DJI Drone Waypoint Support

Many DJI drones do support waypoint navigation. Waypoint navigation allows one to program a drone to fly to specific GPS locations or waypoints, enabling automated and precise flight paths. This feature is particularly useful for mapping, surveying, and inspection applications.

To use waypoint navigation on a DJI drone, one needs to use either the DJI GO or Fly app or a third-party app such as Litchi, Dronelink, or Maven that supports waypoint navigation. It should be noted that DJI's implementation of waypoints should be considered a proof-of-concept only. Yes, it works, but it is difficult to do any serious work with it. Third-party apps such as Litchi, Dronelink, and Maven provide many more advanced mission planning features than what is available in the DJI apps.

It's important to know that not all DJI drones support waypoint navigation. Additionally, there are two primary implementations of waypoint navigation: "on-board" (firmware-supported) or "virtual-stick commands" (VSC). On-board waypoints are loaded to the drone prior to flying the mission and are executed autonomously by the drone without the need for a constant connection between the controller and the drone. Virtual-stick waypoints commands are sent from the controller to the drone in real-time necessitating a constant connection between the controller and the drone. On-board waypoint missions tend to result in much smoother execution than virtual-stick waypoint missions.

If waypoint navigation is a required feature, it is important to understand the different implementations and which drones support them. Researching each drone model's specifications and abilities is strongly recommended prior to purchasing a drone to ensure that it has the desired features.

Current Status of DJI Drone Waypoint Support

Drone Release Date Drone Model Waypoint Support SDK Litchi Support
Apr, 2015Phantom 3 (all)On-boardMSDKv4Yes
May, 2016Phantom 4 (all)On-boardMSDKv4Yes
Sep, 2016Mavic ProOn-boardMSDKv4Yes
Nov, 2016Inspire 1/2On-boardMSDKv4Yes
May, 2017SparkOn-boardMSDKv4Yes
Aug, 2017Mavic Pro PlatinumOn-boardMSDKv4Yes
Jan, 2018AirOn-boardMSDKv4Yes
Aug, 2018Mavic 2 Pro/ZoomOn-boardMSDKv4Yes
Oct, 2019MiniVSCMSDKv4Yes
Apr, 2020Air 2VSCMSDKv4Yes
Nov, 2020Mini 2VSCMSDKv4Yes
Apr, 2021Air 2sVSCMSDKv4Yes
Jun, 2021Mini SEVSCMSDKv4Yes
Nov, 2021Mavic 3On-boardNoNo
May, 2022Mini 3 ProVSCMSDKv5 (Android only)Beta
Sep, 2022Mavic 3 E/T/MOn-boardMSDKv5 (Android only)Beta
Nov, 2022Mavic 3 ClassicOn-boardNoNo
Jan, 2023Mini 3VSCMSDKv5 (Android only)Beta
Mar, 2023Mini 2 SENoNoNo
Apr, 2023Mavic 3 ProOn-boardNoNo
Jul, 2023Air 3On-boardNoNo
Sep, 2023Mini 4 ProOn-boardQ2 2024?No

Key to information displayed in the table above

References

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by Wes Barris