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If this will be your first time ordering from Banggood, you should know a few things.


The controller goes in your hands. The receiver goes in your quad. You move the sticks on the controller, and those commands are transmitted wirelessly to the quad via the receiver.

Different brands of controllers use a different protocol to talk to their receiver. So a Ghost receiver won’t work with a Crossfire module. When you buy a controller, you need to realize that you’re also locking yourself into which receivers you’re going to buy. This is actually way more important than many beginners realize. Some brands of receiver are more expensive. Some brands don’t have a good selection of micro-receivers such as are used in mini quads. Some brands lack features like telemetry (so you can check your battery voltage and other stats while flying). And some have significantly more range than others.

One exception to this rule is the “multiprotocol” radios, which come with a “4-in-1” RF module that can bind to FrSky, FlySky, Spektrum, and more. Examples include the Jumper T18 and RadioMaster TX16S.

Which protocol should you get? I made a video breaking down this decision.


Purchase at GetFPV

The iFlight iF8-E is my recommendation if you’re looking for your first radio on the tightest of budgets. There are cheaper radios out there, such as the BetaFPV LiteRadio or the FlySky FS-i6, but they’re worse quality and features than the iF8. The manufacturer of the iF8, RadioMaster, has a pretty good track record for quality hardware, and there have been no major QC issues with the iF8-E’s predecessor, the iF8.

The iF8 can bind to FrSky receivers running the ACCST D16 and D8 protocols. This makes it compatible with receivers like the FrSky RXSR, the iFlight iF8 receiver, as well as many bind-n-fly drones. It comes with a basic configuration, with all switches pre-assigned to aux channels; so there’s no need to plug in to a computer and set it up. You can even connect it to your computer to practice flying in the simulator.

Make no mistake: if you can spend even a little bit more money, you’ll get a much better controller. But if you’re looking for a decent controller at the lowest price, this is it.


Purchase at RaceDayQuads Radiomaster / Eachine
Purchase at GetFPV Radiomaster / Eachine
Purchase at NewBeeDrone Radiomaster / Eachine
Purchase at Banggood Radiomaster / Eachine
Purchase at Amazon Radiomaster / Eachine

The biggest selling point of the TX16S is its 4-in-1 multiprotocol module. This means that it can bind to most of the major receiver types: FrSky, FlySky, and Spektrum; it can also control many proprietary bind-n-fly aircraft. Get a “toy quad” with a “toy-grade” controller? The TX16S can probably control it.

The TX16S runs OpenTX. OpenTX is an incredibly powerful and flexible operating system for controllers. Pretty much anything you can imagine wanting your controller to do, OpenTX can do. Since I’m a real gear-head nerd, that makes it perfect for me. The down-side of this is that OpenTX can be a little complicated to learn to use at first. Some beginners struggle.

Other reasons to choose the TX16S include its huge, color touch-screen (touch-screen capability not active until upgraded with OpenTX version 2.4). It has full-size Hall Effect gimbals, something never before seen in a radio at this price. Like all OpenTX radios, it works with your PC simulator. It’s also got USB-C internal charging for 18650 lithium cells or a 2S lipo battery (linked below).

The Eachine TX16S is a re-badge of the RadioMaster TX16s, created for Eachine. The button layout is slightly different but the function and internals are identical. If you’re intending to buy the RadioMaster TX16S but you can’t find it in stock, or if you prefer the button layout of the Eachine, this is a fine choice.

The TX16S Max is the upgraded version of theTX16S listed above. What’s the “Max” get you? Custom colors. Stiffer, heavier plastic on the shell. CNC metal gimbals. Metal buttons and roller instead of plastic. Metal folding carry handle. And leather side-grips. The TX16S Max has the same great performance as the “standard” version, with upgraded aesthetics and feel. For those who say, “I like OpenTX radios, but they all feel so cheap!” Here’s the answer.

The Mk2 version of the TX16S Max made some small improvements to the TX16S, such as reverse-polarity protection on the battery leads. But the main thing the Mk2 added was additional options. The radio can now be ordered with Hall Effect gimbals or upgraded AG01 CNC metal gimbals pre-installed. And it can be ordered with the usual 4-in-1 RF module or a 250 mW ExpressLRS module pre-installed.

