Best Electronic Dartboards

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

13 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
182 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best electronic dartboards

Last Updated December 2019

While the game of darts can be boiled down to simply throwing a sharp object at a target, it can be a fairly complicated affair. You have to find a partner to play with, keep track of the scores, and often squint to see where your dart actually landed. With an electronic dartboard, all these concerns are gone, making the game more fun to play than ever.

And with the added features come more variations in the game itself. Using today’s technology, you can link to nearby players to find a new opponent for every game. And you can select game modes like Cricket, Scram, Shanghai, or Killer for automatic scorekeeping and handoffs.

An electronic dartboard makes a stellar gift for veteran dart players as well as beginners, and one is a sure-fire people-pleaser. What do you need to know before buying? Read on and find out. We’ve even included some of our top recommendations to make your shopping even easier.

Angle your lights to be parallel with the board if you can. This minimizes shadows caused by the thrown darts.

Key considerations

Size

For hard-tip darts, a regulation dartboard measures 17.75 inches in diameter and is divided into 20 radial sections by a grid of thin plastic or metal called the spider. Soft-tip boards (most electronic versions) must measure 15.5 inches to comply with competitive regulations.

If you’re interested in competitive play, a regulation board is what you should look for, but keep in mind that there are several different sizing options to fit your playing area if you’re just looking to explore a new hobby.

Board design

Construction: Dart boards are divided into 20 radial sections with different point values assigned to them, but the shape of the spider and the design of the holes can vary. Keep an eye out for thick, obtrusive spiders and poorly made holes on the board because they can block your darts or cause them to bounce out altogether. Concave-shaped holes are best because they hold onto your dart more securely.

Material: Also, the material your board is made of is of paramount importance to its long-term durability. Most electronic dartboards are constructed from high-quality plastic or nylon, which not only stands up to abuse well but it also works with the plastic-tip darts commonly used on electronic boards. The holes on the board typically slant out for the best fit. When the dart strikes the backing sensor plate, the computer calculates the appropriate point value.

Magnetic dart boards, or boards made from cork or paper, are generally made as toys for young people or inexperienced, casual players.

Players

Two people play a basic game of darts, but electronic dartboards tally your scores automatically, allowing you to play with more people without confusion. Some boards can accommodate 16 players or more. 

Darts

Darts vary in their design, weight, look, and feel. If you’re an experienced player, you may already have your own, but if you’re a beginner, an important consideration is the style of darts that come with your board. Most electronic dartboards come with soft-tip plastic darts, while bristle boards use sharper, steel-tip darts. Sharp metal darts can damage an electronic dartboard unless the board has a BristleTech surface or other reinforcement.

EXPERT TIP

Cheaper metal darts use low-density brass and copper, but expensive versions are made of heavy tungsten. High-density metals increase the weight of a dart without increasing its size.


Staff  | BestReviews

Electronic dartboard features

Battery power

Most electronic dartboards plug directly into a household power outlet, but certain models can be run off batteries as well. With this added portability, you can take your dartboard to a friend’s, into your garage, outdoors, or anywhere else that lacks an easily accessible outlet.

Apps

With an electronic dartboard, you don’t have to stress about finding an opponent – the board does that for you. Select models have the ability to link with other boards using companion mobile apps and WiFi, so you can find a challenger any time. You can compete with people all around the world and even enter a ranking system and climb the ladder. To make sure the games are fair, these boards sometimes support live streaming or include a wide-angle camera. In addition to enabling competitive play, companion apps also keep track of your scores from game to game, compiling a personal profile so you can monitor your improvement.

Sound and animation

This may sound silly, but unique sounds and animation can add hilarious entertainment to your game. These vary from simple flashing lights and beeps to more involved productions like motorcycles revving when you score or straight-up heckling if you miss. One option includes three different levels of interactive heckling, but the feature can be turned on or off during play. It’s fair to note that, depending on your preference, this type of feedback could be incredibly annoying to you. That makes it even more important to research your board’s “personality” before buying.

Game modes

There are dozens of different ways to enjoy the game of darts, each with its own rules and flow. Some examples are the standard 301, 501, and 701, but have you heard of Halve-It, Fives, Chase the Dragon, Nine Lives, or Prisoner? Rather than having to remember the rules of each game or looking them up, many electronic dartboards have these modes preprogrammed. Just select a mode and you’re good to go!

Accessories

Besides boards and darts, there are several add-ons to complete your setup. These accessories can include throw lines, dart mats to protect your walls, and full decorative cabinets to store your board, darts, and dart tips. Some of these come with boards as a package. In addition, you can buy a separate dart case to keep your game safe when you travel.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

If you use steel-tip darts, consider buying a dart tool. It helps you tighten the tips, install flights, and shape the body to your preference.

Electronic dartboard prices

Electronic dartboards are packed with features, offer different levels of feedback, and as we mentioned before, are more connected than ever. You’ll pay for this functionality, which is why the cheapest good-quality boards start at around $50. For that price you’ll generally get an LCD display, basic lights and sounds, multiple game modes, and possibly battery-power capabilities. For about $150, you get more game modes, and the level of interaction increases, with some offering a trick cabinet design. Pay more than that and you’ll see dartboards with companion apps, built-in cameras, and competition-quality construction.

DID YOU KNOW?

BristleTech is a tough plastic material that allows you to use hard metal darts on electronic dartboards without damaging the board.

Tips

  • Pack extra batteries and darts. If your dartboard can run on batteries, make sure you pack enough extras to keep your games going long into the night. The last thing you want is a dead board just as the action is heating up. On a similar note, pack extra darts in case you lose or break one.
     

  • Protect your surroundings. You can practice your throwing every day, but it’s still pretty likely you’ll miss once in a while. With that in mind, consider protecting your surroundings with a dart mat. Even with soft-tip plastic darts, hitting bare drywall will leave marks or holes. Metal darts can do even more damage, so save yourself the hassle of fixing your home later with a little preemptive protection.

Other products we considered

We stand by our recommendations, but there are a couple other excellent dartboards that just missed the bull’s-eye. The GLD Products Fat Cat Electronic Dartboard is a great value. It has an easy-to-use button interface and voice feedback, includes darts, and supports up to eight players. By contrast, this high-end GLD Products Viper Metropolitan Cabinet and Electronic Dartboard is incredibly easy on the eyes and comes in three finish options. It features a backlit LED display and 57 game modes and supports up to 16 players

Bristle boards are “self-healing.” The tightly packed fibers close back together after the dart is removed, adding to the board’s longevity.

FAQ

Q. What is the regulation size of a dartboard?
A.
A regulation-size dartboard measures 17.75 inches in diameter. Measuring from the floor, the bull’s-eye should sit at exactly 5.66 feet up the wall. Finally, the oche, the line behind which the throwing player must stand, should be 7.77 feet from the front of the board.

Q. What is a bristle board?
A.
Bristle, often falsely referred to as boar bristle or cork, is the most common material used to make non-electronic dartboards. These durable boards are constructed from tightly packed fibers from the sisal plant and are typically paired with hard-tip darts. If you’ve ever played darts in a pub, you’ve likely played on a bristle board.

Q. What is a “bounce out”?
A.
A bounce out is a very frustrating occurrence. It happens when a dart hits the spider or another hard surface and ricochets. To prevent this, look for a board with concave holes and a spider made of thin wire. In competitive play, a bounce out still counts as a throw but no score is counted.

The team that worked on this review
  • Andrew
    Andrew
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer

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