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DJI Waypoints (Explained for Beginners)

DJI Waypoints (Explained for Beginners)

It does not matter if you are a professional pilot or a hobbyist, sometimes you might need to do an impeccable flight to achieve certain results, the like of which can only be achieved with a programmed flight plan. 

DJI Waypoints allows you to set a flight based on two or more points that you can configure in several ways. Once the path has been planned and set, your drone will fly it while you control the camera and its orientation. When you are done with a flight path, you can save it to use some other time. 

This is a great tool for audiovisual work that requires complex shots that, if not automated, would be impossible without employing a very skilled pilot. Moreover, with Waypoints, you can execute missions for tasks that need great precision, such as aerial mapping. 

Therefore, let’s look into what Waypoints is, how to set it up, what we can do with it, among other aspects of this great tool. 

What is Waypoints?

DJI drones that employ the DJI Go app to fly have access to several options regarding intelligent flights, as the Chinese company calls them. One of these flight modes is called Waypoints.

With this useful feature, we can create missions in which the aircraft will fly autonomously by traveling between established waypoints. Here is a list of things you can do with this intelligent flight mode:

  • Set up a mission while your drone is still on the ground.
  • Establish the waypoints on a satellite map, and the drone will fly through them autonomously.
  • Tweak various parameters, such as speed, altitude, direction, gimbal, and camera configuration. 
  • Fix the camera frame on a subject while the drone flies using Point of Interest (POI).
  • Command the drone to take photos or videos from a certain spot. 
  • Easily have a look at the mission information.
  • Store and load missions to repeat the task exactly in the same way. 
  • Fly the mission automatically, even if your controller loses connection.

Waypoints is one of the most loved intelligent flight modes by DJI customers. With DJI Mobile SDK 4.12, Waypoints 2.0 was introduced, which greatly improved some of the features that the first version offered. Below is a list of the improvements:

Improved EfficiencyIncreased FlexibilityMore Integration Options
The number of waypoints was increased to 65535.


Version 2.0 allows you to set multiple waypoints and other kinds of coordinated turns.
Allows you to arrange multiple points of interest (instead of just one) and also set different headings. Offers support of third-party load-based PSDK, which enables the development of applications with mounted payloads. 
You can now run parallel actions.


You can configure different speeds in your drone.
Includes more options to perform actions, giving you greater control over the zoom or the gimbal.Included in the Mobile Software Development Kit (SDK) and Onboard SDK, which is specifically designed for Linux users. 

As you may have guessed, setting up waypoint missions is pretty straightforward once you have done it a couple of times. Knowing how to perfectly set them for the task at hand will be crucial to obtaining great results, so you should try some practice missions to see how it works. 

How to set up and use Waypoints on a DJI drone

As previously stated, Waypoints is an intelligent flight mode for DJI drones that allows you to create missions. To set up one of these programmed flights, simply follow these steps.

  1. Power on the drone and connect your device to the remote controller
  2. Open the DJI Go app and tap ‘Enter Camera View‘ to connect to the drone.
  3. Launch the aircraft in P-GPS mode and toggle the switch to F-Mode.
  4. When asked if you want to enable multiple flight modes, select ‘ok’.
  5. Choose Waypoints mode.
  6. Select whether you want to start a new mission or load a new one.
  7. When you select ‘new mission‘, the app will ask you to start recording waypoints.
  8. Select the maximum radius and the maximum path length
  9. Record the real-time location of the drone by flying the drone to the first waypoint and tapping ‘Record.’ 
  10. Fly the drone to the next waypoint in the same way. Keep in mind that it has to be more than 16 ft (5 m) away from the previous waypoint. 
  11. Set an appropriate speed for the mission. 
  12. When you have set the waypoints, tap ‘done‘. 
  13. Fly the aircraft to the first waypoint that you set before starting the mission.  
  14. Choose between the three available modes; consistent with record, consistent with routine, and free.
  15. Select what the aircraft will do when the flight mission is completed (Return-to-Home or Hover)
  16. Select the speed at which the drone will fly in the mission. 
  17. Select the Return-to-Home altitude (look at the surroundings to set it up properly).
  18. When the mission is over, use the flight mode switch to exit the intelligent flight mode. 

