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Best Follow Me Drones in 2024 (Ultimate Guide and tutorial)

Updated in 2024 by Paul Posea
best-follow-me-drones-and-how-does-it-work

Finding the right follow-me drone can be a real headache. With so many options, it's tough to know which one will suit your needs, whether it's for capturing your outdoor adventures or just for the fun of flying.

In this article, we're going to look at the best follow-me drones and see how they do in real-life situations. I've flown these drones in all sorts of places – through thick woods and over rocky hills – so I know what works and what doesn't.

I'll share those experiences to help you choose easily based on your specific needs, cutting down on your time and guesswork. Let's find the drone that's just right for your adventures!

What is follow-me mode?

Before we get to the crux of this post, let’s take a moment to really understand what the follow-me feature is all about.

The follow-me mode in drones refers to the in-flight mode that allows you to set your drone to follow you (or another object). As a result, the drone keeps the tracked object center-of-shot without manual control from the pilot.

This mode works by autonomously tracking a subject either through GPS or image processing and keeping a fixed distance from it while it’s moving.

In more advanced quadcopters, this can include complex flight modes or even detecting what kind of object you’re tracking and using obstacle avoidance as a safety feature during the flight.

How does follow me work in a drone?

A drone that follows you can work in 2 different ways depending on the technology and price you paid for it:

  1. GPS tracking and following - follow the ground station controller or your phone at a certain distance while trying to keep it in frame (found in cheaper drones, not as accurate)
  2. Vision Recognition tech - found in more advanced drones, this can detect subjects in the image and make real-time calculations with the data it collects from the image and sensors, which is then transmitted to the processor.

Comparison Table 

Here are my favorite follow-me drones compared in a table (in no particular order).

FeatureSkydio 2+DJI Mini 4 ProMavic 3 ProAutel Evo 2 ProSimrex X20
JJRC X5 Epik 
Range6 km18 km15 km9 km0.5 km0.5 km
Battery Life27 min34 min43 min40 min25 min16 min
Camera4K/60p 4K/60p5.1K6k4K 1080p
Follow Me ModeAdvanced autonomous trackingGPS tracking and vision recognitionAdvanced autonomous trackingGPS tracking and vision recognitionGPS trackingGPS Follow Me
PriceCheck Out PriceCheck Out PriceCheck Out PriceCheck Out PriceCheck Out PriceCheck Out Price
best-drones-podium-arm

Best Follow Me Drones in 2024

In this first section we'll go through some of the best drones with the ability to track a subject and after that we'll go a bit more in detail on how follow me actually works.

1.Skydio 2+ - Best follow me drone for sports

camera-icon-spec

4k

battery-icon-spec

27 min

range-icon-spec

6 km

drone-icon-spec

360º Obstacle Avoidance

skydio drone small

The Skydio 2+ marks a significant leap from its predecessor, the Skydio 2, which debuted in 2019. This updated model focuses on enhancing user experience with extended battery life and an increased range. 

Designed for simplicity and efficiency, the Skydio 2+ caters to both seasoned filmmakers and hobbyists. Its standout feature is the 360º obstacle avoidance technology, a marvel inspired by self-driving vehicle technology. 

This feature ensures safe and smooth navigation, even in complex environments.

The drone's autonomous capabilities are a game-changer for those seeking aerial shots without intensive piloting skills. It's particularly adept at capturing dynamic, high-action sequences, making it a favorite for sports and adventure filming.

A D V A N T A G E S

  • Superior obstacle detection and avoidance.
  • Advanced subject tracking
  • Cinematic Keyframe feature.
  • Good flight time and range.

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • Camera quality could be better.
  • Not suitable for night or over-water use.
  • Noticeably noisy during operation.

Features 

360º Obstacle Avoidance: Empowers the drone to autonomously navigate through challenging environments, like weaving through a dense forest, without any collisions.

Autonomous Subject Tracking: Ideal for capturing fast-paced activities, such as following a cyclist on a winding trail, ensuring the subject remains in focus.

Keyframe Cinematic Flight-Plan Mode: You can pre-plan a flight path for complex shooting scenarios, like smoothly gliding around a historical monument to capture every angle.

High-Quality Video Capture: With 4K/60p HDR video capabilities, it's perfect for recording high-speed sports or wildlife in crisp, clear detail.

Extended Flight Time and Range: Offers a 27-minute flight time and up to 6km range, great for lengthy shoots like covering a large festival or a sprawling natural landscape.

