I have seen many early spin up matches. I feel like the first 1 minute or so is just trying to fill the high goals to the brim. There’s only such a limited amount of discs to start of with.

Designs like CATAPULT’S early game will be crucial, as there’s less disc’s inside a basket, hence they can put much more discs in but, as late game rolls around they will become less effective, and the vibrations caused by catapults shooting three discs at a time in the high goal, could potentially knock off some of the discs in the overfilling basket.

FLYWHEEL’S not as effective as catapults early game, will still get the job done during early game. Flywheel’s during late game will be better than catapults as less vibrations caused by 1 disc going into the high goal. So flywheels would be a good all rounder choice during late and early game.

I’ve also seen TURRENTS, that probably are over-engineered, but turrents could dominate the autonomous part, and if you have a turrent that can track the goal and based on it’s distance from the goal can change the rpm of the flywheel, you basically have a bot that could dominate both early game and late game, turrents can make far shot’s during early game and where-ever they pick up discs they can park there and aim at the high goal, and during late game they just come closer to the high goal and with the program slowing down the flywheel they put in 1 disc at a time, hence less vibrations and less disc spillage, and possibly more discs could fit into the high goal. So theoretically a turrent would be able to put in more disc in a shorter amount of time and it can fill the high goals much more than any-regular bot could.

If you don’t want to make a turrent, I’ve seen flywheels which have no turrent but do have programs that allow them to change rpm based on distance to the goal allowing them to fill the high goals faster. Of course I’m ignoring the endgame expansion and the rollers. The way I’ve seen it a team that gets finished with filling a high goal in 1 minute and having a 6 wheel drive usually dominates the rollers.

I would like to hear your opinions on this.


flywheels (both double and single) and catapults are both viable and competitive options. I also expect punchers as well as some more exotic launchers that have yet to be really established to be competitive as well. I do not expect turrets to be very common, because in my opinion it is not worth the complexity, and certainly not worth sacrificing 6m drive for.

The winning move is to just pick one launcher that you like, and stick to it. You’ll do better by just refining and mastering one type of launcher than constantly rebuilding and jumping around to what seems to be the current favored design. Game is quite similar to turning point in this way. Driving is the most important factor, the best driver will win worlds regardless of launcher type.


This makes sense to me… turrets seem like a little too much too me, all things considered. I’m partial to catapults, but I feel like flywheels are what the GDC wanted us to use (hence Spin Up). Not gonna though :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: The reason I like catapults so much is because it allows for so many points, all in bulk, all at once. There’s also the component of just being so easy to build! The hardest part is probably filing down the gear.

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Catapults can shoot 1 or 2 disks too

Also unless you do a double flywheel they will have spin and tend to fall out easier.


I agree and disagree.

You are correct on how effective catapults are early game. Their ability to score a lot early on is impressive. But the more competitions I see, especially the most recent ones (Haunted) I feel like a really good flywheel with a very fast indexer with little drop in rpm is (basically a good flywheel) is just as efficient or effective as a catapult. One think catapults got going for them is that they are fast.

And yeah, turrets are over engineered that can be advantageous in auton, but like you said a good program could do the same.

Also I’ve seen catapults that can barely make the disc in so it lands as soft as possible, so the vibration depends on the bot.


I see what you mean with turrents, turrents can make more discs into the high goal in the same amount of time as catapults, but they can put maybe 3 to 4 more discs extra, which isn’t that many point for how much work is required to make a turrent. So the return isn’t there with a turrent, especially when you can refine catapults to do better.

I wasn’t here for vex turning point, but basically it depends on the driver heavily as to weather a bot will succeed or not, because couldn’t you make it easier on the driver by coding odom with some vision sensors to help auto align the bot with the high goal.

Use a band saw to file half of the gear off.


I know, I was just saying that to emphasize how simple a catapult is. I appreciate the advice though!

A catapult can do 1 and 2 discs as well at longer ranges, but with a flywheel you can have three loaded up in the bot, and shoot 1 at a time, and 3 in a row. While with catapults you need to shoot one, then intake in only 1 and then come back and shoot 1.

Basically, catapults are simpler to make and more effective, and for flywheels to reach the capability of a decent catapult, they need to be a good flywheel.


Sorry, misunderstood


what makes you think a turret would be capable of scoring more discs in the goal than a catapult? So far, it seems that the less energy the discs have when entering the goal, the more likely the discs will stay in the goal and the more discs will be able to pile up. Good catapults seem to toss the discs in very gently at close range, with no spin at all.

The main culprit for poor shot retention rate seems to be when discs are fired with too much force and ricochet out of the goal. any launcher that flings discs into the goal with a lot of force will likely be bad.

A single flywheel will always be imparting significant spin onto the discs. This can stabilize them in flight, but also means that if they hit the post of the goal or land on a large pile of discs, they are more likely to deflect sideways due to the spin and fall out of the goal.

