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The Basic Vaping Modes

What Are The Basic Vaping Modes You Should Know?

Vaping technology has certainly evolved a lot since the old days of box mod prototypes and e-cigs.  Modern vape mods typically come with loads of adjustable features that allow you to customize your vaping experience through a user-friendly display screen interface, and with advanced chip technology becoming super advanced, it seems like anything is possible to give vapers exactly what they want in terms of flavor, throat hit, cloud production, and more.

You’ve probably noticed that many of the advanced box mods come with more output modes than ever before – like wattage, temperature, smart mode, and more.  But, the thing is that if you don’t know what these modes mean, you might be missing out on what they can do to improve your vapes, and you may end up using them improperly, which could lead to lots of disappointment.  Because of that, we’re going to dive into the different vape modes today, what each one means, and how to use it to your advantage.

Why Do Vaping Modes Exist?

The default mode of almost every mod is wattage mode – a straightforward form of power output that is adjustable by the watt, with higher watts meaning stronger power from the battery.  While not all mods come with the ability to adjust wattage, almost all of today’s do, with the exception of disposable vape devices and simpler, smaller pod systems.

The question is, why are so many adjustable options necessary in the first place?  Why can’t every vaping system simply choose the right wattage for you, so you don’t have to do anything but vape? 

Well, the answer is simple.  Most vapers have very specific preferences, and hardware brands want to accommodate as many vapers as possible by making it easy to adjust things like how much vapor you get out of each puff, and how much of a throat hit you can get on the inhale.  Adjusting the output lets every vaper find their “sweet spot”, and the output level has a critical symbiotic relationship with the coil that’s being used in the atomizer.

Getting to Know Those Main Vaping Modes

Vaping devices, especially advanced systems offer a variety of modes to customize the vaping experience based on user preferences and the type of coil or atomizer being used.  Before we get into those, it’s crucial to remember that the availability of these modes depends on the specific vaping device.  For example, some devices might only offer basic wattage adjustments, while more advanced mods provide a comprehensive set of modes and settings.  So, it's essential to read the user manual for any vaping device to understand its capabilities and how to use it safely.

Variable Voltage/Variable Wattage

Whenever you first turn on your vaping system, you’ll see, on the display screen, a number that tells you the wattage it’s operating at.  It may say something like “60.0”, or “60W”, depending on the preferences of the manufacturer themselves.  This, again, is the default vaping mode, which is variable wattage.  Depending on the vaping device itself, it can range from 1-230W, with box mods offering higher output ranges, and pod mods offering lower ones.

You might also encounter variable voltage options, although these are less popular, and fell out of fashion a while ago.  The reason why is that voltage is too general, while wattage offers more precise numeric adjustments. 

Variable wattage became a necessity in the early days of box mods, because box mods came out before starter kits.  In other words, people bought tanks and mods separately, and different tanks were compatible with different coils.  Each coil has a unique resistance level, which must be compatible with a specific wattage, and so being able to adjust that wattage according to the coil that you’ve purchased was important.

Today, of course, box mods come in starter kit form more often than not, and besides that, coil packs come with suggested wattage ranges on the label itself, so you know which wattage range is ideal for the coil you’ve selected, to take out any guesswork.

Temperature Control  (TCR)

Temperature control was the second type of vaping mode to become more or less standard on box mod systems.  It was the first real alternative to variable wattage, offering even more precision and control than ever before.  Temperature control is simple – you select a temperature that the coil must reach consistently, rather than the wattage at which the battery needs to provide power to the coil.  This way, every hit is super consistent, as the coil never burns due to the temp getting too high.

Temperature control is basically the antidote to dry hits which plagued early vaping systems.  Like wattage, it allows you to select a very precise temperature, and the coil can never surpass that temp.  When the coil surpasses the ideal temperature, the e-liquid in the coil’s wick can burn instead of vaporize, leading to “dry hits”, which can irritate the throat and cause an unpleasant, burnt taste.