2.DJI Mini 4 Pro - Best Follow me drone for the price

camera-icon-spec

4k

battery-icon-spec

34 min

range-icon-spec

18 km

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Easy to Carry

dji mini 4 pro

The DJI Mini 4 Pro is a small but mighty drone. It's super light, weighing less than 250g, which is great because it means fewer rules to worry about in many places. 

This makes it perfect for travel photographers or anyone new to flying drones. It's so light and small, you can easily fit it in your camera bag.

Despite its size, the Mini 4 Pro is packed with cool features. It has a powerful camera that can take really sharp photos and videos, just like a good smartphone camera. It's designed for people who want to take amazing aerial shots without carrying a big, heavy drone.

A D V A N T A G E S

  • Great camera for its size.
  • Can fly safely with obstacle detection.
  • Super portable for travel.
  • Has cool video modes for creative shots.

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • Not the best in very low light.
  • Sometimes the drone can be too careful in avoiding things.

Features 

High-Quality 4k Camera: The Mini 4 Pro has a camera similar to those in top-notch phones. It's great for taking clear and detailed pictures from the sky.

Different Shooting Options: You can take photos in 12 or 48MP, shoot videos in super high quality, and even take vertical videos for social media. This is perfect for getting creative with your shots.

Avoids Obstacles from All Sides: The drone can see and avoid things from every direction. This is really helpful when you're flying in places with lots of obstacles, like a forest or a city.

Light and Easy to Carry: Because it's so light and small, it's easy to take with you on trips. It's great for photographers who want to quickly grab cool shots.

Strong Connection: The drone stays connected really well, even when you're flying in tricky areas. This means you can fly it confidently, knowing it won't lose its signal.

Extended Flight Time and Range: The Mini 4 Pro offers up to 34 minutes of flight time, with an option for a larger battery extending it to 45 minutes. Its 18 km range is impressive, providing a solid connection over long distances and ensuring reliable control.

ALSO READ: 

Top 7 Drones with Obstacle Avoidance

Best Fixed Wing drones (and their uses)

3. Mavic 3 - Best Pro camera drone

camera-icon-spec

5.1k

battery-icon-spec

43 min

range-icon-spec

15 km

drone-icon-spec

Triple-camera setup

dji-mavic-3-front-view

The DJI Mavic 3 Pro is a top-tier drone that's perfect for professional filmmakers, travel vloggers, and aerial photography enthusiasts. It's a serious upgrade from its predecessors, boasting a triple-camera setup that includes a midrange telephoto lens alongside wide and long telephoto lenses. 

This drone is all about high-end performance and versatility, making it a standout choice in the premium drone market.

Despite its advanced features, the Mavic 3 Pro maintains the classic Mavic folding design, making it portable and travel-friendly. It's a bit heavier and larger than some other models, but this contributes to its stability and flight performance. 

Whether you're a seasoned drone pilot or stepping up your game, the Mavic 3 Pro offers an impressive blend of power, flexibility, and creative potential.

A D V A N T A G E S

  • Exceptional camera quality and versatility.
  • Capable of capturing high-resolution 5.1K videos.
  • Reliable obstacle avoidance.
  • Good battery life

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • The three-camera system might be more than some users need.
  • Slightly heavier and larger

Features

Triple-Camera System: The Mavic 3 Pro features a 20MP Four Thirds main camera, a 70mm medium telephoto, and a 166 mm telephoto lens. This setup allows for incredible versatility in shooting, from wide landscapes to detailed close-ups.

High-Quality Video Capture: Capable of shooting up to 5.1K video, the drone is ideal for professional-grade film projects. Its advanced video capabilities are perfect for capturing everything from cinematic scenes to fast-paced action.

Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing: With sensors covering all directions, the Mavic 3 Pro can navigate safely around obstacles. This feature is especially useful in complex environments, ensuring smooth and secure flights.

Long Battery Life: Offering up to 43 minutes of flight time, the drone is well-suited for extended shooting sessions, allowing you to capture more footage without frequent landings.

Advanced Flight Modes: With multiple flight modes, including Sport, Normal, and Cine, the Mavic 3 Pro caters to various shooting requirements, from high-speed chases to smooth, cinematic movements.

4.  Autel Evo 2 Pro - DJI alternative that follows you

camera-icon-spec

6k

battery-icon-spec

40 min

range-icon-spec

9km

drone-icon-spec

Follow me

Autel-Evo-2-Pro

The Autel Evo 2 Pro is a high-end drone that stands out with its unique features and capabilities. Unlike many consumer drones that require a smartphone app, the Evo 2 Pro includes a color display in the controller itself, allowing you to fly, frame photos, and record video without needing an extra device. 

