Rocket League Dribbling Guide:
Ball Carries, Bounce Dribbles, And Push Dribbles

First off, I want to apologize for how long it took me to hatch a Rocket League dribbling guide. I think I’ve put it off for so long because my ground game is my pocket ace.

I didn’t want to blow this one. It’s personal, you know?

Because at surface level, solid ground game might appear like the “easy road” to improving, but extracting successful plays from the field zone where opponents feel most comfortable takes work. It’s like scaling a mountain.

Flex Tape Meme Text: "POV: How Ground Dribblers look to new players. Gold/Plat. 'See? If I just learn to keep the ball on my head, I'd be champ right now!'"
It's a long journey, bro.

You face an unbridled urgency to trip up defenders. You need to maintain complete, unrelenting control of the ball. Then, you need a quick, precise goal… otherwise all that fancy footwork spirals down the drain.

It’s easy to rush yourself into throwing the ball away. It’s easy to mistime cuts. You might flick prematurely.

Saffron Dune Racer decal in Salty Shores stadium. Dribbler performs a 180 wavedash cancel in mid chain before prepping up a wall musty.

Once self-doubt comes barreling in on her tattered bronze chariot, life gets harder. She’ll ladle you up into her caustic, lifeless fingertips and clutch you between steely, piercing nails. Her carnivorous eyes peer straight through helpless scrubs like us. She can anticipate your every move. She’ll ravage you – long before your on-field opponents.

Look, I want you to walk away feeling confident. That’s 80% of the battle.

I want you to discern with crystal clarity when you’re trekking the right offensive path. I want you to feel certain that you’re plopping that ball onto your hood with the brisk efficiency of a well-oiled machine. Like Nexto, but Nex-Tier. You feel me?

Nexto 2.0 Dribbling extraordinaire!
I'm honestly a bit shook I lived to see the day that being called a bot in Rocket League became a compliment.

I want you to know you’re optimizing your training hours and weeding bad habits by their entangled roots.

I want to help you punch your self-doubt right in her fat, stupid face. 

Buckle up. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover today.

I’ll teach you every ground dribbling tip I know, Rocketeer.

Understanding The Different Types of Ground Dribbles
(And When They’re Most Effective)

I understand most of you came here to learn a traditional ball carry. 

I get it. I was new once upon a time, too. I’ll teach you how. I pinky-swear.

But let me stress that great dribblers pull from a mixed bag of skills. The more variance you express in a five-minute game, the more success you’ll see in your overall win percentage.

So I’ll cover bounce dribbles and push dribbles, too.

Let me preface by offering a universal tip for better ball control: Try to curb your anxiety on defense. Most of my cleanest breakaways occur from nestling myself along the goal line while maintaining a clear head. Talented athletes remain patient and methodical under intense pressure. Virtual car soccer isn’t any different.

Re-watch some of your favorite ground dribble clips. I’d wager 80% of those clips manifested in their own half. They trained themselves on proper breathing through awkward situations.

That’s why coaches preach the gospel of freeplay. It’s exemplary turf for eliminating nerves on the pitch.

The Ball Carry

If you wandered into this article, I’m sure you’ve witnessed a ball carry. You tee the ball on top of your car and suspend it alongside you like a virtual magician. 

Due to their versatility, hard carries spark wild unpredictability in your offensive plays. 

Right. So here are some tips on when to ball carry:

  • You only want to balance the ball while cutting in-field or with an opponent rushing down a predictable path. The ball eats up your visibility. In-field cuts don’t need to be dramatic, but traditional dribble plays are most effective when viewing the pitch from an angle.
  • Avoid carrying a ball directly in front of your net unless all your opponents are behind you. It poses an unnecessary risk of getting dunked on.
  • The best time to lap up the ball is when opponents retreat from your corner after a clear.
  • You can flick, jump, fake, roll, and air-dribble from a ball carry. I’ll cover more on those in the “lanes of attack” segment.
  • Once opponents give you enough space to pop a carry, they’re forced to scamper into a slower game state or surrender an easy point.
  • A ball carry setup generates the most aggressive demo plays in Rocket League. You’ll snare goalies with ease. Everyone with a brain stomped their brakes the moment you scooped up the ball. Even if you only land a minor bump, your shot fired from beneath the ball is respectable. 
  • Flicks do more than knock defenders into the wrong half of the field. They often generate gorgeous high-pop passes for teammates. We call these “doinks.”
Overhead view of DFH stadium infographic labeled "Best dribbling startup locations." The green zones highlight your back corners and are the safest locations. The back wall is purposely omitted. The area located between front and back posts are also purposely omitted. The yellow zones occupy the central third of the map.

The Push Dribble

Camping behind a rolling ball is still possession. Sure, that possession vanishes unless you outrace opponents. But don’t underestimate the elegance of simplicity.

Rolling a ball into opposing nets casual-Friday style cranks tilt-levels into overdrive. Blast the motions on repeat. Make them watch the replays. You’re flexing the idea that you outwit them.

I’ve had cranky opponents call me a “Camper.” They’ve told me to “Touch grass.” I savored it. I mean, I’m raising a family and juggling a website. They’re telling me, despite all that, I’m still goated.

Spongebob meme: "Opponents say: Hurr Durr... Why don't you try a real flick, noob!" but they still lose.

They’ll spout allegations like “reported for smurfing,” despite the fact you’re flaunting your flashiest silver mechanics. You stalked the ball into their net like a lapdog… three times in a row. 

POV: All their hours wasted on flip resets prove worthless if they can’t clobber the guy who rolls balls in linear paths downfield. It’s torture.

Revel in the salt of their tears.

I’m urging you, don’t sleep on the simple stuff. Flakes toppled champs without ever stretching for aerials. Granted, he’s a professional with defensive reads lightyears ahead of us. 

Shot opportunities arise more than you realize.

  • When hitting the ball at a 90+ degree angle, you’ll always add momentum to the ball. In these scenarios, roll dribbles are more consistent than bounce dribbles or ball carries.
    • If the ball is still sauntering around after your first touch or two, you have options to transition into another form of dribble.
  • Roll dribbles are most effective when defenders are racing toward their corner boost.
  • Push dribble plays create net positive boost consumption rates for your team vs. your opponents. Every time.
  • Speaking of boost reservoirs, fidgeting with a rolling ball provides countless opportunities to boost-starve goaltenders.
  • Opponents who fake lose precious time for catching up to roll dribbles.
  • You can easily tap a ball behind players who storm in like Spartans.
  • Any time an opponent’s brake lights spark, they shed enough momentum to force themselves into chasing a lost ball.
  • A roll dribble boasts the fastest ground pinch setup. This is especially true if you’re leaping off of the wall.
  • Scuffed roll dribble plays are the easiest play to recover from. You aren’t flipping into the enemy net. You aren’t idly watching someone soar overhead, hurling a high-pop ball. Aside from the occasional unlucky pinch, you’ll reach your back post in time to defend the new play as it unfolds.

The Bounce Dribble

I bet you can decipher what a bounce dribble entails. You chain together bounces on the ball.

Just because the concept is simple doesn’t mean it’s a chump’s mechanic. Bounce dribbles are the most potent offensive plays in Rocket League. You can change the ball’s angle and trajectory at the drop of a dime. 

