Are you looking for a drone simulator to add to your collection? In this article, I will evaluate one of the simulators that has been around for some time, the DroneSimPro Simulator, and whether it’s worth your time and money.
But before we go into the technical details, what is the DroneSimpro Flight Simulator?
DroneSimPro is an easy-to-use drone simulator designed to emulate a real drone’s flight and the physics behind it. It was released in 2016, and has barely been updated since, and offers limited flight scenarios and drone models. However, it is still a good way to practice flying a drone.
Let’s get into more about this simulator and how to get the most out of it.
DroneSimPro is a drone simulator built by experts and stakeholders in the drone industry such as training institutions, robotics companies, and software companies. This drone flight simulator is designed to emulate real drones and the forces that they are designed to face in the world, making it suitable for people who have used other simulators or real drones, as well as those looking for their first simulator.
DroneSimPro Flight Simulator Review
Now let’s get into an honest review of the program after playing with it for a while.
Setup and cost
DroneSimPro is one of the easiest flight simulators to set up. All you need to do is access their official website, access the shop, and access the program. You can access the simulator on the homepage by scrolling down to where they detail what the simulator offers.
Now, there are two ways you can access this simulator. You can get the demo, which is free, or get the paid version, which normally costs $29.99. However, when I purchased it, the price was at a promotional rate of $9.99.
Whichever package you choose, you’ll be prompted to create an account, and they’ll send the download link to your email.
I chose the paid version, and below is what the process looks like.
After purchasing, the download links will be sent to your email, but you can also access them on your DroneSimPro Account as shown in the image above.
Once you download the Zip file and open it, it will automatically launch the setup process, which only takes a few minutes.
In the email, you also get the License activation code, which you’ll enter in the screen that appears after a successful installation.
And now you’re ready to fly.
Design and scenarios
DroneSimPro features an excellent design and drone flight physics. As you can see below in one of the scenarios, the open field, the grass, the sky, and the drone itself look quite realistic.
When you fly your drone too far, you will barely see it, which you can compensate for with the drone view, also known as FPV view.
Besides the Open field, the DroneSimPro only has two other scenarios.
The obstacle course:
The single-family home where you are supposed to survey the home and find the source of the fire:
While they state that there will be more drones, currently you can only fly one drone in the simulator, the Phantom 4. That’s quite limiting, don’t you think?
As stated on their FAQs page, most standard Gamepad controllers will work with the simulator. These include:
- Xbox One
- Xbox 360 standard and Gamestop Brand
- PlayStation 3
I’ve tested the Xbox One controller and it works. DroneSimPro also lists a bunch of other controllers that theoretically could work with their simulator, though they’ve not tested them.
If you don’t have a controller, you can still enjoy basic drone flight using your computer’s keyboard.
The Flying Experience
This simulator makes flying a drone as easy as it can be. There are no levels to complete. All you do is choose a scenario, and fly.
You will be asked to follow a path in the Obstacle Module, or find the fire point in the Single Family House module, but most of the flight experience can be freestyle if you choose to.
DroneSimPro Flight Simulator Review – Pros and Cons
Below are my takes on this simulator.
What I Liked
- It looks realistic – As mentioned earlier, the grass, the drone itself, the crashing if you encounter an obstacle, the beyond line-of-sight notification, telemetry, and most of the areas in the simulator look realistic.
- It’s Relatively Cheap – Going for $29.99 (or $9.99 when there’s a special offer), the DroneSimPro costs less than some high-end simulators.
- Easy To Fly – While some simulators will make you start the drone, switch it off, or make you complete various levels, the DroneSimPro takes a plug-and-play approach. As long as you know the basic controls of a drone, you’ll be good to go.
- Drone View and Pilot View – Just like with an actual drone, you can choose to view the drone manually, or through the drone’s camera. Switching between the two is also quite easy.
- It’s Light – Some simulators can be too “heavy” for a standard computer due to the graphics and all that goes into powering the game. But if you’ve not invested in a powerful computer, the DroneSimPro shouldn’t have a problem running on just about any computer.
What I Didn’t Like
- Very few scenarios – For at least $9.99, I believe the simulator could use more scenarios. On their services page, they do state that you can order custom-built scenarios, but that will come at an extra cost.
- It’s not challenging enough – While being easy-to-fly is great when learning, there should be more challenges in the simulator. I mean, there isn’t much you can do with the simulator, especially if you’re an experienced pilot. Even a beginner will easily be done will all the levels in a few hours.
- It’s Not Regularly Updated – DroneSimPro was released in 2016. It may have looked challenging then, but more drones and more simulators have been released. It looks like they have never updated this simulator since on the FAQ page they state they should have released more drones and scenarios in 2016, which they didn’t.
Alternatives to DroneSimPro
Since it was launched in 2016, 6 years is a long time in the drone world. It may be great to have an outdated simulator to see how the tech was a few years ago, but if you’re looking for a better simulator that will challenge you, below are great some alternatives.
Now, this is one’s one of my favorite simulators. For starters, it’s cheaper, since it costs less than $5 when purchasing it for your PC and less than $20 when purchasing it for your PlayStation.
Secondly, the DRL has some of the best and most realistic graphics.
From shipyards, and Air Force boneyards, to campgrounds, you have more than 10 different scenarios to fly in, and you can even build a scenario. You also get to customize your drone, fly in different race tracks, and even try out for the actual Drone Racing League within the simulator.
Unlike the DroneSimPro, this is a recent simulator with regular updates, and a tutorial on how to fly a drone.
ORQA FPV Skydive
After learning how to fly a drone from a simulator like DroneSimPro or DRL, you should try the ORQA FPV Skydive simulator. It may be free (which is great if you’re not ready to pay for a simulator), but it’s quite challenging and needs a user with some drone flight experience.
Being an FPV simulator, it’s quite fast and only provides a drone view. You don’t an option to view the drone through pilot view.
Luckily, there’s a training module you can go through before attempting any real flight. Some of the scenarios you can fly in include a construction zone, a stadium, and a red valley.
Get the ORQA FPV Skydive here.
Zephyr Drone Simulator
If you’d like to learn everything about flying a drone, from controls to drone laws, then Zephyr Drone Simulator would be a great choice. Rather than offering it as a complete package, Little Arms studios provides the various courses in packages with varying prices.
But there’s a tutorial, 3 scenarios, and at least 10 drones which you can test for free. They also provide courses for kids, and for specific industrial applications, such as inspections.
The DroneSimPro may not offer what some simulators like the DRL, ORQA Skydive, or Zephyr may offer, but I’d still consider it. Like with video games, you will eventually get tired of the simulator you’re already using and it doesn’t hurt to add another one to that collection.
I have about 5 simulators on my computer and keep skipping from one to another to make sure I don’t get bored with one.
droneSim Pro | Drone Simulator for UAS Pilots (link)