Some people are going to scoff that my “top of the line” radio isn’t an ultra-premium brand like Futaba or Jeti. Obviously, those are amazing radios. But in the FPV community at least, OpenTX is the standard for radios, and I couldn’t in good faith recommend a non-OpenTX radio, no matter how excellent it is.


Purchase at RaceDayQuads – Joshua Bardwell / MCK
Purchase at GetFPV – Joshua Bardwell / LumenierMCK
Purchase at Five33 – Five33 Edition
Purchase at Banggood – Joshua BardwellMCK
Purchase at RadioMaster – Joshua BardwellMCK

These special editions further upgrade the TX16S Max (and increase its price).

The Five33 version is the same as the TX16S Max, but with custom colors and a 533 logo laser-printed on the power button.

The JB version is the same as the TX16S Max, but with custom colors, and a JB voice pack pre-installed on the SD card. It comes with an internal ExpressLRS module instead of the usual 4-in-1 module.

The Lumenier version has AG01 gimbals and a metal CNC face plate, which raises the gimbals up a couple of mm, making the sticks extend further from the face of the radio.

Although the Lumenier version’s metal face plate seems desirable (more metal = good, right?) I personally prefer the plastic of the original Max version. It has a more rounded edge that fits my hand better, and the metal face plate just sucks the heat out of your hands on a cold day or gets uncomfortably hot if left in the sun.


Purchase at RaceDayQuads – 4-in-1 / ELRS / CC2500
Purchase at GetFPV – 4-in-1 / ELRS / CC2500
Purchase at NewBeeDrone – 4-in-1 / ELRS / CC2500
Purchase at Banggood – 4-in-1 / ELRS / CC2500
Purchase at Makerfire – 4-in-1 / ELRS / CC2500
Purchase at Radiomaster – 4-in-1 / ELRS / CC2500

A lot of people are going to think the Zorro is the perfect radio. The Zorro feels great in the hand. Micro-switches are more durable than full-sized switches used on other radios–consistent with the “toss it in a backpack” nature of game-pad style radios. It’s got tons of controls–switches, knobs, and buttons–in intuitive locations. The screen is large enough to use in the field, although some feel it should have been smaller, to keep the radio smaller overall.

Here’s the main thing that will scare off some people: battery life. The Zorro uses 18350 sized batteries, which have about 1/2 to 1/3 the capacity of typical 18650 cells. Running the radio at full power, I got about 90 minutes of continuous use before I started getting battery warnings. RadioMaster has addressed this with a aux power plug that takes a 2S battery, as well as the ability to charge via USB power bank while flying. And of course you can also just buy some spare cells and swap them out. But some people are annoyed by this decision and would rather not have to manage their controller battery so carefully.

The Zorro comes in several different versions. Make sure you buy the right one. The 4-in-1 version can bind to most “traditional” 2.4 GHz receivers, such as Frsky, FlySky, Spektrum, Futaba, and more. The CC2500 version can bind to FrSky and Futaba, but not FlySky and Spektrum. The ELRS version has a built-in ExpressLRS module. All versions have an external module bay for adding another protocol if desired.

The Tango 2 is the only controller to come with Crossfire built in. No external module needed. The build quality on the radio is excellent, especially compared to other radios at its price. Gimbals are smooth, and larger than some other “game controller” style radios. It runs OpenTX, so it can be programmed to do pretty much anything you want. And it’s small enough to easily tuck into a backpack.

The Tango 2 is such a good radio, let’s just list the things that would keep you away from it. It’s a shorter list.

If you don’t fly Crossfire, obviously, don’t get the Tango 2. The Tango 2 can support 2.4 GHz receivers with an external module. But the obvious intent is that you’ll primarily be flying Crossfire.

