Do you have any tips for new Drivers?

Hey, forums after I used the search bar in search of tips for driving my robot I found nothing. So I thought no better way to get information than to make a discussion by asking that very question and that led me here. For any experienced drivers, what are tips you have for new drivers or drivers seeking help?


practice practice practice. it’s so simple yet so hard to achieve for some teams. myself in particular was never very fond of drive practice. but before your first comp it’s good to practice every principal that seems important enough to you. For example it could be lining up when shooting, or roller timing.

after your first comp analyze videos of your matches, try to diagnose what could’ve been done better (or smoother) and work on that.

rinse and repeat.

good luck and have fun in spin up!


two words: figure eights


Some general controller setup tips:

  • Try to keep your thumbs on your drive sticks at all times, usually meaning that arcade drive is one of the best options, especially for a new driver that doesn’t have any preferences yet.
  • Keep frequently used buttons easily accessible (triggers, right-side buttons, etc)
  • Try 3D-Printing a scuff controller if you have access to a 3D-Printer. this only helps if you have a complex robot with many functions, but I have used it to some success in TiP.

Some General Driving Tips:

  • Lots of Practice (and I mean LOTS)
  • Don’t just practice by yourself, try to have some practice matches with other teams in your org (if possible). This helps with trying to counter defense, also just realizing what some actual matches might be like.
  • Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. Try to be as smooth as possible when first starting to drive your robot, and speed up as you get more comfortable. Fast, jerky movements are not great for motor temperatures and can lead to screws loosening.

Specific Spin Up Tips:

  • Roller Defense is key. Position yourself diagonally between the rollers, so you only have to drive forward or back to block a roller. I used this in my last tournament and it worked like a charm. (credit to 4082B for this strategy)
  • Many teams can get pushed sideways. This is because teams use omni wheels on their drive base, and no center traction wheels. If a team is about to shoot, try and push them sideways to make them miss.
  • Practice shooting positions. Find consistent and safe shooting positions that you can go to every time. Preferably find multiple positions if one of your shooting spots is being covered by an opponent, teammate, or a bunch of disks.

GL in Spin Up!


grind driver skills. You both improve on specific skills routes, and improve general driver skill.


I will add on to what @ginger5842Z said:

  • Run Drills. Set scoring and driving drills, like gather three discs, shoot three discs, repeat, and document your growth and success. Drive around figure eights and record your time as you improve. Drive from one corner to the other, score both rollers, and then drive back to the opposite corner. Record your time. Run Drills, and notebook your progress.
  • Get Coached. Have a good sports coach help out with your drive teams. Have them learn driving and gameplay rules, and then help you review footage and give you driving feedback.
  • Drive Team Roles: Find very specific and useful roles for everyone on your driveteam. Flowchart, take notes, and have optimal plans for standard failure modes or situations. If your intake/roller fails, what do you do to not lose? If your launcher fails, what is your best course of action?

@donkey_kong In addition to all the replies before me, you can check out the V5 Controller Activities found here. They’ll teach you the difference between driver configurations, as well as offer practice to improve your skills. Happy practicing!

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As a new driver myself, these tips are very helpful! Thanks! I don’t think I will able to get in any practice with my bot before my first comp in the actual game pen, so are there any tips on how to practice without it?

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Without the bot you could try using XRC simulator . It was built for FRC/FTC but they added some vex games including spin up. If you really want to be accurate you can plug in a controller to your computer.
With the robot and no field you could set up some cones and practice driving around them. Also, contructing something resembling the high goal for practice aligning/shooting is helpful.

Just practicing driving your bot around on carpet. Learn how it handles. Figure out if it doesn’t drive perfectly straight. Practice driving to and from certain points. When you get to the comp, usually a match field will be open to practice, definitely would recommend i taking some discs and practicing aiming during that time.

Watch another team’s strategy on YouTube or something, analyze it, see how you can improve it, test it (I would record it to then analyze what you may have done wrong so that you can attempt to not make the mistake again), and once you have a strategy in mind that works well for you, you just have to practice as much as you can.

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Watch footage of matches that represent the skill level of your region, and identify what to do during 1:45-1:00, 1:00-0:30, 0:30-10, and Endgame

Identify when to start defending rollers.
Identify how pins are being called.
Identify when you should score rollers, and have someone look out for them.
Figure out how you can score low points and descore your opponents low points.
Figure out how to get good field position for endgame, and how to stop your opponents from being effective with their scoring mechanisms.


Practice practice practice. Work on your driving skills like getting unstuck, scoring, and skills score driving. Also work on match to match maintenance.


Thanks for the advise

Learn to drive SLOWLY and accurately. Speed will follow. Learn to fly quadcopters, nose in.