Coding with VEXcode V5

VEXcode V5 is the coding environment for programming the VEX V5 Robot. The following article provides links to other articles that will help you start coding with VEXcode V5. At the end of the article you will have the options of either programming the VEX V5 Clawbot to drive forward or to create a project to print ‘VEX’ on the color touch-screen of the V5 Brain.


Note: in order to test your project at the end of this article, ensure you begin with a charged V5 Battery.

Download the application


VEXcode V5 is available for several different types of devices. The application needs to be downloaded onto your device. View the VEXcode download page.

The following links will help you download the application onto your device:

Note: A MSI install version is available for IT.

Devices and Templates


When you open a new VEXcode V5 project, the project is set up to only use the VEX V5 Brain. The only blocks which will appear in the Toolbox are the default blocks.


A project is customized by adding the devices that are being used on your robot. Additional blocks will populate the Toolbox for each device that is added.

For example, adding a ‘DRIVETRAIN 2 motor’ device will add the set of ‘Drivetrain’ blocks to the Toolbox.


There are a number of standard VEX V5 builds, such as the Speedbot and Clawbot, that can be used in the classroom and the VEX STEM Labs.


VEXcode V5 has a number of templates that are already set up for these builds. For example, an easy way to start a VEXcode V5 project for the V5 Clawbot, is to use an example template. This will configure the Clawbot’s devices and add the specific devices’ blocks to the Toolbox.


Open an example project by selecting ‘Open Examples’ from the File menu.


Select ‘Templates’ from the Filter bar.


Then select the Clawbot (Drivetrain 2-motor, No Gyro) Template.

Note: view the Robot Config section of articles for more information on configuring devices.

Using Blocks

VEXcode V5 opens as a Blocks project. Programming with blocks provides an environment that is accessible, with a very low entry threshold. However, coding a Blocks project also allows for an advanced level of programming.


A block can be added to a project by dragging it over from the Toolbox to the workspace.


It can be just as easily deleted from the project by dragging the block off of the workspace.

Some additional helpful articles using blocks include:



Once you have completed your VEX V5 project, it will need to be saved to your device. Saving your project differs depending on your device.

The following articles explain how to save your project on your device:

Update firmware if needed


The VEX V5 Brain and other smart devices have an underlying software that allows the devices to work with the VEXcode V5 project. This software is called firmware, or otherwise known as VEXos.


If the firmware is not up to date with your current version VEXcode V5, you will not be able to download your project to the V5 Brain. VEXcode V5 alerts you when the firmware is not up to date by displaying an orange brain icon as soon as a powered V5 Brain is connected to your device.

Note: view this article article for more information about getting started with firmware.

Downloading and Running


Your VEXcode V5 project needs to be downloaded to the VEX V5 Brain in order for your project to run. This is accomplished with a USB cord connected between the V5 Brain and your device.


Or, wirelessly by connecting your device to the V5 Controller.


The V5 Brain has eight download slots which allows eight different projects to be stored on the V5 Brain at the same time.

Once the V5 Brain is connected and a slot is selected, your project can be downloaded to the V5 Brain, and then run. When a project is run, it allows you to see how the project affects the behavior of your robot.

Occasionally, a download error may occur during the download process. However, these are usually easy to troubleshoot.

The following articles will help you with downloading and running your VEXcode V5 project:

Note: Before downloading your project, review the Pre-Downloading a Project Checklist.

Opening a Project


Once a VEXcode V5 project has been saved on your device, it can be opened at a later time to be re-downloaded onto your robot, or the project can be modified.

The following articles will help you open your VEXcode V5 project on your specific device:

Additional helpful links

There are many additional VEX Library articles to assist you when working with the VEXcode V5.

Some additional helpful articles to get started include:

There are also many fun and educational activities found in the VEX V5 STEM Labs.


My First Project

The following two projects will allow you to practice building a project in VEXcode V5.

Print ‘VEX’

This project will allow you to build a project without having to assemble a robot. All that will be needed is the VEX V5 Brain and a charged battery.


Ensure the V5 Brain is connected to your device and powered on.


Launch VEXcode V5.


A new blank project will open.


From the ‘Looks’ category select a [Print] block and attach it to the {When started} block.


Replace the word ‘Hello’ in the parameter with the word ‘VEX.’


Save, download, and run your project.


‘VEX’ will print on the color touch-screen of the V5 Brain.

Drive Forward


This project is intended to be used with the standard V5 Clawbot. View the Clawbot with Controller STEM Lab for build instructions.


Ensure the V5 Brain is connected to your device and powered on.


Launch VEXcode V5.


A new blank project will open.


Open the Clawbot (Drivetrain 2-motor, No Gyro) example project.


From the ‘Drivetrain’ category, select a [Drive for] block and attach it to the {When started} block.

Save, download, and run your project. The Clawbot will now drive forward 200 mm.

Note: if you experience any issues when working with VEXcode V5, please use the feedback tool found within VEXcode V5.

For more information, help, and tips, check out the many resources at VEX Professional Development Plus

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