Ready-to-fly (RTF) racing drones are the fastest way to experience FPV. They require no assembly and minimal setup. Let's be clear: RTF racing drones are not a way of getting out of learning to build and repair. An RTF quad is perfect ... until you crash it. Eventually, it'll break and you'll need to either buy a whole new quad or fix it.
There are two main reasons to buy an RTF kit. An RTF quad lets you get into the air immediately. It can be incredibly frustrating for a beginner who is addicted to FPV to wait through a first build experience. You can be enjoying an RTF quad at the same time as you're working on your first self-built quad. Second, an RTF quad lets you experience what a well-built and well-tuned copter flies like. Let's face it: your very first build isn't going to be the best it possibly can be. Once you fly a good quality RTF, you have some idea of what to shoot for.
Okay. There's one more reason to buy an RTF. A few of them are legitimately great quads. As good as anything you'd build for yourself! Maybe we're finally at a point where we don't have to make excuses for buying an RTF. You think?
100% READY TO FLY
The quads in this category are 100% ready to fly. This means that they come with a transmitter and they are totally pre-configured. All you have to do is plug in the battery, turn on the transmitter, and go. If you want the easiest possible way of getting into the air, this is it.
The Wizard X220 has gotten more people into drone racing and FPV than any other quad. The main reason for this is its price. For under $200 you get literally everything you need to put the quad into the air, including a battery and battery charger. You even get a bunch of spare props (and you'll need them).
I need to be straight with you. The Wizard X220 is the absolute bare minimum of what I would recommend to give you the experience of flying FPV. If you have exactly this much to spend, and not a dollar more, then buy the X220 and enjoy it.
But if you can spend more, you should. Because everything else on this page will give you a better experience in nearly every way. The X220 breaks easily. Its electronics are not very reliable (the ESC's and flight controller in particular are prone to spontaneous failure). Within a few weeks or months of buying the X220, you will almost certainly have upgraded to something better or replaced enough parts that you could have bought something better.
So if you can spend more on something better, you should just do it up front. But if you absolutely can't spend another dollar and you want to get into FPV, buy the Wizard X220 with my blessing, and enjoy.
The Grayson Hobby product link above costs a bit more than the Banggood one. Grayson personally inspects and then hand-tunes and configures each Wizard before they ship it. This is the kind of thing that a beginner pilot might overlook and then wonder why their quad isn't flying as good as it should. Grayson ships from the U.S. They have a direct support line for customers. And they stand behind their warranty. If you're in the U.S. and you're a first time buyer, the additional money spent buying from Grayson is probably worth it.
The Arris X220 is the cheapest RTF that I'd call a "real racing drone". It chooses affordable parts, but not bargain-basement junk. The frame is well designed, especially for a beginner who is going to crash a lot. It is capable at either racing or freestyle, although the motors are intentionally selected to be a little under-powered, to make it easier for beginners.
There are two links above. One is to a version with the RadioLink AT-9 radio. The other comes with the Taranis QX7. The RadioLink AT-9 is a decent transmitter that you could keep using for years. But the QX7 is far, far more popular and capable. It's also more expensive... so decide for yourself. If you expect to be in the hobby for the long haul, the QX7 is 100% worth the price.
With the RadioLink radio, the X220 comes in about $60 more than the Wizard X220. In addition, you'll need to buy your own batteries, charger, and props. But here's the thing: if you bought the Wizard, you'd be buying that stuff in a couple weeks anyway. So basically for $60 more, you get a much, much better quad, and a transmitter that you'll stick with.
That's why the Arris X220 is my Best Value For Money choice.
Team BlackSheep is one of the top manufacturers in the FPV industry. The Oblivion is their latest entry into the RTF racing drone market.
The Oblivion quad uses a molded plastic shell to provide aerodynamic handling and durability. TBS PowerCube electronics allow for no-solder replacement of parts when damage eventually occurs.
The RTF kit includes the TBS Tango radio, which has a built in 5 GHz video receiver and screen. You'll have to buy those separately with some other kits. The Oblivion also uses the TBS Crossfire long-range control link, which gives unparalleled range and link reliability. This is a premium upgrade option that nobody else can touch.
The Tango's specs surprise some people: the motors are not the most powerful, for example. The reason for this is that it's trying to be a little bit of everything: a fast racer and an efficient, long-duration beginner rig at the same time. The fact is, it'll still out-perform some other RTF kits that look more impressive on paper because of its quality construction--especially once you start crashing, and durability comes into play.
Quality, Low Price, For Beginners
Fat Shark 101
The Fat Shark 101 kit has everything a beginner needs to start FPV drone racing. It even includes two racing gates so you can set up your own track! But you won't need dedicated racing gates with this drone, because its brushed motors and 2" props (with prop guards) and small size are safe to fly indoors. So you can make a track out of your whole house if you want to!
