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5 Best Radio Transmitter/Controllers for FPV Drone Pilots: Budget, Beginner, Pro

FPV Drones are getting very popular, and there’s no shortage of good controllers to choose from.

The right controller can make the difference between having an uncomfortable flying experience or even crashing your drone.

Whether you’re looking to buy your first FPV Drone controller or get an upgrade, here’s 5 of best radio controllers you can get.

Cheapest Worth Buying: BetaFPV LiteRadio 2 SE

The BetaFPV LiteRadio 2 SE is a very basic controller, and only costs $45 dollars.

It can connect to FrSky D8 or D16 controllers, making it perfect for flying most whoops or even many 5″ FPV drones.

With an 8 hour battery life and USB-C Charging, the BetaFPV LiteRadio isn’t going to be dying in the middle of your flight, and will last all day. It has a LED flash to warn when the battery is low as well.

The USB-C port can also connect to a computer, meaning that the LiteRadio can be used as a controller for FPV simulators.

This radio is perfect for people wanting to get into the FPV hobby for as little as possible. It’s also shaped like a gaming controller, which makes it easy to get used to.

You can buy the BetaFPV LiteRadio 2 SE from Amazon, Banggood, or Racedayquads.

Best Budget Compact Controller: RadioMaster Zorro

If you’re willing to pay a bit more than the BetaFPV LiteRadio, the RadioMaster Zorro is a highly recommended upgrade for only $80 dollars.

The Zorro features a large and bright display to control your settings with, and high-quality HALL sensor gimbals.

It also has the same video-game controller style as the BetaFPV LiteRadio, which makes it easy to grip and hold. There’s also a module bay in the back if you ever want to use a different protocol, from Crossfire to ELRS.

Batteries aren’t included, but once you have the two 18350 batteries installed, charging is built in via a handy USB-C that can also be used for simulators.

What makes the RadioMaster Zorro so special on top of all it’s quality build design, display, and gimbals is the different RF types it can use to connect to different types of receivers.

When you buy the Zorro, you can choose different connectivity types from CC2500, 4-in-1, or ELRS.

The CC250 option can bind to FrSky D8 or D16 receivers, just like the BetaFPV LiteRadio. The 4-in-1 module binds to not only FrSky D8 and D16 receivers, but Flysky, DSMX receivers, and more!

RadioMaster stepped their game up by adding the ELRS option. ELRS is the newest and greatest open source control link system, with the best range and refresh rate available.

You can buy the RadioMaster Zorro from Amazon, Banggood, or Racedayquads.

Best Value Full-Sized Radio: RadioMaster TX16S

The RadioMaster TX16S has been a highly beloved radio since release, and has everything that you’d ever want in a drone radio controller, and at a respectable price of $200.

The full-sized design of the TX16S allows it to use the highest quality parts. The full-sized HALL gimbals are some of the smoothest and best feeling gimbals that the FPV world has ever seen.

This radio sports a large color touchscreen, that can also be controlled with buttons on the sides. It also has a lot of high-quality switches that can be programmed to do anything the pilot wants.

Like all the other radios on this list, a USB-C cable can be used for charging, and connecting the controller to a simulator.

A SD card slot is included, which lets you store all your models and even your favorite songs to listen directly from your radio while you’re flying.

Connecting to all types of receivers isn’t a challenge for the TX16S. It’s 4-in-1 module lets you connect to Frsky, Flysky, Futaba, and all sorts of DSMX receivers. It also has a module bay in the back if you want to run Crossfire or ELRS.

To top it off, this Radiomaster comes with a EPP carry box to keep your radio safe when you’re traveling.

This radio is perfect for the serious FPV pilot looking for a high-quality radio that will last them many years, and is a great value.

You can buy the Radiomaster TX16S from Amazon, Banggood, and Racedayquads.

Ultimate Pro Controller: Radiomaster TX16S Max

RadioMaster saw how popular their TX16 radio was, and made the TX16 Max; the ultimate drone controller.

The TX16S Max features upgraded gimbals that can be adjusted from the front, as well as leather grips and CNC parts.

It’s multi-protocol module allows it to have an even higher connectivity to all types of receivers. Not only can this radio connect to Flysky, Frsky, Husban, Futaba, and DSM/DSMX receivers, but it also has a crossfire module built in.

The TX16S Max also features a vibration reminder function.

This feature-packed premium radio is for serious FPV pilots who are looking for the best and highest-quality radio that surprisingly, is only $300 dollars.

You can buy the RadioMaster TX16S Max from Amazon, Banggood, and Racedayquads.

Best for Simulators: Orqa FPV Ctrl Radio Controller

The Orqa FPV Ctrl Radio Controller is perfect for people who aren’t sure if they want to get into the FPV hobby, and want to try it out on a simulator first.

Using the video-game controller design makes this perfect for beginners, since it feels a lot more natural to hold than a full-sized radio.

This radio is special since it can connect to your phone and computer with bluetooth.

The bluetooth can be used flying in simulators to give people a wireless experience. It can also be connected easily with a USB-C cable, which it also uses to charge.

If you decide you like FPV flight and want to get a drone after flying in the simulator, you can use the Orqa FPV Ctrl radio for that as well. You can buy a radio module that snaps into the back of the controller for $40 bucks that can be used to control ghost receivers.

You can buy the Orqa FPV Ctrl Radio from Pyrodrone or GetFPV.

Final Thoughts

The best all-around pick and my personal suggestion if you’re trying to get into the FPV hobby without breaking the bank is the RadioMaster Zorro. It has all the features you’ll ever need, at a quality that’s made to last.

Picking your controller is one of the first big investments in the FPV hobby, so it’s important to get the right one.

Comment below with any questions, and let us know what radio you picked, or what is your dream radio!

Happy flying!