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What is Headless Mode and How they Work on Drone?

By: Richard J. Gross
Updated On: January 19, 2022

Headless mode is also called care-free, head-free, or headless flight mode - is a feature on small drones that directs the aircraft to fly according to - of course - to which direction its nose is pointed. Headless mode makes it easier to fly a drone, especially at first, because you don't have to worry about orientation.

It's also helpful if you're a beginner just learning how to fly a drone. It allows you to focus more on controlling the drone than how it's oriented. Once mastered, however, the headless mode should be turned off so you can learn about the orientation of your aircraft and orient yourself accordingly.

The important thing to remember is that when the headless mode is enabled, the drone will always go in the direction it's facing, no matter which way you're pointing your controller.

Also Read: Drone Part 107 vs. Recreational Rules

headless mode

When Should Headless Mode Be Used?

Headless mode is most helpful when flying a drone for the first time or in tight spaces where you don't have much room to maneuver. When flying with headless mode enabled, the controller sticks control the throttle and yaw (left/right movement) of your drone based on which direction its nose is pointing.

This can make it easier for beginners to fly a drone because they don't have to worry about orienting the aircraft before flying - they can focus on making it go where they want.

While the drone will fly in whatever direction its nose is pointing towards, you'll still need to adjust the directional controls (pitch and roll) by tilting your radio controller until the aircraft moves where you want it to go.

You'll also need to control the speed of the drone by adjusting the throttle and the direction of your camera gimbal with the yaw control.

How does Headless Mode work?

The Headless Mode activates when the switch is flipped on, and it makes managing a quadcopter with no visible body quite simple. It can be maneuvered in flight using the remote controller or any other compatible device with little to no effort.

Headless Mode in a drone is the latest and most advanced technology. This mode works through the GPS in the drone. When you activate this mode, Headless Mode/Follow Me/RTH Drone flies according to the set forward direction of your controller.

It is suitable for beginners who have trouble with orientation. Headless Mode in a drone makes it easy for beginners to fly drones. You must read the instruction manual before operating any advanced drones with a digital compass.

If some quadcopter manufacturers use terms such as care-free mode or head-free mode, don't be alarmed. They all refer to the same thing and are merely used to promote more quads.

How to turn on the Headless Mode?

Now that you are all about the headless mode, you need to know how to turn it on. It is effortless to turn on the headless mode in any drone. You have to click on one or two buttons on your controller, and Headless Mode/Follow Me/RTH Drone flies according to the set forward direction controller.

To set Headless Mode ON, first, turn on your drone and then press the Headless Mode icon on your controller. Then you need to press the Headless icon a couple of times until the Headless icon turns solid blue.

Now Headless Mode will be turned on, and your drone will fly according to the forward direction of your controller. If the Headless icon turns off or Headless Mode is not working, make sure Headless mode is not touched and it is turned on.

If the headless icon is blinking, headless mode is off. Once the Headless icon is returned to solid blue headless mode will be activated again.

Alternatively, you can turn Headless mode on by pressing the headless button on your controller. A headless icon will blink for 3 seconds, and then Headless Mode will be turned on. Headless Mode will be turned off if the headless icon blinks for 3 seconds or the headless mode is switched off.

There are always two sides to everything; the headless mode also has different pros and cons. As discussed below,

Pros of Headless Mode:

  • The headless mode of drones allows users of the drone to enjoy their flight. Utilizing this mode removes the orientation problem that some pilots face.
  • Headless mode also makes it easier to fly a drone by constantly keeping the same direction as you move your remote control around.
  • It is a great feature for first-time pilots or more experienced ones who want a change of pace.
  • It also reduces the need for users to look at their drone while flying.
  • The headless mode comes in handy when the drone stops transmitting the video feed to the controller, as it can bring the drone back to the controller without having to control it manually.

Cons of Headless Mode:

  • It works in FPV mode in many drones; FPV mode is the most commonly used flying mode in drones.
  • It can easily be disturbed by electromagnetic waves and hence can get a glitch while flying around metallic towers or other sources.
  • It can be deemed a flight assistance tool and should not entirely replace the pilot's judgment.

Can we trust Headless Mode?

headless mode

Not every technology can be trusted with everything but the headless mode is not one that you cannot trust. It can never act as a replacement for the pilot's judgment, but it can assist in many situations for accurate flying.

It can be used by beginners, but they should not rely entirely on it. Headless mode is a revolutionary technology and is fast replacing traditional remote controls. The headless mode in drones can be used to enjoy the FPV flying experience without much effort and practice.

This mode can be used to avoid obstacles and fly over or under them effectively. Headless mode or one key return is a blessing for new pilots as they can avoid obstacles and fly without any issues. This mode has been one of the most trusted flight assistance tools in recent times for drone pilots.

It's possible to trust the headless mode up to a certain degree, and it won't let you down in the majority of situations; but when it comes to the presence of electromagnetic interference (EMI), it may disappoint.

According to the FAA, you should avoid flying your drone over high-voltage lines, cell phone towers, and other infrastructure. We're talking about close proximity to power lines, communication poles, and other infrastructure. So, as much as possible, keep your quadcopter away from those areas.

Are Headless Mode Drones really worth it?

This is the easiest question to answer after all the details mentioned in the article above because headless mode can come to be useful in some cases where the video transmission of the drone dies while flying.

The headless mode has made drone flying easier, and many pilots who enjoy the FPV flight mode agree that flying with headless assistance is more than enough.

You can get a drone with headless mode for as cheap as 50 dollars and as high as a few thousand dollars. It all depends on your budget and your purpose.

One of the cheapest drones with the headless mode is the Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 Headless Quadcopter, which you can buy for just under 50 dollars from amazon. It is a reasonable price, even for fun purposes.

What are the Best Headless Mode Drones For Beginners In 2023?

There are many drones with headless modes in the market, but most of them are designed for fun or professional use.




Buy Now

Best OverAll

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

  • 20MP 1” CMOS Sensor

  • Max Range 18 Km

  • 31 minutes Flight Time


Best Budget

Holy Stone HS720

  • 4K Camera (3840 x 2160)

  • Max Range 1 Km

  • 26 minutes Flight Time


Best Performance

Ruko F11

  • 4K UHD (3840x 2160p)

  • Max Range 3937 ft

  • 30 minutes Flight Time


Force1 U49WF

  • 720p HD Camera

  • Max Range 150 mtr

  • 25 minutes Flight Time



  • 1080P HD Camera

  • Max Range 320ft

  • 13 minutes Flight Time



The headless mode in drones has revolutionized the world of drone flying. It is a necessary feature for beginners and an aid to more experienced pilots.

With time the technology will be improved, and we may get more intelligent flight assistance tools than these traditional flight modes. For now, you can trust this flight mode and use it without any doubt.

It is all up to the pilot of a drone how they choose to fly their uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV). It can be flown with manual control, assisted by headless mode, or through programming. In any way, you will have fun flying your device!

Let's have a constructive dialogue in the comments section below about this article. As always, thank you for reading!

Richard J. Gross

Hi, my name is Richard J. Gross and I’m a full-time Airbus pilot and commercial drone business owner. I got into drones in 2015 when I started doing aerial photography for real estate companies. I had no idea what I was getting into at the time, but it turns out that police were called on me shortly after I started flying. They didn’t like me flying my drone near people, so they asked me to come train their officers on the rules and regulations for drones. After that, I decided to start my own drone business and teach others about the safe and responsible use of drones.

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