Joseph works as an editor in one of the magazines dedicated to video games. Here, at RecRoomPick, he’s given the opportunity to enjoy the reverse of the medal – the no less engaging world of offline games.
Ryan knows everything when it comes to gaming, both online and offline. Since his early years he’s been in love with arcades, air hockey, and foosball. Finally, he’s given the opportunity to share his knowledge and opinion on the hobby of his life (and even get paid for it!).
Last updated: February 15, 2021
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Electronic dart boards have become really popular in recent years, offering an alternative way to practice at home and a much safer and more interactive experience for children and adults alike. If you buy a poor quality electronic board, though, it can mean not much fun at all with the darts constantly bouncing out and not performing as they should. In this article we’ve explored the best electronic dart boards and listed the products we’ve picked out as the elite models on the market.
Our reviews have focused on a number of different features which make up a reliable and fun board. These include things like how big the dartboard is (is it a professional diameter or just a smaller, toy-size?) and the accessories included. How many darts and spare tips are included. We’ve also looked at the installation, power and many other aspects of electronic boards.
Our team of darts experts have spent weeks researching electronic dart boards and gaining information from the brands, professionals and even amateur players who just bought their electronic dart board for fun. Our research has been presented as a simple table as well as detailed reviews of all of the best models we found and then a buying guide. By reading through both the buying guide and reviews thoroughly, you can work out what features are most vital for you and which dart board can match up to your unique needs, whether you want to be a professional player or just want a fun game for parties.
The DARTSLIVE-200S Soft Darts Board is our editor’s choice as the best all-round electronic dart board. It has lots of features to suit both serious and hobbyist players and is exceptionally popular due to the fact it is compatible with an excellent app, Dartslive.
The board is 15.5 inches in diameter which is slightly smaller than the tournament size, which is 18 inches, but is very much the standard size for electronic boards.
The app is the feature which gets most people excited. It allows you to collect with other users at home, track your progress and improvement and even use training modes. The training modes help you become better at aim, showing you how to hit treble 20 or bullseye regularly.
Accessories included are pretty impressive and even though there are just two sets of darts these have 10 extra tips if you have any issues and breakages.
Many users have talked about how quiet this is, and how well the darts stick in. Bounce-outs can be very frustrating for users of electronic dart boards, but aren’t much of an issue with this model.
What we liked:
Excellent training mode.
App compatible with both iOS and Android devices.
Relatively low noise from the board.
Very rare bounce-outs.
Comes with darts and 10 spare tips for the inevitable breakages.
What could be better:
Instructions for installation are primarily in Asian languages and can be hard to understand.
Darts can get stuck in the holes before they have been worn in.
The game of electronic darts is excellent entertainment. It is perfect for having fun during an evening with family or friends but also for playing solo in your room. This is adjustable on 5 levels of difficulty, depending on your skill. Otherwise, it is also possible to play with 4 and even up to 8 without a problem.
As the game is electronic, it automatically calculates the points of each player or each team. The score is displayed on the LCD screens. The number of casts remaining is also shown on this display. The various parameters and programs can be controlled using the buttons. The start/stop one is one of them. It is at the front for more practicality.
A handicap function is available to adapt the difficulty to the level of the players. This electronic dart game model incorporates 28 exciting games with 183 scoring options. The instructions provided explain each type of game. This game is designed as a cabinet as it has two doors. They can be closed when you are not using the dart. This protects the material from dust while ensuring it is also decorative.
The interior of each door contains places to keep the darts. The game includes 6 pieces of darts and 6 spare tips.
If you want to have a solid and sturdy dartboard for home use, then this is going to be a brilliant option. It comes with all the features you need, and it will give you endless hours of enjoyment, whether that is for fun or serious practice.
Along with regular play, there are plenty of ways to have fun with the board as it has 27 games with 243 variations that you can choose from. It comes with detailed instructions, so you’ll soon know exactly what you’re doing.
You get 6 darts with the board, and they all have impressive quality. They should last for a long time. The problems with the darts can come at the start as they can be a little hard to assemble, especially the flights. Once they are assembled, however, you’ll love them.
The board has an impressive level of stability, and it’ll be able to cope with a lot of repetitive action without coming loose. The board is great, and you’ll love playing it, especially with its other useful features such as the voice prompts.
The Gran Board dash is a very popular board. It has improved over time and the latest generation of this board has incorporated a new impact mat. This means that it makes a lot less noise, something that was a criticism with earlier incarnations of this board.
