Top 4 Quadcopter Simulators
Listed below are some of the RC quadcopter flight simulators I felt were worth looking at in order to improve your flying. It doesn’t beat actually flying a quadcopter, but it does come close! If you are interested in getting your own fpv drone, check out this article for more information on cheap FPV drones. Let’s get started!
1. FPV Freerider
FPV Freerider is a (you guessed it!) FPV flight simulator. However, contrary to the name, this RC flight simulator is not exactly free. They do have a free demo that you can try out so that you can see if it is worth buying or not. The full version is only $5, which is great for a quality quad simulator. Freerider is available for Windows, OS X, and Linux.
In the free demo, you are limited to only one of the maps provided in the simulation. Currently there are five maps: Desert mode (free demo map), Island mode, Meadow mode, Playground mode, and Carpark mode.
As you can see from the video, the visuals are not very realistic, but they do get the job done. A great thing about this simulator is that it is customizable, although only in the full version. You can customize the throttle, yaw, gravity, and a bunch of other stuff.
It also includes self-leveling and acro mode, so you can definitely play around with those to see which of them you like better. Freerider also has both a first person view and line of sight. This is great practice for situations in real life where your video transmitter stops working and you have to adapt.
You can use a controller to fly the quadcopter as the software can read most controllers. (Try the demo version first to make sure that it works before you decide to make a purchase!) Some of the controllers that do work with Freerider include Realflight and Esky USB controllers, Xbox, PS3 and Logitech gamepads, FrSky Taranis, Spektrum, Flysky, Walkera, Graupner and Futaba RC radios.
Another interesting FPV flight simulator is Liftoff. You can find this simulator on Steam for about $20. This is a little more expensive than Freerider, but is a little more entertaining. Liftoff works with both Windows and OS X.
The biggest flaw of this game is that it still in Early Access mode. There are still bugs that need to be fixed in order to improve the simulation.
The first thing that stands out about this simulator is the customizing. Liftoff has a track builder, so you can build your own tracks to fly on. For example, if you wanted to work on turns, rather than going through already built tracks trying to find one with sharp turns, you can just make it yourself.
In comparison to Freerider, Liftoff is much more difficult to fly. It is as if the quadcopter is floating in the water. Again it is early access, so this will most likely be addressed in the upcoming patches.
There is a single player and a multiplayer mode. The multiplayer mode is unavailable currently, but it looks as though online quadcopter racing will be its main purpose. This should be even more benefiical to FPV quadcopter racers.
A detail that was nice to see is that the creators of the game makes it so that when you are in FPV mode, the view is much more realistic. They even incorporate radio interference, which is pretty cool.
Hotprops is another RC quadcopter flight simulator that is great for flight practicing. The big difference between Hotprops and the other flight simulators listed is that this RC flight simulator is free!
Hotprops has a working multiplayer mode, unlike the other simulators listed above. There are currently two available multiplayer modes, freestyle and race.
Like the other simulators, this one has customizable settings in order to improve the flight experience. This simulator does seem to be more oriented towards racing, which is great for FPV racers. They allow you to have time trials on different tracks so that you can improve your time.
The downside is that this simulator is still in open beta, so there are bound to be some bugs that come up as you are playing it.
4. FPV Event PE
Last but certainly not least is the FPV Event PE simulator. This simulator is amazing. Just by watching the video, you can see how realistic it can be. The tracks that you get to use are virtual versions of real world European Qualifying tracks. How amazing is that?! They also hold competitions and have leaderboards to make the simulation much more interesting.
The quadcopters you use in the simulation are all customizable, and have their own unique physical characteristics. This simulator, just like the others, allows you to use your own controller for added realism. You just need to install the USB Interface Utility.
Unfortunately, this simulator is not free. You need a license to use it. They have two licenses available, single and monthly. With the monthly contribution license you are looking at roughly $5 a month, which is not bad. For the single purchase license, the cost will be around $55. On top of that, you will have to buy new tracks if you wanted to use them, which I find a bit too much. Why pay for a simulator and then not being able to fly on whichever track you wanted.
Another possible issue is that FPV Event PE is currently only available for Windows. In order to use it on a Mac, you would need a Windows simulator such as Bootcamp on your computer.
There is currently no best RC quadcopter simulator since they all have their pros and cons. It all comes down to your personal preference. Everyone is different, which is why I suggest trying out the different quad simulators to get an idea of what you are looking for. If you are interested in learning more about FPV racing in general, check out my other guide on how to get started! If you are interested in getting your own quadcopter for flying, I would suggest the Hubsan X4.