If you want a big, traditional-style controller, with a large screen, the Tango 2 is not for you; it’s got smaller gimbals; a very small screen; and the game-controller ergonomics are not for everyone. The Tango 2 only has six switches and no potentiometers (knobs). It doesn’t have physical trim switches, which some fixed-wing pilots see as a deal breaker. Finally, the radio is not fully integrated into OpenTX at this time, which means you won’t be able to transfer models to and from other OpenTX radios until that integration happens.

If none of those things scare you away, the Tango 2 is arguably the best RC controller you can get


All of the controllers linked above support 2.4 GHz digital control links. This has been the standard for RC control pretty much since Horizon Hobby invented it in 2004. This type of control link has about 1-2 km of range under typical operating conditions, which is significantly less than the older 72 MHz systems it replaced. So why is it so popular? 2.4 GHz digital control links nearly completely eliminate the potential for interference between pilots. You can literally have 50 or 100 pilots in the air at the same time if you want to. If you’re just getting started in FPV, this type of receiver is economical and convenient to use, since your radio supports it out of the box. But there are other control links, listed below, that have higher performance and longer range (at greater cost).

The main reason to choose a 2.4 GHz technology from this section would be if you are just buying your first radio and you don’t want the additional expense of buying a higher-performance module like Crossfire, Ghost, or Tracer. Of the 2.4 GHz technologies, the most advanced is FrSky ACCESS. Its range is still only a few km, but it has excellent latency and wireless firmware flashing. However, it’s it’s only supported in FrSky radios so if a Jumper or a RadioMaster strikes your fancy, you won’t be able to use ACCESS.

The R-XSR has been my favorite FrSky receiver ever since it came out. It’s tiny. It has full range and diversity antennas. It supports telemetry. And it works with all of FrSky’s radios–the new ACCESS protocol ones and the older ACCST protocol ones.

The only feature that the R-XSR is missing is RSSI output. It supports reporting RSSI to the controller, but you’ll have to jump through some hoops to get that information into your on-screen display.

The XM+ is my second favorite FrSky receiver. It’s about $5 cheaper than the R-XSR. It’s a tiny bit smaller. It has full range and supports diversity. The main thing it hasn’t got is support for telemetry. So you won’t be able to get flight statistics like battery voltage on your controller screen. But since most flight controllers put that information in their OSD (on-screen display) then many people feel it doesn’t really matter. If you’re looking to save a bit of money and weight, the XM+ is the one you’ll get.

The XM+ is now shipping with ACCST firmware version 2.1. This means that it won’t bind to radios with older ACCST firmware on their internal XJT module. The workaround is to flash ACCST 2.1 to your radio’s module. However this means the radio won’t bind to any 3rd party receivers, Tiny Whoops with built in receiver, or any FrSky receiver with older firmware on it.

The ACCESS system is the most advanced FrSky protocol so far, with features like wireless “over the air” (OTA) firmware updates and ultra-low latency. If you’ve got an ACCESS radio, the Archer RS is my recommended receiver for FPV quads.

The Spektrum SPM4650 is considered by many to be the best Spektrum receiver for FPV mini-quad pilots. It’s tiny. It has full range and diversity. It supports the most advance SRXL2 protocol, which has low latency and telemetry. And…. IT’S GOT A BIND BUTTON! Finally you can bind a Spektrum receiver without going to the Betaflight CLI or pulling out a binding plug.

The 4650 is not available in all stores. Next-best are the 4651T (which supports SRXL2 but no bind button) and the 4649 (which doesn’t have a bind button and only supports SRXL1, but is still pretty good).

The Fli14+ is almost the perfect FlySky receiver. It’s small and light. Supports diversity. And it outputs RSSI as an Aux channel, which might be the simplest way of getting signal strength into your OSD (on-screen display). There are only two things I dislike about this receiver. Its antennas are soldered on, which makes it difficult to replace them when (not if) they get damaged. And it’s mostly only available from Banggood, so depending on where in the world you live, it might be a while before you get it.


