15 Key Features to Upgrade Betaflight 4.5

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Betaflight 4.5 is coming soon. For those flying older versions, you may be wondering – is it worth upgrading?

As an open-source flight controller firmware, the Betaflight devs are constantly tweaking and enhancing the software. However, updating is not mandatory. If your current build flies fine, don’t feel pressured.

That said, Betaflight 4.5 contains some nice improvements that may persuade you to take the plunge. Let’s explore the key changes and whether they warrant an upgrade.

(Note: to follow Betaflight 4.5, you’ll need Configurator 10.10 – download here.)

1. PID Tuning Should Remain Consistent

Great news – your dialed-in PID tuning from older Betaflight versions should transition smoothly to 4.5. The filters and control responses are unchanged, so you can carry over custom rates and presets.

This courtesy from the developers will save users from major tuning hassles following the update. Take the opportunity to fine-tune if needed, but wholesale changes should not be required.

2. Better GPS Rescue Performance

GPS Rescue (or Return To Home) has seen numerous reliability improvements:

  • Now compatible with M10 GPS modules for faster satellite locks
  • More consistent flight heading when initiating rescue, reducing confusion
  • Rescue now engages even when hovering directly over home position (given sufficient altitude)
  • General optimizations to increase successful return rates

These changes should bolster confidence for pilots utilizing GPS – especially useful for long-range builds.

Rescue logic is still basic compared to DJI drones; don’t expect similar autonomy. But it is markedly better. For best results, check the official Rescue tuning guide here.

3. Blackbox Explorer Adds GPS Visualization

Blackbox flight log analysis just got more interesting. The updated Blackbox Explorer application enables GPS data visualization by generating a telemetry overlay on Google Maps.

This helps pilots visually pinpoint areas of interest or anomalies during past flights. You can export the data as a GPX file compatible with visualization tools like GPXSee Studio.

For quick checks, Blackbox Explorer also displays a basic 2D map that tracks model position. Use the timeline slider to follow past GPS coordinates.

4. Automatic LED Colors Based On VTX Channel

Some race formats require LED color indicate VTX channel. Previously this required manual configuration ; now Betaflight can handle the mapping automatically.

Pilots who competed (or watched streams) where LED shows channel will appreciate this handy feature.assuming their rules adhere to standardized band-channel mappings.

Custom or specialty events may still need manual setups. But this change streamlines the majority case to reduce organizer and pilot hassle pre-race.

5. Improvements To Angle And Horizon Modes

Angle mode flights now initiate turns using the yaw stick alone, without additional roll input. Think steering a car solely with the wheel, rather than playing with brake/gas at the same time.

This “earth referenced” angle behavior aims to make turns more intuitive. However it may trip up seasoned pilots accustomed to the old slide-turn style. Multiple parameters allow tuning angle sharpness if desired.

Horizon mode also sees an overhaul. Before, the self-leveling effect engaged even mid-maneuver, risking confusing transitions. The revised Horizon acts like Acro mode with an angle safety net when sticks are centered.

This prevents unwanted flips from hands-off sticks while retaining Acro capabilities. We’ll need in-field testing to better understand the impact. But it suggests Horizon could gain some utility beyond pure training.

6. Easier Landings With Low Throttle TPA

Tired of models bouncing off the ground on landing? The new Easy Landing feature aims to help.

It works by detecting centered sticks and 0 throttle as probable landing conditions. PID output is then softened to ease touchdown without disabling key protections like air mode.

Early tests suggest it makes wings and racers much less prone to ricochet upon ground contact. The default threshold values suit most models, but builders can tweak parameters like throttle percentage, timeout durations, etc.

This both improves landing ease without sacrificing flight characteristics for the entire pack. It will especially benefit video wings frequently hand launched and belly landed.

7. Additional Datalink Options

Betaflight 4.5 enables bi-directional binding commands for supported Crossfire receivers – meaning you can remotely initiate binding without physical access.

To those with permanently buried RX or tricky antenna locations, this small quality of life fix eliminates annoying airframe disassembly whenever binding or flashing firmware.

BMC3D tweeted the relevant CLI command as bind_rx if needed. We’re unsure whether it works for other protocol receivers like ExpressLRS yet.

8. Optional At32 Processor Support

At long last, Betaflight adds compatibility for the budget-friendly At32 chipset. This alternative to the ubiquitous STM32 shrinks costs while aiming for nearly equal performance.

Companies like iFlight now offer F4 stack equivalents with At32 for massive discounts. See the iFlight Blitz F4 35A hardware for one example – retailing at just $39.99!

Granted, some early adopter issues still need ironing out. But the vast savings outweigh any minor hiccups. With full Betaflight support, expect many more inexpensive At32-equipped products hitting the market shortly.

