Here are some of the best FPV Drone flight controllers (FC) that I recommend in 2020. If you are just starting, I strongly recommend starting with Betaflight, because it’s the most widely used firmware with tons of online resources to help you get started or fix problems.
What key features to look for in flight controllers:
- Using either F4 or F7 processors, preferably F7 as it’s faster and doesn’t care about signal inversion
- Equipped with MPU6000 Gyro, since Betaflight only supports up to 8K now, no need for faster but noisier gyro; ICM gyros are okay if they are soft-mounted
- Supports wide range of input voltage – 6S or even up to 8S
- Soft mounting using silicone grommets or soft mounted gyro
|I compiled the specifications of all FC’s for mini quad in this spreadsheet so you can compare them more closely|
There are special flight controllers designed specifically for the DJI Digital FPV system, that are not listed in this post.
CLRacing F7 V2 DAUL – Awesome for 4in1 ESC
The CLRacing F7 is the successor to one of the most popular FC ever made, the CLRacing F4/F4S. The F7 DUAL FC continues with similar clean and convenient layout and well-sized solder pads, making it very enjoyable to work with. Check out my review to learn more about this FC.
Here’s the specs summary:
- F7 MCU
- Two versions: MPU6000 gyro, or dual ICM20602
- Soft mounting grommets
- 6 UART’s
- Betaflight OSD
- 5V 3A BEC
- 32MB Flash memory for Blackbox
- Supports 2S – 8S LiPo Input
It’s one of the most affordable flight controllers in the list despite of the long list of great features. It supports SmartAudio, ESC Telemetry, as well as having built-in FPV Camera Control – you can simply wire up your FPV camera, no additional resistors and capacitors needed.
The CL Racing F7 is designed specifically to be used with 4in1 ESC’s. The ESC header supports both external current sensor input and ESC telemetry.
It’s one of the very first FC to have “True Pitmode” built in, which allows you to turn both your VTX and FPV camera on and off using a switch on your radio.
One of the most remarkable improvements in the V2, is the dual gyro’s. Both gyros work simultaneously, averaging sensor data in order to reduce noise. Together with the latest RPM filter in Betaflight, tuning is going to get a lot easier. They also offer the MPU6000 option if you want to go for a simpler setup.
Holybro Kakute F7 AIO – Great for Separate ESC
Most flight controllers soft-mount the whole board, but the Kakute F7 has the Gyro sensor soft mounted instead. The advantage of this is you don’t have to soft mount the FC at all, or worry about wires touching the FC that might transfer vibration to it. For this reason, I really like using it with separate ESC’s.
- F7, ICM20689 SPI (32KHz Looptime)
- Soft-mounted Gyro sensor
- Betaflight OSD
- Integrated PDB
- 5V/2A BEC
- SD Card Reader for Blackbox
- Supports 2S – 6S
However you have to make sure the gyro board is clear from wires and components that might be touching it. Furthermore, you cannot put anything on top of the FC, like a receiver or VTX.
With F4 FC’s you have to deal with signal inversion using SmartPort Telemetry and SBUS. This is not a problem anymore with F7 because this can be easily dealt with in the software.
The Kakute F7 FC is a feature-packed FC, but the layout isn’t necessary the most user-friendly because the pads are all placed in the same area. Luckily there is an extremely detail online manual provided by Holybro, which is super helpful.
If you want to learn more, check out my Review.
This is a great board for experienced builders/pilots who looking for clean gyro performance. They also offer the non-AIO version, which you can use together with 4in1 ESC’s.
Mamba F722S Stack – The Reliable & Complete Package
Sometimes when you buy the FC and 4in1 ESC from different vendors, the wiring can get messy because the pin-out’s are different. That’s why I’d recommend getting a stack and you know you it’s going to be “plug-n-play” and fully compatible.
Apart from all the usual features you would expect from a modern F7 flight controller, the Mamba F722S even comes with a built-in Bluetooth module that lets you configure Betaflight settings from your phone wirelessly.
It has both 5V and 9V BEC’s to provide power for both your FPV camera and VTX, this reduces noise getting to your video from motors and ESC. The IMU is the MPU6000, which is known to be less noise sensitive than the ICM series.
The 4in1 ESC is rated for 50A per motor output and supports 6S LiPo, making it a very versatile option, suitable for many different style builds.
Rush F7 Mini Stack – The Most Compact F7 Stack
All the flight controllers we have talked about are “full size” boards with 30x30mm mounting patterns. The Rush F7 Mini Stack has a 20x20mm mounting pattern, which is a lot smaller.
Don’t let the compact form factor fools you, it has the exact same performance and capability as a full size stack. They even offers a 800mW VTX board that plugs straight onto the FC without wiring, making this a complete package you can just install in your drone without even thinking about it.
The Rush F7 FC uses JST connectors for FPV camera and receivers, this makes building and repairing much easier if you use the right components. But I wouldn’t recommend this stack if you prefer soldering.
Airbot OmniNXT F7 FC – Overlooked but Worth Considering
The Airbot OmniNXT F7 has a soft mounted gyro like the Kakute, but it’s completely protected by a plastic case, so it’s free from vibrations or damage. The pad layout is intuitive and convenient for wiring, however the lack of documentations from Airbot might be tricky for beginners.
Being an F7 FC, the OmniNXT is capable of running all the latest features in Betaflight without compromises. It actually has two gyros built-in, MPU6000 and ICM20608. It also has both 5V and 8V BEC’s for your VTX and camera.
It’s NOT an AIO FC, and is meant to be used with a PDB board or 4in1 ESC.
- March 2017 – Article created
- July 2017 – Separated the list by FC firmware: BF, RF and KISS; added DYS F4, Kakute F4, Matek F4; retired Lux V2 and DRC Soul
- Jan 2018 – Updated the list
- Aug 2018 – List updated – Kakute F7, Fireworks V2
- Dec 2018 – Updated CL Racing F4S with F7
- Sep 2019 – Updated
- July 2020 – Updated