Best Racing Drones That Will Excite You


Think you can’t buy an exciting racing drone? Think again. These are some of the best racing drones available, and they’re ready-to-fly. Are you a first-time drone racer who wants to win but isn’t yet ready to build your drone from scratch?

A deep dive on the message boards might suggest that you shouldn’t fly anything you didn’t build yourself, but today, that’s no longer true. Racing drones are no longer flimsy toys unsuitable for achieving skill progression. There are some zippy, high-tech ready-to-fly racing drones now available on the market, and they come at all price ranges.

We recommend buying a racing drone as you learn to fly. These drones offer software and sensor that make it easy to learn to pilot without breaking your drone on your first outing. To that end, we searched far and wide for the best racing drones that will excite you, even if you’re not yet enthusiastic about a ready-to-fly drone.

Best Racing Drones: Comparison Table

How We Made Our Choices

white drone at a table

Photo by Dose Media on Unsplash

We tried to include a list of all the different types of drones available on the market to give you an idea of the range available to you.

We included a few entry-level drones as well as some of the top-tier racing drones. Each of them features a quality build and software, but they will also offer features that cater to entry-level through to advanced pilots.

Best Racing Drones That Will Excite You

Think you can’t find a ready-to-fly drone that will do the job? We put together a list of the six best racing drones that will excite you.

Parrot Mambo FPV

Parrot Mambo FPV - Complete Starter Pack for Drone Racing
  • Parrot Mambo is easy and safe to pilot Battery lasting up to 10 minutes
  • Includes Parrot cockpit glasses (FPV goggles) for an immersive flight experience
  • Includes Parrot fly pad for ultra-precise piloting

The Parrot Mambo FPV is Parrot’s premier racing drone. The tiny drone zips around a space with abandon and comes back home to rest in the palm of your hand.

A full battery offers you 10 minutes of flight tight, which you can split between two flight modes including racing and drive. It also includes a 720p HD camera to track and stream your wins, optimize your performance and get social.

Parrot’s big selling point is its accessories. The combination of the FPV (first-person-view) camera and Parrot’s Cockpitglasses 2 add a new dimension to your race. You can also record and transmit your race in 720p HD with Smart Block technology. The augmented reality experience is unique, and it extends the life of the drone.

Because it’s a racing drone, let’s get down to speed.

The Parrot Mambo FPV works for beginner to advanced racers thanks to three flying modes. Easy offers guard rails that protect your drone as you learn to fly. Flying on easy keeps your drone in the air even if you make a critical error or let go of the controller.

Drift gives you more freedom to run by switching off the drone’s horizontal stabilization. Without the stabilization, you can take on race courses or tough terrains because the drone takes on tight turns.

The racing mode is for those who master the first to levels, and it gives way to a need for speed. You get zero stabilization assistance, which means every twist, turn, ascent, descent, and acceleration is up to you. 

What are the racing specs? 

  • 100-meter flight distance
  • 10 minutes of flight time
  • 30 minute charging time
  • 720p 30 FPS HD camera for streaming and recording
  • 100-foot Bluetooth range
  • 2.22 ounces in weight without accessories
  • 73 grams weight with camera
  • Compatible with iOS 7 + and Android 4.3 +

As with most entry-level, ready-to-fly drones, the best part of buying this racing drone is that you get everything in the box. You’ll get the quadcopter, camera, Parrot Cockpitglasses 2, the flypad, and all your battery accessories.

Force1 Racing Drones with VR Headset

Force1 Racing Drones with VR Headset - DYS Pro FPV Brushless Drone...
  • FLY FAST W/ THE ULTIMATE WIFI FPV DRONE WITH CAMERA: Premium woven carbon fiber protects this high-speed remote control...
  • ULTRA QUIET BRUSHLESS DRONES with DURABLE CARBON-FIBER FRAME: 1-Key Lift/Landing gets this professional drone in the sky...

The Force1 Racing Drone is another VR drone, but this one is designed for professional racing and doesn’t come with any learning features.

Its racing capability is apparent from the start thanks to its build. The premium woven carbon fiber offers excellent durability and light flying weight. Force1 claims the drone is ultra-quiet thanks to its SE2205-2300K brushless motors.

The features also heavily skew towards racing. The most critical features come with a one-touch mode. It includes altitude hold, headless mode, and allows for complete 360-degree flips.

Force1’s range also speaks to its racing capability. You receive a flight radius of nearly 3,000 feet and an altitude radius of approximately 5,000 feet, leaving you free to enter all kinds of races and improve your game.

We like that the drone and its accessories come in a professional grade hard shell case. Everything fits in carefully, so you’ll never turn up to an event with a broken propeller.

What’s the speed like? “Cartoonishly fast” is an excellent way to describe it. It’s up in the air and on its way before you have a chance to blink, which also means there’s a learning curve involved.

What else do you get with the drone? It comes with 5.8GHz VR goggles for first-person viewing and an HD CCD camera for capturing your best moments. The AT9 S.Bus 9-channel transmitter is powerful and lightning fast, and you’ll see the difference compared to the cheaper racing drones almost immediately.

