A Beginners Guide to FPV Drones

Introduction To FPV Drones

Ever been mesmerized by those gravity-defying FPV drone videos online? Or maybe the electrifying races on the Drone Racing League captivated you? Perhaps a friendly pilot at the park sparked your curiosity with a glimpse through their goggles. Whatever ignited the flame, you’re here seeking the knowledge and tools to take flight yourself!

At Rotor Riot, we share your passion for FPV drones, and we’re thrilled to be your guides on this exhilarating journey. We understand that starting out can feel overwhelming, but fear not! This article unravels the essentials, equipping you with the basic know-how to navigate the exciting world of FPV.

So, buckle up and get ready to:

  • Gear Up: We’ll explore the different components that make up your FPV setup, from drones and goggles to controllers and batteries.
  • Sharpen Your Skills: Takeoff confidence awaits as we delve into essential flight maneuvers and practice techniques.
  • Unlock the Toolbox: Discover the resources and communities that will support your learning and fuel your FPV adventures.


What is FPV ?

Forget the limitations of traditional remote control! Imagine this: instead of watching your toy car putter around from afar, you’re virtually in the driver’s seat, hurtling down a virtual racetrack. That’s the magic of FPV, or First Person View

Think of it like piloting a real aircraft in a video game, only the aircraft and the environment are real. FPV drones let you experience the world from a whole new perspective, soaring through the air and navigating obstacles as if you were truly flying.

But how does this aerial sorcery work? It’s actually quite simple. A tiny camera mounted on your drone beams live video feed directly to a special headset or goggles you wear. This real-time vision becomes your window to the world, blurring the lines between controller and pilot, transporting you directly into the cockpit of your drone.

While FPV setups can be adapted to various RC vehicles, here at Rotor Riot, our passion lies in the thrilling world of FPV drones. They offer unmatched speed, agility, and maneuverability, making them perfect for both adrenaline-pumping drone racing and breathtaking freestyle flights.

So, ditch the traditional remote control experience and prepare to dive into the immersive world of FPV. It’s an adventure unlike any other, waiting to take you to new heights (literally!).


More About FPV Drones

Drones have exploded in popularity, no longer just a military tool but a ubiquitous symbol of innovation. Yet, the term encompasses various flying machines. Today, we delve into the world of FPV drones, the champions of agility and immersive flight.

Forget the clunky, propeller-laden behemoths you might envision. Think nimble multi-rotors, aptly named for their multiple propellers generating lift. Unlike airplanes relying on wings, these marvels defy gravity using thrust from their spinning blades. The most common is the quadcopter, sporting four rotors for dynamic control.

But what truly sets FPV drones apart is the symphony of technology. A miniature camera perched on the drone captures the world in real-time, beaming the video feed directly to your eyes. Imagine: a live video headset transforming you into the drone itself, soaring through the air with unparalleled freedom.

This unprecedented mobility unlocks a world of possibilities. Drones dance through the air, defying gravity’s pull. They zip sideways, hover effortlessly, and conquer any direction imaginable. This versatility becomes an artist’s palette, opening doors to creative expression like never before.

So, buckle up as we navigate the exciting world of FPV drones. We’ll explore the intricate gears that make them tick, unveil the skills needed to master their dance, and unlock the resources that fuel your aerial adventures. Get ready to experience flight not just as an observer, but as the pilot at the helm!

FPV Drone Freestyle

FPV Freestyle is all about expressing yourself through the movement of your drone, flowing through a landscape or structure and pulling off impressive tricks. Kind of like a skateboarder tearing up a half-pipe or a dancer moving to the music, FPV Freestyle is all about moving through an environment and framing it in a novel and entertaining way, while maybe also doing awesome, physics-defying tricks.


Cinematic FPV Drones

Cinematic FPV Drone flying is closely related to FPV Freestyle. In fact, the equipment is usually very similar. However, instead of focusing on stunts and tricks, Cinematic FPV aims to present expansive landscapes, breathtaking scenery, or fast-moving subjects in an aesthetically pleasing way. Cinematic FPV pilots aim to minimize camera movement, rather than drawing attention to it like with Freestyle.


FPV Drone Racing

Drone Racing is easy to understand. Pilots race their drones around a course, and the first one to pass the finish line wins. Drone Racing tracks are usually built using “gates”, which are rectangular or circular obstacles that the pilots must pass through, as well as “flags”, which are vertical obstacles that the pilot must pass between or to one side of.

Drone Racing usually appeals to people who are highly competitive, and who like going fast. It’s not uncommon for drone racers to have enjoyed other forms of racing previously, such as motorcycle or kart racing. Drone Racing is cheaper and physically safer than other racing disciplines, while being just as exciting!


