MoboJoust is a head-to-head competition between vehicles that resembles two knights battling on horseback. At the start, vehicles will be facing each other from opposite ends of the arena. The objective is to cross your finish line (your opponent's starting line) before your opponent crosses his finish line (your starting line). Each vehicle will start behind a vertical starting gate. The two gates are hinged at the bottom edges and mechanically linked, allowing them to simultaneously swing downward and forward to start the contest. Once the gates drop, the JoustBots will each employ their own strategies to get to the finish before their opponent. JoustBots must operate autonomously, without assistance or guidance from any outside source.

Competition will be run between randomly-selected pairs of contestants using a double-elimination scheme.