The Recon FPV goggle offers good image quality, great build quality, and ease of use. The internal lithium battery is a standard 18650 size cell--easily replaceable for long flying sessions (or when it wears out, as all batteries do).
The 101 transmitter uses the FlySky protocol, so it can operate with full size racing drones once you graduate to them. It also works with the Drone Racing League Simulator ($20 value, included with the kit) so you can practice on your PC before you try the real thing.
The Fat Shark 101 comes in at approximately the same price as the Wizard or the Arris, above. So which should you buy? The Wizard and Arris are full-powered 5" racing drones. But they give up a lot to fit into this price bracket. The Wizard's parts and build quality are absolute bottom-of-the-barrel. The Arris doesn't include any FPV goggles. The Fat Shark 101 drone is a great trainer that you can eventually graduate out of. But even when you graduate out of the 101, it'll still be fun to fly around the house or give the Recon goggles to a friend to watch through; the others might just be in the trash.
Plug-N-Play / Bind-N-Fly
The quads below are fully assembled, but they're not Ready To Fly. You'll need to do some basic configuration to make them work with your transmitter. If you want some idea of what you'll need to do, check out these videos that I made for Armattan. (Video #1 / Video #2)
These quads don't come with goggles or a transmitter, so they're perfect if you have specific preferences or if this isn't your first quad and you already own some gear. You get more for your money, since you're only buying the quad and not any accessories. On the flip-side, if you are buying one of these as your first quad, you need to pick up a few other things from this list before you'll be able to fly.
Plug-N-Play quads come without a receiver. You install your own receiver in the quad. This means you can use a PnP quad with nearly any modern transmitter, regardless of whether it's FrSky, FlySky, Spektrum, RadioLink, Futaba... you name it.
Bind-N-Fly quads come with a receiver pre-installed. No soldering is required--just bind the receiver to your transmitter. The quad will also typically come pre-configured for the type of receiver that is installed, so there is a bit less setup to do. The limitation of Bind-N-Fly quads is that they may not come with the type of receiver you need. For example, a quad might be available only with FrSky receiver; if that's not what you own, you wouldn't want to buy that (or at least you'd need to replace the receiver after buying it).
As much as I love to build quads, I have to admit that this is one of my favorite sections of the site. Pre-built quads have gotten SO GOOD lately. It's really fun to be able to showcase them.
GREAT FOR BEGINNERS
NEWBEEDRONE ACROBEE (bnf)
The NewBeeDrone AcroBee is a 90mm sized micro quad. It has tiny props and ducted motors so it's safe to use indoors. The BeeBrain V2 flight controller runs Betaflight, which means configuration is the same as any bigger quad. It's even got Betaflight OSD (on-screen display) that lets you monitor vital stats like battery voltage and flight time in your FPV goggles.
The AcroBee is an ideal learner quad. It's durable, easy to repair, and it won't even scratch up your walls when you crash it. But don't let that fool you into thinking it's only for beginners. Flying through your house--under the table, between the chairs, over the dog--gives even experienced pilots a certain glee that no other FPV experience can match. I can honestly say I have never had as much fun flying FPV as when five friends and I sat around the living room racing this style of quad all afternoon. When both the quad and the race track are tiny, the sense of speed and thrill of competition is the same. But the stakes are so much lower with a tiny quad that everyone can just relax and have fun. And you don't have to walk as far when you crash either.
The Acrobee can be ordered with either Spektrum (DSMX) or FrSky receiver on board. The receiver is integrated into the flight controller, so other transmitter types are unfortunately out of luck. For about $40 more, consider ordering the Full Kit, which includes batteries, a charger, and a few other accessories.
The Emax Babyhawk is the quad that convinced me that 2" and 3" sized props had come of age. People always promised of micros, "No really, it flies like a five-inch!" The BabyHawk was the first quad that actually delivered.
The Babyhawk is a little too powerful to be an ideal learner quad. It can be flown indoors, if you're a good pilot, but it'll leave a mark when it crashes. It'd be an ideal choice for anyone who doesn't quite feel ready for a 5" quad yet. Or for someone who flies in very tight outdoor environments and wants a little more maneuverability and control than a 5" can offer. It's light enough to survive crashes with little more damage than a broken prop, but it's got plenty of power to do true racing and acro freestyle. To really wake it up, swap the arms for slightly bigger aftermarket ones and mount 3" props on its motors (they can take it). Or just buy the 3" version to start with.
The Babyhawk-R is available in a Bind-N-Fly Frsky version, or a Plug-N-Play version for all other transmitter types. Make sure to use the smallest receiver possible, as there isn't much room under the hood.
