Drone racing is one of the latest crazes to emerge from the rise in popularity of consumer drones.
That being said, it can often be hard to get started with drone racing; there’s a tonne of different terminology thrown around with even more choices of drones themselves.
With that in mind we’ve created this list of the best racing drones under $200, as well as compiling a guide with everything you need to know to get started. For an even more in-depth look at drone racing, check out our full beginners guide here.
Let’s get to it.
Before We Start
Ok, before we start to look at the top racing drones below $200, there’s a few things we need to discuss first.
Build or Buy?
Firstly, should you build or buy your first drone?
Well, there really is no right or wrong here. Personally, I would recommend you buying your first drone, which should allow you to get the hang of piloting and feeling comfortable behind the controller.
This way, if you are to crash, you haven’t wasted hours upon hours of building your own UAV. You’ll also get a better understanding of how a drone works, which in turn will make the process of constructing your down even easier.
On the other hand, the top racing drones are often built. Pre-made racing drones won’t be winning any competitions, however as I said before, they’re the best way to get started.
RTF VS ARF VS BNF
When shopping for a racing drone, you’ll come across a number of different variations, known as RTF, ARF and BNF. I will quickly explain what each one means:
Throughout our list, we’ll be looking at all of the above mentioned variations, as well as looking at drones designed for different skill level pilots.
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Meet Your Reviewer
Hey I'm James, the founder of Drone Riot. I've been a passionate drone enthusiast for years and years and created Drone Riot so share my UAV Knowledge. I've made my fair share of aerial films as well as being a judge at the DFF ANZ Film Festival.
List of the Top Racing Drones Under $200
Blade Inductrix - Best FPV Racing Drone Under $200 For Beginners
At a Glance:
What list of the best FPV racing drones under $200 would be complete without the Blade Inductrix. Building on the popular 'tiny whoop' model of racing drones, Blade have created the ultimate quad for beginners looking to try their hand at drone racing.
Comes Ready To Fly
One of the best aspects of the Blade Inductrix is that it comes RTF alongside all of the equipment needed to fly using FPV. This saves you a both a tonne of time setting up the drone as well as saving you have to by any other components.
Alongside the drone you get a controller, 4.3 inch transmitter as well as the components needed to mount the screen to the controller itself. The drone also comes equipped with an FPV camera as well as 1 Li-Po battery. If you can, I would recommend getting another spare battery or two as the flight time is only 7-minutes from a full charge.
Trust me, when you start flying this thing you won't want to stop.
Perfect For Beginners
So, what makes the Inductrix so perfectly suited to beginners?
Firstly, this is one of the most durable drones I've ever flown. The design of the drone features a built in housing for the propellers, which protects them in the event of a crash (which if you're learning, is bound to happen).
Secondly, Blade have included what they call SAFE technology, which stands for Sensor Assisted Flight Envolope. This basically combines sensors with built in software that allows the drone to fly steady and stable, making it easier to control.
Fast & Fun to Fly
The whole point of buying a racing drone is to have a fun and thrilling experience right?
Well you'll be pleased to hear that you'll struggle to find a better drone to fly indoors than this bad boy. Thanks to it's high performance 14,300Kv motors, this thing is able to absolutely blast around, even with an FPV camera equipped.
What's more, it's 200mAh 45C Li-Po battery allows the Inductrix to sustain this awesome performance for 7-minutes, which may not sound like a lot, but when compared to drones of a similar size, is actually fairly impressive.
Walkera Rodeo 110 - Best FPV Racing Drone Under $200 For Intermediates
At a Glance:
Moving onto the next model on our list, the Walkera Rodeo 110, a fantastic step up from the Inductrix we just discussed. I would definitely recommend having some kind of flying experience before flying the Rodeo 110, however if you take it easy it can be flown by those new to the hobby.
One thing worth discussing is that the drone doesn't come with a monitor, so you'll need to get one of the separately if you want to fly using FPV.
What's in the Box?
Despite not coming with an FPV monitor, you do get a decent amount alongside the drone, which I'll list below:
- 1 x transmission
- 1 x Rodeo 110 frame kit
- 1 x DEVO7 remote control
- 1 x receiver
- 4 x brushless motors and 4 brushless ESCs
- 1 x battery charger and 1 x battery
- 1 x 600TVL Camera
Built To Last
Any racing drone worth it's name needs to be built to withstand the many crashes that it is sure to encounter. Fortunately, Walkera have mastered the art of producing long lasting racing drones and have implemented their skills into producing the Rodeo 110.
