What is a Headless Mode on a Drone? (Fly Like a Pro)

Hi and welcome to my blog, As a drone enthusiast, I have seen that lots of new drone pilots are asking one common question what is a headless mode on a drone?

Headless mode basically is a drone function that is included in the features of many drones, but the main reason many people are searching about the headless mode is what is the purpose of that in a drone?

I’ve been using headless mode in my drone for a long time and have great proficiency in using headless mode on a drone.

In this blog post, I will tell you what is headless mode on a drone, and how headless mode works on a drone. We will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using headless mode.

Further, we will also compare headless vs normal mode on a drone and what is best for you to fly a drone.

What is a Headless Mode on a Drone?

Headless mode is a very helpful and good feature in a drone that is getting popular among drone enthusiasts. Basically, headless mode is a flight mode like other flight modes in a drone like an autopilot, return to home, and follow-me function.

When the headless mode is enabled, the pilot can control the drone’s movements rather than its orientation. In other words, the pilot has no idea which way the drone is facing; in headless mode, the forward direction of the drone is always relative to the pilot’s position. When using headless mode, the pilot’s left becomes the drone’s left, the pilot’s right becomes the drone’s right, and so on.

During headless mode, your drone understands what you want it to do, no matter which way it is looking.

How Headless Mode Works on a Drone?

Most people think about how this mode actually functions in a drone and how headless mode works. The answer is the headless mode in a drone works by using a compass that is installed in a drone and an algorithm also works with this compass to keep the drone’s orientation.

When you activate headless mode from your drone’s controller the drone itself orientation is locked and the drone starts flying in the air according to your orientation. The drone’s algorithm and the compass are responsible for figuring out which direction your drone should fly to follow your command.

This mode is very helpful for beginner drone pilots who are struggling to learn to fly a drone. This is a common issue that every newbie has to face even I have faced too that controlling drones orientation.

This mode allows you to fly a drone more effectively and efficiently which allows you to focus on other drone functions like capturing drone photos and videos.

One thing I mention here is that this mode has its own benefits but this is not good for people who want to learn to fly a drone properly.

How to Use Headless Mode on Your Drone?

how to use headless mode

Using the headless mode feature in your drone is very easy you just have to follow these simple steps:

  1. The first step to activating headless mode on your drone is to make sure to turn on your drone and connect its controller, and they are paired successfully.
  2. Now place your drone on a flat surface and allow it to calibrate its sensors. Now lift the drone in the air and try some maneuvers to check that the drone is moving relative to its orientation.
  3. The important step is that now press the “Headless mode” button on your controller which is mostly labeled with “H” on most drones.
  4. Now take the drone to the sky and check that now is the movement of the drone is relative to your orientation or relative to the drone’s orientation.
  5. To check that press the joystick left if the drone is moving left relative to your orientation and repeat this process for the right side. If this trick is working then the headless mode is working properly.
  6. Now after using the headless mode now make sure to turn off the headless mode on your drone by pressing the same key used before to turn it on.

Advantages of using Headless Mode on a Drone:

Headless mode is a feature that comes in most modern drones this allows the pilot to control its orientation without worrying about where the head of the drone is pointing. This mode has many advantages that are given below:

Easier to Fly:

The headless mode in a drone makes it easier to control its orientation. This is a common problem with new drone pilots during the flight they cannot fly the drone according to their direction because sometimes the head of the drone where the camera and a drone gimbal are mounted is not visible to the pilot.

This creates problems for the pilot and makes it difficult to properly control drone flight. With the use of headless mode, it eliminates the need to constantly focus on the drone’s position which ensures that it is facing the right direction.

Safer Flying Experience:

Headless mode offers a better and safer flying experience to the pilot and the people around that place. If you are flying a drone in a crowdy place or near buildings and you are not using the headless mode then any mistake can lead to crashing your drone.

Headless mode on your drone allows you to control the drone’s orientation according to you, which allows you more accurate control of your drone.

More Precise Controls:

Headless mode allows you more precise control of your drone as the drone’s movement is related to the pilot’s position. This mode is helpful when you are using a drone in tight spaces or when you are making small adjustments to your drone positions.

With the use of headless mode on your drone, it does not matter which direction your drone’s head is facing the controls of the drone’s orientations are always relative to where you are standing. For example, if your drone is flying too far from you and it’s difficult to see where its head is pointing.

Assume that the drone is facing the left direction and if you press the joystick in the right direction the drone will move in the right direction.

Better Aerial Photography and Videography:

Headless mode provides the drone pilot with more accurate and quality photography and videography. If you are a beginner pilot or an experienced pilot it is always difficult to manage both tasks like focusing on the drone’s orientation and capturing images and videos at the same time.

Headless mode allows you to forget about the drone’s orientation and just focus on capturing images and videos which makes drone photography easier.

Overall, the use of the headless mode is beneficial for pilots of all levels from beginners to advance that allows for easier safer, and more epic drone flight experience.

Disadvantages of using Headless Mode on a Drone:

Drones equipped with headless modes could have some disadvantages, which are discussed below.