Double flywheels don’t quite have the range single flywheels do, but they seem to have very good accuracy and disc capacity.

Catapults seem like the winner at the moment, with superior goal filling abilities to single flywheels due to the gentler toss that lacks any spin, and the fastest possible cycle times, with the triple shot. They can also perform decently in autonomous, easily making accurate single shots, although double shots seem more difficult and triple shots are proving to be quite elusive for most teams. The issue looks to be getting the discs to stay clumped together when they are shot with a steep arc and want to tumble apart from each other.

Shotgun-style flywheels also exist, with a flywheel shooting three discs into the goal simultaneously by feeding a stack of 3 discs into the wheel at once. I imagine these could be done with either singe or double flywheels, and they might have interesting benefits combining longer range single shots with short range triple shot capabilities.

Punchers have not really been seen performing well yet, but I have confidence they will be a very popular choice later in the season. From what I’ve seen, punchers will have the ability to make triple shots similarly to a catapult, but look like they might perform better making triple shots at greater distances.

There has also been talk of a “slingshot” style launcher, similar to a puncher except the discs are drawn back with the launcher, and pushed quickly forwards, instead of being smacked by the head of the puncher. Advantages of this launcher look like they might be able to do clean triple shots from very long range.

There might also be the potential to combine launcher types. Maybe you could use a single flywheel for most of the match, but then use a different launcher type once the goal gets full for extremely gentle close range shots to cram a few extra discs in. I’m not sure if this could ever be worth the complexity or effort, but someone might find a way to make it work.

there are also numerous ways to add on to these launchers to give them more capabilities. With a flywheel you can adjust the rpm to control how much speed you launch the disc with, essential if you want to be making short range shots with any sort of accuracy. People have also been adding angle adjusters for flywheels, the best option seems to be angling a tiny ramp at the exit point to deflect launched discs upwards for close range shots.

With tension-based launchers, people have been coming up with ways to adjust the tension for varied launch powers. Pneumatic cylinders can be used on a catapult to add force to a launch that you want to make from long distance, but then de-pressurize for close range shots. Rubber bands can be tightened or released with single use mechanisms after autonomous ends.

Punchers could use a mechanism like what 12e did back in turning point, which allows the puncher to be released at any point by lifting the driving gear off the rack gear, instead of having it slip at a fixed distance. This would let you vary the amount of force delivered by the launch.

The options for launching are virtually limitless. My advice, pick the launcher you like the sound of best, and stick to it, even if people around you are constantly shifting their opinions on which launcher is best. The people that came out on top in turning point were not the ones that constantly hopped from launcher to launcher, depending on the current online consensus. It was the people that picked a launcher, and practiced driving until they had mastered the game.


I couldn’t see that many Spin up bots with turrets, so i based my opinion on a few matches I saw with them and I had bias for turrets, and this is one recorded.

From what I saw from the punchers, I think they could rival the catapult, maybe even perform better, but having them operate long range, triple shot style I doubt it. Maybe if you had a configuration similar to the “Shotgun-style Flywheel” then possibly. Even then there isn’t a community built around the puncher in vex spin up, especially not from this year. It lacks infrastructure. Who knows it might make its appearance in worlds.

I was also curious on how to control the tension of a catapult. Could you elaborate on where to put the piston? underneath the catapult hand.

What design is your team going for?

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I think a big strategy in elims will be one short range bot that picks up discs out of the low goal and puts it in the high goal. Then have a defensive bot that makes long range shots (might not be super consistent but mainly is feeding the close range guy). So I think both will be viable but having various shot’s are going to be important because if you can only hit the long shot, it may be harder to solo carry in quals. Theoretically a turret would be awesome, especially for skills runs. Also @Xenon27 6m drive and turrets are not mutually exclusive :smiling_imp:

I’m probably going to attempt it later this year but I realize it’s probably more than I can chew

I saw some of these in a scrimmage, and it seems to be a high risk high reward build. If the slingshot is perfected, it’ll be a mix of the flywheel’s range and a catapult’s consistency. A good one will definitely be a threat in a match.

Are there any videos online of the slingshot style launcher?

A little leak :wink:

We use a different style of release mech than the other 2 slingshots tho.


Punchers could be good, just running with a flywheel though. Since im doing a turret a cata would be much easier for me to build, but I haven’t looked too much into it because of decreased consistency long range, and much less flexibility in position dependent velocity.

Also you’re 100% here, mainly because cata turrets exist. 3118B is a good example, and my sister team is also trying to do one.

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I can see how you plan on using the slingshot like a catapult, but I don’t see how it can shoot at far distances. The discs leave the slingshot flat, right so wouldn’t air resistance slow them down.

Is it possible you could record it shooting?

I don’t see the point of putting a catapult on top of a turret. There just isn’t a point to track the goal at such a close range. Also how would you load the catapult up. I would expect you would have to have the turret revert back to the intake position, to get the disc then it would track. It just seems like too much effort for too little return.