Welcome to my best electronic dart boards review for 2020.
I tested more than 20 boards, took a couple of trips to Walmart, binger on Amazon, and had a few more adult beverages than I’ll admit to my wife to bring you this review. No need to thank me.
Electronic boards are WAY MORE COMPLEX than regular ones. You need to know exactly what to look for BEFORE YOU BUY, or you’ll regret spending $200 on something that screws up the score or breaks after one party.
In this buying guide, I’ll cover:
- The best electronic dart board for beginners and advanced players
- The best boards to practice on so you can start actually competing in tournaments
- The safest boards for kids
- The best boards for parties or multiple players
- The best value for money
- My favorite for aesthetics
Let’s dive right in…
Why I’ll Never Buy a Traditional Dart Board for My Home Again (Read First)
“You know what would be AWESOME for the party this weekend? DARTS!”
Some people know how to throw a party.
But my wife…
Now, that woman knows how to throw a party. Anyone can play, and darts are WAY more fun than horseshoes, or any other comparable games for that matter.
So, I did what every good husband would do, hopped in my truck and got everything she asked for. This included the very first dart board I used for our best dart boards round-up.
A few hours later, we had a giant circular target hanging in the basement ready to get poked with some darts.
Party time… right?
It was a complete and utter DISASTER.
Do you know how hard it is to keep score during a party? I’m talking about just for 2 people, not 5 or 6 at the same time. ONLY 2. It’s impossible (there may have been other factors at play – I won’t say what!).
And my walls! Man, it looked like a scene from some mob movie shoot out.
Any time someone missed the board, BANG another hole in the wall. $100 for my dart board, hundreds of dollars in repairs and labor.
I won’t even get into how many close calls there were safety-wise. I think I almost lost an eye once or twice.
While we were cleaning, my wife looked me dead in the eye. I knew what she was going to say before she said it.
“Next time, we’re getting an electronic dart board.”
I’m a traditionalist at heart. I won’t ever play on an electronic board in the bar or in a tournament. But if it’s in my home, I’ll never use a traditional dart board again.
Too dangerous. Too impractical. Too much damage.
The next party went so much smoother (after I bought the wrong electronic board first!).
The board tallied the scores for us. No holes in my walls. No flying death missiles near anyone’s eyes. Plus, we could play 5 or more people at once rather than just 2 or 4.
Don’t get me wrong, if you’re a serious dart thrower and want to play with close friends, by all means, get yourself a real dart board.
But if you just need a board at home for parties, family, or practice, an electronic dart board is better in every way. And don’t listen to the people who tell you that playing with electronic /soft tip darts messes up your game. It 100% DOES NOT.
So why did I make this buying guide?
It’s because when I went to buy a soft tip dart board, I had no clue what to buy. I’d never bought one before. And unlike traditional boards, electronic ones have tons of different features.
Lights, games, multiplayer options, dart quality, dart holes, AA batteries….
I just grabbed the first one off the shelf at a decent price. BIG MISTAKE!
This guide has everything I wish I had known before I wasted over a hundred bucks on one. Actually, it’s what I wish I had known before I destroyed my basement and almost lost my eyesight with the regular board.
But I digress…
This review walks you through everything you need to know to get the perfect dart board for your budget, goals, and basement.
All jokes and exaggerations aside, let’s get to it.
The Best Electronic Dart Boards For Your Needs
We’ve spent close to 30 hours reviewing 20+ of the best electronic dart boards we could get our hands on and these are the 11 that we found worthy of including in here.
If you already know what you value in a dart board, the list below should be enough to help you make the right choice – after all, it’s not rocket-science. However, if you want to dig deeper, we’ve got in-depth reviews on each model below as well as a full guide towards the end of the article.
- The WIN.MAX – Most Popular Budget Dartboard
- Bullshooter Cricket Maxx 1.0 – Best Value for Your Money
- Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 – The Best of the Best
- Fat Cat Electronx – Best Design
- WIN.MAX with Cabinet – Best Cabinet
- Arachnid Cricket Pro Tournament 650 – Editor’s Choice
- Viper Neptune – Best for the Family Game Room
- Viper Ion – The Most Durable
- Fat Cat 727 – Good Budget Choice
- Arachnid Cricket Pro 650 Standing Dartboard – Best Standing Option
- Arachnid Cricket Pro 900 – Best for Pros
1. WIN.MAX Electronic Dart Board Set - Most Popular Budget Dartboard
The Win.Max LCD soft tip dart board set is the most popular budget electronic dart board out there. It comes with everything you need to have fun (6 darts, 40 tips, automatic scoring), and all for a lot less than most comparable models.
