Johan Last updated / Published Sep 27 · 2021
Rocket League Mastery: The Basics Of Defending

Welcome to the GamerzClass blog section where we will be providing you with a variety of guides on how to get better at Rocket League! Today, we're going to be talking about some of the basic concepts for the position of defender. Although these are targeted towards players at the Gold and Platinum ranks, they can also come in hand for players at lower ranks who are trying to reach this level. They can even help new players understand the game and give them a sense of direction.

Angle of approach

As a defender, you need to be able to anticipate the variety of ways in which an enemy shooter might try to score a goal against you. In order to give yourself as much room as possible, the aim is to approach from as wide of an angle as possible. Doing this not only give you better vision of what's happening and where the ball is, but also greater flexibility in executing a save.

You need to keep in mind that such a maneuver is performed well when approaching from the back post. Ideally, you want to run up on the opposite side of where the enemy player is coming from. It gives you the time to adjust your speed and height of approach, better than if you were to run along the same side as the enemy player.

Even in the event that you're coming from the same side, the back post rotation is favorable compared to a direct line. The key to this is thinking of what angle the ball will hit you. Generally, you want it to be from the side. Although it may not seem like you'll make it, this can give you the speed necessary to get there in time. That's why this move is recommended here.

Sitting on the goal line

If you're not in the middle of the field, but rather sitting near your goal post to defend, then your positioning needs to be just right. Players will often make the mistake of being either too far ahead or too far back inside the box. Instead, get into the habit of sitting right on the goal line.

What this does is that it gives you the best possible chance to block the ball from almost any given angle. Sitting inside the box can allow very aggressive players to get the shot, while standing too far out doesn't give you enough time to react. It also increases the likelihood of you missing a save from high shots, and narrows your field of view to an undesirable level.

Power clears

For the latter scenario i.e., sitting on the goal line, there's a simple tactic that can improve how you clear the ball. Instead of going straight into the ball, flip into it. This sends the ball right onto your opponent's side and returns their pressure. You'll notice a stark difference in how much space this will give you and your team, compared to hitting the ball headlong.

To make it even better, flip the ball immediately after it bounces on the ground. You'll need to practice this in training mode to get the timing right. Or, you can play a series of 1v1s to get the hang of it. Waiting for the ball to bounce once keeps it in momentum, instead of slowing it down and letting it stay on your half of the field.

Try out these simple tricks you've learned today, practice them a whole bunch, and you're sure to improve your game. Remember, always keep your eyes on the ball and stay focused, you're bound to climb up the ranks in no time!

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