The electronic dartboard has gained popularity among all types of dart players. These boards can often be found in sports bars, clubs, amusement parks, and sports centers, however, there are also models available for home use, which can be a great addition to the family rec room or your man cave. Since their rise in popularity, there have been many models popping up, making it difficult for those new to the game to find a model that offers the type of performance and durability that you’ll only find in the best electronic dartboard.
I’ve created this buyer’s guide to help you learn more about the exciting features leading models have to offer and what you need to look for to ensure you end up with a model that’s designed to last. I’ve also tested several of the best-selling models on the market and I’ve narrowed it down to the six biggest selling boards that any dart enthusiast will fall in love with. You can find out more information concerning these six top-sellers in my comparison chart below.
Electronic Dartboard Comparison Chart
Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dartboard
This is a tournament-style board with a playing surface size that comes in at fifteen and a half inches, which is regulation size. This model comes with thirty-nine games, complete with one hundred and seventy-nine variations. The board also features a tough nylon segment design that improves the board’s playability and durability. The dividers on the board are very thin, which helps to minimize bounce out. The board supports up to eight-player use, for a fun game with the whole family.
- Comes with thirty-nine games
- Supports up to eight players at once
- Dividers are very thin to reduce bounce out
- Regulation size
- Dart tips break easily
The included scoring system is considered one of the most accurate around. You can also track your progress over time using the built-in metric system. The heckler feature will allow the board to heckle players when they miss a shot, but will also give them a round of applause, should they make a challenging one. This feature is optional, so if you need peace and quiet when you take your shot, you can shut it off. Overall, this is a very feature-heavy model and one that will provide hours of entertainment for the whole family.
Fat Cat 727 Electronic Dartboard
This board is a little on the smaller side, which can be a drawback for some players, especially those who are used to playing on a regulation-sized board, but it can be a great option for family use. This model features a playing field that measures in at thirteen inches, which is two and a half inches smaller than a regulation-sized board. The board also comes with a total of eighteen games that feature ninety-six playing options. The model comes with six extra tips since plastic tips tend to break rather easily. To operate, the board requires three triple A batteries. The fact that the board is battery-powered makes it highly portable and a great choice if you’re looking for a smaller board that’s travel-friendly.
- Includes a set of six darts
- Features eighteen games
- Highly portable
- Small playing field
- Scoreboard can quickly drain batteries
If you’re looking for a pro-quality board, this isn’t it. The smaller playing field may be a drawback for some players, while others will appreciate the board’s highly portable design. Despite its smaller design, it does come with eighteen games, which will be a huge plus for the kids. Lightweight, portable, and a great choice for the kids, this model scored well in terms of a beginner-friendly design and portability, but if you’re looking for a model you can use for your next competition, you’ll need to pass this board on by.
WIN.MAX Electronic Dart Board
Want a model that comes loaded with some of the best variations of dartboard games on the market? Then check out the latest model from Win Max which comes with a total of twenty-one. This model comes with a brightly lit LCD display that’s easy to read and a scoring system that’s highly accurate. The board will also support up to eight players at a time, so it’s a great choice for a man cave, the family that loves to play darts together, or your business. The board’s wide catch ring will provide your space with much-needed protection and prevents damage to your walls and surrounding objects. This set also includes twelve flights, one hundred tips, flight protectors, and twelve soft-tipped darts, in addition to an adapter and user manual.
- Includes a variety of free accessories
- Ring catch
- Includes twenty-one games
- Large LCD display
- Not portable
This is a feature-packed model that comes with some great extras and many of the leading dartboard games. This board is durable, features an accurate scoring system, and offers the type of pro-quality design most buyers are looking for. This board is perfect for home and pro use and is available at a reasonable price.
Bullshooter Cricket Maxx 1.0 Electronic Dartboard Cabinet
This board features a playing surface that comes in at thirteen and a half inches and a total of thirty-four games with one hundred and eighty-three game variations including four cricket games. The board is housed in a beautiful wooden cabinet with a walnut finish that will add a touch of style to any room. The board also comes with a highly accurate scoreboard and a heckler feature that harasses a player if they make a bad shot, but will also give them a round of applause if they make a complicated shot. You can enjoy a game with up to eight players at a time. The board will display up to four scores at once, which will be a huge plus for large families or buyers who love to host home dart competitions.
- Heckler mode
- Includes thirty-four games
- Housed in a beautiful wooden cabinet
- Supports up to eight players
- Small playing field
This model is a great buy if you’re looking for a board that’s loaded with popular dartboard games and supports up to eight players at one time. The smaller playing field will be a drawback for the potential buyer in search of a regulation-sized board, yet the beautiful walnut cabinet may be enough to persuade them to hit that buy now button.
