How to Learn to Fly FPV Drones as a Beginner

First person view (FPV) drone flight offers an incredibly immersive piloting experience. Flying through the air and seeing real-time first person video through a headset feels like sitting in the drone’s cockpit. It’s a thrilling hobby!

This guide will teach you how to learn FPV flight from the ground up. We’ll cover important steps like:

  • Selecting beginner-friendly gear
  • Using drone simulators to build skills
  • Understanding controls and flight modes
  • Practicing fundamental flying techniques
  • Finding safe spots to fly
  • Getting involved in the FPV community
  • And much more!

Learning to fly FPV drones opens the door to racing, freestyle stunts, cinematic video and a very welcoming hobby. Let’s get started!


First person view drone flight places you in the pilot’s seat, receiving live video from the drone right in front of your eyes as you fly. Specialized FPV gear like goggles or screens allow experiencing this perspective as if inside the drone itself.

FPV drone flight differs from flying photography drones in several key ways:

  • You actively maneuver the drone from the first person camera view rather than relying on seeing the drone in the sky. This is an immersive, “eyes in the cockpit” experience.
  • FPV models are purposely built with performance in mind – optimized for speed, acceleration, and aerobatics rather than camera stability alone.
  • Goggles keep the drone in view even when flying far away or behind obstacles. Traditional flying is limited by line of sight to the actual drone.
  • Advanced FPV drones use custom transmitters and receivers to maintain a real-time low latency video signal. This lag-free video creates true immersion.

Learning to fly FPV does require developing new techniques tailored to navigating from a fixed first person view. But the skills build on fundamental quadcopter flight skills, just in a more visceral and involved manner. Follow this guide to learn to fly FPV the right way.

Quick Takeaways Upfront

Before getting to the detailed steps, here are some key tips to remember when learning FPV flight as a beginner:

  • Use a drone simulator to build virtual skills before real flights.
  • Start with a quality beginner FPV drone like the BETAFPV LiteRadio 2.
  • Fly in Normal mode initially until accustoming to the first person perspective.
  • Pick wide open areas away from people, buildings, trees when first starting out.
  • Take it slow and focus on mastering hovering, orientation, and smooth turns first.
  • Join FPV communities to connect with other local pilots and learn from their experience.
  • Review footage after flights to evaluate technique and areas to improve.

Now let’s explore the full process for learning to fly FPV like a pro!

Select Beginner Friendly Gear

Having the right beginner FPV drone gear will set you up for success in this exciting hobby:

Beginner FPV Drone

Look for an established ready-to-fly (RTF) beginner model. The Eachine Trashcan and BETAFPV LiteRadio 2 are great starter options with quality components, easy repairability, and proven flight characteristics.

FPV Goggles

Goggles complete the immersive experience. The FATSHARK 101 or Eachine EV800D offer an affordable introduction with solid video reception.

FPV Controller

Many RTF kits include basic controllers. Upgrade to something with more channels like the FrSky Taranis Q X7 to access advanced programming.

Batteries and Charger

Grab 4+ extra batteries rated for your quad and a dedicated multi-port LiPo charger to maximize time flying.


A small toolkit with hex drivers, wrenches, wire cutters, etc. proves essential for pre-flight checks and handling crashes. Add a soldering iron to modify or repair components.

Use a Drone Simulator

One of the best ways to establish fundamental quadcopter flying skills and get a feel for FPV flight is practicing on a drone simulator first. This allows flying virtually any bird with zero risk while honing abilities.

Benefits of Simulator Practice

  • No risk of crashes – Try daredevil maneuvers consequence-free.
  • Learn controls safely – Ingrain transmitter stick and switch muscle memory.
  • Test different drones – Simulate flying any hardware.
  • Practice anytime – No need for suitable weather or an open flying spot.
  • FPV basics – Grow accustom to navigating via first-person camera view.

Recommended Drone Simulators

Popular simulator software options include:

  • Liftoff – Great physics modeling and environments. Good for racing.
  • VELICONE – Huge array of custom drone models and FPV camera options available.
  • FPV Freerider – Inexpensive and great for practicing acrobatics.
  • DRL Simulator – Official training software of the Drone Racing League.

Make It Feel Real

To get the most out of sim practice:

  • Use your actual radio controller for the most realistic experience.
  • Wear FPV goggles if possible while flying the sim.
  • Map controls between the software and your gear for proper muscle memory.
  • Stand up and physically orient yourself as if flying for real immersion.

