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In this Rocket League controller setup guide, we’ll look at the most commonly adopted controller layouts of notable professional players. This will help you to decide how to reassign your boost, air-roll and more. If you find yourself making too many input mistakes, or you just want to test if a different configuration may work better for you, keep reading.
The overwhelming majority of notable professional Rocket League players use the PlayStation 4 controller (DualShock 4), but it’s not objectively better. There is a good percentage of top-earning professional players who use the Xbox One controller, followed by a small minority of still successful keyboard and mouse (KB&M) players.
Regardless of what choice of controller you use, it is safe to say that the choice comes down to simple personal preference.
Default settings for controllers
The default controls of Rocket League are not configured for the top level of play in mind. This layout has the right thumb responsible for all of your core actions: jump, boost, air-roll, powerslide and ball-cam. This may be fine for the casual player, but it can start to cause problems at the higher levels of competitive play where there is a requirement to be able to make quick, precise or simultaneous button presses in a short time.
In the early days of Rocket League esports, professionals either played with their thumb responsible for all five core actions, or they adopted the “claw-grip” style. This is where you use your index finger for Circle/B and your middle finder on R2/RT.
Having your thumb responsible for all of these actions can cause issues such as accidentally missing a second jump command during kick-off or accidentally back-flipping while trying to fast-aerial. The claw grip is also quite uncomfortable for most players to adopt long-term.
The solution to avoiding the risk of accidental button hits and misses — or having to adopt the claw-grip style — is to move the responsibility of one action or more to the shoulder buttons. While accidents are still possible, moving just one action can ease your controls by distributing the controls between two hands.
The most popular reassignment among the professionals is air-roll/powerslide over to L1/Left Bumper. This assigns the two actions to the left index finger and reduces the responsibility of your right thumb.
The second most popular re-assignment is boost over to R1/Right Bumper. This is done with or without having moved air-roll/powerslide to L1/Left bumper.
With one or more of these core actions reassigned to the shoulder buttons, you can jump, air-roll and boost all at the same time. This gives you more fluid control over the car in an aerial situation and allows button press combinations easier.
Cameron “Kronovi“ Bills is an example of a Rocket League player who used the claw-grip style on default controls for a long time. In this video, Kronovi discusses changing his control settings after RLCS Season 5 and how this update helped him improve as a player.
One of the most decorated RLCS professionals, Pierre “Turbopolsa“ Silfver, uses an uncommon reassignment. He has boost assigned to L1/Left Bumper instead of R1/Right Bumper. This shows that while reassignment is key, conforming to the popular choice isn’t mandatory.
Dillon “Rizzo“ Rizzo, another highly successful RLCS player, has a unique Halo-like controller layout. His acceleration and reverse are controlled by pointing the left analog stick up or down. This also proves that following popular controller layouts isn’t strictly necessary — it’s about making a change that works for yourself.
There are some notable professional players who have air-roll directions reassigned to the shoulder buttons.
This allows you to air-roll your car quickly or with fine adjustments with fewer button inputs. Some players claim it helps them to freestyle, Kuxir-twist, tornado flick, ceiling shot and half-flip more efficiently. However, other players argue that it’s a hindrance more than an advantage.
Some players will opt to have just one air-roll direction mapped to either of the shoulder buttons. For example, assigning boost to L1/Left Bumper with just air-roll right assigned to R1/Right Bumper. This allows the player to have one air-roll direction available for skills like half-flips.
Each notable professional player has a sensitivity different to the next. This is also a part of controller settings that are purely preference. The deadzone and sensitivity settings do not increase the max turning radius or air-rolling rotational speeds of your car. They control how quickly your analog stick engagement registers in-game.
The deadzone is how far you have to move the analog stick from the center before the input registers in-game. A lower sensitivity makes your car feel more responsive overall. However, the minimum you can realistically play with while avoiding stick-drift is 0.05.
Dodge deadzone sets how far your analog stick has to be pushed in order for analog movement + jump to register as a flip. A higher dodge deadzone means the analog stick needs to be engaged more to register the dodge/flip. Many players increase this to help reduce the likelihood of accidental back-flips when trying to fast aerial.
A higher aerial or steering sensitivity will allow you to engage in the highest turning/rotating radius available to you. This allows you to start a rotation sooner than a default setup. It does not increase your car’s turning radius or air-roll rotation speed.
Keyboard and mouse
There is a small group of notable professional Rocket League players using keyboard and mouse for their controls. Here are the keybindings to consider using if you’re also one of these players.
Re-learning controller schemes
It can take many hours to adjust to your new controller layout as you’re fighting muscle memory. However, it is just a matter of time. You will be better for it in the long run.
To avoid ruining any of your ranks, we suggest you adapt to the changes in training and free play first to build up the muscle memory.
Originally written by Ellis Lane.