Welcome to Slapshot, you probably suck and get stomped in every game you play right now. Happens to everyone. Hopefully this guide helps you some, if you play controller most of this will still apply except for the keys. I will not be covering camera angles or sensitivity as that is personal preference and you should use whatever you feel comfortable with. A lot of this is I had to explain with pictures and play by play breakdowns to spare you from Slapshot the Novel.
Slapshot's basic movements are WASD to move, and mouse movement to rotate your stick. This takes some getting used to so practice mode is recommended starting out. Some things to try in practice mode, first is cradling the puck. Simply hold W and your skater should move into the puck without any mouse movement. Notice the puck isn't stationary it rolls on the curve of your stick and your body. Your forehand in Slapshot is the curved half of the stick, the flat half is your backhand. You will need to be comfortable handling the puck with both if you want to even start really playing. Try moving your mouse to rotate your skater and handle the puck with both sides of the stick while skating around the rink. You can also hold left mouse button to lift your stick and move it over top of the puck. Stick lifts are mostly used for dekes or fakes but can also be used to change which side of the stick you control the puck with.
After you've gotten somewhat comfortable handling the puck try passing to yourself off the boards with both sides of the stick. Get a feel for how the puck moves coming off your stick based on the angle your stick is facing. This will also help you judge momentum of shots/passes. Slapshot doesn't require you to wind up to shoot or pass, making solid contact will move the puck just fine. However the faster you swing your stick the faster the puck will go.
After you've gotten acclimated to how the puck interacts with your stick its time to add Boost. You can boost by hitting the shift key, this will make your skater move at full speed in whatever direction you currently have momentum. Note if you are already at full speed boost will do nothing so it's best to save it for a quick change of direction or to throw off your opponents. Using boost and making contact with the puck will usually send it flying, this is a great way to get off a hard shot or move into a passing lane. Boost can also be used to send the puck into tight angles as your skaters position has now changed rapidly. Try boosting just before you shoot on net and watch as the puck zooms down the ice. Remember the faster you swing your stick the faster the puck travels so if your skater is now moving at full speed and you swing your stick quickly the puck will travel faster.
Positioning Your Player
Always position your stick to make a play on the puck. If your teammate has it behind you to your right position your stick forehand if your a righty and backhand if your a lefty and vice versa.
Vick is left handed, the puck is behind him so he has his forehand facing the puck to receive a pass or take a shot.
Here is another example, you can see Vick has his forehand facing the puck ready to receive a pass and take a shot on net. Also note the other red dot on the minimap has moved in behind me for an outlet pass or to be ready for a turnover if the other team takes a quick shot on our net.
Spacing is important, much like Rocket League has a rotation Slapshot is a 3v3 game where space is limited and positioning at all times is vital. If your teammate has the puck and there is another player back on defense try to move into open space for a pass.
Right here scodz is about to receive a pass, you can see on the minimap there is currently no one to the left side of the ice.
Scodz has now received the pass so I move up to fill the open space and give him another option. This does two things. It gives him two passing options, it also forces the defense to make a choice. Do they want to come over and cover the pass leaving scodz with an open shooting lane or do they want to leave the passing lane open and risk a play closer to their net.
By simply moving to the left and into open space we've now put pressure on the defense. This also means the player with the puck has to make a decision based off what the defense does. If a bad pass goes center ice blue team would have an open net if they can intercept so react accordingly to where the puck goes. If the defense decides to cover me in this example and scodz decides to shoot I would then cycle back towards our net in a more defensive position. If the pass goes up to Vick and scodz decides not to push forward I would proceed up the ice to give Vick another option. If the pass goes to Vick and scodz does move forward cycle back to a more defensive position.
As you can see scodz passes to Vick then cycles back so I move forward and we get an easy goal. You can press E to rotate your camera as seen in the clip but this also flips your WASD keys and will take some time to adjust to.
In this example the puck is behind the opponents net, Vick is forcing the puck to the left so I move to guard the boards.
As you can see the puck is now in the opponents half boards, normally this would be a dangerous position to be defending the boards as the opponent would have a free shot on net if they can get space. Vick has positioned himself between the puck and our net and Vorkeidian is also moving to guard the net.