Parts of an FPV Drone System

An FPV Drone System consists of several different parts, but we’ll break them down in a way that’s easy to understand. (There’s a variety of specialized components and accessories that we won’t go over in this basic guide.)

The Parts that Fly

The Frame

The Flight System

The FPV System

The Parts That Don’t Fly

The FPV Goggles

The Remote

The Gear, Equipment & Tools



This part is easy. The frame is just the structure that holds everything together. They’re typically made from carbon fiber, combined with metal or plastic parts. The FPV frame needs to be durable, so that the quad can withstand damage caused by crashes (because those tend to happen a lot). The FPV frame also needs to be easy to work with, giving easy access to electronics to make repairs quick and easy.

The Flight System

The Flight System includes everything required to give the drone the ability to fly. The components that make up this system are the battery, propellers, motors, the motor controllers (ESCs), the receiver, and the flight controller.

  • Battery
  • Propellers
  • Motors
  • ESC’s
  • Receiver
  • Flight Controller



The Battery is obviously essential. It provides power to all our airborne systems. Since weight is a concern, and our favorite drones require an absurd amount of power be delivered in short bursts, our options for batteries are essentially limited to rechargeable Lithium Polymer batteries or LiPo’s.


Propellers work just like fan blades. We like to call them “props” for short. They blow air in one direction, producing a force in the opposite direction. There are different sizes and shapes of props, and which one you use depends on the size of drone and the “flight feel” you are looking for.


The Motors are what make the propellers spin. The high performance motors we use are called “brushless motors”, and they can spin at speeds up to tens of thousands of revolutions per minute. The motors require very accurate control to work properly, so a device called ESC is used to control the power going to it.


The ESC – which stands for Electronic Speed Controller, is the part that gives the motors the ability to run smoothly and reliably at a wide range of different speeds. Each motor needs it’s own individual ESC. Recently, the trend is to put 4 ESC’s on a single device. These are called 4-in-1 ESC’s.


The Receiver is simple. It uses it’s antenna to receive the pilot’s commands, and sends them to the Flight Controller.

Flight Controller

The Flight Controller, or “FC” for short, is the central connecting part of a drone. You can think of it as the “brain” of the drone, as it is able to communicate with every other device on the drone. It processes the commands from the pilot, and translates that into separate instructions to each motor. It also has a sensor called a gyroscope, which helps it retain its orientation and corrects for turbulence, wind, drifting, and other external factors.

Some FC’s are also able to process video signals. This lets them overlay visual information on the live video that’s being streamed to the pilot, such as battery voltage, signal strength, and more.

The FPV System

The components we’ve discussed will allow stable flight. But the most fun you can have with a drone, the real magic of the FPV Experience, lies in the FPV system. Currently, there are 2 types of FPV systems, Digital and Analog FPV Systems. While there are big differences between the two system, we will instead focus on the similarities here. Even the most basic FPV system usually boils down to these components:

  • The FPV Camera
  • The Video Transmitter

FPV Camera

The FPV Camera is a small camera that sits at the front of the drone. It captures video in real time and sends it to the Video Transmitter. The FPV Camera is usually not capable of recording high quality video. So it’s common to see lightweight HD cameras, such as GoPro cameras, mounted to FPV drones.

Video Transmitter

The Video Transmitter converts the video signals from the camera into wireless signals. The Video transmitter has an antenna that transmits these wireless signals to the pilot’s FPV Goggles.


Ground Equipment


The Remote is what the pilot uses to give commands to the drone. The drone’s remote usually has two control sticks, which offer precise piloting control, and a few switches or buttons that can be configured to perform certain functions on the drone.

FPV Goggles

The Goggles are probably the most important part of a great FPV Experience. They have an antenna that receives the wireless video signals from the drone and a video screen that displays the video feed that’s streamed from the FPV camera.

There are other devices that are able to receive and display the FPV video feed, such as small monitors, but since goggles are mounted close to your face and block the visibility of your surroundings, they provide an unmatched level of immersion.


How do I get into FPV Drones?

So you’ve learned a thing or twenty about FPV Drones, and now you want to get your own. But where should you start?

Start with a FPV Drone Simulator!

If we could only make one recommendation for your journey into FPV Drones, it would be this. A FPV simulator is a computer game or phone app that allows you to try FPV virtually before investing in brand new FPV equipment. In the simulator you can practice for hours, trying new moves, learning new skills, and crash hundreds of times without having to buy a single replacement part! It’s a good idea to fly at least 5 hours in the simulator before going for the real thing. You’ll thank us later!

Our favorite simulator is definitely Liftoff FPV Simulator!

We recommend getting a drone controller that you can use with the simulator, because this way you’ll be able to train your fingers’ muscle memory – making the transition to real FPV flight smooth and easy!

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