Quality simulator time reduces the steepness of the real world FPV learning curve. Don’t neglect virtual training before hitting the field.

Understand FPV Drone Controls

Familiarizing yourself with basic quadcopter flight controls is essential before diving into live FPV maneuvers. Here are the core functions your transmitter will control:

Throttle – Adjusts power to the motors. Usually controlled on the left stick’s up/down axis. More power will increase climb rate and forward speed.

Yaw – Rotates the quadcopter clockwise or counterclockwise around the vertical axis. This turns the entire drone left or right. Controlled via the left stick’s left/right inputs.

Pitch – Tilting the drone forward and back by lowering or raising the front motors’ power. Right stick up/down inputs pitch the quad forward or back.

Roll – Rolling tilts the quadcopter sideways by increasing power to motors on one side. The right stick’s left/right controls roll left/right.

Flight Modes – Switches change between stability modes. Beginners should start in Angle/Horizon mode which auto-levels the quad.

Armed/Disarmed – The arming switch activates powered flight so motors spin when throttled up. Disarm immediately lands and stops props.

Having these movements and functions become second nature is key. Don’t attempt FPV flight until able to easily visualize how stick inputs will orient your quad.

Understand FPV Flight Modes

One element that sets FPV quads apart is their specialized flight modes. The major modes to understand are:

Angle/Horizon Mode – Self-levels the quadcopter when the right stick is centered. Best for beginners still learning to control yaw, pitch, and roll movements independently.

Acro/Rate Mode – Disables auto-leveling for fully manual flipping and acrobatics. Demanding but offers most maneuverability.

Air Mode – Keeps prop wash active even at low throttle for better stability. Useful for tricks and recovering from dives.

Begin in Angle or Horizon mode. This provides an assist while learning to orient yourself. Once comfortable, switch to Acro for complete control authority.

Pick Safe Places to Fly

Having a large open area away from people, animals, buildings, trees etc is crucial when starting out. Some good spots include:

  • Empty soccer, baseball, or football fields
  • Abandoned parking lots or warehouses
  • Designated FPV flying parks or racing tracks
  • Open parks with sparse trees and minimal foot traffic

Scout potential spots in advance while keeping a wide safety margin as skills improve. Avoid flying over or near people at all times.

Master Hovering and Orientation

The first fundamental ability in FPV flight is maintaining a steady hover and orientation. Perfect this simple feat first before attempting any manuevers or flying.


From a stationary position, gently apply throttle to lift off and establish a stable hovering altitude of 3-5 feet. Focus on keeping the quadcopter grounded in one place by making tiny stick inputs rather than allowing it to drift around.

Orienting Yourself

While hovering, practice rotating on the vertical axis using yaw so that the front of the drone faces different directions. Get used to visualizing how the quad will move as you yaw left or right.

Yaw 180 degrees or more and work on reorienting yourself to which way is forward on the quad as the perspective changes. Don’t proceed further until able to confidently hover and swing the nose to face any direction.

Fly Forward and Reverse

Once able to nail hovering and orienting the quadcopter, begin practicing slow deliberate forward and backward flight:

  • From a steady hover, gently push the pitch stick forward to fly a straight path away from you. Counteract drifting with small stick inputs.
  • Pull back on the pitch stick to fly backwards towards yourself, keeping the quad steady and aligned.
  • Use small yaw stick inputs to change heading without impacting forward/backward direction.
  • Land and disarm immediately if losing orientation or control!

Focus on slow clean movement on straight paths. The goal is getting a feel for how the quad behaves entering forward flight. Don’t worry about speed or fancy moves yet.

Strafe Side-to-Side

Adding sideways flight expands your fundamental flight repertoire:

  • While hovering or moving forward, press the roll stick left/right to strafe sideways without altering forward velocity.
  • Make sure to counteract drift and maintain alignment as the perspective shifts.
  • Change heading with yaw as needed to keep aware of your orientation.
  • Fly sideways in both directions for equal practice time.

Maintaining controlled sideways flight takes extra coordination. Be patient and keep space around you to safely correct unintended movements.

