How Do You Control a Drone?

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Updated September 21, 2022

Even the best drones can be a hassle to control if you aren’t familiar with drone control systems. Learning simple things, like how to spin your drone clockwise using the left stick, can feel impossible without the proper instructions. So, how do you control a drone?


  • Using a digital camera might seem like it’s just adding extra hardware into the mix, but it’s a great way of improving your video chatting or streaming experience.
  • Like the left stick, some features of your remote controller are responsible for the same thing across the board, no matter what model of drone you’re using.
  • Consumer drones are much easier to control than those models used in the professional drone industry.

How to Control a Drone

There is a big difference between simple and advanced drones, such as the way military drones work, and great drone operators understand that difference. You should always start with a multi-rotor drone, which is considered extremely easy for new drone users. Remote control drones all operate in generally the same way, however.

Insider Tip

Reading every article on drone controllers can help you understand how to be the best pilot possible.

Several other questions will pop up while researching how to better yourself as a drone pilot, like “How do drones transmit data”? These are essential answers to help you understand concepts like radio transmission and the best drone settings for your model.

Different Drone Controller Systems

Different flight control systems are used across the board. This means that the only way to figure out how your drone is controlled is to read the user manual that comes with your drone. Learning your remote control functions is crucial to proper piloting and a steady flight. In general, the left stick controls rotation on an axis. This allows the drone to rotate in place without leaving the spot it’s in.

Learning about drone settings is about more than controlling the actual drone. Understanding drone settings can help you avoid damage to your drone and ensure a safe flight and keep from getting your device hung up in a tree. You can do several other things to help your drone return to you in one piece, like making sure battery levels are optimal and using the return home function (if your model has one).


This part of your controller system allows you to move the drone to the left or right. Using it will cause your drone to “roll” in the air.


Make sure that you update your drone firmware regularly to keep your drone in flight.


The yaw rotates your drone either counterclockwise or clockwise. This will allow you to make patterns in the air, as well as circle around.


If you need to tilt your drone forward or backward, you’ll use the pitch. This feature makes ascending or descending possible.


When you need to control speed, you use the throttle. This will allow you to speed up or slow down.

STAT: The United States drone market increased in 2021 to 1.03 billion U.S. dollars. (source)

How Do You Control A Drone FAQs

How do drone control sticks work?

Drone control sticks send messages to your drone, instructing it on how to move during a drone flight. For example, the left stick controls movement along the x-axis. This can vary depending on your model, however.

Can I operate a drone for commercial purposes?

There are several commercial applications for drone flight. However, keep in mind that there is a difference between drones used for fun and those used for an autonomous drone delivery mission.

How do I take care of my drone?

Learning everything you can about your drone is the first step. You should look into everything it offers, from the physical parts to every flight feature.

What is a MAVLink Protocol?

This is a protocol for communication with drones. It allows you to use your remote control to send messages to your drone. This is part of your drone firmware.
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