While drones have become infamous for aerial shots, stunning landscape footage, and a variety of other practices apart from competitive uses, flying a drone can be incredibly fun and engaging too. But, what sort of games could one play with drones?
Join us as we cover some of the most engaging and fun games to play with drones. Always consider standard safety practices when playing games with drones such as launching from flat surfaces, as well as choosing vast areas away from industrial infrastructure when creating your drone gaming arena.
5 Fun Games To Play With Drones
Most of these games are more suitable for young drone pilots and can offer memorable experiences in doing so. But, some of these may be enjoyable for older teens and young adult enthusiasts for a fun and interactive way to spend some quality time together.
For the younger crowd playing games with drones, it’s always advised to ensure that these games are supervised by an adult who is knowledgeable of how drones work as well as all legal, privacy-related, safety, and security aspects involved in using a drone. Cameras and flight footage recorders would be advantageous for many of these games, but there are a few that can still be played with standard drones as well.
1. Drone Hide and Seek
Much like the traditional version of hide and seek, the players will hide while one person gets to seek for them – but, using a drone. There should be some rules put in place depending on the area available for the game as well as the capability of participants, such as not hiding in areas that are completely closed in since this does give an unfair advantage to hiders.
Those hiding will be given a period of time to find a spot that is somewhat covered but can still be visible to the drone if they look close enough – such as behind trees depending on the area being played in. Once all hiders have found their spot, the player operating the drone should begin looking for them by hovering around the area, and hiders should come out once the drone has come close enough and has obviously spotted them.
Much like with standard hide and seek, hiders may attempt to make their way to base in order to be ‘free’ but will have to avoid being spotted by the drone in doing so. Of course, participants should always be safe when playing this game by staying within the allocated area and ensuring that they have effective ways to stay in contact with each other throughout the game.
2. Drone Racing
This drone game is pretty simple and common, but it’s still a classic and can be played against yourself as a fun way to improve your flight and handling skills, or with friends for an even more action packed experience. There are many variants of this game, but it can be played with as little as your drone, a smartphone, and an identifiable ‘finish line’.
Simply place your finish line where you want it to be, then you and the other participants return to the starting position. Start the timer on your smartphone, or on a stopwatch if you have one, after which you can see whose drone makes it to the finish line first. You can make this more interesting by adding other elements, such as time limits or other safe modifications.
To push this game even further, one could even try racing drones against friends on foot to see who would win. This would be done in a similar manner using a starting point and a finish line, whereby those handling drones would race against those on foot, and those who reach the finish line first would win.
3. Drone Statues
Playing statues with drones can be incredibly engaging and far more challenging than the traditional statues game. This game is more enjoyable with a larger number of participants since it instantly increases the challenge for everyone involved. Much like the traditional game of statues, otherwise known as Red Light Green Light, playing Statues with drones will need a Curator – someone who will act as the guide.
All you will need for this game is your drones and a clear finish line on the opposite end of the playing field. The Curator will stand on the other side of the finish line with their back towards the participants and their drones. The aim of the game is for the participants to get their drone across the finish line where the Curator is located. Whoever’s drone reaches the finish line first wins, after which they would become the Curator for the next round.
The Curator is allowed to turn around whenever they’d like, and those controlling the drones from the starting point will need to stop and hover until the Curator turns around again. Therefore, quite a lot of focus will need to be given to the speed at which the drones move while the Curator’s back is turned, especially since it takes some skill to stop a drone’s movement mid-air. Drones that continue to move while the Curator is looking will be sent back to the starting point.
This game may require a grace period of a few seconds before the Curator turns around so the participants can brace themselves to halt their drone. However, the consistent stopping and starting does level the playing field somewhat, as participants will not be able to win simply due to owning a faster drone, but more due to skillful handling and strategy.
Players can also adapt this so that it can be played in teams with drones and players on foot, whereby some will handle drones while others attempt to play Statues in the traditional way by becoming a ‘statue’ when the Curator turns around. The team whose player reaches the finish line first is the winner.
4. Drone I Spy
This game requires a good camera, as it will allow participants to use what they are witnessing on camera as part of the game as opposed to what may be visible from their point of view. The great thing about this game is that it doesn’t require much at all – only the drone and a couple of participants.
One of the players will take a turn and survey the surrounding area visible from the drone, after which they should tell their friend that they have spied something followed by the first letter of what they have spied. The area in question should also be clearly communicated to the friend so they know where to look with the drone.
After this point, the other player will get a period of time to handle the drone and search for the object which has been selected. If they fail to find the object within the given timeframe, the round will be repeated with another object, or they will get a turn to spy during the next round if they identify the object correctly. This can be modified in various ways to make it more enjoyable or practical for all players involved.
5. Drone Navigator
Since GPS is used when flying most drones, it can be great to use locations and routes as a fun way to play a game. This game is more suited for older enthusiasts for several reasons, and can be played in groups with teams or in pairs, depending on the number of drones available. All that is needed for this game is a target location nearby, drones that are efficient in GPS functionality, and smartphones with GPS maps for each team or pair.
The players will identify the target location – of course, a location that will not cause trouble such as business locations or private property. Other rules should be decided based on the area but should always consider the safety and security of others in the area, as well as what landmarks should be avoided during travel for safeguarding the drones, which is why it’s best suited for older enthusiasts.
After this, each team will get a short period of time to find the location on their smartphone and survey the route according to the rules and safety, but the person handling the drone will not get to see the route. It is the team or partner’s job to study the route in depth and prepare the route on their smartphone.
Those handling the drone will launch them from the same point, with each team communicating directions and landmarks as best as possible. The pair or team’s drone that reaches the destination first will win, and the game can be adapted to be more or less challenging according to the area. This game focuses on communication and teamwork, and is a great option for older teens or young adults in groups of friends or pairs.
There are plenty of games to consider with a drone, and many traditional games may be adapted to make it suitable for drone games as well. Use your creativity and imagination, as there is essentially an endless list of possibilities when having fun and playing games with drones. But, always put safety and security above anything else, and always ensure that you choose a harmless and protected environment for your drone adventures and memories.