DJI Mavic Pro: What Is Atti Mode?

As a new owner of a Mavic Pro I must say I was a little confused when the controller keeps displaying "Atti Mode".

And, to be honest I did not really worry about it too much at first. But then I started to wonder, what is this stupid Atti Mode she keeps going on about?

Technically, What Is Atti Mode?

Mavic Pro Atti vs GPS Mode

Before we jump into the Mavic Pro specifically, it is a good idea to understand what Atti Mode is for most drones on the market.

Atti Mode is short for Attitude Mode, where the drone will maintain a specific altitude but not position. That means the drone will remain at the same height but drift around in the wind.

It also means that there is no auto-braking when you are flying, so the drone will continue moving in the direction you are flying until you push the stick in the opposite direction to brake.

What Is GPS Mode Then?

In GPS Mode the Mavic Pro uses the satellites from the GPS system to help with positioning. In fact, it uses them a lot.

When the drone is in GPS mode a lot of things are happening automatically, many that are not really obvious:

  • Maintaining position while hovering is one of them
  • Auto-braking is another

What Is Atti Mode On the Mavic Pro?

Atti Mode on the Mavic Pro is a little different to previous DJI drones because it is not a mode you can specifically choose to enter.

On the Mavic, Atti Mode is when there are not enough satellites around or connected to put the craft in GPS mode.

(Read more details on the Mavic in the manual)

So, when you are indoors or have just started your drone, the controller will almost always warn you that it is in Atti Mode. At least until it has found enough satellites to use GPS.

If you do not wait for the GPS to be fully active (ie. enough satellites found), you risk crashing your drone.

Trust me, I did it just last week while trying to show off my drone to some friends. I didn't wait for the GPS before taking off, and then wondered why the drone was behaving so erratically. A few minutes later, as it landed not so gracefully in knee high grass, more like a lawn mower, it dawned on me! Atti mode :>​

If you want to see a video of someone forcing their Mavic Pro into Atti Mode and how hard it is to fly, see the video below:

Your Mavic Is In Atti Mode, Should You Fly?

I have never done this (on purpose), but have read up on the forums and this is what I can tell you:

  • Atti Mode is very different to normal GPS mode on the Mavic (or any other drone)
  • You need to be very careful when flying it in this mode (practice in a wide open space first)
  • You have to learn to compensate for the wind and brake by reversing the drone

If you are indoors, you will likely always be in Atti Mode so be careful. Consider using Tripod Mode (which dampens the controller) so you are less likely to hit anything.

Remember the Mavic Pro does not have side or back sensors so walls are a big issue. Make sure you have plenty of space.

In the video below are more details on flying a Mavic Pro inside (including some settings you should be careful to set: hint, Return To Home altitude can be a big issue).

Why Do People Like Atti Mode?

With drones like the Phantom 4 you can specifically enter Atti Mode and disable the automatic compensation that the drone tries to apply.

Why would you want to do this when it is a lot riskier? Two reasons:

  1. You get a lot smoother motion when filming
  2. It is a lot more fun and responsive to fly

BUT, with the Mavic Pro we do not have this option. It is only really a warning that GPS is not ready yet.

Conclusion

Atti Mode is really just a warning that the drone is not ready to fly or cannot lock on enough GPS signals, so be sure to wait when you start your drone and check before you fly.

Losing control of it after take off is not something any of us want, especially when you just spent over $1000!