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Joystick Setup

A computer joystick or gamepad connected through QGroundControl can be used to manually control the vehicle (instead of using an RC Transmitter).

This approach may be used by manual control units that have an integrated ground control station (like the UAVComponents MicroNav shown below). Joysticks are also commonly used to allow developers to fly the vehicle in simulation.

Joystick MicroNav


Radio Setup is not required if using only a joystick (because a joystick is not an RC controller)!


QGroundControl uses the cross-platform SDL2 library to convert joystick movements to MAVLink MANUAL_CONTROL messages, which are then sent to PX4 over the telemetry channel. In consequence, a joystick-based controller system requires a reliable high bandwidth telemetry channel to ensure that the vehicle is responsive to joystick movements.

Enabling PX4 Joystick Support

Information about how to set up a joystick is covered in: QGroundControl > Joystick Setup.

In summary:

  • Open QGroundControl
  • Set the parameter COM_RC_IN_MODE=1 - Joystick
    • See Parameters for information about setting parameters
    • Setting the parameter to 2 or 3 also enables Joystick under some circumstances.
  • Connect the joystick
  • Configure the connected joystick in: Vehicle Setup > Joystick.