Basically all of the links on this page are affiliate links. I receive a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase after clicking one of the affiliate links below. Read our Affiliate Link Policy for more information.

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

CONTROLLERS / TRANSMITTERS

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 Futaba receiver won’t work with a FrSky controller. 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 2x or 3x as expensive as others. 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). One exception to this rule is the Jumper T16, which comes with a RF module that can bind to FrSky, FlySky, Spektrum, and more.

Remember, you’re going to buy one controller, but you’re going to put a receiver in every single quad or plane that you build, so a brand that has cheaper receivers is going to pay big dividends in the long run.

CHEAPEST WORTH HAVING
BETAFPV LITERADIO 2 (FRSKY VERSION)

Purchase at RaceDayQuads
Purchase at GetFPV
Purchase at BetaFPV

The BetaFPV LiteRadio sets a new standard for a quality controller at the most affordable price I’ve ever seen. Most “budget” controllers try to be a super cheap copy of everything about an expensive controller. BetaFPV took a different approach. The LiteRadio leaves out a whole bunch of features, resulting in a bare-bones controller that does the basics, but does them well. The gimbals are smooth and the switches are sturdy. The build quality is really decent. It can even plug in to your computer and be used to play simulators.

What do you give up? The Lite Radio only supports a single model at a time, so if you have more than one quad, switching between them will be a hassle. It runs OpenTX internally, but it doesn’t have any screen, so the only way to configure it is to plug it in to the computer and use OpenTX Companion. But that’s kind of missing the point. The person who buys this controller probably doesn’t want to mess around with OpenTX Companion. If you’re looking for a good quality, basic controller, at the absolute lowest price, the BetaFPV LiteRadio is the one for you.

The LiteRadio comes in two versions: Bayang protocol and FrSky protocol. Most people should choose the FrSky protocol version as Bayang receivers are rare.

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).

Yes, it even works with Crossfire. In fact, some stores are selling it in a bundle with a Crossfire Micro module.

Although the TX16S works with many types of receivers, my personal pick is the FrSky RXSR or XM+. The RXSR supports telemetry, while the XM+ does not, but is a little smaller and less expensive.

If you’re on the tightest of budgets, you can save a little money by buying the potentiometer-gimbal version of the radio. However almost nobody is carrying this version of the radio so your choices of where to shop are limited.

LONG RANGE CONTROL BUILT IN
JUMPER T18

Purchase at RaceDayQuads – Basic / Pro
Purchase at Grayson Hobby – Basic
Purchase at DefianceRC – Basic / Pro

The Jumper T18 has many of the same features as the RadioMaster TX16S described above. This is because the founder of RadioMaster used to work for Jumper, but then split off to make his own company.

So why would you pick the T18 over the TX16S, especially because the T18 is more expensive? The T18 has built-in support for 900 MHz control. This has the potential to give tens of kilometers of range. In short: for normal use, forget about failsafes. However, people with a bit more budget are probably going to prefer TBS Crossfire for 900 MHz control, because it’s much more refined, tested, and reliable. Those people won’t put much value in the T18’s support for 900 MHz.

The T18 has good performance when used with 900 MHz receivers, but its 2.4 GHz range is much worse than the RadioMaster or FrSky radios. This is because it has an internal 2.4 GHz antenna, to make room for the external 900 MHz antenna, and the internal antenna’s performance is worse.

The Basic model of the T18 has Hall Effect gimbals, similar to the T16. The Pro model has Alps RDC90 gimbals, which are higher quality.

The T18 has a 480×272 IPS screen, without touch screen capability. In the future, Jumper plans to release an 800×480 touch screen, once OpenTX supports it. This will be a hardware upgrade, whereas the T16 comes with the touch screen pre-installed, and will only require a software upgrade to enable it.

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.

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.

RECEIVERS

Here are my favorite receivers, to go with each of the controllers linked above.

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.

This is the new kid on the block, and it’s spoiling for a fight. This FrSky-compatible receiver has similar capabilities to the R-XSR, but it’s about $10 cheaper. It’s also got an RSSI output wire so that you can get signal strength in your OSD without jumping through any obnoxious hoops.

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).

FLYSKY
FLI14+

Purchase at Banggood

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.

TBS CROSSFIRE

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. The real surprise is that racing pilots are also flocking to Crossfire. Why? They hardly need long range. It turns out Crossfire also has ultra-low latency, for the most 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.

If you’re just getting started in this hobby and are having a bit of sticker shock, let me make this easy for you: you don’t need Crossfire. If you’ve got the budget and you want the most reliable control link possible, consider Crossfire (or one of the other high-performance control links on this page) instead of a 2.4 GHz system.

TBS CROSSFIRE TX MODULE

Purchase at GetFPV
Purchase at Amazon

TBS CROSSFIRE MICRO TX MODULE V2
FOR USE WITH JR MODULE BAYS

Purchase at GetFPV
Purchase at Amazon
Purchase at NewBeeDrone

TBS CROSSFIRE NANO TX MODULE
FOR USE WITH LITE MODULE BAYS

Purchase at GetFPV
Purchase at Amazon
Purchase at NewBeeDrone

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.

TBS CROSSFIRE NANO RECEIVER

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 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

TBS CROSSFIRE STARTER SET

Purchase at GetFPV
Purchase at NewBeeDrone

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.

SPARE PARTS & ACCESSORIES

RDQ 2S 5000 MAH
BATTERY PACK FOR RADIOMASTER TX16S

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.

RDQ 2S 3500 MAH
BATTERY PACK FOR TARANIS QX7

Purchase at RaceDayQuads

RDQ 2S 3500 MAH BATTERY PACK FOR TARANIS QX7

If you’ve purchased the QX7 instead of the X9D, this is the battery you’ll want to use. It fits neatly into the battery bay on the QX7 and significantly extends its life. It’s a 2S LiPo, so I recommend using 8.2 volts as the top of the scale and 7.3 volts as the bottom of the scale.

THE BEST DAMN NECK-STRAP
NO KIDDING.

Purchase at NewBeeDrone

NEWBEEDRONE NECK-STRAP

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.

COLORED SWITCH NUTS

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.

COLORED SILICONE SWITCH COVERS

Purchase at Banggood

COLORED SILICONE SWITCH COVERS

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.