The app included and bluetooth compatibility means that you can use this with smartphones and tablets but also Smart TVs! The free app runs on iOS or Android and regularly adds new games. The app is great for tracking the games you’ve played and your performance on the board, and can even tell you how many games you’ve won that month.
One of the best things about this board is how good it is for solo players, there are nine different game modes you can play against the computer so even when you don’t have an opposition with you, you can have great fun!
Since issues around noise were improved this is definitely one of the top electronic dart boards for the money, as it doesn’t cost the earth. Like many of its competitors it has a 15.5-inch diameter across the face, and can use battery or AC power. It comes with six darts and spare tips.
What we liked:
Nine different game modes make this great for playing against the computer.
Improved noise with softer pad so it doesn’t resonate as much when you throw a dart.
Compatible with lots of devices.
What could be better:
Some users have reported the darts sticking and causing issues with scoring.
A lot of the instructions around the app are in Asian languages.
The Arachnid brand is one of the biggest electronic dart companies in the world. This successful company has made several units over the years, and for more than 4 decades have been the go-to option for most folks. Throughout this time, they have built a reputation for being making some of the best dart board. If you are looking to set up your dart board, then you should consider a unit from this brand.
The 650 model is an excellent mid-range option from the manufacturer. It comes with an elaborate design that makes it look right at home in a pub. There is simply no mistaking what this is from the design. It is built tall and has a compact design that will allow it to fit into most spaces.
The playing surface is 15.5”, which is the recommended size for games and tournaments. Therefore, if you are a serious player you can have this as a practice board.
The overall design of the dart board is nice. It has dividers between the zones that will reduce rebound – which is one of the problems many have with electronic boards. Included in the design is an LED readout for the score. Another thing we liked in terms of design is that the storage area lets you keep your supplies and playing accessories.
Apart from the design there are other features like the voice prompt. It is a simple feature that really comes in useful. This board can also support up to 8 players which gives ample opportunity to have a great time with friends. And if that isn’t pleasing to you, there is the option to play solo and improve your skills.
Lastly, the handicap mode makes for an excellent dartboard.
This is a great option for anyone looking for a traditional cabinet look for their electronic dartboard. Though a cabinet doesn’t play quite the same role for electronic boards as it does for bristle boards (protecting your walls and giving space to score), it certainly looks great in a games room or home bar area.
You will have to factor in the fact this takes up more space overall, but the actual playing area is still only 15.5 inches, just like most of the boards we’ve featured.
A nice extra feature is the backlit scoring windows, these collect the scores based on which game mode you’ve selected and display them very clearly. There are 38 different game modes, and within these modes you’ll find over 100 different variations, so you have plenty of choice for which type of darts game you wish to play!
This is one of the boards which also has some very cool sound effects built-in, including a heckler mode, designed to put you off and add a level of comedy to the game.
Though there are lots of great features, the darts themselves can get stuck and many people have reported that they are cheaply made. This means you might need to find compatible darts elsewhere.
What we liked:
Comes with a cabinet to protect the walls and store your darts.
Sound effects and heckle mode.
Loads of different game modes and over 100 variations.
What could be better:
Darts aren’t the best.
Some users have reported issues with sound effects.
The Viper 850 is a wonderful choice if you plan to play with friends and family, or play alone, and aren’t too bothered about having any sort of an online mode with your dart board.
It is also made to be very hard-wearing, and the actual playing area is the reason we’ve included it on our list of best soft tip electronic dart boards.
The scoreboard display has been cleverly redesigned to give an extra level of clarity, some scoreboards can be tough to see in other boards and mean you are constantly squinting or leaning forward, but this is very clear and easy. The controls are equally simple even though over 50 game modes are available to play.
The durability comes from the very tough segments which have been included and this also includes ‘locking holes’ which can greatly lower the chances of your soft tipped darts bouncing out. This is also helped by the thin spider.
It comes with six darts, just like most of the products of this list, and another cool accessory is the measuring tape which means you can mark the throwline for all your players to obey!
What we liked:
Less bounce-outs due to the locking holes.
Over 50 game modes and clear scoreboard to track them.
This is a model which isn’t completely perfect, but it does have a couple of big advantages due to the fact that it comes embedded in a cabinet and it has loads of darts, if you’re playing in a big group this can be really helpful. Four people can have their own set of darts. It also has 40 tips for when the tips inevitably become frayed.
The controls at the top and the LED scoring system are clear and easy and tracks the score of up to four players at once. This is great for playing in a group.
In spite of having quite a large cabinet design it is really quite simple to install and comes with the mounting hardware required.
