One on One Rocket League Is A Whole Different Ball Game
Submitted on: 05/24/2016 by Fraser Gilbert
For the past few months, I’ve been playing Rocket League on an almost exclusively 1v1 basis. It isn’t something that many other players choose to do, and most would argue the game isn’t meant to be played that way. I agree with that sentiment to an extent, but there’s a certain quality to duel competition, and I’ve enjoyed my time with it so far.
Despite my fairly extensive experience with Rocket League in the past, I was awful at 1v1 gameplay in the initial stages. A lot of the skills you pick up in multiplayer competition don’t translate all that well to the 1v1 game, and you need to adapt the rest of your skill set to suit the situation. Due to the nature of it, everything you do in 1v1 has potentially severe consequences if you make a mistake. As a result, skill and finesse arguably shine through even more than usual.
You’ll figure this out before you’ve even touched the ball, as the opening face-off becomes a much more strategic affair when you’re on your own. You need to think about how you approach the ball, the severity of your charge and what your opponent is doing. It won’t take long for you to discover that failing to do this will result in a barrage of conceded goals. Over time, you’ll figure out the best ways to approach these mini contests, but be prepared for a lot of trial and error in the interim.
Once you’ve got past that initial hurdle, you’ll constantly need to pay attention and be on your guard. Success in the 1v1 game comes down to a number of key factors. In my eyes, the most important of these are:
Let's start by taking a look at anticipation. You always need to know your location, your opponent’s location and the ball’s location. Yes, multiplayer is very similar to this in the fact that you need to ensure your positioning and anticipation is stellar, but there, you might get away with the odd slip-up. You’ll have no such luck in duel competition, so it’s always best to hold back and protect your goal if the risks appear too great. This is where patience comes in, as you can’t be tempted to charge forward unless you’re certain you’ll get to the ball first.
Of course, skill enters into the equation as well. If you aren’t so good at the basics of Rocket League (including aerials), you might want to stick to offline 1v1 play or keep persevering with multiplayer for now. Playing on your own means you need to be incredibly precise with your movements to save certain goals, as well as make them for yourself. It’s not uncommon for scores to reach double figures in 1v1 when one player is finding it difficult, and it can become demoralizing if your skills aren’t up to scratch.
Don’t get me wrong, adding more players to the mix makes the game more exciting for the most part, especially when playing with friends. I still believe 1v1 has its place, though, and I feel like I’ve become a better player because of it. As it stands, modes like Rocket Labs and Hoops aren’t playable in a 1v1 online environment. I can’t say I’ve ever seen any demand for duel variations of them, so it obviously isn't seen as a big deal by the majority of players, but it’d be nice to see them implemented all the same. It should be noted that you can play all of these modes offline against the AI and in local multiplayer if you want to, as you can see in some of these screenshots.
The 1v1 lobby is always fairly well-populated, so there’s evidently a hefty portion of players who enjoy playing this side of the game. Whether it will gain in popularity or remain a fun side attraction is yet to be seen, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s there to offer something different, so next time you’re scouring the menus of Rocket League for something to do, give it a try! You might just enjoy it more than you thought you would.
What is your favorite way to play Rocket League? Are you enjoying the new Hoops update, or do you prefer to stick to classic Soccer gameplay? Let us know.