How have they achieved this?
By creating the drones' frame using 2mm thick carbon fibre that is not only incredible durable, but also very light weight. This lightweight design means that there is less force upon impact, greatly reducing the chances of the drone sustaining any damage.
How Does it Fly?
Thanks to the drones micro brushless motors, it's able to reach some pretty impressive speeds. The use of brushless motors means that they provide a higher power output than their brushed counterparts, as well as tending to last significantly longer.
Due to the drones' fairly small size, the environment that it's flying in can have a pretty major impact on both it's stability and it's battery life. With that in mind, I would recommend flying this drone in stable outdoor conditions or even in doors if you really want to get flying.
Alongside the Walkera Rodeo 110, you get the Devo 7 flight transmitter. The transmitter itself has received mixed reviews, however if you take the time to learn what each control does, you shouldn't have a problem. If you've already got a transmitter, you can opt to buy the BNF version, which uses the same 2.4GHz frequency that is able to sustain a signal for roughly 1km.
All in all, the Walkera Rodeo 110 is a great RTF racing drone under $200 designed for those of you with a bit of experience under your belt.
At a Glance:
There's very few drone manufacturers out there that have as good a reputation as Parrot. Over the years they've released a tonne of high quality drones, ranging from toy grade quads to high quality aerial camera drones.
Their Parrot Mambo FPV drone racing kit is by far one of the best ways to try your hand at drone racing, and for an extremely affordable price.
Ready To Fly & Beginner Friendly
For most beginners, finding a drone that comes ready to fly is an extremely important factor. Not only does the Mambo come RTF out of the box, it comes with everything needed to have an authentic drone racing experience. This includes a 720p FPV camera, a transmitter and high quality FPV goggles.
Multiple Flying Modes
You're not just bound to one type of flying experience with the Parrot Mambo as it comes wit 3 different flying modes for you to try out.
These include sport mode, film mode and expert mode. The names are kind of self explanatory, with the sport mode being designed for beginner drone racing, film mode for recording video and expert mode for those who are more advanced in piloting a drone.
These three modes provide very different flying experiences and are a great way to get familiar with flying a drone. What's more, the drone features a 10-minute flight time, meaning that you'll have plenty of time in air to try out these different modes.
In terms of maximum range, the Mambo possesses a respectable 100m control distance. This somewhat short distance is due to the fact that the drone is controlled via a WiFi connection, which often is able to reach further than 100m.
A Great Drone at an Even Greater Price
There's no denying that the Parrot Mambo is one of the best RTF racing drones under $200 thanks to its multiple flight modes, fantastic flight time and the high quality equipment that comes alongside the drone.
Bolt FPV Racing Drone -Great Kit With Everything You Need to Start
At a Glance:
The Bolt FPV Racing Drone is by far one of the best value for money racing kits for beginners. It's fast, high quality and comes with everything you need to get started drone racing.
What Does it Include?
For a racing drone costing less than 200 bucks, you really do get a lot for your money. I'll list everything that you get with the Bolt Racing Drone Kit:
- Bolt Racing Drone
- HD Screen
- FPV Goggles
- Drone Battery
- USB Drone Battery Charger
- Screen Battery
- USB Screen Battery Charger
- 1 Set of Propellers
Specs & Features
The Bolt Racing drone sports some of the best specifications to be seen on this list. One such feature is it's flight time, standing at a whopping 12-15minutes, providing you with ample time to open the drone up, even reaching top speeds of 30mph.
You are also given a choice between flying the drone using line of site, the transmitter or the FPV goggles. You can remove the screen attached to the transmitter in the above photograph and slide it into the front of the FPV goggles.
This is an ingenious idea by Bolt as it provides you with a number of different piloting options, without you having to spend more money both goggles and a transmitter with separate screens.
The cherry on the cake though has to be the drones durability. As with most high quality racing drones, the Bolt is made using a carbon fibre frame that is extremely tough to break.
As I mentioned earlier in this article, lightweight drones rarely crash with enough force to render the drone useless, making the Bolt a fantastic choice for beginners who are likely to crash.
Holy Stone HS150 - Best Racing Drone Under $50
At a Glance:
Before we begin, I think it's a good idea to discuss what this drone isn't - a high quality racing drone, nor does it support FPV flying.
