10 of the best drones for beginners
Everyone starts off as a beginner. Even someone great at what they do like Michael Jordan was a beginner at basketball at one time and look how far it took him. Who knows? Maybe you'll be the Michael Jordan of droning one day.
But for now, you have to start somewhere. We scoured the internet looking for the best and brightest drones for first-timers. No matter what your field of interest, like photography or racing, we found a drone that's perfect for you.
We also didn't forget all the kids out there looking to get into droning. We found just the right drones for children ages 8 and up, while also taking into consideration teenagers and parents who want to know there are safety features and settings that will help prevent accidents and mishaps.
PSA: Before we start talking about drones, we have some important information to share about drone registration with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). We don't want you to get in trouble with the authorities and piloting an unregistered drone is highly illegal (no pun intended).
Drones weighing between 0.55 pounds (8.8 ounces) and 55 pounds have to be registered with the FAA. It doesn't matter if its for casual use in your own backyard, the drone has to be registered.
Go to FAA.gov/UAS for rules and regulations, and then go to FAAdronezone.FAA.gov for drone registration. It's only $5 and will help you avoid any future headaches, if you get caught flying without registration.
Here are the best drones for beginners:
Great price • Easy to fly • Can perform 360-degree flips Tough to pair at times • Doesn't work with all GoPro action cameras While the Force1 F100 Brushless Drone is built with GoPro in mind, this drone is also a great option for long range — thanks to its inventive and cost-effective design.
1. Force1 F100 Brushless Drone
The drone's stable design also makes it ideal for long journeys.
- Dimensions: 15.6 x 13.8 x 6.5 inches
- Weight: 2.82 pounds
- Flight time: 15 minutes
- Range: 1,640 feet (500 meters)
$99.99 from Amazon The F100 Brushless Drone from Force1 is designed with balance and weight in mind for amazing aerial photography when paired with a GoPro action camera.
However, the drone's stable design also makes it ideal for long journeys and range. In fact, the Force1 F100 Brushless Drone can reach up to 1,640 feet (500 meters) for up to 15 minutes without missing a beat.
The F100 features a brushless motor, which contributes to its long range and stability for smoother flights. It's even quiet during takeoffs and landings with enough raw power to reach such great heights.
In addition, the drone's easy-to-use controls make it ideal for beginners with the drone's bag of tricks, like 360-degree flips and rolls. For less than $100, the Force1 F100 Brushless Drone is a wonderful option for beginners and new photographers looking to up their game.
Amazon customer Cat's Meow writes:
"This is a nice looking and user friendly drone. I like that it is GoPro compatible so that I can film it's adventures if I choose to. It is easy to control and I have not had issues with it flying erratically. This is good for beginners and those who are more familiar with drones as well. It does not look, feel or handle cheaply but the price tag is still affordable compared to many other drones with the same capabilities. I, and everyone who has had a turn of playing with it, are all very pleased with its performance. A full 5 stars."
The Force1 F100 Brushless Drone goes for $99.99 on Amazon.
Blade guards for anti-collision • Six-axis gyro stabilizer • 360-degree eversion flips No GPS • Noisy • Takes a long time to recharge battery While it takes a long time to charge, the Syma X5C RC Explorer is the drone of choice for beginners looking to learn and develop skills.
2. Syma X5C RC Explorer
This is the affordable, easy-to-use, and durable drone that's built for beginners.
- Dimensions: 16.5 x 12.2 x 3.8 inches
- Weight: 1.55 pounds
- Flight time: Up to 7 minutes
- Range: 164 feet (50 meters)
$43.99 from Amazon If you're looking for an all-purpose drone that's good for light photography or doing tricks in your backyard, then the Syma X5C RC Explorer is the beginner quadcopter for you.
It features a solid HD camera to take photos or shoot video, while its anti-collision blade guards make it great for flights indoors and outdoors alike. The drone features a six-axis Gyro stabilization system, which is perfect for beginners, as its seven-minute fly time makes it ideal for measured and stable flights.