ExpressLRS is one of the most exciting control links today. It is open source, which means enthusiasts develop it for free, just because they love doing it. Their goal was to develop the lowest-latency control link possible. A side effect of a super low latency link is that range is reduced. But happily, ELRS lets you decide: do you want a super low latency, shorter-range link; or do you want a higher latency, ultra long range link. This means that ELRS can basically meet the needs of any pilot: from a racer who wants 500 Hz refresh rate, to a long-range enthusiast who wants to fly 60 km or more.

Despite its amazing performance, there are a few reasons why some people will skip ELRS. The first one is that commercial ELRS hardware may not be made to the same standards as TBS or Ghost receivers. Many different manufacturers make ELRS compatible receivers, and some have higher quality standards than others. With Crossfire or Ghost, there is a single company that cares about the reputation of the system and the quality of the hardware. With ELRS, that’s not as true. (If you really think you can do it better, you can still buy a kit and solder up your own ELRS hardware.)

A second drawback of ELRS is that it’s a little more complicated to manage than some other systems. Owning an ELRS system, you are expected to be able to compile your own firmware and flash it to your module and receivers. There’s a PC-based utility that makes this as easy as possible, but it’s still more difficult for most novices than Crossfire and Ghost.

A final drawback is that ELRS is designed to be used with a flight controller. If you fly planes with servos driven directly off the receiver, ELRS doesn’t work well for that. However, this is changing fast! As of this writing, Matek has released the first ELRS receiver with PWM outputs! Even still, ERLS only delivers full resolution on the four main control channels. All aux channels have a resolution of at most 128 positions. That might be fine for flaps, but it wouldn’t work anywhere you need very precise control of a servo position.

ExpressLRS hardware comes in two versions: one for 900 MHz operation and one for 2.4 GHz operation. Most experts agree that 900 MHz is only necessary for those looking to go extremely long ranges–like 50 km or more. Although 2.4 GHz has a reputation for poor range and penetration, the LoRa technology used by ELRS more than makes up for this. 2.4 GHz is a universal worldwide band; can have more pilots in the air without interference; has smaller antennas; and can operate up to 500 Hz or more. All of the equipment on this page is 2.4 GHz ELRS for this reason.



2.4 GHZ

2.4 GHZ

As of this writing, a lot of manufacturers make ExpressLRS modules. So why aren’t more of them represented on the list? Inconsistent quality is the answer. Not to say that the these vendors have been perfect, but in an anonymous poll of some experienced ELRS users and devs, the HappyModel and Naminmo modules seemed to be preferred over the others.

Of these modules, the Happymodel Slim Pro is probably the best, with its CNC metal case and 1W output power, with fan cooling. Only problem is it’s a “slim” style module, so if your radio has a JR bay it won’t fit. For JR bay radios, the Naminmo has better fitting plastic case and higher output power, as well as a fan and the ability to plug in an external battery when operating at the highest output power. However, the Happymodel Pro has also tested very well, is a little cheaper since it doesn’t have a screen, and is more widely available.

The AxisFlying Thor module was originally left off this list because its price was too high. Since then, the price has come down, so we’re adding it. The build quality of this module is extremely high. It goes up to 1 watt of output power, with ample cooling to be sure it stays at full power even for long flight sessions. It’s got a screen and joystick if you prefer to configure the system that way. The main downside of this module, other than price, is that it hangs off the back of the radio a bit awkwardly, compared to other modules which fit inside the module bay.


Purchase at NewBeeDrone

The “EP1” and “EP2” receivers are absolutely tiny, weighing only 0.4 grams. They can fit into just about any build, but they’re ideal for micros. The EP1 receiver has a standard UFL antenna connector, which plugs into a wire antenna that you can mount the usual ways. The EP2 receiver has a ceramic antenna soldered onto the circuit board. This has a little better than half the range of the EP1’s external antenna, but completely eliminates any questions about mounting the antenna, and eliminates the risk of chopping the antenna with the props. The EP2 is especially appealing to racers who don’t need extraordinary range and those flying the tiniest of aircraft, where size/weight is more of a concern than range. Don’t be scared; you can still get kilometers of range on an EP2, even though an EP1 will go even further.

