First added as part of a massive update during Brawl Stars’ soft launch release, Brawl Ball plays like a mini soccer match, with both teams attempting to dribble or kick a ball across the field and into the opponent’s goal.

Like all modes in Brawl Stars, Brawl Ball’s availability is part of the rotating event schedule. We got a chance to play the first event last week, become hopelessly hooked, and now count the minutes until the next instance is available. In the meanwhile, we’ve put together some tips we picked up from playing Brawl Ball way, way too much on that first day.

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Don’t rush the ball at kickoff: When a match of Brawl Ball begins, both teams are stationed a few steps back from the midfield line with the ball waiting directly between them. It’s tempting to rush straight to the center and attempt to take possession of the ball immediately, but this is rarely the best move. Players who do this will be punished by the opposing team and a barrage of bullets and projectiles.

Instead, hang back and pick off as many opponents as possible before grabbing the ball. Spread out from your own team slightly to make it harder for brawlers like Jessie or Dynamike to land early hits. And punish any enemy brawlers who do rush the ball by concentrating fire on that obvious focal point.

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Break the crates near the enemy’s goal: This is especially important on the maps Backyard Bowl and Pinhole Punt, which both feature a row of crates directly in front of the goal, but it’s good practice in any Brawl Ball game. If you’re using a brawler with a Super that can break crates, walls, etc., use it on the goal you’ll be scoring on as early as possible. This opens up a direct line of sight for kicking the ball into the goal and prevents having to dribble all the way around the obstacles for the rest of the game as these crates don’t respawn.

On your team’s side of the map, try to avoid breaking anything and giving the enemy an opening. If you’re fighting near your goal, only use wall-breaking Supers when absolutely necessary to prevent a goal, and try to aim them away from the crates if possible.

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You can walk the ball directly into the goal: While kicking the ball from a distance is how most points are scored in Brawl Ball, you can also carry the ball straight across the goal line. Brawlers with high health, like El Primo and Bull, are great carriers and can squeeze through a line of defenders if their remaining HP is high enough. Walking it in prevents a turnover since the only way to take the ball from someone is by killing them or knocking them back.

On the other end, however, you need to be wary of those same brawlers getting too close to your own goal: a lone defender lacing a full health El Primo casually walking the ball into the goal will often have no chance of stopping him. Don’t assume an opponent will kick the ball and you only need to be able to catch it. Chip away at tanks before they get close or be prepared to throw everything you’ve got at them once they do.

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Activating your Super before kicking the ball will kick it much farther: If your Super is ready and you are the ball carrier, hitting the Super button and then kicking the ball greatly extends the length it will travel. If you drag to kick, the trajectory line will be yellow instead of white. This does expend your Super, meaning you’ll need to refill the meter to use it again, but the tradeoff can be worth it if you have a shot at scoring a goal from a distance. Note: if you’re using a brawler with a deployable Super—like Nita or Jessie—and already have a previous Super deployed, using your Super to kick the ball will not remove your minion / turret / etc. that is already out.

You can score against your own team: Kicking or carrying the ball into your own goal will give the enemy team a point. Because of this, you should be very careful when handling the ball close to your side of the map. Stay alert to what direction you’re facing when kicking near your goal. If the ball lands on your goal line, do not pick it up from the front as this will usually cause it to cross the line and count as a goal. Instead, walk around the ball and into the goal, picking it up from the back.

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Always be aware of where the ball is currently: Brawl Ball is a pretty hectic mode with players often bunched up and Supers going off. Because of this, it’s easy to lose sight of the ball in a skirmish. If anyone on your team kicks the ball, you’ll hear a distinct, wobbly “bwoop” sound. If you acquire the ball and become carrier, you’ll hear a different sound—more of a bright chime. Knowing that you’ve just acquired the ball is important since your attack button becomes the kick button when you are the carrier, meaning getting the ball mid-attack can result in kicking it somewhere you’d rather not. If the ball is out of your line of sight, off-screen, there will be an icon pointing toward its location to help you track it down.

You can’t attack while carrying the ball… …but you can kick it to an enemy, quickly kill them, and pick it up again. Since the instant you pick up the ball, the attack action is replaced by kick, it’s easy to catch an opponent off guard by sending them the ball and then unleashing on them. If they kick it right back or you’re near-death, send the ball towards a teammate. It’s usually better to kick the ball than to run it long distances, keeping your attack free and maintaining forward momentum.

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Save your Super: The first team to score twice in Brawl Ball wins; any time a point is scored, the ball and both teams reset to the center line and any Super-spawned minions or objects (Jessie’s turret, Nita’s bear, Bo’s mines, etc.) are removed from the field. However, you keep your Super charge from the previous round, and if you had earned but not used your Super, it will be ready to use immediately. Because of this, it’s often valuable to save your Super if a goal is about to be scored (unless using it would definitely prevent the enemy team from scoring). Throwing out a minion right at the end of a round will just waste it, but saving your Super to use at the starting whistle can sometimes give your team the head start it needs to score.

Note that Supers with knockback capabilities will hit the ball out of a carrier’s grasp, while those without knockback won’t. So brawlers like Shelly, El Primo, and Bull will knock the ball free if their Supers hit the carrier while Colt, Ricochet, Barley, etc. will not.

Our favorite brawlers for this mode: All of the brawlers kick the ball the same distance with a normal kick and a Super-infused long-range kick. So when picking a brawler, we look more at their defensive capabilities. Dynamike is our favorite so far: with players bunching up on the ball at the start and near the goal lines, he can do some serious damage with only a few tosses. While his health isn’t great for carrying the ball, his Super allows him to break crates and temporarily knock enemies away from it.

Jessie is another strong choice: she benefits from the same close-quarters action as Dynamike and can earn her Super very fast with only a few well-placed shots. Her turret is a great midfield defender and essentially gives you free shots on the ball carrier. Mortis and Crow also excel here thanks to their increased movement speed, although we give a slight edge to Mortis since he can kick the ball forward and dash to it for extra distance.

High health, tanky brawlers do well as ball carriers. Bull and El Primo can often walk the ball straight into the goal as mentioned above, and they are almost essential on the extra small Pinhole Punt map. Even if they’re acting as guards for another carrier, they’re good backups to kick to when near death.

Honestly, every brawler can be viable in Brawl Ball, which is one reason we enjoy this mode so much.

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Be ready for Overtime: If the match is tied at the end of the initial 2:30 timer (0-0 or 1-1), the game will enter Overtime. As soon as this happens, all crates on the field vanish and both teams have a wide open area to transport the ball across. The first team to score in Overtime wins. This means entering Overtime near the opponent’s goal offers an advantage since often you simply have to shoot to make it across the much more accessible goal line. If it looks like you’re heading for Overtime, try to get control of the ball and get as close as possible to the enemy’s goal. The game can still end in a draw if neither team scores before the Overtime clock runs out.