New team help needed

  1. vexcode text is your friend. You can get the blocks or text version depending on your level.

  2. it’s good practice to be getting 5 more motors instead. I didnt do that and one motor burned out so I had to wait a while to get new motors. If a motor fails during a competition, you’re going to be dead in the water

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I’m scared because we only got 8 motors… should I get an extra one even if we are “super careful” with them?

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Probably. One of my motors just died out of nowhere. 2 weeks after getting them too.

It’s not worth making a separate order just for that one motor. Just get it when you buy other parts

perfect, we were just about to place an order anyways

You could also look into team grants offered by the REC Foundation. That will get you the V5 Competition Starter kit, 4 motors and some wires for free(you only have to pay the 150 for Registration) I would than get some aluminum (1 of each pack and maybe 2 of the 1235) some extra motors and gear cartridges, wire stock and tools, some screwdrivers and lastly a vice and some Hacksaws for cutting metal… (you can invest in a dremel if you have money)

For the field there are some low cost ways to set it up… The full original field will set you back about $1750 but you may be able to get it done for less than $500 with a plywood perimeter, mats and the field and game elements.

You could maybe look for sponsors if funding becomes an issue

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You could consider this option that vex has instructions for. It doesn’t have the looks but most of the functionality of the 1K field perimeter.


We were denied a grant as we are a private team. Doesn’t the basic $500 field kit come with a mat?

Will the kids be able to program some challenges with the basic $900 starter kit with 4 extra motors and the basic $500 field kit?

I don’t think we can go beyond 2K unless we find some sponsors.

No, the “Full field and game element kit” (276-6069) only comes with the parts specific to this year’s game. The foam tiles and field perimeter are reusable from year to year, so it wouldn’t make much sense to include them with the field kit - otherwise returning teams would be paying for a lot of extra stuff they already had.

The field perimeter is the most expensive part of the reusable field setup, and is also the most optional; you can definitely do without it, and the low-cost perimeter @2775Josh linked above is a good alternative for much cheaper. If you get the Competition Starter Kit ($900), Field Tile Kit ($230), and Game Element Kit ($500), that’s a total of $1630, which leaves some left in your $2k budget for team & event registration and a few extra parts.

Regarding finding sponsors, there are lots of threads on this forum that can offer some advice in that area.

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No, any time is always a good time, as you have MS or HS students for only so long and everything you buy can carry onto the next season (As long as it’s V5).

Literally order this for your team to start off with, and then order more parts that you would need:

  • Your team should be primarily using C-Channels for your robot. Mostly 2 wides

There is an additional website that has some items VEX offers but is cheaper too
If you’re visiting I would suggest:

  • As a starting team I would avoid buying nylon/aluminum screws and nuts for your robot)
  • Take advantage of the thin nylocks on this website. Your team should use thin nylocks as much as possible for structure

Also, I would advise not using VEX’s rubber bands almost always. You should buy these bands for your robots.

The game mat is 12 feet by 12 feet, as others have said.

If you ever do need any help in regards to build quality and design, check out my YouTube channel. And if you ever do want more specific help, you and your students can contact me with my public email or contact me via my discord “Hey, It’s Connor!#3027


Im not sure if the starter kits come with it, but a vex engineering notebook is what judges want you to have. It’s more a necessity because (at least at worlds) they won’t really look over a binder with some paper in it. Another thing is all of the field (tiles and stuff) can be bought in cheaper ways than what vex offers. Same with the field elements I have seen teams that just create their own copy of it that is for the most part functionally the same. With the field tiles make sure not to step on them as it can ruin them. Instead of v5 you could ask other teams to use their old v4 stuff if v5 hits the wallet a bit too hard and just get some kits for building materials.

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No, at this point, you needv5. If you dont have it then dont bother to compete. You won’t win anything. (That being said, good teams can still make it work)
It may hit the wallet hard, but it’s a necessity at this point.

The “Team Welcome Kit” (which every team gets when they register) includes a notebook; it does not come with any of the v5 kits. It’s also available for separate purchase here.

You don’t have to use the included notebook, but it is a good place to start, particularly for new teams. Note also that according to the rubric (page 24 of this PDF), you’ll get a bonus on the design award rubric if your notebook is “bound” (which the included notebook is).


Also, to buy the Cortex, at this point, would be like buying a movie on VHS video tape (which was still in use when Cortex was released in 2010. Unless you get the Cortex for free, better to spend the money on V5.


for the field, we just bought 4 2x12s and screwed them together with 2x2s in the corners for the perimeter. We then bought tiles from harbor freight, and then bought the game elements.

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Is there any way that you can ask another school or independent team in your community to let you practice on their field. That would save you a lot of money. And sponsors are a very good idea.

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You can look for the low cost field option which is only about 100 or so, if you assemble either pvc or wood and use it as a perimeter

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Buy the vex tiles and field elements. The wrong tile thickness or type can impact the speed of the robot. The perimeter does not have to be official. I think 365x (one of the best teams in the world) does not have an official perimeter at their school.

I think you would need to spend a few thousand dollars. When my team started, we immediately put in about 4 thousand dollars, but I feel like we could have reduced the amount we spent. I can send a detailed list of what we bought if you are interested. But overall, we got a v5 competition super kit, and all the field stuff.

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@forzapixel Please send me your list. Sounds like we can make do with a 2K budget for basic $500 kit, $900 starter robot, 4 additional motors $140 and registration $150.

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@Connor We are open to any help we can get. We are a new team of 8th graders with no prior Vex experience.

Do experienced teams mentor new teams in VRC?

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