Best Battle Drones [All gameplay types]

Battle drones take the joy and fun of drone flying to the next level by allowing you to shoot the drone out of the air. The drone is often shot by infrared light, and the game is to rack up as many points as possible or shoot your opponent out of the sky.

The best battle drones include HoverTech, AG-03 Mini Quadcopter Rc Drone, and small Holystone drones. Consider the weapon type, game type and flight time for maximum enjoyment.

Battle drones are typically lightweight and small plastic drones that carry an infrared emitter and sensor. Some popular battle drones can also look like vehicles from science-fiction films such as Star Wars.

Because of their small and lightweight form factor, battle drones typically have a very short and limited flight time. On the other side, because the batteries are so small, it only takes a small amount of time for the drones to be charged up before you can get back into the battle.

It is not common for battle drones to have interchangeable batteries, but the quick charging time can mean only a small amount of downtime before getting onto round two.

Game types with battle drones

The most important thing to consider when buying a battle drone is gameplay. There are several different types, including:

  • shooting a drone target
  • shooting down your opponent
  • shooting a drone out of the sky
  • physically ramming into each other

Let’s take a look at each of these different gameplays and the best battle drone to achieve each style of play.

1. Traditional drone battle

A traditional drone battle involves two drone pilots flying and fighting with their drones. The game’s object is to knock the opponent out of the air utilising weapons and infrared beams of light.

Over the recent years, these types of drones have become less popular because of the damage sustained by the drones.

Drones are very sensitive to cracks or slight distortions in the body or frame. The sensitivity to damage means that there are very few manufacturers who are continuing to create battle drones.

One of your options from a reputable manufacturer is the Potensic mini battle drone.

Potensic A21 Mini Drones

This tiny drone comes in a two-pack for battling.

Find the best price for these drones by clicking here – they are surprisingly affordable.

They are small plastic drones equipped with an infrared emitter and a 360° infrared sensing module.

The gameplay is very simple: it will fall out of the sky after shooting the drone four times.

The remote control allows you to perform 3D flips, circle flight, and Hurricane rotation. It has three speeds, which is perfect for beginners through to more advanced flyers. Or, as your children grow up and get used to flying these drones, you can increase the speeds to make the fun last longer.

The drones come with extra batteries, which last up to 7 minutes each. You can play with two battle drones for up to 14 minutes if you start with all the batteries charged.

I like that it also can be flown solo as a drone so that you can get battling and drone flying in one very affordable package.

Battle drone options from China

You can also find battle toy drones from manufacturers in China.

One of the best battle drones currently on the site AliExpress include

AG-03 Mini Quadcopter Rc Drone on AliExpress (Find it here)

this mini Quadcopter this set allows you to battle with another person.

You can shoot the enemy within 1 m, and after three hits, the drone will fall out of the sky.

It has headless mode, which means that it will always follow the direction of the joysticks, making it perfect for new drone flyers and intuitively avoiding and attacking your opponent.

It has a 360° receiver which means you can get attacked from any angle. You can control the drone using three different setups of the joysticks.

This drone is perfect for young drone flyers with a single button takeoff and auto-hover.

Attop Sky Fighter YD-822 (Find it here)

This two battle drone set enables you to fight using infrared beams and is perfect for people ages 14 and up.

The plastic construction makes it very light and therefore less likely to be damaged when falling out of the sky. It has propeller guards and flexible propellers to withstand the rough and tumble of everyday use.

It has a single button 360° flip function for avoiding the infrared laser beam of your opponent. It also comes with a remote control to operate without using your smartphone.

2. Shoot a drone target in the sky

The second type of battle drone is where the pilot operates the drone and tries to shoot a hovering target.

Typically the gameplay involves shooting a hovering target with physical or infrared bullets. The auto hovering drone is knocked out of the air using a handheld gun.

A great example of this type of battle drone includes the HoverTech battle drones:

HoverTech Battle Drones

The hoverTech drones are suitable for ages eight years and up. And involves a self-flying target that can be electronically controlled. They can auto-hover and are designed to be targeted with foam dart blasters.

The drone is equipped with ceiling sensors which make indoor playing safe for children and the surroundings. It will lift off from any surface and automatically hover about 15 inches below the ceiling of your room until a dart strikes it.

It comes with two guns and is perfect for encouraging collaborative activities between children.

https://www.amazon.com/HoverTech-Self-Flying-Challenge-Lightweight-Encourages/dp/B08GSTWYTX/

3. Shooting a drone with an IR gun

Another fun mode of battling a drone is to shoot a drone out of the air using a blaster gun.

This mode of playing with a battle drone is perfect for solo players.

Laser Battle Gun and Drone Set GT4082

This battle drone setup lets you toss the drone into the air and start playing.

After throwing into the air, the drone will automatically hover and be ready for target practice.

The name of the game is to get three successful hits with the infrared light beam to take the drone out of the sky.

The drone can avoid your shots by flipping and will also fire back. If you can hit the drone, it will shudder with each hit and safely descend to the ground when it has no more lives.

The drone has anticollision features and a 180° flip, and colourful lighting and sound effects.

The drone can also be gesture-controlled with your hands. The blaster gun features voice and sound effects, and up to 4 teams can battle it out simultaneously. You can challenge friends and family who have the same set.

4. Ramming into another drone

Any drone can become a battle drone if you are brave and rich enough

Because there is a lack of true battle drones on the market, you could also purchase two small children’s drones and use them to physically bash the other out of the sky.

