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Rocket League
News > Sports game > Rocket League

Rocket League Standard guide: When to challenge, 3v3 rotations and roles

The key to success for the way the game was intended to be played.
Rocket League was meant to be a 3v3 game, period. Hence, the esport revolving around the concept. There’s room for solo plays, duo plays or even a pitch-long passing play.

Since the skill ceiling is still being discovered almost six years since the game released, 3’s will take a little longer to get used to it as the game takes a mind of its own when at its highest level.

But fear not, as once you take a step back and frame it correctly, Rocket League Standard makes all the sense in the world so without further ado, here’s your guide in rotations, roles and more for 3v3 car-soccer.

Rocket League 3v3 Roles

The beauty in the format will be found in the rotations. The wider or tighter they get, the more or less time the opposition will have to play with the ball.

First-man will always make sure to disrupt any attempt from the opposing team, that being challenging a dribble, blocking a pass, going for a fifty.

Second-man has the hardest job on the pitch as they must look out for an opening to push up and try and score without leaving third-man unassisted in case the opposing team breaks away.

Third-man/Last-man is supporting second-man who is supporting first. 

rocket league 3v3 rotations roles positioning challenge(Picture: Psyonix)

Whilst it sounds confusing, it literally is an order that’s being dictated by the location of the ball. If the ball is pinched and lands in the middle of your team, you have to develop the ability to define who’s first, second and third in the split of a second.

Having that kind of distinction as second nature will make rotations go smooth as butter.

Rocket League 3v3 Rotations

The way that 3’s rotate is pretty simple: push up on the ball until you can’t push anymore. Whenever the latter happens, rotate behind third-man.

If by any chance whenever second-man gets on the ball and it shoots out in an advantageous position for any non-first-man player, the rotation gets cancelled.

Meaning the player closest to the ball then becomes first-man, and second-man and last-man get defined by the distance between each teammate and first-man holding the ball.

Rocket League 3v3: When to challenge

Challenging can be a nightmare considering the number of windshields and wheels on the pitch so a rule of thumb is using voice chat or quick chat comms for all and any commits.

This inherently means that challenging will become a warning and direction rather than an instinct. Just imagine six people trying to figure out what to do with one Rocket League ball and three of them are trying to work together.

When solo queueing ranked, your best queue to challenge will be when you’ve used your right stick to get a quick look around and you have certainty no teammates are nearby for the touch. 

Or when your team spams “Take the shot!”, you know, that also works.