Let's discuss FPV Simulators with the pros and cons of each and depending on your path in FPV, which one to choose to sink your time into!
FPV Sims are an amazing way to build muscle memory and understand the theory behind a few founding principles that makes FPV different from normal drones. It will never be the same as flying in real life with all of its random factors but sims will help with:
- Finding your rate settings
- Understanding camera angle and knowing when to change it
- Testing new manuvers
- Flying in situations you would never get the chance to
- Tweaking your remote / gimbal settings
and when you already know these factors, sims can help keep your skills sharp when you don't have the time to go fly as much as needed.
Let's get started with your sim options. You will need a remote that can be recognized by your PC, I highly suggest the same one you will be flying with.
The Serious Ones...
1) Velocidrone - PC, MacOS
By far my #1 choice! Great flight feel, Betaflight rate settings, LOS view, ENDLESS MAPS and multiplayer helped me push myself to new limits by flying against some of the worlds best since 2017!
Ashley Davis listens to the community and pushes FPV every way he can. He even has a Velocidrone racing team that kicks ass in IRL races around the world! Velocidrone is also home to VRL which is ran by SFPV. If you are into racing, check them out 100%.
One of the best aspects of this sim is its ability to adapt. The Combat DLC is WILD! You could argue it doesn't help but it really pushes me by changing the goals of my flight but using the maneuvers I know. Also, the drift DLCs and maps are a perfect answer for those testing out cinematic moves or just helping yourself understand the best way to approach lines when you are chasing a moving subject.
2) DRL - PC, XBOX ONE, PS4, MacOS
The first thing that needs to be said about this is its the only one where you have a chance to get on their TV SHOW!! That fact alone makes it stand out but it has an amazing approach to FPV while being supported by an awesome development team / company.
Great functionality with the leaderboards to help you understand how you are getting beat to death on a course. Such a useful tool for wrapping your head around flight theory!
10/10 course design of course, I would say the only thing weird about the sim is that the DRL Racer Drone that you are required to race with on the qualifiers is HEAVY. The drone is like 1kg or something IRL so they aren't wrong, its just going to throw off racers who depend on lightweight craft lines with a "point-and-go" way of flying. It forces you to learn how to sling your weight around, an amazing skill in my honest opinion.
3) FPV Freerider - PC, Android, MacOS
This used to have a free version but it is $5.99 USD on Steam so a great choice on the low.
This video is played on an Android device with touchscreen controls so also a viable choice if you just want to dip your toes in the pool. Big note though, flying with a touchscreen remote doesn't seem like it would build a lot of muscle memory.
4) Liftoff - PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Linux, MacOS
Liftoff is one of the OG's and has been constantly updating the game for as long as I can remember playing this sim. I keep this sim on my PC at all times due to it having the 3D Mode option. I do not have the money to learn 3D Mode IRL due to smashing into the ground full speed every 2-3 minutes. That is not it's only upside though.
I believe Liftoff is the best looking overall also, I just prefer Velocidrone due to the community and the ease of changing the flight characteristics.
Steam Workshop support so there are tons of amazing maps also! Here is Chirp FPV ripping one up.
5) RotorRush - PC
Formally FPV Event, this was my favorite before I switched to Velocidrone.
I made this video back in 2016 flying FPV Event, funny how time flies.
The fun and wacky ones...
1) GTA V Mod - PC
This one is just fun, a lot of "scuffiness" about it but worth it! I'll let Griffus FPV show ya how to install it and what its like.
2) Worlds Adrift FPV Sim - PC
We all know SyncFPV is the man but here is just another reason why. Only works for PC but a great way to get lost in flight and have some fun!
That is a quick rundown and should give you some good examples of which to try out to train efficiently for your FPV goal. There a few more I may want to try out before the years end so I will update with any info that is worth talking about.
- Knight-Flyer -