What is the best quadcopter is for beginners? In this post I will explain some of the options you have when starting out. This post is especially useful if you have no previous RC flying experience.
Research and Study
Spend time reading and watching guides, build logs, and reviews. Learning from experienced quadcopter pilots and builders can really help develop your understanding of drones.
You can’t go wrong 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.
Remember that technology advances very quickly in the drone racing industry. Much of the information you gain will be useful regardless of what components you use, but it is a good idea to be aware of when the information you are looking at was published when doing research. At my blog, I always try to keep my articles up to date, anyway you can see the date and edit history at the very bottom of the article.
What is the best quadcopter to start out with for beginners?
When I first started in the hobby, I had nobody to teach me and resources like this article were few and far between. So I went and randomly bought a huge 450mm quadcopter with a KK2 flight controller as my first quadcopter, which turned out to be a huge mistake.
You can probably guess what happened next – I took off, had no idea how to control the thing, it just rocketed into the sky within seconds!
Horrified, I cut my throttle and… “Bang!” The quad was totally destroyed in the crash. That was my first glorious 15 seconds with a multirotor :(
I cannot stress this enough: DO NOT fly a full size drone until you get some experience of flying.
Simulators are your best friends!
I strongly recommend learning on an FPV simulator first. This means that the first thing you should buy is a transmitter that you can use to control a simulator. Then you can practice while the rest of the components are in the mail.
Further Reading: Check out our FPV Simulators Review
I have seen first hand how well these simulators can help beginners in real life. A friend of mine who had no previous experience with RC, 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! Really amazing! :)
Before FPV simulators became realistic, we used to recommend to learn flying on a toy-grade micro quad. It’s still a good way to practice if you don’t have access to a computer with good spec. Even if you do have a hardcore gaming PC, micro’s are great at providing a different perspective of the “ordinary” surroundings of your home, they can be as fun as sims!
Take a look at this guide and understand the differences between micro quad, and other types of drones on the market, and identify which one you want
Toy grade micro quads are very affordable, usually 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 start looking into building your own mini quad. There will be a lot more to learn, it will require skill with a soldering iron and a deeper understanding of RC.
Building a mini quad can be beneficial to learning the in’s and out’s of these very technical machines. Watching your creation take to the skies for the first time is one of the most gratifying experiences in the hobby!
In this tutorial, I will show you how to build a racing mini quad from scratch.
Here are some good RTF options
I don’t encourage people to start out with a pre-built RTF (read to fly) drone, but if you are not confident with soldering, building your own drone might not be the best solution for you. Thankfully there are now many great options available:
- Holybro Kopis 1 (My Review | Banggood | GetFPV)
- Diatone GT2017 (My Review | Banggood | Amazon | GetFPV)
Top of the line:
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 what suits them may not suit you.
As a beginner you want to stay away from machines that are overly complicated. Something that flies well “out-of-the-box” will allow you to focus on actually flying. Having all the best equipment is great, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be a better pilot.
Learning the basics of multirotor building, flying and repairing should be your first priority, they are all part of the learning curve and shouldn’t be skipped.
And remember, technology and products are constantly moving forward 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 the “Hype Train“.
Just find something that you like that flies well for you, stick with it utill you’ve mastered it. Once you’ve done that, you will have a better idea of what is missing and what you want to get in the future.
Learning how to fly
How long it takes you to learn to fly competently largely depends on the person. Spending 30 mins to an hour every day for a week or two practicing flying should get you comfortable with controlling a quadcopter.
Don’t be afraid to crash! Not only is it inevitable (even for experienced pilots), it 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
- Jan 2018, article revisited