Setting Rates! with Alex Vanover and Joshua Bardwell

Alex and Joshua discuss how they set their rates for FPV freestyle and racing. Are your rates too low? Or maybe too high? Sometimes Alex changes his rates for different race courses….

Rates directly define how the drone reacts to stick input so setting your rates correctly is one of the most important things to configure!

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-Pilots / Hosts-
Joshua Bardwell [Knowitall]
Alex Vanover [CaptainVanover]

-Production Team-
Chad Kapper – Executive Producer
Christian Kapper – Editor


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About the Author: Rotor Riot


  1. I'm flying 1100 since 2 years and recently i flew a quad from a friend with defaults. It felt like a wheelchair! But i will give it a try to achieve more smooth control maybe

  2. Good discussion guys. Lowered mine from 1000 to 800 and I think I like it! Feels smoother with better precision in gaps, but then again I've been flying about 8 months so still got my training wheels on 🙂

  3. Custom Taranis curves can make you look like a superhero. I keep my roll and pitch rates at 1200, but it doesn’t happen until the last outer 5% of stick deflection. My quads fly like 700s until the stick hits the plastic. Tons of resolution and predictability, but also the ability to snap a roll/pitch 180 with a quick tap.

  4. Cool tip with the stick travel end, but imo there are further very important things to be added here to get the whole picture of setting up rates – that's for example pinching vs. thumb drive, controller type/size in conjunction with hand size & adjustable sticks (height, input resistance, spring back or spring load) – in my experience when I have started as a thumb guy I had much lower rates because I think I wasn't able to pricisely control higher numbers. The other side was that I was however able to use the whole stick travel in my Taranis Q X7, so the lower numbers were more suitable for me at that time. Then I have reached a point in which I realised I want to be able to make quicker turns but not have to give up precision. I decided to force myself to pinching. At the beginning it was strange for me even looking at someone pinching. It seemed to me pinching not to be natural, because I came from Playstation & Xbox into FPV as most of us do, I think… I took me a week to get used to and BOY it made a difference ! I was easily able to manage +300-400deg./sec. and fly tighter the line. For me having two points of support is far better than only one which is shaky. I know it's a personal thing, it's not for everybody's taste, but for me it definately helped to progress. Talking personal I want to point out the second thing , which is controller type/size to hand size – I think it makes a huge difference having a correct chosen controller to your hand size (general palm size and finger lenght). I have however noticed that even having better overall experience by pinching (higher rates + better precision) my Taranis Q X7 is somehow handicapping my resolution. I have noticed that I am not able to reach the end of yaw right and roll left because the Q X7 is quite wide for my hands. I am therefore looking to step over to X9D which is narrower, to get the finger reach back. The adjustable sticks mentioned at the beginning are the best upgrade you can do to your rig. They provide you really with the last step of fine tuning your input. All the above comes down to setting up the rates in the end. It's a personal thing like a proper bikefitting is for a rider on a bicycle, it's a wrong way to take for example Mr. Steele's rates, because they are his personal "Taylor made like" numbers. It's also not properly to assume that racing pilots normally fly 400-600deg./sec. and for acro 800 to +1000deg./sec., it's personal like PID's are for a Quad. It should be set very low at the start and worked up in small increments as a pilot progresses. Phew… just a couple of additional words on that topic… Cheers!

  5. Great video. Had me playing in the sims all night pondering flight patterns. Rate/800, Super/800, Expo/-400 which flattens the mid for better resolution and kicks the deflections up to a fast flick. Can't wait to get out in the morning and see how they translate.

  6. I experimenting with rates last 6 months since i was start to flight with 5 “, and i found that when i have all rates RPY same it is best for me, because i often change cam tilt and it is easier to control to me when my rates are same,and FF transition is very important, That is my personal opinion, i will put my rates if someo one want to try, for me is most natural feeling
    rc rate: 0.85 s rate: 082 rc expo : 0.20
    for all RPY
    R FF80
    P FF80
    Y FF100
    FF transition 0.11
    I limit my trothle 90-95% on scale
    I therm relax RPY ( setpoint)
    That is for all my quads and they all flight same.
    If someone would try these, please tell me what you think.
    Chameleon is my every day quad and it has 2400kv motors on 4s
    FC and motors softmounted
    Cam tilt 25-30 degree
    BF 4.0.3
    Pids and filters little tuned
    my yaw is P 60 I 100
    Gyro lp1 130
    Gyro lp2 off
    Dtherm lo2 off

  7. I pinch and find it really unnatural to push full deflection, even when flying fixed wing, like josh picked up on on yaw, when pinching and going that far I tend to do involuntary movements.

  8. @Rotor Riot Excellent video! This helped me so much! I noticed a reduction in crashes and an increase in control the minute I tried this! Still a few fails but got this within about 10 tries – previously I was having trouble just finishing a race in one piece never mind aiming for speed. Thanks guys! I am new to drone racing and love the idea of it and am hoping to buy a drone at the end of this year – if idiots targeting airports don't get them banned in Scotland first that is!! 🙁

  9. still, think we need a diagnostic video to make sure all motors are running correctly and smooth first before ever getting to rates to make sure everything is ok first Please.
    I get shaky motors, and bad bad vibrations before even putting on props. help

  10. Here are 4 config of rates that all are at 667 deg/sec at full stick, but TOTALLY different "in the middle". That demonstrate that "full stick" information does not represent the "global" sensibility :
    Rate 1 ; Super 0,7 ; Expo 0 = 47 deg/s at 1600 ; 111 deg/s at 1700 ; 667 deg/s at 2000
    Rate 2 ; Super 0,4 ; Expo 0 = 87 deg/s at 1600 ; 190 deg/s at 1700 ; 667 deg/s at 2000
    Rate 0,7 ; Super 0,79 ; Expo 0,5 = 15 deg/s at 1600 ; 36 deg/s at 1700 ; 667 deg/s at 2000

    Details here :

  11. Didn't Bardwell just said he has came down from 1000 deg/s to 800, and then that he has 800 on yaw and 11 hundred on pitch and roll?

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