ACRO Mode, Self-Leveling and Horizon Mode

What does Acro Mode mean with respect to FPV Racing drones?

Should I start with Acro Mode?

What is the difference to Self-Leveling, Horizon Mode and Air Mode?

The “Acro” in Acro Mode does not stand for a Berlin Hip Hop label or an aggressive flying style, but for the word “acrobatics”. Only in this mode are the acrobatic flight maneuvers possible that we know from the YouTube videos.

Unfortunately, Acro (or Rate/Manual/Expert) is also the most difficult flight mode. Now let’s describe what’s special about Acro

What is ACRO?

Anyone who’s ever seen a camera drone, or a drone Beginner Articles, you should be used to the drone always being upright, with the propellers pointing upwards. After a direction indication over the sticks, the drone will rise again automatically as soon as you let go of the stick.

With Acro Mode this is different. Here the acceleration sensor is switched off, and the drone is only held stable by the gyroscope. This means that if you’ve made a direction over the stick and let go of it, the drone will stay in exactly that position or inclination. So if you press to the left and tilt the drone to the left and then just let go of the stick stay the drone will tilt to the left and continue flying to the left.

“What’s the point of that?” you might ask yourselves. “I don’t really want the drone to land on the ground, and then it’s better if it straightens itself out!”

Okay, you really don’t want her to land on the ground but keep her position, that’s not wrong. Because this is the only way to fly loops and flips and the like in one fluid movement. In addition, you always have the same angle for the curve as long as the stick is in the center. To the left and right are only corrections of the flight curve, the racer does not start to leave his curve track on his own.

What then is Self-Leveling Mode and Horizon Mode?

The self-stabilization mode (Self-Leveling Mode or Angle/Stability Mode) has already been discussed above. This means that I raise the drone again after every stick input. So, unfortunately, no looping or flip is possible (because there is always a maximum tilt angle).

So that you can still fly flips and loops with self-stabilization, there is an interim solution, the Horizon Mode.

Horizon Mode

The Horizon Mode (or Stability Mode) allows me to have the drone roll or yaw more than the maximum angle of inclination. This means that as long as I can move the stick forwards or sideways hold down the drone keeps turning. As soon as I let go of the stick, the drone starts to raise itself again.

Should I fly ARCO?

Ja. =) For beginners, Self-Leveling or Horizon Mode may sound quite seductive. But the self-stabilization causes an extremely unsteady behavior of the drone. It may sound a bit strange for beginners, but the Acro Mode flies (as soon as you master it) much quieter and more beautiful than anything else, where the flight controller changes the flight path of the drone with the help of the acceleration sensor.

Practice in the simulator!

Since the Acro Mode is very unusual at the beginning, you will crash very often with a drone. Of course, you don’t want to do that with your original material. That’s why I (and every other pilot, too) recommend the Acro Mode for the time being in the Simulator to exercise. Then you can also switch directly to your own drone without ramming it into the ground too often =)

Toggle modes

It makes a lot of sense to use one of the many levers on its spark with a switch function for the different modes. I always have a lever to switch between Self-Leveling and Horizon Mode and Acro Mode with Air Mode.

How do I set that?

This can be set by the flight controller. With Betaflight you connect the drone to the computer and configure the levers with a chrome plugin.

ACRO Mode Betaflight Konfiguration Einstellung Airmode Drohne Drone FPV Racing fpvracingdrone xpt
Acro Mode Einstellung in Betaflight

How exactly this works, I will show shortly here, and perhaps make a small YouTube video to it. To stay up to date, please subscribe to the Newsletter.

Can all drones do acro?

FPV Racing drones with advanced flight controllers can actually always be Acro Mode. But long ago t, not all Can threaten that. Most comrade drones and smaller toy drones can only self-level. I even go so far as to say that mastery of acro fashion is one of the essential requirements for racecopters. What I’m still waiting for is the DJ introducing an Acro Mode for his camera drones. Unfortunately, this mode is of course not completely compatible with the compensation mechanism of the gimbal for the camera on camera drones. But you should simply be able to block it. Let’s see what comes =)

Practice, practice, practice

So, and now it’s time to get started! Best you get yourself a clever spark and a simulator, and then you can start practicing immediately. It’s pretty hard in the beginning, and you have to put in a few hours until the drone obeys you. But once you’ve mastered the Acro Mode, you’ll be able to move the drone the way it should.

I wish you every success!