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Litchi App Complete Guide (All Questions Answered)

Updated in 2023 by Paul Posea
Litchi App for DJI

While most drone pilots usually opt for DJI Go 4 or the DJI Fly App as the standard flight app, many pilots are slowly starting to explore alternatives like the DJI Litchi app.

We’ve seen how Litchi compares to the various other apps before on Dronesgator, but we’ve never gone in-depth on all its features and functionalities.

In this article, we’ll explore its main features, go over how to use them, and have a look at some of its downsides, and compatible devices, amongst many other things. 

Let’s get to it.

What is The Litchi App?

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For those who don’t know, Litchi is a popular autonomous flight app for DJI drones, usually an alternative to DJI Go or DJI FLY. The app offers drone pilots the possibility of creating automated missions (using way points), intelligent flight modes, and many more features not available in standard DJI flight apps.

Honestly, it’s hands down one of the best flight control apps, if not the best. I may be biased but I absolutely love how Litchi was able to find a sweet spot between “Highly performant” and “easy to pick up”. Usually the more features and functionalities an app has the more complex it is. Yet the Litchi is extremely intuitive and is a joy to work with. 

Is The Litchi App Free?

The Litchi app is available for both Android and iOS users. Unfortunately, with all the features packed in it it’s not free. The good news however is that it’s only $24.99 for IOS users and $29.99 for android users.

What Drones Does Litchi App Support?

While Litchi has been around for quite a few years, it hasn’t been until recently that they started to support newer DJI drone modes like the DJI Mini 2, Mini SE, or the Mavic Air 2S.

Below is the list of all the currently supported DJI drones by Litchi:

  • Mini 2 (Android only, January 2022)
  • Mini SE (Android only, January 2022)
  • Mavic Air 2S (Android only, January 2022)
  • Mavic Mini 
  • Mavic Air 2
  • Mavic 2 Zoom
  • Mavic 2 Pro
  • Mavic Air
  • Mavic Pro
  • Phantom 4 Standard
  • Phantom 4 Advanced
  • Phantom 4 Pro
  • Phantom 4 Pro V.2
  • Phantom 3 Standard
  • Phantom 3 4K
  • Phantom 3 Advanced
  • Phantom 3 Professional
  • Inspire 1 X3
  • Inspire 1 Z3
  • Inspire 1 Pro
  • Inspire 1 RAW
  • Inspire 2

Litchi App Device Compatibility

Litchi works for both Android & iOS devices, it is however more compatible with android phones. While it works mostly fine with iOS, there are many unfixed issues that plague iPhone & iPad users when using Litchi.

There is no official information about exactly which devices are compatible with Litchi, but it’s safe to assume that the requirements should be pretty close to those needed to successfully run the DJI Fly app. 

Which is a phone or tablet with at least 4 GB of RAM memory, 8 core CPU, and a 64-bit operating system.

Connecting Litchi to Your Drone

First, when starting the Litchi app for the first time after installing it on your device, you’ll have to be connected to the internet in order to register the app with DJI servers. 

Registering your Litchi app with DJI servers can be done without being connected to a DJI drone. In fact, you don’t have to do anything, it’s usually done in the background, if the registration failed you will be notified with an error popup. 

Note: some Internet connections may have troubles connecting to DJI servers, in such a case make sure to try a different Internet connection (home wifi, mobile data connection, a friend's connection, public wifi, etc).

Connecting your Litchi app on Android

To connect using a cable (Mini, Air, Mavic, Phantom 3 Adv/Pro, Phantom 4 and Inspire series), follow these steps:

  • Make sure no DJI-based apps (including DJI Fly, DJI Go and other third party apps) are running in the background. If there are any, close them. This is important.
  • If you have another app (such as DJI Fly or DJI Go) set as the default app to launch when you connect the remote controller, make sure to clear the defaults for that app: go to mobile device Settings - Apps - DJI Go (or other app name) - Clear Defaults. Some devices automatically set the app you start as default, so this step may have to be done every time you want to switch apps (for example from DJI Fly to Litchi and vice versa).
  • Start your drone and remote controller, give them a few seconds to boot up properly.
  • Connect your remote controller to the mobile device. For Mavic drones, you can use either the bottom or side USB ports, however make sure to use only one port at once (if 2 cables are plugged in the remote controller, Litchi won't be able to connect)
  • You will see a popup asking which app to start, select Litchi in the popup to initiate connection.