  • Bounce dribbles generate speed and power unrivaled by any other offensive play in the game.
  • Thanks to how close you are to the ball, your follow-up taps will trip up defenders who challenge early or carelessly.
  • Bounce dribbles thrive on baiting opponents into No Man’s Land.
    • Any time an opponent isn’t within 30 feet of you or 30 feet of the goal, they’re at risk of forfeiting an easy goal to a bounce.
  • Any time the stadium is devoid of midfielders, a bounce dribble ends in a clean shot on net.
  • If your opponents double up in a field zone, a bounce dribble can squeeze past them. Even if they adjust and properly stagnate their challenges. That’s because bounce dribbles are specifically designed to handle positioning errors.

How to Dribble in Rocket League

Alright. Now we’re familiarized with the three ground dribbling methods. It’s time to take a peek at what’s happening under the hood.

Evample dash flick in DFH Stadium.

Ball Carry: Setup And Maintenance

Pre-Game: Car Selection

Since the flat-nosed Breakout reigns supreme as the best air-dribbling car, it’s common for my coaching sessions to unravel with students questioning their car choice for ball carries. 

Let me settle something up front: Ground dribbles feel similar on every chassis. There are a few subtle differences a seasoned dribbler can detect, though.

Doge meme text: Buff dog says: "I picked the car I liked because this is a game and I enjoy it." Crying dog says: "All my favorite freestylers use Skylines and I keep missing it in the item shop."

Hybrid hitboxes, like the Skyline/Endo/Jager, have an easier time cutting into the ball. They have mildly augmented handling. The buff goes out the window the moment you throttle your boost. Turning in Rocket League naturally decelerates you – meaning you’ll scarf down more boost, too. Hybrid hitboxes have less rigid edges. That helps minimize the consequences of over-correcting your turns in a carry.

Dominus and Plank hitboxes flick harder. Their longer bodies behave like an extended fulcrum. Of course, they’re low-riders. That makes it easier for opponents to stuff you like a turkey before your flick ripens. But it also allows you to catch a ball with more force without bouncing it overhead. The Batmobile is now 100% reflective of other planks. If that sentence reads like Spanish to you, Batmobile hitboxes devolved into a whole… thing.

Breakout hitboxes, like the Animus or Samurai, have less mass. Coupled with their soft noses, this simplifies following pops through the air. This comes with the added drawback of less powerful touches. But their flicks pack a deceptive punch! Breakouts are longer than the Dom and Plank. They also turn slower, reducing lost speed and increasing cut times.

Merc hitboxes sit tallest from the ground. This is the newest standardized hitbox addition. Psyonix introduced it so they could include the Battle Bus in a Fortnite crossover event. Anyway, with a Merc hitbox, you’ll flick past more challenges at the cost of shot vigor. It’s basically a reverse Dominus.

Pre-Game: Camera Settings

Most camera settings work fine.

Sometimes I catch silvers with camera angles cranked crazy high “for faster aerials.” Or the occasional plat burying their camera miles behind their car “to avoid getting bumped by teammates.”

Both statements ring false. Those are the types of decisions we make when we’re seething with rage. Don’t feed your inner beasts.

Try something like this:

These are the median camera settings used by active RLCS pros. Evidence suggests about 94% of players Champ 1 or above use settings within these parameters.

  • A wider field of view helps you pinpoint defenders before they disappear behind the ball. Hike that up to 110 and never look back. There’s no situation where reduced FOV offers advantages.
  • Turn off camera shake. It’s crazy I still need to scribble this so late into the game’s lifespan.
  • Most RLCS pros use a camera angle between -3 to -5.
  • A distance further than 260 hinders your touches more than it increases awareness. Less than 240 doesn’t help with anything other than proving you’re a hipster to your friends over voice chat.
  • A camera height between 90-110 feels coziest for all-around play.

These settings aren’t dribbling-exclusive. They’re optimized for keeping dribbling efficient without hindering other aspects of your game.

You can dribble without turning your camera into a satellite. Trust me on this one.

Visual of Rocket League settings menu and controller bindings. Air roll left and right are highlighted.
While you're at it, make sure you're using directional air roll.

Understanding Cuts vs. Catches:

There are five methods for starting a ball carry. I’ll divide them into “cuts” and “catches.”

  • Rolling cut: Cutting into a rolling ball is the fastest and most consistent dribble setup. You’ll win landslide victories against opponents who suck at shadow defense.
    • Use your front fender to sideswipe into the ball while positioned slightly in front of it. 
    • A light boost tap is handy for propping the ball up, but not necessary. 
    • Don’t focus on steering too hard into the ball at first. Let the ball roll onto you. When you’re ready for quicker cuts, introduce turning into the ball. Tap powerslide. You’ll be able to slice into the ball from further behind it. Just bear caution with dramatic analog inputs. It’s better to gradually cut into the ball than to scramble it away.
  • Wall cut: You can use the bell-curve of the wall to prop the ball onto your hood while driving behind it. 
    • This setup is sluggish, but with decent recovery skills, you can trip defenders driving along the stadium’s outer rim. Feign an in-field cut, then when the opponent begins mirroring you, bulldoze the ball into the wall.
      • You have two options to cut into the ball from here: 
        • Turn your wheels toward the wall for a fraction of a second. Tap the ball from a 1.5-3 car length’s height then scurry back to the ground for a catch. Remember that driving down the wall adds natural momentum to your car. Preserve that momentum with a brief powerslide.
        • Ease the ball away from the wall by balancing it on the back half of your car and cutting toward the wall. But don’t drive onto the wall here. Instead, drift back into the ball. Once complete, feather your boost to feed momentum back into the ball.
    • I don’t recommend flicking the ball away unless you see an open net AND know for certain the incoming defender won’t make contact with the ball. You’ll pull yourself out of the play. Instead, single jump past the first defender and regroup possession with a standard cut or catch.
  • Wall dribbling: With diligent wall reads, you can settle the ball on the side of your car while driving downfield along the wall. As long as you snuggle up tight with the ball, you have options. 
    • You can flick center field for a teammate. 
    • You can transition into an air dribble. 
    • You can scoop the ball above defenders meandering alongside you on the wall.
Illustrating the perfect cut for ground dribbles/ball carry in Rocket League. The green arrow points the direction the ball was headed. The red bracket signals the right angle of impact. The octane must reside AHEAD of the ball!
  • Downward arc catches: Let’s talk catches. The height the ball falls from is less important than you might imagine. 
    • You see the ball bounce off of your rooftop when your catches are too centered. Try leaving the ball slightly forward or slanted to the side. The curvature of your car absorbs the impact better.
      • Try not to boost during the moment the ball connects with your car. Arrive early. It simplifies the process.
      • The ball indicator’s inner-circle swells as the ball gets closer to the ground. It happens in the blink of an eye, but that’s a good thing. When you see the inner-circle expand, it’s time to align your angle and speed.
  • Air-dribble follow-up catch: To catch a ball off of an air dribble, tamper with it less. 
    • Leave the ball floating at a leisurely pace. You’ll need to dart ahead of it with limited boost. 
      • On an upward arc: 
        • Touch the ball at 60-70% of its height to nudge it toward the ground at a sustainable speed. If you make contact any higher, you risk an accidental second touch. Even if you don’t spill an extra touch, taps from too high often spike the ball too hard to keep it within reach.
        • Use the flat surface of your hood (or your wheels if you’re comfortable with directional air roll) for your final touch to ensure you’re in a proper position to boost toward the ground.
        • Your wheels generate softer touches, making them worth the extra legwork.
        • Boost directly below the ball immediately after spiking it. 
      • On a downward arc:
        • Hold the ball on your hood or windshield throughout your descent.
        • Bumper taps on the lower half of the ball are fine. They’ll help you match the speed of the ball. Just be sure to steadily tilt your car forward for a cleaner landing.
        • Alternatively, you can ditch the ball and boost toward the ground to catch it earlier. This method is handy when you’re trying to cover less field space before your attack.
    • If a defender readies himself to dunk your landing, evacuate! Use directional air roll to tap the ball left or right of him.
    • Stick your landings with powerslide to preserve momentum.


