Gamers make the best military drone operators – DPR instructor

Soldiers who have had video game experience tend to be better at flying military UAVs, a Russian drone instructor claimed

Gamers make the best military drone operators – DPR instructor

Gamers make the best military drone operators – DPR instructor

Recruits who have video game experience tend to learn faster and fly UAVs better, the expert said

Volunteers and mobilized soldiers who have experience playing computer games have proved the most adept at learning to operate complex drones, an instructor serving in Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has told journalists.

The instructor, whose call sign is ‘Cross’, said that gamers made especially good progress in mastering First Person View (FPV) drones, which provide the operator with a real-time video feed that can be used to control the device via a monitor or video helmet.

“Gamers ‘fly’ better, it’s a fact,” Cross was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti. He noted that while it took him about two weeks to understand the concepts of flying an FPV drone, gamers could get the hang of it in just one day.

“In two weeks they were already flying like ‘adults,” the instructor said. “When an untrained person immediately starts ‘flying’ very well, I always ask ‘have you flown somewhere before?’ They respond ‘no, i just played computer games using a joystick.’” 

Cross told reporters he is convinced that if gamers were to be recruited through social advertising, they could be useful for military service and a lot more volunteers with this background could be attracted.

“We already have banners and videos calling on people to sign up for contract service. We should do the same for gamers,” the instructor suggested.

Last week, former DPR security minister Andrey Pinchuk also reported that the Ukrainian military was “looking with fire” for young people who had played all sorts of simulator video games. They are viewed as having a good sense of balance and are seen as the most effective at operating modern FPV kamikaze drones. 

He noted that “traditional specialists do not understand what to do with these devices at all” and that without the necessary skills, the drones are useless and just sit around in warehouses. 

Pinchuk also suggested that special training grounds were required to properly train drone operators, and that Ukraine currently has neither the capacity nor enough professionals to quickly prepare a large number of UAV pilots. 

“There are not enough specialists, because this is a new word in science and in military affairs,” the former minister said.