If you’re a freestyle pilot who occasionally races, I’m about to blow your mind. If you’re a racer first and foremost, get ready to feel smug.

Freestyle rates are terrible for racing.

This weekend, I was finally convinced by a friend of mine to try his race-tuned rates, and I could not believe the difference. I’m not exaggerating when I say my laps got 10% faster, almost instantly. I crashed less too.

Wait until you hear how low the race rates were: 300 degrees per second! Racers who already knew this: time to feel smug. You’ve been telling me for a while and I just didn’t listen. I’M LISTENING NOW!

Basically, turning down your rates massively increases the effective resolution of the stick. Your turns get smoother. You hold your line precisely instead of swinging wide. You can swerve quickly through a split-s or pylon-turn with control, instead of veering madly and having to work to get back on your race line.

If you haven’t done this yet, do it before the next time you race.

  1. Set RC_Rate to 1.00 for pitch, roll, and yaw.
  2. Set RC_Expo to zero.
  3. Adjust pitch and roll S.Rate down until you get to about 300 degrees per second on pitch and roll.
  4. Adjust yaw S.Rate until you get to about 600 degrees per second. Yaw is higher because most of us aren’t used to managing the throttle while making big yaw-stick deflections. If you want to try more precision on yaw too, lower it down to about 300 dps also.

I predict that you will absolutely hate this feel for about three to five packs. Once you adjust, you won’t believe how much faster you are. How much more confident you feel.

I was absolutely prepared to scoff at the claim that lower rates make a huge improvement in lap times, but literally halfway through the first lap, I was grinning and rolling my eyes at how wrong I’d been.