If you are new to FPV and are not sure which radio to get, this article is for you.
We have picked four of the best radios for FPV that can all be used with FPV simulators and to also fly real FPV drones.
Pretty much no matter what your budget is, this list has got you covered. So keep reading to find your new FPV radio! And after you are done, be sure to check out our article on learning to fly a FPV drone, where you will also find a list of FPV simulators.
Here is a quick cheat sheet:
|Radio||Price $USD||Battery Type||Battery Included?|
|BetaFPV Lite Radio 2||$44.99||Internal||Y|
|Radiomaster Zorro||$119.99||2x 18350||N|
|Jumper T-Lite V2||$65-$90||1x 18650||N|
|Radiomaster TX16s MKII||$209.99||2x 18650||N|
BetaFPV Lite Radio 2 – Under $50 USD with built in battery!
-Small, cheap and easy to transport
-Built in battery
-Cheap gimbals will wear out quickly
-Not ideal for flying larger drones reliably
Radiomaster Zorro – The best overall radio for beginners
-Great for pinching and thumbing
-Fast USB charging
-Uses small capacity 18350 batteries
-Screen design makes it larger than other ‘gamepad’ style radios.
Jumper T-Lite V2 – The best budget radio in a tiny package
-Small and easy to transport
-Full selection of switches and trims needed for most FPV craft.
-Not ideal for pinchers
(The T-Lite V2 is cheaper on AliExpess if you can handle long shipping times.)
Radiomaster TX16s MKII – the best full sized radio for FPV
-The best radio in FPV
-Ability to use AG01 gimbals
-Long battery life
-Heavy and hard to transport
Which radio is right for you?
If you’re not 100% sold on the idea of the FPV and just want to try it out, we suggest getting the BetaFPV lite radio 2. If know you want to get into the hobby, the Radiomaster Zorro is easily the best choice for overall quality, performance and price.
Before we wrap things up, there are some a few other things you should pay attention to when buying your radio.
What battery do I need?
For everything but the BetaFPV radio you will need to source your own Lithium Ion batteries. If you’re not sure where to buy them you can usually find food quality cells in Vape stores. For the Zorro you need 2x 18350, for the T-Lite you need 1x 18650 and the TX16s MK11 takes 2x 18650. All 3 radios support internal charging, so you won’t need to buy an additional charger for the Lithium Ion cells.
Mode 1 vs Mode 2
Most radios will come with an option for Mode 1 or Mode 2. This just refers to what stick the throttle is on. On Mode 2, the throttle is on the left and on Mode 1 throttle is on the right. The majority of FPV pilots fly Mode 2 and we suggest going with it as well.
ELRS or 4 in 1?
Pay attention to the protocol the radio is using. This is the link between your radio and drone that allows you to control it. One option you will see is ELRS (see our article on ELRS here for more info). ELRS is easily the best radio link in FPV. The other option you see will be ‘4 in 1’ which means the radio can run multiple protocols like Frsky and Flysky. We strongly suggest that you go with ELRS over the 4 in 1 as ELRS is more reliable and has longer range than any protocol in the 4 in 1.
Pinch vs thumb?
There are two main styles of holding the sticks on the radio. You either ‘thumb’, which is using only your thumbs to move the sticks (like using an Xbox/PS controller) or you ‘pinch’, where you use your thumb and another finger to pinch the sticks. Try both methods when you are starting out to see which feels more natural to you. There is no easy answer as every pilot is different.
Good luck in choosing a radio, let us know which one you ended up getting in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out our how to fly a FPV drone tutorial for some useful tips on learning to fly.