Universal Setup Tips:

I should emphasize it’s critical to match the speed of the ball before cutting.

Catches, on the other hand, hang loose. You’ll want to match speed to a degree – since it eases the upcoming steps. But you’ll often rely on boost to scurry beneath the ball indicator. Once positioned, you can always ease on/off the accelerator to better align with the ball’s pace.

  • Flip ball-cam off when initiating a dribble. Otherwise, the camera jiggles like she’s a Koei Tecmo protagonist. It’s disorienting – even for pros!
  • When catching or scooping the ball, Don’t watch it. Keep your eye on the round white indicator on the ground. 
    • To catch from behind, aim the tip of your back wheels for the inner-circle. 
    • For side catches, your outermost wheels should graze the indicator, too.
    • You can salvage over-centered catches by jumping with the ball’s gentle bounce. It’s slow and one-dimensional, but better than surrendering completely.
    • If you don’t creep far enough into the indicator, you’ll roll the ball forward.
  • Catching with powerslide transfers impact from the ball to your car. It helps preserve the ball’s momentum, too. After catching, reflect the ball’s momentum with micro steering adjustments to seize total control. Leave powerslide active until you’re properly aligned.

Overcoming The Balancing Act:

Are you ready to identify with aquatic mammals encapsulated in circus tents? You’re about to balance a ball on your nose for hours. Of course, hollering “Arf! Arf!” is 100% optional.

  • Rocket League has awkward dribble physics. Visually, it looks like you’re juggling a ball on a semi-flat surface. But dribbling behaves like a ball balancing on another ball. Your hitbox is square, but it’s weighted.
  • Sturdy ground dribble balance follows some golden rules: 
    • Again, the tip of your back wheels should align with the inner-circle on the ball indicator. This is handy when you’re watching your car from behind.
    • When swiveling your camera to check behind you, eyeball your windshield to align your dribble. It should rest near the center of the ball indicator. 
    • If you main the Octane, the rear engine is an awesome visual tool, too. Remain vigilant for any unwanted leaning from one side to another.
    • When you hit the dribbling “sweet spot” on your car, contact sparks between you and the ball cease.
Finding the ball carry "Sweet Spot." A) It's an area with zero contact sparks. B) The ball's rotation will remain minimal. C) Note the location of the back wheels beneath the ball indicator. Tags: Rocket League ground dribbling inforgraphic. Titanium White Infinium. White octane. Nigeria Nike Federation Decal.
  • New dribblers overcorrect. 
    • Practice dribbling without boost. You want to control the ball, not vice versa. Don’t boost unless you’re outracing aspiring back-post defenders or loading speed into your flick. The more boost you conserve for serving a delicious flick, the better.
    • Ease on the gas pedal and learn to feather your throttle throughout the carry. 
    • Unless you’re powersliding and preparing a 90+ degree cut, your steering inputs should be minuscule.
Speedy Flicks (A visual reference for where your boost gets optimum value) 1a: "I canagorize "flick boost" into two camps. 1) Pre-flick acceleration and 2) batter's juice." 1b: "Try to distribute boost evenly through both steps. Boost used on the ground is sped up by traction. Boost used on the flick helps catch a runaway ball." 2: "The defender was unprepared for the sudden change in play speed!"
  • Familiarize yourself with feathering the brakes only as a last resort. 
    • Unless the ball reaches your spoiler, even the lightest brake tap rips your car from beneath the ball. 
    • Brakes override the accelerator if you press both buttons. I always leave my finger on the gas input while braking to minimize lost momentum. You lose some braking power; but, in this situation, gentler brakes enhance your control.
    • Brakes and powerslide combined generate ground twirls that would fill a ballerina’s heart with envy.
A graph showing trends between RL ranks for "Powerslides per minute" and "Average powerslide duration" PPM increases exponentially between ranks. APD trends downward. The average GC powerslides over 16 times per minute and each slide lasts for a tenth of a second.
Heads up. I'll drop this graph twice. Drifting is a big deal in RL.
  • We’ve established the ball is easiest to balance while centered. But the actual “dribbling slate” is surprisingly large. Once you learn to re-center the ball properly, you can let the ball hang to the side to engage in turns. You can also adjust the ball’s speed by gauging how far forward your car rests beneath the ball. Heck, you can even drift a complete 180 and wrangle the ball in the opposite direction.
An infographic depicting the front and rear edges of a ball carry before the ball begins to exit your control zone. Both images provide a side view and a rear view.
  • Proper speed adjustment separates talented ground dribblers from scrubs: 
    • Your car can’t travel any faster than 51 MPH (83 Kilometers/Hour.) Supersonic trails appear at 49 MPH (79 KPH.)
    • When the ball is in front of your center of gravity, you’ll lend speed to your dribble. A ball that rests on your front bumper can only be held by cooking more boost. You’ll lose the ball once it exceeds your speed limit. And, believe me, that ball can bolt up to four times your speed.
    • Conversely, if you rest the ball on the back half of your hitbox, you’ll slow its flow to a trickle. If the ball rolls along your spoiler for long enough, it’ll come to a complete halt.

Bounce Dribble: Set-Up And Maintenance

Setup: Full Volleys, Half Volleys, Cuts, and Wall Rolls

In a bounce dribble setup, it’s important to tap the ball the moment it’s springing from the ground. The later you arrive to tap, the further forward our spherical companion arcs. The ball also loses stored momentum as it slices through gravity.

Bounce Dribble Infographic labelled "The Golden Bounce: When the half-volley's momentum is strongest." Text box A: "Leave enough space between your car and the ball to generate power, but avoid exceeding a car-length's distance for optimal possession and 50/50's." Text box B: "After a bounce, arrive earlier than the moment the ball's height exceeds your windshield's height."

Earlier taps yield better control.

For bounce dribbles, never flip into the ball until you’re ready to shoot.

You can draw exceptions to both these rules when plowing through a challenge. In those cases, always ensure you’ll flip second for a 50/50. Your opponent’s tires are sizzling compared to yours. Not even a flawless flip-cancel can brute-force you into winning that 50/50.

