The Best Flight Controllers For FPV Drones

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.

Further Reading:

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

Product Pages

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

Product Pages

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

Product Page:

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

Product Page:

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

Product Page

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.

Frsky rebranded this FC and added a built-in R9MM receiver to it.


Edit History

  • 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

34 thoughts on “The Best Flight Controllers For FPV Drones

  1. Eg Treadway

    I’ve been following you for long time so thanks for all your knowledge, I think I have damaged tx4 and rx4 on my f405-wing while soldering pins for my gps with build in compass, I don’t see any traces going to either port I wondering if I could use tx6 and rx6 instead and everything work ok I’m not sure if I need compass or not with this board on fixed wing drone. Thanks again

    Reply
  2. shane tash

    Oscar I have a martian 2, iflight suceex-e mini with 2205 2600 kv motors How can I mount this F.c. and not fry it. Mind you I’m a complete newb. Thanks

    Reply
  3. Ujjwal Piprewar

    Hi i am a beginner. And I am not into fpv at the beginning. Actually i am having a major confusion in choosing the best flight controller for my 250mm quadcopter which will give me very stable controlled flight. Our competition are basically like we have obstacles at a distance of 1 ft and we have to pass through them. So basically flight board shoulf give us more control over the quadcopter. My friends recommended me omnibus f4 is more stable and does not require more changes in PID settings but which omnibus f4 they didn’t told and there are many versions of it. What do you recommend? Please do tell as fast as possible also it should not cost much.

    Reply
  4. ron ailer

    My thoughts on best FC is simple and thats one that works. Every pilot should know their own skill level and what fc would suit their needs best. I think FC’s should come in simple , advanced and expert. Also it would be nice if the hobby supply chain actually knew what a recall is instead of knowing something is crap but just let it keep selling as was my recent experience when I purchased a CLRacing F4s being led to believe they were such a great board and what I recieved was obviously old stock V1.4 and got stuck with the roll of death. I then purchased the cheapest omnibus f4 from banggood and I now have a quad that actually flies without uncontrollably hitting the dirt. Product developers have to step up and recall their products when they know they have a problem or people will will simply not buy their product again. I know I personally will not buy another CL Racing product along with a couple other brand names I wont mention here. In Canada I paid 49 bucks for that FC, may as well have flushed it down the toilet.

    Reply
    1. TeamScream

      HI Oscar, I really like ALL of your info, and am extremely grateful that you take the time to share it with the rest of the world.

      The one thing I find very frustrating however, is that you do not put a date anywhere on any of your blog posts, so I have no idea if this article was written in 2019, 2018 or 2003 ?

      Do you have any plans to perhaps put a date/time stamp somewhere on your entries so we can know if the information is current or not?

      Thanks again sir.

      Reply
  5. Marc

    Hey Oscar,

    i tried to build a QC myself with a MultiWii CRIUS 2.5, but still can’t get it to hover steady. As the errors are “unstable” and varying, i want to test with another FC.

    Can you give me a recommendation for an “easy” FC that will work with an old 35MHz PWM-Receiver and 40A-SimonK-ESCs?
    A 5V output for the Rx would be nice (no BEC on ESCs), but not mandatory.

    Thank you very much in advance,

    Marc

    Reply
  6. peter

    I am putting together (or purchasing a pre-built armattan) quad for freestyle. My question is regarding the FC choice armattan uses on their ready-to-fly builds, they use a CL Racing F4S AIO. Is there any reason not to use a CL “racing” FC for freestyle?

    Reply
  7. bils0n

    Kakute F4 v2 “Furthermore, you cannot stick anything on top of the FC with things like a receiver or VTX.”

    Why not? I have matek VTX mounted on top of the Kakute and it works fine and flies beautifully

    Reply
  8. Obinna Ndu

    Hey Oscar, I love you FC…. I bought the CL RACING F4S when it first came out and installed it in my quad but ever time I arm and disarm it won’t rearm unless I unplug the battery and replug…I’ve tried every remedy I could think of but nothing’s woring… I even swapped out the FC for another one of the same kind and still nothing…. I did notice that you mentioned that some esc’s weren’t compatible with it…. could that be my problem?…..please help!!

    Reply
      1. Logan

        I’m actually having the same problem with my CLR F4S as well~
        Also, I’m not sure if I’ve got a burnt out M4 pad, but it looks like I’m not getting a motor 4 even when I’ve remapped it to another pad like cam-control. Any tips?

  9. Moritz Beyer

    Hello I am a Newbie,
    I want to built my first mini quad, which qualifies for races and lets me grow. I read your great articles but information from the manufacturer is low.
    I want a 32khz Gyro, F4 Flight Control, OSD, DSHOT 1200, Voltage and Current monitor.
    I want to use Betafly.

    Does my proposed combination work and deliver just that?

    – Omnibus F4 Corner Nano FC ICM20608
    – Racerstar Tattoo_S Mini 25A 4 IN 1 ESC 2-4S Blheli_32bit Dshot1200
    – FURIOUSFPV Innova V4 25/200mW OSD – VTX

    Thanks for understanding!

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      sounds good to me.
      But to be honest i think getting an FC with MPU6000 and run 8k is a much more reliable option.

      Reply
      1. Matt

        I have really fallen in love with the layout of the JBF4, definitely worth the look! If my quad doesn’t have a Heliospring IMUF it has a JBF4.

  10. gliderboy

    My favorite is missing, SirinFPV FC/VTX/BF OSD is cleanest possible minimalist package. I run mine with 4in1Aikon ESC. Has all essentials as long as you think it makes better sense to do one’s current sensing on the bench under controlled conditions

    Reply
  11. Robert kosick

    Just a general complaint. To all FC makers. Instead the classic IT WORKS GET IT ON THE MARKET! Why don’t you fully developed these boards before running your greed to the bank? All anyone wants is a standardized FC that you don’t need a degree to operate! Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      New to multicopters?

      That’s been the culture of every drone vendor, even DJI, heck even X UFO (asctec), hell, even the military since the inception of commercial drones. For example, it took dji 4 versions (and lots of crashes) to get to mikrokopter flight quality…. or course at 1/2 the price.

      It’s going to be a rush to sell features, and make it CHEAP. reliability/usability takes a back seat.

      Reply
      1. Mike

        Why? That’s counter-intuitive. Can someone explain this? It would be like making cars that have bluetooth, built-in navigation, side and backup cameras, seat warmers, self-inflating tires, and transmissions that randomly seize.

  12. Ole

    Regarding F4 and smartport, you should be able to use softserial as uart for smartport and therefore you can inverted in software instead of modifying receiver og buying / making an inverter.

    In doing this on my Airbot F4

    Reply
  13. James Dicklow - CT Wild Flyers

    Little disappointed that the BrainRE1 wasn’t on the list. It’s the best one I’ve used and I now have 2 of them!

    Reply
  14. Jeff G

    Is anyone familiar with the fpvstyle f3 evo flight control board?? I got it for only 20 but did get any paper work or screws etc and was just wondering if anyone has any knowledge on this board?? Hope to hear back from someone, jeff g

    Reply

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