How to Fly FPV Drone Like Pro Pilot: 35 Easy (But Effective) Tips for Beginners

Author Marshall Abrams
Reviewed by Daniel Henderson
Updated on
Reviewed by Daniel Henderson
Blog cover: easy tips for flying FPV drone

As a FPV drone aficionado, I understand the uncertainties that can come with starting out in this exhilarating hobby.

This spurred me to spend a week speaking with novice pilots in RC community, compiling a set of queries and apprehensions they had when starting their drone journey.

The outcome of this research is the comprehensive guide you’re about to read.

So, keep reading, and let’s get started with flying FPV drones!

1. Know and Follow Local Drone Regulations

A major mistake beginners make is not researching the local laws and regulations before flying FPV drones. In many country and regions, there are rules regarding:

  • Maximum altitude
  • Flying near airports
  • Flying at night
  • Privacy concerns
  • Requiring official registration

And much more…

Some cities and regions even ban FPV drone flights entirely. So, before ever taking off, use the B4UFly app or other resources to check the rules in your country.

Getting fined or prosecuted is no fun!

2. Start with Basic FPV Gear

While going all-out on fancy FPV gear from the start is tempting, I highly suggest buying more basic equipment first.

This does a few things:

  1. Costs less upfront in case you crash
  2. Won’t overwhelm you with complex features and settings
  3. You won’t know how to take full advantage of premium gear as a beginner, anyway

Consider starting with budget goggles like Eachine EV800D or VR-007. Use a simple flight controller like Matek F405. Get cheaper motors in the 2400-3100kv range – Emax, Racerstar, etc.

Once you get comfortable with basic gear, THEN start upgrading components one by one. The fundamentals translate over once you step up to more excellent equipment down the road.

3. Join Some FPV Drone Community & Forum

Joining a FPV drone community is a golden ticket to a wealth of knowledge and experience.

From forums and online groups to local meetups, these platforms offer a wealth of knowledge and experience to tap into. You’ll find people eager to share advice, troubleshoot problems, or discuss the joy of FPV drone flying.

Plus, these communities often organize races and other events, making your hobby even more exciting.

Remember, everyone started somewhere, and most drone enthusiasts are more than willing to help newcomers.

4. Practice Flying in the Flight Simulator

Flight simulators are more than games; they’re invaluable training tools.

Some of the most popular simulator software used by beginners includes:

  • Liftoff
  • Velocidrone
  • DRL Simulator
  • FPV Air 2

You can safely learn the controls, practice maneuvers, and make mistakes without the risk of crashing your drone. They offer a risk-free environment to understand your drone’s behavior and capabilities better. Even experienced pilots use simulators to refine their skills or try out risky moves.

Treat the simulator time as a fun study session, equipping you with confidence before the real take-off.

5. Check, Check, and Double-check

Pre-flight checks are a must. Make sure your drone is in good working order before every flight.

Before each flight:

  1. Take time to inspect your drone thoroughly.
  2. Shake the frame and listen/feel for anything loose.
  3. Check that the props are on tight.
  4. Ensure wires and plugs are all still firmly connected.

Loose components will get looser over time and can lead to failures or mid-flight crashes. Take a few minutes to tighten everything back down as needed before launching so you don’t have problems once you’re in the air.

Also, do periodic inspections for signs of damage or wear. Replace any binding controls or worn parts that could fail at the worst possible moment!

NOTE: A minor malfunction can turn your fun outing into a drone rescue mission. So, don’t underestimate the importance of pre-flight checks.

6. Choose the Best Flying Position

Newbie or not, your safety and your drone’s come first. Open areas away from people, animals, or moving vehicles are your best bet.

Always keep your drone within visual line of sight, and never fly over crowds or private property without permission. Moreover, be mindful of the sun’s position. Flying with the sun behind you can help prevent glare in your FPV goggles.

Choose your flying location wisely to ensure each flight session is safe and enjoyable.

7. Maintain A Safe Altitude and Feep Away From Tall Buildings

It’s thrilling to fly your drone high, but it’s also essential to maintain a safe altitude and keep a distance from tall buildings.

Flying too high can risk losing signal or, worse, collision with manned aircraft. Plus, it’s easier to navigate and avoid obstacles like trees and buildings at lower altitudes.

For beginners, maintaining a lower altitude provides the added benefit of reducing the impact if a crash occurs.

Remember, safety should always be your top priority, and that includes respecting altitude.

8. Learn Slow and Smooth Before Fast and Race

FPV drone flying isn’t all about speed. Sure, watching experienced pilots zip through the air at incredible speeds can be inspiring.

But for beginners, slow and steady flights are the way to go.

Take your time to understand how your drone responds to different commands. Learn how to handle it smoothly at low speeds first.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, gradually increase your flying speed. Building a strong foundation is crucial before attempting complex and fast maneuvers.

