4 robot FRC

What would be the implications of FIRST deciding to play FRC with four robots per side. Aside from basic event capacity, how would this affect general gameplay, strategy and entertainment? Also what past game would benefit from another bot on each alliance?

Con: too many traffic jams and everyone would be annoyed
Pro: never having a field layout like 2019 again

hard choice honestly.


I think the two biggest drawbacks are the fields would have to be bigger, and it would be even more difficult for referees to ensure a fair match.


Or smaller robot perimeters. I can’t see really how to make the field bigger in most cases. It’s already tight in a high school gymnasium once you add the judges table, field reset, etc. You’d start to lose seating space at that point I think.

100% agree on the referee point. FRC is hard enough to follow with focusing on an alliance of 3.

Side note since it’s not really a point you mentioned but for OP this would affect scouting negatively. Some teams have a hard time fielding enough scouters to have one per team on the field per match with 6. 8 is just tougher, not impossible but it wouldn’t be possible for our team unless we got many more students. They get burned out without being able to rotate out and with more slots to fill theres less off time. We don’t usually have enough coverage as is


And the fields can’t get much bigger since they already take up 80% of a hs gym


4 robots per side would be… interesting.

The field border vs robot size has been discussed. Importantly, you’d need a 4th driver station at each end–if you keep the same size that pretty much eliminates a dedicated HP station at the ends of the field, it’s gotta be on the side. Shrinking the driver stations isn’t really an option. Shrinking the robots is easier, but that creates a number of other issues.

There would be more action, but robots would tend to interfere with their own alliance partners regularly.

As far as referees–I think they’d probably do OK, but at least one more referee would be required. (Stronghold alignment.)

That said, I can think of some past games that might benefit from another robot on each alliance. Might actually make 2003 watchable. Not sure about 2002, Beatty still outpowers 3 pushers. 2004 could be interesting. (What, you thought I’d stick to the 3v3 games?)

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I think the serpentine draft loses more of it’s already limited effectiveness with 4 team alliances when everyone has to be on the field, plus it ups the minimum number of robots to have a standard tournament to 32 from 24.

2014 would become basically impossible to score logistically for a ref crew who were already struggling to keep track of 3 robots in 3 unique zones, adding a 4th might have killed them. However I do think limiting the unique possessions to 3 and having a 4th robot who doesn’t have to be involved in the cycle does change the game by a noticeable amount.

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Ehh, just give us regolith again. The robots can barely move, let alone commit fouls. You only need to watch the human players.

Let’s go for five on five! Make robots smaller — 85 inch frame perimeter. And lighter — 85 lb. max. Then merge FRC and FTC into one program.

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No strong opinions here unless it leads to more plays for the regional teams that are getting <10 quals matches (versus making a regional capacity bigger). Robots would for sure need to be smaller.

There are lots of people using previous games for examples but those were all designed around the alliance sizes of the time. I think the game design would have been different if it was N+1 teams on alliance vs just N.

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Not unheard of. IIRC plenty of games before had no DS-adjacent HP station. In fact, everyone’s favorite cancer-inducing, slippery FRC game of all time might have had that.

There were in fact not 1 but 2 human player stations on the wall in 2009

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Since 2006, all games except 2014 have had a human player station next to the driver station, on one or both sides. 2014 had goals instead.

2003 and previous generally did not, with an exception for 1999. 2005 did not because there was a goal blocking the way, 2004 had a station. 2003 and previous tended to have a cutout in the wall but I don’t recall dedicated player stations except 1999; before 1999 player stations might have been on a different field face.

2005, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2023 had additional stations along the long side of the field for HPs to enter game pieces or signal robots/drivers.


Image of Unless. Of course, somebody comes up with 6 Minute Abs.

Data bandwidth per team would have to be reduced by 25% per team to avoid latency and capacity issues.
Probably a bit more field setup time to allow teams more ingress/egress time.
Assuming events stay the same size, 25% less time between matches. 24 teams queued up at any given time does sound like a lot

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In a game like this, traffic control would become really difficult and coordination would become extraordinarily important. It would put less importance on robot design and more on drive team skill, which is not the point of FRC.

Ah i see, It was 2014 I was thinking of. (HPs on the side)

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