  • Most bounce dribbles begin on a half volley. That’s when a ball bounces and holds an upward arc.
  • If the last player to touch the ball rammed it toward you like a transcontinental freight train, tap your brakes before making your first contact. Pretend you’re soothing a newborn child. 
  • You can initiate bounce dribbles from a full volley by aerialing behind the ball and pummeling it into the ground. Recoveries are king. Unless you land on all four wheels, you’ll discard the setup.
half volley and full volley hitboxes
  • The cut method for a ball carry also functions as a bounce dribble setup.
    • You’ll need sharper turning capabilities.
    • Strive for exaggerated cuts. The closer you can get to bumping the front of the ball head-on, the more ruthless your pop-and-follow becomes.  
    • Feathering your brakes after the pop also helps provide space. You can use the extra clearance to boost forward and add momentum to your first half volley tap.
  • When space isn’t an issue, you can use the bell-curve of the wall to convert a dead, rolling ball into a robust Boinger.  
    • Wall bounces prove handy on a brisk ball whose momentum somewhat matches your angle.
    • You’ll usually still need to leverage an angle that bestows a small pop – but once the ball ricochets off the wall, it becomes more manageable. This is because: 
      • 1) The ball needs to cover more ground to arrive at its destination than you.
      • 2) The wall’s lower curve is a naturally-occurring upward momentum catalyst. Actually, unless you’re playing on Tokyo Underpass, it’s the only of its kind on the field.
    • Your opponents will struggle more than you to read a wall bounce. That’s because it’s a reflexive read for you. You only need to gauge the angle trajectory. Defenders must calculate:
      • 1) Your speed
      • 2) A new location to challenge from
      • 3) How to approach their destination without leaving their net wide open.
    • The wall is your friend. You can utilize it at any point during a bounce dribble chain. Remember that.

Tips for Sustaining Bounce Chains:

  • Tapping the ball with your bumper from behind generates considerable speed. After chaining 3-4 hits from the same direction, it’s nearly impossible to retain ball control.
  • Cutting into the side of the ball with your front quarter panel crafts attainable plays and splashes angle variance.
  • You can sprinkle higher lobs into your bounce dribble combos by:
    • 1) Driving directly under the ball on an upward arc, and 
    • 2) Tapping it with your windshield. Hood jabs also work, to a lesser extent. 
    • Note: This setup bears striking similarities to a carry. But there are two key differences. 
      • 1) You’ll arrive a quarter-second later to the ball
      • 2) You’ll intentionally center your car.
    • Be mindful when making hood and windshield pops. You’re creating pristine opportunities for skilled defenders to dunk you. They’ll yank plays from beneath your feet.
  • Maintain awareness of enemy cars behind you. They’re in a good position to transform you into a cloud of smoke. And, let me be frank, it’s the only thing they’re in a good position to do. They’ll likely go for it.
  • Quick input transitions between boost and powerslide define the ferocity of your bounce dribble plays. Habituate feathering powerslides to make more dramatic cuts in less time.

Bounce Dribble Execution Tactics: The Weave

  • Each bounce poses the threat of a shot on net. After your first bounce, you’ll coax defenders into the shadow defense position.
  • With each new bounce, you’re storing momentum into the ball for a faster strike.
  • Once you’ve earned your space, weaving bestows two lanes of attack: 
    • Weave the ball until you locate a hook shot that sneaks behind defenders.
    • Slow the opponent down enough so they can’t catch up to a shot aimed at the opposite end of their net.

Bounce Dribble Execution Tactics: Taunts

  • Some opponents pre-jump bounce dribbles. Generally speaking, if you’re gulping down boost like it’s served at a Vegas buffet, you’re telegraphing an upcoming shot. Good defenders know this and sometimes over-prepare. You can capitalize on pre-jumps by rolling the ball beneath them.
  • You can fake a touch on an upcoming bounce. Fakes are useful when opponents are shadow defending from too far away. It’ll trip up their pacing. They’ll either jump or slam their brakes. Both reactions establish openings to roll the ball behind them.
  • Light follow-up aerials are almost guaranteed to uproot players charging for direct 50/50’s. They’ll fall into the rhythm of you waiting for a bounce – and fool themselves into believing they’ll beat you to the ball. It’s a trap. When you’re bounce-dribbling, nobody on the scene is closer to the ball than you. 
  • If your ball-carrying skills are adequate, you can:
    • Single hop under the ball to transition to a bounce dribble.
    • Catch a bounce, bait commitment from the opponent, and immediately flick the ball toward an open net.
  • Trickery makes predicting your next move troublesome. That should be your main takeaway.

Push Dribble: Set-Up And Maintenance

Push dribbles bolster one monumental advantage over bounce dribbles and ball carries. They aren’t stifled by speed and timing constraints. Your hook shots pack a wallop from this setup. You’re swift to exploit mistakes.

Rolling the ball opens up insane delayed 50/50 challenge opportunities that even work on nuanced shadow defenders.

You also pick up a multifaceted toolbox brimming with new fake opportunities. Roll dribbles offer more fake variance than any other form of ball control.

I’ll delve into hooks and fakes under “Lanes of Attack.” For now, we’ll showcase the roll dribble’s signature move.

The Boost And Roll

Sometimes catching the opponent out of position is quick and easy. They might: 

  • Retreat early for a boost pad 
  • Get battered into oblivion
  • Overcommit 
  • Challenge impulsively
  • Miscalculate when they’re beaten to the pitch
  • Lunge lightyears past a lost 50/50
  • Attempt to nab the ball from a precarious on-field location 

In situations like these, don’t durdle around with the ball. That only buys players extra time to defend.

Just mash boost and roll the big round-squishy straight toward the finish line.

Ground Dribble Lanes of Attack
(And How to Execute Them)

Let’s shift gears to highlighting the offensive prowess of our newfangled tricks.


But first, a public service announcement about dealing with those “monkeys” you loathe so much:

Regardless of your plan of attack, your number one goal is baiting out opponents. 

And, by the power vested in Buffy Sugo, they’ll dive. You won’t always have time to snap axles, so it’s important to develop thoughtful 50/50 habits when things go awry. In most circumstances, whoever flips first loses the challenge. Low 50’s provide another reliable escape route against opponents signaling premature dunks.

Here’s the point: Don’t get hung up on the dribble. Sometimes you’ll run out of time to hoist the ball. Backing off of a play feels bad. But you look like a bigger idiot watching yourself eat dunks in replays. 

Don’t be that guy. I’m offering plenty of other offensive plays to fall back on.


Difficulty Level: 1

Compatible Setups: Roll Dribble, Ball Carry, Bounce Dribble

Fakes are the easiest trick in Rocket League. More importantly, they tread the avenue of least commitment. You haven’t flipped. You aren’t shredding through your boost reserve. You aren’t chucking the ball to your estranged father (who left for a carton of eggs 25 years ago.)

With fakes, you’ll recover instantly when a play backfires. 

Of course, the real tussle is awareness. I’ll shed insight from my thousands of hours dumped into RL.

When to Fake:

  • Fakes surge in effectiveness as you rank up. With awareness comes expectation. Still, fakes blossom into beautiful results as early as silver.
  • A clever juke transmutes terrifying low-boost plays into comical replays. Actually, if you’re struggling with an addiction to hundo boost pads, sloshing fakes cures your ailment overnight.
  • When opponents are blazing a supersonic trail and crossing the midline, they’re forcing themselves to predict your next touch. The moment you skip that touch, they zip past you and slingshot themselves miles from the play… again. They’ll need to blast through in the exact same manner. Don’t give them their desperate 50/50 chip. Fake it ‘til you make it. Lather, rinse, repeat.
  • Eyeball opponents who pre-jump an attack or begin navigating their backboard for clears. Odds are they’re confident in their challenges and reads. Your best bet is to shatter the mathematical equation firing off in their head. Fake a touch.
  • If you want to trample menacing shadow defenders, spice your plays up with some fakes. The fake itself might not get you far, but eventually, defenders question whether they can safely strip the ball away. They loosen up their defense in the process. Mind games make goaltenders sloppy.

