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Unpacking the High Stakes of the VEX® V5: A Comprehensive Analysis

Updated: May 3

If you didn't know already, the VEX Worlds Championship has been happening since April 25th, and will continue until May 3rd. At VEX Worlds, on April 27th, they revealed the VEX V5 game, "High Stakes". Today, we will be breaking the game down with a comprehensive analysis.

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What is VEX®?

FIRST® was created in 1989, with FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition). In 1998, they created FLL (FIRST Lego League). In 2004, they started FVC (FIRST Vex Challenge). However, 2 FIRST mentors branched out their own company, called VEX in 2007, when FVC was changed to FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge). VEX is now part of the REC Foundation (Robotics Education & Competition).


VEX has 5 levels, starting with VRC (VEX Robotics Competition). VRC is middle school and high school. Then, there is VEX IQ, for elementary and middle schoolers. VEX V5 comes next, for high schoolers. There is also VEX AI for high school and college. Finally, there is VEX U, for college and university students.



hangin around

What is High Stakes?

High Stakes is the 2024 - 2025 VEX V5 game, which was released at worlds on April 27th. The game name reveal, which premiered on April 12th, is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwzOM3morF4&ab_channel=VEXRobotics


high stakes

The Field

The game is played on the classic 12x12" field, with 2 alliances (red and blue). The game element is a plastic ring (OD - 7", ID - 3", Thickness - 2"). This element reminds us a lot of the FRC CRESCENDO℠ game this year, and even of the VEX Round Up (back when VRC was VEX EDR).


vex ring


There are 48 rings on the field (24 red, 24 blue). There are also 5 hexagonal mobile goals that can be used by either alliance. These mobile goals have PVC pipes called "Stakes". There are 5 mobile goal stakes, 2 wall stakes, 2 alliance stakes, which all fit 6 rings each. Finally, there is one high stake, on top of the ladder, which can ONLY FIT ONE RING. Each ring on a stake is one point. If your alliance's ring is the top-most on the stake, you get an additional 2 points. This reminded us of FTC POWERPLAY℠, which had cones rather than rings.


vex mobile goal

The Game

The game begins with a 15s autonomous period, where teams must stay on their alliance's side of the field. There is also a way to get a bonus autonomous win point for your alliance (AWP), which will be disclosed in the game manual after today's games at worlds are completed (tonight). However, you can go buy the game elements at the VEX store right now.

Buy the game elements here: https://www.vexrobotics.com/276-8868.html

The tele-operated period begins now. The robot can only possess 2 rings at a time, otherwise it is hoarding. The robot can also carry 1 mobile goal. The cool thing about this is that rings scored on the mobile goal stake DO NOT COUNT towards the 2 ring limit. Unlike FIRST, VEX endorses defensive play and this adds another competitive aspect to the game (unlike GP - Gracious Professionalism). This is why rings can be descored from all neutral stakes (not the alliance stakes).


Speaking of defense, there are 4 corners to the field, two positive and two negative. If a mobile goal is moved to one of the positive corners, the points are doubled for all the rings on that mobile goal's stake (no matter what alliance). However, if you move the mobile goal into a negating corner, it subtracts those points (no matter what alliance). This will be a major contribution to the defensive play this year.


At the end of the game, robots can climb a 4 foot ladder. This is the TALLEST climbing element in VEX history! There are 3 levels to this ladder, as shown in the image below: Level 1 is 3 points, Level 2 is 6 points, Level 3 is 12 points. This reminds us a lot of the FTC CENTERSTAGE℠ game this year, which had "suspension" in the Endgame. The ladder is also four-sided, which means no robots should be restricted in any way. It is likely that teams will score the high stake to secure their win when suspending here.


vex 4 foot ladder

Ultimately, this is the VEX V5 2024 - 2025 game! To get a headstart on High Stakes, you can buy the game elements (https://www.vexrobotics.com/276-8868.html), and read the game manual the instant it comes out. You can check out the field below. Good luck to all teams, and most importantly, have fun!


the field






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