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BZRobots/API BZRobots vs Robocode

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This page is to describe the changes that have been made to the RoboCode-compliant part of the API to accommodate how BZFlag works.

Differences between Robocode and BZRobots[edit]

Game model[edit]

  • Robocode game model assumes you have only one life; in BZFlag, you get to respawn
    • onWin/onBattleEnded are applicable to a league match only
    • onDeath simply means you die, but you will spawn shortly after
    • There is a new onSpawn/SpawnEvent in the BZRobots API


  • Robocode 'turns' are in discrete ticks; BZFlag is real-time, which has the following implications:
    • Time is in decimal seconds; instead of turn 0,1,2, you get 1.5 seconds, 1.8 seconds, 2.34 seconds, etc.
    • Because of the above, getTime() returns a double instead of a long
    • Blocking functions such as execute have a small time delay, dependent on how long you executed
    • For now, there is no limitation on how long you may execute your "turn"

Fixed Radar and Gun[edit]

  • Robocode has movable radar and gun; BZFlag does not
    • setAdjustGunForRobotTurn and similar have no effect
    • turnGunLeft/turnRadarRight/etc. have no effect
    • getGunHeading/getRadarHeading will always match the robot's getHeading
    • BZFlag's radar effectively sweeps 360 degrees each 'tick/turn'

3rd dimension[edit]

  • Robocode is 2D, but BZFlag is 3D; this means that:
    • Methods named xxxHeight are renamed to xxxLength.
    • Methods named xxxHeight will return a Z-dimension
    • Objects having a getX() and getY() now have a getZ() as well
    • For simplicity, getVelocity() still refers only to X-Y velocity


  • Robocode bots have "energy"; BZFlag does not
    • The API now has onBulletFired(BulletFiredEvent e) so you can detect a fired shot
    • A bullet's energy will always be 3, regardless
    • A robot's getEnergy always returns 16 (Per the Robocode Damage Formula with a bullet power of 3, since a single shot kills)
    • Changing power in void fire(double power) and similar will have no effect


  • In Robocode, bullet speed is a function of energy, but in BZFlag bullet velocity is fixed

See Also[edit]