Best Beginner Drones 2023: Choosing the Right Drone For Your Budget and Experience

These 5 drones are price-worthy, durable, and good for beginners. We’ve made sure they check the necessary boxes. So pick the one that inspires you and falls within your budget.

Last Updated: 12:53, 18 March 2024
author icon Written By: Jim Harris
  • Best Overall Beginner Drone

    QuadRanger Drone

    drone QuadRanger Drone list item image
    Up to 50% discount available
    Price: $99 $149
    • Price: $149 (with a discount: $99)
    • Fly time: 12 min
    • Camera: 720p HD
    • Propeller Guards: Yes
    • Unique: Compatible with VR Headset
    • Feature: One button takes off, return, and landing.
    12,487 visitors
    bought during sale
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  • Syma X5C

    drone Syma X5C list item image
    • Versatility: Wind-resistant capabilities and stable flier
    • Features: Altitude hold, extra props, prop guards, landing skids
    • Camera: 720p
    • Weight: 2 lb
    • Fly time: 5-7 minutes
    • Max range: 150 feet
    • Max speed: 11 mph
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  • Tinyhawk III

    drone Tinyhawk III list item image
    • Versatility: Complete FPV kit for beginners, best used indoors
    • Features: FPV goggles have a removable display that can be used separately
    • Camera: 800TVL (horizontal lines)
    • Weight: 1.1 oz
    • Fly time: 4 minutes
    • Max range: 20-30 feet
    • Max speed: 33.5 mph
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    drone DJI MINI 2 SE list item image
    • Price: $489
    • Fly time: 30 min
    • Camera: 2.7K video resolution
    • Propeller Guards: No
    • Unique: 2.5-mile Wi-Fi transmission range
    • Feature: One-key takeoff, return, and landing, stable hovering
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  • POTENSIC A20 Mini

    drone POTENSIC A20 Mini list item image
    • Price: $29.99
    • Fly time: 8.5 min
    • Camera: No
    • Propeller Guards: Yes
    • Unique: 2 batteries included
    • Features: Headless mode, altitude hold, one-key takeoff and landing
    Shop Now

It can be hard to choose the right drone, especially if you're a beginner and see the infinate alternatoves.
The first drone you get your hands on should be fun enough to keep you going, not too hard, not to easy to fly, but still affordable enough that you can crash it.

You can boil it down to the perfect balance between ease of use, durability, and affordability.
To simplify your search, we've curated a list of top-notch drones suitable for beginners.

Whether you're looking for an FPV racing drone or a camera-equipped quadcopter, you should be able to find just the right beginner drone for you.

Here are a few things to look for in a beginner drone:

  • Easy to control - The responsiveness of the controls needs to be almost instant and without lag, and preferably not being controlled by a phone app as it makes it harder to get the basics right.
  • GPS or Altitude hold- Having GPS is basically an easy mode for flying a drone, but if you want to make things easy at a low budget, the altitude hold function will be enough to allow you to focus on four directions and less on the up and down axis.
  • Durability- It’s obvious that a cheap beginner drone will crash over and over again, and that’s why I only recommend drones that have a history of durability and which I’ve tested myself the hard way.
  • Camera- Completely not necessary if you just want to learn how to fly. However, if you do want a camera, the drones I recommend below are the best in terms of the camera for the respective price.

Our List of Beginner-Friendly Drones.

These 5 drones are price-worthy, durable, and good for beginners. We’ve made sure they check the necessary boxes. So pick the one that inspires you and falls within your budget.

QuadRanger Drone - Best Overall Beginner Drone

A dark grey QuadRanger drone with a camera lens and two LED headlights standing on a blue table
QuadRanger drone
Price: $99 (Up to 70% off!)

Who is it for?

  • Beginner-friendly with professional capabilities
  • Ideal for those seeking high-speed and agile flights
  • Affordable
  • Works great with an FPV headset

The QuadRanger Drone tops our list as the best overall drone for beginners and intermediate flyers. This portable and lightweight drone packs a punch with its impressive speed, agility, and transmission range.

It features a built-in orientation system that ensures beginners have full control from their very first flight, while experienced pilots will appreciate its professional-grade camera capabilities. Pair it with the VR Headset for an affordable and beginner-friendly FPV experience.

