THE BEST ENTRY LEVEL DRONE (FOR FPV RACING OR FREESTYLE) 2021

Black and Red color FPV drone flying in the air

If you’re reading this, you probably saw a cool FPV video not too long ago and thought: I want that too! You want to know what you need to get started (like a complete FPV beginner package, just the best beginner FPV drone) and get started right away.

Then congratulations, you have found the right page. =)

To get you started: Yes, FPV flying is as awesome as it looks! It takes a lot of practice, but once you know how to control your quad, the immersion with the FPV goggles allows for an almost unbelievable flying experience that is unlike anything else.

If you already own a camera drone like a DJI Mavic, good for you. Then you already know three of four axes on the remote control. But FPV is a whole other level, so you’re almost starting from scratch again. Sorry.

In my previous articles on the “Best Beginner FPV Drone,” I always recommended a fixed combination of drone, goggles, and radio. But in the meantime, there are a lot more options for putting together the necessary stuff for different needs — and of course, there are still complete packages that allow you to fly right out of the box.

That’s why I’ve put together four packages for every budget and taste.

Rough breakdown by budget

FPV racing drone starter kit with controller and goggles all in white colors.

The Tiny Whoop package

Black and green colored FPV drone on white pebbles.

The serious start – The affordable variant

An FPV drone with fiber body and green stands.

The serious start -The Pro variant

Grey colored FPV drone and controller with goggles on a silver table.

The expensive DJI variant

What are the differences in the packages?

Very roughly — they differ in how much time you have to put in before you can fly, how much money you like to spend, and how good the drone is 😉 And if we look into more detail:

The first package is really a complete FPV beginner package: you buy the complete package, and it has everything in it that you need. The second and third ‘packages’ are individual parts (drone, radio, goggles, accessories). These two are also the ‘serious’ entry into the hobby. Something you were looking for, right?

And last but not least, despite much hate from the community, I will also include the DJI FPV Combo package. Why it is so controversial, and what the advantages and especially disadvantages of this package for FPV beginners are, I will show you later.

The Tiny Whoop complete package

The advantages of this set are obvious: you have a drone, remote, and goggles in one package. You can unpack that and start flying immediately.

When you see the pictures with the Tiny Whoop (that’s this mini drone with the protection around the propellers), you might think it’s a child’s toy. But it’s far from that. This mini quadcopter has a full-fledged flight controller, the component that allows you to perform the flight maneuvers of a real FPV racer.

And I dare say that every serious FPV pilot has at least one Tiny Whoop at home, with which he flies around indoors in winter. With this small drone (only 7 cm edge length and about 25 g), you can fly indoors and even bump into something. Or let the kids (or girlfriend 😉 ) fly.

In addition, the tiny ones do not make much noise, which is why you can literally fly them anywhere. Take it to the BBQ with your buddies? Fly from in the garden sitting in the Living Room? No problem. The TinyWhoop variant has the charm in its versatility — and you learn everything you need to fly even larger FPV Racing Drones.

Unfortunately, showing spectacular videos to your friends doesn’t work so well because you can’t save the videos to an SD card with the TinyWhoop. So you can only watch it live via the goggles, but not on the PC or similar. But via a ***second, inexpensive pair of goggles, you can also let other people watch FPV — and believe me; your friends will celebrate you for that!

FPV racing drone starter kit with controller and goggles all in white colors.
The BetaFPV Whoop Racing Starter Kit — The small drone can do so much more than you expect

With the complete package, you don’t have the entry hurdle with combining components and can start flying right away — and immediately have an awesome flying experience. There is no need for the “binding” that you know from other FPV drones, which can be really tedious.

And the small Tiny Whoops are controlled just like the big ones: In fact, it’s the same remotes and radio protocols that are being used. If you can master the small one, you can fly a big one. So, the Tiny Whoop is perfect for getting started.

And by the way, you can use the radio remote and goggles included in this package for a larger FPV drone if you want to upgrade.

