A VERY basic guide for rookie teams on how to start guns blazing

Winning a VEX Robotics Over Under match requires a well-thought-out strategy, an optimized robot design, and effective teamwork. While the following is a general guide, you’ll need to adapt your strategy to your specific robot’s capabilities and the dynamics of the competition. These tips are some you would normally learn throughout your first year, but if you want to be a rookie team that wants to start off strong here’s how to do it:

Pre-Match Preparation:

  1. Robot Inspection: Ensure that your robot passes all inspection requirements for the competition.
  2. Team Meeting: Discuss roles, responsibilities, and strategy with your teammates.
  3. Field Analysis: Observe the field conditions, opponent robots, and game elements like obstacles and scoring zones.
  4. Practice Runs: Conduct several practice runs to iron out any kinks in your robot’s operation.

Robot Design Considerations:

  1. Mobility: Design your robot for high speed and agility, low speed and power, or a balance of both to move around the field effectively.
  2. Manipulators: Make sure your robot has effective mechanisms for collecting, carrying, and deploying game elements.
  3. Stability: Balance your robot so that it can navigate the field without tipping over.
  4. Autonomous Capabilities: Programming an effective autonomous sequence can give you a head start in points.

During the Match:

  1. Autonomous Phase: Execute the pre-programmed sequence to score points early in the match.
  2. Coordination: Communicate with your teammates constantly about what you’re doing and what you see on the field.
  3. Offense and Defense: Depending on the opponent, you may have to switch between offensive and defensive strategies; be ready to adapt.
  4. Scoring Prioritization: Focus on the game elements that give the most points but are also achievable for your robot.
  5. Time Management: Be aware of the match time and prioritize tasks accordingly, saving some maneuvers for the end-game, if needed.
  6. Avoid Penalties: Be sure to understand the rules to avoid penalties that could set back your scoring.


  1. Review: Discuss what went well and what could be improved for the next match.
  2. Data Collection: Note down the points scored, any technical issues, and any observations about opponent strategies.
  3. Repairs and Adjustments: Make any necessary repairs or adjustments to your robot.
  4. Celebrate: Acknowledge your successes, no matter how small, and boost team morale for the next match.

Important Tips:

  • Practice, Practice, Practice: The more you practice, the more scenarios you can prepare for.
  • Adaptability: Be ready to adjust your strategies on the fly, as the match situation evolves.
  • Know the Rules: Familiarity with the game rules is essential for maximizing points and avoiding penalties.

By planning and practicing in advance and maintaining good communication during the match, you’ll maximize your chances of winning a VEX Over Under match.


Welcome to the forums! You might want to do a little bit more research on the forum or through other resources before posting. While nothing you said is technically wrong, almost all of it has been said numerous times in other topics or is written in the game manual.


I totally disagree. If I were a new team going to my first competition, this is the sort of post that contains information that could really impact my experience. @PabloCamp I appreciate the work you have done collecting and compiling helpful information for teams to benefit from.


That is all really good advice. I would also like to state the importance of scouting and how it can make an already good team a great team. Being able to efficiently scout and use that information to your benefit is a skill I think would be very beneficial for new teams to understand. There’s quite a bit of information about scouting and I would recommend researching it.


I’m a considerably rookie at VEX, and imo this is a very good guide. The game manual is very long and it’s built for everyone, which is sort of the problem. There’s so much information that some random 6th grader would read 2 pages and fall asleep. This is nicely condensed and has great information, and while it probably has been done before, I think it’s still a worthy post to keep on the forum.


What is the purpose of your guide?

This has been posted in several robotics forums, and after reading it three times, I am not sure that I understand the purpose of the post.

While I cannot say for certain, this smells of an AI written post (ChatGPT). The advice given is not specific to Over Under- it doesn’t even mention any specific parts of the game, just to “know the rules”, which is similar to other content generated by AI.

I am trying to be respectful, and am sorry if my tone comes off as harsh, but I am still human. If you almost always speak in generalities, then I apologize, but could you please explain why and how an AI generated post (or one written greatly mirroring the style of an AI generated post) benefits the greater robotics community that it has been exposed to on several forums?


I see what you’re saying, this post smells strongly of ChatGPT


I understand why it looks that way I wrote this for my rookies on my vex team and I was also going to use it for FRC or anything else really. The whole point of it is to be general and work for almost anything, you’d be surprised how many people miss super basic stuff like this. For that reason the first paragraph is written by ChatGPT because tbh I didn’t want to write it, but the rest is written by me.(Which is why its written so much different than the rest. Also, I ran it through GPTZERO and it says it is AI generated so I understand why you think that.


This is 100% true, I’m a firm believer that every team should use some form of scouting app and have dedicated scouts. Being able to pull up quantitative info on teams during strategy meets or before alliance selection is make or break.