The Naminmo Nano RX is larger than the Happymodel EP1 and EP2. This gives it room to add an amplifier for its telemetry transmitter. The EP1 and EP2 will lose telemetry at relatively short range, while control is maintained. The Naminmo will maintain telemetry pretty much until the link failsafes. Whether this matters depends on whether you use telemetry data or not.

The Matek R-24-D receiver stands out for two reasons. First, Matek has a reputation for making high quality, reliable hardware. I don’t hesitate at all to say that Matek has the best reputation of any of the current batch of ELRS manufacturers. Second, the Matek receiver has diversity antennas, which allows very long range pilots to ensure that they don’t failsafe due to an antenna null. Matek’s R-24-S has a ceramic antenna, similar to the EP2.


ImmersionRC Ghost operates in the 2.4 GHz frequency band, similar to the FrSky ACCST receivers shown above. But Ghost uses a sophisticated modulation technology called LoRa to get unbelievable range. Under typical conditions, Ghost can go 10-15 km; under ideal conditions it can go 50 km or more. Even if long range isn’t your focus, this translates to additional penetration through obstacles, and confidence in your link.

The main appeal of Ghost is its flexibility. It can operate in “long range” mode to get maximum range at the cost of latency; “pure race” mode minimizes latency at the expense of range; and there are several modes in between. Ghost is the ideal system if you intend to cruise mountains 10 km out one day, smash a concrete bando the next day, and race the next day. Because it operates in the 2.4 GHz band, Ghost avoids the interference issues of Crossfire and other 900 MHz protocols. It’s ideal for racers and those who fly in large groups.

The main disadvantage of Ghost is that it’s relatively new, so small bugs and performance issues are still being worked out. In addition, its maximum output power is only 350 mW, so its ultimate range and penetration is less than Crossfire (and even Tracer, in an apples-to-apples test). ImmersionRC’s counter-argument is that all of these systems offer more range to out-run your video link, at which point who cares? Well…. maybe. But some people do care.


Purchase at GetFPV
Purchase at NewBeeDrone

The performance of the micro and the lite Ghost module is identical. Just pick whichever one matches your radio’s module bay. The Atto will be the right receiver for most people; the Zepto has identical performance but is much smaller and lighter, ideal for tiny quadcopters.


Crossfire operates around 900 MHz, which means it has much… MUCH longer range and better penetration than the 2.4 GHz systems linked above. Even if you don’t intend to do long-range flights, the reliability and security of the Crossfire link gives you confidence to fly places you never would have dared. Crossfire also has ultra-low latency, for the a responsive, connected feel.

Currently, TBS Tango 2 is the only radio on the market that supports Crossfire natively. With other radios, you install a Crossfire module in the radio. One caveat: FrSky has taken some steps to break Crossfire compatibility on some of their radios. If you seriously intend to use Crossfire or any other high-performance 3rd party module, I recommend staying away from FrSky radios.

Because the performance of Crossfire, Ghost, and Tracer is more than most pilots need, it can be difficult to choose between them. Crossfire is the most mature of the long-range control links. It won’t surprise you with bugs or performance issues, and there is a huge community and lots of support for whatever questions you might have. Crossfire is no longer the lowest-latency link, so racers might prefer Ghost or Tracer, but Crossfire’s latency is still excellent, and it has superior range and penetration to the others. Racers or others who fly in large groups might want to avoid Crossfire because the 900 MHz frequency band that it uses is relatively small, especially in the EU, which can result in failsafes. Other than that, Crossfire might be the best overall balance of range, latency, price, and maturity of any control link available today.


Purchase at GetFPV
Purchase at NewBeeDrone
Purchase at ReadyMadeRC
Purchase at Amazon


Purchase at GetFPV
Purchase at NewBeeDrone
Purchase at ReadyMadeRC
Purchase at Amazon

For most FPV pilots, I believe that the Micro TX Module is the right choice. It fits easily into the JR module bay of your transmitter. It transmits at up to 1 watt, which gives more than enough range to outrun typical 5.8 GHz FPV systems.

