Introduction: Gradle plugin for building (and running) bots for Robocode
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Gradle plugin for building (and running) bots for Robocode. To use, add the latest version of the plugin to a project.

plugins {
    id("com.bnorm.robocode") version "0.1.0"

Robocode doesn't natively allow robots to depend on third-party jars, but this plugin uses the Shadow Gradle plugin to combine everything into a single jar to work around this problem.


Robots can be configured via the plugin extension. Multiple robots can be configured if desired.

robocode {
    robots {
        register("Name") {
            classPath = "package.Name"
            version = "1.0"
            description = "Description"

For each added robot, a task is added for building a jar file which can be published for others to use. For example, given a robot with the name of Name, a task named robotNameJar will be available which outputs to $buildDir/robocode/robots/Name/Name_1.0.jar.

For robot development, a task named robotBin is available which outputs all class files needed to run the robot via Robocode. This task can be run with Gradle continuous mode to constantly build all robots.

$ ./gradlew robotBin --continuous


A dependency on the robocode.jar file is automatically added to the implementation configuration by the plugin. To achieve this, the file must already exist in an existing installed version of Robocode or be downloaded by the plugin. If this behavior is not the desired, use the following configuration options available in the plugin extension.

robocode {
    download = true // default - if Robocode should be downloaded, otherwise the installDir is used
    downloadVersion = <default version> // default - version of Robocode to download
    downloadDir = layout.projectDirectory.dir(".robocode") // default - where Robocode should be downloaded
    installDir = <default install directory> // default - the location where Robocode is installed

When Robocode is downloaded, it will automatically add the development output folder to the Robocode configuration. This allows Robocode to automatically use the development build of robots.

Also, because the plugin knows the location of a Robocode installation, either specified or downloaded, it means that Robocode can be run directly from Gradle. To do so, use the task robocodeRun.

Test Battles

Much of robot development is running battles against other robots for testing. Because of this, the plugin makes all Robocode jar files available in a Gradle configuration called robocodeRuntime. Gradle can be configured to add a source set which extends from this configuration for running battles.

val battles by sourceSets.registering

val battlesImplementation by configurations.getting {

val battlesRuntimeOnly by configurations.getting {

dependencies {
    // Use JUnit to run the battles as "tests" 

val runBattles by project.tasks.registering(Test::class) {

    description = "Runs Robocode battles"
    group = "battles"

    testClassesDirs = battles.get().output.classesDirs
    classpath = battles.get().runtimeClasspath
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