Quadcopter Doesn’t Arm? Let’s Fix it!

This tutorial shows you how to troubleshoot and fix a quadcopter that doesn’t arm. I will also explain the common problems that prevent a mini quad from arming with Betaflight.

If you are completely new to Betaflight, check out my tutorials on how to setup it up for the first time.

The first things to check

Here are the first things you want to check when you are having trouble arming your quad:

  • Radio receiver is bound and working correctly in Betaflight. Check in the receiver tab if the channels are responding to sticks movement in the correct order and direction (download the latest betaflight configurator)

  • Check if you have assigned a switch on your radio for ARM mode, and if it can be activated by that switch. The arm mode should turn yellow when activated, indicating that the switch is working
  • As a safety feature in Betaflight, the motors won’t spin up even when you arm it if the flight controller is connected to the configurator. Remove USB connection and try again

flight modes - acro mode, horizon mode, angle mode

If everything is good but you still can’t arm the quad, then we will have to look a bit deeper.

How to check for arming issue in Betaflight?

If you have Betaflight OSD, make sure you display “Warnings” on your screen, and that “Arming Disabled” is selected. This will let you know what is stopping arming.

If you don’t have Betaflight OSD, you can also check for the “Arming Disable Flag” in Betaflight. This will indicate the issues that are preventing you from arming.

There are multiple ways of checking for “Arming Disable Flag”:

  • Betaflight Configurator
  • CLI
  • Buzzer Beeping

Betaflight Configurator

If you have access to a computer, you can easily check the Arming Disable Flag in the Setup Tab in the Betaflight configurator.


Alternatively, you can check in the CLI by entering the command “status”. The last line of the status info is arming prevention flags list. This feature was made available after Betaflight 3.2.

Further Reading: How to use CLI in Betaflight?

Buzzer Beeping

If you don’t have access to a computer, but you do have a buzzer in your quad, the beeping should also indicate the reasons for the disabled arming. The beeping pattern can be broken down into:

  • five short beeps for attention, which can be ignored
  • a number of long beeps
  • a number of short beeps with long intervals

Each long beep represents 5, while each short beep represents 1. The final flag number can be calculated as 5 x <the number of long beeps> + <the number of short beeps>.

For example:

  • 0 long beep and 2 short beeps = 2
  • 1 long beep and 3 short beeps = 8
  • 2 long beeps + 0 short beeps = 10

Arming prevention flags lookup table

Once you have found the arming disable flag numbers or names, you can look it up in the table below to see what they actually mean. The table was taken from the Betaflight wiki page for our readers’ convenience.

Name Description Beep code    Required Actions
BF 3.2 BF 3.3 BF 3.4
NOGYRO A gyro was not detected or damaged 1 1 1 You may have a hardware failure, if a previous firmware version works then it may be a firmware issue.
FAILSAFE Failsafe is active 2 2 2 Rectify the failure condition and try again.
RX LOSS No valid receiver signal is detected 3 3 3 Your receiver is either faulty or has no link to the transmitter.
BAD RX Your receiver has just recovered from receiver failsafe but the arm switch is on 4 4 4 Switch the arm switch off.
BOXFAILSAFE The ‘FAILSAFE’ switch was activated 5 5 5 See FAILSAFE
RUNAWAY Runway Takeoff Prevention has been triggered 6 6 Disarm to clear this condition.
THROTTLE Throttle channel is too high 6 7 7 Lower throttle below min_check.
ANGLE Craft is not level (enough) 7 8 8 Level craft to within small_angledegrees (default 25).
BOOT GRACE Arming too soon after power on 8 9 9 Wait until pwr_on_arm_graceseconds (default 5) have elapsed.
NO PREARM Prearm switch is not activated or prearm has not been toggled after disarm 9 10 10 Toggle the prearm switch.
LOAD System load is too high for safe flight 10 11 11 Revisit configuration and disable features.
CALIB Sensor calibration is still ongoing 11 12 12 Wait for sensor calibration to complete.
CLI CLI is active 12 13 13 Exit the CLI.
CMS CMS (config menu) is Active – over OSD or other display 13 14 14 Exit the CMS (or OSD menu).
OSD OSD menu is active 14 15 15 Exit OSD menu.
BST A Black Sheep Telemetry device (TBS Core Pro for example) disarmed and is preventing arming 15 16 16 Refer to the manual for your hardware.
MSP MSP connection is active, probably via Betaflight Configurator 16 17 17 Terminate the Betaflight Configurator connection (disconnect).
PARALYZE Paralyze mode has been activated 18 Power cycle/reset FC board.
GPS GPS rescue mode is configured but required number of satellites has not been fixed 19 Wait for GPS fix or disable GPS rescue mode.
ARM SWITCH Arm switch is in an unsafe position 17 18 20 Toggle the arm switch to arm.