9. Fly within Your Skill Level

There’s no shame in staying in your comfort zone as you learn.

Pushing beyond your skill level can lead to crashes and, in the worst-case scenario, the loss of your drone. Avoid unnecessary risks by flying in open, obstacle-free areas until you’re confident with your drone’s controls. As your skill level increases, you can gradually introduce more complex flying environments and maneuvers.

Remember, every great pilot was once a beginner.

10. Have a Spotter Watching Your FPV Drone

In addition to keeping away from crowds, it’s also a good idea to have a spotter watch your drone as you fly. Your view through FPV goggles limits your overall field of vision.

Having a friend keep an eye on the drone as it flies lets you know if you drift too close to any objects or people. The spotter can give you warnings so you can make corrections.

If allowed, it’s also handy to have the spotter follow along behind to keep an eye on where the drone goes once it gets some distance away. This reduces the chances of flyaways and losing orientation.

11. Avoid Adding a GoPro As A Beginner

Tempting, yes. Wise? Not so much.

As a beginner, it’s advisable to wait until you’re comfortable with your FPV drone first. A GoPro adds weight to your drone, affecting its balance and the way it handles it.

So wait until you’re comfortable with your drone’s control before adding any extra equipment.

12. Do not fly in windy conditions as an FPV beginner

Don’t be a hero.

Wind can drastically affect your drone’s flight path and make controlling it much more challenging. Especially for lighter drones, a strong wind can quickly sweep your drone away, potentially leading to loss or damage.

It’s best to hold off flying until the weather is more favorable.

13. Invest in Suitable FPV Goggles

FPV goggles are your eyes in the sky, so choosing a comfortable pair is crucial.

They come in different styles and sizes, each offering varying degrees of field view and resolution. High-end models offer better image quality and features like head tracking but don’t feel pressured to go for the most expensive pair.

The best FPV goggles for you are the ones that fit you well, provide clear images, and fall within your budget.

14. Learn to Disarm Quickly

Disarming your drone is an emergency measure that can save your drone from further damage during a crash.

If you know a crash is inevitable, disarming your drone stops the motors, reducing the risk of damage to the propellers and motor. It’s a simple step that could potentially save you a lot of repair time and money.

So, familiarize yourself with your controller’s disarm function and learn how to use it quickly and confidently.

15. Keep Your Hands on Control Sticks to Maintain Control

Keeping your hands on the controller at all times might seem like an obvious tip, but it’s an important one.

Your drone reacts to the slightest of commands, and maintaining control throughout the flight is crucial. Avoid sudden movements, and try to make your control inputs as smooth as possible.

Remember, you’re the pilot in command, and maintaining control over your drone is your responsibility.

Plus, smooth control inputs will lead to smoother, more enjoyable flights.

16. Use High-quality Batteries

The quality of your batteries dramatically impacts both safety and performance. Low-quality, old, or damaged LiPo batteries can provide insufficient power when flying or even swell/catch fire!

Stick with top-name brands like GNB, Dinogy, CNHL, Tattu, etc. Purchase from reputable dealers and carefully inspect batteries before charging. Never use bloated, corroded, or otherwise damaged LiPos.

Store and charge batteries in a fireproof container or bag. Follow proper charging procedures and stop immediately if batteries overheat. Take every precaution to prevent catastrophic battery failure in the air or on your workbench.

17. Charge Your Batteries Fully

It seems simple, but don’t skip fully charging your LiPo batteries before a day of flying. There’s nothing worse than getting to the field, gearing up, and discovering you only have partially charged packs.

Depending on the battery capacity, it can take 1-2 hours to charge them fully. So, get in the habit of charging the night before. Use storage voltage (around 3.8v) when storing long term.

18. Monitor Battery Voltage

Keep a close eye on your battery voltage whenever flying. As voltage drops, throttle punch will decrease, and handling may become sluggish. If the voltage gets TOO low, it could lead to a crash.
Most FPV flight controllers have on-screen displays (OSD) that can be configured to show battery voltage. Keep this display enabled so you can keep an eye on it.

For a general rule of thumb, stop flying once voltage under load drops to around 3.5v per cell during flight. So 14v for a 4S battery, 10.5v for a 3S, etc. Land soon once you start to get near the minimum.

19. Always Carry Extra Batteries

Because nothing cuts the fun short like a dead battery. Always bring at least one extra fully charged battery to extend your flying time.

Remember, as a battery’s charge decreases, so does its performance. This means your drone might not handle as well toward the end of the battery’s life.

Having an extra battery lets you swap out a dying battery for a fresh one, ensuring your drone performs at its best throughout your flight session.

20. Don’t Rely on GPS

Some FPV drones come with GPS capability, which allows features like automatic return-to-home. While handy, this can become a crutch that hinders your learning.