Prices & Availability:
BetaFPV Whoop Kit at Banggood (Notes about Banggood – see below)
BetaFPV Whoop Kit at Amazon
BetaFPV Whoop Kit at BetaFPV

Alternative:
EMAX Tinyhawk 2 RTF Kit | Amz | BG | AE

The serious beginner package — The affordable variant

Okay, this is where it gets serious: The iFlight Nazgul is a 5″ drone. This is the “standard” for FPV racing drones. Here you get the classic flight physics, and you can mount a GoPro and make those cool videos you know from YouTube.

Clearly speaking, this is not a “complete package.” It is an assembly list. You still have the task of buying the individual parts and putting them together.

Many would say, “Why don’t you get a decent remote and practice with a simulator first to see if that’s for you?” — And they’re definitely not wrong about that. But if you’re like me, you really want to get your hands on something right away.

And you want to keep it affordable. But you should still be aware that you can’t get started right away: A little practice on the simulator is necessary before your first flight (but that works with the radio that I recommend here in the package), and also a little preparation is necessary: Read how to charge the batteries, connect the radio with the drone (binding) and a few things more.

Black and green colored FPV drone on white pebbles.
The iFlight Nazgul5 quadcopter comes assembled and is a price-performance hit.

But this package here is the solid base that will get you into the FPV world. All the components are good and really worth the money — and over time, you will crash so hard that you will have to change not only the propeller but also the motor. This is “part of the game,” and even if you can’t imagine it today — you are serious about it, the soldering iron will become your friend for sure. =)

Shopping list – Serious & Cheap

iFlight Nazgul5 V2 4S

Prices & Availability:
iFlight Nazgul5 at Banggood (Version: Frsky XM+ Receiver from CN)

Short info about Banggood: The store with a name that would do honor to a porn movie site may seem a little suspicious to you now — but Banggood is a real player in the FPV sector. And the site of the store is also more reliable than it seems at first. For the Chinese manufacturers (yes, most of the FPV sector comes from China), Banggood is THE dealer. If you get into FPV, you will definitely have a lot to do with Banggood. And I’m very happy with Banggood as a supplier so far. The delivery times are long (2-3 weeks is standard), but the prices are very good, and even the service is satisfactory: If something doesn’t arrive properly, you often have to upload proof in the form of a video or picture, but then you get a replacement sent if you have a legitimate claim — at least that’s how it’s always been for me.

iFlight Nazgul5 at Amazon
iFlight Nazgul5 at AliExpress

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll immediately see that we’re looking at the same FPV drone like the one below in the much more expensive Digital package. Why? Because iFlight has created a real price-performance monster with the Nazgul.

Ever since the extremely critical FPV legend Mr. Steele flew the Nazgul (although he actually only wanted the camera) and rated it good, there are hardly any dissenting voices. It’s just a good quad. Period.

For really good videos, you can mount a GoPro on top. Unfortunately, the small GoPro Session is no longer available — So, 5″ (the size of the propellers and the classification) is necessary to carry the bigger cam.

And the Nazgul carries that GoPro through the air in a truly impressing way. It’s a neatly assembled package of good motors, a decent stack with a flight controller, VTX, and receiver.

Eachine EV800D (FPV goggles)

Since we are here for an affordable FPV setup, we’re using an analog signal. Now we are looking for FPV goggles. A good compromise between quality and price is the boxed goggles, i.e., goggles with a large screen that is a bit wider in front of the eyes.

Black FPV Googles box packed.
The Eachine boxed goggle is ugly but does a decent job without costing too much.

The EV800D model recommended here has a few years under its belt but is still in demand, and for a good reason: diversity receiver for a good picture, a DVR to record the flights (very important to determine the location for recovery after a crash), ease of use, and a nice second life as an external monitor (the “glasses frame” is removable) for guests and when tinkering if you do want to upgrade.

