some dude with fidgety thumbs. Still, thank you, fidgety-thumb dude. Rocket League wouldn’t be the same without you.

NOTE: A flip-cancel is not a stall. A stall is the result of a perfectly executed sideflip while air rolling in the opposite direction. The result: Your car hovers motionless throughout the duration of the ‘flip’. Stalls are useful for negating the effects of gravity for a split second. They can be used to achieve multiple flip resets. It’s pretty high-level stuff. For today, I want you to ignore all that noise. Stalls aren’t nearly as practical.

Anyone can flip cancel. You’ll have to trust me. Functionally, it is similar to a stall, but you aren’t using your air roll inputs.

Any time you go into a flip animation, you’ll see your car lunging forward on its own. Or backward. Or sideways. Or whichever way you decide to flip. That’s pretty self-explanatory. You’re gaining a free boost in momentum. This is something we’ve all grown to treasure.

So, what happens when you yank your analog stick in the opposite direction during a flip?

Your vehicle will ‘twitch’ with each input. This allows us to fine-tune otherwise automated flip animations. To an untrained eye, this seems like a pretty useless skill. Trust me, flip cancels are a big deal.

Try holding that opposite input on your analog stick for the full duration of the flip. Only half of the flip carries out – but your car still lunges in the direction of your flip inputs. This discovery led to the coining of the most important mechanical term in the history of Rocket League.

Yup. The half-flip. This is where the magic happens! More on that after we cover the basics.

See, flipping in any direction lends a supernatural speed augmentation to your car no matter what we decide to do after the flip.

Is it logical? Not really. Don’t question it. It’s Rocket League physics. We love our car soccer simulater just the way she is. I, for one, praise our egg overlords. 

Rocket league eggs meme. Gladiator games egg overlords. RL crowd. "Just look at those pathetic humans: Still trash talking one another despite being enslaved in gladiator car-soccer combat"

Back on point: This extra speed isn’t tethered to other changes in speed. We can stack it with boost usage, we can adjust the flip duration. No matter what, the speed buff from our flip remains a constant. We can even get creative and stack it with a well timed bump from another player.

The flip cancel allows you to maintain complete control of a flip’s momentum.

So, without any delay, welcome to vehicle recovery mechanics 101! Let’s talk about ways to get you back on the pitch sooner. Everybody whiffs. A good player can just recover faster.

Initial Training Routine: Perfecting The Half-Flip

Before covering the wacky discoveries that have arisen over the years, let’s focus on the simplest, and single most important flip cancel in the game: The half-flip.

We’ll be using a clock as a reference.

The more “traditional” method is to do a diagonal backflip and yank the analog stick diagonally in the opposite direction. For example: flip at 10 O’clock, cancel at 4 O’clock.

I find this method a bit… convoluted.

trying to learn half flips diagonally (building on fire) Your diamond coach you found on fiverr (smug kid meme) RL, Rocket League

Instead, I want you to flip straight back and cancel forward. Flip at 6 O’clock, cancel at 12 O’clock. Be as precise with your inputs as possible. Flip-cancels are touchy!

If you performed this correctly, your vehicle will be facing the belly up in the opposite direction from where you started. Clearly, this isn’t a recovery yet. You can’t go very far with your wheels up in the air.

Still, I want you to practice just landing belly up 10-20 times, possibly daily. Don’t worry about using air roll to land on your wheels yet. You need to get the feel for your analog inputs – even the slightest variation will impact your flip-cancels.

Just practice getting that perfect 6 flip and perfect 12 cancel.

After the warm-up stage, start including air roll. Through this phase I want you to practice stringing these half-flips together. Do a backward half-flip, and when you land proceed to do a forward half-flip. This will help the process feel more natural – like pure thoughtless muscle memory. Having to think about whether or not to half-flip in-game will develop a bad habit.

  • Start in reverse. Flip at 6 O’clock, cancel at 12 O’clock while air rolling.
  • Land and accelerate forward.
  • Drive forward. Flip at 12 O’clock, cancel at 6 O’clock while air rolling.
  • Land driving in reverse.
  • Repeat.