Franklin Sports Electronic Dartboard
This is a tournament sized board that measures in at fifteen and a half inches. The larger playing surface will also make the board more beginner-friendly. The board comes with a total of twenty-eight games and an official electronic LED scoreboard that keeps track of your score, for a total pro feel. Mounting this board is a cinch thanks to the included mounting hardware. If you like to keep your dartboard supplies well organized, then you’ll be happy to learn that this model comes with a built-in storage space that allows you to store the included six darts and the replaceable dart tips inside, so you can keep all of your gear together.
- Includes twenty-eight games
- Regulation sized playing field
- LED scoreboard
- Built-in storage
- Not portable
- Difficult to assemble
This model comes with all the bells and whistles the serious dartboard player could want including built-in storage and replaceable dart tips. The included twenty-eight games will keep you and your friends and family well entertained while the regulation-sized playing surface makes this model a great choice for home or commercial use.
Viper 797 Electronic Dartboard
If you’re looking for a pro-quality board, this model delivers. The playing field measures in at fifteen and a half inches and features a tournament-style design complete with thermal resin segments which provide a more durable playing surface. The spider is very thin, which helps to minimize bounce out, allowing for tighter dart groupings to maximize scoring. This model also comes with a built-in storage compartment, which you can use to keep all of your dartboard accessories neatly organized. The storage compartment is large enough to hold a couple of sets of darts and extra tips.
- Includes forty-three games with two hundred and forty options
- Dart catch ring
- Bright LCD display
- Six soft tip darts included
- Does not come with instructions
- No option to edit scores
- Only includes six darts
The large LCD scoreboard allows you to clearly view statistics and scores, while the board itself supports up to sixteen players at one time. The large dart catch ring will protect your walls from any dings or holes, which will be a huge plus for all buyers. Additionally, the included games will also be a huge selling point for the dart enthusiast who loves a challenge. The large playing surface and pro-quality design make this model a good choice for home or business use.
Electronic Dartboard Buyer’s Guide
Most models of electronic dartboards work the same. The surface of the board is filled with tons of small holes that are activated when a dart strikes the surface and records the appropriate number of points. Soft tipped darts are often used, which is why these boards are also referred to as soft-tipped dartboards. Those who are used to playing on traditional boards tend to question the accuracy of the soft-tipped boards, since with some models if the dart doesn’t hit the mark dead-on, it will not stick properly, whereas with a standard bristle board, the dart would’ve stuck.
The biggest benefit of these boards is their automatic scoring. Some models also come with permanent stat tracking, which works by memorizing a player’s performance including average and top scores. This type of feature can make a board a great tool to train on and can help to analyze your score and ultimately improve your performance.
However, the biggest drawback for this style of board is cost, especially if you’re shopping for a high-end model. Aside from a higher price, you’ll also need to consider placement, since these boards tend to take up quite a bit of space and require the use of an outlet and special darts.
Are Electronic Boards a Better Option Than a Bristle Board?
A bristle board is a traditional board that’s made out of the fibers of sisal and comes with darts that consist of brass with steel tips. An electronic board is made out of plastic and relies on electricity to operate. The darts used are also made out of plastic, complete with plastic tips.
These are the types of boards that you can commonly find used in competitions, or smaller sports bars and arcades. For some, the bristle board is the only type of board to play on, especially when it comes to competitive play.
So, what has made so many diehard bristle board players make the switch to electronic boards?
The biggest advantage these boards offer over traditional boards is their reputation for accuracy. With an electronic board, there are thousands of holes located all over the segments. Behind the board, there are hundreds of sensors that are designed to pick up movement and pressure. When a dart lands in any of the holes the sensors will register the movement. This is why these boards are considered so accurate and not at the mercy of human error like bristle boards are.
Another major advantage of these boards is the automatic scoring. This prevents the need of having the players manually keep track of the score. Higher priced models will come with scoreboards that are very accurate and on point.
Obviously, since these boards use plastic-tipped darts, they’re a much safer option than traditional darts. Because of this, these boards are often a better choice for families, especially those with younger children.
These boards may be pricier than a traditional board, but they also have a reputation for being more durable. This is because these boards are made out of plastic, which is what helps to keep the weight of the board down, improving durability. Since the board uses plastic-tipped darts, there is also minimal damage done to the board. Bristle boards tend to wear out much faster due to the use of steel-tipped darts. If you’re planning on keeping your board in a permanent setup, then weight and size won’t be nearly as important as durability.
These boards are available in a variety of sizes, allowing you to choose the size based on your budget and space needs. If you’re looking for a board for your business or you want to host a competition, then you can choose a traditional sized board for a more pro-quality setup. The size of the board you choose will have an impact on how portable it is, so if you plan on moving the board from room to room then you should go with a smaller sized model.
The size of a board’s playing field will also matter. The more space you have to land a dart, the more fun you’re going to have. Additionally, a larger playing field will be more beginner-friendly. According to dart rules, the regulation-sized playing field should measure in at fifteen and a half inches. If you want a decent playing field size, I don’t recommend going below a board that has a playing field size of thirteen inches. A larger playing field will also be a must if you want to play a competitive game with a friend.
This is a great feature if you’re looking for an arcade-style board. The voice prompts can make the game more fun and engaging, adding an extra layer of excitement to a game.