Here is an official video from Litchi explaining the USB connection process:

To connect using Wi-Fi (Phantom 3 Standard/4K, Spark), follow these steps:

  • Just like using a USB connection, make sure no DJI-based apps (including DJI Go and other third party apps) are running in the background. If there are any, close them.
  • Force stop all DJI-based apps (including DJI Go and other third party apps). Please note step 1 is not enough. To force stop an app, go to your mobile device Settings - Apps - DJI Go (or other app name) - Force stop.
  • Start your drone and remote controller if you are using one, let them boot up properly.
  • Connect to the Wi-Fi network of the drone
  • Start Litchi

And that’s pretty much it for android devices. Let’s look at the iOS process now.

Connecting your Litchi app on iOS

The process is fairly similar to that of Android devices:

  • Make sure no DJI-based apps (including DJI Fly, DJI Go and other third party apps) are running in the background. If there are any, close them
  • Start your drone and remote controller if you are using one, and let them initialize for a few seconds
  • Connect the remote controller to the mobile device using a cable. For Wi-Fi based drones (Phantom 3 Standard/4K or Spark), connect to the Wi-Fi network of the drone instead
  • Start Litchi

What does the Litchi app do?

The Litchi app is an alternative to standard DJI flight apps like the GO 4 & Fly App. 

The app offers the possibility of creating automated missions (using way points), intelligent flight modes, and many more features not available in standard DJI flight apps.

Let’s take a look at its features and how to use them. The Litchi features we’ll be covering are the following: FPV, waypoint, Mission hub, Follow, Orbit, and VR.

Litchi FPV

The FPV mode allows you to fly the aircraft manually using the joysticks.

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You fly as you would normally do in the DJI Fly or DJI Go app. However, there are a few options that differ from those apps:

  • Auto TakeOff: This performs automatic take off. Your drone will rise to 1.2m and hover.
  • RTH/Land: As the name suggests this is for Return Home and Landing.
  • Home Lock: When enabled, moving the right joystick down (mode 2) will bring the aircraft back to the home point regardless of its current heading. It’s currently not supported by Mavic Mini 1/Mini SE/Mini 2/Mavic Air 2/Air 2S.
  • Course Lock: When enabled, moving the right joystick up/down (mode 2) will move the aircraft forward/backward in the direction defined by its heading at the time Course Lock was enabled. Also not supported by Mavic Mini 1/Mini SE/Mini 2/Mavic Air 2/Air 2S.
  • VR Mode: Enter VR mode using this button. We’ll talk about this more in the following sections.
  • Share Video Stream: Really handy! You tap to share your video stream. You can share it to Facebook Live, to a RTMP server, or to a nearby device running the Litchi Vue app.
  • Tripod Mode: In Tripod mode, the maximum speed is limited to 2.2mph (3.6kph). Responsiveness to joystick movements is also reduced for smoother and more controlled movements. Tripod mode is only supported by the following drone models (Phantom 4 Normal/Advanced/Pro/ProV2, Inspire 2, Spark, Mavic Air/Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom/Pro). For Mavic 2 Zoom/Pro, Mavic Mini 1, Mini SE, Mavic Air 2 and Air 2S)

Then there is the Litchi Vue which is only available on iOS devices, it allows you to stream your drone’s video footage to a nearby device.

Follow these steps to setup Litchi Vue:

  • Ensure both mobile devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network (via a personal hotspot or external Wi-Fi router, Internet is NOT required)
  • Connect the drone to the pilot's mobile device (device A) and start Litchi for DJI Drones
  • On device A, tap on the share button at the top right corner of the video view, then select 'Litchi Vue'. The button will turn yellow indicating the device is now available for streaming
  • Start the Litchi Vue app (download for Android or iOS) on the second mobile device (device B), you should then see the name of device A appear in the list of the available streams. Tap on it to connect
  • The drone's video stream will now be displayed on both mobile devices. On device A, the share icon turns green indicating you are connected to device B

Within the Litchi Vue app, you can enable VR mode for better immersion.

Here is a video from Litchi developers themselves explaining the process:

Virtual Reality Mode

Available in all flight modes, the VR mode immerses you into a real First Person View, the video stream appears right in front of your eyes.

You also have the ability to control the gimbal by moving your head. To enjoy this feature, you’re going to need both a VR headset and a remote controller.

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There are a few settings within the VR mode, settings like:

  • Exit VR: Tap this button to exit VR mode.
  • Display OSD: Turn this on to display the On-Screen Display (altitude, distance, speed, etc.).
  • Depth Offset: Increase or decrease the OSD depth offset to make it more comfortable to your eyes.
  • Gimbal Head Tracking: Turn this on to enable moving the gimbal using head movements.
  • Gimbal Speed: Defines how responsive the gimbal will be to your head movements. A higher value means it will move faster.
  • Aircraft Head Tracking: Choose between Off, Immersive or Joystick to enable rotating the aircraft using head movements (details below).