The Syma X5C RC Explorer remote control is made for beginners with its very user-friendly interface and controls. Even assembly is a breeze and comes with everything you need to get started, including screwdrivers and other tools.
This is the affordable, easy-to-use, and durable drone that's built for beginners. It's ready to fly out of the box, and includes a single USB cable, AC adapter, 2GB SD card, USB memory stick, an extra set of drone propellers, and a handy user manual.
But don't just take our word for it. Amazon customer nightshade writes:
"If you are looking at your first mini-quad, as I was when I purchased this, then you're looking at the right product. Let me start off by saying that I have had zero experience with quads before this and after about 2 weeks I have mastered my orientation and am having a blast each time I take this thing out. I was immediately hooked when I first went outside with it, but a tip is to stay low to the ground and use the prop guards and landing gear for a good amount of time until you can handle this mini-quad. Parts are plentiful and really cheap as well, so don't forget to get some extra parts kits for those beginners' crashes because we all have them!"
The Syma X5C 4 Channel 2.4GHz RC Explorer goes for $43.99.
Sleek design • Speedy • Comes with FPV googles Field of view is narrow • Limited FPV range If money is an issue, then Toy State's Race Vision 220 FPV Pro Drone gets the most bang for your buck for beginner drone pilots.
3. Toy State Race Vision 220 FPV Pro Drone
Don't let that inexpensive price point fool you: this is a great drone.
- Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 1.5 inches
- Weight: 3 pounds
- Flight time: 15 minutes
- Range: 328 feet (100 meters)
$39.99 from Amazon For less than $40, the Race Vision 220 FPV Pro Drone from Toy State is one of the best drones you can buy on a budget. It's a speedy lil' devil with a top speed of over 25 miles per hour with three flight modes for beginners and advanced pilots alike.
The Race Vision 220 comes with an LCD screen on its remote and a really cool pair of FPV goggles, so you can get an up-close-and-personal view during flights. Simply put, you can see exactly what the drone sees in real-time. In fact, this drone uses a 5.8 GHz analog transmission and true FPV (first-person view) without the delays of Wi-Fi or cellular connections.
This drone is also highly durable and flexible, so don't let that inexpensive price point fool you into thinking that this drone is cheap. After all, the Race Vision 220 is for beginners, and novice pilots crash all the time.
Amazon customer Luis writes:
"Its a great beginner drone for FPV flying. It has a gamer like controller with easy to adjust modes to allow for novice to Acro flying. And simply Micro USB charger you can charge the drone from our smartphone USB wall plug or your PC. they come with basic 5.8Ghz goggles that are heavy but can be also be mounted to the controller similar to remote play with your phone for the PS4."
The Toy State Race Vision 220 FPV Pro Drone retails for $39.99 on Amazon.
Easy to fly • Compatible with Android and iOS • Can do cool air stunts Mediocre camera • No MicroSD card reader Teens will love the Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 FPV Explorers2's ability to do easy tricks.
4. Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 FPV Explorers2
This is a great entry into droning without spending a lot of money on something high-end.
- Dimensions: 12.2 x 12.2 x 3.1 inches
- Weight: 4.2 ounces
- Flight time: 5-7 minutes
- Range: 164 feet (50 meters)
$39.98 from Amazon If you're a teen or have one in your family, then the Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 FPV Explorers2 is a great entry into droning without spending a lot of money on something high-end that you'd be too afraid to crash. And let's face it, you're going to crash again and again. But that's OK. That's how we learn.
The Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 FPV Explorers2 features a headless/IOC function that lessens the learning curve and frustration young pilots get when droning for the first time. Instead, new pilots can enjoy flights, while learning specific orientations of droning.
It features a six-axis control system that makes it really easy to learn the ups and downs of flight, while it also has one-button tricks for thrilling 360-degree flips and breathtaking drops. Although this drone's camera is mediocre at best, the true mission for the Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 FPV Explorers2 is for first-timers to build confidence and learn how to fly.