Prices & Availability
Eachine EV800D FPV Goggles at Banggood
Eachine EV800D FPV Goggles at Amazon
Eachine EV800D FPV Goggles at AliExpress

FrSky Taranis X9 Lite (radio remote control)

With the radio, you specify which protocol you want to fly with. The radio remote control and the receiver in the racing drone must speak the same language. FlySky is an even cheaper protocol than FrSky (i.e., the radio and receiver are cheaper), but I want to use FrSky as the minimum because of the reliability and range. There are other protocols for long-range (flying extremely far away), but here you also need other video equipment, etc.

white FPV controller in the center with blue controller on left and black controller on the right
The budget model Taranis X9 Lite from FrSky

In any case, FrSky has built up a widespread and reliable fleet of remotes with the Taranis series, and the FrSky Taranis Lite recommended here is really solid for a very reasonable price.

One more thing: Almost all remote controls run with “OpenTX” — this is the operating system and the quasi-standard in the FPV area. Unfortunately, I find it anything but intuitive to use, but since it is so widespread, you can also find a forum post or a YouTube video for every question.

Price & Availability
Taranis X9 lite at Banggood
Taranis X9 lite at Amazon
Taranis X9 lite at AliExpress

CHEAPER ALTERNATIVE: BETAFPV LITE RADIO2 SE

If you really have to watch every dime, there is a cool option even in the FrSky world: The BetaFPV Lite SE is a real FrSky radio (above from the Whoop package), but without display, and it can only connect to one copter. And it works on the simulator too. =)

My girlfriend still flies the BetaFPV Lite with her current FPV racing drone. I myself have a FrSky X-Lite — mainly because I can fly many different models with it, and I like the “controller style.”

With the two FrSky radio remote controls, however, it should be said that a bit of training is required here: You have to “bind,” i.e., connect the radio with the quadrocopter or the receiver — and this is unfortunately not as intuitive as it should be. But with a YouTube search and a little patience, you can get there.

Prices & Availability
BetaFPV LiteRadio 2 SE at Amazon
BetaFPV LiteRadio 2 SE at Banggood
BetaFPV LiteRadio 2 SE at AliExpress

FPV rechargeable batteries: 3-10x Tattu 1300mAh 4S (14.8V 75C 4S1P)

With real FPV racing drones, you only have very short flight times. Here it is so 3-8 minutes, depending on whether you’re leisurely cruising or “Send it” =)

In the package, we have selected the 4S. So 4 cells per battery. Currently, 6S are also very common (there, you must then also have the motors with suitable Volts on the quad), but the performance advantages for beginners are hardly noticeable. And 6S is just significantly more expensive (both the LiPos and the chargers).

Tattu LiPo battery in 1300mAh.
A Tattu 4S 1300mAh LiPo battery where you can clearly see the 4 cells

Another important thing: LiPos, i.e., lithium-polymer batteries, is a completely different matter than lithium-ion batteries. Even small damages can make them a fire hazard. Please take the time and read up a bit or watch a video on YouTube on the subject!

Prices & Availability
Tattu 4S LiPo at Amazon
Tattu 4S LiPo at Banggood
Tattu 4S LiPo at AliExpress

LiPo Charger: ISDT 608AC Battgo Lipo Charger AC / DC

The battery charger is really cheap when you consider that you get a charger from ISDT, including a detachable power supply (Yes, charger and power supply separately are in FPV what normal). I have it and do not want to miss it anymore. Not the fastest, but very compact and just really mature – as you are used to from ISDT.

ISDT charger in black color.
I don’t want to miss my ISDT Charger anymore

Prices & Availability
ISDT 608AC at Amazon
ISDT 608AC at Banggood
ISDT 608AC at AliExpress

Affordable ALTERNATIVE:

I got by for the first few years with a very simple Charsoon “Balance Loader.” It is certainly not so cool for the LiPos, but if every euro counts, you get along with it in any case and your racing drone in the air.

Charsoon DC-4S | Amz | BG | AE

FPV video for YouTube?

However, if you want to impress with awesome FPV videos with this package, you’ll have to add a GoPro. The FPV feed, which you can see on the goggles, is enough to fly (and get your adrenaline pumping) but just too low quality for outsiders (reminiscent of 80s VHS tapes).