Now that you know what Waypoints is and how to use it, you may be wondering what are the applications of this particular intelligent flight mode. However, let me first tell you the most important limitations:

  • This flight mode is limited to a radius of 1640 feet (500 m). 
  • You can use a maximum of 65535 waypoints (that should be more than enough).
  • The total distance of the mission cannot exceed 3.1 mi (5 km).

What can I do with Waypoints?

We have covered all the basics about Waypoints, so it is now time to learn what the most common uses of this useful intelligent flight mode are. 

Despite what many think, Waypoints is not just an easy-to-use toy for beginners. It can also be a great tool for professionals looking for a precise flight or a way to be able to perform the same task over and over again with consistency. 

Example Scenario: Hired to monitor a structure under construction

Waypoints have many applications. For instance, you might have been hired by a construction company to monitor the new structure they are building. It is going to take at least one year to be finished, and they want you to go there every month and take a few pictures. However, this structure is too tall for you to capture the whole area, as your sight is blocked. 

How can Waypoints help you in this scenario? It is simple – you can plan a mission in which the drone will fly a square around the structure. Program it to take pictures or record video in certain parts of the mission. Job done! 

Why is this different from flying in a manual manner? Well, when you fly manually, it does not matter how good you are as a pilot, you cannot just make two flights exactly the same. With Waypoints, you ensure the client that you will offer the exact same photo (or video) no matter the space of time in between takes. 

This is very useful for construction companies, as this way they can easily track if they are on or behind the schedule, see if there are any safety irregularities, etc. 

Audiovisual shootings

An obvious application for Waypoints is for audiovisual recordings. As mentioned earlier, no two manual flights will be exactly the same, and, in certain situations, you might need to do just that. 

For example, think for a minute that you are recording footage of the Manhattan skyline. You are halfway through, and all of a sudden it starts raining, forcing you to cancel the operation for some other day, as you had to shoot in the golden hour and now it’s already too dark.   

With Waypoints, you can repeat the exact same shots that you planned for the previous day of shooting. The altitude, speed, gimbal configuration, etc. will all be identical. Of course, you can’t choose what the weather will be like the next day you go to the location, but your flight mission will be under control thanks to Waypoints. 


Finding a location for a timelapse can be tricky. It needs to be a stunning place, but also entertaining enough for us to stare at it for a long period without getting bored. 

We cannot help you find the perfect place to record a timelapse, but once you have found it, Waypoints can make it stand out. Most drone fly apps nowadays come with some sort of timelapse option, but the majority of them are pretty basic. 

As Waypoints offers so many ways to configure your mission, you can create a timelapse where you zoom, change the gimbal configuration, move sideways, up, and down… there are so many options! 


Last weekend I was doing some photogrammetry with a couple of friends and, for some reason, we all found ourselves unable to use our flight planning software. We were there in front of a beautiful 11th century castle, but could not start our drone mission. It was heartbreaking! 

If you are in this position, you can use Waypoints as an alternative. Specific photogrammetry software should do a more professional level job, indeed, but in certain cases, as when you just need to do a quick mapping to create a proper flight plan for later on, the DJI intelligent flight mode should help you save the day. 

Customized Quickshots

Another way to take advantage of Waypoints is to use them to create customized versions of some of the other DJI intelligent flight modes, like those included in DJI Fly, known as Quickshots. 

For instance, instead of just doing an orbital flight, as the Quickshot does (or the Point of Interest version in the DJI Go app) we can use Waypoints to set an orbital flight but instead getting farther and farther away as the drone orbits around the point of interest. 

This would result in a stunning orbital flight speeded up, and with a personal touch! Taking the orbital Quickshot intelligent flight as a reference, once again, we could program an orbital flight that would end in a zenithal framing. Beautiful!

However, it is evident that we can use not only the orbital flight as a reference. The Rocket Quickshot simply focuses on the subject while the drone takes off or elevates itself. For instance, with Waypoints we could make the drone start from a zenithal point of view while it rises and yaws to any side. This would generate a strange or even dizzy effect. 

Are you thinking about any other options already? Good!

Which DJI drones have Waypoints?

We have seen how easy it is to use Waypoints, and the differences it can make in some situations. 