I wouldn’t recommend using an expensive set of drones for this. Stay away from expensive camera drones and look towards children’s drones. One of the best mini drones comes from holystone.

The Holy Stone HS420 mini fly cam is fantastic for battling.

It has permanent guards over the propellers, which means there is no danger of hurting other people while flying the drone, and it has a 720p camera which is fantastic for a first-person view of the drone.

You may also use advanced features like waypoints, which allow the drone to fly in a path you designate on the app autonomously, and circle flying, allowing the drone to circle a destination.

The ability to perform a 3D flip at the touch of a button is a great feature of this drone.

It comes with three rechargeable batteries that may be charged while the drone is flying. Never be caught without a battery charged and ready to go.

Purchase two of these drones and you will be ready for a drone battle to remember.

Battle drone buyers’ guide

If you are in the market for a battle drone, here are the most important features that you need to consider.

Gameplay

The options that we have presented above follow a range of different gameplays.

From duels to single person shootouts, there are options for nearly every age and style of play.

Another aspect that you may want to think about is whether or not you can fly the drone solo. Some of the battle drones mentioned above can also be flown as regular indoor drones that can increase the amount of playtime with this toy.

Speed modes

Most of the drones above come with different speed modes.

Having several different speeds on a drone means it is suitable as the child or person becomes more familiar with flying the drone and also allows you to increase the difficulty of the game between players.

If you have children using these battle drones, I recommend getting a drone with multiple speed modes.

Headless mode

Headless mode is a setting that causes the drone to go in the same direction as the joysticks, regardless of how the drone is facing. There is no “head” or “front” to the drone. It makes it easier for beginners and children to operate their drones confidently.

I use headless mode when I want to try out a new drone or fly in unusual situations, such as flying towards myself or flying quite near to overhanging barriers to capture the perfect photo.

Here’s an animation that shows you what headless mode on a drone looks like and how it moves with the joystick movements.

Weapon options

Another important thing to consider when buying a battle drone is the weapon options that come with the drone.

There are two common weapon options: a laser or infrared emitter and physical weapons that tend to be foam darts.

Laser/IR

the laser or infrared emitter is the better option since it does not need to be reloaded, and there is no chance of losing the physical darts.

Choose a drone with a 360° receiver for full range action and ensure that the infrared or laser emitter can shoot across the distance that you want the battle to take place.

Typically, they can shoot across a standard living room with no issues. However, if the light beam does not quite reach the other drone, it is a fun challenge to get close to the drone you are battling to take out of the sky.

Physical weapons

Physical weapons such as foam darts are often included in battle drones. The physical weapons are easy to lose and damage and are reasonably difficult to replace with a replica of the original darts.

Nonetheless, it is quite fun for young children to see the Dart fly through the air and give them a much more visual experience of using their battle drone.

Ensure that the battle drone you purchase has plenty of darts so that you can lose a couple, and it won’t affect the gameplay.

One key takeoff

One key takeoff means that you can take off with the drone by simply pushing a button. This feature makes flying the drone very easy and means that there are some self-stabilisation and auto-hover features, making it easy for beginner drone pilots to fly.

Most the accidents while flying a drone happens during takeoff and landing, and a one-key takeoff feature means that you can get battling quicker and not worry about the intricacies of takeoff and landing.

Altitude hold

Altitude hold is a very important part of drone battles as it allows you to focus on attacking the drone rather than maintaining the correct altitude at all times.

Most drones in this price range come with altitude hold based on a visual positioning system or simple IR sensors.

Flight time

The flight time of small battle drones is relatively short and is often only 10 minutes.

However, you can easily extend these flight times by purchasing another battery or ensuring that the drone you are looking at comes with at least three batteries.

In my experience, these drone batteries often take about 45 minutes to charge completely. Having three means that you are always prepared for the next drone battle.

Pros and cons of battle drones

Here are some of the pros and cons of the battle drones currently on the market in relation to some other types of drones, such as photography and racing drones.

Pros

  • Can be played by anyone – one thing about these inexpensive drones is that they are designed to be flown by children and are therefore very fun for anyone to fly
  • Inexpensive fun – these inexpensive drones allow people with the smallest of budgets to participate in the drone flying world.
  • Hand-eye coordination – headless mode and other advanced flight features make these drones very easy to fly and regular use can improve the hand and eye coordination of children and adults alike.

Cons

  • Can be easy to break – cheap battle drones can be very easy to break, and unfortunately, they don’t often have completely replaceable parts like their more expensive counterparts. However, they are quite lightweight, and the likelihood of them breaking is much lower.
  • Small battery life – they often have a very small battery life but buying a drone with multiple batteries will ensure that your drone is always ready for a fight.

The final word

This article has been through everything you need to know about the best battle drones.

Ultimately, it comes down to choosing the battle drone that has the best gameplay for your child’s age or person using it.

Choose a drone that can also be flown independently, which increases the amount of time the drone can be played with and increases the usefulness of the drone you purchase.

Battle drones are fun for nearly every age group, and I’m sure that you will be able to find one within your price range and keep the family entertained for a long time.

 

 

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton is a writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. His drone footage has been featured on TV and he has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. He has been a drone pilot for many years and has flown many types of drones. His favourite is still the DJI Mavic Air for the portability and functionality packed into a small and portable drone!