Drone flight modes – Acro and Self-Level Modes

Drones fly in different flight modes which assist the pilot. These modes are normally divided into acro mode and Self-Level Modes.

You are probably asking now: What is the difference between these Flight Modes and in which mode should I fly as a beginner? This article should explain all your questions!

Acro Mode

There are other terms that mean acro mode which are called manual or rate mode.

That mode is completely manual, which means that the pilot doesn’t get any assistance from the flight controller when flying.

In Acro Mode the quadcopter rotates around its own axis at a certain speed, influenced by the position of the stick.

When you move the stick back to the center, the drone stays at the current angle.

You have to move the stick in the opposite position to bring the drone back to level, which means that it is hovering in the air without moving.

Self-Level Modes

There are several flight modes that are categorized under Self-Level Modes.

Angle Mode

In Angle Mode, the flight controller supports the pilot by stabilizing the drone. This affects the flight characteristics that distinguish this mode from acro.

Unlike in acro mode, you don’t have that much freedom when flying. Because there is a limited tilt angle, which prevents the drone from gaining a too high angle or flipping.

When moving the stick in the middle, the drone will balance itself until it reaches level.

Horizon Mode

The horizon mode is basically the same as angle mode. But you can do flips, which is the only difference. However, these flips are not manual and are therefore different than in acro.

The quadcopter will flip when you push the stick to the maximum alignment. As already mentioned before, everything else is the same as Angle mode.

What is Airmode

Due to it’s name, Airmode is quite confusing for beginners. Because even though it’s called Air”mode”, it’s not an actual flight mode.

It is just a feature that can be turned on in both acro and self-level modes. It makes the propellers spin a bit (not noticeable when flying) when no throttle input is given. That makes the flight more stable.

What is the best mode for beginners?

It depends on what drone you are flying. If it’s a camera drone, then angle mode is a standard. Normally you won’t have to worry about other modes. If you’re flying an FPV racing drone this question isn’t that easy to answer.

Acro mode is the hardest to learn. But it’s very rewarding when you learned how to fly, because you have full freedom when you’re flying.

Angle Mode is really easy to fly, which is good for beginners. However, you don’t have the freedom of Acro, because you can’t even do flips. It also teaches you bad habits when you always fly angle. If you want to fly Acro afterwards it is harder to learn to fly.

Horizon is a mix of Angle and Acro. Flips are however not manual and therefore push-button like.

All in all, I wouldn’t recommend horizon mode. Many beginners start flying with angle mode and then they switch to acro. But as I said earlier, angle can teach bad habits and it actually can be harder to get used to acro afterward.

I would recommend flying acro immediately. But because you’re going to crash a lot while learning how to fly, I would recommend you learning with a simulator or a whoop. You would save a lot of money!

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