2020 Game Tools Installation

Moving to 2020 for LV and game tools. Things seem to install fine and I get a shortcut on my desktop for Driving Station that works fine, but there is no icon for LabView on the desktop that would launch the FRC LabView where you can start a new FRC robotics project.



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It sounds like you installed the Game Tools. The LabVIEW installation is separate. You can download the LabVIEW install here

LabView 2020 is installed. I can open that fine as well. Just not seeing anything to launch the FRC version of LabView like it was in 2019.

Should there be a LabView icon installed on the desktop? If so what is the path/filename for what it launches?


You can find LabVIEW in the start menu.
Open the start menu and type “NI LabVIEW 2019 (32-bit)”. Yes LabVIEW 2019 for the FRC 2020 season/calendar year.

The thing is i’m trying to upgrade to LabVIEW 2020. And use the FRC 2020 Game tools. Should I not be? Am I missing something here?

I notice the 2020 Game Tools is 32 bit. Do I need the 32 bit version of LabVIEW 2020 installed for it to work?


FRC 2020 is built upon LabVIEW 2019, since that was the most current release when the FRC 2020 version was developed in Fall of 2019.

LabVIEW 2020 (not released until May 2020-after the 2020 FRC season would have been over) is being used as the base for the FRC 2021 release coming in January 2021.

In general, you don’t even want to apply any automatic LABVIEW software updates released after the FRC version has been completed unless directed to by FIRST HQ and NI. They have been known in the past to break the FRC release.

So what do you recommend. We’re trying to get started and prepare for the upcoming season. Do we need to have be on LabView 2020? Or can we just stay on 2019?

Is lab you 2019 and the FRC 2020 game tools as a combination an option? Or come January well we have to upgrade?

For use now in practicing you must keep LabVIEW 2019 with the 2020 Game Tools.
Consider them to be paired.

You can continue to use this until the moment you choose to upgrade to the 2021 tools that will be released on January 9. You don’t have to convert over right away, but once you upgrade one piece, you’ll need to upgrade everything to keep them in sync.

(edited per Joe’s post)
At kickoff on January 9 a new Game Tools will be released:

  • FRC Game Tools 2021 (including a new image for the roboRIO).

If you are competing on a regulation field, then you’ll want to be using the latest.
However, with virtual competitions you can run on the old software just fine.

Per Task 1: Software Installation — FIRST Robotics Competition documentation for 2021 LabVIEW will remain the 2019 version, but there will be a FRC Game Tools 2021.

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Thanks Joe.

Joe’s documentation reference is to the FRC beta testing that is ongoing now.

So don’t install LabVIEW 2020 at all.
The LabVIEW 2019 license doesn’t appear to be limited.

Thanks for the clarity in your response Mark - and to Joe for his input.

Can you recommend a link to get 2019 and the 2020 FRC tools? So many out there. easy to get lost in them.

Thanks in advance Mark.


Look here under Installers:

All Teams: Game Tools
LabVIEW Teams: Download

Make sure to select the appropriate year (2020 for both).

That gets me game tools. Looking for the 2019 version of LabView. Sorry for all the back and forth. Either i’m an idiot, or this could be simpler.

Did you see the “Download” hot link under LabVIEW Teams?

Some of this software download is made more complex because it’s a mixture of FIRST specific and NI commercial access, rather than a simple file download.

I do. So do I select “LabVIEW Software for FRC 2020”? Is that a LabView bundle for the 2020 Season? Or is that LabView version 2020?

I just answered my own question. You pick a “version”, which needs to be “2020” to get the FRC 2020 season but LabView version 2019.

Downloading that now…

If you have other LabVIEW versions previously installed, I’d recommend uninstalling those before using the FRC installer.

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There’s a lot of odd restrictions in place that make this more complicated than it would ideally be. I’d encourage you to follow the download/installation instructions in any given year as they try to eliminate most of the confusing bits. Mark has already given a good idea of what you’re looking for. I’ll share some information that you’re welcome to read if you’re curious about the “why” in all of this.

FIRST reasonably names their season based on the year in which it is played. As kickoff is early January and a typical season wraps up in late April, that year number makes the most sense.

NI typically releases LabVIEW at their (our?) annual conference in late May. Similarly, the year released in May matches the year May takes place in. Given this is after the FRC season, the build in FRC is typically built on the previous year’s version.

That creates a bit of the awkward dynamic with the LabVIEW version being one year older.

There are some toolkit limitations in LabVIEW where 32-bit is required which pushes you away from 64-bit LabVIEW.

To try to mitigate some of this confusion, the downloads for FRC teams are linked in two places:
LabVIEW Software for FRC
FRC Game Tools

These two links use the year for the FRC season (and really, I should bug the web team to remove the older versions to help eliminate more confusion). FRC teams shouldn’t use any of the other download pages for the NI software as it’s going to be a miserable experience. These two pages are curated to provide all of the required toolkits for teams programming in LabVIEW and a set of tools for teams using other languages. You CAN get all of these by downloading from other pages on NI’s downloads. But, it won’t be easy to figure out what exactly you need.

Another oddity, you’ll need to have LabVIEW installed prior to installing the Game Tools to get all of the LabVIEW components to install correctly. After you install LabVIEW, run the Game Tools installer again to fix that.

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