Aside from size, the next factor you’ll want to consider is the weight. The types of materials used to produce these boards will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Most models are made mainly out of plastic, however, you can find some that will also include a combination of wood, rubber, and metal. Models made out of these materials will be heavier than boards that are made mainly out of plastic. Keep in mind, you shouldn’t judge an electronic board based on its weight since weight is not the best indicator of quality. Additionally, if you want to play darts indoors inside the home than a heavier board will work fine, but if you want to play outside then a lightweight board will be a better option since these boards are more portable.
These boards are divided into twenty radial sections, each of which features different point values, but the shape and the design of the holes and spider can vary. Watch out for obtrusive, thicker spiders, or holes that are poorly made since both can have an impact on shot quality and can even block the darts. Look for a board with concave-shaped holes since these boards can do a much better job of keeping darts securely in place. These boards are also available in a wide range of colors and designs, so you can easily find a model that will complement your existing décor.
With a traditional board, two people will play a round, but with an electronic board, that automatically keeps track of the score, more people can play at one time, without any confusion. Some models can even accommodate fourteen to sixteen different players at a time. Of course, boards that are designed to accommodate more players will come with a higher price tag. These boards usually also feature a more tech-heavy design that younger players or those who prefer arcade-style boards, love.
The darts that are included in one of these sets will vary in terms of feel, look, weight, and design. If you’re a seasoned player then you may end up wanting to purchase your own set. Beginners will want to take into consideration the style of the darts based on personal preference.
Many models will plug directly into a standard outlet, however, you will come across certain models that will run off of batteries. This will add to a model’s portability, however, if the model you choose is solely powered by batteries then this can be a drawback if the system drains the batteries quickly.
Some models will come with built-in storage compartments that will allow you to keep all of your dartboard supplies together and neatly organized. These storage compartments are often found on higher priced models,= and it’s a great feature to have if you don’t want to worry about losing darts and dart tips due to the kids misplacing the pieces after a game.
With an electronic model, you won’t have to stress about finding someone to play with since a board can play against you. Some models also have the ability to link you with another player, via a dedicated app. An app will allow you to complete with players all over the world. Some systems will also keep track of your best scores and include a ranking system. In order to ensure these games are played fairly, these boards will also allow you to live-stream your shots or they will include a wide-angle camera. Additionally, these apps will keep track of your game scores, so you can keep an eye on your progress.
Some boards will feature sound effects or animation, which can add a new element of fun to any game. The sound effects and animation can vary from flashing lights to revving sounds and even heckling, should you miss a shot. For some, this may be a drawback, which is why the manufacturers also allow users to shut this feature off.
Did you know there are dozens of ways you can enjoy a game of darts? Many electronic boards will come with preprogrammed games so you can continue to challenge yourself and improve your shooting skills.
Many of the dartboard manufacturers also produce several accessories to choose from so you can turn your man cave into a pro dartboard game room. These accessories include dart mats that will protect your walls from damage, throw lines, and decorative cabinets that you can use to store your board and all your supplies. Most models will come with several replacement tips, which will come in handy since these plastic darts are notorious for breaking. If you do end up breaking tips and need replacement darts and/or tips you can also order more directly from the manufacturer.
Models that are loaded with extra features such as a dedicated app, accessories, game modes, and fancy sound effects and animation will cost more than a basic board that simply keeps track of the score. Lower-priced models will often reflect just how basic the board is, but if you’re on a tight budget and a flashy board isn’t a priority, you should have no trouble finding a board that meets your needs in terms of durability and accuracy.
Electronic Dartboard Tips
- If your board is battery-operated, then make sure you bring along extra batteries if you plan on taking it with you on your next trip to grandma’s house or a family vacation.
- Even with soft-tipped darts, you need to protect your surroundings. Hitting a bare wall can still leave a hole or mark, which is why you should consider using a protective mat in the area. While it’s true that metal darts can do a lot more damage, you’ll still need to protect your space.
- Measure the amount of space you have available before you buy. Because you need to be prepared for bounce offs and the darts hitting the walls and the surrounding objects, you’ll find that you need quite a bit of space for a new board setup
- If you’re new to the game of darts, go with a model that features a large playing field, which is more forgiving than the smaller boards, which can make it difficult to land a shot. Additionally, if you normally compete, then you’ll also want to use a board that is regulation size.
- Always keep replacement tips on hand since the plastic tips are prone to breaking
The best electronic dartboard will offer a bigger playing field size, comes loaded with all the right features such as an accurate scoreboard, built-in voice prompts, and even a dedicated app that will allow you to challenge players from all over the world. Basic models will feature a durable design, quality-made darts, and an accurate scoreboard. Whether you’re looking for a board that’s basic or flashy, you’ll find some of the most impressive models right here on my top six list. The goal of this guide is to educate you on the different features available, what type of board will work the best for you, and what makes these boards a better option for you and the family than a traditional bristle board.