Amazon customer Simon S. writes:
"Great little drone. I had this thing get sucked up by the wind and put behind a fence. I didn't get to it for a few days, maybe a week. It had rained and even snowed during that time… Got it home, dried it up a bit, and put a new battery in and it fired right up. Still is working to this day.
My only complaint is the controller, but for under 50 bucks, this still deserves 5 stars. The camera also is not worth anything, at least in my eyes."
The Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 FPV Explorers2 has a 3.7 out of 5 star customer rating and goes for $39.98 on Amazon.
Solid connectivity • Good battery • Unique lens and camera system Awkward build • Expensive While it's expensive, the Parrot ANAFI Drone is one of the best high-end drones for beginners with its easy-to-use controls, solid build quality, and high-end features. Don't worry about crashing this drone, it's built to last.
5. Parrot ANAFI Drone
This is a near-professional drone that's also suited for first-timers.
- Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.9 x 2.6 inches
- Weight: 10.9 ounces
- Flight time: Up to 25 minutes
- Range: 13,123 feet (4,000 meters)
$699.99 from Amazon If you're a first-time drone pilot and have some money to spare, the Parrot ANAFI Drone is a very good high-end drone for beginners. In fact, it's a near-professional drone that's also suited for first-timers with up to 25 minutes of flight time and easy-to-use controls.
The drone is designed with a lightweight carbon frame, while it's also compact and foldable for instant portability. With a top speed of 34 miles per hour, the Parrot ANAFI Drone is speedy and durable with Geofencing, SmartRth, and Find My Drone features, which means you'll never lose this baby in the field.
It's also equipped with a full HD camera with 21 megapixels that can take 10 photos per second in Burst mode. The camera can also film in 4K with HDR. With its build quality, camera, and durability, you can see why it's a high-end option, but its Skycontroller remote with smartphone activation via the Parrot Android and iOS app make it a good choice for beginners too.
Amazon customer Tyler Keppler writes:
"For weeks I did research before purchasing this drone. I YouTube'd, Googled, everything. For the price it was at, you couldn't get a better drone! Easy to setup, even easier to fly. The first day I got i had 50km/h gusts, and it battled, but held up like a champ. A plethora of modes and functions, just really simple to operate. Beginners and Intermediates will enjoy!"
The Parrot PF728000 ANAFI Drone has a 3.8 out of 5 customer rating and retails for $699.99 on Amazon.
Good range • Powerful battery • 1080p HD camera Pricey • Nothing fancy With its one-button controls, collision detection, and GPS features, Altair Outlaw GPS Drone is a very good mid-range option for beginners.
6. Altair Outlaw GPS Drone
While it lacks bells and whistles, this drone is right down the middle with almost every feature.
- Dimensions: 16.5 x 11.3 x 5.2 inches
- Weight: 2.8 pounds
- Flight time: 18-20 minutes
- Range: 3,280 feet (1,000 meters)
$279.8 from Amazon The Altair Outlaw GPS Drone is a very good mid-range quadcopter for beginners and advanced pilots alike. It ticks all the boxes of a solid drone, like a good HD camera, easy-to-use controls, and stabilization and collision detection. You'll also get a lot of bang for your buck with its low price point. This drone is right down the middle with almost every feature.
This drone also has a very good range of over 3,000 feet (1,000 meters) and a dedicated GPS with "auto return" features built-in. Simply put, you can call this drone back to you with just a push of a button. In fact, most of this drone's operations and controls can be accomplished with just a push of a button, so you can spend more time piloting and shooting aerial photos and true HD videos.
It even has a true FPV (First-Person View) with VR support. This means you can strap on a headset or a pair of FPV goggles and get a great view of the world above. The Altair Outlaw GPS Drone is recommended for first-time pilots who are older than 12 years old with adult supervision, of course.
Amazon customer J.D. Hoffman writes:
"First time drone owner and extremely thrilled about this purchase! After a 30-45 minute small learning curve, the maneuvering of The Outlaw was a breeze. The X-Copter app was very simple, easy to use, and the picture quality was exceptional. The GPS return and auto landing came in handy for a novice like me. The battery life lasted longer than I originally expected which is a Huge plus. Can’t wait until spring time to use it some more! I’d recommend this drone to anyone."
