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5 DJI Go 4 Settings to Change Before Your First Flight – DJI Mavic Pro, Air, Spark, & Phantom 4

If you’re looking to get outside and fly your drone as fast as possible, this post is for you.

The DJI Go 4 application is complex and loaded with settings. That’s why we spent some time to break all the options down in our DJI Go 4 Mega Guide & Tutorial, which we highly recommend you eventually take time to check out. We cover all the settings in DJI Go 4, what the mean, what they do, and how you should configure all of the different options.

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But if you’re looking to get airborne as fast as possible, there are 5 key settings you should know about:

  1. Set Your Maximum Flight Altitude
  2. Change Your Return to Home Altitude
  3. Set Your Home Point
  4. Enable Visual Obstacle Avoidance
  5. Format Your Micro SD Card

display screen settings highlighted

1. Set Your Maximum Flight Altitude to 120m

FAA dictates the maximum legal altitude for flying an sUAS, or small unmanned aircraft system, is 400 feet above ground level (AGL).

One of the first settings you’re going to want to change is your maximum altitude setting to make sure your drone follows these regulations and stays below 400 feet.

To change your maximum altitude, go to the Main Controller Settings (tap the Flight Mode icon on the main screen), and then scroll down to Set Maximum Flight Altitude. DJI Go 4 uses the metric system for altitude measurements, even if you have it set to the imperial system, so enter 120m into box.

Setting a max altitude of 120m will limit the maximum altitude of your drone to 393 feet, which is below the FAA regulations.

dji go 4 app enable max distance

2. Change Your Return-to-Home Altitude

The Return to Home (RTH) feature on DJI drones is where the drone will automatically ascend to a specified altitude, fly horizontally until it is above its home point, and then descend down for a safe landing.

Return to home can be engaged either manually by the user by pressing the RTH button on the top left-hand corner of the controller, or triggered automatically by the drone’s low battery level.

Because return to home can potentially be triggered automatically, you want to make sure the return to home altitude is set to be higher than any obstacle in the nearby area. This will prevent the drone from potentially crashing into an obstacle when it is flying horizontally to be over its home point.

To set your return to home altitude, scroll up on the Main Controller Settings page until you see Return-to-Home Altitude. The value you set will vary depending on the obstacles in your area. Again, DJI Go 4 insists on using the metric system, so here are some quick conversions from meters to feet for your reference:

  • 46m ≈ 150ft
  • 61m ≈ 200ft
  • 77m ≈ 250ft
  • 91m ≈ 300ft
  • 120m ≈ 390ft

You are also going to want to check to make sure “RTH at Current Altitude” toggle is turned off (also located in the Main Controller Settings page).

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If you are wondering what these different altitudes and heights look like once your drone is in flight, please see our video and related post: What does a drone see from 400 feet?

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3. Set Your Home Point

Along the same lines as setting your return to home altitude, you will also want to set your return to home point. This is the point your drone will attempt to land on should return to home be triggered.

You wan to make sure your home point is set in a safe landing location, away from cars, people, trees, uneven ground, or other potential obstructions.

To set your home point, scroll up toward the top of the Main Controller Settings page. You’ll have two options:

  1. Set the return to home point at the drone’s current location (black and white arrowhead icon) or
  2. Set the return to home point at the controller’s current location (person icon with “H” marker)

The home point you set will vary based on your location and flying circumstances. It may be helpful to set the home point to your location if you prefer to catch-land your drone.

dji go 4 app main controller settings

4. Enable Visual Obstacle Avoidance

The visual obstacle avoidance system on DJI drones allows your drone to sense nearby obstacles and either come to a stop and hover in place or navigate around them. While not perfect and definitely not something that should be relied on entirely, the obstacle avoidance system can help prevent certain collisions and keep your drone safer.

Visual obstacle avoidance also helps out during Return to Home. With visual obstacle avoidance enabled, even if your return to home altitude is set below an obstacle (which it shouldn’t be if you were reading setting #2), your drone will automatically ascend to avoid potential obstacles it detects. This can potentially save your drone!

To enable the visual obstacle avoidance system, go to the Visual Navigation Settings tab (the dot that looks like it has Wi-Fi signal coming out of it), and toggle on the Visual Obstacle Avoidance.

Enabling the main Visual Obstacle Avoidance setting automatically enables the following settings by default:

  • Downward Vision Positioning
  • Landing Protection
  • RTH Obstacle Check

dji go 4 app display radar chart

5. Format Your Micro SD Card

The worst feeling is when you get your drone in the air and have been snapping great photos, then just when the sun is setting, the action is happening, or the client tells you they have one final shot they’d like and you get a popup that says your storage is full!

Then you have ask yourself, how many photos did you just take? Is it worth formatting the card now and losing the previous photos just to get this perfect shot? Do you land and try and swap out micro SD cards and risk losing the moment? Do you have to tell the client you can’t get their last shot they requested?

Thankfully newer drones such as the Mavic Air, Mavic 2 Pro, and Mavic 2 Zoom contain internal storage which you can use in emergency situations like this, but you never want to find yourself in this scenario. Especially with paying clients.

To avoid running out of storage mid-flight, or giving you the most recording time possible to decrease this likelihood, we recommend formatting your micro SD card prior to each flight.

You can find the format card option by going to the camera settings (the three lines with dots below the shutter button), tapping on the gear icon, and then scrolling down to the bottom of the menu. Here you can also find the option to switch to internal storage, if your drone supports it.

One thing to note is formatting your micro SD card will erase all contents on the SD card. It’s best to backup all footage as soon as possible after each shoot, so it is safe to erase the SD card. Alternatively, you can also pick up a few extra micro SD cards to expand your shooting time for bigger projects.

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dji go 4 app format micro sd card

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About the Author

Stetson Doggett

Stetson is an Ithaca College alum and a certified drone pilot. He has been flying the DJI Mavic Pro since it first came out and loves finding new ways to improve his aerial photo and video quality. Stetson is from Acton, Massachusetts, and when not in the air he enjoys playing board games, producing YouTube videos, and watching Stranger Things.