All in all, the Force1 racing drone is an excellent introduction to high-level racing, and we recommend it as a step up from a drone like the Parrot Mambo FPV or another $100-$150 racing drone. It will take some time to learn, but once you study it, you’ll see why it’s worth the hype.

Holy Stone HS230 RC Racing FPV Drone

Holy Stone HS230 RC Racing FPV Drone with 120° FOV 720P HD Camera...
  • 5.8G FPV REAL TIME TRANSMISSION: Due to the 5.8GHz Analog Signal and 2.4GHz operating frequency, the live video can be...
  • 120° WIDE-ANGLE 720P HD MODULAR CAMERA: Equipped with the advanced camera, you can record and take beautiful, high...
  • HIGH SPEED RACING DRONE: This Racing drone is very responsive. Powerful motors installed for quick acceleration; the...

The Holy Stone HS230 compares to the Parrot Mambo more than the Force1 drone in terms of specs and price.

It offers seven to nine minutes of flight time, a remote distance of around 100 meters, and a maximum speed of 45 kilometers-per-hour. The camera is a 1280 x 720p model with 120-degrees and a live function.

Let’s get down to racing features.

The body and design of the drone are clean, which Holy Stone says allows it to tackle wind resistance surprisingly well. It markets the drone as a high-speed wind resistance quadcopter, but beyond the body, it is unclear how else it resists any wind speeds in the double digits. We think it could be fine as long as it stays below ten miles-per-hour, but we wouldn’t recommend it for dealing with anything more than a breeze.

Additionally, the HS230 RC straddles the line between entry-level racing drone and an intermediate drone. There’s no auto hovering, which throws beginners into the deep end as they master throttle control over extended periods. There is, however, a headless mode, which caters to those closer to beginner’s level.

As for the camera, it is nothing special and is generally on par with the cameras in all other racing drones. These cameras aren’t meant for superior for photographs but instead for memorable race videos.

One feature we particularly like is the controller. It operates on a 58.G frequency, so it’s less likely to suffer interruptions compared to 2.4 GHz. It also includes an LCD screen so that FPV is at the tip of your fingers rather than on a secondary device. The device is also relatively simple compared to the pro models.

A quick overview of the controller shows that the buttons remain self-explanatory and that the only issues will be in mastering the joysticks and the trimmer.

A full overview of the specs includes:

  • 92.5g weight
  • 7-9 minutes of flight time
  • 100-meter flight distance
  • 45-60 minutes charging time
  • Remote control range of 100 meters

Overall, the Holy Stone HS230 is fast and agile and offers something for all skill levels, particularly for confident beginners. It’s not a professional racing drone, but it is a good product to practice on if competition-level is your ultimate goal.

Hubsan H123D X4 Jet Racing Drone

Hubsan H123D X4 Jet Racing Drone 360°Flips Rolls FPV Racer Drone with...
  • RC drone configuration: Hubsan H123D racing drone(with brushless motor)+ HT012D new version transmitter.
  • 5.8G FPV Real time FPV photo/video transmission ,watch video on the LCD screen or take photos.
  • Aerobatic airplane H123D support aerobatic flight can 360°flips & rolls,maximum flight speed 20M/S.

The Hubsan H123D X4 drone is a carbon fiber drone that guarantees durability and speed. Carbon fiber frames protect it from the wind and any crash damage, but they also make the drone as light as air, which allows for impressive speeds.

The H123D X4 ‘s body is a sleek design painted in a jet-black coating. We like that the nose and propellers received a coat of green paint, which improves the visibility of the drone especially in a field of drones. So many racing drones leave aesthetic behind in favor of functionality, and the Hubsan model frankly looks cool.

The receiver operates on a 5.8GHz frequency, which is essential for racing because it minimized interference. We can’t overstate the importance of a secure frequency enough because it directly correlates to the responsiveness of the drone. Your ability to make split-second decisions and get a lightning-fast response is the difference between being a champion racer and walking away empty handed.

We like the Hubsan model because it combines entry level features with the thoughtful body of a professional drone. It is built for speed and can reach 55 miles-per-hour in ideal conditions, which bests its competitors in the price range by a mile.

At the same time, it offers a two-speed function that makes it easier for beginners to get to grips with the drone without crashing it. The limited frequency distance of 100 meters also reflects its beginner functions.

Still, you get a 360-degree flip mode that impresses bystanders and adds a new level of fun.

Specs include:

  • 2.4Ghx RC control
  • 5.8Ghz transmission
  • 10 minutes of flight time
  • Flight distance of 100 meters
  • 130 minutes charge time
  • Acro mode (available with firmware update)
  • 720p HD adjustable camera

Like other ready-to-fly drones for beginners, everything you need comes in the box, and you don’t need to set it up. You are ready to go right out of the box.

