I love flying with a VR headset.
You can get more accurate shots, it eliminates glare from the sun, reduces distractions, and it's just more fun.
This guide will help you choose the best VR drone for your needs and budget.
It includes a short buying guide to help increase your knowledge about this type of multirotor, and it reviews some of my favorite models.
Table of the Best VR Drones
DJI Mavic Air
12MP / 4K
DJI Mavic Pro Platinum
12MP / 4K
Best For Professionals
5MP / 720p
Best Under $100
Holy Stone HS100
Holy Stone F181G
Best Under $200
Best For Beginners
Fly Responsibly: If you live in the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration requires many drones to be registered. This includes hobby and professional drones. Visit the FAA's drone registration page for more information.
Best Virtual Reality Drones - Reviews
Headset included: Yes
DJI is the top drone manufacturer in the world. They make incredible machines and they're my personal favorites.
The DJI Mavic Air is a version of their popular Mavic line of drones. This drone folds down to the width and height dimensions of smartphone, making it extremely portable. The controller folds and unfolds as well, with a holder for your smartphone.
It comes with a 3-axis gimbal for more stable flight, and a camera that shoots video in 4K and takes 12 megapixel still photos. This is simply astounding for a drone this size.
It comes with obstacle avoidance and can sense its environment in three different directions.
With DJI's autonomous flight modes and a 21-minute flight time, this quadcopter packs a big punch.
- Portable yet powerful
- Camera: 4K video, 12MP stills
- Autonomous flight modes
- Obstacle avoidance
- SmartCapture technology
- Long flight time
- Slow motion video at 120 fps
- 8 GB internal storage
- 68.4 kph max speed
- Cannot switch camera for your own
- Very windy conditions can harm flights, but does handle moderate winds quite well
2. Best For Professionals - DJI Mavic Pro Platinum
Headset included: Yes
The DJI Mavic Pro Platinum is an upgraded version of the DJI Mavic Pro, one of the most popular drones to date.
This sleek and sexy quadcopter comes with an insane 30-minute flight time, a 7 km control distance, a 3-axis gimbal, and a camera that takes 12MP stills and shoots 4K video.
This upgraded version has a longer flight time than its predecessor, and DJI reduced the noise it produces by up to 60% — using new ESCs and propellers.
- Increased flight time (30 mins)
- Powerful camera
- Portable, folds down to the size of a water bottle
- Autonomous flight modes
- Sleek design
- Handles windy conditions well
- Good build for the most part, but some parts will break easily if damaged during a crash
3. Best Under $100 - DJI Tello
Headset included: No. Purchase DJI goggles here
The DJI Tello is an ultracompact little quadcopter that currently sells for under $100.
I love this drone. It's small and easy to travel with, yet very powerful for its size. The drone can be controlled completely with your smartphone (controller packages are available as well). Just toss it into the air and Tello will start hovering automatically. This makes it great for beginner pilots.
Even if you aren't a great pilot, simply use the Tello app to conduct autonomous flights and image/video capture to make yourself look like a pro.
The 13-minute flight time leaves a little more to be desired in the battery life department, but it's in line with other models in this price range.
Overall, Tello is an excellent rig for travelers or people on a budget.
- Very compact
- Easy to travel with and transport
- Excellent price to features ratio
- Big fan of the Tello app
- Hand takeoff
- Great for beginners and vets
- Flight time could be longer, but is still consistent with other models in this price range
4. Best Recreational Flyer - Holy Stone HS100
Headset included: No. Purchase goggles here
The Holy Stone HS100 is one of my favorite GPS-enabled drones in the lower price ranges. It comes with a 15 minute flight time, 500m control distance (150m WiFi distance), and shoots video in HD 1280x720p. I found the video quality to be surprisingly good on this quadcopter for the price.
Holy Stone created their own app to give pilots FPV flight with their drones. The HS100 does not come with a headset, but you can buy one that will allow you to place your smartphone in it for relatively cheap.
- Surprisingly good camera
- Solid flight time
- Auto takeoff and landing
- Auto return to home
- Holy Stone app for FPV flight
- Must purchase headset separately
5. Best Under $200 - Holy Stone F181G
Headset included: No. Purchase Holy Stone goggles here (only compatible with 5.8 Ghz drones)
The Holy Stone F181G is a great FPV drone for beginner or recreational pilots. It comes with a built-in FPV screen attached to the monitor, or you can use Holy Stone's VR Goggles.
