Drone Headless Mode – A Necessity for Newbies?

Drone can be difficult to control. Anyone who’s flown some of the most expensive, larger drones around knows this to be true. And usually, the more complex the drone, the more functions they have, which can make them harder to fly. This is especially true for navigating, which can be a little bit of a nightmare.

But for newbies, drones don’t necessarily have to be difficult to fly. This is because pretty much all entry level drones have something called Headless Mode. If you don’t know anything about drones, this might be a little confusing. What exactly does headless mode mean, and should you opt for a drone with headless mode as a feature?

Well, we’ll have a look in more detail as to exactly what headless mode means, and whether you need it as a feature of your drone.

Drone Headless Mode – What is it?

Essentially, headless mode is exactly as it sounds. With a helicopter, you clearly know the front and back of the copter, and your left and right is pretty simple. Even if you’re pivoting in the air, your directions stay the same – aligned to the front of the helicopter.

But with drones, and especially the cheap quadcopters that are the most popular form for most people, there is no real ‘head’ or front of the drone. It’s usually identical at all sides, so it isn’t really necessary for there to be a front and a back.

Headless mode gives you the opportunity to control the drone dependant on which way you’re facing. So basically, if you press forward on the remote control, your drone will go forward from you. If you press right, it will go right, and so on and so forth.

As opposed to using the drone without headless mode, this can make things quite a lot easier, especially if you’re going to be using your drone to film. When filming and especially when filming and watching live on your phone, you don’t want the hassle of having to worry about orientation. So, it only makes sense that headless mode comes in to make things a little easier.

Pros and Cons of Headless Mode

Dependant on what it is you’re trying to achieve, headless mode may or may not be for you. Tere are some positives, but there also some negatives of using headless mode as well.


 If you’ve never flown an RC helicopter before or any sort of aerial vehicle, then you’re going to find it difficult to fly without headless mode. It can take a long while to get used to the orientation of a drone – with headless mode, it makes it instantaneously possible to control your drone easily.

 For younger kids, it can be really difficult to understand the orientation of an aerial vehicle. In fact, it’s a lot easier to understand with helicopters, because they have a front and a back. But with quadcopters, all sides are equal, so it can be really difficult to maintain flight.

 Because of the ease of use of flying a drone with headless mode switched on, you’re far less likely to experience crashes and damage to your drone. There’s no learning curve with headless mode, and you can fly it pretty instantly.


 If you’re thinking about getting into using drones as a hobby or a career, then you’ll want to try and avoid using headless mode whenever you can. Why? Well, because the majority of more expensive drones to not use headless mode and don’t even have the option to do so. Using headless mode can make you extremely reliant on it, which in turn can be really bad for you later down the line when you’re trying to get used to it.

 AOf course, headless mode isn’t the standard way to fly a drone. It relies on a small sensor inside the drone itself which helps the drone to acknowledge which direct it’s flying in. The most common issues with these kinds of sensors occur when you find yourself near power cables. This can cause the sensor not to work, which in turn can make headless mode redundant.

Does my drone have headless mode?

As I mentioned, pretty much all lower budget and entry level drones use headless mode. That means that if you’re using a drone less than a few hundred dollars, then the likelihood is that your drone is a ‘headless drone’.

Is headless mode cheating?

Depending on who you ask, some drone aficionados would class headless mode and altitude hold as kind of cheating. Whilst I guess altitude mode does make it a lot easier for newbies, headless mode is more of just a design aspect of certain types of drone. it’s not necessarily cheating, but it does give you an advantage.


Overall, headless mode is something that you might not even be aware of if you’re using cheaper drones. You don’t need to use a directional facing drone to get the best out of a drone – it really isn’t a necessity. In my opinion, if you tried using a drone with headless mode and without headless mode, you’d much prefer the drone with headless mode.

Why? Because it’s just much easier to control. You don’t need to worry about orientation, which is one of the problems with RC helicopters. With a headless drone, you can easily manoeuvre the drone in whichever direction you desire. This makes things a lot easier, so for beginners, a cheap drone is likely to be a better option than a helicoper or a more expensive drone.

Now, even with cheaper drones you have to remember that you don’t need to be in headless mode. So having it as an option can be a great choice for those who aren’t completely confident in flying a drone. Headless mode isn’t an essential for everyone, but it’s definitely good to have as an option.

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