Eleven Table Tennis is undoubtedly one of the most realistic and enjoyable VR sports games available and is perfect for both beginners and VR experts alike. The incredible gameplay and attention to detail ensure that it is as close to the real thing as possible.
Although it’s easy to pick up and learn, it has a high skill ceiling and takes a lot of practice to become an expert. This article will cover all the tips and tricks you need to master Eleven Table Tennis and transform you into a virtual table tennis pro, including tips to improve your technique, the best ways to practice, and how to adjust your settings to maximize performance.
Eleven Table Tennis is available on Steam for all PCVR headsets and can also be played on standalone headsets such as the Quest 2, Quest Pro, and Pico 4. You can take on AI opponents, compete against real players online, or play a range of minigames to help you improve.
Tips To Make You A Better Player In Eleven Table Tennis VR
Before we go further, here are the most important tips you need to know to become a better Eleven Table Tennis Player.
- Ensure you have a play space of at least 2m by 2m
- Use the ball machine to train strokes until they are automatic
- Learn to apply topspin, backspin, and sidespin reliably
- Adjust your racket angle to compensate for spin on your opponents’ shots
- Use your whole body when you stroke your forehand
- Return to the ready position between shots
- Turn on “Reduce AI Mistake” in the AI Free Hit mode for a highly efficient practice routine
- Learning sidespin serves will make it much harder for your opponent to return them
- Keep your returns low over the net
- Spend more time using the practice modes than playing matches
- Adjust the paddle and table settings to your preference
- Use a table tennis controller attachment
Before You Get Started
Before even hitting a ball, there are simple things you can do to make sure that your practice sessions and matches run smoothly to ensure you enjoy the game to its fullest.
Eleven Table Tennis requires plenty of space, the more the better with a minimum of 2m by 2m recommended. The last thing you want is to bash into some furniture or an unsuspecting family member, so it is vital that you create a large enough play space and clear it of potential obstacles. This gives you total freedom to lunge and dive to put your all into every return and serve without the fear of injury.
Once you have your play space sorted, another essential aspect of preparation is making sure that it is well lit. This is essential to ensure that the gameplay works seamlessly as controller tracking can struggle when there is insufficient light. The last thing you want when playing table tennis is to mishit a shot simply because the controller tracking has been affected by poor lighting. This article covers all of the causes of poor controller tracking and will help you get the optimal setup to avoid any frustration.
Beginner Tips For Eleven Table Tennis VR
As with most things, improving at Eleven Table Tennis comes with its fair share of trial and error, especially when you are just starting out at the game. The trick is to not let frustration get the better of you and accept that your journey along the learning curve is going to take a little time, so enjoy the process of steadily improving. The good news is that the instructions and options in the game are very intuitive, so it is easy to play around with controls and see what works best.
I found when I was starting out initially that simply getting to grips with how the games worked and all the different options was a good first step. Thankfully, Eleven Table Tennis has a helpful tutorial accessible through an icon with a question mark at the bottom right of the homepage which will talk you through all the basics of the game. I found this beneficial, particularly its breakdown on how to serve with a list of precise instructions as well as a visual aid of a player using the correct technique.
Aside from checking out this tutorial, the most important thing to do as a total beginner is to simply jump right into gameplay. The easy mode against an AI opponent is an effective way to figure out a lot of the basics as you play. Remember to pay attention to the information displayed on the screens at the side of the virtual room you are playing in as these can give helpful tips on what you might have done wrong.
Practicing And Improving Technique In Eleven Table Tennis
As you improve and quickly master the easiest settings, you will want to start thinking about practicing different aspects of the game and developing better techniques. When it comes to practicing, Eleven Table Tennis VR has you covered. There are multiple different minigames that focus on all aspects of the game to help you hone your skills, and improve your shots. Here is a breakdown of the best way to utilize each of the minigames for all your practice needs:
The ball machine is the perfect way to practice a variety of different shots that will prepare you for real match scenarios. You can adjust pretty much everything to do with the ball machine including the shots you want to focus on right down to the specifics of the angle, speed, and frequency of the balls. Just flick through all the options on display on your left-hand side and play around with it to create a practice session perfectly suited to your needs.
This is one of the most helpful tools I have found for practicing and nailing your shot technique as it really allows you to consider the angle you are applying to the ball and how you can effectively move the ball around the table.
It can help to identify shots that you might want to improve on and areas of weakness that you can then adjust the setting to put your sole focus on. It’s a fantastic confidence booster and quickly has you feeling like a pro as you effortlessly return balls from every inch of the table.
Personally, my backhand has always been my weaker side, but by using the ball machine to hit hundreds of backhands in a row, I progressed quickly and soon started to enjoy and have much more control over my backhand shots.
