Robocode/Console Usage

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This page describes how to run and use Robocode from a console.

Starting Robocode

Robocode is normally started by a batch file/shell script, depending on the OS:

  • robocode.bat on Windows
  • on Unix/Linux
  • robocode.command on macOS

The shell script is used for setting required parameters for the Java VM in order to start and run Robocode properly.

By default, Robocode is started from a console by writing:

 java -Xmx512M -cp libs/robocode.jar robocode.Robocode

Here you must stand in the 'robocode' directory where Robocode has been pre-installed.

  • java is the command used for running the Java VM, which is required for starting and running Robocode.
  • -Xmx512M sets the maximum heap size for the Java VM to 512 MB of heap memory, meaning that Robocode cannot use more than 512 MB of memory.
  • is used to disable canonical cashing of file names, which would otherwise cause problems under Windows. With future versions of Robocode, this option is not necessary anymore, and will hence be obsolete at that time.
  • -cp libs/robocode.jar tells the Java VM which library (jar file), which is used for starting up Robocode.
  • robocode.Robocode specifies the main entry class of the Robocode game, which is required for starting Robocode.

With all of the above, Robocode will startup with a graphical user interface (GUI) waiting for user inputs. But it is possible to change the way Robocode is started and how it must run. That is, you can specify additional parameters to the command line above. These parameters are described in the following with the console usage.

Console Usage

 Usage: robocode [-?] [-help] [-cwd path] [-battle filename [-results filename]
                 [-record filename] [-recordXML filename] [-replay filename]
                 [-tps tps] [-minimize] [-nodisplay] [-nosound]
 where options include:
   -? or -help                Prints out the command line usage of Robocode
   -cwd <path>                Change the current working directory
   -battle <battle file>      Run the battle specified in a battle file
   -results <results file>    Save results to the specified text file
   -record <bin record file>  Record the battle into the specified file as binary
   -recordXML <xml rec file>  Record the battle into the specified file as XML
   -replay <record file>      Replay the specified battle record
   -tps <tps>                 Set the TPS > 0 (Turns Per Second)
   -minimize                  Run minimized when Robocode starts
   -nodisplay                 Run with the display / GUI disabled
   -nosound                   Run with sound disabled
 Java Properties include:
   -DWORKINGDIRECTORY=<path>  Set the working directory
   -DROBOTPATH=<path>         Set the robots directory (default is 'robots')
   -DBATTLEPATH=<path>        Set the battles directory (default is 'battles')
   -DNOSECURITY=true|false    Enable/disable Robocode's security manager
   -Ddebug=true|false         Enable/disable debugging used for preventing
                              robot timeouts and skipped turns, and allows an
                              an unlimited painting buffer when debugging robots
   -DEXPERIMENTAL=true|false  Enable/disable access to peer in robot interfaces
   -DPARALLEL=true|false      Enable/disable parallel processing of robots turns
   -DRANDOMSEED=<long number> Set seed for deterministic behavior of random

Example: Running a battle

In this first example, Robocode is running the 'sample.battle' from the 'battles' directory without the display (GUI), and where the results are written out to the file named 'results.txt':

 java -Xmx512M -cp libs/robocode.jar robocode.Robocode
      -battle battles\sample.battle -nodisplay -results results.txt

Example: Disabling security

With this example the Robocode security manager is disabled, which allows a developer to let robots access files and classes from outside Robocode:

 java -Xmx512M -DNOSECURITY=true
      -cp libs/robocode.jar robocode.Robocode

This allows a robot developer to let a robot access 3rd party libraries with support for e.g. neural networks and similar. Note that disabling security with this option does not disable all security. The normal Java security mechanisms still apply. But most of the security mechanisms added by Robocode are disabled.

Example: Running in Debug Mode

When trying to debug a robot by single stepping in an external IDE (e.g. Eclipse or NetBeans), it is important that the debug mode is enabled. Otherwise, the robot will receive skipped turns and by stopped by the game very quickly.

 java -Xmx512M -Ddebug=true
      -cp libs/robocode.jar robocode.Robocode

See also

Robocode API

Beginner Guides

External Editors

.NET Robots