The Altair Outlaw GPS Drone has a 4.3 out of 5 star customer rating and goes for $279.80 on Amazon.
Custom flights • One-button takeoffs and landings • Very beginner friendly So-so camera quality • Short flight time The Force1 U818A HD Camera RC Quadcopter has the easiest controls with one-button features for just about everything a drone can do. If you want to have a fun day in the park with your family, start with this drone.
7. Force1 U818A HD Camera RC Quadcopter
This drone is the most user-friendly and fun out there, for adults and kids alike.
- Dimensions: 13 x 3 x 13 inches
- Weight: 4.6 ounces
- Camera: HD 720p
- Flight time: Up to 9 minutes
- Range: 328 feet
$89.99 from Amazon Now this is a starter drone that everyone in the family can enjoy! The Force1 U818A HD Camera RC Quadcopter is an easy-to-use all-purpose drone that's built and designed with first-timers in mind — namely its one-button controls for tricks, takeoffs and landings, self-correcting flight paths, and auto-return.
This drone features LED lights, so you can fly it during the daytime or at night, while its headless FPV camera makes it fun and exciting to fly with a VR headset. This is probably the easiest drone to use to get the most basic of skills and awareness down without feeling intimidated about droning.
While its camera system is HD quality, it's a bit ho-hum with just presentable photos and video, but the Force1 U818A HD Camera RC Quadcopter's selling point is its low barrier to entry and fun factor with its flight time up to nine minutes.
In addition, this drone comes with an extra battery, so you can have more fun with double the flight time. In fact, you can charge one battery while the other is in use. So when one dies, you can plug the next one in to squeeze some more out of the drone.
Amazon customer Kelly writes:
"This is a really fun and user friendly beginner drone. I bought a mini drone prior to this which only lasted about 5 minutes. After reading all the great reviews here, I decided to give it another try. However, I didn't want to go too expensive in case I crashed and burned like the first one. This size is much easier to control! It actually does really well in the wind, but I would recommend using the higher speed mode when it's windy. This one took a couple of good crashes and it still performs perfectly. Now the camera… I was a little skeptical about the quality of the camera, but I have to say the pictures and video are really amazing (I have attached one). I would certainly recommend this drone for anyone looking for an inexpensive high quality drone to have fun with especially if you're new to this. You get a lot of really great features for the price."
The Force1 U818A HD Camera RC Quadcopter has a 4.0 out of 5 star customer rating and retails for $89.99 on Amazon.
Speedy • Comes with batteries • Intuitive controls Short flight time As an introduction to racing, the Blade Inductrix Radio Control Drone is a great choice for beginners because of its speed and design. This drone was built for quick maneuvers and hairpin turns.
8. Blade Inductrix Radio Control Drone
This speedy little devil is great for first-timers.
- Dimensions: 10.6 x 8.2 x 3.4 inches
- Weight: 1 pound
- Flight time: 4 minutes
- Range: 100 yards
- Max speed: 12MPH
$149.99 from Amazon Do you have a need for speed? No, this is not Top Gun, but it comes pretty close to the "danger zone."
The Blade Inductrix Radio Control Drone is the perfect FPV (First-Person View) drone for beginners for indoor use. Don't be put off by its size, this drone is crazy fast and more than capable of making tough turns and maneuvers, as you learn to become a better racer.
Made with Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope technology, this drone racer is ready to fly out of the box. It can also race several drones at one time without getting interference from the other racers, while its controls are simple and intuitive, so you can focus on racing and not the remote.
Since it's for beginners, the drone is easily repairable, even after crash after crash with exchangeable propeller blades and mounts included.
Amazon customer Pablito G. writes:
"As a first time drone user I am highly satisfied! This is definitively a good bundle for anyone wanting to get a feel for the hobby and spend a reasonable amount of money for everything that you need. The monitor is surprisingly clear, only issue I had was getting the mount installed. The controller is decent but looking into an upgrade since I have a better feel for using it. And for any beginner, expect to crash often but this one can take a hit. The propellers will fly off with any hard hit but easily put back on."