I’ll list the top faking methods achievable at any rank:

  • Brake check: Slam those brakes whenever you observe a boost-guzzling blowhard anticipating your next touch. Defensive brake checks deliver results, too. They compel opponents to chuck the ball away. Sometimes you’ll coax aggressive players into awkward, do-nothing corner possessions. Just don’t brake check on defense if the opponent has a clean angle on your net.
  • Feather turn: A slight boost trail and a fake cut from behind the ball signals to your opponent that it’s time to act. Once they come tumbling in, recalibrate. The easiest feather turn play occurs while you’re driving along the wall. Signal that you’re planning to cut the ball in-field, and bounce it off the wall when the opponent commits.
  • Reverse wavedash: A reverse wavedash effectively acts as an E-brake. But the audio cue screams to your opponents that you’re flipping. It sends a visual cue that your nametag is rising. Most players parrot mentalities along the lines of “if he jumps, I jump.” Reverse wavedashes are perfect for opponents crossing the midline. They also trip up players who rely on high or late 50/50’s.
  • Backward flipless somersault: This maneuver does all the things a reverse wavedash handles, but staggers players who rely on low 50’s. That’s because your hitbox remains directly behind the ball for a delayed 50. It’s a great recovery for a failed reverse Musty flick or ground-to-air dribble, too. Be warned: Backward somersaults only work for head-on collisions.
Backward Fake: Flipless Somersalt Text: " 1. Jump to match the height of the ball. 2. Remain Centered. It's usually better to sit high than it is to sit low, since mosst players opt to knock the ball upward. 3. Be extra careful to align with the ball in the last few moments. Your flip timer expires."
  • The Dummy Play: The RLCS meta evolves overnight. Pros aren’t as gung-ho about rotation as they once felt. As defense continues to climb, riskier plays crowd the stage. A dummy play is a premeditated double commit. We pulled it from old-school soccer. Yeah, the sport with the silly-kicky feet. The first player captures everyone’s attention and fakes. The second sneaks up, sinks a far more devastating shot, and catches defenders off-guard. For dribbles, this translates to boosting past the ball or single-hopping and boosting away to prop the ball for an assist. Whip out a nasty bump on a key defender, while you’re at it.
  • Powerslide Fake Challenge (with half-flip recovery): This is a defensive fake that pencils you into a better shadowing state. While it might not be an attack, I wanted to include it because it’s a spectacular tool for setting up dribbles. You can snatch possession of a rolling ball by baiting opponents into tossing away their beloved cybernetic sphere. Your opponent wants to engage in 50/50’s fast and hard to maximize their chances of winning. Leverage that. Trick them into knocking the ball into your reach. As a general rule, never blitz along the wall (goalpost walls have exceptions.) Be patient. The opponent can’t send their oversized-chew-toy anywhere but toward you.

Single Jump Attack

Difficulty Level: 2 

Compatible Setups: Ball Carry

When an opponent charges within a five-car length diameter of you, any pop will trip them up. There’s no sense in surrendering the ball to a flick where single hops prevail.

Single jump catches unshackle your inner solo-carry skills. Rekindling possession after a high hop enables you to tackle 2 or 3 defenders at once. 

If you add a little directional air roll into the equation, you can even emulate powerful flicks without losing yourself in the painful eternal flip animation.

Hook Shots

Difficulty Level: 3

Compatible Setups: Roll Dribble, Bounce Dribble

Conceptually, hook shots are simple: Drift, then slice the ball the opposite direction. The real grind lies in timing. 

With these tips, you’ll be a certified hook shot marksman.

Universal Hook Shot Tips
(Applicable to Bounce Dribbles and Roll Dribbles):

  • Repeatedly tap powerslide to quantify more dramatic turns in shorter periods. You don’t need to jitter-tap or anything. 3-6 elongated clacks yield the best results.
  • Sideways wavedashes help optimize cut angles.
  • Simultaneous boosting and drifting will unleash bangers. Don’t try it unless defenders leave some slack, though. The shot is speedier, but you’re also tacking on extra movement that inhibits your 50/50 chips.
"The Power Hook" Infographic explaining why boosting with powerslide requires space. Text box A: "Not the size and distance of the gap before making a clean cut with the ball." Text box B: "Boosting through powerslide adds considerable speed to hoot shots." Text box C: "Tapping reverse cuts even harder at the cost of power." Tags: Crimson Cristiano Wheels, Resolve (Away) 22-23 season decal for octane.
  • More dramatic changes to the ball’s orientation result in higher lobs. A 90-degree cut is decent – but you can toggle that angle up to 180. Make your shots a headache for opponents to save. Make them leap.
  • Flip into your finishing attack any time speed is your only concern.
  • Any time an opponent retreats for a midfield boost pad, they grant you an effective hook shot opportunity.
  • Any time your opponent rotates back along the front post, they mail a postcard titled, “free hook shot.”
  • Opponents facing you in the center of their net are more susceptible to sudden changes to the pitch. That’s prime hook shot territory.

Roll Dribble Hooks:

  • Flipping into a grounded ball guarantees a roll. If a bounce would catapult the ball into the crossbar, join us on the flip-side.
  • Don’t roll the ball too fast. No matter how fast of a player you think you are, your car still faces physics parameters.
  • When someone spots you rolling the ball horizontally across the field, they often prepare for off-the-wall plays. Hook shots are faster and exploit defensive wall reads.
  • Ball-chasing instincts lure goalies toward the front post of their net. It’s like watching a swarm of summer moths infatuated with a flickering porch light. You’ll find an easy defensive hole behind them.
  • Sprinkle fakes against goalies in good positions. They’re too far out of the play to covet your ball. Each time they don’t bite for a fake, you’re still earning valuable time to reduce a play to a simmer. Remember: “Fast” is only good for exploiting bad positioning. “Slow” trips momentum.
  • You can give yourself a 4-5 car-length distance from roll dribble hook shots. Recoveries from this position are a cakewalk. That’s nearly five times the distance allotted for other dribbling plays. Don’t undersell the advantage!
Rocket League Hook Shot Infopraphic. Text: "Hook Shot Counterplays: Finding the Right Angle." A: Photo highlights the corner hitbox of the octane. Text reads, "Give yourself a car-length's distance from the ball to allow for speed and angle adjustments. Align the corner of your nose with the segment of the ball OPPOSITE of your desired path."

Bounce Dribble Hooks:

  • Bounces from the wall immediately shift the play 180 degrees. There’s no way to turn so dramatically in Rocket League without losing momentum.
  • Defenders with godlike recoveries still struggle when breakaway goals incorporate bounce dribble chains.
  • On counterplays, long-lobbed bullet bounces trump higher bounce chains. There’s no instance where covering ground loses importance in a breakaway goal.
  • Each time a bounce shifts the pitch to the opposite side, defenders consume boost. They’ll scramble to the new “back post.” In as little as two cross-field taps, you’ll dwindle enemy boost reserves and jumble their rotations.


Difficulty Level: 4

Compatible Setups: Bounce Dribble, Ball Carry

Flicks are best served on opponents who challenge frequently, and perpetually direct. Flicks present quick, nigh unstoppable directional changes. They’ll award you many goals throughout your RL career.

