Updating VEX IQ (2nd gen) Controller Firmware in App-based VEXcode IQ

Many VEX IQ products contain their own internal processors and run on a special Operating System. This software is the VEX IQ Firmware and is called VEXos.

Note: VEXcode IQ can only update the firmware on the IQ Controller when connected to a device via a USB-C cable. App-based VEXcode IQ does not support updating the firmware on the IQ Controller when using an iPad, Android, or Fire tablet.

What is Firmware?

This Operating System is written entirely by VEX Robotics, and harnesses the flexibility and power of VEX hardware for the diverse needs of education and the rigors of competition. The Brain will automatically push out the latest updates to any IQ device that is connected to it.

Why Should I Update?

There are several reasons why you should update your VEX IQ Controller firmware with the latest VEXos, some of these include:

  • VEXos updates will include fixes for known bugs and add the software which is needed to operate any new devices introduced into the VEX IQ line.
  • Updates allow for advanced programming features.
  • The best way to ensure that your VEX IQ system is functioning properly is to keep the software up to date.

How to Know if the Controller Firmware is Out of Date


If your Controller and Brain are paired and the Controller firmware is out of date, this error message will appear on the Brain’s screen.


The Controller is connected to App-based VEXcode IQ and the Controller icon in the Toolbar is orange.


When a Controller is connected to VEXcode IQ via a USB-C cable, a prompt will appear asking “Do you want to update now?”

How to Update Controller Firmware


First ensure no other applications that work with VEX hardware are open in the background - such as Web-based VEXcode IQ or Visual Studio Code.


Using a USB-C cable, connect your Controller to your computer and ensure it is powered on.

Once the Controller is connected, launch VEXcode IQ.

If you do not have App-based VEXcode IQ, you can download it here.


One the Controller is connected via USB-C and powered on, both indicator lights on the Controller will be visible.


One the Controller is connected via USB-C and powered on, both indicator lights on the Controller will be visible.


Once “Update” is selected, the Controller will start blinking red rapidly.


The Controller will begin updating and the following prompt will appear.

Please wait while the Controller updates.

This could take a few minutes.


A prompt will appear when the update is complete.

Select “OK.”


The Controller firmware is now updated and the Controller icon in the Toolbar will display green.

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

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