5 Best RC Transmitter for FPV Quadcopters 2021

Are you searching for the Best RC Transmitter for FPV Quadcopters to get for your drones? We have curated a list of RC Transmitters that can cater to your needs!

So, you are getting into FPV quadcopter flying because you; just like so many, love to fly, but the hobby can seem quite a challenge and have a sense of overwhelming options. 

It’s no wonder that there are so many components you can invest and upgrade like, googles, motors, propellers, frames, electronics, Arduino, antennas and batteries. Even if you have all the tech and components, making sure that it is all compatible and works as intended is also a challenge to deal with.

With that being said, nothing among all the components that go into making your drone better, come close to the radio transmitter for your FPV/Remote Control drone or quadcopter. Why is the radio transmitter so important? Shouldn’t something like the motors or propellers be more of significance, well each part is important in its own right, but the reason why the radio transmitter is most important is.

You can have the most expensive customized, upgraded and modified drone, but you will always be controlling that drone through your radio transmitter, it will be like having 1000$ equipment in the sky with its fate depended upon a cheap or underperforming controller.  

That’s not all, most of the parts in the drone you will upgrade over time as newer parts come out and you want better performance or features, but the RC transmitter is something you are only going to buy once and after that, you probably will hesitate to change it as you will have grown accustomed to its feel. 

So, it isn’t just important for making sure your drone stays safe and flies properly, it’s also something you are going to have to use repeatedly and form a connection with. Having a cheap controller is just doing a disservice to you and your quadcopter. 

That’s why I have a few RC transmitters here, which I think and a lot of the quadcopter enthusiast and hobbyist community members alike, think are really affordable and good options.

I am listing them right here, but I will be reviewing and going over their features individually later on in the article. 

Before I review all of them and tell you guys about their features and specifications. I am going to go over what exactly to look for a Radio Transmitter to begin with.

I am doing this so you guys can make an informed purchase decision as well as, read and understand the reviews of each RC transmitter listed above. 

Top RC Transmitter for FPV Quadcopters


FrSKY Taranis Q X7 ACCST 

SKY Taranis Q X7 ACCST

One of the Best RC Transmitter for FPV Quadcopters is this FrSKY Taranis Q X7 Radio Controller. This product is actually our favorite pick for the affordable side, it gets you most of the features you are going to need like 16 channels, 2.4 Ghz connection, a 15 km range at all of this at just 100$. 

The Taranis has Open9x firmware, which is highly customizable. You don’t have to customize anything if you don’t want to. The controller will work just fine either way. But if you decide to then you will be surprised at the level of customization and custom controls it offers. 

First of all, it supports up to 64 models, i.e. you can have 64 separate quadcopter profiles saved on it and use it to control any of them at a time.

If that wasn’t impressive enough you can map any key/button/stick movement to any channel. That means you can have things setup exactly as you want. From the basics like throttle/ pitch / yaw/ rotation everything can be mapped to anything on the controller. 

It’s also fully compatible with flight simulators, so if you want to practice your flying virtually you can. The sticks(gimbals) are super smooth and they are never stuck or feel sturdy. 

The Telemetry on this radio is no joke either, you can have it set to show you almost anything you can think of. your GPS location, altitude, battery percentage. The Taranis also have the ability to read out the telemetry to you. In custom voices.

Lastly, there is also a module port in the back, you can use it to attach a module which will make the transmitter/ radio controller work with other radio systems, like DSM receivers or long ranged systems. After everything I just listed, it’s a no brainer why this is my top pick, it’s really affordable and provides all the features a quadcopter pilot or drone pilot really needs.

Following are the features listed together.