The Blade Inductrix Radio Control Drone retails for $149.99 on Amazon.
Intuitive controls • LED lights for nighttime flights • Soft landing pads included Noisy • Made of plastic While it's noisy, this is a great learning drone to control and maneuver for stellar photography.
9. Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter Drone
This is a great introduction to the wide world of aerial photography because of its easy and intuitive controls and solid HD camera.
- Dimensions: 31 x 9 x 31 inches
- Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Flight time: 7-10 Minutes
- Range: 328 feet (100 meters)
$71.99 from Amazon The Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter Drone is a great introduction to the wide world of aerial photography because of its easy and intuitive controls and solid HD camera. With a full range of over 300 feet (100 meters) and a flight time of up to nine minutes, this drone has very good stabilization features that make it possible to shoot amazing photos from above the ground.
This drone also features a robust 360-degree axis with four-way directional flips that make it a very good option for first-time photographers looking to up their game. The camera is also very dependable at 720p HD, while it can record video at any moment in the air. Keep in mind that this is a drone and camera system that's made for beginners, so it's not as high-end or advanced as drones for experts.
One feature that sticks out for first-timers is the drone's one-button return, which can assist pilots when winds get rough. This feature prevents the drone from ever getting lost, even if you lose sight of it altogether. Just push the return button and this drone will come back to its remote control source with ease. Honestly, every drone should have this feature.
This drone also features one-button takeoffs and landings that beginners can use until they build enough confidence to pilot without it.
Not convinced? Amazon customer LADavis writes:
"Received my Holy Stone F181C recently and I’m still learning. Camera is okay, however I’m still learning to fly it well before I do much photography. I’ve made some mistakes and learned from them and I continue to read the manual which I must say is the most important part of learning. Many of your problems will be solved that way. Holy Stone has been very supportive with emails checking to make sure all was going well. I’ve had no problems which required calling them but I would not hesitate if I needed extra help. For the money, I am well pleased."
The Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter Drone has a 4.4 out of 5 star customer rating and retails for $71.99 on Amazon.
Sleek design • Easy to set up • Maneuvers very well Bad battery life • Bulky remote • Poor camera quality If you think your kid is ready for a drone, the Akaso X5C is the one to pick because it's easy to use and has amazing safety features. But please, watch your kid when this drone takes flight.
10. Akaso X5C
The plastic build might make it feel like a toy, but make no mistake about it, this drone takes off and soars.
- Dimensions: 11.8 x 11.8 x 5.5 inches
- Weight: 2.88 ounces
- Flight time: 5-7 minutes
- Range: 328 feet (100 meters)
$49.99 from Amazon With adult supervision, the Akaso X5C can be a fun and safe drone for kids ages 8 and up. The plastic build might make it feel like a toy, but make no mistake about it, this drone takes off and soars. However, it does have some safety features that will make parents feel better, like propellor guards and collision detection.
This drone features a six-axis gyro quad-rotor for strong stability and easy controls, while it's even sturdy in flight with wind resistance built in. Don't worry, Akaso X5C won't fly away during a strong wind gust, but rather it will keep on course.
The Akaso X5C even has one-button tricks to really wow your friends and family. They'll think you're an expert at droning, but little do they know, you just pressed a button to perform flips and dives.
While its HD camera can record video and shoot photos in the air, it's really just there to give pilots a better sense of flight at a low cost. It also flies with ease without interference from other drones or radio frequencies because its 2.4GHz transmitter is on its own separate channel.
Need a second opinion? Amazon customer Elizabeth Hayden writes:
"Bought these for my husband and kids to learn how to fly. These are great for a first time flyer. I would recommend this for someone wanting to get into this hobby but do not want to break the bank!!! Instructions are really in depth for the price point of the toy. Only downfall is having to wait to charge the batteries!!! Will have to get more battery packs for extended flying time."
With a 3.7 out of 5 star customer rating, Akaso X5C goes for $49.99 on Amazon.