Swerve drive meta for rapid react?

From what I’ve seen so far, the top teams such as 254, 1690, 1323, 1678, 3310, 148 have all used swerve drive in this game. Some of these teams like 254 and 1678 NEVER even do swerve drive, so its kind of cool to see this sort of “meta”. The extra mobility you get from being able to strafe allows you to get balls much easier, cutting down on CTs. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game where swerve is just completely dominant over the traditional tank drive. What are your takes on it?


There are quite a few factors that led to swerve drive being more common this year than in previous games.

  • The new REV PDH increased the available motor slots to 20, making it easier to budget 8 motors for swerve

  • Many teams took the swerve plunge during 2021 without in-person competitions

  • For 2022, the central goal and scattered ball positions made turning while moving more useful than it has been in past games


Swerve drive is going to be a trend that continues.
COTS swerve drive modules are much more common now than they’ve ever been. COTS or open sourced programming to run the modules is more common.
Unless we see a game like 2016 or the field may be too rough for a swerve drive to handle, I think we’re going to keep seeing it.
I really don’t see much of a disadvantage to swerve as long as you can afford it and program it.

It’ll be interesting to see what this will do to first. The learning curve for swerve drive may not be quite as steep as it was in the past but there’s still a pretty big upfront cost. COTS parts usually help level the playing field to some extent, but $1500+ for a chassis is quite a bit for most teams.

This coming from two teams that have never even considered possibly even trying or even remotely thinking about attempting a swerve drive.

But I put in an order for four MK4 modules and the other required bits last week.


Agree that swerves & swerve-nots is where we seem to have landed. Join the swerve-olution! Of course, there’s way more to being competitive than having swerve, and swerve is still not the best choice for many teams, but SDS & others have successfully made swerve broadly accessible, best choice or not. As a mentor of mine would sometimes say about not-necessarily-desired business costs that become unavoidable, “It’s part of the cost of doing business.”

There’s a lot of small missteps you can still make with swerve, but I expect these to become ever smaller with time. The cost barrier to entry does disappoint me, and it’s not likely to get lower with time. There’s also a lot of teams that fall prey to the small missteps and focus on swerve before more fundamental robot concepts.

Lower-resource teams do swerve because it’s cool, not because it’s strategic. High-resource teams do swerve because it’s strategic given their resources.


even if they do a 2016 like field teams will use swerve. look at Mars/Wars, Bomb squad, or Triple strange in 2016. you can do a rough terrain swerve drive.

I spent a decent amount of time thinking you were talking about 2614 who I know was not swerve back in 2016. I now realize you mean 4143 MARS/WARS.

oops, ill edit the post.

We were a never consider swerve team until this year. After Cowtown Throwdown we talked to Liberty Robotics about their SDS MK3 and they said the code library wasn’t that big of a jump. So we bought some MK4 and put them together and tried it out in December. It was successful enough we said if it was a swerve advantageous game (most are) we would go with swerve and boy was it a swerve advantageous game. I from now on we will probably favor swerve though we are open to non swerve in rough terrain games. I think a lot of teams who made the jump this year will be in the same boat as us. I think the COTS offerings this year, the maturity of the code, the REV PDH, and the super advantageous nature of swerve on this years game will have a lasting effect on swerve in the future.

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