Drone cheat: How to actively hack an ‘Active Track’ on your Mini 2

DJI’s new Mini 2 does a lot of things very well. But one feature it’s missing? Active Track. Pilots who want to have their drone follow them are advised to look for a different model. But one person has come up with a hack that lets you use an existing Mini 2 feature to create a reasonable, short-duration “Follow-me” type shot. Let’s find out how.

Ahhh, the Mini 2. Like the original Mavic Mini, there’s much to love. And let’s be clear, we do love this new DJI drone. With 4K video and more powerful motors, it’s a significant upgrade from the still-great Mavic Mini. But if you look hard enough, even fantastic products could always be a little bit better. And in the case of the Mini 2 (and the original), there is no Active Track feature. That means there’s no dedicated mode that will tell your Mini 2 to follow you while you’re in motion on the ground.

There is, however, a pretty cool hack.

Active hack

This tip comes to us from YouTube tech creator DC Rainmaker. He’s an avid outdoors person, and wanted to figure out a way to get some shots from the Mini 2 that have the feel of Active Track.

The problem? Active Track is not a feature on the Mini 2 — though this could probably be added via firmware. From DJI’s perspective, this is a natural feature to hold back because it will nudge some consumers toward the Mavic Air 2 instead.

But what if you could somehow get the Mini 2 to follow you? Well, if you’re willing to deal with some trial and error, it can be done.

Okay: But what if I start moving…?

Patience, dear pilot

The basic hack is this: Select one of the Mini 2’s Quick Shot modes. Wait a few seconds after the recording begins, and then slowly ease into motion. If you get things just right, the Mini 2 will indeed track you. And if you don’t? Then try, try again.

Let’s have a look:

Pretty cool hack, DC Rainmaker!

A cheap Mavic Air 2?

While the Mini 2 is great, the Mavic Air 2 is a better overall machine – plus, it comes with Active Track. But with this hack, and some patience, you can fake those shots pretty decently on the Mini 2.

Of course, the Mini 2 has one feature that the Mavic Air 2 simply cannot compete with: Its weight. Having a sub-250-gram drone does bring with it a lot of freedom, especially for those who don’t want to register their drone or gain the knowledge necessary for a Part 107 or Canadian RPAS certificate (Basic or Advanced). Plus, in our experience, bystanders seem to view the Mini 2 as cute or toy-like, which is a definite advantage when you want to go fly in your local park (where permitted).

And while drones – like people – come in all shapes and sizes, this is a case where being svelte has certain advantages.

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