Rover Ruckus
Rover Ruckus logo.png
Season Information
Number of teams6,818 [1]
Championship locationHouston
     George R. Brown Convention Center
     Minute Maid Park
     Cobo Center
     Ford Field

     3101 Boom Bots
     5064 Aperture Science
     6547 Cobalt Colts
     9971 LANbros
     11115 Gluten Free

     10091 N.Y.A.N. Robotics
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Rover Ruckus, officially known as Rover Ruckus Presented by Qualcomm for sponsorship reasons, is the FIRST Tech Challenge game for the 2018–2019 season.[2] In the competition, two alliances of two teams each compete to collect minerals and place them into the cargo holes of the lander. Rover Ruckus is the fourteenth FTC game.


In a match, there are red and blue alliances, both consisting of two teams. Alliances are selected randomly and work together to earn more points. The alliances claim their depot when both teams' robots place a team marker in the depot. During the Driver-Controlled Period, the alliances earn points for each mineral placed in the depot. If the depot is not completely claimed by both teams, then one of the opposing teams on the other alliance can steal the mineral.[3]


The 12 feet by 12 feet playing field consists of 36 interlocking foam tiles and a one-foot wall surrounding the field. In two opposite corners, there are mineral craters and in the other two corners, there are mineral depots.[4] In the center of the playing field, there is a lander that all robots may be mounted onto in the beginning of the match. The lander has designated side for the red and blue alliance and has separate compartments for silver and gold minerals.[5]


There are three parts to the game: the autonomous period, the Driver-Controlled Period, and the End Game.[6]

Autonomous Period

During the 30 second Autonomous Period, robots can only move using instructions that were pre-programmed and use inputs from sensors. Points are earned from landing, sampling, claiming, and parking. Robots that begin the match latched to the lander must hang at least 4 inches above the ground. To receive all landing points robots must have all wheels touching the ground. If a silver mineral is touched in an attempt to sample the gold mineral no sampling points can be gained. Team markers can be placed within the depot for 15 points. If both alliance parts claim the depot it is considered protected and minerals cannot be removed for the duration of the match.

Method Points
Landing the rover from the lander onto the playing field 30 points
Identifying the gold mineral in the sampling field 25 points
Placing the team marker into the corresponding depot 15 points
Parking in the crater at the end of the Autonomous period 10 points

Driver-Controlled Period

During the two minute Driver-Controlled Period, two drivers operate the robot using gamepad controllers. Points are earned from placing minerals in the depot and placing the minerals in their appropriate cargo hold. No points are deducted for placing an incorrect mineral in the gold or silver cargo holds.

Method Points
Placing the gold mineral in the gold cargo hold 5 points per mineral
Placing the silver mineral in the silver cargo hold 5 points per mineral
Placing any mineral in the depot 2 points per mineral

End Game

During the 30 second End Game, points are awarded for the Driver-Controlled period tasks as well as latching and parking.

Method Points
Latching onto the lander 50 points per robot
Parking partially in the crater 15 points
Parking completely in the crater 25 points

Advancement criteria

During qualifiers and state championships, teams advance in the following order: Inspire Winner, Winning Alliance Captain, Inspire 2nd place, Winning Alliance 1st pick, Inspire 3rd place, Winning Alliance 2nd pick, Think Winner, and Finalist Alliance Captain. Winning other awards (Motivate Award, Design Award, etc.) may help a team advance.[7]

Rover Ruckus is the first robotics competition in FTC to not have a super regionals competition because of the increase in the number of teams and the cost to host an event is significant. Teams that win their state competitions will automatically go to the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship, hosted in Detroit and Houston.[8]


  1. ^ "FIRST 2019 Annual Impact Report" (PDF).
  2. ^ "SearchHome Industrial Robotics Personal & Service Robots Factory Automation Unmanned & Other Topics Site ServicesMore Than 69,000 Students Worldwide to Explore Teamwork and Advanced Technology with FIRST® Tech Challenge Rover Ruckus Presented by Qualcomm". September 10, 2018. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  3. ^ "Game Manual Part 2" (PDF). November 19, 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 7, 2019. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  4. ^ "Middle schoolers launch lunar rovers at Jackson robotics event". November 11, 2018. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  5. ^ "Rover Ruckus Presented by Qualcomm". September 8, 2018. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  6. ^ "One Page Game Description" (PDF).
  7. ^ "Game Manual Part 1" (PDF). September 8, 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  8. ^ "Super Regionals - Then and Now". Retrieved December 1, 2018.