It’s the only budget dart board that doesn’t have a million reviews complaining about the darts flying out.
If you’re the kind of person who wants to get in and get out fast knowing you got a good deal, this is it. There’s no need to spend hundreds on a fancy board if you only need a good, basic one.
This is why I love this board…
Cheap dart boards are a bit like playing Russian roulette: You never know when they’re going to explode.
But this one comes with everything you’d expect in a higher-end set PLUS it actually works.
- No issues at all with the auto-scoring system (most cheap boards count worse than I do!)
- The darts actually grip the board (so you don’t break the board in frustration and waste all the money you saved on a new one)
- More games than other models at this price: 21 games so you’re never bored. Not bad!
Plus, it doesn’t look like a cheap piece of plastic.
I’m not saying it’s the best (that’s coming next!).
But if you need a really good board that won’t break in a week and don’t want to spend a lot of money, this is the best option.
- Electronics work well
- Quality darts unlike most cheap sets
- Tons of fun games
- Looks like an expensive board
- Lots of great Amazon ratings
- Power Supply Included
- Darts are quality, just not super high-quality
- Multiplayer options limited
2. Bullshooter Cricket Maxx 1.0 Electronic Dartboard Cabinet Set - Best Value for Your Money
The Bullshooter “Cricket Maxx” is the best value money can buy. It looks, feels, and performs as close to a professional tournament dart board as possible at this price point.
It felt like a big step up in quality as soon as I opened the doors and felt the darts.
The presentation is an 8.5 out of 10 (I’m not a walnut finish kind of guy), but the performance is what makes it a steal at this price.
First, it’s got 34 games (4 cricket variations) and 183 variations, which is almost DOUBLE most other boards.
Next, the sleek electronic cricket scoreboard makes you forget you’re even playing in your basement.
Lastly, it just looks and feels awesome. Honestly, it might even be worth the money IF YOU NEVER USE IT. That’s how nice the cabinet looks!
Looks, performance, and 34 different games at this price makes it the best value out there, hands-down.
- Looks like a professional board
- Tons of games (more cricket games than other boards)
- Cricket style scoreboard has a pub/bar feel
- Power supply Included
- The playing surface is a bit small
- I read complaints about power and performance but didn’t experience any
3. Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dartboard - The Best of the Best
The Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 is the most advanced electronic dart board in the world. It’s the best of the best, and it’s not even close.
It’s the only tournament-quality electronic dart board on the list and the best option for serious dart players.
It doesn’t matter if you’re playing with friends, playing alone, or practicing for the big stage, this guy can do it all.
There’s no other board in this review like it:
- 15.5” Diameter: This bad boy has more playing surface than a football field. That makes it pretty hard to miss!
- Sticks like white on rice: Most electronic dart boards produce more bounce outs than the Democratic Primary. Not this one. The micro-thin segment dividers grip your darts extra tightly, giving them NO SPACE to move. And the square holes actually guide your darts into the board. The result? You feel like you’re way better than you really are.
- Like a rock: Arachnid’s NylonTough segments make it the most durable model on the list. If you plan on having a ton of people over, or if your kids are particularly destructive for no reason, Arachnid has your back.
Trust me, half of playing well is CONFIDENCE. And when your darts are always bouncing out, you feel like you suck. It makes you want to quit. This board actually made me feel invincible. I wanted to keep playing every time.
BONUS: The Arachnid Pro 800 even comes with “Heckler Mode,” which harasses you if you miss – which won’t be that often!
- Improves your game
- Extra sticky surface for reduced bounce-outs
- Unrivaled durability
- Huge playing surface
- Price – it’s not cheap
4. Fat Cat Electronx Electronic Dartboard - Best Design
The Fat Cat electronic dart board has the coolest design of the bunch. And, it comes with a no-worries 1-year warranty.
You know the electronic boards you see in all those old school arcades? That’s the exact feeling you get while playing!
