Getting into FPV is not an easy task. I had to do this step a few years back. The beginning may be difficult, but afterward, everything gets easier.
So. The idea would be to always start with an FPV simulator if you plan to fly FPV drones in ACRO mode. But which simulator? There are so many out there.
Why Liftoff? There are some free FPV simulators out there; why would you want to pay a bunch of money for Liftoff?
Liftoff is the simulator I personally started training into FPV. And I still do at times when I can’t fly FPV outdoors when I want to try new FPV tricks, or just to improve my skills.
Let’s put this into practice, shall we?
Table of Contents
Liftoff: Why choose it
You only need to spend at minimum a couple of hours in Liftoff or any other simulator to learn the basics of FPV. Then, you go outdoors and fly your FPV drone for the first time.
Well, now think about it.
Maybe you should consider learning some basic freestyle tricks. You return to Liftoff. And again, you go outside and put into practice what you’ve learned.
But you’ve seen a nice acrobatic trick you want to learn. You have to do it in a simulator for the first time, right?
Yet you return to Liftoff. And the story goes with a bit of racing and practicing on the cloudy days.
So Liftoff, like any FPV simulator, is not to learn only for a few hours and then fly. It’s for repeated practice, improving and experimenting with your flight style, adjusting your RATES, and learning different camera angles.
Now, you should consider that an FPV simulator is actually a bit more than learning to fly.
On top of that, you may want to join others in some Multiplayer games. That’s super great because Liftoff has a great community not only to share drone and map blueprints but to practice at will.
It’s intuitive, beginner-friendly, and easy to start, even with zero experience. Many other simulators may require a bit more setup and adjustment to get you going, but not Liftoff.
The only thing you’ll ever have to do is calibrate your FPV remote controller and start flying. Everything else is optional.
And it does have a few things that set this simulator apart from others, as we probably mentioned: a great selection of maps and modes, a workbench to edit your drone as you like, and a massive online community.
Installation and Setup
Liftoff Simulator can be found on their official website Liftoff-game.com, and is available on several platforms, including Steam.
If you’re a gamer, indeed, you heard of Steam, and you may even have a few games on it. Being available there, it reaches a large number of new and actual FPV pilots who would love to get their hands on this simulator, as well as most other ones.
Liftoff is not free. At the time of writing this review, it costs around $20 on Steam – please remember this is not a sponsored and non-affiliate post.
Once you acquire Liftoff from Steam, this can be played straight away with a compatible FPV controller, Xbox, or PlayStation controller as well, on Windows PC or Mac (mainly)
Moreover, Liftoff has a few add-ons for sale and one free – the DJI FPV drone is free, which will add that drone to the simulator.
Note: Do not confuse Liftoff with Liftoff Micro Drones – the “micro drones” is not an addon – it’s an entirely new simulator built around micro drones.
As for the graphics, Liftoff stands above average. The graphics are actually great and quite realistic; maybe not as real as TRYP FPV or Uncrashed, but surely you can enjoy the lovely landscapes and areas you fly your drones in there.
The advantage would be that Liftoff does not require a bunch of resources anymore to run smoothly. In fact, it does work well on a Mac computer, compared to a few other simulators where they struggle.
Liftoff Maps & Drones
Liftoff has about 17 maps of different sizes for different types of practice, from a bit of freestyle or racing on a farm, in a garage, to exploring the northern lights and vulcanic activities, and even car racing tracks.
But to take advantage of the few extra wonders, surely you need addons for that. And the add-ons cost money, which does bring Liftoff to a pretty expensive choice.
And performance-wise, if you have a lower-end PC, you can still take advantage of smooth gameplay but only on smaller maps. The bigger ones may need too many resources to run smoothly.
One advantage Liftoff has over many other simulators is that you can build your own map – indeed, without the graphics behind, but you can be creative and make (or use) any built map as the imagination will take you.
Frankly, I don’t have the patience to build maps, nor do I use any community-made ones. I’m okay with what Liftoff gives.
The same goes for the FPV drones available. You can choose a base model and change it as you like.
Liftoff Simulator physics and drone mechanics
Let’s talk a bit about the simulator physics.
Liftoff is not the top simulator, nor a bad one. In fact, the drone mechanics, throttle management, and overall physics are above average.
But there are a few downsides we have to mention
- The drones are a bit drifty. If you take sharp corners, it simply drifts too much compared to a real-world FPV drone.
- The gravitational acceleration, as I’ve named it, is a bit too slow. Basically, after you release the throttle, it takes too long to start falling toward the ground, which makes the drones a bit floaty.
And that would be it. But there are not so significant downsides; there are just minor inconveniences you’ll get used to. Indeed, you’ll do just fine training in Liftoff.
In fact, many FPV pilots are saying that if you learn to fly an FPV drone in Liftoff, you’ll do more than fine flying in real life because it’s a bit harder to fly in Liftoff.
» RELATED: Best Settings for Liftoff Simulator
You shouldn’t be surprised to see that Liftoff has some guides and basic tutorials on how to fly an FPV drone.
I never used those. If you are a beginner, you can also try and figure it out by yourself after understanding a few-minute guide on how to fly an FPV drone.
In fact, in one of my recent articles, I wrote a subsection on how to fly an FPV drone in the Liftoff simulator, as you may want to check that part.
As we already mentioned, you can train with others or join races in a multiplayer mode.
Do you remember those LAN servers when we were kids and played different games at internet cafes? The system is similar, but there are online maps where several players can join and freestyle or race at will, with a few rules set up before you start the map (e.g., Godmode Off)
But if you’re interested in online racing, then I can say that Liftoff is behind the DRL online racing community, which is much more impressive than the Liftoff one.
Liftoff Simulator: Is it worth the price?
Considering that Liftoff is an expensive FPV simulator, much more expensive than most simulators out there, both on Steam and outside Steam, we have to think: Is it worth it?
Suppose you’re serious about getting into FPV. In that case, it will be worth every penny as you may spend many hours behind your computer with your FPV controller in your hand for many years to come (hopefully).
But if you’re not sure wherever FPV is gonna be your new hobby, then I’ll recommend checking Uncrashed FPV, which is much cheaper and more realistic for a better overall experience. Or a free simulator, as it costs you nothing, like FPV Sky.Dive.
» RELATED: Liftoff vs. TRYP FPV (Which One is Better?)
Liftoff final overview
So, Liftoff has them all. There is an excellent selection of drones and maps, quite good game physics despite the minor downsides, excellent compatibility with FPV remote controllers, and it’s a well-optimized simulator.
What I would love to see in Liftoff to bring it towards the first place is the ability to change the simulator physics, air drag, drone weight, and a few other settings that other simulators have, such as Uncrashed FPV and VelociDrone.
Liftoff lacks those features.
So, after over 80 hours of training and practicing in Liftoff on top of other FPV simulators, I can hold my ground on what I’ve said in my other article, top 5 FPV simulators, that Liftoff is in 3rd place. If you would like to check that video or read the article, I’ll link them down below.
As for now, I thank you for reading this article and hope to see you around.
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