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Choosing a car and getting started

Cars, trading, choosing a camera and an introduction to boost

Choosing a car and customization

Rocket League comes with several cars to choose from. Completing matches unlocks new cars and gear to customize those cars. Each car has its own stats like turning radius, a different turning radius while boosting and hitbox differences. Each car has the same speed off the line, and that's what's most important. While there are differences in each car, these differences are negligible. Use a car that you're comfortable with, or just one that looks the coolest. It's possible to get good with any car in the lineup.

For those curious about the exact stats of each car, check out the Imgur post from user Varixai. Take that information with a grain of salt, though. Picking the car with the "best stats" really isn't going to make you a better player at the start.

The Trade System

It's possible to get duplicate car toppers, antennae, decals and boost trails. Thankfully, Psyonix added a trade-in system in season two. Unlocked gear has four tiers: common, uncommon, rare and very rare. You can exchange five uncommon pieces of gear for one rare piece and five rare pieces for one very rare piece. Feel free to customize your car as you see fit. It doesn't change any attributes or even the hitbox of the vehicle.

Playing Rocket League

You picked a car that you like, and you're ready to hit the pitch. Before you jump right into baptism by fire in the competitive playlist, there are better places to start out.

Play the tutorial

Rocket League has a tutorial for a reason. Use it to your advantage. It's quick, and it helps teach the basics like jumping, double jumping, rolling and boosting. Be sure to play both tutorials before playing online. Your teammates will thank you.

Choosing a camera

As soon as you jump into your first game, the default setting is to have Ball Cam off. This default camera setting follows the front of your car. You'll see straight ahead to wherever your car is pointing. An arrow will appear around your car to show where the ball is at all times. The other option is using Ball Cam, which follows the ball at all times. Pressing the triangle button on the DualShock 4 or Y on an Xbox controller toggles the two different viewing options.

Choosing between Ball Cam and no Ball Cam is a matter of preference. We've met and played with people who play with both. Our suggestion: Use Ball Cam 90 percent of the time and toggle it off when you need to pick up a boost. The most important thing in Rocket League is knowing precisely where the ball is at all times. Boost is also essential, so just switch to make sure you're headed toward one of the pads.

You can also use the right stick to shift the camera. That's another option if you want to keep Ball Cam on the whole time and just use the right stick to observe your surroundings.

Using boost

Speaking of boost, it isn't as important when you're starting out as it is at higher levels of play. Its importance also varies depending on what mode you're playing. We'll explore what that means in the specific mode sections later in this guide.

At each face-off, every car on the field starts with 34 boost. Small boost pads are scattered throughout the field that yield 12 boost. Those pads respawn every four seconds. There are a total of six full boost pads on the field. There's one at the four corners, plus two along each wall at midfield. Speed kills in Rocket League. The more boost you have, the faster you can get to the ball. Simple, right?

Don't just drain your boost at all times. Use it wisely. If you're speeding to attack the ball and you have to get there before your fast-approaching opponent does, use it there. Don't just drive around while holding the circle button (B on an Xbox controller).

Eventually, you'll need that boost to master the art of aerials. Aerials separate the rookies from the veterans. If you're out of boost and need to get somewhere in a hurry, be sure to front flip by jumping and immediately jumping again while holding forward on the analog stick as you're traveling at top speed. This will carry you forward faster. It's also a good move to use when trying to conserve boost.