Here is what would make you want to buy the full-sized Crossfire module, which goes up to 2 watts. If you plan to do long-range flights with customized video equipment. If you are willing to pay a bit more for the assurance that you really, really will have the most solid link possible. If you have a Spektrum radio (which doesn’t have a JR module bay, and so requires the full-size module). If you prefer to use the joystick and LED screen on the back of the module instead of a “Lua Script” running inside your radio.


The Nano receiver will be the preferred Crossfire receiver for almost everybody reading this. There are larger receivers, intended mostly for fixed-wing aircraft, and there is a Nano Diversity receiver that comes with two antennas, if you intend to push really long distances. For a typical FPV racing or freestyle pilot, the one linked above is the best choice.

The starter set is the most economical way to switch to Crossfire. It comes with a module, three receivers, and three “immortal T” antennas. It’s significantly cheaper than buying the parts separately.

The starter set comes in a Micro version, for radios with a JR module bay (most radios), and a Nano version, for radios with a Lite module bay (mostly FrSky radios like XLite and X9 Lite). Be sure to get the right kind.


TBS Tracer operates in the 2.4 GHz frequency band, similar to the FrSky ACCST receivers shown above. But Tracer uses a sophisticated modulation technology called FLRC, to get unbelievable range. Under typical conditions, Tracer goes about 2-4 km, which is similar to FrSky. But Tracer does it at much lower latency–great for racers and pilots who want the most connected feel. Under ideal conditions, Tracer has been pushed out to about 20 km, but it has to use massive 1W output power to do this, which increases the chance of interference between pilots, and sucks down your controller battery faster.

Tracer and Ghost both operate in the 2.4 GHz frequency band, so it may be hard to choose between them.

The main appeal of Tracer is that it gives very low latency and adequate range, while keeping you in the TBS ecosystem. Switching from Crossfire to Tracer has almost no learning curve. Getting started with Tracer is easy, because most Crossfire tutorials also apply to Tracer. And Tracer is fully supported by a wide range of hardware and software.

Tracer’s main weakness is that it only uses one modulation, so unlike Ghost, you have no options if you want increased range or penetration. Ghost can match Tracer’s FLRC modulation and 250 Hz packet rate, but Ghost caps out at 350 mW while Tracer goes up to 1W. So Tracer wins for range if you insist on using FLRC modulation. But Ghost can switch from FLRC to LoRa, in which case it trounces Tracer for range, but at a tradeoff: you either increase latency or give up telemetry.


RDQ 2S 5000 MAH

Purchase at RaceDayQuads

The RadioMaster TX16S has a larger battery bay. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a battery that completely filled it, giving you the longest run time possible? This is it.


I get super excited when I see a small thing done really well, in a way that I never knew I needed. That’s why I really flipped out with joy when I first saw this neck-strap.

Here’s what it does so well: it’s got a releasable clip so you can put your radio down without taking the strap off from around your neck. It’s a tiny thing, but it makes a HUGE difference. Especially when you have FPV goggles on your head, taking off the neck strap is a pain in the butt. But walking around with your transmitter dangling in front of you is so awkward. And an invitation to damage or even accidentally arming your quad.

This is literally the only neck-strap that I use.


These colored switch nuts are an easy way to add a little personalization and bling to your radio. Pay attention: the low-profile ones are for face-plate switches while the taller ones are for the shoulder switches. The nuts come with a specialized wrench for tightening them.

To be honest, I felt a little silly spending $10 on colored nuts for my radio, but I love the way they look, and it makes it easy to tell which radio is mine at the field.


Purchase at Banggood


These are more than just a way to make your radio look great. They’re also nicer to touch than the bare metal, and give a slightly more positive grip.

The photo above shows the RAINBOW ones, but click through and you’ll see you can buy them in solid colors too.

Everybody is always asking how they can get a purple RadioMaster TX16S max just like mine. They don’t sell it! But they do sell this custom-colored CNC metal kit. You can use this to upgrade a standard TX16S to look like a Max, or to install a custom color into a Max. Beware: you have to basically completely disassemble your radio to install these parts, so don’t underestimate the time involved.