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GradleRIO is a powerful Gradle Plugin that allows teams competing in the FIRST robotics competition to produce and build their code.

GradleRIO works with Java and C++ (and others!), on Windows, Mac and Linux. GradleRIO automatically fetches WPILib, Tools, and Vendor Libraries.

For 2019+, GradleRIO is the official build system for the FIRST Robotics Competition! The officially supported IDE is Visual Studio Code (VS Code), using the WPILib Extension.

frc-docs is the best place for documentation:

Other IDEs like IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse, Visual Studio, and CLion are also supported, unofficially. You may also use this tool exclusively from the command line, allowing use of any IDE or text editor (like Sublime Text, Atom or Vim).

Getting Started - Creating a new project

For getting started with VS Code, please see the frc-docs documentation:

Without Visual Studio Code

Follow the installation instructions on frc-docs: Note that the offline installer isn't required, but will save you a ton of time and is highly recommended.

WPILibUtility Standalone Project Builder WPILib provides a standalone project builder that provides the same interface as VS Code, without having to use VS Code.

If you've used the installer, find and run wpilibutility in C:\Users\Public\wpilib\<YEAR>\utility (windows), or ~/wpilib/<YEAR>/utility(mac/linux). Note that mac users will have to extract the .tar.gz file, then run. Alternatively, download it from the VSCode-WPILib releases, extract it, and run it:

Use the WPILib Utility whenever you want to create a new project.

Adding Vendor Libraries

With Visual Studio Code

Open the command palette with CTRL + SHIFT + P, or by clicking the WPILib icon. Open WPILib: Manage Vendor Libraries, Install new libraries (online), and paste the vendor-provided JSON url.

Without Visual Studio Code

Create a folder vendordeps in your project directory if it doesn't already exist. Download the JSON file from the vendor-provided URL, and save it to the vendordeps folder. This can be done by running ./gradlew vendordep --url=<vendor url here> in a project.


Windows Users: It is recommended to use Powershell instead of CMD. You can switch to powershell with powershell


  • ./gradlew build will build your robot code (and run unit tests if present).

  • ./gradlew deploy will build and deploy your code.

  • ./gradlew installRoboRioToolchain will install the C++ Toolchains for your system (required for C++).


  • ./gradlew Glass will launch Glass, a data visualization tool similar to the SimGUI.
  • ./gradlew ShuffleBoard will launch Shuffleboard, the 2018 replacement for SmartDashboard.
  • ./gradlew SmartDashboard will launch Smart Dashboard (note: SmartDashboard is legacy software, use ShuffleBoard instead!).
  • ./gradlew RobotBuilder will launch Robot Builder, a tool for generating robot projects and source files.
  • ./gradlew OutlineViewer will launch Outline Viewer, for viewing NetworkTables.
  • ./gradlew PathWeaver will launch PathWeaver, a tool for generating motion profiles using WPILib's trajectories and splines.

At Competition? Connected to the Robot? Run with the --offline flag. e.g. ./gradlew deploy --offline

IDE Support

Visual Studio Code:

VS Code is fully supported by GradleRIO for FRC. To use it, use the WPILib VS Code extension. See frc-docs for instructions.

IntelliJ IDEA:

IntelliJ IDEA support is unofficial in the FRC sense, but is well supported by the Gradle team. CSA Support isn't guaranteed, so make sure you're prepared to fix any issues yourself if you're at an event.

To import a gradle project into IntelliJ IDEA please do one of the following:

  • In the welcome screen click Import Project and select the build.gradle file of the project.
  • Click Open on the welcome screen or File - Open while you have another project open and select the build.gradle file of the project. IntelliJ will then prompt you if you would like to open it as a project, click Open as Project

IntelliJ may ask to import the Gradle project in the bottom right of the IDE, simple click Import Changes to import it.

Please see the IntelliJ IDEA help page on gradle for help:


Eclipse support is unofficial in the FRC sense, but is well supported by the Gradle team. CSA Support isn't guaranteed, so make sure you're prepared to fix any issues yourself if you're at an event. Eclipse is only supported for JAVA (not C++)

First install buildship, the gradle plugin made by Eclipse for the Eclipse IDE. Installation instructions can be found here:

Once installed, navigate to File - Import… - Gradle and select Gradle Project.

Press the Next > button, then specify the root directory of the project. Press Finish once to finish the import, and Finish again to confirm it.

Please see the buildship github page for help (specifically the user documentation and the forums):

Visual Studio 2017 Community / Full (not Visual Studio Code)

VS2017 support is unofficial in the FRC sense, but is well supported by the Gradle team. CSA Support isn't guaranteed, so make sure you're prepared to fix any issues yourself if you're at an event.

To start with, you must apply the visual-studio plugin to build.gradle. In your build.gradle, put the following code in the plugins {} block.

plugins {
    id 'visual-studio'

Finally, you can generate and open your solution with the following command:

  • ./gradlew openVisualStudio will generate IDE files for VS2017 (C++) and open Visual Studio.

Please see the gradle guide on building native software for help:


To upgrade your Gradle project (and GradleRio plugin) from one year to the next follow the Importing a Gradle Project instructions in the WPILib Documentation.

For mid-season updates to GradleRio, edit build.gradle and replace the version in the plugin line (only change the GradleRIO line):

plugins {
    // ... other plugins ...
    id "edu.wpi.first.GradleRIO" version "REPLACE ME WITH THE LATEST VERSION"

The latest version can be obtained from here:

Deploying alternate JRE

For 2023, JRE 17 is deployed. To use JRE 11 from previous years, do the following:

  1. Add wpi.jreArtifactLocation = 'edu.wpi.first.jdk:roborio-2021:11.0.9u11-1' to build.gradle
  2. Set gcType = 'CMS' in the FRCJavaArtifact block to use the CMS garbage collector

Using alternate garbage collector

GradleRIO has built in settings for the CMS garbage collector (for JDK 11) and G1 (for JDK 17).

  1. Set gcType = 'Other' in the FRCJavaArtifact block
  2. Add the appropriate jvmArg for the Garbage Collector and settings in the FRCJavaArtifact (e.g. for the default G1 settings, jvmArgs.add("-XX:+UseG1GC", "-XX:MaxGCPauseMillis=1", "-XX:GCTimeRatio=1")

Using GradleRIO custom builds

To use a custom build of GradleRIO in a robot project, the build must be published.

  1. Update the version in so that GradleRIO won't overwrite an existing version.
  2. Execute .\gradlew publishToMavenLocal
  3. Update the GradleRIO version in your robot projects build.gradle to the version you defined in GradleRIO
plugins {
    // ... other plugins ...
    id "edu.wpi.first.GradleRIO" version "REPLACE ME WITH THE PUBLISHED VERSION"