This drone is a bit larger than some of its competitors, with a bright orange finish that makes it highly visible against various backgrounds. 

It's designed for those who appreciate the convenience of a built-in display and are looking for a drone with robust capabilities.

A D V A N T A G E S

  • Convenient built-in display in the controller.
  • Captures high-quality 6K videos.
  • Reliable obstacle detection
  • Good battery life

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • expensive
  • Some camera features require a smartphone app.
  • Size may be a bit large for some users.

Features 

Built-in Display on Controller: The inclusion of a color display in the controller is a significant convenience, enabling you to operate the drone without connecting a smartphone.

6K Video and 20MP Imaging: The Evo 2 Pro boasts a camera capable of 6K video recording and 20MP still images, making it suitable for professional-quality aerial photography and videography.

Obstacle Detection System: With obstacle sensors all around, the drone can prevent crashes, allowing you to focus more on capturing great footage.

Extended Flight Time: The large flight battery contributes to a best-in-class 40-minute flight rating, though real-world battery life may vary.

GPS Stabilization: The drone uses GPS for stabilization, ensuring it hovers in place without any notable drift, which is crucial for capturing steady footage.

5. Simrex X20 - Cheap Follow me drone

camera-icon-spec

1080p

battery-icon-spec

25 min

range-icon-spec

500m

drone-icon-spec

GPS follow

simrex x20 drone

One of my top recommended drones for limited budgets, the Simrex X20 comes with a 2-axis gimbal, GPS and the follow me option for under $250, which is really hard to beat.

The manufacturer says it’s a 4k drone, but let’s consider it a 1080p drone for now since the footage quality isn’t even near one of the drones we talked about earlier.

But having the follow me option by following the phone GPS or transmitter and a stabilized camera it already beats most of the competition.

It’s also foldable and comes with an incredible battery life for the price.

A D V A N T A G E S

  • 2 axis gimbal (amazing for the price)
  • Brushless motors
  • Foldable design
  • GPS flight functions

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • GPS follow me isn't as good as vision recognition

Features 

Awesome Camera: It has a really good 4K camera that takes amazing photos and videos. The camera is steady thanks to a special holder.

Long Flight Time: This drone can fly for about 30 minutes on a single battery charge, just like the fancy professional drones.

Easy to Carry: It's small and easy to carry around because it can fold up. You can get it in two stylish colors: gray or black.

Flies Well: It's good at flying because it has strong motors. You can make it go fast or slow, which is great for beginners.

Smart Flying: It can do smart things like staying at a certain height all by itself, following where you want it to go, and taking off and landing with just one button.

6. JJRC X5 Epik (Cheapest Follow me Drone)

camera-icon-spec

1080p

battery-icon-spec

16 min

range-icon-spec

500m

drone-icon-spec

GPS follow

JJRC-JJPRO-X5-EPIK-5G-WIFI-1080P-FHD-FPV-RC-Drone-RTF-694314-.jpg

If you are on a really tight budget, the JJRC X5 is the best way to go, for way under $200 you get a capable GPS drone that comes with GPS follow me mode and a pretty good camera.

The camera can move up and down and it also comes with a few flight modes, including return to home.

It’s one of the drones I liked the most and reviewed it here.

A D V A N T A G E S

  • Great build quality
  • Solid camera for the price
  • Stable GPS
  • Brushless motors

D I S A D V A N T A G E S

  • The camera isn't stabilized
  • GPS follow me

Features

Compact and Lightweight: It's a small drone, measuring 13.813.83.8 inches and weighing just over 400g, which makes it easy to carry around, perfect for traveling.

LED Lights for Night Flights: It has LED lights under each rotor arm, useful for flying at night and for indicating when the drone's compass is fully calibrated.

Powerful Brushless Motors: These motors are more efficient, quieter, and provide more thrust and speed compared to traditional brushed motors. The drone can reach a maximum speed of 30 km/h.

Decent Flight Time: You can expect a flight time of around 16-18 minutes on a single battery charge, which is pretty good for a drone in its class.

2K HD Camera: The drone is equipped with a 2K camera supported by a shock absorption holder. It has a 120° wide-angle lens and can rotate 90° up or down, allowing for versatile shooting angles.

Good Flight Performance: The drone hovers accurately, maintains a steady altitude, and offers smooth live streaming, though there is some lag at longer distances.

Remote Control with LCD Screen: The modern-looking controller is comfortable to hold and includes an LCD screen that shows important flight data.

Best Sports Follow me Drone 

I covered a few drones for water sports in this article, just as I have with the best drones for motorcyclists. Similarly, skiing and mountain biking require similar specs and features.