However, the Nazgul has more than enough power to move a GoPro through the air — and a suitable mount for the GoPro is already included.

The serious FPV beginner’s package: The “digital” variant

OK. Now we are at the “serious digital variant.” Here you have to be ready to spend a four-digit amount. But the visual experience is a completely different dimension to the FPV beginner package above.

An FPV drone with fiber body and green stands.
The iFlight Nazgul5 HD v2 as a 6S variant — This thing convinces and puts the DJI in its place.

Here, we don’t use the “old” analog technology for transmitting the image to the goggles while flying (which is still used in the high-end sector — do not misunderstand) – but here we’re the proprietary digital technology from the ‘camera drone’ top dog company DJI. That said, the drone is from iFlight, but the goggles and radio are from DJI.

DJI has brought a product to the FPV racing drone space that has really shaken up the scene, called the ‘DJI Digital FPV System.’ It’s a closed system, meaning you’re largely reliant on DJI’s products, and there’s no alternative — but the digital image is really awesome. DIJ in the FPV world is like Apple to computers: you’re trapped in their world, but the product works very well.

Even the hypercritical “homebuilt-only” Mr. Steele likes the Nazgul

The digital image in the goggles is killer, the range with the DJI system is incredible — and there’s no need for a bunch of configuration and customizing since the radio works out of the box. You don’t have to read into additional things like transmission protocols.

Shopping List – Serious & Digital

iFligth Nazgul 5 V2 HD 6S

Price & Availability
iFlight Nazgul5 HD v2 as 6S at Banggood
iFlight Nazgul5 HD v2 as 6S at Amazon
iFlight Nazgul5 HD v2 as 6S at AliExpress

FPV goggles and radio: DJI FPV System

Black color FPV Goggles and controller with long antennas.
The DJI FPV System for FPV Racer consisting of goggles and a radio

Pricing & Availability:
DJI FPV System at Amazon
DJI FPV System at Banggood
DJI FPV System at AliExpress

LiPo Battery: Tattu R-Line V3 1400mAh 22,2V 120C 6S1P

Since we are in the performance package, we also need descent LiPos that fulfill their purpose as “ultra-high-discharge” devices. Lithium polymer batteries that enable full performance with extremely high voltage and extremely high discharge currents.

Tattu R-line LiPo battery
Tattu R-Line LiPo — enough power to start a car engine

LiPos are such a topic of their own, and over time even individual packs gain your affection, despite having three identical ones next to them. Each pack is a bit individual, needs care (how you charge it, what voltage you store it at, etc.), and when buying it, you can often only rely on the manufacturer’s reputation. But there is a kind of consensus with the batteries from Tattu (which were also recommended above), only this one is two cells more (6S) and in the professional version: Tattu R-Line (“R” like Race). With the 120C, you can start a car without problems.

Price & Availability
Tattu R-Line LiPo at Amazon
Tattu R-Line LiPo at Banggood

LiPo charger: ISDT D2 Mark 2

As with the package above, I also recommend ISDT here — just a bit bigger, so parallel charging is also possible. And also, with a built-in power supply – I find that simply more practical.

ISDT black D2 charger
The D2 charger from ISDT has two slots and plenty of power

Prices & Availability
ISDT D2 Charger at Amazon
ISDT D2 Charger at Banggood
ISDT D2 Charger at AliExpress

The DJI FPV Combo

Let’s talk about the Elephant in the Room: DJI FPV Combo.
As the introduction of the DJI FPV system (which we use in the package above) hadn’t already caused enough controversy in the FPV world, the DJI FPV Combo with the DJI FPV Drone splits the community into two almost irreconcilable camps.

side view of an FPV drone in black and grey color
The DJI FPV Combo Drone – All there, but very fragile.