Key Features:

  • Beginner-friendly with professional capabilities
  • 120fps HD camera
  • Impressive battery life
  • Smart Gravity sensor
  • Extended transmission range

Buy it here

Syma X5C: Best Practice Drone

A white Syma X5C drone standing on a grey and blue cutting mat
Syma X5C
Price: $54.98

Who is it for?

  • Superb for first-time outdoor pilots
  • Great for beginners who want a drone that can handle crashes
  • Suitable for those looking for a drone to customize and upgrade

The Syma X5C is a popular and resilient drone perfect for outdoor flying practice. This affordable airframe is designed to withstand crashes, making it an excellent choice for beginners. It offers an engaging and educational experience while allowing you to modify and enhance its features. However, connectivity issues may arise, so ensure a safe flying environment to avoid any potential flyaway situations.

Key features

  • Fun and educational
  • Easy to modify
  • Resilient and crash-resistant

Buy it here

Tinyhawk III: Your Gateway to FPV Racing

A Tinyhawk III drone, controller, and headset with head straps all placed on a table together
EMAX TinyHawk 3
Price: $269

Who is it for?

  • Perfect for beginners wanting to explore FPV racing
  • Ideal for those looking for a complete package with FPV goggles
  • Suitable for adults and children interested in the FPV hobby

The company Emax has a long series of beginner drones to kick off your FPV journey. Even though there are simpler and cheaper drones by EMAX, Tiny Hawk III is highly recommended for beginners and intermediate fliers.

This racing drone comes at an affordable price and includes a complete package with everything you need including FPV goggles, a charger, a battery, a remote controller, and even spare propellers.

Key features

  • Complete package with FPV goggles
  • Simple and intuitive controls
  • Durable construction

Buy it here

DJI Mini 2 SE: Affordable Aerial Photography

A DJI mini 2 SE drone hovering above a gravel road with bushes on the sides and mountains in the background
DJI Mini 2 SE
Price: $489

Who is it for?

  • Great for beginners transitioning to GPS-enabled camera drones
  • Perfect for capturing high-quality aerial footage
  • Suitable for those seeking an affordable DJI product with excellent flight capabilities

The DJI Mini 2 SE stands out as the most accessible GPS-enabled camera drone in its price range. With a remarkable 2.7K camera and DJI's powerful flight features, it offers an exceptional aerial photography experience. While it doesn't possess a 4K camera like its higher-end counterparts, the DJI Mini 2 SE is still a reliable choice for beginners seeking high-quality footage and GPS functionality.

Key features

  • The most affordable DJI drone
  • 2.7K camera for stunning visuals
  • Solid GPS-enabled flight capabilities

Buy it here

POTENSIC A20 Mini: Best Beginner Drone for Kids

A green and black Potensic A20 mini drone with a glowing LED light at its hovering with its propellers spinning on a white background
Price: $29.99

Who is it for?

  • Perfect for kids flying indoors
  • Suitable for beginners looking for a compact and affordable drone
  • Ideal for honing piloting skills in a controlled environment

For indoor or calm outdoor flights, the POTENSIC A20 Mini is the perfect choice for kids who want to learn to fly a drone. This fun and affordable toy drone offers an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of piloting.

While it only has some basic beginner-friendly features like altitude hold and headless mode, it provides a pure and enjoyable flying experience. Ideal for kids with its incorporated propeller guard, this drone is small, easy to transport, and a great starting point.

If you want to see more options for kids, check out our article on Drones for kids

Key features:

  • Very affordable
  • Compact and easy to transport
  • Helps develop piloting skills
  • Ideal for indoor flight

Buy it here

Once you have a drone, check out our guide on how to learn to fly a drone.
Or read this shorter summary:

Want to Learn How to Fly?

drone flying tutorial

Study the Manual: Yeah it might be boring, but it helps. Carefully read the drone's manual to understand its features, flight modes, and safety guidelines. This will help you get a better understanding of how your drone works, its limitations, and what you can expect.

Practice in Open Spaces: The first flight you do should be in an open space with as few things to crash into as possible. It’s also a good idea to stay away from people and trafficked roads. This is because it’s not unusual to lose control during the first couple of flights. having an open area gives you a clear line of sight of the drone drifts out of control.

Take it Easy: Begin with the most basic maneuvers, nothing fancy. Start with a light takeoff, hover for a second, and then go down for a soft landing. Once you’ve got a feel for how quickly the drone moves you can gradually move on to more advanced moves.

