LiftOff is a FPV racing simulator which is developed by LugasStudios in coöperation with ImmercionRC and Fat Shark which are both well-known brands on the FPV market.
There are many RC simulation games but a pretty new one is LiftOff.
At the time writing you can buy an early access copy for 19,99 euro on Steam.
Early access means the game is still in active development and not finished yet. The developers say the retail version will cost around 30 euro so you basically get a 10 euro discount to help testing the game.
The goal of the game is to give people an inside look to the world of first person view drone racing but also to give people who already own a quadcopter a way to practise on a computer using their own transmitter.
There are 6 maps in the game and each map has a default track in-game. You can also make your own map and download tracks from other people so the possibilities are endless.
Connecting your transmitter to LiftOff
You can connect serval transmitters to the game but some may require a simulation cable like this one from Banggood.
My own transmitter, a FlySky i6, works perfectly with LiftOff and the simulation cable from Banggood.
I only had to calibrate the transmitter inside the game to get it to work.
I only use free flight mode at the moment but you could also take part in a single player or multiplayer race.
If that isn’t enough or the default tracks are not challenging enough you can also start building your own tracks with the track editor.
There is also a large community of people building and sharing their own made tracks which you can download and import into the game.
That basically means there is plenty to do inside LiftOff and you should never get bored! Because the game is still in development this could only improve in the future which makes it definitely worth keeping an eye out for this game.
Beside flying you can also put your quadcopter on the working bench. Here you can pick the motors, propellers, battery and adjust the angle of the FPV camera the way you like it. That also gives you the opportunity to get as close as possible to your real world setup and yes, this part of the game is still under development too. 😉
Last but not least there is also the possibility to tune the PID settings. That means you can get even closer to your real world setup.
I must admit that improvements are needed here because they’re not anywhere near the real world settings.
If you don’t know how to tune your PID settings you can take a look at the Steam community. LiftOff has a pretty active community where you can find PID settings but also ask questions how to improve your skills or give comment to help improve the game.
Graphics and performance
The graphics of the game aren’t the best but that isn’t really important for a game like this. It is important that the game has high FPS and is running smooth without lag or hiccups. A real FPV setup doesn’t have the best video stream either but a short loss of the signal, distortion in the image or lag could result in a fatal crash.
Nice detail by the way, the game sort of simulates the distortion you could get in real life, although I see it more as a gimmick and not as a feature.
The game itself acts fast and runs stable on my Windows 8.1 desktop and Windows 10 laptop. On both machines I didn’t experience any weird behaviour or lockups.
I did had to drop the settings to low on my laptop though but it’s a 5-year-old Sandy Bridge laptop without dedicated video card.
After some PID tuning and loads of practise the game feels really good and quite realistic although the gravity could be a bit stronger.
That makes the game a real good practise without wasting props or getting damage to your gear. Or…when you live in a country like the Netherlands the weather doesn’t allow you to go out, not even in summer! 🙁
It is even possible to connect some FPV goggles to your PC and use it in-game. I don’t have any experience with this myself because my Quanum Cyclops don’t support this feature but the possibilities are almost endless! People are also asking LugasStudios to launch a USB transmitter which would make it really easy to hook up any FPV goggles.
Because the coöperation with FatShark and ImmersionRC that wouldn’t even be a strange thought to release a device like that.
LiftOff is already a pretty good game/flight simulator for FPV racing quads but there is still a lot of work to do.
The handling of the quads in-game is pretty good and after some PID tuning the game can feel quite realistic but the developers are not there yet.
Gravity could be a bit stronger because the quads now have the feeling to free fall forever.
Some more tuning opportunities would be nice as well because equipment you can choose at the moment is quite limited.
I’d also like to see the PID tuning being more realistic. If you play arround with the PID settings you could get them to work quite well but the settings are far from the settings you would use in Cleanflight.
For now this game is quite good and I haven’t found any better game to practise FPV flying.
Compared to other FPV games LiftOff is quite expensive but with a dedicated studio behind it, the coöperation with 2 major RC manufactures and releasing it on Steam this game has a high potential for being a succes. People who never flew a quadcopter can step into the world of FPV racing without spending hundreds of euro’s for gear and those who already own a quadcopter can practise quite realistic without breaking stuff.
The graphics aren’t bad but they could be better. But smooth gameplay is way more important than fancy graphics and it does run smooth for sure, even on older hardware.
If you are looking for a FPV game to practise this is one of the better games I have played so far.
Go get it for 19,99 while you can because after the official release the price will rise with about 10 euro!
- Building your own tracks
- Coöperation with 2 big players on the RC market
- Easy to connect an RC transmitter or gamepad
- Frequent updates
- Large community
- Gravity could be improved
- Graphics could be improved
- Limited tuning options
- PID tuning could be more realistic
- The game isn’t finished yet