I’ll try to summarize the most important things about the DJI FPV complete package:

  • Is this the fastest way to get started with FPV? => YES!
  • Expensive => YES!
  • Is the DJI FPV Combo worth the price => YES and NO!
  • Is DJI’s FPV Drone stable enough for an FPV racer => NO! (Not kidding, this thing breaks: if you want to fly close to objects – and you do if you want to do FPV “the right way” – this thing will explode faster than you can say [insert something random here]).
  • Can I save a lot of time with research, building and customization => YES!
  • Can I slowly “work my way up” flight-wise if I’m a beginner / already have a DJI drone => YES!
  • Do I pay exorbitant prices for the batteries (but they are safer) and other accessories => YES!
  • Do I get the convenience I expect, like “return to home”, “unpack and go” or an “emergency pause” button? => YES!
  • Do I get fantastic range and very long flight times for an FPV racer? => YES!
  • Do I give up the openness to use different systems, can I no longer repair myself, thus betraying a little the basic values of the RC / FPV world and put myself in the dependence of a single manufacturer? => YES!
  • Is this the best package on the market for cinematic shots with dynamics? => YES!
FPV drone with a controller and FPV goggles.
The DJI FPV Combo can clearly claim victory in terms of beginner-friendliness

IIf you now say to yourself: I have the money and want to fly FPV as fast as possible, this is certainly a good option. And the DJI FPV Combo certainly has the best recording capacities “out of the box” that you can wish for.

With the upper Nazgul packages, you first have to mount a GoPro and edit with tools like ReelSteady Pro to get to that level. And for the world between DJI camera drone footage and hardcore FPV footage, i.e., “cinematic FPV,” the DJI FPV Combo is unbeaten. And here, you can have unbelievably long flight times compared to approximate flight characteristics of a classic FPV drone paired with a smart camera.

However, suppose you are interested in racing, flying through forests and abandoned buildings, or proximity (flying extremely close to objects and buildings or just above the ground). In that case, this probably isn’t the way to go. One crash, and you’re in full dependency on DJI repair. With the iFlights from above, you have to be able to break something in the first place (the carbon frames can take an incredible beating), and if you do, you’ll quickly learn how to replace a motor or arm on your own.

If you don’t want that (self-repair) but want a real FPV RTF set (“Ready to Fly,” i.e., an FPV drone complete set with goggles) without reading up on radio protocols, LiPo batteries, etc. — then there is almost only the DJI option. And compared to the TinyWhoop complete package (also ready to fly), the DJI complete system can record awesome videos, while the TinyWhoop is only there for the fun of flying.

As I said, this is almost a matter of faith — for some, it is the best FPV drone for beginners; for others a crime against the hobby. You have to decide for yourself.

DJI FPV Combo

Pricing & Availability:
DJI FPV Combo at Amazon
DJI FPV Combo at Banggood
DJI FPV Combo at AliExpress

And what about building it yourself?

YES, MAN!!! THIS is actually the real right way to go in FPV. Simulator practice, then build it yourself. And there I would also rely on local stores to buy the parts – you have an entirely different contact and delivery time, if something may not be OK.

Keywords

  • FPV Drone Complete Set
  • FPV Drone Complete Set with Goggles
  • FPV Drone Beginner
  • Best FPV Drone for Beginners

The predecessor (2020) of the “Best entry-level drone.”

A drone with GoPro on top aligned with several other small drones
The HGLRC XJB-145 with a GoPro Session
A drone without propellers and GoPro
The HGLRC XJB-145 – For me, the best entry-level drone 2020
FPV drone with blue propellers submerged in the dirt.
My XJB-145 ate a little dirt

The old 2020 shopping list

Quad: HGLRC XJB145 | $165 | Amz BG AE

Glasses: Eachine EV800 | $59 | Amz BG AE

Remote: Flysky FS-i6S | $71 | Amz BG AE

Receiver: Flysky FS-A8S | $12 | Amz BG AE (only needed for PNP, not for BNF)

Batteries: Tattu 11.1 V 3S 850mah XT30 | $18 | Amz BG AE

Power supply: Charsoon DC-4S | $14 | Amz BG