Buckle up! You’re about to discover the best FPV drone of the year!
If you’ve ever wanted to fly like Superman or jump from a plane with a wingsuit, an FPV drone is the next best thing.
Whether for drone photography, drone racing, or just for an adrenalin rush, a First-Person-View drone gives you a unique and breath-taking aerial perspective on the world.
While the hardcore FPV drone racing community may prefer to build their racing drones from scratch, this is a guide to Ready-To-Fly (RTF) drones.
Most of the best FPV drones available to buy ‘RTF’ include goggles, a remote controller, obstacle avoidance and various other safety features to make them more accessible and fun to use.
If it drone doesn’t come with a camera, you can mount an action camera like the GoPro Hero10 Bones. FPV goggles and controllers are also available separately – we’ve included some options below.
The more you spend on an FPV drone, the better the battery life, video transmission range, durability, image quality and speed, which all adds up to a better overall flight experience.
Fortunately, FPV drones aren’t too expensive – aside from the DJI flagship model, there are several budget models available.
(Either way, we recommend you practice on a drone simulator before heading out for any FPV racing!)
Let’s take a closer look at the recommendations.
Table of Contents
What are the Best Ready to Fly FPV Drones in 2022?
|DJI FPV Combo||View Price →|
|iFlight Nazgul5 V2 FPV Racing Drone||View Price →|
|EMAX Tinyhawk 2 Indoor FPV Racing Drone||View Price →|
|BETAFPV Meteor65 Acro 1S Brushless FPV Whoop Drone||View Price →|
|BETAFPV Cetus RTF Drone Kit for Brushed Racing||View Price →|
|BETAFPV Cetus Pro FPV Drone Kit||View Price →|
1. DJI FPV Combo
- Exceptional image quality
- Comprehensive safety sensors
- Rapid acceleration
- Comes with replacement parts
- Expensive for beginners
- Requires two high-speed MicroSD cards
The DJI FPV Combo drone is an incredibly versatile, high-performing First Person View drone that brings a combination of exceptional image quality and manoeuvrability, outperforming many of its closest rivals.
This drone comes with a camera that features 12 MP resolution, with the capability of putting out 60 frames per second footage in 4k, as well as 120fps in full 1080p high definition.
It features sharp DJI FPV goggles with high resolution to match, with 1440 x 810 resolution for each eye ensuring the operator can view the drone’s footage with excellent clarity, further enhanced by the large field of view on offer.
Image stability is further enhanced with the inclusion of a gimbal and protector, meaning you’ll get pleasantly smooth footage even when flying the DJI FPV Combo drone at high speeds.
It’s capable of reaching a maximum speed of 87 miles per hour (140km/h), with impressive acceleration that brings it up to this top speed in a matter of seconds.
This high-speed/fast acceleration performance makes the DJI FPV Combo drone a great choice for those looking for something to fly in a drone racing league, while two lower-speed options add to its overall versatility.
There is also a raft of handy safety features, with effective collision detection sensors to help you avoid unnecessary crashes, as well as an “all stop” button which you can use to bring the drone into a stationary position in case of emergency.
In addition to the collision detection sensors, the DJI FPV Combo drone also includes the GPS “return to home” function, which also comes into effect when the battery life reaches its end.
DJI has further enhanced its all-around performance capabilities with the inclusion of its Ocusync 3.0 transmission system, delivering low-latency video transmission over distances of up to 6.2 miles.
With its combination of range, speed, manoeuvrability, flight time, and UHD image quality, the DJI FPV Combo drone is a high-end drone for FPV racers and more experienced operators who require the very best performance.
2. iFlight Nazgul 5 V2 FPV Racing Drone
- An affordable entry-level drone
- Includes a GoPro mount
- Surprisingly fast
- Ready out of the box
- Requires upgrades for long-range operation
- Props appear in footage from wide-angle lenses
The iFlight Nazgul 5 V2 FPV Racing Drone is a fantastic drone for beginner and amateur quadcopter pilots looking for something that will perform well without costing a fortune should they lose or crash it while honing their piloting skills.
It’s constructed from a 3K carbon fibre airframe, with easy-to-swap arms, XING-E 2750KV motors, and a motorguard on the end of the arms to protect them during a crash, making it a surprisingly tough and resilient drone at this price point.
The footage is transmitted via a Caddx vista HD video transmission system, featuring a 2.1mm lens and a 1/1.8″ sensor capable of a resolution of 1200 TVL, so while this isn’t going to churn out broadcast-quality video, it’s more than adequate for piloting in a drone racing league or having some fun in the local woods.
