Many new drone pilots are switching to FPV, and DJI FPV alongside Avata proved to be the easiest way to get into the hobby and enjoy the experience in a safer way.
But leaving it aside, the idea of many new FPV pilots getting into the hobby is to freestyle. And although the DJI FPV drone was not built for that, can it freestyle?
You can freestyle with the DJI FPV drone as long as you are in manual mode and have the attitude limit disabled. The drone proved to be smooth when performing freestyle acrobatics without issue, but if you crash the drone, that’s it.
In this topic, I want to share with you a bit more information and tips about using the DJI FPV drone to fly freestyle, what settings to use, and why it isn’t such a good idea to use it for acro freestyle.
Table of Contents
What do we know about the DJI FPV drone and why it can freestyle?
DJI released the DJI FPV drone in January 2021, one year and a half before the release of the DJI Avata. This drone was built in order to enjoy the immersive FPV experience on long-range flights and capture the fantastic sceneries while flying in manual mode at high speeds.
The DJI FPV drone, compared to custom FPV drones, can stay in the air for up to 20 minutes, according to DJI. But in reality, we can squeeze about a 12-minute flight time from the battery while flying in manual mode.
This drone is very responsive and has a VTX latency of down to 28 milliseconds, which makes it incredible in the hands of advanced pilots.
Because of the drone’s aerodynamics, the DJI FPV does not have issues with flying in high winds, race, and even freestyle. It is smooth, and I never had a problem in any situations I used it.
Freestyle with DJI FPV Drone, what do we know?
Long story short, the DJI FPV is capable of performing smooth freestyle once we deal with some basic settings to change.
But to freestyle with the DJI FPV drone is very risky. It’s not because the drone isn’t capable; it is because when you freestyle with any FPV drone, you should expect crashes. A lot of them.
And if you crash the DJI FPV drone, there’s a high chance the arms of the drone will break.
Consider this as well; the DJI FPV drone weighs 800 grams, which is much beyond the recommended weight of a drone to freestyle with.
The weakest points of the DJI FPV drone are the arms. They won’t withstand any crash, making this drone very vulnerable.
An experienced FPV pilot may be able to freestyle with the DJI FPV drone and not crash it, but once will happen as well.
What about doing acrobatics with the DJI FPV drone at higher altitudes?
That I had done myself many times, and the DJI FPV was able to be in control beyond my expectations and did not have any prop wash or other issues.
I can say that if you want to freestyle with the DJI FPV drone, this is the safest way to ensure you won’t crash it – to do acrobatics at least a dozen meters above the ground.
In the worst-case scenario, if you feel you have lost control of the drone when attempting such freestyle, you can use the emergency brake button to stabilize it. It works well; I’ve tried it a couple of times.
What settings to change to freestyle with the DJI FPV drone?
If you want to freestyle with the DJI FPV drone, there are two mandatory settings to change and one optional to ensure good controls.
The first thing you will have to do is to enable the “manual mode.” From the factory, the DJI FPV drone has manual mode disabled, just to make sure you won’t accidentally switch to it from the remote controller unless you know to fly manually (acro).
» READ MORE: DJI FPV Normal Mode vs. Sport Mode (explained)
To enable manual mode on the DJI FPV drone, follow these steps:
- In the Goggles, go to Settings > Control > Remote Controller > Button Customization > Custom Mode
- Select from Sport Mode to Manual Mode
The second thing would be to disable the M Mode Attitude Limit. Not to be confused with “altitude”; the attitude limit, when enabled, will prevent the DJI FPV drone from flipping over.
Once you deactivate it, the DJI FPV drone will indeed fly like an acro drone.
To disable the “M Mode Attitude Limit,” follow these steps:
- In the Goggles, go to Settings > Control > Remote Controller > Gain & Expo
- Disable the “M Mode Attitude Limit”
The last thing, optionally, would be to change the rates of the DJI FPV drone.
From the factory, the DJI FPV is super sensitive to stick inputs. Although to freestyle with this drone, you may need to change those rates; I set mine for cinematic flights, which I was able to even freestyle with.
