Skydio X2 drones are equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) module, allowing them to know their position relative to a network of orbiting satellites. Connected to the signals of these satellites, the drone can perform functions such as positioning, autonomous flight, return-to-home, and navigation.

Acquire GPS lock


After launching, fly a few meters in a lateral motion (forward, backward, left, or right) to acquire a GPS lock. This is a critical step that must be taken if you fly your drone over water.

[warning] Failure to acquire a GPS lock prior to flight over water may result in erratic flight and emergency landing. A minimum of 20 satellites is required when flying over water. [/warning]

How to confirm you have a GPS lock: If your drone can ascend beyond 33 ft (10 m) above ground when outdoors, you have a GPS lock.



You can monitor the strength of the signal connection and GPS quality. Select the Connection Status icon to display the connected drone status, signal strength, GPS quality, and satellite count.



0 connected satellites



7 or fewer connected satellites 


Stable GPS

8-12 connected satellites


Good GPS (recommended) 

13 or more connected satellites


Last-known GPS location

At any time during a flight (either following a subject or flying manually), you can easily return to the last known GPS location of your Enterprise Controller or Home Point (set using the map).

Not only is this a handy way to quickly return the drone to your location, but it can be helpful if you’ve lost line of sight with Skydio X2, or if it has lost you while tracking.

GPS Tips

If you initiate a return to your controller and keep moving, Skydio continues to update the GPS location until it reaches your general location.

Skydio requires a good GPS connection to fly greater than 33 ft (10 m) above the Launch Point.

  • This may not be possible when flying in GPS-denied environments such as indoors, heavy urban areas, and deep canyons; or near large metal structures such as radio towers and bridges.
  • If you have difficulty getting your Skydio to fly above 33 ft (10m)., you may need to fly a few meters in a lateral motion (forward, backward, left, or right) to acquire a GPS lock. This is true regardless of which method you use to fly (app/phone-only, with Beacon, or with Controller).

The Skydio Beacon accessory extends the operational range of Skydio, greatly enhances GPS accuracy, and adds GPS tracking abilities to Skydio. This allows Skydio to continue following even when it loses visual sight of you and smoothly reacquire you visually when it can. Please take a look at our related articles for more info on Beacon.

Explore More

Learning to fly with Skydio Beacon

Flying your drone near water


 Skydio, Inc. A0374

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