The Emax Hawk 5 might be the best bind-n-fly racing quad available. Emax has done almost everything right with this one. It's fast. Nimble. Durable. It's even got a custom PID tune developed by pro racers just for it.
The Hawk 5 isn't perfect. It only comes with a FrSky receiver, and the receiver is direct-soldered to the flight controller. So if you don't use FrSky, you'll have to do a bit of surgery to get your receiver installed. The video transmitter doesn't support remote control (SmartAudio) so you have to push a button to change channels and band. vTX remote control has pretty much become the norm, so it's a little disappointing to see it missing on the Hawk. Finally, if you're a freestyle pilot, you'll have to bottom-mount the battery in order to put a GoPro up top, which many freestyle pilots don't like.
Don't let any of that discourage you. In my review of the Hawk 5, I said, "If you want to spend about $250 on a quadcopter, and you don't want to have to build it yourself, don't hesitate, buy the Hawk 5 today." I still mean it. The Hawk 5 is a shockingly good BnF racing drone, and at a price of about $250, it's an absolute steal.
The ImmersionRC Vortex 230 Mojo is the perfect freestyle or racing quad for people who hate fussing with computers. ImmersionRC's Synergy flight controller and OSD makes setup easy, simply by using your transmitter sticks and goggles. Setup wizards do all the steps that you would normally have to do yourself on the PC, meaning you can focus on flying.
With its injection-molded plastic body, the Mojo looks a bit like a toy-grade quad. Don't be fooled: it's the real deal. It's been designed and tuned by pro freestyle pilots FinalGlide and GapIt.
The Vortex's specs and performance are not quite on the level of more recent quads on this list. Its proprietary body style and electronics mean that if something breaks, you'll need to buy the exact replacement parts from ImmersionRC. Because of this, the Mojo is not a good stepping-stone to DIY racing or freestyle quads. But that's kind of the point: the whole reason you'll buy the Mojo is because you don't want the hassle of a DIY racing or freestyle quad. You just want to plug in your receiver and get into the air.
When you think of the Diatone GT-M530, don't think of a high-revving racer. Think of a growling muscle car. The GT-M530 is a little bit heavier, but it makes up for it with powerful motors. It doesn't corner quite as sharply as a purebred racer, but hit the throttle in a straight and it'll blow your hair back. This makes it perfect as a freestyle quad--a little less suitable as a racer (although it'll still get around the track).
The main reason the GT-M530 is heavier is because Diatone has designed to be extra-durable. Thick 5mm base plate. Metal body. This is a quad that you can crash and crash and it'll come back for more. And if something does break, the parts are all available for purchase individually. Some can even be changed without soldering.
The first generation of this quad was my recommendation for "best RTF racing drone". Holybro has modernized the design and updated all the specs. The Kopis 2 is even better than its predecessor!
Every part on this quad is premium. Start with the Kakute F7 flight controller with soft-mounted gyro, which allows you to run 32k sampling without noise issues. The Atlatl V2 video transmitter goes up to 800 mW. It fully supports vTX remote control (change channels and power without touching the quad). The Tekkos32 ESC runs BLHeli32 (the latest and greatest) and was hailed by Drone Mesh as one of the best ESCs available. Motors are T-Motor F40 Pro-II... one of the best mini quad motors available today.
Often times, you sacrifice something for the convenience of a pre-built quad. Not here. The Kopis 2 is the closest a factory-built quad can get to a hand-made racer or freestyle rig.
The other quads on this page are built on an assembly line. But sometimes, you want to know that one person built your quad, just for you. You want to be able to reach out to the exact people who built your quad if you run into trouble. Maybe you even want to be able to customize the build to your exact specs.
The quads in this section are hand-built by technicians who are actual drone racing pilots. They're individually test-flown before they ship. When you buy a quad from this section, you're not just getting the same parts that a pro pilot would use, you're getting the actual quad that a pro pilot would (and did) build.
Armattan is well known for its popular freestyle frames: the Chameleon and the Rooster. They come with a lifetime warranty on all frame parts so you can go all out without being afraid of breaking an arm or a bottom plate. My personal choice would be the 5" Chameleon Ti frame with Armattan's Titan 2306/2450kv motors, and the SRC Bucaneer video transmitter (because of its MMCX antenna connector, which I believe is more durable than the uFL connector on the Unify).
Catalyst Machineworks makes innovative, pure-bred racing quadcopters. Choose the Norris frame for a traditional carbon-fiber design, or the 'Merica for a versatile and light 3D printed canopy. The builders at Catalyst are some of the best in the industry, turning out tightly-tuned, high-performance racing drones that you could literally take out of the box and put right on the starting block of a race. Catalyst prides itself on its bespoke service. When you order a Catalyst quad, you're not just picking a product off a shelf. Feel free to discuss personalization and customization options. Catalyst is up to the challenge.