Best remote control and drone simulator combo for beginners

Hey everyone! I am excited to join the drone community!

As an absolute beginner, I’m planning to get a DJI Mini Pro 3 with a DJI RC. However, I want to gain some experience on a simulator first, especially for practice on rainy or windy days.

I am not very interested in the gaming or drone racing aspects of simulators. Instead, I want to build confidence and experience with practical applications.

Currently, I am considering the Zephyr simulator ($50) and the Orqa FPV controller ($90). Zephyr lets you practice with DJI drones, but I’m unsure if the Orqa controller feels similar to the DJI RC controller.

Does anyone have better suggestions for a simulator and controller combo?

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The trouble with DJI drones is that there isn’t a simulator out there that matches what’s fun about flying them: lining up your shot, getting your camera settings correct, and framing fascinating images with drone motions. Most sims are more concerned with teaching the admittedly difficult technique of acro-style FPV flight. It’s similar to practicing in a simulator to learn how to operate a stick shift before driving an automatic.

If you want to gain confidence while piloting a DJI drone, play video games. Something like Space Engineers or the Kerbal Space Programme. Playing old-school Resident Evil proved to be incredibly handy while flying drones line-of-sight: I could immediately execute the mental acrobatics required to know how to reverse the controls when the when the drone is facing me. Only problem was remembering that LEFT stick goes up and down, RIGHT stick goes front and back.

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The thing about DJI drones is that there isn’t a simulator out there that simulates what’s interesting about flying DJI drones: lining up your shot, getting your camera settings right, and framing interesting shots through drone movements. Most sims out there are more interested in teaching the admittedly trickier art of acro-style FPV flight. It’s like training up in a sim to learn how to drive stick to practice driving an automatic.

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@Andrew Hi there. Having grown up with video games, I assumed using my first drone would be rather simple. Although the resident evil-like direction helps, I can’t help but feel perplexed by the fact that the right stick is used for movement. I’ve heard there are many controller modes; is there a certain one that you would advise players to use?

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Use a PlayStation or other game controller, check out any of the free simulators, and select “angle mode” for your flight. Avoid using money to imitate a drone with a camera. In the end, a Holystone HS210 from Amazon would be less expensive to purchase than a controller. Even though it’s a toy drone, it can be a lot of fun to play with (buy two and play 1 vs 1 or attach small streamers). When the weather is bad, you can pass the time with the toy, which has the same stick controls. I should also mention that not all of them have cameras; some do, so don’t waste your money. The HS210 will function and amuse you nicely. Go over the instructions; throwing it to launch is kind of neat.