When looking for the best dart boards you’ll have a myriad of options and deciding between the classic board and an electronic one will be one of your first decisions. Electronic dart boards make playing some of your favorite games a lot easier. The best electronic dart boards not only are more family friendly thanks to soft tipped darts and a much easier scoring system, but they can provide all of the same excitement of a game of darts with a bristle board while not requiring as much maintenance or as frequent replacement.
Below are reviews of some of the best electronic dart boards. Read through our review of each one before making a decision.
1. Viper 777 Electronic Soft Tip Dartboard
A regulation-sized board, the Viper 777 uses a tournament quality resin for durability through many hours of play. Considering the price, this is a very high quality option, providing access to 43 games and 320 options. Moreover, you can have up to eight players with this board, making it one of the most accommodating options available.
More than anything, the ultra-thin spider means that you won’t have as many bounce outs as you would with some other boards, and the curved section separators help guide your darts into the board rather than sending them flying. It’s nice to see a board that doesn’t punish anything short of perfection, drastically reducing the irritation that comes with frequent bounce outs.
The LCD scoring screen is bright and easy to read. Moreover, it’s very easy to set the game you want to play and count on the board to keep an accurate score.
This board comes with six starter darts which are not bad for an electronic set. They’re surprisingly evenly weighted and fly pretty straight with very little effort.
All in all, this is a good dart board choice.
2. Arachnid Cricket Pro 800
The Arachnid Cricket Pro is a great board, but maybe a bit expensive for what you get. It comes programed with 39 games and 179 variations, including 7 Cricket games. The board itself is really well made and includes an excellent screen which very clearly displays what’s going on with every player as they go.
There are drawbacks, but they tend to be minor annoyances. First of all, the darts that come with it are incredibly cheap and will likely break quickly. The dart rack is actually placed in front of the board, so you have to remove all of them to play. There is a “heckler mode” which makes fun of you while playing and is on by default with no way to turn it permanently off. It’s also very loud by default. You can turn down the volume, but you have to every time.
That being said, if you’re willing to turn down the various options and spend some money on a good set of soft tipped darts, there’s plenty to do with this board and it shouldn’t have any functional problems for a long time to come. Worth trying, at least.
3. Fat Cat 727
If you’re looking for a starter electronic dart board, you can certainly do worse than the Fat Cat 727. The plastic is of good quality and it features 18 games with 96 options among them. The face is 13”, so smaller than standard tournament size, but would be pretty good for a kid’s room and can fit in small areas of the wall without a problem.
While it does come with a set of six darts, they aren’t very good at all. Far too light to effectively work on the board and, combined with a very thick spider, prone to bounce outs. It’s worth your time and money to buy a better set of darts immediately when you order this one.
The screen is also not very good. It’s hard enough to read from a distance with the simple black numerals and small game indicators, but sometimes you have to press in on it to get the numbers to show up clearly.
For the price, if you’re just looking for a board to tool around on and plan to get something better in the future, it’ll do. Just don’t expect too much.
4. Viper 787
Much like the 777 above, the Viper 787 is a solid board for the price and well worth checking out, especially if you’re looking for something to play with a lot of people. At 43 games and 241 options, it actually has fewer things you can play than the smaller-numbered model. The reason why is that it can accommodate up to 16 players instead of just eight. This is a game board made for parties.
That’s why it seems so strange that the sound settings were so low. While there were three level options, none of them were particularly loud. I didn’t have to strain to hear them, but in a room with 15 other people I might be questioning why I got something with sound at all.
The darts that come with it are ok. Nothing to write home about, but they get the job done. I didn’t have significantly more bounce outs with them that I would have with a better set.
The screen is easy to see from a distance despite it being black on beige and it seemed to have no trouble keeping accurate score.
5. Viper 797
Easily the finest of the Viper series, the 797 incorporates the best parts of both the 777 and 787 and added a few advancements that make it even better.
First, I very much like that the LCD display has been changed to red on black, which makes it that much easier to see. They’ve also helpfully increased the screen and attendant font size.
While it would be nice to have an option for batteries instead of being forced to plug it into the wall, I can certainly live with the minor inconvenience of this. Similarly, the mount isn’t based on the height of the bullseye, so it’s a little weird to put up on the wall, but that’s just a bit of extra measuring and math.
Again, it seems to have reduced the number of options while keeping the same games, which is a strange trend with these boards, but for the life of me I can’t find the one that’s missing so I’m not particularly worried about it.
All in all, for a mid-range board this is going to be your best option. It’ll let you play a good game of darts. What else could you ask for?
Overview of Electronic Dart Boards
Definitely read below for more details on how to find the best electronic dart boards.
Electronic Dart Board Types
There are a few different types of electronic dart board available, each with their own specific advantages.
The most common is a regulation-sized board. These are exactly the same size as you see in tournament play and basically mimic that experience as closely as possible. If you’re out in public, you’re very likely to see this type of electronic board.
With advancements in wireless Internet technology, cyber play boards have also started to find their way onto the market. These can be a variety of sizes, but the advantage is that they can access the Internet and either find competitors anywhere in the world for you, or connect with specific friends in another location for a game.
Finally, there are kid-sized boards. These tend to be smaller than the regulation-sized counterparts and are made for young children. The reduced size makes them easier to mount lower on the wall and builds hand-eye coordination in small kids.
One of the biggest reasons to get an electronic dart board instead of a standard one is that it has games pre-programed into it and can do the scoring for you instead of having to do so manually. So when you’re buying your electronic dart board, make sure that it has enough of the types of games that you want to play pre-programmed in. You can, of course, play any game and score manually, but then that takes away one of the biggest advantages of having an electronic dart board.
If you’re not familiar with many dart games, a good rule of thumb is to have at least one version of Cricket, Round the Clock, Shanghai, and an ’01 game. Don’t be afraid to research the kinds of dart games that are available and look for boards that have ones that seem interesting to you. Some boards are even programmable, so you can set them up for whatever game you like.
You’ll also want to see how many players or teams you can play with. Some boards only allow you to have two players. Others allow up to six or more teams. Buy the board that will accommodate the number of players you’re likely to have.
There are a few technical issues you should be aware of before you buy an electronic dart board as well.
First, make sure that if it makes noise that you can adjust the volume or turn it off or this could get very annoying and make you less likely to play.
And of course, make sure that the buttons are easy to press and don’t overlap. You don’t want to turn the game off when you’re just switching turns, after all.
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