Lift Off lies! 😭 (aka - 'When is a sim not a sim?')

Don’t get me wrong - I’ve loved playing Lift Off… a lot. And it undoubtedly helped getting the feel for things - particularly when linked up and played through the googles.

(Like… a lot of time! :face_with_peeking_eye:)

But I’ve come to the conclusion that it is just that… more akin to playing a game than a sim. It’s waaaay too forgiving, which makes it a lot less frustrating for sure, but then makes me question how much your fingers are actually learning. I feel quite god-like in Lift Off sometimes (!) :grin: … then, go to the field and it’s still all super fast, super scary and completely full on. Adrenaline rushes and jelly legs / fingers aside, it’s still a very different control experience from that of Lift Off.

Remembered last night I paid a fiver for ‘FPV Freerider’ ages ago and it’s been sitting untouched in my Steam account. (I now ironically seem to remember having a few goes and binning it for being stupidly difficult!)

Much simpler landscapes / arenas than Lift Off but… OMG - it’s a lot more ‘real’ feeling! ie - it’s bonkers difficult in full acro with high rates… but hey - so is real FPV. :slightly_smiling_face:

Will be getting some stick time on this one now for sure - even though it makes me feel a lot less god-like than Lift Off.

Any other favourite sims that are more sim like than game like?


I found the same thing with LiftOff - I’ve not flown an FPV drone yet but wanted to get a feel for it ahead of buying in everything so got a TBS Tango 2, plugged it in and have been trying to practice.

The first game/sim I tried was “TRYP FPV” on steam, it was very difficult but I’m getting ok at it. Then I tried both LiftOff and Velocidrone and by comparison (having no real world experience) they both feel fake as heck.

TRYP models the physics, and especially the throttle, in a way that actually makes sense to me, but both the other two do not make any kind of physics-sense to me. I suspect you could achieve a similar feel by messing with rates, but again, I don’t know enough to know what is right so I don’t want to get into changing those until I know what’s the most realistic sim.

Will definitely try FPV FreeRider later on though and if I remember, try give you a comparison to the above 3 in case you want to branch out some more! :slight_smile:

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Definitely interested in hearing how you think the two compare :+1:

As mentioned, I’d actually completely forgotten I’d got Freerider, then had vaaaaague memories of trying it and going… yeah, well that’s crap. (ie… I couldn’t do it at all :joy:)

I learnt on freerider with the goggles hooked up. I made myself do it for a few hours non stop. Felt pretty sick after.

But I rarely touch a sim now. The lag is just too noticeable in my computer.

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Velocidrone feels a lot more realistic to me than Lift Off - at least in the sense that everything happens very quickly and you need faster responses vs Lift Off which is quite floaty and seems to give you lots of time to deal with things.

I also enjoy ‘AI Drone Sim’ and 'Uncrashed" (both on Steam). I’ve not used either for a couple of months so I can’t remember which is which now, but I recall them both feeling more realistic than Lift Off.

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Any other favourite sims that are more sim like than game like?

FreeRider Recharged is quite good. £10 - Will quite a few different map made by users.
It even does analogue camera noise. Not my best flying, but an example clip just recorded.

OMG - it’s a lot more ‘real’ feeling! ie - it’s bonkers difficult in full acro with high rates

Is that with the “Snappy 1” setting (under custom setting)


Oh that looks really sweet - and I’m liking the controls so will give that a go. The only thing with the first one is the somewhat limited scenery so that looks like a good step forward.

Umm… Snappy 1… ?! :man_facepalming: Gonna have to go find that now too :grin:

A guy on a different forum put up all his custom levels for Freerider Recharged. Here’s the link. Open Air Cafe is one of my favourites.

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theres TRYP FPV

Yeh, I tried FPV Freerider Recharged tonight. It feels much less “arcade” than Lift Off - my biggest problem with the race modes is constantly having to stop to find the next waypoint / memorising courses :smiley:

Of the 4 I’ve tried, TRYP FPV is definitely my favourite for physics and probably for graphics also, though if you want realistic goggle views I think that’s something that the others do better. The biggest downside of TRYP is the price and lack of content; if they added community support / steam workshop for people to create their own tracks, even on the 4 maps they’ve provided, it’d be a no-brainer.