The dual LCD screen makes you feel like you’re playing in a ballpark and not your basement, and the buttons make it really easy to adjust the score and change the game.
This thing isn’t only good for its looks though.
Check out some of these features:
- 5 Levels of Cyber Play: The CPU has 5 different skills levels, making it impossible NOT to improve your game. I started on basic, and within a few days was wrecking the advanced level.
- Thermoplastic: Fat Cat’s thermoplastic segments can handle years of heavy play (according to the company).
- Games Galore: 38 fun games with up to 8 players. Perfect for parties!
- Classic arcade design with old-school feel
- 5 levels of play for fun solo play
- Extremely durable
- Dual LCD screen is the coolest scoring mechanism I’ve seen
- The darts aren’t super high quality (the website didn’t make it easy to buy new ones either)
- The scoring was a bit wonky
5. WIN.MAX Electronic Soft Tip Dartboard Set With Cabinet - Best Electronic Darts Cabinet
Now, this indestructible case is available as an add-on to the Win.Max electronic dart board.
Remember the electronic board from #1? This is basically the same, except it has a tighter grip and MORE games. PLUS, it comes with this awesome cabinet for looks, storage, and protection.
The cabinet is perfect for keeping score, storing darts, protecting your walls, and impressing the neighbors. Definitely worth the price upgrade!
- Awesome, sturdy cabinet for storage and protection
- More games and tighter groupings for reduced bounce-outs
- Solo play has 5 levels of gameplay
- A lot of the games are boring
- Switching between games takes a bit of fiddling
6. Arachnid Cricket Pro Tournament 650 - Editor’s Choice
The Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 is the king of electronic dart boards, but if you want to save some cash, the 650 model will do just fine.
Honestly, I didn’t notice much of a difference at all aside from the grip (I’ll get to that in a minute).
The 650 has the same football field of a playing surface as the 800, and it’s got the same ultra-durable design. If you just want a great board for your family and friends, there’s no need to spend $100 more.
The 800 is a big step up in grip and comes with way more games. There’s a reason why it’s the best of the best, but for the price, the 650 is a steal. Nobody will know the difference (except you!).
- Football field playing surface
- Ultra-durable design
- Significantly cheaper
- The grip isn’t as good as the 800 (more bounce-outs)
- Fewer games
7. Viper Neptune Electronic Dartboard - Best for the Family Game Room
The Viper Neptune is the only dart board I’d buy just to say I own it.
This thing looks like it belongs in a Rat Pack photo or some 1960’s English club, not in your average family’s home.
Forget about all the high-end features: 50+ games, tight groups for reduced bounce-outs, bright LED display – this is all about the look and feel.
If I had to think of one word to describe it, it would be TIMELESS.
This is more than a dart board, it’s the centerpiece to an entire room. And it’s 100% safe for children.
If you’re looking for a great dart board that can also double as a conversation piece with the neighbors, this is it. It’s not cheap, but man is it beautiful.
- Looks like a million bucks
- High-end features
- 50 + games
- Safe for children
- My darts bounced out a few times. That could be because I was blinded by the cabinet though!
8. Viper Ion Electronic Dartboard - The Most Durable
The Viper Ion looks like a neon spider web, and it’s tough as spider silk too!
You can throw a dart 1,000 times, smash the thing into the ground, light it on fire, and put a voodoo curse on the entire Viper company and the dang thing would probably still light up and perfectly keep score.
Only half joking…
Seriously, the ultra thin, spider-web segments are the toughest segments out there, so no matter what you, your guests, or your little rascals do to this thing, it’s not going anywhere.
Here’s why it’s one of the best electronic darts for parties aside from being tough as steel:
- More Games: It comes with 48 games. That’s more than any other board at this price point. If someone doesn’t like any of the games, kick them out.
- Light-Based Games: Man, these were a blast! The light based games make things so much more interesting, especially in the dark. It’s like playing Simon, but with plastic darts!
- 8-Player Multiplayer: Get as many people on the board as possible so nobody is left out.
- Neon lighting makes the party fun
- More games than any other board
- The games are bit overkill
- The scoring had a few glitches
- The darts aren’t super high quality but they do just fine
9. Fat Cat 727 - Good Budget Choice
The Fat Cat 727 is the perfect budget option and the only lower-end electronic dart board I tested that met my criteria.
