Rocket League Sideswipe - Threes Guide
Rocket League Sideswipe just entered its third season and with it comes yet another new ranked mode. Threes extends the traditional soccer-like arena to make room for an additional car on each team, which adds an entirely new dynamic to what is otherwise very familiar territory at this point.
I've spent a good amount of time with this new mode since it came out and am finding myself steadily climbing the ranks. If you'd like to do the same, here are some tips I can offer that have generally helped me secure wins and work well with my teammates.
Spread the field
Threes is not simply an addition of two cars to the regular Sideswipe action you know and love. There is also a longer field, and you have to account for that. Now--in addition to avoiding ball-chasing--you should also maintain awareness of where your teammates are and be where they aren't in order to make the best plays on the ball.
If your entire team makes an offensive push up by the goal, you put yourself at a massive risk for the team to get a free goal simply by clearing the ball out and chasing it. Don't let this happen! If no one is on the defensive end of the field, make sure you are so that you can prevent an offensive blunder from becoming easy points, even if it means waiting and watching for a bit.
Use emotes to actually communicate
With a party of three people working together, any amount of communication you can achieve between each other is more of an advantage than ever. Although Rocket League Sideswipe only has a limited set of emotes, use them to let your teammates know what you want to do or that you're being a team player.
This isn't the easiest thing to do and it doesn't always work (partially because not everyone has all the same emotes unlocked/equipped), but I tend to tell team mates I'm playing defense by emoting "in position" at the back of a face-off or might try to use "got it" to try and call a play on the ball. If nothing else, I use emotes to give encouragement to my team as opposed to trying to grief them or other players, and it feels like it has a positive impact on some matches.
Know when to back off
Sometimes in Duos you can muscle your way through two opponents at the bottom of their goal to punch the ball in, but against three defenders this is even harder to do. In general, if you're outnumbered without much field to work the ball around in, the only thing that's going to happen is you'll lose possession and have to play catch up to defend with your teammates.
In fairness, backing off might not always be the best strategy. If you're playing from behind or have identified a particular weakness you know how to exploit, you may want to press your luck here and there. But, the point stands that until the match dynamics shift in those particular ways, it's usually best to back off of disadvantaged positions like this.
Don't solo clear
If you find yourself as the lone defender in a Threes match, it may be tempting to clear the ball with a clean power shot, but doing so is also risky. Power shots almost always leave you out of position, so doing this eliminates your team's last line of defense.
Since this is a game with three opposing players, you are also now twice as likely to blast the ball right to another opponent who now has a free shot on the goal. Instead, the better play is to try and contest or block with your vehicle until team support comes. Then, one of you can safely clear while leaving a defender in position for follow up.