If you want, you can use my rates, and comes as follows:
|DJI FPV Cinematic Rates||Center Sensitivity||Max Rate||Expo|
But if you are looking into practical freestyle rates with the DJI FPV drone, use these ones (I didn’t personally test them, though).
|DJI FPV Freestyle Rates (untested)||Center Sensitivity||Max Rate||Expo|
The above DJI FPV freestyle rates are the ones used by OriginaldoBo and here is the video with his rates and freestyle with the DJI FPV drone.
How do you change your rates? Follow these steps:
- In the Goggles, go to Settings > Control > Remote Controller > Gain & Expo
- Change the rates as recommended
Warning note: messing with random numbers (rates) without knowing what they mean may mess with your drone controls, and you can easily crash your drone. These are sensitive settings and should be modified following some reasonable rates tested and proven reliable.
Now you can freestyle with the DJI FPV drone. But beware that if you crash it, most likely, the drone won’t survive.
However, before finishing this section, do you have enough experience in simulators and/or real freestyle before thinking to freestyle with the DJI FPV drone?
If not, I strongly recommend you practice freestyle in simulators as much as possible.
What are the downsides to freestyle with the DJI FPV drone?
I do have to mention the downsides when you want to freestyle with a DJI FPV drone. There are also upsides, including extended battery life, excellent smooth controls, outstanding transmission power, low latency, etc.
But as a few downsides, the DJI FPV drone should not be used to freestyle with.
- As already mentioned, the first and most important one is that the DJI FPV drone does not survive any crashes. The arms may beak and the motors as well. The camera is also not very protected, so unless you really know what you’re doing or you have a few DJI FPV drones to spare, consider a custom FPV drone to freestyle with.
- This drone is very heavy. The weight not only contributes to impact power, but it feels different. The DJI FPV drone will fall faster and may take a bit to recover from free falls, and it drifts a bit more than needed.
- The flight speed is higher than most freestyle drones. The DJI FPV drone has potent motors and can reach incredible speeds, but these are not advantageous when considering freestyle.
- The drone is not as maneuverable to take sharp turns as freestyle drones. Although the motors are powerful, the maneuverability is a drawback because of the drone’s weight.
Can you dive with the DJI FPV drone?
I had personally dived with the DJI FPV drone from heights, and the drone proved to be fantastic in this scenario.
With the extra weight, aerodynamics, and smooth controls, the DJI FPV drone can dive without any issues and remain stable even after you recover it close to the ground.
Of course that each scenario may come under different circumstances, but if you intend to freestyle and dive from a great height, the DJI FPV drone performs exceptionally well.
Can DJI FPV flip over?
Yes, the DJI FPV drone can also flip over (as long as you have disabled the M Mode Attitude Limit). You can flip the drone upside down and back without losing control.
But beware of the height from the ground as you perform this acrobatic move because you don’t want surprises.
Is the DJI FPV drone at risk of tumbling?
Unlike the DJI Avata, I never had a problem with the DJI FPV drone tumbling and losing control when performing any acrobatic moves.
The DJI Avata has a massive issue with tumbling. I would recommend you read the following article if you are interested.
» READ MORE: Is DJI Avata at Risk of Tumbling?
But the DJI FPV drone never had an issue under any circumstances (at least I never had the problem) for the drone to lose control and tumble or fall from the sky uncontrollably.
Can you freestyle with the DJI FPV in normal or sport mode?
No, you cannot.
You can freestyle with FPV drones once in acro mode and with the DJI FPV drone (as well as Avata) when in manual mode only (with the attitude limit disabled).
What is better to freestyle with? DJI FPV drone or DJI Avata?
This is a tricky question because both of them have their pros and downsides when we want to freestyle.
The DJI FPV drone is a lot smoother than the DJI Avata, and you can freestyle seamlessly. But if you crash the DJI FPV drone, you will probably collect pieces.
The DJI Avata is very durable to crashes but proved poorly when freestyling with. It can tumble, quickly lose control, and have prop wash, and by far, it doesn’t offer you any good experience when you want to freestyle.
» READ MORE: What Is the Best Camera Angle to Fly Your FPV Drone