The Holy Stone HS150 is an incredibly cheap RTF racing drone that's designed for beginner pilots who are shopping on a tight budget (50 bucks or less). Although it doesn't feature FPV flying capabilities, I wanted to construct this list with everynone in mind, including all budgets.
Ok, lets take a closer look.
Impressive Features & Specs for Such a Cheap Drone
Despite costing a fraction of some of the other drones on out list, the Holy Stone HS150 offers a surprising amount of value for money. First of all, it's incredible top speed of 50kph paired with its 5-7 minute flight time (which is double with the spare battery), makes for a truly awesome flying experience.
What's even better, the Holy Stone has what is called 'headless mode'. This is when pushing the forward direction on the transmitter will always send the drone in the same direction, no matter which way the drone is facing. This is perfect for beginners, as it allows them to get familiar with piloting a drone, without having any loss of orientation.
Holy Stone have also implemented the use of a 6-axis gyro stabiliser that allows the drone to keep itself steady and level during flight. This also allows the HS150 to perform a number of different acrobatic manoeuvres in the air including flips in up to four different directions.
To sum up, the Holy Stone HS150 won't be winning any ground breaking awards any time soon, but it's a fantastic RTF racing drone under 200 bucks for those of you wanting to give drone racing a go.
Best ARF Drone Racing Kits Under $200
Now that we've looked at some ready to fly racing drones, let's take a look at an almost-ready-to-fly drone racing kit. Remember, these are also known as DIY drones, so they require a fair amount of manual construction.
I'll also let you know if any other pieces are required in order to get the drone up and running. Lets get to it.
At a Glance:
First up we're taking a look at the LHI 220 ARF drone racing kit, a kit designed for those of you wanting to take a crack at building your own racing quad copter for the first time.
I'm not going to lie, if it's your first time building an ARF drone, it can take some time. Fortunately, this kit is fairly easy to assemble and comes with most of the components necessary to get the drone up and running.
11 components are included with the drone, which I'll list below:
- 1 x LHI 220 Racing Quadcopter Frame
- 1 x F3 Flight Controller Board Cleaflight 6DOF Standard
- 1 x 700TVL camera
- 1 x FPV 5.8Ghz Antenna
- 1 x PDB-XT60
- 1 x TS5828 FPV 5.8G 32CH 600mW Transmitter TX
- 4 x DX2205 2300KV Brushless Motor (2CW + 2CCW)
- 4 x Motor Guard Protector Caps
- 4 x Littlebee 20A Mini ESC
- 4 x LED 4 x 5045 propeller
It's actually pretty incredible how much you're getting here. If you were to buy all of these components separately, it could well end up costing far more than $200.
What's Not Included?
Despite coming with a fair amount of the core components there's a few things that you'll need to buy separately.
How Easy is it to Construct?
This really depends whether or not you've constructed your own quad before. It also doesn't help that there's no official manual for this set, so instead you'll have to rely on the handy power of YouTube videos. I've actually found a series that I'll link below that covers the entire construction process of this kit.
Check Out This Beast in Action Below
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Racing Drone Under $200
The whole point of racing drones is to well... race. Despite the well known tale of the tortoise and the hair, you're not going to be winning any races if you've got a slow drone. Faster drones will have a lightweight frame, often constructed using carbon fibre and will have powerful (often brushless) motors that are able to provide enough speed to win a race.
Official drone races are often very difficult assault course like tracks that require the drone to manoeuvre very tight gaps at an incredibly fast pace. Not only does this require a tonne of skill and practice, it also requires a drone capable of making quick turns and agile movements.
This aspect is especially important for this price range, where the chances are you're going to be fairly new to flying racing drones. The learning curve of drone racing is fairly steep, which can often result in amassing a fair few broken drones along your way.
With that in mind, it's a good idea to find a drone capable of enduring the inevitable beating that coincides with your learning curve. This will save you both time and money, as you won't have to keep on investing in new drones and waiting for them to arrive.
To be honest, racing drones don't tend to have the best flight times. Their motors often require a lot of power in order to reach some of these top speeds. This is why I recommend loading up on some spare batteries, that way you can double, treble or even quadruple your flight time from the very start.
Best Racing Drone Under $200 Final Thoughts
Well we've made it to the end of our list of the top FPV racing drones under $200. I hope that you've found it useful and if you've got any questions, please feel free to comment down below.