Several AI competitions organized around RTS games have been organized in the past (such as the ORTS competitions, and the StarCraft AI competitions: AIIDE, CIG, SSCAI), which has spurred a new wave of research in to RTS AI. However, as it has been reported numerous times, developing bots for RTS games such as StarCraft involves a very large amount of engineering, which often relegates the research aspects of the competition to a second plane. The microRTS competition has been created to motivate research in the basic research questions underlying the development of AI for RTS games, while minimizing the amount of engineering required to participate. Also, a key difference with respect to the StarCraft competition is that the AIs have access to a "forward model" (i.e., a simulator), with which they can simulate the effect of actions or plans, thus allowing for planning and game-tree search techniques to be developed easily. Although we acknowledge that planning in domains for which the agent does not have a forward model is a very important problem, this is left out of this competition, in order to focus on other core RTS problems.

For that reason, the competition is organized around several "tracks", each of them aimed at one key research challenge in RTS Game AI (submissions can participate in one or more tracks):
  1. large state spaces and branching factors,
  2. partial observability,
  3. non determinism.
Results from the CIG 2017 competition are available here!