It’s cheaper than any other item on this list and still delivers good quality.
If you just need something for the kids to play around with, you’ve found it.
Unlike most cheap dart boards, this one comes with everything you need to have fun: quality darts, built-in cricket (multiplayer option), working electronics (batteries not included), and a decent target-face.
Plus, it functions without breaking!
It feels at least twice as expensive as it actually is, quality-wise.
- Not high-quality but good enough
- A few bounce outs
- Limited games
10. Arachnid Cricket Pro 650 Standing Electronic Dartboard - Best Standing Dart Board
Turn your game room into a retro-style arcade with the Arachnid 650 standing dartboard.
I consider this a high-end piece of furniture that happens to have the world’s best-quality dart board inside.
This standing dart board perfectly emulates that old pub/arcade feel and has all the noises and games to go with it. Personally, I don’t want any plastic or gimmicks when buying a standing dartboard – I want that real feel.
Here’s why it’s the best arcade-style standing dartboard:
- Everyone can play: the 8-player cricket display gets the whole party involved.
- Arachnid made: You already know about the durability and anti-bounce-out design.
- Arcade effects: Voice prompts to tell you it’s your turn, a solo option, arcade style scoreboard, and player handicaps (for the pros).
Assembly is required, but hey, it’s a standing dart board. There’s no avoiding that. Set up is extremely easy. I did it by myself in no time, and I’m not an IKEA furniture kind of guy.
- Retro arcade feel
- Arachnid quality
- Voice prompts
- Beautiful cabinet
- Fewer games to choose from
- Assembly required (mounting hardware included)
11. Arachnid Cricket Pro 900 - Best for Pros
The Arachnid 900 is the electronic dart board for the pros.
Most boards are just for fun. This one actually helps improve your game. Hell, I felt like I was better at darts after playing on it for 2 hours.
It has built-in features that help you analyze and improve your game. NO OTHER board on this list has that. The board actually evaluates your points per throw to help you evaluate your consistency and adjust your throwing motion accordingly. That usually takes weeks of practice to even enter your mind.
With the Arachnid 900, it’s in your face instantly.
It even has state-of-the-art voice prompts to simulate the tournament experience (along with a 3 level heckler!).
This is the only board that’s fun right out of the box AND improves your game quickly. Aside from the price tag, it’s flawless.
- Built-in features to improve your game
- Voice prompts to simulate the tournament experience
- Arachnid quality grip and durability
- Regulation size
- Price (it ain’t cheap)
How to Choose an Electronic Dart Board (After Weeks of Testing Different Models)
At this point, I’ve probably spent more time testing electronic dart boards than anyone other than arcade technicians.
That’s not to brag (I know it’s impressive) – I just want to say I know a thing or two about this now.
Here’s something that hit me about halfway through my electronic dart board testing saga:
“75% of electronic dart boards are not worth the money.”
- They don’t keep score properly…
- The darts either bounce out or break…
- They look like plastic kids’ toys…
- The playing surface is too small…
- The batteries die in a few hours…
What I’m trying to say is this: MAKE SURE YOU GET A QUALITY BOARD OR YOU’LL REGRET IT.
The boards we’ve tested don’t have these issues, but many do.
A lot of people buy an electronic board, get frustrated, waste their money, then swear off ever buying another one again. Then they miss out on all of the main benefits of going electric.
Next thing you know, there’s a hundred holes in the wall, their relationship is on the rocks, and the bank comes to foreclose on the house. That escalated quickly…
Here are a few ways to evaluate your board before buying.
Segments – This is So Much More Important Than You Realize
Here’s the issue with darts – if you suck, it’s not any fun.
If half of your darts end up on the ground, you’ll hate every minute of the game, especially when the whole party is laughing at you.
When every dart you throw sticks to the playing surface (I’ll cover that next – also UBER important), you love the game. No, you don’t love it. You absolutely love it and want to keep playing.
Segments are the lines that divide the sections of the dart board. The thinner the segment, the more room for extra holes. More holes for your darts, the more your darts don’t end up on the floor. The more your… OK, you get it now.
I highly recommend “micro-thin” segments. This drastically reduces bounce-outs. I feel fine when I miss the board completely, but if I throw the dart right and the board just decides “nope, not going in,” I go into HULK SMASH mode.