Half-flip not working? Rocket League is a game that rewards diligence. Go back to the first exercise. If you cancel your flip too early, you’ll notice your nose is sticking up in the air like a puppy-dog begging at the dinner table. That’s a bad habit – go back to the first exercise. If you aren’t looking like a dog with his nose in the air, do a few laps of interchanging forward and reverse half flips.

You’ll fall into a rhythm. Eventually, you’ll notice your index fingers following a pattern, too. You’ll be reversing at the start of a half-flip and accelerating forward as you land. You’ll be able to drive in a straight line while flipping your car around like a fish out of water.

Once you’ve progressed that far, I want you to start incorporating boost into the second half of your flip. The moment your car is facing your intended direction, the boost will give you an extra nudge. The timing shouldn’t be too difficult if you practiced the other exercises first.

Congratulations! You have unlocked lightning quick recovery skills!

From here, you’ll be ready to perform the diagonal half-flip mentioned above. 4 O’clock to 10 O’clock and 2 O’clock to 8 O’clock. These will mess with your brain at first, but you’ve got the timing memorized. Just focus on the inputs. You typically won’t need to air roll to perform these. “Traditional” half-flips are mostly useful for challenging the ball in awkward positions.

Enjoy your new trick as a supersonic acrobatic rocket-powered battle-car.

What Are Common Mistakes Made While Flip-Canceling?

  1. Timing. Not all flip-cancels are performed the same. There are hundreds of variants to fiddle with. A half-flip is performed with a slow cancellation input that is held for a prolonged time. Some flip cancels have quick (often immediate) inputs and are released considerably earlier. 
  2. Imprecise input angles. If you tried the half-flip exercise, you probably noticed that if your directional inputs leaned slightly left or right, your landing suffered. There are some occasions where you’ll want to use those funky directional inputs like a preflip or a JZR flick. More often than not – precise opposing inputs or cardinal direction inputs will yield your best results.

Advanced Flip Cancel Techniques:

The Pre-flip:

Pretty simple stuff. Just try fiddling with the idea of getting to the ball using a dodge, and play with the analog stick to try and find that perfect angle to shoot. This is where you’ll learn the fine-tuning skills required to hit our next mechanic.

Speed flipping:

The Speed flip is the second most important form of flip-cancel to master. This is a forward diagonal dodge with an immediate cancellation input. It’s quite a bit different from a half-flip.

Why worry about the speed flip? It’s the fastest dodge in Rocket League. You can also boost throughout its duration. I typically find it to be lightning fast, and more than a light feather of boost is unnecessary.

What makes this flip faster? You are removing unnecessary motion from your vehicle’s flip to land on the ground earlier. There are dozens of methods of performing a speed flip. Which makes it seem tougher to learn than it is.

Some players use air roll on a standard frontflip to produce a diagonal flip, for example.

Our speedy-boy mechanic shares some similarities with a half-flip, although it isn’t as cut-and-dry as “Just cancel in the opposite direction” like we learned earlier. These can be toggled. Typically, for my speed flips, I cancel in the opposite direction and inch the analog stick toward the 6 O’clock input before releasing. 

Timing and angle are everything, but they’re also exceptionally adjustable. Give it a week of practice and you’ll understand what I mean.

not sure if I should follow thanovic's tutorial or the guy who claimed everything he taught us was a lie. Fry meme. Rocket League speedflip meme

It sounds vague, I know. The result isn’t. If you perform a speed flip correctly, you’ll do a diagonal dodge while moving in a straight line. Take a moment to look at a diagonal flip and you’ll see the car changes trajectory toward the direction you flipped. With a speed flip, you’re flipping straight forward… except your car is suspended in a sideways motion like a diagonal flip.

For the sake of easy learning, do a diagonal flip and aim your cancel for 6 O’clock. You’ll see a barrel-roll-style car animation.

Now, here’s where the variations occur:

You don’t want to hold your cancellation input for the full duration of the flip. Instead, you want to hold it just long enough for your car to perform a “hooking” motion that doesn’t occur in a typical diagonal flip. It takes about a quarter of a second to perform, perhaps a little less. Holding the cancel for any longer will delay your flip. 

Don’t let that intimidate you. A speed flip without the “hook” is still faster than a standard diagonal flip. You’re still making progress!

Upon releasing your cancel, you want to spend the remainder of your hang-time looking for the right landing. Sometimes you’ll want to air roll. A powerslide never hurts. Although, with a good amount of practice, you’ll land facing forward on all four wheels pretty consistently. 