It’s also fairly easy to set up and will give beginners a great overview of the various components involved in these kinds of drones and how they work with one another, from setting up the Crossfire receiver to testing motors and mounting propellers.
Flight performance is also great, and while the iFlight Nazgul 5 V2 FPV Racing Drone isn’t going to set any records, it handles well thanks to its lightweight build and is even capable of keeping up with a fixed-wing drone.
iFlight’s default flight settings also make this a good drone for pilots who are used to more consumer-friendly drones who want to transition to FPV drones, and if you want a more rapid version of the Nazgul 5, there’s the option of upgrading from the 4S to the 6S version for extra power.
In order to get the full drone racing experience with the iFlight Nazgul 5 V2 FPV Racing Drone, you’ll need to invest a little more cash in a set of racing goggles, but you can easily bind it to a pair of DJI FPV Goggles or a similar product.
While there are certainly cheaper alternatives for budget quadcopters available, the iFlight Nazgul 5 V2 FPV Racing Drone’s sturdy carbon fiber frame, upgradability, and comprehensive selection of out-of-the-box accessories make it perfect for amateur pilots.
3. EMAX Tinyhawk 2 Indoor FPV Racing Drones
- Extremely durable
- Easy to fly
- Great price
- Impressive top speed
- Battery life could be longer
- Not suitable for outdoor flying in wind
Whether you’re an experienced pilot or someone just starting out flying drones, the best indoor drones need to be incredibly lightweight while still offering enough durability and stability to operate at an optimal level.
The EMAX Tinyhawk 2 Indoor FPV Racing Drone delivers a perfect marriage of these essential features of a great indoor drone, with a build designed with a flexible frame, and a top speed of up to 50km/h putting it on a par with many outdoor-ready drones.
An upgrade from the original Tinyhawk, the Tinyhawk 2 comes with pretty much everything you need to get started straight out of the box, from the drone itself to the controller, goggles, battery, and other accessories available in the “Ready to Fly” kit.
The Tinyhawk 2 uses a Runcam Nano 2 FPV camera for capturing footage, with an E6 transmitter controller that is well-designed and smooth to operate, particularly when paired up with the EMAX Transporter 18650 FPV Goggles.
Performance is enhanced with the inclusion of brushless motors, and there’s also the option to connect the drone to a computer for practice on a simulator using Betaflight.
Power for the EMAX Tinyhawk 2 Indoor FPV Racing Drone is drawn from either a 1S 450mAH battery, as well as offering 2S 300mAH battery support, although there is no Ph2 available for the 2S 300mAH battery.
These specifications combined make this one of the best-value mini drones in its price range, capable of sustaining most crashes without breaking the frame, and flying at high speeds for a professional-level drone racing experience.
An affordable, fun to operate and ready to fly FPV drone, the EMAX Tinyhawk 2 Indoor FPV Racing Drone might be a little fiddly to get set up if you’re a beginner, but once it’s up in the air it’s a fun, responsive drone for use indoors.
4. BETAFPV Meteor65 Acro 1S Brushless FPV Whoop Drone
- Lightweight frame
- Great price
- Good quality HD 60fps
- Minimal drift in flight makes it perfect for racing
- Customer support is lacking
- Requires firmware for optimal performance
BETAFPV manufacture a range of drones available at different price points and specifications, with their Meteor65 Aero 1S Brushless FPV Whoop drone coming in as a great budget option for beginner pilots.
It’s a neat-looking mini drone that weighs just 27 grams and is available in a range of colours, using a triangle bilateral stretch structure for the frame to keep the weight down and resilience at a premium.
Suitable for both indoor and outdoor flying, the Meteor65 Aero 1S Brushless FPV Whoop drone is capable of up to four minutes of flight time and is powered by a 300mAh 1S 30C battery with BT2.0 connector.
The camera system is on the basic side, to match the low price, but you’ll find the image quality of your FPV footage is more than adequate for flying in good lighting conditions, while the camera’s low weight adds to the drone’s overall versatile flight abilities.
The BETAFPV Meteor65 Aero 1S Brushless FPV Whoop drone is also very easy to set up straight out of the box, by simply connecting the battery and binding the transmitter and receiver with a simple button press.
As with most First Person View drones, you can also upgrade the Meteor65 Aero 1S Brushless FPV Whoop drone, for instance through firmware updates that increase the flight time and improve other flight characteristics.
The basic package doesn’t come with a pair of goggles for the full drone racing experience, so this is something to be aware of before taking the plunge, but there are plenty of low-budget goggles available that you can pick up relatively cheaply.
While this isn’t going to be suitable for professional racing or videography, it’s an affordable way for beginners to get their hands on an FPV kit and begin to explore some of the key elements surrounding the hobby.
