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What are the rules of BattleBots and how much prize money can you win?

What are the BattleBots rules
What are the BattleBots rules? See below. Pic credit: Discovery

In a culture that loves robots fighting kaiju, as well as Transformers being one of the most lucrative franchises in the last decade, it’s not a wonder that BattleBots has a following. People love watching robots fight in any form and this television show proves it.

Those who want to join the competition might be curious what the rules are of being a contestant and what prizes are offered. Well, here is everything to know about the guidelines of BattleBots and what a contestant could win if competing.

What are the rules of BattleBots?

The rules for battle are pretty simple. Each robot battle runs for about 3 minutes as each robot tries to destroy the other. If one robot is no longer moving or unresponsive by the end of the round it’s considered a knockout after a 10-second count. If both are left standing at the end of the round then the decision is turned over to a panel of judges to decide who is the winner. 

This decision is decided based on points, which are distributed evenly between all three judges. Each judge is given 15 points with a grand total of 45 points possible for each robot.

The categories are separated into three different sections including Aggression, Strategy, and Damage with 5 points possible for each one. The robot with the higher score is declared the winner of the match.

Just like boxing, the fights are separated into weight classes.  These classes include Lightweight, Middleweight, Heavyweight, Super Heavyweight.  And as the tournament comes to a finish,  the remaining robots in each class fight it out in elimination matches such as Rumbles and Melee Rounds.  In comparison to the one-on-one battles, these rounds last around 5 minutes.

Other rules include that a robot may not win by pinning the opponent for more than 10 seconds as well as holding the opponent for more than 30 seconds is not allowed.

Beyond this, the details get a little more intricate, with guidelines involving pit crew rules, safety procedures, children’s safety, as well as grounds for disqualification which can all be found here.

BattleBots prize money
How much can you win in BattleBots prize money? Pic credit: ABC

How much can you win in BattleBots prize money?

As of right now, the prizes for the 2019 year for BattleBots are not listed. However, here’s what can be determined about the prize offerings of years past.

According to a 2016 listing, the prizes for that year are as follows:

  • $500 to any Alternate Team that fights during Rehearsal Matches
  • $500 to any Teams that fight in the Rumbles (win or lose).
  • $500 to each Qualifying Round Losing Team.
  • $1,000 to each Qualifying Round Winning Team.
  • $2,000 to each of the Championship Tournament Round 1 Winning Teams.
  • $3,000 to each of the Championship Tournament Round 2 Winning Teams.
  • $5,000 to each of the Championship Tournament Round 3 Winning Teams.
  • $10,000 to each of the Championship Tournament Round 4 Winning Teams.
  • $25,000 to the Championship Tournament Finals Winning Team (The Tournament Champion).

While this may not be accurate for the current or upcoming competitions for BattleBots, it’s a solid indicator of what to expect if entering the contest. This being said, it’s enough incentive for eager fans who plan to join the robot mayhem. On top of the cash prize, the winner of it all obtains the famous Giant Nut Trophy.

But participating aside, whether viewing on television or as a member of the audience, being a spectator to BattleBots by itself is rewarding. The show is surprisingly entertaining and a must-watch for fans of robot warfare.

BattleBots airs every Friday at 8/7c on Discovery. 


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