Manual Mode & Self Leveling Mode

What is Manual mode?

Manual mode is all about having complete control. Self leveling quadcopter offer stability to new flyers.

Let’s start off with the quadcopter definitions; flying in self-leveling mode allows the quadcopter to return to parallel with the ground when no stick input is received. This mode typically has a max angle at which the quadcopter can tilt, so it does not flip over. You usually will find this mode in store bought toys like the CX-10, Hubsan X4 and the Syma X5.


Manual mode is a little different, when you transmit signals to change its angle, it will continue to stay at that angle when no stick input is received unless you counter the angle with the same magnitude and opposite in direction it will then be in a hover. What this does is full control of the quadcopter. This enables the flyer to perform flips and loops, unlike self-leveling mode which has a limit to how much it can tilt. Manual mode sounds pretty straight forward, but once you try to fly it for the first time, it’s a mind bender. You will find this mode in more advance quadcopters like the Phantom series, CX-20 and QAV250.


For most beginners they will start with self-leveling which makes flying much simpler as the quadcopter can return to hover position. I only recommend this mode for indoor flying or someone who is starting this hobby. Manual mode will cause lots of confusion especially when yaw is in the equation. You, however, will achieve smoother flight performance compared to auto level as the quadcopter will not jitter back into hover position. Manual mode must take lots of practice if you have flown in auto level for a while. Your brain will need to adjust the way you maneuver it.

Do not try to practice manual mode on an expensive quadcopter, that would be silly!

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