5. BETAFPV Cetus RTF Drone Kit for Brushed Racing
- Complete FPV package ready to fly
- Goggle images are clear and stable
- Includes altitude hold feature
- A solid indoor racer
- Can’t change the camera’s angle
- Battery life could be improved
If you’re looking for something with more power and versatility than the Meteor65 Aero 1S Brushless FPV Whoop drone, the BETAFPV Cetus RTF Drone Kit for Brushed Racing brings improved build quality and better all-round performance to the table.
While you aren’t likely to see professional pilots compete in drone racing with the BETAFPV Cetus RTF drone, it’s swifter and more accurate than you might expect considering its diminutive size and exceptionally light weight.
Pilots can choose from three flight modes to help them become accustomed to the controls, while features such as altitude hold and self-protection make it harder to lose or crash the drone.
It comes with a LiteRadio 2 SE transmitter, which is ergonomically designed for a snug fit in the operator’s hands, and is incredibly easy to bind to the flight system, so you can have it up and running (or flying) in no time.
The goggles included in the package are also great quality, with built-in 5.8G 14DBI high-quality antennas for reliable images over long-range flights, and a foam sponge faceplate for additional comfort.
The overall design of the components is professional-looking, with everything made from clean white materials for a simple yet neat aesthetic, and it all comes housed in its own customised carry case.
This is a product with beginners in mind, and as such it comes with a comprehensive manual explaining everything you need to know, complemented with exceptional after-sales service from BETAFPV, with their customer support team typically responding within 12 hours.
With everything you need to begin learning to fly drones included in the kit, the BETAFPV Cetus RTF Drone Kit for Brushed Racing combines quality manufacturing with comprehensive instructions to help amateur drone racing enthusiasts get their hobby off the ground.
6. BETAFPV Cetus Pro FPV Drone Kit
- Complete kit to start flying
- Incredibly lightweight
- Drone camera footage is decent
- Great value for money
- The camera angle can’t be adjusted
- Configurator is a little clunky to use
A more advanced option from BETAFPV is the BETAFPV Cetus Pro Kit, which comes with everything you need to begin flying drones, and includes the FPV goggles that help make racing drones a much more immersive experience.
In addition to the goggles and drone, the kit comes with a radio transmitter, battery and charger, USB adapter for connecting to your computer to transfer videos, and a range of replacement accessories including spare propellers.
Flight time is slightly longer than the Meteor65 drone, with up to six minutes of time thanks to extended battery life to allow pilots more time to explore the various flight modes between each charge and battery change.
There are three flight modes to choose from, with manual mode, normal mode, and sport mode each adjusting how responsive the throttle and other controls are, either making the drone easier to control for beginners or more responsive for pilots with more experience in manual mode.
Basic safety features such as auto-disarm on crashing are a nice additional touch you don’t often see on drones in this budget range, with other safety features including low battery descending making it harder for inexperienced pilots to lose or damage the drone.
Flight control is generally a lot of fun with the BETAFPV Cetus Pro Drone, although some pilots have reported that the camera angle can be a little high for precise control, especially if your drone is flown in smaller indoor spaces.
Minor quibbles aside, the BETAFPV Cetus Pro Drone Kit offers an improved battery life, LCD display goggles, and a full kit of accessories at an incredibly attractive price point, making it a solid choice for aspiring drone racing pilots.
What Do I Need for FPV?
If you want to try your hand at building your own FPV drone system, here are the parts you’ll need:
The frame is the first building block of any drone system and is typically measured in millimetres from the centre of the motor mount on one arm, to the centre of the motor mount on the arm directly diagonal from it.
All the other components of the PFV drone system are mounted onto the frame, which is designed with a specific function, for instance, freestyle or FPV drone racing.
Before deciding which frame to opt for, make sure you’re clear on what you intend to use the drone for, as a frame that delivers optimal performance for racing drones might not be the best choice for drone photography.
The main power source for your drone’s multirotor, the battery you use will dictate how powerful the multirotor is, while the battery life will affect the flight time of the drone.
Lithium polymer batteries are generally used to power multirotors, made up of individual cells with a voltage rating of 3.7 volts, with additional cells increasing the voltage.
While larger batteries bring more power, they also add more weight to the drone, so bear this in mind when deciding which battery to go for.
A battery charger is essential to allow you to quickly recharge batteries for your next flight and needs to be compatible with your drone and its components.
There are a variety of chargers available to choose from, from USB chargers to digital touch battery chargers.
Sometimes referred to as props, propellers deliver the thrust of the flight system and are attached directly to the moto shafts.