Quadrants is a skills-based game that focuses on your ability to use angles and select appropriate shots to hit the ball to different areas of the table to score points.
You score more points the closer to the center of the targets you hit, and it really helps to improve the accuracy of your shots. It is immensely satisfying to see your points build up on the left-hand side of the table and see how high you can score before you run out of the five lives you start with.
With the ball coming from a different place each time, it helps to develop the quick reactions needed to move into position and choose an appropriate return shot with the right angle to hit the target perfectly. This effectively simulates real gameplay when you will need to return shots from different places into areas that are as difficult as possible for your opponent to hit.
Tips For Quadrants In Eleven Table Tennis VR
This is one of the best ways to improve on how you use all areas of the table with your shots, but it does take a while to get the hang of and can be quite difficult when you first try it out. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Hit with carefully aimed movements rather than trying to hit the ball too hard. It does not take much power for the ball to go over the net so you should try to focus more on the angle of your paddle.
- Ensure that you follow through on your shot with your hand pointed toward the target as this really does help with the momentum.
- Stand slightly closer to the table then you would in a normal match to increase the accuracy of your shots as the ball will not be coming at you quickly.
- Move your whole body whilst lining up for shots as it makes it so much easier and will be very beneficial to have as a habit when you are playing in matches. Just remember to return to the center of the table as if you were preparing to receive a shot again.
Once you improve at the game and get the hang of it, you can move further back and try and put a bit more speed into your shots.
Free practice is an excellent tool if you need a bit of time without the distractions or pressure of an AI opponent or the confines of rules. Practice any shot or serve you like with a helpful board on either your left or right-hand side displaying information about the speed and spin of the ball. This precise numerical feedback allows you to track your improvement and adjust your shots to achieve maximum effectiveness.
I’ve found that this is a great minigame for building muscle memory that comes from repeating the same shot over and over again until it is second nature. Plus without distractions, it is easier to experiment on what shots will work for different areas of the table and how to move the ball around effectively.
This is very similar to free practice but differs in that it focuses solely on serving practice. The feedback it provides is extremely useful such as letting you know if you have tossed the ball to serve too close to the table which is indicated by a chequered red flashing barrier in the same way it appears during a match.
I have found serve practice invaluable as there is nothing more frustrating than losing points in a match simply because you messed up your serve. By helping you to identify mistakes, you can develop the right technique and allow it to become your habit. Auditory feedback and sound cues used will indicate whether your serve was effective or not.
The information board on your left or right-hand side is another great source of feedback with the speed and spin of the ball, again helping you to adjust your serve until you have it mastered. Even better, if the serve is unsuccessful, it will tell you why including examples such as the ‘toss was too low’ or the ‘service hit was too far forward’ which is very helpful in guiding you to fix your mistakes.
Wall Practice In Eleven Table Tennis
If you need practice rallying, then the wall minigame is perfect. I really enjoy the freedom it gives you to hit the ball anywhere you like and test your reactions as it returns to you. It is immensely satisfying when you hit your groove and can keep a rally going.
Similar to Quadrants, this is focused more on angles and skill rather than hitting the ball as hard as possible. It is excellent for improving your control of the ball and really trains you to think ahead as you try to predict where the ball will come back to. It is a fun and surprisingly dynamic way to warm-up too before playing a game and you may well find that you are your own toughest competitor.
I’ve found that the most beneficial way of using this minigame is alternating between forehand and backhand and hitting the left and right-hand side of the wall interchangeably with the appropriate shot. Also, remember to make sure you are hitting the ball high enough on the wall to stop it from getting stuck behind the net on every shot.
Free Hit: A Great Way To Improve At Eleven Table Tennis VR
This mode lets you play against an AI opponent at a range of difficulty levels and is the best way to pull together all the skills you have developed through the different practice types to simulate gameplay in pretty much every way except keeping track of the score.
You can adjust the difficulty from easy, medium, hard, world-class, and legendary, depending on what stage you are at. Free hit is another excellent way to have a dynamic warm-up before going into a real match.
If you are just beginning or simply want to practice your returns, turn on AI auto serve which will mean that your AI opponent does all the serving. Equally, turn it off if you need to practice serving.
One of the best things you can do to get high-quality practice in an efficient manner is to turn on Reduce AI Mistake, which will result in your AI opponent returning almost all of your shots and you can have long rallies, giving you plenty of opportunities to practice a wide range of shots. I tend to set the difficulty level a little easier than normal when I turn this setting on, to reduce the number of winners that the AI opponent hits and prolong the rallies.
Remember to check out the information board for the speed and spin of your shots, the same as you would in free practice or free serve to get helpful feedback in a more match-like scenario.
Tips For Playing Against Opponents In Eleven Table Tennis VR
Practicing shots and improving your technique only gets you so far and you’ll quickly find that you need to test yourself in real-game scenarios.
