Swerve Preparation

This year, my team is moving to swerve drive. We will be ordering 12 modules and 12 Krakens. We have done our fair share of research and feel prepared (We already have code written from YAGSL examples), but what tips/experiences do you have to share? I am also curios if there was any way your team got drive practice without a physical chassis. Is there an online swerve “simulator” we could use to get minutes?


Just so you’re aware, depending on which module you buy, you may need 2 krakens per module which means you have 12 modules but can only assemble 6 of them fully

Yes we are aware and know that we will have sufficient resources to build 3 chassis, most likely a practice/programing which we will mount last year’s superstructure to for preseason, a 2025 chassis, and backup modules.

XRC simulator is a little clunky, but works rlly well. Our driver uses it all the time. You. CAN run swerve on it if you hop through enough menus (though it starts with tank) and it feels decent (a little slippy, feels like it’s kinda on coast mode). I also recommend not using the “camera follow” mode, and hitting the space bar to use the driver station mode.


Could you give me a quick run-through on how to use? Found the website but don’t want to go downloading random files. Last time i tried this I downloaded a virus.:partying_face::tada:

There are 2 things that I think are the most important when switching to swerve.

  1. Current limits. Swerve takes a lot of power so play around with current limits, there is no right answer but you want a big enough margin where you are not “limping” around at the end of matched due to over heated motors
  2. Read thoroughly through the TalonFX/Phoenix tuner capabilities. There are lots of built in software features that you can use. One of the biggest ones is putting the pid loop on the controller.

Sure, you can go ahead and download it from the site. It’s a unity file, so your computer may say it’s a virus. I promise it’s not. (Though it will take a lot of storage lol). It’s well used, and if you don’t trust it, go ahead and join the discord first. It has a decent community and it’s honestly amazing.

Control schemes are weird and set up for you. (You can’t change them) so you may want to also install “joy to key” which allows you to custom remap your controller to key bindings, which is great because the soft where is comparable with joy bindings. (Just don’t rebind the sticks to controls). Also, not a virus. Do your own research, and what have you, but it’s wonderful.

I personally have downloaded both of these tools without issue, on multiple machines.

The XRC sim should be pretty easy to understand through the website alone though.

This 100% doesn’t replace real drive practice, it’s different, but it gets damn close

My other piece of advice would be to pick up a pigeon 2.0. It’s the best gyro on the market in my opinion… and on top of that, with swerve, the gyro needs to be in the middle, with holes CADed into a belly pan, or very specifically laid out. (I.e, don’t use tape or VHB)

If you only plan on using the IMU for field-centric, it can be mounted wherever as long as it’s rigidly secured to the robot. Being in the center of the robot does help accelerometer readings, though

Thanks man, appreciate it.

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Have your kids train/compete on swerve tear down and assembly time, and on module swapping. Dont use loctite fir this training, but use it for real life.

Consider making a crazy wheel for emergency “I need it running NOW!” fixes. One bolt to swap and now you are driving on 3/4 power.
Its an omni wheel with bearings in it to free spin. No bevel gears.


Now that it’s downloaded, I can already tell I will be sinking way too much time in here. Hate to be a pain but can’t seem to find the camera follow setting. I agree it will make a big difference. What menu is it in?

You should be able to just hit the space bar if I recall correctly

These are huge, we all know how things break at the most inconvenient times (we snaped our climber rope (rated for 1600 lbs) over a dozen times last year) and the “crazy wheel” is a great fix.

Your right, can’t thank you enough for all this.

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Yeah, no worries! If anything else comes up, let me know!

So you are ready with all 24 motors for your modules? I’m impressed :rofl: Which modules do you plan on ordering? SwerveX, SDS?

If you are using all CTRE control products (Talon FXs, CANCoders, Pigeon IMU) I would recommend CTRE Swerve Library using their Swerve Project Generator. YAGSL is amazing if you have multiple swerve drives with different motor controllers or different Gyros/encoders, but even they recommend using CTRE’s library if you can.

Using the simulator from either one of those libraries can help you get a better understanding of driving a swerve.

I would also look into wheels. We’ve started using 3d printed TPU wheels but if you are using stock wheels think about if you want Colsons or treaded wheels and get extra tread too.

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Why do you need 12 swerve modules?

fwiw the “swerve” is actually just a super fast mecanum drive. so the robot drives faster going forward and back than it does sideways.

if you’re trying to use xrc for drive practice I would also recommend turning on field centric if you plan to use it during the season (I strongly recommend using field centric, it’s slightly less intuitive to begin with but once you get used to it, it makes swerve soooooo easy)
you can turn it on by clicking this checkbox