ARRIS X220 220mm RC Quadcopter FPV Racing Drone

ARRIS X220 220mm RC Quadcopter FPV Racing Drone ARF w X2205 Motor...
  • This is BNF version, remote controller, battery, battery charger are not include and need to be purchased separately.
  • The "X" symmetrical design makes the X220 be light in weight, simple in structure, durable and agile.
  • ARRIS X2205 V2 2300KV brsushless motor is upgrade to ARRIS X2206 2450KV Brushless now. It is high end brushless motor...

Our final drone, the ARRIS X220, is another professional-quality racing drone.

ARRIS also makes parts, but the X220 is a pre-assembled, ready-to-fly version that includes a robust but light carbon fiber frame that protects the internal components. The components stand out because each one is high quality and well-respected among the drone community.

You’ll get a Flycolor Raptor S-Tower that includes a 4-in-1 40A ESC. This is superior to the 30A version and means you can use 4S batteries. You also get an EMAX RS2306 2400kV motor. When you combine the motor with the 4S batteries, you get far more power and speed than you would among other types.

One element that sets the drone apart is its frame. It uses a box frame more commonly found on other drone types, but it doesn’t damage your ability to maneuver the drone even at high speeds.

The drone also includes a Runcam Swift 2 camera, which stands head and shoulders over most other cameras shipped out with RTF drones. It offers a 130-degree view angle and a 2.5mm lens but also only weighs 14 grams.

Finally, it operates on a 5.8Ghz frequency, which you know by now is essential for flying in groups because it reduces interference.

Does it offer different flight modes? Yes, you get two. Self-level mode helps new owners adjust to the controls and develop their skills. Manual mode is an acro mode that removes the assistance features and gives you full control.

What are the total specs? The ARRIS X220 offers:

  • Pure carbon fiber frame
  • 329.5g weight
  • 5.8Ghz antenna
  • 12 minutes of flying time
  • ARRIS 4S 1500mAh 50C Lipo battery
  • RadioLink AT9S receiver
  • 900-meter ground control distance
  • 15-meter air control distance


The EMAX Hawk 5 defies what we previously thought about ready-to-fly racing drones. It is both high quality and good value, and it comes closer to mirroring the experience of racing a drone you built yourself. (It is still no replacement for a custom, pro-build drone).

A drone’s ability to win hearts comes down to the quality of its components. Here, EMAX is a winner. EMAX makes all its components in house rather than buying them in from third parties like most manufacturers. Manufacturing the parts in-house also ensures that EMAX knows how to build a quality drone.

This is important because one of the biggest criticisms of ready to fly drones is that you have to rely on someone else to build them, and that person may not have the skills.

The Hawk 5 benefits from a carbon fiber frame made from aerospace grade materials. It features exchangeable arms and reinforced braces protecting the top plates. You might think the arms look flimsy, but they help you avoid weight and drag.

It also comes with an EMAX LS2206 2300kv motor, which combines weight and size well. It provides power, but it doesn’t weigh the drone down. It’s not the fastest combination for racing, but the Hawk 5 also performs well in other arenas.

You’ll get the Foxeer Arrow Micro VG2 600TVL CCD camera, which is a premium model. Given that ready-to-fly manufacturers like to include generic cameras, its addition here reflects EMAX’s commitment to quality.

Specs include:

  • Stackable Omnibus F4 flight controller
  • 270 grams with propellers
  • EMAX LS2206 2300kv motors

Keep in mind that it won’t come with a controller, but that means you can hunt down the one you prefer.

What Makes a Racer: Racing Drone Components

If your involvement in the drone racing world is longer than a few days, then you already know that winning drones are built and never bought. However, the racing drones offered by the top manufacturers are the best way to get into drones because they give you a sense of what a drone should look, feel, and fly like.

Are you still thinking about building your own racing drone? Here’s what goes into these flying machines.

Everything You Need to Build a Racing Drone

Person holding a drone

Image source: Unsplash

The necessary components for a racing drone require you to invest in the following parts:

  • Frame
  • Motors and spares
  • ESCs
  • Propellers
  • FPV video transmitter (and receiver)
  • Antennas
  • Radio control transmitter (and receiver)
  • Flight controller
  • Battery
  • Battery straps
  • Goggles
  • Board camera

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Drone Ready to Fly?

Drone on the person's hand

Image source: Unsplash

It’s possible to pick up a ready-to-fly drone for around $200, and it will serve as a good training drone. You can even enter races with it, but you are unlikely to win.

The drone racing scene sees some serious machines that require research investment, and you can expect to spend a minimum of $300 to meet the minimum specs needed to rank in your local group. You’ll also need to buy your own goggles, which can range from $300 to $500.

Building a drone is much more costly. Once you get all the components, you’ll be at least $1,000 poorer. It is the best way to bring a truly competitive drone to the table. However, building a drone gives you full control over the components, and the actual build isn’t as hard as it looks.

Plenty of tutorials out there will show you what components to buy, how to put it together, and what tweaks will best serve you in the race.

Featured Image: Photo by Diana Măceşanu on Unsplash

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