Ive not used any of the above sims.
But ive got ACCUrc
Which ive used for helis and planks.
Very good sim.
They also have now included drones but not tried so dont know how realistic the flight characteristics are.
Now on steam aswell

Oh that’s super cool - thanks for sharing. I’ll be grabbing those. :grinning:

I paid the grand sum of £8.79 for Freerider Recharged last night. Same nice / scary feel to it and expanded range of scenes. Will definitely look at those BrettLevels later :+1:

Did you get it from or Steam?

To get the Linux version, you have to use Itch. But I think the Mac version can be done via Steam. I didn’t play it for a good long time, but went back and with high rates was able to fly around the desert map and do a ton of tricks. I used OpenAirCafe to learn to dive. The whole snap roll to look down and dive. That level got me to the point I could do it IRL. Also I used it to learn to Matty prior to doing it IRL.

The thing Liftoff is good for is customisation and on some level different sizes. I fly the 3" Armattan frame on Liftoff with lower powered motors and it feels completely different to flying a 5". It’s definitely not the same as my 2.5" Flea build, but it’s not completely different either. You should be using whichever sim you like to get the muscle memory, so you know how to move your thumbs/fingers. Or just to fly when you can’t. It’s just stick time, nothing more. I like Liftoff, but only play Hangar or Pit, sometimes Bando City. i don’t use it for race practice and I can’t fly proximity to save my life (in real life or sim). All my vids I post are open area for a reason. :wink:

If you don’t get on with Liftoff, try Liftoff Micro. It’s a different beast. more whoopy, less stupid amounts of power. So far all I play on it are the OSHA level and Sealand Level. On the others I just spend all my time crashing into walls and objects. I wish I had the skill Carlos shows in his IGOW and Bando videos for proximity flying, but it’s not my forte.

I only have Liftoff (Full and Micro) and Freerider (Recharged and Classic) sims. I originally only got Liftoff Micro, as Whoops were all I was flying at the time.

But yes, it’s just muscle memory and not worrying about the financial repercussions of doing stuff IRL. But when you do try them for real, it’s definitely seat of your pants level. Especially if you can’t afford to be replacing things on a regular basis. :stuck_out_tongue:

More resources for Freerider including a bunch of custom level maps. if you have specific issues, look on there first as someone else may have had it and found a solution.

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Main Menu, custom setting. I’m off to try and find custom setting to match first drone.

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Had a few goes with Freerider Recharged. Really cool, I’m finding it much harder (and hopefully therefore more realistic!)

I downloaded the BrettLevels which look super cool. Not sorted installing them on a Mac. I installed FR via Steam, works fine. But following the common instructions for adding custom levels doesn’t seem to work as described. (I copied the files to the /content folder but nothing changes in-game.

I also don’t appear to have the ‘Custom Levels’ button / option which others do. :thinking:

Will keep tweaking later and see what happens…

Ha! Sorted - easy, but not intuitive.

This may help someone else in the future… :slightly_smiling_face:

Welcome to the Open Air Cafe… time for a rip.


Personally I find Freerider more unforgiving than real life (and therefore not very accurate).
The closest to real life (for me) is velocidrone, I also like uncrashed. TRYP is pretty DRL has huuuge maps and models prop wash really well. Also worth a look especially as it’s free is the orqa sim FPV.skydive which has smaller maps and is also available on mobile devises.

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FreeRider Recharged is a bit samey after a while.

FPV.SkyDive is unplayable on Steam Linux is unplayable (lag lag lag).

Liftoff on Steam on Linux is quite good. Worth the £17, so far. Rates can be changed to reflect betaflight and I can load a copy of a blueprint which is similar to my drones. Worth it for the rainy months ahead.

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Really enjoying Tryp the most lately


Oooh - not tried TRYP… looks really sweet. Just downloading on Steam now - will have a play later. :grin:

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