  • 16 Channels
  • 2.4 Ghz
  • Up to 1.5 km of range
  • Customizability
  • Open TX
  • Expansion by module to operate on other frequencies
  • Great Gimbals, buttons.
  • Storage of up to 64 separate drone profiles
  • Ability to RSSI (Receiver Singla Strength Indicator)

Frsky Taranis X9D Plus

Frsky Taranis X9D Plus

Our list of the Best RC Transmitter for FPV Quadcopters is this Frsky Taranis X9D Plus. If you took the Frsky Taranis Q X7 and made it better, Frsky Taranis X9D Plus would be it. It’s got all the same features as the Taranis Q X7, 16 channels, 2.4 Gghz connection, up to 15 km of range. 

The same level of customization as the X7 Taranis and the same ability to store 64 separate drone/quadcopter/plane profiles as its little brother. Why is it better? Well the build of this Transmitter takes it above and beyond the competition.

It also comes with a lot more buttons, keys and switches and overall, all of them are well built, smooth and feel like they will last a long time. Overall, the radio controller avoids looking plasticky or cheap like the x7 Taranis, X9D plus by Taranis has a very serious modder and customizer heavy look to it and just looks and feels far more premium and better.

It’s not all looks though it does provide a few advantages in the controlling and performing side of things. But most of them are regarding plane pilots and not necessarily drone pilots. The drone flying experience is just as solid; if not more, with the X9D plus, the telemetry also operates the same way as on the X7. 

Same open TX system very easy to get it up and running. The only thing bad about the controller is the price, it’s the best of the best in my personal experience but it cost double as much as the X7, that’s why the X7 is top pick and not this. That said, if you are serious and want a great future proof, badass looking and feature packed looking controller. Then go for the Taranis X9D plus by FrSKY.  

Frsky Taranis X9D Plus

$219.00
320 days left

FrSky Taranis X-Lite ACCST 

FrSky Taranis X-Lite ACCST 

Another Best RC Transmitter for FPV Quadcopters is the FrSKY Taranis X-lite. This has the same features as the X9D+ and decided to put in a XBOX/Playstation Controller hybrid. 

It has all the great features just like the following.

  • 16 Channels
  • 2.4 Ghz
  • Up to 1.5 km of range
  • Customizability
  • Open TX
  • Expansion by module to operate on other frequencies
  • Great Gimbals, buttons.
  • Storage of upto 64 separate drone profiles

The headline is just in its design, its less polarizing and gamer/casual feeling. Taranis X-lite feels the same operationally, as the Taranis X9D + or the Taranis X7. So, tons of positive vibes there. 

X-lite is priced between the X7 and the X9D+, it’s more compact and easier to carry, maybe has some higher quality tech inside, in order to make everything fit in the smaller package. 

If you are a mini drone pilot or even a fixed wing plane pilot, this will do the job just fine. Its focus is on portability and ease of use. It’s just smaller in the hand and more beginner friendly than the other controllers by FrSKY.

Flysky FS-i6X 

Flysky FS-i6X 

Our list of the best RC Transmitter for FPV Quadcopters includes the Flysky FS-i6X. This is the cheapest radio controller that you can ever find on this list. It’s around 50$ and yes, I didn’t spell the name wrong, it’s FlySky not Frsky, it’s a different manufacturer.

The most I will say about this controller is looking at the price you shouldn’t expect much. If you have 50 bucks, you may want to consider going for our top pick, the FrSky Q X7. If the budget doesn’t allow, then this is the best entry level controller you can get. 

  • 10 Channels
  • 2.4 Ghz
  • Customizability
  • Expansion by module to operate on other frequencies
  • Great Gimbals, buttons.
  • It has memory of 20 separate profiles. 
  • Telemetry supported

The only thing that suffers is the build, it looks like a solid controller and is for the most part just some of the switches aren’t well marked, you can definitely see the budget that was saved trying to imitate much more expensive controllers.

That said, it’s not bad it does what it is supposed to, officially the range is listed so that’s a bummer but one plus side is that the controller uses an SBUS receiver, yeah, the most advanced, smallest and cheapest receiver is supported by this. 

Overall if you are on the tightest and most inflexible of budget go for this. Or you just want a controller that will get the job done. Go for this.