Headless-mode Addiction:

Headless mode assists the pilot in determining the orientation of the drone and makes flying the drone simple. If you are using headless mode too much, then it could be an addiction for you. In the future, if you want to shift to normal flight mode then it will be very difficult to fly the drone and understand its orientation.

So, using too much headless mode can destroy your drone flying skills, try to use this mode when necessary.

Useless in FPV Mode:

Useless in FPV Mode

Now the latest drone models also come with FPV mode technology. FPV (first-person view) is very effective for flying the drone because this allows pilots to see what FPV drones see. This technology addresses the issue of determining the orientation of the drone while in flight. As a result, headless mode is pointless with FPV drones.

Useless in Follow-me Mode:

If you are using the headless mode on your drone then you cannot use follow me drone feature. Follow me drone feature allows the drone to follow the drone pilot by using different technologies like GPS, Obstacle avoidance sensors used in a drone.

Follow me mode works only when the drone’s orientation is relative to its surroundings. But in headless mode the drone’s orientation is according to the pilot’s direction, So you cannot take advantage of follow me feature during headless mode is turned on.

Electromagnetic Interference:

Headless mode functions with the help of different sensors installed in drones like GPS, gyroscope, and magnetometer.

Electromagnetic waves are extremely sensitive to these sensors. If a headless drone passes through a metallic body, such as an electric pole, the sensors may lose calibration, making it difficult or even impossible for the drone to return.

Headless Mode vs. Normal Mode: Which is Better?

You must be wondering which mode will be best for me. The answer to this question has different scenarios according to your conditions and drone flying experience.

Headless Mode:

According to my experience if you are a beginner drone pilot and have just started learning to fly a drone then the headless mode will be a better choice for you.

Headless mode allows you more precise control over normal mode because you don’t need to focus on where the drone’s head is facing. You can learn the basics of drone flying principles by using headless mode.

Normal Mode:

On the other hand, if you are an experienced pilot and already know the flying principles of a drone then I would recommend you use the normal mode of the drone.

Because using headless mode can destroy your drone flying skills because the normal mode is best for drone maneuvers and flying in different challenging situations.

Normal mode allows the pilot to understand and fully control the orientation of the drone which will improve your drone flights and different situational awareness.

Best Drones with Headless Mode Feature:

Most drones come with headless mode features in them and the main question is which drone has the best headless mode feature. I have searched many drones regarding headless mode some best drones with this mode are as follows:

DJI Mini 2:

DJI is known for its innovative and quality drone products all around the world. DJI mini 2 is a drone that has a headless mode feature included. This drone also comes with a return to home, 3-axis gimbal, lightweight body and high definition camera, and more.

Holy Stone HS165:

Holy Stone is one of my favorite brands when it comes to buying a drone. Holy Stone HS165 drone has a headless mode feature with a foldable body. This drone is also a great choice for beginner pilots and this also offers a great battery time of about 15 minutes straight.

Potensic D58:

The Potensic D58 drone has a headless mode and it comes with high-definition cameras best for photography. This drone has additional features like return to home, follow me, and waypoint navigation.


Is it Easier to Fly a Drone in Headless Mode?

Yes, headless mode is very helpful for beginner drone pilots, Because a beginner drone pilot may get confused and frustrated by understanding the drone’s orientation.

Headless mode makes the flying process for a beginner so easy and the pilot can focus on other functions of the drone like capturing photos and videos rather than figuring out where is your drone heading.

How do I turn on Headless Mode?

Activating headless mode on your drone is super easy, first, you have to confirm that your drone does have a headless mode feature. If it has then you can turn it on by pressing a button on your controller mostly labeled with “H”.

Important note: before turning on the headless mode from the controller button make sure the drone is turned on and connected to its controller. After using the headless mode make sure to turn it off by pressing the same key.

What is the Use of Headless Mode in a Drone?

Headless mode is used to move the drone in the sky relative to the drone’s pilot orientation rather than the drone’s orientation in the sky. This function is very helpful if the drone is flying in a situation in which the head of the drone is not visible to the pilot which can be difficult for the pilot to operate the drone.

So here the headless mode is turned on and then the pilot’s left will be the drone’s left and the pilot’s right will be the drone’s right.

Conclusion: Is Headless Mode Right for You?

In conclusion, the headless mode can be very effective and helpful for all types of drone pilots from beginners to experienced ones. Headless mode makes flight for drone pilots more easier and effective and it can also prevent the drone from crashing.

The headless mode should be used when it is necessary, using headless mode regularly can reduce your drone flight skills and maneuvers.

A beginner drone pilot can take advantage of learning to fly a drone as it reduces confusion for drone orientation but he or she should not be dependent on the headless mode.

Remember to use headless mode in your drone when where you may lose sight of the drone or lose track of its orientation. If you find this blog post helpful then leave a comment below!

Hi! I'm John Romero a drone enthusiast and a FAA certified drone pilot. I've been in love with these UAVs for 8 years when I bought my first drone. Now I have started Drone Guider to share my experience and knowledge with people like me around the world. Happy Flying!

Leave a Comment