Unfortunately, not all DJI drones support this intelligent flight mode. Below is a list of those that include this feature:

  • DJI Inspire 1
  • Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom
  • Mavic Pro
  • All Phantom 4 drones
  • All Phantom 3 drones

In case you are wondering, here’s a list of drones that do not support Waypoints:

  • DJI Inspire 2
  • DJI Mini 2
  • DJI Mavic Mini
  • DJI Spark
  • DJI Mavic Air
  • DJI Mavic Air 2
  • DJI Mavic Air 2S
  • DJI Matrice Series
  • DJI Spreading Wing Series

Alternatives to DJI Waypoints 

Even if you love Waypoints by DJI, having options is always nice, so maybe you should try some of the alternatives that we can find in Google Play and the Apple Store. 

If you own any of the drones that do not support Waypoints, don’t worry about it, there are a few brilliant options, including one from DJI themselves. 

DJI Ground Station Pro

One of the best alternatives to Waypoints is DJI Ground Station Pro. With this app, available only in the Apple Store for iPads, you can do everything we have covered already and much more. 

Let us have a look at some of the main features.

  • Automated flight missions with more options. 
  • Flight data management in the cloud: Gives your missions better accuracy and higher reliability.
  • Fleet and pilot management: Create teams to have the missions properly coordinated. 
  • Project management: Make your operations more efficient with the option to select between project manager and operator. 
  • Adjust the 3D mapping area: Better tools to adjust the designated area of the operative. 
  • 3D Map Point of Interest (POI): Create 3D models of tall structures by selecting the distance between the drone and the object. The drone will fly autonomously around it.
  • Tap and Go Waypoint Flight: Fly your drone to the selected waypoint simply by tapping the destination.
  • Virtual Fence: Protect the safety of your drone and those around the operation by creating a fence. Especially useful near no-fly zones.

You already know that no app can be used by all aircraft (unfortunately), so these are the only drones supported by DJI GS Pro:

  • Matrice series
  • Inspire series
  • Phantom series
  • Mavic 2 Enterprise
  • Mavic 2 Pro
  • Mavic 2 Zoom
  • Mavic Pro
  • Zenmuse camera series


The most popular paid app that allows you to create waypoint missions (among other things) is Litchi. With 4,000 daily flights, as claimed on their website, this tool is available for both Android and Apple devices for $25 and $23, respectively.  

Litchi has an amazing set of features, so let’s have a look at them:

  • FPV mode: The app allows us to fly the drone manually.
  • Litchi Vue Streaming: Want to stream your drone videos? This is what Litchi Vue does; it sends the footage to a second mobile device using a Wi-Fi connection. Only available on iOS right now. 
  • Waypoints: The subject of this article. You should already know what it means, don’t you? That’s right, you can create missions based on waypoints that the drone will fly from and to automatically. It comes with a ton of options. 
  • Mission hub: This lets you create mission plans from a desktop or laptop computer (PC and Mac). With Visual Mission Planning, you can even use Google Earth’s 3D view to fully immerse yourself in your next creation. Some dreams do come true! 
  • Follow: This mode is similar to DJI’s Follow Me mode. Selecting the follow mode allows the drone to follow a subject based on movement. 
  • Orbit: The same as Point of Interest in Waypoints. The drone travels around a subject.
  • Virtual Reality: With this feature, you can immerse yourself in your video, as the footage will appear just in front of your eyes. 
  • Focus: Keep a subject in focus while flying manually. Very useful.
  • Panorama: Shoot three types of panoramic photos; vertical, horizontal, and spherical.
  • Track: With state-of-the-art computer vision algorithms, you can track moving objects, such as drones, and choose whether your aircraft follows them manually, automatically, or orbit them. 

Here is a list of the drones supported by Litchi:

  • Mavic Mini 2
  • Mavic Air 2
  • Mavic 2 Zoom
  • Mavic 2 Pro
  • Phantom 4 Standard
  • Phantom 4 Advanced
  • Phantom 4 Pro
  • Phantom 4 Pro V2
  • Phantom 3 Standard
  • Phantom 3 4K
  • Phantom 3 Advanced
  • Phantom 3 Professional
  • Inspire 1
  • Inspire 2
  • Spark

To learn more about Litchi and how it compares to the DJI GO 4 app and Autopilot, check out our article here »

As we have seen today, Waypoints is a fantastic intelligent fly mode supported by some DJI drones. However, users with unsupported drones can find a great alternative in the Litchi app, so there is an option for almost everyone.

This is all for today from me, but if you are still hungry for more, don’t forget to keep browsing Droneblog.