Climb, Descend, and Throttle Control

No FPV flight 101 lesson is complete without practicing climbing, descending, and throttle modulation:

  • From a hover, raise the throttle to gently climb to 10-20 feet altitude. Pay attention to how rapidly you ascend based on stick input.
  • Slowly lower the throttle to descend back down, aiming for the original hover height.
  • During forward flight, smoothly vary the throttle to speed up, slow down, climb, and descend while maintaining heading.
  • Counteract tilting by lowering the roll/pitch sticks if needed.

Smooth throttle coordination ensures you enter maneuvers at the intended pace. Exaggerated stick movements lead to uncontrolled flight.

Turning and Changing Direction

Now that you have the core controls down, it’s time to string them together by practicing turns:

  • Enter forward flight and smoothly coordinate yaw and roll to turn left at a consistent speed. Don’t allow the quad to tilt or lose altitude.
  • Repeat turning right using yaw and roll in conjunction to maneuver cleanly.
  • Advance to 90, 180, and 360 degree turns executing coordinated roll, pitch, yaw, and throttle inputs.
  • Apply these turns to other directions of travel like sideways or backward movements.

Clean turns require gentle input coordination. Rush the sticks and you’ll tumble. Build the muscle memory by practicing entire flights of nothing but turns.

Putting It All Together

Once you have individual techniques down, it’s time to combine them into a full flight:

  • Take off, climb, hover, and orient yourself properly to begin.
  • Fly in each direction – forward, back, left, right – incorporating smooth coordinated turns.
  • Change altitude by climbing and descending as you translate in various directions.
  • Make at least one slow 360 degree yaw turn in each direction to practice orientation.
  • Land and disarm to finish.

Assess remaining areas of uncertainty and drill individual skills. With enough “empty” practice flights, FPV control will eventually click!

Joining the FPV Community

Beyond dedicated practice, joining FPV pilot communities accelerates learning by allowing you to:

  • Learn from experienced pilots in person
  • Get local field and safety recommendations
  • Attend educational events and meetups
  • See advanced techniques in action
  • Ask questions and troubleshoot issues
  • Geek out about gear and builds!

Search for FPV racing and freestyle groups in your city or region. Introduce yourself in online forums. The community is extremely welcoming to newcomers looking to improve their flight abilities.

Final Tips and Next Steps

Learning to fly FPV drones opens up a thrilling experience and highly engaging hobby or even competitive career. Here are final tips:

  • Review footage after flights to cleanup technique and watch your progress.
  • Replace worn components before they lead to failure and crashes.
  • Focus on smoothness and coordination early on over speed.
  • Know regulations so you operate safely and legally.
  • Continue advancing into racing, freestyle, photography, videography!

The world of FPV flight is rich and diverse. This guide provides the blueprint to learn the foundations correctly. Now get out to the field and put in the practice time – the effort will pay off in memorable FPV experiences!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to learn FPV basics?

Expect at least 20-30 flight hours practicing fundamentals before feeling fully comfortable maneuvering via the FPV perspective. Be patient and set incremental goals.

Can I learn on my own or do I need an instructor?

You can self-teach with quality sim practice and studying training videos. But joining a local club to fly with experienced pilots will accelerate learning immensely.

How do I find safe spots to practice FPV?

Scout for large empty fields away from trees, buildings, and low air traffic. Talk to local drone pilots about where they fly. Always abide by local drone regulations.

What are signs I’m ready to advance beyond beginner technique?

You’ll know you’re ready to progress when you can confidently: hover in place, perform coordinated turns, fly all directions, and respond to orientation changes.

Which flight modes should I use as a beginner?

Angle or Horizon mode is best initially as it auto-levels the drone. Once able to fly well in manual Acro mode in a simulator, begin trying it for real flights.

Key Takeaways

  • Practice extensively in an FPV flight simulator before flying for real.
  • Start with a durable ready-to-fly FPV drone designed for beginners.
  • Master hovering, orientations, straight flight paths, and gentle turns first.
  • Pick wide open areas away from obstacles and people to build skills safely.
  • Joining FPV communities accelerates learning from experienced pilots.
  • Reviewing video footage helps identify areas for flight technique improvement.
  • Have fun, fly safe, and progress your FPV abilities steadily over time!

The basic flight foundations covered here pave the way towards racing, freestyle, photography, and more advanced activities. FPV opens up amazing new possibilities when you take the time to learn to fly properly. Enjoy the journey!