You can find propellers made from different materials for lightness and durability, while different blade shapes and pitches will further affect the performance of your drone.
A heavier propeller will withstand more impacts should you hit the branches of a tree, but will also increase the overall weight, as well as cause it to use more power.
Find propellers that strike the right balance between weight, resilience, and pitch to deliver optimal performance.
The source of power for the multirotor is the motor, which for drones tend to be classified as brushless motors that use three phases of power to drive the electromagnets that spin the rotors.
Rotors are rated by two size numbers that indicate the diameter and height of the motor in millimeters, and the Kv power rating, from which you can derive the anticipated RPM of the rotors.
For example, a motor with a 2450 Kv rating using a 14.8 volts four-cell battery will have an RPM of 36,260, determined by multiplying the 14.8 volts by the 2450 Kv rating.
Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs) translate the commands outputted from the flight controller into instructions telling the motors how fast to spin, as well as the direction to spin in.
Data from the controller is directed into the motors as three-phase electric pulses, adjusting the degree of power for each motor to help adjust for wind while affecting speed and direction.
ESCs are assisted by firmware that helps to drive calculations in real-time for a smoother and more responsive flying experience.
The radio receiver is the component of any drone that interprets the signal from the flight controller, converting the commands into actions that control the drone.
Available in a range of sizes, these need to be compatible with the other components used in a drone, for instance checking their mounting options are suitable for your setup.
- Flight Controller
The flight controller acts as the brain of any drone, featuring a range of sensors for detecting the drone’s movement, as well as the user’s commands.
Most flight controllers feature sensors such as gyroscopes and accelerometers, while more advanced options also come with a barometer and magnetometer, while also acting as a central hub for other peripherals such as GPS.
- FPV Camera
The flight camera on an FPV drone gives the operator a direct view of the drone’s current flight and comes in a range of sizes and image resolutions.
You can choose from basic standard definition cameras, full HD cameras with 1080p resolution, as well as cameras designed for low light situations, and ones that offer night vision capabilities.
- Video Transmitter
In order to get the image from the onboard camera to the FPV goggles, you’ll need to use a video transmitter.
Video transmitters are rated in milliwatts (mW), which impact how far the device can transmit footage and are designed to work on a range of frequencies so that multiple pilots can fly at the same time without disrupting one another’s signal.
The remote, also known as a controller, is the operating system which allows the pilot to send flight commands to a drone, affecting its speed, altitude, and direction of flight.
When choosing a remote, opt for one which offers lower latency, as this will reduce the amount of lag time between sending a command and the drone responding.
- FPV Goggles
FPV goggles are the peripheral that allows for a truly immersive flying experience, displaying the drone’s camera angle to the operator via the video transmission.
Functioning in a similar way to a VR headset, the FPV goggles deliver a real-time view of the drone’s point of view for a better experience compared to using a ground station with a monitor.
Aside from all the gear, you’ll need some tools in order to build or repair your FPV drone. These include Hex Drivers, a soldering iron, wire cutters, and a propeller tool.
FPV Drone FAQs
What is FPV on a drone?
FPV stands for first-person view, which means when you’re flying the drone you get to see what the drone sees via the mounted camera.
They are different from traditional drones, which are operated from the pilot’s perspective from the ground.
Can you fly a FPV drone by yourself?
While you can operate a FPV drone by yourself, you are required by law to have a spotter with you who can maintain a Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) with the drone throughout its flight.
Where can I fly FPV?
There are a wide variety of locations where you can fly FPV, although regulations differ from country to country.
For example, in the United Kingdom membership of an association of drone and model aircraft clubs will grant greater flexibility regarding where you can fly a drone.
There are also height restrictions to consider, with some rules dictating drones must not exceed a specific altitude when in flight.
Can you fly FPV drone without goggles?
Yes, they can be flown without goggles using visual sight, although in this instance the pilot is no longer flying it via first-person view.
Can FPV drones hover?
Some are capable of hovering in one position, provided the drone’s Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) or compass is correctly calibrated.
Some mini drones which are intended purely for racing often don’t include a hover mode, so if this is a feature you require, then check the product description before you invest.
Put On Your FPV Goggles and Get Ready to Fly!
The number of drones flown each year is increasing, and thanks to the availability of so many affordable models, everyone (including kids and teenagers) can try their hand at drone flying.
Whether you’re keen to get into racing drones or just want to play around with FPV in your own living room (be careful!), we’re confident you’re going to have a lot of fun.
Leave a comment below to describe your first FPV drone flying experience.
Andy Dilks is an experienced landscape photographer and former games industry veteran. When he isn’t taking photos or reviewing the latest tech gadgets, you can find him hiking and wild camping in the Peak District.