Best Autonomous Routine Tipping Point

After the autonomous scoring has been clarified, I wanted to start a discussion about what the best autonomous routine would be. Here are my thoughts.


The one that ends up winning.


It depends on what your objective is.

There are 4 things that you can gain from auton:

  1. The autonomous bonus. That 20 points isn’t quite as make or break as the auton bonus has been in previous years in my opinion, since a single goal can undo it, but it is definitely significant and is something you do want to get. Since goals are confirmed to count during auton, bringing in the neutral goals will be the largest bang for your buck in winning the bonus, so you’d want to do that. Something like what 2145z and 169y have that drags in two neutral goals will be very powerful.

  2. The autonomous win point. This is arguably more important than the autonomous bonus in qualification matches. If you feel confident in your ability to beat your opponents without the autonomous bonus, I think you should prioritize the win point, because being able to consistently earn that point will go a long way in your rankings, and that’s really what your objective for qualification matches is.

  3. A goal possession advantage. If you can acquire the majority of the goals during the autonomous period, and if you able to then hold on to those goals for the rest of the match that puts you at a serious advantage, because you simply have access to more points than your opponents will.

  4. A head start. This is also less important this year than it was for a game like TT, but it’s still a factor. What I mean by this is your ability to do many actions you’d like to do in a match before driver even starts, saving you time to do other things during drive. An example of this would be to grab an alliance goal and put 10 rings on the post during auton. This checks off an irreversible task for you that you won’t have to do later.

Some of these objectives align nicely, such as objective 1 and 3, but others do not. Teams are going to have to make an array of auton routes to select for different strategies in order to gain the most advantageous position in the tournament during these 15 seconds.


you mention the auton win point being important for rankings.
Can you elaborate on how rankings work?

there are 3 things that determine the ranking of a team.

Firstly there are win points. (WP) If you win a qualification match, you gain 2 win points. if you tie a qualification match you gain 1 win point. If you lose you gain none. And if you complete the win point task during auton, you also gain an additional point, regardless of the final outcome of the match.

win points are the first thing the rankings are sort by, so they are the most important factor.

If two teams have the same number of win points, the rankings are then determined by autonomous points (or AP). if a team wins the autonomous period, they gain 20 Autonomous points to their rankings. If a team ties the autonomous period, they gain 10 Autonomous points to their rankings. If a team looses auton, they gain no autonomous points.

If two teams have the same number of win points and the same number of autonomous points to their rankings, the next tiebreaker is Strength of Schedule Points (SP). In every qualification match, all teams involved will receive strength of schedule points equal to the score of the losing alliance. (the idea being, the higher points the losing alliance had, the more difficult the schedule was for all the teams involved)


Oh come on, you forgot the most important tiebreakers! If you happen to tie in WP, AP, and SP with another team, the third tiebreaker is whoever had the highest match score. If both teams have the same high score in the event, the fourth tie breaker is a comparison of the second highest scores. After that, the computer just decides randomly which team it likes better.

(I have never seen an event that got past SPs as a tiebreaker besides when everyone starts with 0 points.)


Rankings are the things that decide who moves onto elims right?

Yes. Ranking are used for the alliance selection system and factor into who gets excellence.

yes but more importantly they decide who gets to pick their alliance partners first for elims. Getting ranked first is a massive advantage because you can exert extreme levels of control over alliance selection.

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Does elevation scored in autonomous?

no. See this q&a:


In this case, autonomous is too simple and there is no room for improvement.


Just because there aren’t any elevation points means that auton is simple in any way whatsoever. This isn’t the original Change Up skills. As mentioned before, you have to decide what you want to prioritize, whether it be the AWP to set yourself up for elims, or if you want to prioritize neutral goals to win the autonomous bonus and set yourself up for driver period. Or maybe you just want to go around and pick up half the rings on the field… for some reason…

In terms of what?


I think the inability to elevate makes auton considerably less simple. Parking with a goal would have been very easy to do (literally just drive straight forward and that’s it) and would have been worth too many points for how little effort it would take.


This is quite simply not true. With the neutral goals in the interaction zone, and the all too important auton win point task, there is so much for teams to do. Especially with the return of robot-to-robot interraction in autonomous, teams will need to decide whether they want to sabotage their opponents’ autonomous routines or try to score as many points as possible. This yet again increases the importance of having an odometry system with motion profiling.

This is also not true. Throughout the season teams will be improving their autonomous routines, whether that means switching to PID or motion profiling for movements or simply developing more routines (both of which occur naturally every season).As what was seen in Toss Up and ITZ (In The Zone), I bet a select few teams will, by at least worlds, develop autonomous routines “on the fly” in preparation for an upcoming match or opponent(s). And even by worlds, I bet there will be autonomous routines that will have at least some room for improvement.


Not enough people have thought about how the two neutral goal robots will deal with the teams that run a straight defensive auton at them preventing either alliance from grabbing those two neutral goals in auton. There’s plenty of teams that would take the tie all day long.


How would a team consistently play defense in auton? The Neutral Goals are the same distance from each team’s bot so in my mind, the only feasible way to play defense is to be faster than the opponent and ram into them before they can get the neutral goals. But if you’re faster, why try to force a tie rather than taking the neutral goals for yourself?

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  1. Ram into them (knock them off course)
  2. Be faster than them

Sacrificing your high scoring autonomous capabilities in order to guarentee the auton bonus may be a critical strategic play for some matches. This strategy was heavily showcased in ITZ, and was probably the main reason for the introduction of the autonomous line in Turning Point.


I see auton going through several stages of evolution this season. There will be a point in which some teams figure out how to grab two goals, at which teams who don’t have that capability just run a defensive path to keep that from happening. Later, some teams will be quick enough at grabbing two goals it won’t matter. By worlds it will be like this: 2002 FIRST Championship SF 71vs60 - YouTube or this: FRC 2015 CMP Einstein Field Match # Final 2 FIRST Robotics Championship - YouTube


What is PID and motion profiling?