Flying Tips for Beginners:

As a beginner, consider the following tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable flight experience:

  1. Understand Drone Regulations:
    Familiarize yourself with local regulations and airspace restrictions to ensure compliance with laws regarding drone usage. Respect privacy and never fly near restricted areas like airports or government buildings.
  2. Fly in Optimal Conditions:
    Choose calm weather conditions with minimal wind and good visibility for your flights. Avoid flying in rain, strong winds, or low light conditions, as these can affect your control and compromise safety.
  3. Keep Line of Sight:
    Choose calm weather conditions with minimal wind and good visibility for your flights. Avoid flying in rain, strong winds, or low light conditions, as these can affect your control and compromise safety.
  4. Battery Management:
    Monitor battery levels and ensure your drone has enough power to return to the takeoff point safely. Follow manufacturer guidelines for charging and storage to maximize battery life.

Becoming an Experienced Flyer

To become an experienced drone flyer, consider the following steps:

  1. Practice Regularly: Consistent practice is essential for improving your piloting skills. This is not a revolutionary tip, but rather, the question should be how do we implement that, or how do we make sure that we clock as many hours as possible?
    My answer is, by getting a cheap, uncomplicated drone that you can fly without having to make a big deal out of it.
  2. Learn Advanced Techniques: As you become comfortable with basic flight skills, challenge yourself with more advanced maneuvers like flying in different modes, executing precise movements, and capturing complex shots. One pupular way to increase your skill is to capture video with your drone, watch it back and notice any parts that could be "smoother" or more comortable for the eye. Then do the shot again and again until the video is as you want it too. This will force you to be aware of herky-jerky monouvers and think from the drones perspective when you fly. It's like how you become a good driver once you start to think about the passangers experience.
  3. Join Drone Communities: Engage with fellow drone enthusiasts and join online communities or local drone clubs, and I can't stress this enough. The drone community is very supportive and will provide you with opportunities to learn from experienced flyers who know what it's like to be new.

Fequently asked Questiones

Q: What is the minimum age requirement for flying a drone?
A: So, when it comes to flying drones, the FAA isn't super strict about how old you have to be. For the small ones, anyone can fly them, but if you're under 13, you can't register it in your name. That said, whoever does register it needs to keep in mind they're the one on the hook if anything goes sideways. If you're looking to fly drones for work or anything official, you've gotta be at least 16 to get the special drone pilot's license. And for any commercial drone action, there has to be a certified pilot calling the shots, but they haven't really said how old that person needs to be. Oh, and for those teeny tiny drones that weigh less than a stick of butter, you don't need to worry about any of this—no age limit, no registration needed. But, yup, you still gotta follow all the usual drone rules.

Q: Is it recommended to buy the cheapest drone available?
A: Well, it's not just about the price tag. You've gotta think about what you really want to do with it. If you're just starting out, a budget-friendly drone can be a great way to get the hang of flying without breaking the bank. But if you're into stuff like drone racing or you're chasing those crisp, high-quality photos, you'll probably need to shell out a bit more cash. The pricier drones tend to have the fancy features and better performance you'll need for that kind of thing.

Q: Do I need a license to fly a drone?
A: Yep, if you're looking to fly a drone, you're gonna need a license. But it's not one-size-fits-all—there's one for just having fun and another if you're planning to make some cash with it. If you're flying just for kicks, grab the TRUST Certification. Now, if you're thinking about earning money, say from YouTube videos, then you need the Part 107 certification. Oh, and don't forget, you've got to register your drone before you let it take flight, no matter what you're using it for. If you wanna dig deeper into the whole drone license thing and get the scoop on TRUST certification, there's plenty of info out there to check out.

Q: How long does it take to learn how to fly a drone?
A: With some online research on controls, it typically takes around five flights to start mastering the controls of a drone. You can also see our guide on how to fly a drone.

Meet the tester

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Jim Harris
Hello! My name is Jim Harris and I created RCDroneGuys with the help of my 2 best friends. We love everything RC, boats, cars, planes, and drones, you name it! Together we have years of tinkering with transmitters and receivers and writing reviews, blogs, and articles for a bunch of magazines. Today we mostly work on this webpage as long as we’re not out breaking speed records with our own gear.
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