How much does a turret actually help?

I’ve seen some higher level teams lack a turret and still be able to cycle quite fast. I feel like with swerve and well trained drivers a non-turreted robot would be near the same level as a turreted robot. The only thing a turreted robot can do that a non-turreted robot can’t, would be to shoot on the move like 1690, but I haven’t seen that many teams with turrets do that. Would you say the time spent in to doing a turret this year would be worth it compared to just giving driver more practice?

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It’s been helping with defense when shooting


I mean, in theory you could move and shoot with swerve alone, right? It probably wouldn’t be feasible for most teams, and the teams that can do it would probably just have a turret anyways.

To answer your question, I’m pretty sure it is just easier/faster to align on the hub then lining up with swerve. 1678 doesn’t use a turret (unless I am severely mistaken) and they are one of the best teams right now. It would also probably make defending your bot harder.

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I was watching some of 1678’s matches were they were getting defended pretty hard and they would just roll of them with swerve and drive away to shoot or go to launch pad for protection. I guess with a turret you could keep being locked on the target even while being hit making for faster cycles.

Our turret is there so we can shoot while being defended against. It has helped a lot in that aspect.

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How exactly does a turret prevent defense? Is it better because it is faster, or because it isn’t affected as much from being pushed/rammed?

I would think it’s because you can shoot while having a robot right next to you or in front of you.

To have it not be affected by pushing or ramming I feel like you would have to do some more advancing things with programming, but maybe I’m wrong.


Redundant degrees of freedom can be extremely useful when you are getting clobbered by defense. It also opens up a tons of autonomous freedom and allows for keeping a defender on a preferred bumper (i.e. keep a defender on the bumper opposite the intake) .

You can definitely aim with the drivetrain, but there are merits to seperation of function in certain circumstances.


When teams are pushing you around, the turret stays on target and allows you to continue shooting without repositioning. Ours also has very quick and accurate distance calculations so it readjust the shooter speed as we are moved around keeping the shots accurate.

You run the math for a shooting solution constantly?

Turret is as good as you want it to be, not all are performant. Lots of turrets/swerves not playing in Houston.


Turret also allows you to drive on the side field wall in which defenders can only push you sideways which is quite slow and well within the ability for a turret to correct.


Last year we didn’t use a turret… good enough for static shooting locations, especially safe zones. For shooting on the run, rocking around the hub… under defense… I don’t see how it can be done without a turret. And a fast one …


We have fairly accurate 5 cargo autonomous using west-coast drivetrain, can shoot while moving and under defense. These would’ve been impossible without a turret. It was extremely helpful that we’ve even upgraded our 180 degrees turret to be able to turn 360+ for the champs.


Not the OP but we run our distance calculation and adjust RPM / hood angle / turret position every loop.

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Yeah, just like 1690 in last year, they didn’t use a turret since the safe area is very useful and the efficiency is pretty good. However , in this year, we don’t have a safe area which can promise the ability and efficiency of scoring (Maybe l think this year’s safe area is a little further and can’t promise the precision. Unlike in Infinite Recharge , the safe area is so close to the target that we can gurantee the saety and efficiency together, so l think 1690’s strategy is really really good in the last year and so does in this year) . So, in this year , a turret is a big help to a team.

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The nice thing about a turret is you can automatically keep it pointing toward the target (using the vision system) while you are driving. That way you are always aimed and can have your distance calculation ready to go and you can shoot as soon as you come to a stop (or even without stopping). If you were to use your swerve drivebase as your turret, then you need to turn the controls of at least the rotation axis of the swerve drive over to the vision system for a short period of time and let the vision system aim your shot using the drivebase. This is potentially a harder programming task if you already have good swerve code and you don’t want the complexity of sourcing your rotation command from two different places (joystick vs vision system) and tuning a PID for the vision rotation input.

Needing to allow the robot to turn after intaking also adds a little bit extra time to aim. It also means that a defender can come and turn you away from the target by pushing one corner of the robot. A turret can remain aimed as you drive so that there is no time need to establish your aim once you finish intaking. And if a defender turns you, the turret can continue to track the target.


For most teams, a turret is probably more complication without much additional benefit, especially if it comes at the cost of practice or other robot functions.

For the top 5% or so, a turret could be the right option, depending on the team’s strategy.

I think for a mid-level team like 3181, you’re probably better off picking one, maybe 2 locations to shoot from, and getting very accurate and practiced from those locations, without messing with a turret, as well as tuning other aspects of your game, like climbing and autonomous.

3467 has been a top 8 seed and made the finals at both our events so far this year only shooting from right up against the fender.


Only really, really good teams benefit from a turret. But turrets aim better than turning entire robot chassis usually, and they help shoot under defense. You can make turrets a lot snappier than your chassis.


Team 325 driver here. We have a turret and Mk4i swerve drive train. It’s helped a lot while being defended with keeping a lock on target while moving back to another position or lining up on the launchpad and maintaining aim. At The Greater Pittsburgh Regional we were ranked 4 and captains of Alliance three and one of the best shooters there. Ask your driver’s if they feel they need more practice or if they are comfortable. Also take into account the time it will take away if you do decide to program and intemplate a turret.

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