How to play Barrel Ball in Deep Rock Galactic

Shoot and score.

Image via Ghost Ship Games

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There’s no shortage of activities to keep you busy between missions in Deep Rock Galactic. One of the easiest to pick up is Barrel Ball. And it seems so simple, right? Just kick the barrel into the hoop. But if you want to beat your friend’s high score, there’s a little more nuance to mastering it than that. So here are a few general best practices for Barrel Ball, as well as some advice on grabbing the “If I only got paid for this…” achievement.

The basics

In Barrel Ball, the goal is to hit get the barrels through the moving target. The target, however, changes speed on each cycle, meaning you’ll have to constantly adjust your timing. Scoring a yellow barrel is worth 10 points, while scoring a red barrel nets you 25. This is only a base value though, as hitting multiple shots in a row activates a score multiplier that goes up to a maximum of times four. The multiplier will also reset if the hoop completes a cycle without a successful shot.

Tips and tricks

To start, stand straight ahead of the barrel with your aiming reticle centered, while making sure you have a clear view of the scoreboard.

Because the hoop changes speed when it hits the piston on the left side of the track, the best strategy is to read its speed as it moves right, then aim your shot to hit the hoop as it moves back to the left. Although timing will come down in part to feel, here’s good rule of thumb: when the hoop is at its slowest speed, you should kick the barrel just a hair before the hoop changes direction. Base every other timing off of that.

When barrels drop into place, they will always bounce once before stopping. The most consistent strategy by far is to wait until each barrel stops, because kicking a moving barrel tends to result in unpredictable shots with flat trajectories. If, however, you decide it’s worth the risk to maintain a combo, try kicking the barrel at the highest point of its bounce for the most consistent arc.

Combos are tricky, because while maintaining them is critical to getting a high score, the fact is sometimes the hoop will move too fast for you to realistically keep up. In these cases, it’s better to lose your combo and keep your kick, rather than losing both by taking a shot that has no chance of succeeding.

If only I got paid for this…

Screenshot by Gamepur

To get the “If only I got paid for this…” achievement, you’ll need to score 3000 points in 100 shots or fewer. Completing this achievement is a test of endurance, as much as anything, and depends on you avoiding too much frustration when you inevitably miss a few shots. But here are a few tips specific to this challenge.

Don’t be afraid to take breaks when you miss a shot. Once the combo is gone, there’s no rush. Wait until you see a cycle you’re comfortable with before taking a shot, and avoid letting one miss snowball into two or three.

Keep track of your progress. The pace you need to maintain is 300 points per 10 shots, and while it’s always fine to start over, don’t let a bad start get you down. There’s plenty of time to find a groove and make up your lost ground.

Related: All hidden achievements in Deep Rock Galactic