Using a GoPro remote control is a great way to shoot when your camera is inaccessible. So whether your camera is helmet mounted or tail-mounted on your motorcycle, using a GoPro remote will be a lifesaver.
There are 4 types of GoPro remotes you can use for capturing your adventures. They vary in features and function – some are better for extreme sports and others for vlogging and in-person walking tours.
Here’s how to use a GoPro remote when shooting with your GoPro.
This guide is part of our huge, unofficial GoPro user manual.
GoPro Remote Control Guide
Current GoPro Remotes
There are four options for remote controlling your GoPro camera. Three of these options are produced by GoPro. These three are pictured above.
- The Remote: This tiny waterproof remote can control up to 5 GoPro cameras at a distance of up to 196 feet (60 meters). The Remote is compatible with Hero12/11/10/9 – the four newest Black models. You can find this on Amazon and BH Photo.
- Volta Grip: The Volta grip is a combination tripod/grip/powerbank and GoPro remote. Volta is currently compatible with 3 GoPro cameras. The Volta isn’t waterproof.
- GoPro Quik App: The Quik app by GoPro is an app for your mobile device. You can get Quik on Google Play or the App Store.
- Some 3rd Party Remotes: Some of the popular brands include Telesin (compatible with Hero12/11/10/9/8) and Suptig (compatible with Hero8/7/6/5/4/3, Max, and Fusion).
Discontinued GoPro Remotes
There are two GoPro remotes that have been discontinued.
- Smart Remote. This remote from 2012 has been replaced by The Remote. While this isn’t sold on gopro.com, you can still find it on B&H Photo and Amazon. The Smart Remote is compatible with Hero8 Black, GoPro Max, Hero7 Black, Hero6 Black, Hero5 Black, Hero5 Session, and Fusion. This remote has a stronger signal – transmitting up to 600 ft (180 m) vs the under 200 ft of the newer The Remote. And it can control up to 50 cameras (vs the 5 of the newer version).
- Remo: First released in 2016, the Remo was built for GoPro Hero5, Hero5 Session, and Hero6 Black. I can’t find this remote sold on gopro.com or any other online vendor. If you want this one, you’ll probably have to buy it used. This one is unique because it works with voice control – none of the others do.
Which GoPro Remote is Waterproof?
The current remote (The Remote) is waterproof, as is its predecessor (Smart Remote).
The Volta grip isn’t waterproof.
If you use your phone as a remote via the Quik app, you’ll have to check your phone specs for waterproof ratings.
The now-obsolete Remo was also waterproof.
Do GoPro Remotes Work Underwater?
Unfortunately, GoPro remotes don’t work underwater.
It has to do with the radio waves and how well water absorbs 2.4GHz waves. Water absorbs radio frequency so well that a microwave (also 2.4GHz) can heat a glass of water with them.
Once your camera and/or remote are submerged, you’ll lose the connection.
It is possible to run an extension cable (Cam-Do makes one) to transmit the signal to the surface. Here’s more about how to handle GoPro signals underwater.
Which GoPro Remote is Best?
I own all the remotes (with the exception of Remo). And the best GoPro remote will depend on the application.
- I like The Remote because it’s easy to pair and works great. It’s waterproof and connects with the newest models (Hero12/11/10/9).
- I also love the Quik app – because I get a live feed of what the camera sees. This helps with framing and video settings.
- And the Volta Grip is great for vlogging and extended shoots. Because it has a built-in powerbank, you can get extended battery life. And the tripod/grip combo makes it user-friendly for city tours and tutorials.
The GoPro remote you should choose will depend on what you’re shooting.
- You should use The Remote for surfing, mountain biking, and other scenarios where you need hands-free operation. The Remote comes with a velcro strap you can attach to your handlebars or wrist.
- You should use the Quik app when you can safely use your phone. It allows for more finessing of the framing and exposure control.
- I like the Volta for combined tripod and powerbank. This is a great vlogging setup and for interviews. This isn’t waterproof.
What about 3rd party remotes for GoPro? I don’t recommend them. The official, GoPro-branded remotes aren’t much more money and they work great. I haven’t used them, but I’m concerned about their stability and quality (waterproofness).
Have you had success with another brand of remote? Please let me know in the comments.
GoPro Remote Vs GoPro Voice Commands
Are you considering either using a GoPro remote or the enabled GoPro voice commands? Each has its benefits.
- You’ll need to be quite close to for voice commands to work on your GoPro.
- The GoPro remotes – especially The Remote – work at a much further distance. And it won’t be confused by high wind or other noises. Just press the shutter release and begin filming.
If you’re shooting an important event – like a once-in-a-lifetime experience – why not enable both? That way, if one fails you can still capture the moment.
GoPro Remote Compatibility
The newest GoPro remote (The Remote) is compatible with Hero12 Black, Hero11 Black (and Mini), Hero10 Black (and Bones), Hero9 Black, GoPro Max, and Hero8 Black.
The other GoPro remotes include the Smart Remote, the Volta, the Quik app, and 3rd party remotes.
See our full guide to GoPro remote compatibility. Make sure to check the chart before buying the remote to make sure it will work with your current model.
When to Use GoPro Remote
The best use of your GoPro remote is when your camera is mounted out of reach.
You can strap The Remote to your wrist, handlebars, rally car, or crossbar.
That way, if your camera is helmet-mounted, in front of your surfboard, back of your car, or somewhere else that’s inaccessible, you’ll be able to begin filming easily (and safely).
Here are some activities that are great for using your remote.
- Biking: downhill, mountain biking
- Aerial activities
- Fence mounted on the soccer pitch
- Rock climbing
Other remote applications can include:
- Wildlife filming, nature shots: Quik App
- Vlogging, interviews, walking tours, tutorials: Volta
How to Pair Your GoPro Remote
Here’s a basic overview of The Remote, including how to pair it to your camera.
And here’s how to pair the vintage GoPro Smart Remote with a Hero6 Black camera.
How to Charge Your GoPro Remote
To charge your GoPro remote, you’ll use the supplied cable.
- The Remote Charging: The Remote charges via a USB-C cable that ships with the remote. The battery is non-removable and will last 60 hours.
- Smart Remote Charging: The Smart Remote charges via a USB cable with a proprietary connector. It works well. But I’m not a fan of unique cable connectors. Fortunately, GoPro fixed this on the new The Remote – which charges with the same cable as the camera.
Which GoPro remote are you using (or planning to purchase)? How are you using your GoPro remote to capture great footage?
I would love to hear from you in the comment section below!
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
Bryan Haines is co-founder and blogger on Storyteller Tech. We cover action cameras and outdoor photography with a focus on GoPro cameras.
He is a travel blogger at Storyteller.Travel and co-founder of Storyteller Media, a company he started with his wife, Dena.