Other common issues that stop the quad from arming

If you don’t get any arming disabled flag in Betaflight, then the problem might be something else. Try to go through the following check list.

Accelerometer Related

Maybe your mini quad is not on a level enough surface, or the ACC (accelerometer) is not calibrated. Calibrate ACC on a level surface first, if still no luck, try increasing “small_angle degrees” in CLI (default is 25).

Or simply disable ACC if you don’t fly Angle mode.

CPU Usage Too High?

When CPU load is too high, the flight controller will simply refuse to arm. Try to stay below 50% by lowering looptime, and disabling unnecessary features.

Throttle Related

Check if the lowest value in your throttle channel is too high, make sure the throttle stick is at its lowest position when attempting to arm. Ideally every channel including throttle should have endpoints of 1000 and 2000. If they are not then you might want to calibrate your radio endpoints first.

Betaflight doesn’t arm if your minimum throttle is too high (higher than the setting “Min_Check”). This is a safety feature so that the quad doesn’t suddenly spin up the motors and hurt you when it’s armed. You must ensure that your throttle is lower than min_check when it’s in the lowest stick position. Min_check is set to 1050 by default, double check if it’s not been changed by mistake.

Moron threshold

Some FC might have more sensitive gyro’s and the quad would refuse to initialize after power up, and therefore you can’t arm it. By increase Moron Threshold in CLI can reduce gyro sensitivity during initialization. Try setting it to 100 or even 120.


I hope that was helpful! Let me know in the comment if you had problem with arming that was caused by something else that wasn’t covered in this tutorial. If you are still having problems arming your quad after following this guide, please post your question on our forum, I am more than happy to help.

20 thoughts on “Quadcopter Doesn’t Arm? Let’s Fix it!

  1. Hessel

    Hi my quad isnt arming, I can spin the motors from the motor tab and i get input on the receiver tab when im moving the sticks but it doesnt spin the motors. I typed in status and there werent any flags. Do you know what the problem might be?

    Im using a ppm receiver (CM703) and pwm ESC’s.



  2. Christian

    Hey FPV Friends,

    after updating my Tbs Vendetta v1 to betaflight 4.0 i have a solid red led instead of the quad arming up. I checked and calibrated everything, i have a low cpu load… no beep codes at all (at least not anymore – see above ;-), no blinking, nothing.
    It just won´t arm.

    Maybe somebody has a suggestion for me :-)

    Thx, Chris

    1. Oscar Post author

      What arming disable flags are you getting?
      Can you try flash an older version of BF see if that works?
      If this works, but not Betaflight 4.0, you should check with TBS.

  3. Lee

    Hi, thanks for this great tutorial. I’ve just built my first quad and set up the arming switch to aux 1 after following your guide. Betaflight shows the switch transitioning and the yellow indicator moving into the yellow band. However my quad does not arm. In my goggles OSD, the warning THROTTLE appears when moving aux 1 to arm. My throttle is in the minimum position already and i have also tried trimming fully back which makes no difference. Can you please let me know what the possible problem could be?


    1. Oscar Post author

      1. At throttle’s lowest stick position, what value does it tell you in the receiver tab? Ideally it should be lower than 1000, e.g. 998, or 999
      2. Make sure your Min_check is at 1050, your lowest throttle has to be lower than this value in order to arm.

