Why Rocket League Players Spin/Roll In The Air (Does It Help?)

Whether you’re silver II or champion I, you’ve probably seen players start an aerial… only to start spinning around more than a malfunctioning helicopter! This raises a few questions: does randomly rotating in the air actually help? Or is the ‘air roll’ button on their controllers simply broken?!

Key Points

  • Greater Control: Mastering the full range of aerial movements will allow you to make much better shots than simple “straight aerials”.
  • It’s Harder To Defend Against: Opponents who spin around loads during aerials can be harder to defend against, especially because you can’t always predict their final shot.
  • But Really… It’s All Just For Show: Aerial spins look really cool! That’s the main reason that many Rocket Leaguers do it, although it does become a crutch and a bad habit at times.

4 Reasons Why People Spin/Rotate During Rocket League Aerials

Four shots of my Rocket League car doing aerial spins with the question wait what
Four shots of my Rocket League car doing aerial spins with the question wait what

Constantly spinning and rotating your car in the air in Rocket League is called the ‘kuxir twist’, and it started out as a freestyling/training technique but it quickly spread to competitive matches too. While some people say that it’s just for show, others argue that it makes you a better RL player because you have much more control over minor adjustments and ball hits by constantly spinning around.

Let’s dive into these reasons in a bit more detail.

Reason #1: You Have More Control

Many Rocket Leaguers argue that doing simple “straight” aerials (where you launch into the sky and barely move/adjust your position) is not ideal because you don’t have much control of your car.

After all, you’re basically just moving your car over two axis (X and Y – up into the sky, and in one main direction). Whereas once you start learning how to do air rolls/kuxir twists, you will find that you have a lot more control over the aerial position of your car – and can make adjustments to the pitch, angle and ultimately the position of your car.

In other words, you will gain a really good understanding of how to move your car over three axis (X, Y and Z):

3D grid showing the X Y and Z axis
3D grid showing the X Y and Z axis

A key starting point for learning how to make these aerial adjustments is by ensuring that you have all the air steer, roll and pitch keys set-up properly for your controller. You can set these by going to the Rocket League settings menu, clicking “CONTROLS” and then click to change the key bindings:

Various Rocket League key bindings including for air steer and pitch adjustments
Various Rocket League key bindings including for air steer and pitch adjustments

Then you can follow one of many YouTube tutorials that discuss how to master air rolls, such as in this YouTube video:

Reason #2: It’s Purely For Show

While it’s certainly true that making mid-air adjustments is crucial, doing loads of random 360° spins and flips is not crucial. It’s nearly always just for show: it’s eye candy. Yes it looks cool as heck, of course, but there’s usually no benefit to aimlessly flipping around like a fish out of water.

Some people start trying to get more aerial control, and end up giving up and just… spinning randomly, without ever making adjustments mid-air that helps them score goals. It then becomes a habit and a crutch… admittedly, a pretty cool looking habit though!

Reason #3: Micro Adjustments Means More Powerful Shots

Notice how in the point above, I say that some people try to get better at aerials, then they give up? That’s the key point. Spinning around randomly has no benefit, but proper aerial control certainly does.

I dug out an old Rocket League clip from 2017 that had some amazing aerial goals – it’s only 8 minutes long and it’s worth a quick watch, especially because this was from an era before people become too flashy:

Notice how some goals (like at 5:38 and 2:10) don’t have many aerial rolls/flips, while some (like at 4:16) do? The reasons for this is that some of these goals can only be scored by making a series of micro adjustments to the car’s position when it’s in the air.

In other words, doing air spins/rolls led to more accurate and powerful shots in a number of those goals, because the greater car control allowed the driver to angle the car in a much better position (to take the shot).

Aerial spinning also allows Rocket Leaguers to change their attack approach more easily based on how the defender responds to the aerial, because the constantly-moving car can be changed to a different position much easier than if a “straight aerial” was being done.

Reason #4: Makes It Harder For Opponents To Defend

Practising some aerials in Rocket League
Practising some aerials in Rocket League

Finally, it can be difficult to defend against an opponent that is spinning and flipping around like a toddler who has just ingested a full bag of M&Ms. It makes the shot much harder to read, because you can’t know exactly where your opponent is going until they make their final shot.

Of course, you can still make last minute position changes when doing straight aerials too, but it’s often easier to read (compared to when players aerial spin).

So Should We All Spin During Aerials?

My favorite summary of this debate is by SpookLuke, who says in a 30 second clip that many people use air spins as a crutch – and in a perfect world, Rocket League pros would air roll/spin a lot less than they currently do:

That pretty much sums up my opinion too. I usually just go for straight aerials, and only roll/pitch to adjust my aerial position as required. I don’t feel the need to be flashy with my aerials. Of course, I am a lower ranked player than many (diamond or plat depending on the game mode) so I do understand that some really high ranked players find specific advantages from air rolls.

But I would suggest that unless you’re a GC rank (or heading that way!), you should probably focus on other parts of your gameplay mechanics. This is especially true if you find that doing cool aerial rolls are distracting you at times.

cropped A picture of me Tristan
About Tristan Perry

Tristan has been interested in computer hardware and software since he was 10 years old. He has built loads of computers over the years, along with installing, modifying and writing software (he's a backend software developer 'by trade').

Tristan also has an academic background in technology (in Math and Computer Science), so he enjoys drilling into the deeper aspects of technology.

Tristan is also an avid PC gamer, with FFX and Rocket League being his favorite games.

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