The main thing to remember when you are planning is that you will be supplied with a limited amount of parts. So think basic! The person who tries to be fancy always looses. Many times I've seen cars that don't even have steering come in the top three. The people that win almost always have these five things:
Low center of gravity
Low to the ground
Weight over the wheels
I'll show you how I achieved these things in a battle bot I made that won first place, and I'll give you some tips along the way.
I hope this guide will help future battle bot builders!
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Step 1: Creative Planning
Your planning time can be some of the most valuable time you have, and depending on the contest you might have very little. You do not want to waste it!
Think simple! You will be given a variety of parts and you probably wont want most of them. I know that a lot of times they give you a bad selection of parts to make you think and be creative, but never forget the fundamentals! Don't waste time and parts on fancy spinning things and lifts to flip the opposing car. I made this mistake my first time to compete and I had to spend half of the time I got to battle rebuilding my car. Just don't do it!