How to Use Player/Stage

5th Edition

Using Player 3.0.2 and Stage 4.1.1 (development versions)

Kevin Nickels and Jennifer Owen

15 September 2015

A user manual for the Player/Stage robot simulator.

This document is intended as a guide for anyone learning Player/Stage for the first time. It explains the process of setting up a new simulation environment and how to then make your simulation do something, using a case study along the way. Whilst it is aimed at Player/Stage users, those just wishing to use Player on their robot may also find sections of this document useful (particularly the parts about coding with Player).

If you have any questions about using Player/Stage there is a guide to getting help from the Player community at

This edition of the manual uses the development versions of Player and Stage. They can be found at and at . The build process for player and stage is outside the scope of this manual - excellent instructions can be found at and

There are only minor changes from v4.1.0 to this version of the manual. Versions older than that contain significant changes are are now outdated. Other versions of this manual are available at


  1. Introduction
  2. The Basics
  3. Building a World
  4. Writing a Configuration (.cfg) File
  5. Getting Your Simulation to Run Your Code
  6. Controllers (C++)
  7. Controllers (C)
  8. Controllers (Py-libplayercpp)
  9. Controllers (Py-libplayerc)

Change Log

  • 15 Sept 2015 forked off development version of manual
  • 7 Aug 2015 released v4.1.0 covering stable versions
  • 30 June 2015 updating markdown for
  • 18 May 2015 began migration from LaTeX to MARKDOWN on GitHub
  • August 2013 updated manual to Stage 4.1.1
  • 1st August 2013 Source code made available online
  • 16th April 2010 updated manual to Stage 3.2.2
  • 10th July 2009 original manual covering Stage versions 2.1.1 and 3.1.0