Flysky FS-i6X 

$57.99

Spektrum DX-9

Spektrum DX-9

Another best RC Transmitter for FPV Quadcopters is the Spektrum DX-9. This is the most expensive entry on the list with its price almost double the Taranis X9D +.

That said what you get is also in some cases double.

  • 9 channels
  • 2.4 Ghz 
  • Up to 250 separate profiles 
  • Ability to share profiles with other Spektrum users
  • DSM2/DSMX type receiver.
  • Excellent for controlling all kings of drones, airplanes, quadcopters, fixed wing, sailplane and multirotor.
  • Telemetry of the highest standard
  • Great Gimbals and overall super built quality

The only con is the price, but this isn’t for the average user its like the final controller Hobbyist gets. It has enough profile for all the drones you can ever have, the channel supported is a bit of a bummer but you don’t realistically need more than 9 anyways. 

It has module support allowing for even longer ranges than 1.5 km. It also has the ability to download and share your profiles and flight settings to other people. 

It is meant for the enthusiast and pro community and doesn’t really disappoint in any way, except one, it’s not beginner friendly, the instructions to setup aren’t clear but if you have done it before, they are basically the standard. 

Overall, great radio controller, meant for the Professional drone pilots and enthusiasts. 

Spektrum DX-9

$509.99

What to Look For in A Radio Transmitter

Controller Channels

Channels of a transmitter; at its most basic level, refer to the number of aspects of your quadcopter/drone it can control. 

Transmitters available with 4 channels or more can fly a quadcopter. The minimum requirement is to at least have 4 Channels. As these 4 channels will be used to control the 4 most basic functions of the drone, which are.

  • Throttle (The climb and descent of the multicopter)
  • Pitch (Tilting the multicopter forwards and backwards)
  • Roll (Tilting the multicopter laterally)
  • Yaw (rotating the multicopter in its position)

These 4 channels are assigned to the four axes of your Multicopter Controller.

Both of the sticks have 2 axes which are left/right and up/down.


The remaining channels are assigned to the dials and other switches on your transmitter.

That’s at least the basic things you want control of, but as a drone pilot you might also want to change mode from GPS to manual mode, or want a switch for return to home or orbit mode.

I’d recommend a minimum of 6-channel radio, it’s enough to get you started if you just want a RC transmitter that does the job.

Otherwise you should probably aim for something with 9 Channels or more for future proofing in case you want to map other features or commands to it later on. 

Transmitter Memory (Using One transmitter to control multiple Drones)

Memory? Why would I want memory in my transmitters, well beyond the obvious to store your control mappings and schemes but also to control more than one drone using the same RC controller. Simultaneously? No, you wouldn’t want to do that but individually you could have different control schemes saved on to the memory and flip between them for specific drones.

How would the Transmitter know which drone to talk to and control, well if you have played with drones or quadcopters before you know that each drone comes with a RC transmitter also known as the remote controller. 

That controller (RC Transmitter) only works with that drone and no other drone. That is why you can just use your stock controller to control someone else’s drone and no one can control yours with theirs. 

Even the most high-end quad copters from DJI like the DJI Phantom or The DJI MAVIC, use this exact technology to operate. That’s why the controllers are custom built for each model not just internally but also externally to allow for the most tailored control experience possible.

Okay. So, how do you get a RC Transmitter to work with your drone? Well, its quite simple actually, RC Transmitters or radios come with two components; the receiver and the transmitter (controller). The receiver is quite a small plastic-coated device that you can plug into your drone and start controlling it with your Controller/ RC Transmitter. 

So, it’s possible to just pair one transmitter/controller to all of your drones and operate them from the same controller. All you need to do is make sure that the controller and the drone have compatible receiver and transmitter models and you are good to go.

You might be thinking, what if I try to control someone else’s drone with my Transmitter, or what if someone has a RC transmitter can he control my drone, won’t there be interference caused by having the same transmitters.

Well, you can’t and neither can they as the receiver is bound to the transmitter on its first setup, after that it will only work with that receiver and transmitter combination. No interference will happen either. Unless there is a radio jammer or something. 

