If you are looking for the best beginner racing drone to start with for your new hobby, you probably have learned that racing drones generally come with two different types. One is RTF which stands for ready-to-fly, the other is ARF that is short for almost-ready-to-fly.
Normally, you just need to mount the propellers and battery before getting an RTF racing drone up in the air very quickly. While flying an ARF drone takes much more time and effort because you will have to put all the components like motors, flight controller and transmitter together first.
The question is which one is better for you and what you should choose as a beginner?
If you are completely new to drones and have no idea what drone parts and components are, we recommend you start with an RTF one. Here are the top 3 models. You can also find detailed reviews right below.
How Did We pick?
When doing the research, we read expert’s reviews and asked their opinions, studied users’ feedback, and collected information from forums and groups. After that, we figured out below criteria about what you should consider before buying a beginner racing drone.
- Flight performance. When we talk about flight performance, we mainly refer to flight time and speed. As RTF models often come with a built-in battery, they rarely last for 5 minutes but 3 minutes or up is a what we are looking for here. As for speed, it’s recommended to go with one that has different speed modes. It allows you to start from a low mode before you completely master flying.
- FPV (First-person view). An FPV racing drone allows you to experience the thrilling real-time view when flying. It’s probably what many people love racing. When used together with FPV goggles, you will see exactly what the drone sees.
- Easy to use. A racing drone is not like a DJI camera drone that features a lot of easy to use functions that even a small child can get it up in the air very quickly. An RTF normally requires some setup work before you can fly.
- Price. If you are just getting into the new hobby, it’s better to start with a cheaper one. The purpose at this stage is to polish your flying skills and learn more about a racing drone. So is it worth it using premium parts on your first racing quad? Probably NO. And, you are likely to crash it many times, it makes sense to start with something cheaper, so even if you break something it won’t stink that much.
- Durability. As a beginner, you will crash it many many times because a racing drone flys really fast and can’t hold its position when hovering. So crash-resistance is extremely important.
Best Beginner RTF Racing Drones Review
Ready to fly. Comes with a remote and a monitor, you can fly it out of the box with some simple setup.
Small, compact and lightweight, allows you to fly indoor or small places.
Nearly 300 feet (90 meters) of video range which is more than adequate to fly in any large building or home.
SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology. The use of SAFE® technology makes it easy to stay in control with self-leveling.
FPV Equipped. Enables you to experience real-time view on the included 4.3-inch FPV Monitor when flying.
Compatible with FPV goggles like FacShark which allows you to enjoy immersive FPV flying.
LED Lighting. With white and red LED lighting, it’s easy to follow others while flying together and to know if the battery is getting low when they begin to blink.
NOTE: a ham license is required to operate the video transmitter in the U.S.
Pros & Cons
The Blade Inductrix FPV Drone is perfect for beginners as it’s an RTF drone comes with everything you need at an affordable price. Many first-time users commented that they were pleased with this model for its easy-to-use, saying that if you have flown mini or micro-sized drones before, you would appreciate the maneuverability and crash-resistant of this model.
One thing that impressed users is durability. People commented that although you may crash it many times, the drone does still fly. It’s lightweight, the duct fan like frame which makes it very crash-resistant, the prop guards are able to protect the motors and props from damage. Also, the camera is securely mounted with a protective case so it does not fall off easily upon crashes.
When it comes to the necessary accessories and spare parts, people said that spare props and frames are pretty cheap. As the battery life is only around 3 – 4 minutes and recharging takes about 40 minutes. You will need to get more batteries.
Another downside is that if you fly indoor and hit it on the ceiling, you may accidentally hit the camera’s channel button on top and change the FPV channel. This may result in losing signal on your screen and blind flying.
Users also suggest getting a frame stiffener which costs only a few dollars so that you won’t damage any sturt during crashes.
Thanks to the high quality 700 TVL camera with a 120° field of view, the 210-UP offers you a crystal clear real-time view when flying. The unique 5.8 GHz mushroom antenna allows it to transmit with a range up to 800 meters (0.5 miles).
The SwagDrone 210-UP also packs a night vision camera for better visibility in low lighting conditions, especially when you’re flying through a tunnel or cruising through the night sky.
Its ability to quickly stop the drone lets you save it when you accidentally fly it out of range or crash hard on objects. It also packs a locator alarm that helps you find the drone easily.
3 flight modes (Primary/Mid-Level/High-Level) gives you flexibility when flying and it’s also beginner-friendly.
Record & Rewatch your Flight. It allows you to sync the real-time video feed to a compatible smart device.
Pros & Cons
Most people said that it’s a fun starter racing drone for people who want to learn. It comes at a decent price.
When it comes to flight performance, many said that it’s fast and responds quickly. Someone who flew the drone in 50 to 60 mph wind said that it performed pretty well.
The camera quality is another that impressed users. Users commented that when paired with VR goggles, they can literally see everything which helps them learn to fly drastically.
Durability seems no problem, people said that they crashed the drone many times, but only small damage was caused, the drone can still do the trick.
Users do have setup problems with this model. Although an RTF racing drone, it’s still a bit complicated for a novice. Some commented that the instruction book is too simple, and it took some effort to put it together, some even asked help from an engineer friend.
The Walkera F210 is equipped with a 700TVL high resolution and 120° of visual range camera which allows you to adjust the angle for a better view. It also comes with night vision capability.
Great durability. Thanks to the use of carbon fiber material, it’s not only lightweight but also crash-resistant. The front part is also covered with aluminum parts which help to protect the drone when hitting on objects.
Users of any skill level will find it fun to fly for it provides different flight modes. Beginners can start with a slow mode. In terms of speed, it can reach up to 80 km/h (50 mph).
The control distance is up to 800m (0.5 miles) which allows you to control the drone from distance, together with the camera, it gives you stable real-time FPV video transmission.
Pros & Cons
This is the most powerful one among the 3 reviewed. People commented that it durable, fast, and very accurate flying, a beginner with a steady hand can fly it with no problem.
Some users did crash the drone many times, hit trees, dirt, and cement, etc., but most of the time only the propellers were broke. They were able to put it right back up in the air after replacing them.
Experienced pilots also liked this one for its powerful motors, fast speed, and durability, saying that most people even can’t build a better or faster quad for the money.
When flying the Walkera F210, some users said that you need to be extremely careful because it’s really fast.
People also have problems with the Failsafe feature. It takes about 5-6 seconds before cutting the throttle which is way too long. And there is no way you can adjust it. Also, the Devo 7 controller does work well but take too many batteries and doesn’t last long.
Instead of listing all the RTF racing drones here, we only present 3 that would satisfy most of the novice. For most people, the Blade Inductrix should be a good start, it’s the most affordable yet easiest to use. It also comes with a screen for a real-time view while others need to be paired with FPV goggles. If you want something more powerful and have more budget, you can go with the SwagDrone 210-UP or the Walkera F210 FPV.
Getting yourself a drone is just the very first step, to learn more about drone racing, you can find and join a local racing drone league or group, you can also just check the Drone Racing Guide – Beginner Level which is an ebook available on Amazon.