And the most basic, rudimentary flicks are among the most consistent offensive plays in Rocket League.

  • Contrary to popular belief, the “type of flip” has no impact on the speed or direction you’ll hit the ball. Flips only affect pop height.
    • Your touches boil down to:
      • 1) Your velocity
      • 2) How much of your mass connects with the ball
      • 3) The angle of impact.
    • Knowing this, we can pick flips based on scoop angles rather than direction. (Ex. A head-on side flip flick still sends the ball the same direction as a front flip, but fosters an immediate scoop from the front of your car. A front flip from this location is slower – and just spikes the ball downward.)
    • Flicks collect more momentum when they mirror the area the ball currently leans. (Ex. If a ball leans left, flip left. If a ball leans forward, flip forward.)
    • Diagonal flips consistently scoop from any location on your car.
    • No naturally-occurring flip boasts faster shots than the others. Backflips create slower taps, but that’s a result of tapping against the ball’s current trajectory.
  • Solid flicks rely on prolonged jump inputs. Higher jumps keep you closer to the ball.
  • To glue the ball to your car, jump while the ball rests on your hood.
  • If you reach the box, you’re flicking too late. Try a single jump or a fake instead.
    • Flicks from the outer box are fine, but I generally prefer double jumps or high lobs with a follow-up attack. Opponents are so close that they’re forced to act irrationally. You run minimal risks with a towering pop that doesn’t contact the backboard. And no fast aerial in Rocket League reaches the necessary heights to block lob flicks in such a tiny space.
An infographic determining the location of the box and endzone in a standard Rocket League stadium.
  • Flick location matters: 
    • Flicks from the back of your car (and backflip flicks) produce the highest pops. Trunk/backflip flicks reliably hover over challengers when you have the least amount of setup time.
    • Centered, high-lob flicks keep the ball closest. Centered flicks enable extended dribble plays.
    • Flicks sent from the hood of your car secure the most power and forward momentum. Hood flicks ice faraway defenders with poor momentum.
  • If you cradle the ball too hard before your flick, you won’t expel your flip’s full momentum onto it. Leave a tiny gap.
  • A vast majority of the advanced flick mechanics (listed below) rely on leveraging the ball with the very tip of your front bumper. It’s a spot where you’re basically guaranteed to fumble unless you commit to jumping.
  • Every flick becomes more potent when it’s ‘delayed.’
    • To delay a flick, save your flip until you arrive at the peak of your initial jump. You’ll sit closer to the ball and apply more leverage.
    • You can further delay flicks with flip-cancels. The flip lunges your car toward the pop and you can hold your car steady until the moment you’re practically kissing the ball. Once you release your flip-cancel, you’ll resume your regular flip movements and land a nasty flick.
  • You can utilize tornado spins to leverage more flip angles. That’s fancy speak for using directional air roll and tugging your analog stick in opposing directions. This fine-tunes your aerial mobility.
  • Your success rates skyrocket when you aim flicks behind defenders. No matter how good a player is, they can’t achieve as much from behind. Boost thrusters only scoot cars forward. 
  • Flick immediately against lagging or halted cars. Players without momentum have shorter aerial reach.
  • The best flick in Rocket League is the 45-degree flick. 
  • The most powerful flick in Rocket League is the JZR flick.

Here are a few tips for basic flicks.

Delayed front flip flick: 

  • Jump high. 
  • Tilt your car forward for a fraction of a second to solidify a stickier grip on the ball. 
  • Spill a small dab of boost.
  • Use your tail end to paddle the ball like you’re a 1950’s school teacher.

Diagonal flip flick: 

  • Aim your analog stick either at the 10-11 O’clock position or the 1-2 O’clock position. 
  • Directional air roll grants diagonal flicks astronomical levels of scoop and flair. 
  • Don’t be afraid of fiddling with flip cancels in various directions, either. A speed flip motion isn’t crazy forceful, but it’s a super consistent forward “doink.” Leaning toward a cardinal direction can multiply speed. Experiment.

Backflip flick: Backflip flicks are the undisputed king of high pops. Unlike a standard trunk flick, you’ll never accidently outdrive the ball. And it’s nearly impossible to screw up… Just backflip. If you’re center field, you won’t generate a better pass without mystical magnets or questionable ball-deflation tactics.

Those are just the basics.

Beyond that, numerous flicks exist. Most of them borrow their names from pros or content creators. Veering off to explain them in detail would blow this post outside of scope. Instead, I’ll organize a list to get you acquainted.

  • The 45: Squishy’s literal favorite. Rotate 45 degrees, air roll until the top of your car aligns with the side of the ball, then smash a diagonal backflip.
  • The 90: A more dramatic version of the 45. Instead, you rotate a full 90 degrees. It gobbles up more setup time and has a slightly better payoff.
  • The Mawkzy Flick: This is an incredibly brawny 45-degree flick variant that’s only possible with directional air roll and faster pacing. You’ll need to feel comfortable boosting while air rolling. You’ll need machine-like stability – moving the analog stick from the 4 or 8 O’clock position to an unerring 6 in mid-air. You’ll need to consistently hit the ball with the opposite fender from the one that’s cradling it. Good luck.
  • The Tornado Flick: An air roll scoop similar to an air dribble, followed by a backflip. Tug your analog stick in the opposite direction of the air roll for a “true” tornado flick. You’ll also hear this referred to as a “Classy Flick.”
  • The Bismillah Flick: Air roll upside down followed by a frontflip to scoop the ball upward. Here’s the catch: It’s only a Bismillah if your corner secures the tap.
  • The Musty Flick: A forward backflip flick. Conventional Mustys involve burrowing your nose toward the ground. The reverse variant mimics a backward somersault, then flicks within the bottom half of its rotation.
  • The Mognus Flick: A 180 backflip flick. Hop, twirl left or right, then scoop with a backflip.
  • The Turtle Flick: Catch the ball while sliding upside-down along the grass. Then use the “Rocket League Pro Tip” that appears in the corner. Tap gas to flip your car.
  • The Breezi Flick: This is effectively a Musty Flick, but with extra steps. We’re tilting our car straight to the ceiling, then rotating 180 degrees sideways to reach the forward backflip motion. True freestylers regulate both motions simultaneously. Even then, the Breezi Flick eats valuable time.
  • The Thano Flick: This one’s a doozy. To Thano Flick, land a front corner pop, tornado spin, boost away from the ball, then scoop it with your front corner hitbox while upside down.
  • The JZR Flick: Moi! Moi! JZR’s flick is a diagonal backflip flick with an immediate flip cancel forward. Mix directional air roll with an ordinary backflip to make the motions easier on yourself. Sometimes you’ll hear someone call this a “Boomer Flick.”
  • The Kamehameha Flick: An awkward-looking 90-degree horizontal rotation followed by a backflip cancel. If you boost beneath the ball this generates an insane pop. Fundamentally, this is similar to a JZR flick with more motions and setup time.
  • The Skadoosh Flick: A 180 backflip flick performed with the wheels primarily contacting the ground. It utilizes a forward diagonal wavedash-cancel to slide quickly through the turn.
  • The Evample Dash Flick: A sideways-facing wavedash catch, followed by an insta-flick. As always, you’ll need to drift like a street racer to imitate Evample.
  • Triple Dash Flick: A triple wavedash flick. The wavedashes don’t provide actual value here, since you’re rocking your car back and forth to achieve them.
  • The Breezi Pop: The Breezi Pop boasts an insane recovery that permits easy follow-up touches. It’s a backflip wavedash timed perfectly so the hood of your car springs up and grazes the ball.
  • The Seba Flick: A stalled flip reset launched from a ground dribble. Some circles refer to this flick as the “Cabbage Moncher.”
  • The Maktuf Flick: Some freestylers grapple beneath a low-popped ball for a Maktuf Reset. Then they flick the ball into oblivion. Ideally, you want to flip-cancel your dodge from the ground and rotate upside-down and longways to catch the ball.
  • The Turbo Flick: In an RLCS match, Turbopulsa missed the flick but nailed a demo on an unsuspecting defender. It flaunts more practical applications than most trick shots. It’s also twice as rage-inducing. If you want to add the Turbo Flick to your arsenal, go for it.
  • The Athena Flick: This one’s derpy, but y’all will destroy my inbox if I overlook it. “Athena’s” flicks are a subcategory of flicks where we botch the execution and thrust the ball into the crossbar. It provides handy pass opportunities if you become consistent.
  • The Fairy Peak: A diagonal flip that visibly misses the ball, until the ending landing animation clips through and jukes defenders. The new kids on the block started labeling this a “Wizard Flick.”

