Getting Started with the VEX GO Competition (VGOC)

Follow the steps in this article to get started with the VEX GO Competition. This article will reference and link to other articles in the STEM Library to guide you through the process.


Step 1 - Mission Selection

Select one of the VEX GO Competitions. Students new to robotics should start with the Mars Math Expedition.

The Competitions require increasing levels of robot complexity as they progress from Mars in this order.

  1. Mars Math Expedition
  2. Ocean Science Exploration
  3. Village Engineering and Construction
  4. City Technology Rebuild

Step 2 - Read the Story

Read the students the selected Mission storybook. This provides a setting for why the robot is there and what the robot can do to help.

  • Mars Mission Story Book (Coming Soon!)

Step 3 - Build Part of the Field

We recommend that students build the VEX GO Competition field. This will give them experience building with VEX parts and working in teams.

Each Mission is divided into four Stages. The stages introduce the game, scoring and rules in increments. Stages allow the students to focus their robot builds on a subset of the tasks.


Mars Math Expedition Stage 1


Mars Math Expedition Stage 2


Mars Math Expedition Stage 3


Mars Math Expedition Stage 4

Students should be divided into groups and each team given a tile to build. Once all the tiles for the stage are ready, they can all work together to assemble the stage. Each stage can be built within one class period.

See this article to learn more about Building a VEX GO Competition Field.

Step 4 - Build a Robot

For each Mission there are robots pre-designed that are well suited for the task. These are called Hero Robots. It is recommended that students start by building one of these robots. Starting with a pre-designed robot will give the students further building confidence and experience building a complete robot.


There are two Hero Robots recommended for the Missions: a Competition Base and Competition Advanced robot.
  • Students can make any changes and enhancements to the robot using their VEX GO Kit
  • Base Hero Robots can play lower level Missions
  • Advanced Hero Robots will require more driving experience by the students

See this article to learn more about Building a Robot for VEX GO Competitions.

Step 5 - Practice Driving

Ensure students have a chance to practice driving their robot before moving to the competition. Create practice courses or small challenges for students to get used to the controls.

Students can use a tablet or phone to drive VEX GO robots by going to and selecting the 'Drive' tab. The webpage can connect to the robot and allow driving.


See this article to learn more about Driving Your VEX GO Competition Robot.

Step 6 - Practice the Competition

Now that students have had practice driving the robot, they can move on to practicing the stage of the Mission. This is a great time to review the rules and scoring for the Mission and give students the opportunity to iterate on their robot and come up with a game strategy.

  • Review the rules for the Mission
  • Review the scoring for the Mission
  • Begin practicing in groups.
  • Groups not finished with their robots can continue to build.
  • Groups waiting to compete can consider improvements to their robot or start working on a strategy for the Mission to earn the most points.

See this article to learn more about rules and scoring in VEX GO Competitions.

Step 7 - Build the next Stage

After students have practiced with a stage and gained comfort with the driving and scoring associated with that stage, then can move on to the next Mission stage.

Go back to Step 3 and begin building the next stage of the Mission, then repeat steps 4-6 until all stages have been completed.

Step 8 - Hold a Competition

After moving through all four stages, groups will all have their robots and the Mission field built and the entire mission.

When holding a competition, there are some considerations that need to be made. See this article to learn more about planning for a competition.

For more information about running a VEX GO Competition, see this article.

What's next?

After finishing the competition, you may wonder where to go next. You and your students can:

  • Progress to another Mission
  • Hold a competition demonstration for the rest of the school
  • Hold a school-wide VEX GO Competition