How to change motor direction in a quadcopter?

There are two main ways to change motor direction in a quadcopter. You can either swap the wires, or do it from the software configuration. in this tutorial I will show you how.

Further Reading:

Check if your motors are spinning the correct direction

If you are building a new quadcopter, you have to make sure the motors are spinning the correct direction before putting propellers on for your first flight. If one or multiple motors are spinning the wrong direction, the quad will flip over at take off.

This is the default motor spin directions in Betaflight:

If the motor spin direction is wrong, you can easily change it by using one of the following methods.

Swap two of the motor wires

By swapping ANY 2 out of 3 motor wires to the ESC, you can easily reverse the rotation direction of the motor. Doesn’t matter which two, the result would be the same.

Change Motor Direction by swapping wires

Change Motor Direction by swapping wires

Reverse motor direction in BLHeliSuite software

If you don’t like soldering, you can also easily change motor direction in the BLHeliSuite program (if you are using BLHeli ESC’s). This program is the configurator for your ESC that allows you to change many different settings, including motor spin direction.

Motor Direction should be set to “Normal” by default, you can change it to “Reverse” if you want the motor to spin the other direction. You also have the option to set it to “3D”, which will allow you motor to spin both directions for 3D acro flying, don’t use it unless you know what you are doing.

Further Reading: How to configure your BLHeli_32 ESC using FC pass-through?

Change Motor Direction in BLHeliSuite

Change Motor Direction in BLHeliSuite

20 thoughts on “How to change motor direction in a quadcopter?

  1. Ian

    got some weird stuff here. motor 3 is running the wrong direction. easy enough. open blheli, reverse motor 3. WHAT I GET is motor 1 reversing direction. WTF? i used both speedybee, and laptop with betaflight. both did the same thing. ive never seen this before. have you?

  2. Leon K.

    Hello! Thank you so much for all your content on here it really helped me get into the hobby.
    I ran into a problem when switching to new motor.. When I push the throttle right to the point where the quad should start hovering it instead launches 10-15 m until i disarm and it drops. I do not know if this is a common problem but I hope maybe you know what may cause this.

  3. David

    Need help with brushless motors please there new motors and i cant seem to gather why there all going the right direction but the 2 back ones seem to be a lot more powerful than the front ones and wants to flip my drone any help on what to do many thanks dave

  4. Werner Hoffmans

    Hi Oscar,
    Maybe a small additional note. If you do not use direct mount propellors but have these properllors with a central prop nut, AND you have motors with a fixed (not removable) prop shaft with threads, then you cannot simply swap wires. You need to actually swap motors. This is because if you let a motor run the other way, the prop nut is not self tightening but self loosening.
    I ran into this in my current build. All motors turned correctly relative to each other, but they all turned opposite to their intended rotation direction. I then switched 2 wires on all 4 motors, so they all turned the other way, so the prop nuts were self tightening again. Only the direction were opposite of the default of betaflight. But in betaflight there is a switch to tell betaflight the motors run in reversed direction. Oddly enough, after I did an esc calibration, all motors switched direction!!
    What the heck!

  5. Greg

    Hi Oscar, This is a fabulous website. I appreciate what you have done for me and everyone in the FPV community. I just finished building the Impulse RC Reverb using the Kiss 32A ESC’s. The motors are all spinning CCW. I thought I could use Passthrough with the KISS F7 FC v2 to get the directions right, but I cannot find anything and BL Heli tries to reboot the FC and it fails every time. I can change the wires on 2 of the motors, but I don’t want to solder through my heat shrink. Any ideas? Thank

    1. Oscar Post author

      I am not 100% sure, but last time I used KISS(3 years ago) it doesn’t support pass through, it’s only a Betaflight and BLHeli thing.

  6. matt

    Hi first want to thank you for a Great page . and all the work you put in to helping . others in this . Amazing Hobby . I have one question if I have the Tekko esc for . dji fpv set up my computer is down and all motors are spinning the same direction . even with the 4 in 1 ESC can I do like always just cut 2 wires and Soder them togheter to get them to go the other way . Thanks a thousand
    Best Regards

  7. Christer

    Basically it’s just the same how you connect the wires? I thought maybe the middle one from motor had to be in the middle on the esc? But that is not right?

  8. Patrick Frensdorff

    Where is the CLI command for reverse motor direction of just one motor.
    Bheli aint working and tried 4 different onces.

  9. Abhinav

    Is it any way to change the motor direction midflight. As far as I’ve read on forums, people suggest some circuitry to interchange the motor wires but I need some better method preferably by software control. Please let me know about any other way of doing the same.
    PS- This is for a multirotor prototype that I am working on.

  10. Christopher M Burke

    Hiw do you wire cw motors ccw on a 4 in 1 esc? I have a set of hyperlite 2405-1722 and they are all cw.

    1. Oscar Post author

      CW motor? I guess you are talking about the thread of the shaft?
      It doesn’t matter how you wire it. Just connect the 3 motor wires, then check spin direction. If it’s wrong, then you just need to reverse it.

  11. Christopher Clayton

    This looks like it reverses all the motors; I just need to change the motor direction in one. Is that possible and if so, how? Ty

  12. Ameen Attar

    Can the direction of motors be changed remotely? or do we need to connect the laptop to the drone to change the motor rotation direction evrytime?
    please help!


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