It shoots video in 720p, which is quite good for this price range. And it has a 10-minute flight time (I suggest buying at least one extra battery to extend your flight sessions.)
Overall, the F181G is a solid quadcopter with some fun features, like One Key Start/Landing, Emergency Stop, and 3D Flips. It'll get you flying using FPV VR goggles without breaking the bank.
- Stable flyer
- Comes with some fun flight modes
- Excellent for new pilots who also want an FPV experience
- Built-in FPV LCD monitor
- 720p video
- Extra battery recommended to extend flight sessions
6. Best For Beginners - DBPOWER X400W
Headset included: No. Purchase goggles here
For pilots who don't want a ton of features to mess around with and who just want a nice, simple quadcopter to have fun with, the DBPOWER X400W is a great choice. I've been recommending this quadcopter for ages.
It comes with WiFi connectivity to your smartphone for a first person view experience, and it's super inexpensive. Simply download the MJX H app and you're ready to go.
The X400W also handles wind quite well.
- Smartphone compatible
- WiFi connectivity
- 6-axis gyro
- Control distance is a little short for my taste
How Does a VR Drone Work?
VR drones allow you to see what your drone's camera is seeing in real time.
This mid-flight camera access allows you to see incredible views from above, while giving you the ability to get the most accurate shots possible.
The headset connects to your drone's camera through a wireless signal. Some headsets come with screens built-in.
Others require you to connect your smartphone to the drone's camera and place it inside the headset.
After this, you simply put on the headset, pick up the controller, and you're on your way. However, other than what you can see on the screen, it must be noted that most headsets completely cover your vision .
This is why it's usually recommended to have a spotter next to you, just in case you or the drone come into danger that you can't see through the camera.
Another thing to note is that you will need to use the controller through touch and feeling alone (you won't be able to see it).
So it's a good idea to get comfortable using the controls before using the headset to fly.
Should I Buy The Headset Separately or a Kit?
I recommend buying a kit. This means your rig and the camera come in the same package.
This usually works out cheaper and compatibility between the drone and the headset will be guaranteed.
When you buy them separately, you create a margin for error, i.e. the drone and headset might not be compatible. It's also usually more expensive to buy them separately.
However, some drones that are excellent for VR headsets simply don't come with them. In these cases, buying the headset separately is perfectly fine. Or if you want to buy a specific headset you really like, buy them separately as well.
(This list has a mix of kits and not. If a model doesn't come with a headset, I have recommended one.)
Are There VR Drone Apps?
Yes, there are many apps for virtual reality drones and quadcopters. But which should you use?
However, many apps are compatible with a wide range of DJI drones, like DroneVR. At the time of this writing, I haven't found any worthwhile apps that are compatible with multiple manufacturers.
Before buying a drone you're interested in, I suggest looking to see if that drone has an app associated with it if that's a route you would like to take.
Benefits of Using a Virtual Reality Headset to Fly Your Drone
Virtual reality headsets give you a first person view (FPV) of your drone flight.
I'm not exaggerating when I say this is an utterly unique and extremely rewarding experience. You get to have an experience that only birds used to have before this technology was around.
In my opinion, a headset gives you much more accurate shots than flying with a monitor or smartphone connected to the controller.
First, you eliminate any glare from the sun. Second, your eyes are closer to the screen, giving you a better view of the details within the shot. And third, you won't be distracted by the other things around you.
I almost exclusively fly with a VR headset these days.
How to Choose a VR Drone
Choosing a VR drone is quite similar to choosing any other drone. You want a nice balance of specs, features, and affordability.
However, you also need to take into account whether the drone comes with the headset or not. Because this will add to its overall price, and you need to make sure the headset you want is compatible before buying it.
This is why I recommend most people start off with a kit. With the drones I review below, I will tell you whether the headset comes with it or not (most do).
Next, you want to make sure the camera quality is up to your standard. There's no point in getting a bird's eye view if that view is blurry and shaky. You also want to make sure the headset isn't too clunky or uncomfortable.
Unfortunately, with the stage the technology is at they are still quite large, but they're definitely usable. Like I said before, I almost exclusively fly with a headset these days.
Who Are These Drones Best For?
VR drones are excellent for all types of pilots.
Professional pilots will find them particularly useful for getting the highest quality shots possible, especially during manual flight.
Recreational aerial photographers and videographers will find them useful for this reason as well, and it's just really fun to see the world from up above in real time.