Litchi waypoints

This is one of the main selling points of Litchi App, and every advanced flight app for that matter. Waypoint mode lets you plan a path made of several waypoints that the drone can then fly autonomously.

Classic waypoint missions can be planned as well as advanced camera moves such as Selfies and Cable Cams.

In Litchi, you can enter waypoint mode by pressing the Flight Mode icon at the top left of the Litchi screen. Select "Waypoint". You can then start editing missions.

Creating your first waypoint mission is quite easy, simply follow these steps:

  1. To add a waypoint, tap anywhere on the map (make sure that the POI toggle is not on).
  2. Tap on the waypoint to edit its settings. 
  3. Choose altitude, speed, curve size, gimbal pitch, or add a custom action.

Waypoint Actions:

  • Stay for: The time in seconds that the aircraft should pause at the waypoint. The maximum 32 seconds.
  • Take Photo: The camera will take one picture. For this action to work, recording must be off.
  • Start Recording: The camera will start recording.
  • Stop Recording: The camera will stop recording.
  • Rotate Aircraft: The aircraft will rotate to the specified angle. The parameter is the angle relative to North that the aircraft should rotate to (0° is North, 90° is East). For example, setting it to 270° means that the aircraft will rotate to point towards the West. If the aircraft is already pointing West before starting this action, it will not rotate at all.
  • Tilt Camera: The gimbal will move to the specified angle (tilt). The valid value range is +0° to -90° (look down).

There are many tweaks and settings that can be made in the waypoint mode that it’d require a whole different article. These settings above however should give you a basic idea on how to conduct your first mission, if you’d like to learn more head over here, to litchi’s official manual.

Litchi Mission Hub

Did I mention that Litchi allows you to do mission planning on PC? I can’t believe how easy this feature makes things!

The Mission Hub lets you plan waypoint missions from a desktop or laptop PC/Mac.

If you are logged in to your Litchi account, saving a mission will automatically synchronize it across all devices where you are also logged in.

In addition, Mission Hub lets you browse missions from other users around the world or publish your own missions and videos for other users to see.

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Mission Hub is pretty straightforward if you have already used the Litchi Waypoints app. 

Litchi Follow Mode

Litchi’s follow mode has a slight twist to the usual follow mode found in other apps. Instead of selecting a subject, the drone will follow a device or a pin. The device can be the one controlling the aircraft, or a second one running the Litchi Magic Leash app (only available for Android). 

Because it’s easy to crash your drone in this mode, the Litchi devs advise drone pilots to only use it in wide open areas.

To configure this mode, here are a few settings you should be aware of:

  • Altitude: The altitude from which the aircraft should follow the subject.
  • Distance: The distance from which the aircraft should follow the subject.
  • Heading: The angle from which the aircraft should follow the subject (the reference is defined by the Heading Mode).
  • Gimbal Control (auto/manual - auto by default): When set to automatic (auto), it causes the gimbal to point at the subject automatically. If the option is set to manual, the user will be required to control the gimbal manually.
  • Subject Height: The height of the subject that the camera should point at.
  • Subject Offset: Only change this setting in situations where you want the aircraft to follow the subject's movements while looking in another direction relative to the subject. The default 0 degrees causes the aircraft to face the subject. An offset of 180 degrees will cause the aircraft to face completely away from the subject.
  • Follow Terrain (enabled/disabled - disabled by default): When on, the aircraft will follow the terrain and fly at the altitude set relative to the mobile device elevation which means it will continuously adjust its altitude as the subject moves up or down in altitude (for example if the subject moves up a hill).
  • Horizontal Movements (enabled/disabled - enabled by default): When set to off, horizontal movements will be disabled and only the aircraft's altitude, yaw and gimbal will be controlled by Litchi. This can be useful to simulate a fixed camera in the sky.

If you’d like to learn more about this mode, check out this official Litchi manual.

Litchi orbit mode

This is what is commonly known as Point of Interest (POI).  Selecting Orbit mode, the aircraft will circle around a set point that you choose. You can choose to control the gimbal or set it to automatic (just like in the Follow mode). 

Is the litchi app worth it?

As we approach the end of this article, it seems only natural to ask this question. Seeing as this app costs a minimum $24 for both iOS & Android users, and seeing as how there are many apps that are similar to it, you might wonder if it’s worth the price.

My personal thought: it’s 100% worth every penny… but ONLY if you’re an advanced drone pilot.

Beginner drone pilots will find it filled with features that they don’t even need, which might overwhelm them and do more harm than good to their learning process.

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.
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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