What is the best quadcopter is for beginners? In this post I will explain the options what you should try when starting out in this hobby. This post is especially useful if you have no previous RC flying experience in the past.
Research and Study
Spend time reading and watching guides, build logs, and reviews, learning from experienced quadcopter pilots and builders can really help your understanding in drones.
You can’t go wrong with doing a lot of research, there is an overwhelming amount of useful blog posts and videos online. Ask tons of questions in forums like IntoFPV.com before you spend your hard earned money on a box of stuff you have no experience with.
Check out this comprehensive guide on how to get into FPV mini quad.
What is the best quadcopter to start out with for beginners?
When I first started in this hobby, I had nobody to teach me, I had no resource like this article to tell me what’s wrong or right.. So I went and bought a 450mm quadcopter with a KK2 flight controller as my first quadcopter.
You can probably guess what happened next – I took off, had no idea how to control the thing, it just rocketed into the sky, I was horrified and cut my throttle. “Bang!” The quad was totally destroyed in the crash and that was my glorious 15 seconds with my first quad :(
I cannot stress this enough: DO NOT fly a full size drone until you get some experience in flying.
Simulators are your best friends!
I strongly recommend learning on a FPV simulator first. I have seen what well these simulators can help beginners in real life. I have a friend who spent 20 hours on a sim before flying his racing quad, he could do power loops around a racing gate on his first day with the real quad! Pretty amazing :)
Another “ancient” method is to learn with a toy-grade micro quad. This was “the way” to learn flying a quadcopter before simulators become really realistic, it’s still a good way if you don’t have access to a computer with good spec and flight simulators.
Take a look at this guide and understand the types of drones on the market, and identify which one is that you want
Toy grade micro quads are very affordable, usually in the price range between $20 to $50.
They are light weight and small, which means they won’t get damaged as easily as the bigger models. They are also easier to fly and maneuver in smaller places such as in your living room.
I listed some good value toy grade quadcopter options here.
Building a racing drone
Once you feel confident and brave enough you can build your own mini quad, but it requires skills in soldering and deeper understanding in RC.
Building a mini quad can be beneficial to learning the in’s and out’s of these very technical machines.
What to avoid if you are buying RTF drones?
I don’t encourage people to start out with an RTF (read to fly) drone that come pre-built, but if you really hate building and insist, there are many great options available:
Don’t just buy what everyone else is buying because they said it’s the best. Their personal preference and skill sets will vary compared to yours and may not suit you.
As a beginner you want to stay away from machines that are overly complicated. You want something that will allow you to focus on the flying. Having all the options and best equipment is great, but doesn’t necessarily means they will make you a better pilot. Learning the basics of multirotor building/flying/repairing should be your first priority, they are all part of the learning curve and shouldn’t be skipped.
Something else to remember, things are changing at such a fast pace in this hobby, it’s easy to get caught up in the rat race of what’s best or what’s the most popular. Something we refer to as “Hype Train”.
The most expensive or popular gear won’t necessarily make you a better pilot either. Once you find something that you like and flies well, stick with it utll you’ve mastered it. Once you’ve done that, you’ll know what you want and what you should get next.
Learning how to fly
How long it will take you to learn to fly competently, hugely depends on the person, but spending 30 mins to an hour everyday for a couple of weeks should get you to fly a quadcopter in line of sight or in FPV quite confidently.
Don’t be afraid to crash, that is a good opportunity to learn emergency maneuvering, or worse, repairing :) These are all crucial lessons you can apply to flying larger and faster multirotors.
We put together a training course tutorial on how to fly a mini quad in FPV.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment, or ask on our quadcopter forum.
- Sept 2013, article created
- May 2016, article revised
- Dec 2017, article revisited