3 Pathes to get started wit the FPV/Drone hobby

the three pathes

FPV Drones can be a very exciting and fulfilling hobby, but there is also a high chance for frustration, especially early on - flying acro is hard, the gear is expensive and breaks in crashes.

There is several ways on how to get into the hobby, that can make the start less expensive or dangerous.

Path 1: buy cheap gear an just send it

In every hobby-related community you'll find a few old-timers who will tell you they jumped directly into the hobby, and so should you. If you enjoy building/fixing and you don't like to play it a bit more safe, by all means, this might be your path - I wouldn't recommend it though.

This Probably the quickest way to frustration - the story usually goes like this: new pilot buys a cheap bind and fly (meaning a ready build fpv drone), plus some gear someone might or might not have recommended to them, goes in the field and just starts "learning".

Usually this will result in crashes quite quickly, and soon the copter will have enough damage so it needs repairs, and waiting for the right motors can delay further "learning" for quite a bit.

Advantages

  • you can try to fly your dream drone right away

Disadvantages

  • costs for repairs usually outweigh the savings this method might seem to have over other methods
  • waiting time for spare parts can be extremly demotivating
  • a 5" Multi-Copter without controll can be a serious risk to the pilot and others

Path 2: the tiny-whoop

A very common suggestion is to start with buying a tiny-whoop class drone - which has a bunch of advantages, you are flying an actual drone, you can build your gear around it, whoop aren't too expensive, batteries are cheap, you can fly them indoors, and because they are so light and tiny you can smash them into a lot of things without causing much damage.

Advantages

  • Often a tiny-whoop class drone will be quite cheap, and have some more toy like qualities
  • Batteries are cheap too
  • There is quite a few beginner-bundles available, that come with goggles, radio, charger, whoop and battery
  • Especially 1S (1 cell batteries) tiny-whoops can be flown indoors - without insane risks to people & furniture
  • in many places, especially in the winter, there are tiny-whoop events

Disadvantages

  • tiny-whoops due to their small size and their power to weight ratios fly and feel differently than larger drones
  • tiny-whoops often aren't great for outside-flying
  • a lot of the gear sold in bundles isn't great (but on the plus side: you usually can upgrade)
  • chargers for whoop batteries often suck, so you won't get great lifetimes out of them

Path 3: the Sim(ulator)

probably the safest way to start, and the one I'd recommend: get the radio you want to use and buy a Sim, such as for example Liftoff, which will allow you to learn and train the basic stick movements, try different styles of drones, and figure out what kind of flying is what you are interested in.

Advantages

  • no damage from crashing
  • no risk to pilot and others while training
  • no legal restrictions complicating training
  • easy availability at home - no dependence on weather, or the ability to drive to a spot
  • no charging / discharging batteries
  • limited investment to figure out if flying is fun or frustration
  • some sims have training modes

Disadvantages

  • none of the sims simulates the full physics of flying a quadcopter
  • sim-stick-time teaches basics, and helps, but is not the same as real-stick-time
  • requires a compatible computer
  • requires a radio that can work as joystick for the computer