The competition for this year is known as Infinite Recharge. Sponsored by Star Wars, Force For Change, the game centers around a futuristic city theme involving two alliances consisting of three teams each competing to perform various tasks, including shooting foam balls known as Power Cells into high and low goals to activate a Shield Generator, manipulating a Control Panel to activate this shield, and returning to the Shield Generator to park or climb at the end of the match. The objective is to energize and activate the shield before the match ends and asteroids strike FIRST City, a futuristic city modeled after Star Wars.
Loading Bays are located in the alliance stations, with one per alliance. The Loading Bays are used by the human player to give game pieces to the robots on the field. There are five places that game pieces can be put into the Loading Bay, with two upper ports, and three ground ports.
An alliance's Power Port is located at the opposing alliance's Alliance Station, requiring robots that intake from the Loading Bays to drive across the field in order to score Power Cells. There are three levels of scoring on a Power Port. Scoring Power Cells into the Power Port also contributes towards reaching Capacity, which is a count of the number of power cells scored, regardless of port. Certain levels of Capacity require additional tasks to be completed. Upon reaching Capacity and completing the stage's additional task, the stage is said to be Activated.
The Shield Generator is a large box-shaped structure located in the center of the field. It contains both alliances Rendezvous Points, as well as the two Generator Switches.
After activating Stage 1 and reaching Stage 2's capacity, an alliance may score 10 points by performing Rotation Control on the Control Panel. After activating Stage 2 and reaching Stage 3's capacity, the alliance may score 20 points by performing Position Control. This entails rotating the Control Panel to a certain color specified by the Field Management System through a message sent to each team's driver's station.
Power Cells are the main game piece in Infinite Recharge. The Power Cell is intended to be scored in the Power Port to score points.
In qualification rounds, teams are ranked by their Ranking Score, or their average number of Ranking Points (RP) per match. To ensure high placement, it is not only important to win matches, but to complete the secondary objectives as well, to amass as many Ranking Points as possible.