Transmitter Modes

This refers to whether it will have throttle on the left (mode 2) or on the right (mode 1), Mode 2 transmitters are more popular in the USA, while mode 1 transmitters are more common in Australia, Most of the Quadcopters use Mode 2.

This happens to be just a preference thing; you can use both modes or be used to a single kind of mode and whichever one you pick depends on your personal taste. 

Types of Receivers

Receivers also play an important role in the controlling of the drone; it can make a big difference for each individual drone pilot and his preferences. Following are the most common types of Receivers found and available:

  • PMW receivers
PMW receivers

PMW receivers are the old-fashioned receivers, they have been used for decades and for the current wave of technology are far too much of a hassle, not to mention their size if too big for most mini drones.

They use one servo wire for one channel. So, as recommended if you go for a 9 channel or above transmitter, you are going to have to plug in 9 or more wires and a drone isn’t that big. Doing this is tough.

Not to mention if you have to use the PMW receiver in a mini or compact drone the smallest size you can get is 250 and wiring that is too much of a bargain.

I would recommend staying clear of these kinds of receivers. 

  • PPM or CPPM receivers
PPM or CPPM receivers

These kinds of receivers are newer, and they send multiple PWM signals down a single wire in succession. PPM is quite an improvement as you need to play with one wire to get to work properly.

The single wire will carry up to 8 channels which as discussed before is enough for basic functionality. Up until now, PPM was the go-to receiver in multirotor racers builds. 

This kind of receiver is clean and easy for you. I recommend it but there is a new kid on the block. 

  • SBUS receivers
SBUS receivers

SBUS is similar to PPM as it is a serial connection as in it carries all the control signals in succession through just one wire, but this is much faster and thus is now becoming the preference of most hobbyists.

  • DSM2/DSMx receivers
DSM2/DSMx receivers

DSM2 Or DSMX(just an upgraded DSM2) are and interference resistant feature it jumps to different frequencies in order to maintain signal clarity and strength between the receiver and the transmitter. 

Frequency

Transmitters of course are available in a wide range of frequencies. The most common are 2.4 ghz and 5 Ghz. Depending on your drone you are going to need a transmitter that can communicate at that frequency. 

The difference in frequency doesn’t really change a lot except for the amount of information that can be delivered and the distance the radio waves can travel without losing too much signal strength.

You can get up to 1.5 km or range with a decent 2.4ghz transmitter and receiver combo, if you want more range you can go for 433 mHz or 72 mHz. Just keep in mind the lower the frequency the lower the bandwidth of the connection.

Higher frequencies such as 5 Ghz are good for situations in which you would want Telemetry and send control signals at the same time, while shorter frequencies give up information bandwidth for range.

Basically, the higher the frequency the less the range and the lower the frequency the greater the range. 

If you want to try out long range flying The TBS Crossfire Micro makes it super easy to set up and use FPV mode with quadcopters capable of it. 

Telemetry

Telemetry is when you send meter statistics over a large distance continuously, hence the name Tele (distance) and metry (metering), All telemetry does in practice is that it takes things like GPS location, battery percentage, altitude, speed, current draw and other meter values and beams them to your transmitter. 

As you can imagine is quite useful, most of the transmitters available should have something called Open TX, Open TX is basically what allows telemetry information to be sent back and forth. 

Spektrum transmitters have telemetry, but its super expensive, you can get good telemetry transmitters with FrSKY Taranis Q X7 ACCST or Frsky Taranis X9D Plus, its super beginner friendly to setup telemetry on these transmitters provided you have a telemetry supported receiver. 

Now that I have told you about all the features that matter and you should go over time to go over the actual RC transmitters I recommended and why I recommended them. One thing to note: some of them are expensive, but affordable. As I said, going for a cheap transmitter isn’t worth it.

Rather getting an affordable transmitter which has a lot of features for a slightly higher price is my personal advice. 

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