The red player sent the puck up the boards and gave us possession. I can now settle the puck and take a shot, pass back down to Vick to shift the defense or play the puck over to Vorkeidian who has a ton of space to the right side of the ice.
This entire play was setup by good positioning by all 3 members of the blue team. You may not be able to make these plays right away but just by having good positioning you can see how it pressures the defense and can lead to mistakes and easy goals.
Now for defensive positioning, while you're on defense protecting the net is the most important thing. Generally you will have one player pressuring the puck, one player sitting in passing lanes, and another player guarding the net or playing goalie.
Here Blue team has just gotten the puck in our half. Vick has stepped up to pressure, scodz is there to back him up and I'm currently waiting for the play to develop to decide if I will push up or drop back and defend net. The puck is currently in no danger of going in our net as there is a player in Raphael's face.
Vick misses his stick check and Raphael now has possession with space and an empty net.
Scodz immediately steps up to pressure and I use a boost to drop back into net.
Scodz wins the challenge and clears the puck up ice, clearing any danger to our net. Scodz has proceeded to pressure the puck left while Vick is stepping into any passing or shot lane in the middle and I've taken up the left side of the ice to pressure rath if Pep decides to pass to him.
Scodz now drops as Pep has moved towards my side of the ice. Vick steps up to cover Raphael and we have now forced Pep into making a decision. He can dump the puck, try a board pass to rath or carry up ice until someone pressures him and try to beat them making a 3v2 for the blue team.
He opts for a board pass to rath, I use a boost to quickly cover the boards and we gain possession.
This ultimately leads to a goal which is always good but the more important thing to note is the positioning of the defense and how it influences the other team. Can't score without possession of the puck and good positioning will lead to turnovers and more possession. You may not always have the best teammates or be in the best position but by simply staying in net you will never improve as a player.
Defending One on One
Now for defending One on One situations in Slapshot it's about knowing when to pressure and when to be patient and wait for your opening. This is something that can't really be taught and can only be learned by playing.
Here is a clip where the opponent is immediately put under pressure and it ultimately leads to a miscommunication and a goal.
Here fsimoneau received the puck in front of our net. He has space and is a threat to score so even though i'm the last player back I immediately step up to pressure him.
Since he received the puck on his backhand he has to reposition his body to get a good shot on the net which I should have covered by keeping my stick to the forehand. My teammate has stepped in to cover the other half of the net. FSI can still score but we have made it much harder for him.
Thankfully he misses the net and Vick plays it back around the boards so we can remove any immediate danger. I haven't moved to pick the puck up because FSI poses no danger from this position so long as I stay between him and the net.
He opts to play the puck back to his teammate so they can keep possession, again immediate danger is gone so long as we stay positionally sound. We may not have possession back yet but they aren't in a ready position to score which is more important.
In part one I talked about how you always want to keep your stick in a position to make a play on the puck. Defense is no different, in the clip you can see i'm constantly keeping my stick in position to block FSI from moving towards our net. The puck moving along the boards doesn't always mean you have to leave net and pressure. You'll also notice i'm stick checking him to try and disrupt any puck control he might have. You can do this simply by swinging your stick into another player, if you hold left mouse button to lift your stick this is sometimes more effective as well. You do pose the risk of them shooting it under your raised stick however.
A quick YSK, Slapshot runs on the Chromium engine, meaning if you use Chrome for your preferred Browser don't have it open and try to play the game. You will lag and it will be awful.
I'd also recommend turning off the Steam Overlay, if you fat finger it your player will automatically move in whatever direction you were headed until you hit Escape to bring up the menu and close it.
Case in point.
The half boards or corner boards on the outdoor rink are not actually all one solid rounded piece. They are made up of a few different shapes and can sometimes have wacky bounces if it hits the right edge.
Sometimes with packet loss you wont be able to move your stick, this is just one of the shortcomings of how the game was designed and is often referred to as lag stick. Everyone in the community has run into it at some point chances are you will to.
There may be more added onto this at some point but these are the essential basics of Slapshot. It may seem like a lot at first but eventually you'll be doing most of this without thinking about it. I didn't cover dekes because that's all from your creativity and puck handling skill. If it's stupid and it works, it ain't stupid.