One downside, and the reason this isn’t higher up on our list of top dart boards is the fact that this has a lot of bounce-outs. The design of the playing surface combined with the darts means they don’t always stick, and this can be very frustrating. If this were fixed then this would be a real contender. That said, some people use different darts and have had more success, and the other features including the 27 game modes are very positive.
What we liked:
27 game modes.
Comes with 12 darts, great for playing as bigger groups.
Clear LED scoring system.
Quality and easy-to-install cabinet included.
What could be better:
Darts included are not the best quality and some reviewers have reported breakages.
This dartboard is featured due to the fact it has a low price point and is a good option for those wanting something a little more compact. It is great for children and teenagers and can be mounted lower if you need. It has a 13 inch target area which is a little lower than the normal 15.5 inches.
The micro-thin spider has been designed in order to lower bounce-outs and make sure the darts stick. As well as this, there is a bounce-out amend feature, so you can retrospectively edit if your bounce-outs were unfair!
It has 27 games with 123 different variations and it has five different cricket games which is a popular way of playing for bigger groups. Big groups can be catered for with this board as it has the ability to cope with up to 8 players. It can also be played totally on your own as it has a solo mode.
There is a heckler option which is good for novelty, but if you don’t want this it is a bit of a pain as you have to manually turn it off when you start the game.
It comes with 6 Soft Tip Darts and game instructions for all different modes that are available so that you can get up to speed with the variations.
What we liked:
Lots of different game modes.
Good for smaller players as it is more of a compact board.
Very few bounce-outs.
What could be better:
Some of the sound features can be very annoying and not easy to turn down or off.
Things to Consider
If you’re new to electronic dart boards then it can be difficult to know exactly what to look for, or to understand the exact features on offer. In this buying guide we’ve talked you through everything from sizes to game modes and the actual mechanics of how an electronic dart board works.
Reasons to get an electronic dart board for your games room
Electronic dartboards are quite a different prospect to playing a traditional bristle dartboard. They are seen by some as an alternative, or a way of practicing to play bristle darts, but the truth is that the board itself is pretty different, and you will notice a huge amount of variation between the two.
What you can practice very well with an electronic board is your rhythm and throwing action. This is great for people new to darts or don’t have access to a bristle board. You can also practice the accuracy with the darts.
The fact that the darts which come included are soft-tipped and therefore much, much safer than the darts used on a bristle board which can be very dangerous in the wrong hands. In theory, a child could do serious damage with darts, but with soft-tipped darts such as these it is far less of a worry. You can leave your children unsupervised and not worry about their safety (or your walls getting chopped up by the darts!).
Electronic dart boards also often do a lot of the scoring automatically, taking some of the complex mental arithmetic out of the game. This is especially good for children. These dart boards also have a lot more variations in game modes, some of them have hundreds of different variations.
With the very best electronic dart boards and new innovations you can play against the computer, to allow for solo play and practice when others aren’t around. You can also play in modes which are designed for lots of players, so you aren’t restricted to just two of you joining in at once. Some connect to apps to allow you to track your progress and some of the top online models of dart board can mean you are able to play against other players around the world, much like you would on a games console.
All-in-all, for rec rooms and home bars, as well as kids’ bedrooms, it is easy to see why electronic dart boards are very popular.
Features to consider when choosing an electronic dart board
The following features are those which you should be thinking about when buying an electronic dart board. Take a little time to think about which features are best for you and which you will be prioritizing. You should also take time to consider your budget and the top features you can buy at the price point you are looking at.
There are some excellent features available on modern electronic dart boards as we discover below.
Dart board diameter
The regulation size of a tournament bristle board is 18 inches in diameter. This means from one side to the other is 18 inches. This is different for electronic boards and the regulation size of most of these models is 15.5 inches. This is plenty big enough for most home games and still gives you the chance to work on your aim.
Number of games and variations
The games included within these dart boards can vary greatly. For instance, many of them have a ‘cricket’ mode which is really popular for fun darts games in bars, as it is something of a leveler in terms of ability level and is fun for playing with loads of people. Some of the electronic dart boards have 30-50 different game modes. This is an incredibly useful thing to have, and it means that when you get bored of one mode you can simply try another.
The modes often have a lot of variations, too. Things like the length of the game and the number of players can be altered to allow you to suit it to whatever group of you will be playing.
Sound effects aren’t always essential. They don’t necessarily serve much of a purpose other than making for a more exciting game. Some of these boards have a very exciting heckler feature, designed to randomly put you off at times and improve your reactions under pressure but also just create an extra bit of fun and laughter between friends! Other sound effects can include those to remind you it is your go. Sound effects are a personal preference, some products such as the Arachnid Inter-Active 3000 have loads of sound effects but these are quite loud and some have reported them as being a little annoying. Others love it! It really is up to the player.