9. Additional Custom Build Options

Racers rejoice – Betaflight 4.5 bakes in some previously “CAC only” features as standard options:

  • RPM output limiting for spec events
  • Quick OSD menus for dynamic rate adjustments
  • RC statistics page showing throttle percentages, rates, etc
  • Pre-Arm config display for race techs verifying compliance

These cater specifically for organizations like MultiGP and SPL. But even casual pilots can enable the new integrated GPS Lap Timer for self-competition.

No secondary modules needed! Set your home position as the starting gate and Betaflight will log individual lap times measured against GPS data.

Iteven automatically detects when crossing the start/finish line each lap. The results won’t match professional race systems, but make a great free alternative.

10. At32 Processor Support

Betaflight 4.5 significantly drops the financial barrier of entry for new pilots via At32 processor support. These cheaper-to-manufacture chips deliver approximately STM32-equivalent capability at reduced prices.

Speedybee and iFlight currently lead the charge producing At32 flight controllers and 4-in-1 ESCs for outstanding value. See the upcoming iFlight Blitz F4 35A stack carrying Insta360 navigation for one example – retailing at just $39.99!

Naturally some growing pains remain as quirks get ironed out through firmware updates. But the savings outweigh any present inconveniences. Expect even more affordable At32-equipped flight hardware as Betaflight availability spreads.

11. Crossfire Binding Commands

In the past, binding or flashing Crossfire receivers meant grueling airframe disassembly for physical access. No more! Betaflight 4.5 introduces bi-directional binding, enabling these tasks through the transmitter.

Pilots flying Crossfire can now initiate binding Mode or update receiver firmware through the CLI instead. Developer BlackMagic3D confirmed the command as “bind_rx” via Twitter.

This small quality of life upgrade eliminates the tedium of ripping apart crafts with internally mounted receivers just to plug in a binding plug. Hallelujah!

12. Optimized Angle Rate Response

Angle mode transforms from gentle to aggressive thanks to PID controller upgrades. Previously, pilots struggled to achieve snappy angle performance without introducing oscillations.

The new feed-forward term bypasses this limitation, allowing much quicker self-leveling and turn authority tuneable independently of base P gain. This also means less turbulence penetrating from angle to acro modes.

While measurable improvements exist, they manifest subtly when flying. So casual users likely won’t notice unless actively punching out with high rates. But the added sharpness grants better trajectory authority without downsides.

13. Early At32 Hardware Support

The exploding popularity of FPV drones makes inclusion an urgent priority. Unfortunately many pilots get excluded from experiencing the hobby simply due to equipment costs or availability.

Betaflight aims to turn that situation around with At32 support. These affordable STM32 equivalents bring next-gen capabilities to budget-conscious builds.

Companies like SpeedyBee and BetaFPV offer low-cost flight controllers, ESCs, and radio receivers with At32 chips pre-installed. Their equipment performs similarly to name brands for almost impossibly tiny price tags.

Granted minor issues remain working with young chip architecture. So early adopters must patiently tweak settings as quirks get addressed. But their democratic approach speaks loudly to Betaflight’s ethos and bodes very well attracting future pilots.

14. GPS Rescue / RTH Improvements

GPS Rescue receives a notable tune-up – especially for pilots utilizing feature-rich GPS modules. Updates include:

  • Faster satellite locks with M10 hardware support
  • Improved smoothing and turn logic when initially triggering rescue
  • Ability to engage even when hovering directly overhead – no more altitude minimums
  • General reliability optimizations reported up to 20% fewer failures

Don’t expect GPS protection matching DJI’s rock solid Return To Home implementation. The algorithms differ considerably.

But the changes are certainly welcome and appreciated. Rescue still requires careful configuration for assets worth protecting. Review the official tuning guide to maximize chances of recovery.

15. Blackbox Explorer Enhancements

Analyzing Blackbox logs becomes more visually informative thanks to new Betaflight 4.5 tools. Blackbox Explorer now transforms stale 2D charts into immersive 3D flight representations.

Pilots can export telemetry information as a GPX file compatible with interactive mapping software. This unlocks the ability to study past flights by watching the quad’s position relative to actual terrain and geography.

For quick checks without importing, Explorer also shows basic on-screen map display with past coordinates. Toggle through the log timeline to watch prior location in reference to home position.

Granted the live rendering won’t impress simulator fans. But used pragmatically, the elevated visualization unlocks new insight from post-flight data.


The above features comprise the major highlights of Betaflight 4.5 that might influence one’s upgrade decision. We aimed to crystallize how each change impacts real-world use based on flight experience.

Naturally many under-the-hood optimizations also exist that subtly improve general performance. But the visible usability perks outlined above make the strongest case to migrate for pilots debating an update.

What’s your verdict? Does Betaflight 4.5 entice you to take the plunge? Or are you perfectly happy sticking to a previous working version? Let us know which changes catch your eye in the comments below!

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Written By Daniel Henderson

My name is Daniel Henderson and I'm an avid FPV pilot and videographer. I've been flying quadcopters for over 5 years and have tried just about every drone and FPV product on the market. When not flying quads, you can find me mountain biking, snowboarding, or planning my next travel adventure.

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