  4. Christopher Clayton

    Is the only way to know for sure if the flight board is toast is trial and error? I know that’s probably the last thing people hope it is , is that why people just don’t check that first or is there no direct way to check just the flight boards status? Sorry if this question is stupid, I’m a newb

    1. Oscar Post author

      It’s going to be too long a topics to cover in a blog comment, i will have to write a post for that in the future.

  5. James

    It’s been a while and you should’ve (hopefully) resolved the issue by now. Just throwing this out in case it might be useful to someone else.

    When I had the issue of the gimbals not responding in Betaflight, it was the Failsafe mode which I accidentally enabled on my transmitter. I could see all AUX input channels responding except those of the gimbals or of the ARM switch. Flipping the switch to disable Failsafe had everything working normally again.

  6. Logan

    Hello i just got a GEPRC Mark2 PNP quad. I plugged in my receiver which is for an Radiolink AT9, but as soon as i turn on my remote, the quad beeps constantly of short beeps. My OSD said “BADRX”, but the reciever works on my other quads just fine.

  7. patric pargätzi

    i have same issue try to check every point on the list. I have a flysky turnigy evolution . had tried spektrum dx8 then go for taranis x-lite but always came back to flysky t . . .

    so i have also full controll and solid signal when i connect and whatsch the recivertap.
    but radio’s endpoints says avery channel 100% . have no more ideas

  8. Osern Chang

    Thanks for your detailed tips,it should had helped me and people just involved in,but I tried everything even googled lots of vids but still unable to make arm activated in Beta Flight configurator, however flip fail safe and fly mode switch work fine and beep, if I check all the tips,what else would I missed?

  9. Jessie

    I just started running TBS CROSSFIRE on my kwad. I was running FrSky R-XSR rx for months and no problems arming at att! Today December 9th is my first time flying crossfire module with the nano rx. My fc is the pyro F4OSD running betaflight RC3.5??? I think? Anyway, the kwad willarm once and if i disarm I get the “PARALYZE” flag? Can someone help me out with this one??

    1. Oscar Post author

      that’s a betaflight feature used for racing. Check your BF settings. Make sure you don’t have a mode enabled for Paralyze on accident

  10. Edward

    I’ve just updated to the latest versions of betaflight (3.4 & configurator 10.3.1) everything works great, new PIDs and turtule mode are awsome.
    The thing is it only seems to have Air mode, I can’t find neither angle nor horizon mode, where are they ?
    Please help me.


      1. Ash

        Was flying fine for days, had rough landing, wouldn’t arm after this, plugged into betaflight only to find not getting any response to the sticks/switches in the receiver tab. But Taranis xd9 tells me telemetry gained / lost when I power on or off. So it’s bound to receiver, some sort of communication but no sticks input.. spent a fair few hours trying to trouble shoot before asking here. Could be a wrecked Flight Controller board and I have ordered a new one today. (Using DYS F4 Pro v2). But more worried my Taranis xd9 broke somehow :(

        My beeper is not very clear/loud but think its telling me error number 3. Beta flight says “arming disable flags: 3,17 And CLI “status” says RXLOSS (and the typical CLI and MSP).

        Summary of what I’ve done so far:
        checked wiring thoroughly, visual and with multimeter including the header plugs and inspected for bent pins etc.. re-soldered the receiver wires to fc board and re checked with multi-meter. No change.
        2. Open brand new R-XSR receiver, bound it and plugged into the freshly soldered wires, successful binding but: – No change
        3. I think every other troubleshooting option I’ve found on this page and on many vids (JB youtube for example), are to solve a problem that does not including having no stick response in betaflight – I still tried most of them – good learning experience
        Any tips or suggestions welcomed! My next step is to de-solder all wires then re-solder wires to new FC when it arrives in a day or 2. If no go then it’s to order a new Transmitter (Taranis) and kinda hoping not to do that ><

        Thanks again!

      2. Oscar Post author

        The very first thing on the page is to check your stick inputs in Betaflight :)
        Check if SBUS is setup properly?
        Another I’d try is to backup and then reset all the settings, and start from scratch, could just be a configuration issue.

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