Here’s a link to my Musty Flick tutorial. I’ve also covered the Evample and Skadoosh flicks in my wavedash guide listed below. I’ll whip up guides to the Mognus, Tornado, JZR, and Breezi Pop… eventually. 

The others nestle themselves above my pay grade.

Wavedash Catches

Difficulty Level: 5

Compatible Setups: Ball Carry

Wavedash catches are extra speedy fakes that don’t gain relevance until you confront opponents with mid-champ level awareness. I cover wavedashes extensively here, but I’ll list the info relevant to dribble-catches:

  • Thanks to the applied speed boost provided by your pseudo-flip, you can deliver single-hop pops and catch up to the ball in time to resume your carry. 
  • Always use short hops for wavedashes. Even if overcoming the two-and-a-half-second flip timer isn’t an issue, you’ll gain speed by further shortening your hops.
  • If you don’t land with powerslide, you’re doing it wrong. Without a concrete grasp of momentum preservation, you honestly aren’t ready to wavedash.
  • Boost toward the ground to catch up to runaway balls.
  • Straight forward-facing wavedashes are pretty useless for dribbling. Learn to wavedash with various flip inputs from multiple angles.
  • The ball applies pressure to your car when you smack it in the air. Use your air rolls to work with physics, not against them.
Infographic highlighting how low you can jump for a wavedash. Text reads: "Wavedash catches: Optimal height and adjustments." A: "The clouds here signify where the jump took place." B. "Notice how short this hop is (half a wheel-length.) You can achieve a low hop like this with a combination of quick inputs and pressure from the ball." C. "Next, you'll want to tilt your car back until the back wheels align with the ground. Then you can wavedash forward."

Pop-And-Follow (Ground-to-Air Dribbles)

Difficulty Level: 6

Compatible Setups: Bounce Dribble, Ball Carry

When coupling pristine ball control with awesome aerial car control, vaulting into the skies becomes a viable option. I hit the major details in my air dribble guide, but I’ll lay some groundwork here:

  • Bounce dribbles segway into air dribbles much faster than ball carries.
  • Prolonged jumps work best for successful ground-to-air dribbles.
  • On pop-ups:
    • Transitioning from a ball carry to an air dribble feels tricky at first. The ball applies pressure to your car, which hinders your launches. Tilt your analog stick back before jumping to mitigate this.
    • When jumping from a ball carry, contain the ball within the front third of your hood to retain possession.
    • If the ball pops high and slow, use your second jump to break your car’s velocity.
    • Don’t spin your wheels. In Rocket League, for whatever reason, throttle affects your speed in mid-air.
  • On your first touch: 
    • Be extra careful to forge direct contact from the bumper of your car to the undercarriage of the ball.
    • Your car should sit at an upward angle, but keep your bumper flat.
    • A light air roll helps mitigate recoil from tapping the ball.
  • The lower 20% of the ball scoops best. The upper 20% spikes hardest.
  • Ground-to-air dribbles behave like flicks to nearby enemies. But they extend your possession to handle the goalies lurking in the background. Ground-to-air dribbles shine best when you need to quickly dispatch multiple defenders.
  • Ground-to-air dribbles garner opportunities for double taps off of the backboard.
  • Launching into the air at low speeds consumes colossal amounts of boost. Don’t attempt them more than twice per match. Mix things up with a double-jump ground-to-air single tap.

Exercises to Improve Your Dribbles

You’re probably itching to flick. Don’t! 

Patience is a virtue.

Practice your hops and powerslide turns before graduating to flicks. And before dabbling with those, you need to comfortably juggle the ball.

You’re lucky. Kids today get access to ball key binds in freeplay. Back in my day, we shoveled through the ol’ Kronovi method. We used the wall as a crutch and drove laps around the field. In 15 feet of snow. Uphill, both ways!

I uhh… couldn’t resist.

PC players can also access rigorous workshop maps. Although, the maps are geared toward tightening skills rather than learning.

So I dredged up 5 training packs and 5 freeplay drills instead.

5 Training Packs Geared Toward Effective Ground Dribbles

The Wayton Pilkin Training Pack

Wayton designed this pack special. Catching the ball requires zero effort. You don’t even need to turn. Focus on balancing cross-field and familiarizing yourself with prevalent overcorrection errors.

Yeeza’s Delayed Flicks

This training pack helped familiarize me with ball positioning for complex flicks. He provides equal distribution to both sides of the field. As you progress through the pack, you’ll topple increased distances and tighter angles. This training pack also helps you efficiently drill wavedash catches.

Krux’s Awkward Corner Wall Clears

Recommending a shot pack designed for aerial backboard clears might sound counterintuitive. Especially one focused on awkward corner bounces. 

Hear me out:

You won’t improve your catches unless you practice them in a natural setting.  Krux programmed this defensive training pack funky. It’s a striker pack with your target goalpost nestled behind you.

For dribbling, that becomes a perk.

I want you to clear that ball hard. I mean, really send it. 

You’ll have 5-6 extra seconds to: 

  • Chase the ball 
  • Flip off ball-cam
  • Perform a catch
  • Whip around 180 degrees
  • Place that ball in the net you just yeeted it from. 

The timer expires after your catch, and that’s sincerely helpful. It’ll pressure you into balancing across the field. This drill: 

  • Builds muscle memory
  • Familiarizes you with the sense of urgency
  • And strengthens wall reads in the process.

It’s honestly my top pick.

Lazlord Catch And Dribble - Hard

With this training pack, you’ll perform high pop catches while toggling an active ball-cam. Shots rain in from behind, far-side high pops, and from bounces off the wall. They’re all incredibly awkward. If you can catch these, you’ll catch W’s.

Kevpert’s 1S Shots

Want to master hook shots? Try slapping complete 180’s into your jockeying routine. The skill sets for shadow defense challenges and hook shots are identical. If you can force yourself into faster possession pickups, you can dispatch lethal hooks. 

Kevpert’s 1’s pack trounces the territory. It’s unparalleled.

Competitive 1's Diet

Suck it up, buttercup. Play 5-10 1v1’s a day. You’ll see progress. Ignore your rank. Deficits come with acquiring new skills. You’ll emerge from this a stronger human being.