Ease of installation
The idea of spending hours putting your new board into place when you just want to be playing it can be very frustrating. Also, if you ever want to move the electronic dart board from one place to another then this can be tricky. Many models are easy to install, for instance, the DARTSLIVE-200S Soft Darts Board takes just 15 minutes to get installed fully. Some options with a dart board cabinet can be a little trickier to install. The Arachnid Bullshooter 5.0 Electronic Dartboard Cabinet Set takes a little longer, but the fact that this is a very sturdy can also be well worth the little bit of extra time.
How is your dart board powered? Some have a power adapter to allow you to plug into the wall whereas others have batteries, and others, such as the DARTSLIVE-200S Soft Darts Board, our editor’s choice, have the option to be used with either.
Battery power is great as it means that you don’t have to worry about the board being used somewhere near a power socket. It also makes the board more portable if you plan to move it around to different locations.
Batteries can get expensive if you plan to use them, and they are disposable and not as good for the environment unless you use reusable ones. Using an adaptor can be great for providing constant power and not having to worry about the game stopping half way through and needing new batteries.
Does it come with darts?
All of the models on our list come with some darts, whether it be 3, 6 or even 12. For instance, the WIN.MAX Electronic Soft Tip Dartboard Cabinet set comes with a full dozen. Spare tips and dart flights are also a big deal as these can often come loose and need replacing. Some of the models have up to 20 spare tips, so these are something quite commonly needed. Good quality darts are helpful, but it isn’t the most important thing as you can buy replacement soft tip darts.
The overall dimensions is one of the more simple considerations. Using the dimensions can simply help you to ensure you have space for where you wish to install the dart board. One of the best things you can do is to work out the dimensions and then use this to mark out the exact space required using masking tape. Also, make sure you have enough room to step back and actually put down a marker for where you are throwing from.
A warranty is always a bonus with any sort of product using electronics. Some of these dart boards don’t have huge warranties. One year is a good warranty for a product such as this. It is natural that manufacturers don’t give any more than this very regularly because the products can take a bit of a beating. The Fat Cat Mercury Electronic Dartboard is one of the few models to give a 12-month warranty.
Electronic vs. bristle dartboard – which is best?
It is hard to name one as the very best. However, based on your needs you can simply work out which might be the type for you.
If you are very serious about darts and potentially even want to play in tournaments, it might be worth thinking about buying a board which is regulation for bristle boards at 18 inches in diameter. These are the types of boards which are used competitively, and being able to practice on these is a big bonus. You can also find regulation-sized electronic dartboards that are used competitively – look out for boards with a 15.5-inch diameter.
If you are looking for a fun, bar-style game which can be played by more than two people at a time, want the ability to take on people around the world, or are just looking to play a game which won’t put your furniture and walls at risk, then an electronic board is a great choice.
An electronic dart board is also far safer, meaning you can rest easy if using it with children.
Tips on using your electronic dartboard
Always use the manual to learn about the different game modes which are available.
Never use darts which are too sharp or heavy as this can damage the board.
Check whether any of the settings allow you adjust for bounce-outs, some let you manually add or remove points based on whether a dart bounces.
When you first start using the board, be very gentle when removing the darts. Sometimes, with a brand new board, both darts and the plastic board need a little time to be properly worn in.
One of the things electronic dartboards are designed for is use by kids. These are not always totally safe, if one hit you in the wrong place you could get a bruise, but used responsibly these are far, far safer than traditional darts.
Depending on the online capabilities, you may need an internet connection to access all of the features. Some boards allow you to play against others online if you have an internet connection. This requires you linking via bluetooth to an app on your phone or tablet.
This is a matter of personal preference. Different people prefer different weights, and this is true among beginners and professionals alike. Some boards do have a maximum weight, so you should also refer to the manual just to check this before choosing.
The DARTSLIVE-200S Soft Darts Board is our editor’s choice of product and makes the top of our list with a 9.8 rating. This dart board is a decent price and features including an easy-to-use training mode and an app to allow you to connect to people around the world, track your game scores and more.
The Fat Cat Mercury Electronic Dartboard is very high up on our list of the best electronic dart boards, too, it has a brilliant choice of games to play and 5 different levels of difficulty, and allows up to 8 people to play together.
If you don’t need online play, the Biange Electronic Dart Board is a good option, especially for bar games. It has 27 different modes and can be played with more than two people. Hours of fun for a rec room or home bar!