Remember, successful execution is all in the cancellation inputs. These little afterthoughts just help to correct any awkwardness that occurred in the early stages. They can also help adjust your trajectory to a new threat on the field.

Master this and you’ll be faster across Mannfield Stadium than the developers of Rocket League ever intended!

Flip-canceling off of the wall:

There are two reasons to flip-cancel off of a wall.

Situation number one: You need a little extra nudge forward to hit an aerial. Maybe you’re low on boost. Maybe you need to be a little faster to the ball to make a clean touch. Either way, Captain Flip-cancel comes to save the day!

Like pre-flips, there isn’t a clear-cut way to approach these touches. They vary in angle.

A skilled player can time a flip-cancel with enough precision to land on the underside of the ball to catch for an air-dribble. A pro player can land beneath the ball to pick up a flip reset. I don’t expect that of you. I just want to paint a picture of how limitless the mechanic truly is.

Situation number two: You can flip-cancel off of a wall to set up double touches. A good double-tap is infinitely more powerful than an air dribble or a ceiling shot. They’re deceptive. It tells a defender that you threw the ball away and missed your target. Joke’s on them.

Of course, double touches are tough to master. They require a touch strong enough to slam into the backboard, and they require you to have the resources to make it back to the ball once it bounces.

The flip will provide you with the power you need on the ball, and the cancel will help your car maintain trajectory and allow you to boost toward your destination. Simply flipping in this situation will leave you out of the play for too long. By the time the flip ends, you’ll be trying to catch up to your dad who left to pick up a pack of cigarettes 12 years ago. It’s too late.

Contesting the ball:

For years, Fireburner was considered the king of the 50/50. He could dunk on all the pro players in the game. For Fireburner there was no contest at all. Unfortunately, he’s retired now. Even today, his method works flawlessly.

We’re going to talk about how Fireburner became the King of the 50/50. He flip-cancels.

It’s no secret that when two opposing players attack a ball, the player who catches the larger chunk of the ball will win the challenge. As most of you know, that means tackling the center of the ball with more forward momentum than the opponent.

Sometimes you want to delay the challenge by letting the opponent chip the ball first and getting a centered touch afterward.

Sometimes you anticipate your opponent to delay the 50/50, and you have to be taller than them on the rebound.

Well, in all of those cases, a flip cancel gives your dodge more precision. These dodges are similar to speed flips, where you want to time the “hooking” motion of your car to line up with the moment you’ll make contact with the ball. In this scenario, it’s best to exaggerate the hooking motion by releasing your cancel immediately.

How Important Are Flip Cancels to Master?

Rating: B+

me in freeplay. Flip cancels jealous girlfriend, practicing that flashy air dribble. Hot girl RL meme

Getting around the field faster means you can make more aggressive rotations, put more pressure on the ball, and save more potential goal opportunities from your opponent. Any mechanic that promises you to get around the field faster places high on my list.

The beauty of the flip-cancel is that it’s multifaceted. Not only will you play faster, but you’ll also win more challenges.

This is without a doubt one of the most important mechanics you can learn in Rocket League. The only thing holding it from an A rank is that it isn’t helping low ranked players develop ball control or positional awareness.

But make no mistake, players at any skill level can see improvements to their gameplay by continuing to build and fine-tune their flip-cancels. If you want to win more games, practicing this will accomplish that for you.

What’s The Story Behind Flip-Canceling?

The first known half-flip was executed by pro player Kronovi in an RLCS match in 2016. The announcers were pretty baffled. It didn’t take long before everyone was racing to learn the technique.

More forms of flip cancels began appearing in freestyler clips.

I like to credit SunlessKhan as the YouTuber to popularize flip cancels in double taps. He uploaded a short tutorial around the time he finally started breaking into high champ ranks. 

The Speed flip wasn’t mentioned anywhere until 2019. The YouTuber Linkuru posted a video challenge of an untouchable ball that could be reached after executing a diagonal flip cancel. Soon afterward, Musty posted a video proving to the world that he could outpace champs in kickoffs with the new mechanic.

Then we entered the age of the speed-kick. The rest was history.

That’s all I’ve got. Get out there and practice!