It’s important you drill dribbles against live opponents. Otherwise, you’ll never notice when you’re making plays from lousy areas or sweeping up the ball like a snail.

5 Freeplay Drills to Amplify Your Ground Game

The Kronovi Shuffle

"The Kronovi Shuffle" freeplay drill. Difficulty level: Low. Prop the ball onto the wall and drive around with it.

Drill: Use the wall to help balance the ball while you familiarize yourself with the impact of your touches. When this feels too easy, it’s time to learn how to cut in-field without dropping the ball.

Purpose: Defenders find plays rolling along a wall unthreatening. At higher ranks, they’ll even acknowledge challenging here is a fruitless and avoidable risk. Long after you conquer dribbling without the wall, this field zone requires unique skill sets. And it presents frequent possession opportunities.

Twirly Ball

Twirly ball exercise. Image shows two grounded octanes spiraling with the ball propped on their rooftops.

Drill: Powerslide in circles with the ball propped up. Feather your brakes to make more dramatic turns. Boost and powerslide, too.

Purpose: Outplaying opponents on shadow defense opens thousands of doors to counter-dribble. But most players suffer insecurities making dramatic turns with the ball. If you can boost and powerslide simultaneously, you’ll outplay anyone.


Hopscotch freeplay drill. Chain bounces as long as you can. Image shows a ball entering the half-volley state in the back corner of Sovereign Heights map.

Drill: Chain bounces until you tie or break your personal record.

Purpose: Mistimed pops occur all the way up to Grand Champ lobbies. Develop your reads and car control, and you’ll consistently harp on open nets.

Back Corner Cross-Field Cuts

hook shot from back corner from a roll dribble, as showcased in a 1v1 between Fairy Peak and Scrub Killa. Tags: Rocket League Dribbling exercise.

Drill: Pluck the ball up from a corner boost and roll it diagonally across the field. Then, attempt a hook shot after passing the half-field markers. As your consistency matures, hasten your shots and widen your angles.

Purpose: Collecting possession of the ball escalates your clears into counterplays. This drill trains you to derail hyper-offensive teams at the precise moment they retreat for boost pads.

Half Volley Weaves

Image Text: Half-Volley Weaves. Difficulty Level: High. Drive directly beneath the ball between chaining bounces. Image shows a crimson octane with resolve esport decal, crimson cristiano, and crimson flamethrower boost running bounce dribble drills.

Drill: Pop the ball. Drive directly beneath it. Powerslide a meticulous 180. Continue your bounce-dribble chain. Repeat.

Purpose: It’s statistically proven that higher-ranked players powerslide more times per match. The average grand champ powerslides 16 and a half times per minute, with each powerslide lasting for only a tenth of a second. I’ll drop a graph below. Powerslide mastery is, without a doubt, the most important skill in Rocket League. This drill helps consolidate bounce dribble chain regimens with hook shot preparation. With a few reps a day, you’ll notice yourself sprucing up your bounce-dribble plays with more aggressive finishers. Honestly, you’ll notice your everything improve.

A graph showing trends between RL ranks for "Powerslides per minute" and "Average powerslide duration" PPM increases exponentially between ranks. APD trends downward. The average GC powerslides over 16 times per minute and each slide lasts for a tenth of a second.

How Useful is Learning to Dribble in Rocket League?

Rating: A-

With the abundance of mechanics to learn in Rocket League, I like to grade them. Then you can decide what’s worth your time.

Feast your eyes, dribbles are the only mechanic I’ll rate higher than flip-cancels. 

In 3’s, a bally carry usually hauls as much promise as a letter written to Santa Claus. Still, dribbling is the pinnacle of developing ball control.

Learning to dribble doesn’t substitute superb awareness and positioning. But once you build your mental repertoire, dribbles exploit floundering enemies unlike any other tool at your disposal.

If you’re ranked gold or below, I suggest spending more time twisting the ball with roll dribbles. But don’t feel discouraged. I’m basically re-enacting Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid right now. Wax on. Wax off. 

Mr. Miyagi but he's an octane from Rocket League. He says, "Uhh... Yeah man. Come paint my fence. You'll be "Learning Karate."

Then, BOOM! 

Your nostrils flare with the smoldering breath of Car-Ball-Jutsu, as prophesied in all the ancient texts. You’ll unsheath your primordial blade and draw it upon your foes. A ragged cloth loosely wraps its handle. Ingrained into the razor-sharp edge lies an inscription. Upon your touch, the blade will drown the evening sky with an ambient lurid glow. Infernal voices will chant a super-weeby proverb neither of us has ever heard… 

And you’ll flick a ball so hard that your opponents scroll straight to the forfeit button. They’ll retreat to their provincial muddy straw estates on Fortnite.

Trust the process.

Misc Dribbling Facts

If you’re one of the dozen people who made it to the end of this guide, you’re probably fervently passionate about Rocket League. I’ll drop some RL ground dribble-related trivia before signing off. We can draw heaps of inspiration from dedicated RL trailblazers.

With the long road ahead, you’ll appreciate the fat dopamine hit of watching the world’s finest dribblers disintegrate defender’s suspension kits into geletin. They’ll plant some fresh ideas in your head, too.

Mizu mentioned in my interview with him that he’d set a new ground dribble world record at 65 minutes during a live stream. Unfortunately, I can’t  track it down.

But his fans swear by it. He did perform it for an audience, so I’ll credit him. The footage is just drowning somewhere in the Twitch archives.

Before that, the longest recorded ground dribble was set by Sebadam way back in 2017. It lasted 33 minutes and 45 seconds. 

Evample holds the current world record of 120 nauseating spins before spilling the ball… or his guts.

Anyone who watches Evample probably isn’t shocked. And if you’re uninitiated, I featured Evample in my top Rocket League Youtuber picks. He’s worth the watch!

Rocket League’s first ground dribble is almost untraceable. Back in the RLCS dinosaur days, the term “air dribble” hadn’t caught on yet. Both mechanics were interchangeably coined as dribbles.

And air dribbles became an overnight sensation thanks to our boy Kuxir.


Team Rocket was the first RLCS team to balance the ball on their cars. The standout names in this org were Doomsee and Linkuru. Although I suspect their coach, Ryuu, drilled the skill into their practice sessions, making it hard to distinguish who first discovered the ball carry.

IBuyPower/G2 Lachinio was probably most consistent with ground dribbles in RL’s infancy, but every player to grace the iBuyPower roster dominated in ground plays. Kronovi and 0ver Zer0 helped define the 2015 RL meta. SadJunior and Gibbs weren’t slouches, either.

Dappur began spicing up his ball carries with wavedashes circa 2017. He clipped on Leth, Gimmick, Kaydop… pretty much all the major 1’s names of the time.

And… the rest was history.

My vote goes to Chausette45.

He dominated DreamHack Valencia by single-handedly dribbling past entire professional 3’s teams. I’m talking about top-tier teams like NRG, Cloud9, etc. 

Chausette toppled all the fan favorites back-to-back.

He concocts brisk plays from thin air. He knows the most devastating flicks. Most importantly of all, he doesn’t throw himself out of position or put his team at a disadvantage. 

I draw most of my inspiration from Chausette. But I’m keeping a watchful eye on Zen, too.

Anyway, that’s a wrap. Thanks for reading!