Thin segments will drastically improve your playing experience and make you want to keep playing. Every time I played with cheap segments, I had a bad time.
Playing Field Size
The more space you have to hit, the easier it is to have fun.
The last thing you need is to come home, open up your board, and realize it has about the same playing surface as a dinner plate.
If you really want to have fun, go with a regulation-sized board (15.5”). And at the bare minimum, don’t go below 13.5”.
A bigger playing surface makes it so much easier to enjoy your game, especially if you want to play competitive games.
Better players are obviously more accurate, right? Well, how are you going to throw a bunch of darts into a tight grouping if you don’t have the space? A smaller board is going to have smaller segments, leaving you very little wiggle room to hit multiple bullseyes (keep dreaming).
You get what I mean, right?
SUMMARY: Buy a 15.5” dart board.
I decided to lump these all into one category.
Some electronic dart boards can’t even keep score (though they claim to).
Others are so good they improve your game with MoneyBall-style analytics.
Here are a few electronics to zero in on.
- Voice prompts: This is an awesome tournament/arcade feature that makes the game so much more fun. Any time a board had a voice prompt, I instantly felt more engaged. A built-in heckler is even more fun!
- Metrics: A few boards come with metrics like average points per throw. They cost more, but are totally worth it.
- Lighting: Not really important to me, but extra lights don’t hurt. Especially if you want to have it in your basement.
- Scoreboard display: This is a low-key important feature – doubly so if you plan to have a lot of people playing (I’ll get to that next). The best scoreboards clearly display multiple scores at once. The best of the best make you feel like you’re in a real darts tournament!
I’m mostly a cricket guy myself, but more games never hurt anyone.
Even if you don’t ever use half of them, it’s cool to have a board with 50 built-in games.
If you want to throw a party, definitely get a board that accommodates up to 8 people (2 teams of 4). Some only display two scores, and that really mucks up the works when you’ve got 20 people itching to play.
Also, do not overlook SOLO MODE. Get yourself a board that has multiple levels of solo play. Chances are, you’ll be alone in your basement playing most of the time (#MarriedLife).
With multiple levels, you can actually improve your game. I got so into my session that I played for over 3 hours without taking a break. I felt like I was playing in a video game!
Let me sum this up real quickly with a few buying tips.
If you want the best gaming experience, buy a board with these features:
- Thin segments to reduce bounce-outs
- A large playing surface (15.5” is recommended)
- Accommodates up to 8 players (Or 16 players on 2 teams of 8)
- Multi-level solo mode
- Voice prompts and a cool scoreboard
Everything else is just icing on the cake.
Now, go out there and start hitting bullseyes. Leave a comment or send me an email to let me know which one you bought!
Q: What is an Electronic Dart Board?
A: An electronic dart board is like a beginner’s dart board. It looks like a real dart board, but instead of having a felt surface, it’s plastic and has tiny holes for the darts to fit into. Electronic dart boards are safer and more convenient than traditional ones, and they keep score automatically!
Q: How Much Do Electronic Dart Boards Cost?
A: Electronic dart boards cost anywhere from about $30 to more than $200. A good one won’t cost less than $50.
Q: What Kind of Dart Boards do the Pros Use?
A: Professional players and sponsored tournaments almost always use bristle boards. It’s the most durable material, and it’s perfect for tight dart groupings.
Q: Are Electronic Dart Boards Any Good?
A: Yes, absolutely. Electronic dart boards are just as good as traditional ones in almost every case unless you’re playing a high-level tournament. In fact, for home use, they’re probably even better since they’re much safer for children.
Q: Can You Use Steel Tipped Darts on an Electric Dart Board?
A: No, you can’t use steel-tipped darts on an electric dart board. You must use soft tip darts.
Q: How Do I Choose an Electronic Dart Board?
A: Choosing an electronic dart board starts with determining the main reason why you need it. Fun? Family? Practice? Then move on to your budget. Finally, let other factors like playing field size, different colors, game selection, and durability take over. Different boards are better for different reasons.
Q: What is the Most Popular Dart Game?
A: Cricket is by far the most popular dart game in the world. Followed by the 01’s and Around the World. We highly recommend a dart board that has multiple cricket options. That’s the game that most of your guests will know how to play.
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