The Skydio 2+ reigns supreme as the best drone for sports, thanks to its unparalleled autonomous tracking and 360º Obstacle Avoidance, ideal for capturing high-energy sports activities. 

Following closely in second place is the DJI Mini 4 Pro, which impresses with its own follow-me features and portability, making it a great alternative for sports enthusiasts. 

Both drones excel in their ability to capture dynamic movements, but the Skydio 2+ leads the pack in sports scenarios with its advanced capabilities.

Using The Follow Me Mode On A Drone For Sports

Using The Follow Me Mode On A Drone For Sports

Using Follow Me mode with a drone may not be as easy as it looks in advertisements. This mode makes the drone automatically follow you or another moving object, but there are some things to keep in mind.

Pick a Suitable Area

The Follow Me mode relies on GPS, which can sometimes be a bit like your GPS app on your phone – not always perfectly accurate. To help the drone follow you better, it's a good idea to start in a big, open area where there aren't many things to get in the way.

Carry Out Tests

When you start using Follow Me, record some videos and check if the object you want to follow (like yourself) stays in the middle of the video frame. This will show you if the tracking is working well or if you need to make some adjustments.

Consult the User’s Manual

Even though Follow Me mode is supposed to work without you doing much, it's a smart idea to read the drone's instruction manual and do what the manufacturer suggests. 

The manual might have some special tips or settings that can make the tracking work even better. For example, there might be things to change at the beginning of your flight to make sure the drone follows you accurately and takes clear pictures or videos.

So, by being aware of these things and testing them out, you can get the most out of your drone's Follow Me mode and take great pictures or videos without any worries. 

What To Look For In A Drone That Follows You

What To Look For In A Drone That Follows You

Not all follow-me systems are the same. In fact, there are significant differences between the types of systems and how much other drone specifications can affect the quality of tracking.

Drone Follow Me Speed

When it comes to the speed at which a drone can follow you, it may not matter much when tracking a cyclist or someone running. However, if you want to track a fast-moving car, it's a different story. Drones like the Mavic 2 or Mavic Air are equipped with higher speeds and better wind resistance to handle such challenges.

Drone Follow Me Software

The software responsible for follow-me functionality is typically integrated into the app used to control the drone, such as the DJI Go 4 App or the newer DJI Fly app for DJI drones. If the drone doesn't rely on a smartphone, the software is built into the Ground Station controller. 

This software utilizes advanced algorithms and sometimes even artificial intelligence to keep the tracked object on the screen and predict its movements.

Obstacle Avoidance Sensors and Flight Safety

In the case of most GPS drones that use follow-me software, they often lack obstacle avoidance and safety measures. Therefore, they should be used in open environments because they can't detect obstacles in their path. 

However, more advanced drones, like DJI, Autel, and especially the Skydio 2+, come equipped with sensors, sometimes covering all sides of the drone, to help stop it in time and avoid obstacles.

Unfortunately, DJI has not implemented an active track feature for cheaper drones like the DJI Mini or Mini 2 due to their lack of sensors. 

While these drones have the capability to perform perfect active tracking, it hasn't been implemented due to safety concerns. Without obstacle avoidance sensors, there's a higher risk of accidents, especially considering the widespread use of DJI drones.

Follow Me Distance

The distance at which a drone can effectively follow you varies greatly from one drone to another and is primarily determined by the price you pay. Cheaper GPS drones typically have a fixed follow-me distance. 

In contrast, more sophisticated drones that use tracking software can detect objects from tens of meters away without any issues.

Conclusion

Just like with everything else, you get what you pay for, so what you need to do now is decide what the sweet spot for you is. As a final recommendation, I think the ideal drone in terms of price and follow-me capability is the DJI Mini 4 Pro.

faq what should you look for in a drone

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section we'll answer all questions related to the above article:

How do I get my drone to follow me?

Activate the "Follow Me" mode in your drone's settings or app, ensuring GPS is enabled on both the drone and your device.

How far can a drone follow you?

The range varies by model, typically around 1-2 kilometers, but always check your drone's specifications for exact distances.

Can a drone avoid obstacles?

Many modern drones have obstacle avoidance features using sensors, but capabilities vary, so consult your drone's manual for specifics.

Where should drones not be used?

Avoid using drones near airports, in restricted airspace, over crowds, in national parks, or in areas with privacy concerns. Always follow local regulations.

Can A Drone Follow You Around Using GPS?

Yes, Many Auto Follow Drones use GPS to track and follow things accurately, even if those things are far away, moving fast, and changing direction a lot.

author-paul-posea-picture
Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.

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paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.
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