The experienced pilots recommend disabling GPS and not using it as a beginner. Learn to fly manual LOS and FPV without autopilot systems.

While basic GPS can be a good backup safety feature if appropriately configured, don’t let it become a substitute for learning good orientation, LOS skills, and overall flight control.

Many races/events prohibit GPS use in any way to demonstrate pure pilot abilities. It is better to avoid the temptation of relying on it at first.

21. Learn About FPV Frequencies

There are specific frequencies used for transmitting the video signal from the drone to your FPV goggles. Understanding how these systems work prevents interference with other pilots.

Some common points:

  • Analog FPV uses 5.8GHz bands, which are shared public spaces much like WiFi
  • Digital systems use dedicated bandwidths to avoid interference
  • Before flying, scan your video channels to avoid conflicts with other pilots
  • Use an antenna diversity receiver system for more resilience
  • Discuss frequencies and channels with other pilots if flying in groups

Learning more about video transmission lets you troubleshoot issues and co-exist with fellow pilots sharing the airspace.

22. Buy Extra Propellers

Props take a frequent beating in FPV flight, especially while learning. It’s frustrating to run out of good props mid-session and not be able to replace broken ones. So I highly recommend buying LOTS of extra props upfront so you always have spares. Get 10+ sets, so you can just swap any damaged props between packs. It saves you downtime and money!

Props are cheap – just buy in bulk. And bring tools like prop wrenches with you to the field for quick replacement when needed. Don’t let prop damage end your flying early!

23. Add Some Expo

One tuning trick that can help beginners is adding a bit of expo to your FPV drone’s flight controller. Expo (aka exponential) softens control inputs near the stick center. This makes small corrections around the center smoother, which is great for newer pilots. But you still get full performance when deflecting sticks all the way for rolls, flips, etc.

Start with 25% or so expo on roll/pitch. You can reduce expo as your skills improve, and you want a crisper response. The expo definitely makes learning easier!

24. Keep Eyes up When Landing

A mistake beginners often make is looking down at the ground when coming in for a landing. This almost always ends up in a crash! Instead, keep your eyes on the horizon coming in. Maintain situational awareness and use your peripheral vision to line up vertically.

Only glance down briefly just before touchdown to see your exact landing spot. But avoid making this the focus – continue scanning the horizon throughout the descent.

Landing this way takes practice but results in smoother, safer touchdowns. You’ll need to learn to trust your peripheral vision. But it’s a key skill.

25. Move Camera Angle Back

Most FPV drones come setup with very aggressive forward camera tilts by default. While this can be fun, it actually makes learning harder for beginners. Try moving your camera angle back to around 10-20 degrees until you get better. This gives you a better view of the horizon and surrounding airspace as you fly.

Once you’ve got the basics down, you can start tilting your camera forward more again. But less angle helps beginners maintain orientation and situational awareness.

26. Keep the Horizon in Wiew

When flying FPV, try to keep the horizon in the bottom portion of your goggles view, especially as a beginner. This gives you visual cues to maintain proper orientation.

If the horizon suddenly jumps way off center, you know you have rolled or pitched the drone too far. If it disappears from view entirely, that often leads to getting disoriented and crashing.

Make keeping the horizon on-screen part of your regular scan. Coupled with occasionally glancing at your OSD display, it will help avoid nasty crashes from losing which way is up!

27. Start with “Angle Mode” not “Acro Mode”

Most FPV drones can be flown in angle mode or acro mode.

Angle mode uses auto-leveling technology to keep the drone stabilized. This makes the quadcopter much easier to control for beginners. Acro mode shuts off the stabilization and allows for completely manual control. This allows for more extreme maneuvers once you become a skilled pilot. However, the acro mode is highly challenging for beginners.

While the urge may be to jump right into acro, the experienced pilots suggest getting comfortable with angle mode first. Fly in angle until you have total control of the basic functions of the quadcopter. Don’t move to acro until you’ve mastered the muscle memory of angle mode.

Trying to learn acro right away will make the already steep learning curve near impossible for most. Take it one step at a time, get good, then move up to the next challenge!

28. Keep Weight Low

Avoid the temptation to keep adding more gear and payload to your FPV rigs, especially as a beginner. The more you load down the drone, the more sluggish it will fly. More weight = less agility.

Just use the bare essential gear needed – a simple FPV camera in the front, video transmitter, flight controller, motors, and that’s it. Don’t strap on heavy LEDs, bulky HD cameras, or other gear if you want maximum performance.

As your skills progress, you can start experimenting with slightly heavier gear. But when first starting out, keep the payload minimal for the best maneuverability.

29. Add LEDs for Wisibility

While you want to keep added weight to a minimum, some additional LED lights on your drone can be helpful. They make the drone far easier to keep in orientation from a distance.

Just some simple LED strips on the arms, top, or bottom of the frame are relatively lightweight but increase visibility dramatically. This helps not only you while flying FPV but also your spotter, who needs to keep an eye on your quad.