Basically, with temperature control mode, the mod you’re using is able to detect the temperature of the coil at all times.  Once the temp gets too high, the mod stops providing power to the coil, so that you don’t accidentally end up with a dry hit or a burnt out coil.  But, to use temperature control, you must also be using a coil that’s compatible with the temperature you’ve selected, as each type of metal has a range of temperatures that it can handle before burning or melting.  This is one reason why temperature control mode is a bit more advanced – you need to pay attention to the metal of the coil to ensure a safe and satisfying vaping experience.  For instance, Kanthal coils aren’t compatible with temperature control, while stainless steel coils are.  Then, there are titanium and nickel coils, which’re compatible with temperature control mode, but not with wattage mode.


Curve mode, aka “wattage curve” or “power curve” mode, lets you program a “curve” in which the power is provided to the coil gradually while you’re holding the firing button down.  When you’re in this vaping mode, the display screen should show a graph that demonstrates what the curve looks like, and you can adjust it using the adjustment buttons until you’re satisfied.  The advantage of this type of vaping mode is that it lets you provide more power instantaneously, tapering power off slowly, to give you a fast preheat for instant flavor and vapor, without the risk of burning your coil or the e-liquid in your tank.  Understandably, this is quite an advanced option that can take some trial and error before getting it right.


Bypass mode is way more common now than it used to be, and it’s sort of taken from the older mechanical mods that came out before variable adjustments on box mods were a staple, allowing vapers to make adjustments mechanically.  Mechanical mods, aka “mech mods”, fell out of favor for one unsurprising reason: they were dangerous for those who didn’t know what they were doing, as auto safety features weren’t yet common. 

Bypass mode is now a popular vaping mode for box mods thanks to the use of safety features that automatically detect potential hazards and make adjustments accordingly.  Bypass mode mimics using a mechanical mod by using the battery’s full voltage rather than having it automatically regulated.  Safety features are still in place, but the voltage isn’t subdued when you fire each hit.


Smart mode is another option that’s become really popular as of late.  Smart mode is pretty simple, too.  It just automatically configures your output to give you what the device believes is the best option according to your coil.  The device automatically detects the resistance level of your coil, and then recommends the best wattage to feel satisfied with your vaping experience.  This allows you to adjust the wattage based on its recommendation.

Some mods take this concept further by allowing you to select the right wattage based on whether you prefer more flavor, more battery life, or bigger clouds.


Pulse mode is one of the newer developments in the vaping world.  The idea behind pulse mode is that when activated, it offers more consistency between hits, as well as more vapor on the inhale.  It does this by pulsing the output of power when you’re holding down the firing button.  The pulses are super-fast – typically one every 0.2 seconds, and by doing this instead of providing power continuously, the coil and your battery have a moment to adjust to your coil’s temperature and the output of your device.

Pulse mode can be applied to other vaping modes, like variable wattage or temperature control.  People prefer pulse mode for temperature control vaping, because it seems to give the best quality of flavor and vapor, while protecting the coil from burning out.

Preheat or Boost Mode

Some devices allow users to set an initial higher wattage for the first few seconds to heat up the coil faster, then it drops down to a standard wattage for the remainder of the puff.  This can be useful to get a stronger, initial hit or to help vaporize thicker e-liquids more efficiently.  Basically, without the boost, the first draw may feel weak if the coil hasn’t reached the desired temperature or wattage. 

Also, some advanced mods allow users to customize not only the boost power but also the duration of the boost.  In turn. this lets them fine-tune their vaping experience to meet their personal preferences.

Which Vaping Mode Will You Choose?

As you can see, different vape modes come with different output modes that let you really customize your experience on a whole new level.  Whether you’re a newbie who wants to stick to a small range of wattage options to play it safe, or you’re an advanced vaper who enjoys pairing different coil builds with different precise temperature settings, there’s a mod for you at Vapor Authority that gives you exactly what you’re seeking out, for a sweet spot that satisfies every single vaping need you could possibly have.

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