The aerial is one of the last barriers to break to make it to high-level Rocket League play, but don't try to attempt it too early in your career. Part of nailing an aerial is anticipating where the ball is going to be after it ricochets off a wall or ceiling. You need that initial knowledge as the groundwork to eventually build this skill. Once you've mastered it, you'll almost exclusively use boost for aerials.
Frustration is inevitable. Mastering the aerial requires patience.
Mastering aerials involves a lot of trial and error. You're going to miss almost every aerial you try at first. Making contact with the ball at all — even if it doesn't go where you are trying to put it — is progress. Frustration is inevitable. Mastering the aerial requires patience.
Eventually, the aerial battle isn't about who can hit the ball in the air. It's about who can hit the ball in the air first. Everyone can do aerials at high levels. Knowing where the ball is going allows you to get off the ground and to the ball first.
How to perform an aerial
To pull off an aerial, jump off the ground and then hit the boost in mid-air, while you're pointed in the direction of the ball. You'll need a steady thumb on the left stick to steer.
The second jump comes into play when you need to put some added oomph on the ball. Always use the second flip with low flying aerials. Just before you make aerial contact with the ball, you can flip into it with a front flip or barrel roll. This is the best way to crush the ball and get some real speed behind it.
Beware of the hidden timer on the second flip. You only have 1.5- 2 seconds between your initial jump and the second jump. If you don't use it within that time, it's gone. All you can do is make the aerial contact with boost.
You don't need a ton of boost to pull off most of these moves. You'll usually only need between 20 and 30 boost to handle most aerial attempts, unless they're just below the ceiling. Don't even try them if you feel like you don't have enough boost to pull them off. A failed aerial will almost always leave you out of position.
Elite aerial maneuvers
Once you master making contact with the ball in the air, you can try out some elite aerial maneuvers with the square button on PlayStation 4 or the X button on an Xbox controller. While in the air, that button controls your car's pitch, which helps you further control your car to precisely strike the ball on the angle where you want to send it.
Juggling boost, the pitch button and the left stick to steer requires a staggering level of in-air control. This takes hundreds of hours of Rocket League to nail.
The perfect time to practice
Take advantage of game time when you have a big lead and the opposing team doesn't forfeit. This is the perfect time to improve your aerial game. Hoops mode is another solid choice for aerial practice. The ball has to be off the ground to score, which makes it a good candidate for practice. Plus, it's not ranked. If you don't like hoops mode, there's always casual modes.