Especially for night flying, some well-placed LEDs also help you avoid losing your orientation. They can be the difference between a fun flight and an expensive crash!

30. Watch Pros Fly

Watching videos of professional and highly skilled FPV pilots fly can greatly accelerate your learning as a beginner. Here are some tips for how to get the most out of studying their flight footage:

  • Focus on a few specific pilots to observe repeatedly. This allows you to get very familiar with their style and technique. Some good YouTube channels include JohnnyFPV and Ummagawd.
  • Please pay close attention to how they control the throttle and make adjustments during flights. Notice how smoothly and precisely they manipulate the throttle to maintain control.
  • Oversee their stick and hand movements, especially during complex maneuvers. Pause the video and mimic their exact stick inputs and hand motions on your own radio.
  • Note their camera work and positioning both in freestyle and racing scenarios. See how they keep the action in the frame while fluidly moving the camera and adjusting viewpoints.
  • Look at how they set up approaches for gaps, dives, and splits. The entry speed, angle, and trajectory they use are key. Compare between multiple pilots.
  • Observe their recovery technique and adjustments when things go wrong. Small stick inputs and throttle control allow the best pilots to smoothly regain control after mistakes.
  • Study their flying style in different environments – tight tracks, open areas, windy conditions, etc. Compare how they alter technique based on the location.

Analyzing the professionals in detail will reveal many subtle stick and throttle skills. Incorporating those into your own muscle memory takes time and practice, but observing the masters is an excellent way to identify and learn the proper technique.

31. Record Your Flight Sessions

Reviewing videos of your flight sessions lets you closely analyze where you need to improve. Watching the footage from the perspective of a spectator makes flaws more obvious.

Useful tools like Blackbox or DVR recording on your goggles let you replay your flights from the perspective of being in the pilot seat.

32. Break Learning Into Small Chunks

Don’t bite off more than you can chew, trying flashy tricks too early. Stay within your limits and master the basics before moving on to more advanced techniques.

Some skills to focus on:

Beginner

  • Smooth hovering
  • Orientation control
  • Basic turns and maneuvers

Intermediate

  • Fast forward flight
  • Tight gaps and loops
  • Sideways and backward flying

Advanced

  • Multi-directional freestyle flows
  • Cinematic proximity flying
  • Complex technical maneuvers

Master each phase before advancing to avoid getting overwhelmed. Breaking skills into smaller chunks creates a steady progression.

33. Don’t Fly Over Water

When starting out in FPV drone flying, it is generally advised to avoid flying over large bodies of water such as oceans, lakes, and rivers. While it may seem fun to zip over the surface of water, there are considerable risks for beginner and intermediate pilots.

The main risk is that the drone will likely crash into the water if you experience any loss of power, control, or video transmission. This essentially ensures the permanent loss of your aircraft. It is extremely difficult to retrieve a crashed drone from any significant body of water. The quad and onboard electronics will sink quickly and be impossible to recover.

You may think you can simply hover over the water’s surface and stay cautious. However, wind gusts, fading batteries, electoral failures, and inevitable rookie mistakes make crashes too common. Staying over land allows at least some chance of retrieving your downed drone.

34. Stay Out of the Shop

I see too many newbies spending more time building and tinkering than actually flying.
Don’t get sucked into continuously upgrading gear, building new drones, and doing unnecessary mods. That’s all a distraction from stick time.

The fastest progress comes from simply going outside and flying as much as possible. All the hours tinkering in the shop should be spent airborne practicing. So go fly more! New gear and upgrades can come later once your skills are ready to take advantage of them.

35. Avoid Flying Under the Influence

While it might seem obvious, it’s important to highlight: don’t drink and drone.

Operating an FPV drone requires a clear mind, steady hands, and sharp eyes. Even a small amount of alcohol can impair these faculties, increasing the risk of accidents. Not to mention, in many places, it’s illegal to fly a drone under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

So, keep your flying sessions safe, fun, and sober.

Final Words

I hope these beginner FPV tips is helpful. FPV drone flying isn’t just about the speed or the view; it’s about the joy of flight.

Progress won’t happen overnight. There might be days or even weeks when you don’t notice significant progress. While that can be disheartening, don’t give up. Consistent practice and time in the air are crucial to mastering FPV flying. If you stay dedicated and push your boundaries, you’ll experience those moments of breakthrough.

Believe in the journey, even when daily progress seems minimal. Over time, you’ll find your skills advancing quicker than you imagined.

So, keep learning, respect the craft, and most importantly – keep flying.

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Written By Marshall Abrams

My name is Marshall Abrams, and I am a filmmaker and FPV pilot who's been flying professionally for about four years now. Thanks to FPV, I get to travel to so many amazing places, and it's honestly completely changed how I run my business.

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