Sometimes simply getting stuck into the game is the best way to practice and Eleven Table Tennis allows you to progress through difficulty levels as you improve. Similar to free hit mode, AI opponents range through easy, medium, hard, world-class, and legendary difficulties.
When playing, remember to be aware of the scoreboard on either your left or right depending on which location you choose. These are an invaluable source of feedback, giving indications as to where you went wrong such as the ball not hitting the other side of the table or a serve being unsuccessful.
When playing matches as a beginner, I recommend turning off the option to reduce AI mistakes. This makes it a lot easier to get to grips with playing and develop your confidence when your opponent is not returning every single shot you play with total ease.
When playing an AI opponent, there are simple things you can do to really maximize your effectiveness with the paddle. Here are top tips for mastering the easy and medium difficulties of play:
Moving the ball around the table
Often the simplest things are the most effective and this is the best way to force mistakes out of the AI. By using a combination of different shots with a range of speeds, it makes it really difficult for the AI to return. This is particularly effective when you hit the ball to an area of the table that is totally different from the last shot you played as it forces the AI to have to move and adapt.
Hit it hard!
Without getting too enthusiastic and hitting the ball way off the table like I have many a time, hitting the ball that little bit harder makes it much more difficult for the AI to return. I’ve found this particularly effective when aiming at the center of the table, right at your AI opponent as they simply aren’t quick enough to react to it. However, this is significantly more effective when reduced AI mistakes is turned off.
If you are progressing and need to be challenged, make sure that you switch on reduce AI mistakes so you have the gameplay that will benefit you the most.
You’ll also want to ensure that strict serve rules is turned on as these will be very beneficial when it comes to playing online opponents and sticking to the rules of the game against more difficult opponents.
As you progress, things naturally become more difficult. Your focus on training will have to increase as you strive for victory against more formidable opponents. Other than minigames for practicing, your next best tool is having a look at the settings for paddle, table, and controllers to really make those small differences that give you the edge.
Eleven Table Tennis VR Settings
When you are really starting to get into the game and trying out more serious and difficult play, the settings can really make a difference to your game. As well as allowing customization and adjustment of sound, there are really helpful sections to change player, paddle, table, and controller settings. Whilst not necessary for the lower intensities, the tweaks you can make to your paddle and the table can help make those small differences that can change the outcome of the game.
This is essentially your pro shop for your paddle, and you can adjust pretty much everything to do with your key piece of kit. If you click the settings icon beside either paddle surface or paddle control, you’ll have the option to adjust everything from bounciness and spin to the rotation and position of your paddle. There’s no best answer on what to choose, it’s a case of playing around with it and seeing what suits you best.
If you need to change the hand your paddle is in, you can easily do this under player settings and simply switch which hand is lit up.
This is super useful for changing what hand you want to toss the ball from and even has options for ball toss boost and laser hints to help you out if you need it.
This allows you to adjust the height of the table, match information, and the position of the table which can make playing a lot more comfortable and make crucial differences in the heat of the match.
VR Controller Attachments For Eleven Table Tennis VR
If you are struggling to master table tennis in VR, a controller attachment can make all the difference. A number of companies have released a controller attachment that is available for the Oculus Quest 2 which replicates the design of a paddle and helps you to execute some of the more difficult shots. It is made to fit either the left or right-hand paddle and is simply held in place by a plastic clip.
The controller is thankfully very easy to set up. Before you go into a game, you’ll want to go into settings and into paddle settings. Under paddle position, click custom and go onto the settings button on the left side where you will see a list of paddle adapters come up. Select the type of attachment you are using, and you’ll be good to go.
When making a decision on whether to use an attachment, it is important to weigh up the benefits and drawbacks on what would suit you best. There are some minor cons when it comes to these attachments:
- The attachments are not very sturdy so totally fine for playing casual table tennis but if you go in for a smash your controller can fall off and potentially be damaged. This is something to be wary of, particularly if you are hoping to progress toward more intensive play.
- The weight of the attachment is very light, which is an issue when you put in the heavy controller as it becomes top-heavy. You can get used to the weight distribution over time, but it does not replicate the feel of a real paddle which is evenly distributed from top to bottom.
Eleven Table Tennis YouTube
If you are really trying to climb the rankings and getting serious about Eleven Table Tennis, I would recommend visiting the Eleven Table Tennis YouTube channel. This is where you will find in-depth demonstrations of loads of different shots with a discussion of technical skill that is best achieved through video.
This can be beneficial in learning how to use different shots more effectively. If you go onto the playlists on their channels, you’ll find one called ‘Tame the Spin’ that is fantastic for talking you through some of the technicalities and tips on how to utilize spin in your game.