A Complete Guide to Finding the Best Electronic Dart Board
An electronic dartboard is a great way to introduce the game of darts to a broader range of players.
Using soft tip darts, these boards are safer for kids and ideal for a family darting environment.
Electronic dartboards even make a good choice for serious players.
For example, the best electronic dart boards will have built in features like multi-player game options, game variations, scoring data and averages, and interactive features.
The added entertainment value and appeal to younger players has fueled the growth of the electronic dartboard market.
You can now find these boards in bars, league play and tournament settings, dorm rooms and finished basements around the world.
With so many options now available, it can be hard to find the best electronic dartboard for your needs and darting space.
The Best Electronic Dart Board: Comparison Table
In this guide we’ll review a few of the best options on the market today.
We’ll also cover the many features of these boards and how to determine which electronic or soft tip dartboard is right for you.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
The 5 Best Electronic Dart Boards
Electronic or Bristle Dartboard
Basic Features and Specs of Soft Tip Electronic Boards
Additional Features to Consider When Buying an Electronic Dart Board
A Quick Overview of Soft Tip Darts
Basic Safety Soft Tip Boards vs Electronic Dartboards
The 5 Best Electronic Dart Boards for Safe & Fun Darting
There are tons of electronic dartboards on the market today, ranging in price from $35 – $500.
Below, I picked 5 of my favorites to help narrow down the choices.
These are mid-priced boards, but perhaps still a little pricier than desired for a simple home setup.
But if you plan to play a lot and keep the board for a long time, my feeling is you need to start with a durable and well-tested board.
Either that or find one with a bunch of cool features to justify the price tag.
The Best Electronic Dart Board For Serious Players
The Arachnid brand is synonymous with high-quality electronic dartboards.
They started making their first electronic boards way back in 1975.
The Cricket Pro 800 is a tournament quality board for serious players. But it has plenty of features to make it fun for players of all skill levels.
This is a regulation size board (15.5 inches in diameter) that’s suitable for ages 12 and up.
- High-quality durable nylon surface and micro-thin segment dividers to reduce bounce outs
- 3-level heckler feature that can be turned on or off
- Plenty of games and game variations to choose from
- Comes with 6 darts, extra tips and AC power adaptor
- Dart storage on the board
- Accommodates up to 8 players with 4-player at a time LED display. Can also display X/O format for cricket games
- Calculates the average point per dart of each player
- Does not have a handicapping feature
- Fewer games than some other electronic dartboards
- No dartboard cabinet
The Cricket Pro 800 comes with 39 games with 179 variations (7 Cricket Games).
Sound Effects / Heckler Feature
The Cricket Pro 800 includes a 3-level heckler feature. The levels go from ‘mild to unforgiving’.
Some players like this feature. Others find it loud and annoying. Fortunately, this feature can be turned on or off during play. You can always turn the volume down as well.
The Cricket Pro 800 is designed with micro-thin segment dividers to reduce the amount of bounce outs as much as possible.
As with any soft tip board, bounce outs will still happen from time to time. But, overall, users report less bounce outs than with other electronic dartboards.
This board comes with an A/C adaptor.
Players and LED Scoring Display
The Cricket Pro 800 can accommodate up to 8 players total, with a 4-player score display. It also includes a jumbo display for cricket to show the X/Os and has a current player indicator.
Dart Averaging and Tracking
The Cricket Pro 800 provides the average point per dart (PPD) at the end of each player’s round.
The board does not include a handicapping feature.
This board comes with 6 soft tip darts and extra dart tips. Plus, even though it doesn’t have a dartboard cabinet, you can neatly store your darts right on the board.
Overall the Cricket Pro 800 is a great choice for serious dart players who want to play darts in a safe, family-friendly environment.
It has all the bells and whistles you would expect from a high-end electronic board.
But with micro-thin segment dividers and a high-quality nylon surface, the focus is more on reducing bounce outs and improving durability for multiple rounds of play.
At around $180, this is a mid-priced electronic dartboard that will give you plenty of bang for your buck.
The Best Electronic Dart Board with a Traditional Cabinet Design
The Viper Neptune offers a nice combination of a traditional appearance with a feature-rich electronic dartboard.
This board has a regulation size 15.5” target face surrounded by a larger catch zone for missed darts.
The dartboard is made from commercial grade nylon with ultra-thin segment dividers to reduce bounce outs.
A cool feature of the Neptune is that you can play against the computer. It offers 5 levels of difficulty to compete against.
- The dartboard is encased in an attractive wood finish cabinet with dart holders
- Tons of games and variations to choose from. The Viper Neptune has 57 games with 307 variations!
- Can accommodate up to 16 players
- Large scoring interface showing up to 4 players’ scores simultaneously on a large 6-inch display
- Can show both scoring numbers and Cricket symbols
- Can compete against the computer at 5 different levels
- Does not include a heckler feature, but there is an applause sound effect with 3 volume levels
- Does not include scoring averages or handicap features
- Display screen is LCD, which may not be as visible or vibrant as an LED display
The Viper Neptune also comes with 6 darts, AC power adaptor and mounting kit.
This board retails for around $195.
Best Electronic Dartboard for Remote and Online Competition
The Guz 2 definitely stands out in the field of electronic dartboards.
What makes this board so unique is its appearance and connectivity.
Starting with the basics, the Guz 2 features a standard 15.5” dartboard and comes with 2 sets of regular soft tip darts.
Darts are thrown into a plastic surface with tapered holes, just like any other soft tip dartboard. That’s about where the similarities end.
Now for what makes it so unique.
The Guz 2 has a transparent casing surrounding the dartboard. The colors are bright and vibrant, and you can see the board’s circuitry surrounding the target area.
The target numbers are displayed on a removable cover. This cover can be swapped out for different colors, including black, blue, pink, purple and wooden.
You can use 4 AA batteries or the included AC adaptor to power the board. It also includes the toe line measuring tape.
Guz World App
The Guz 2 has a companion app for IOS and Android to display scores, control game functionality, and connect with players from anywhere in the world (if they’re also using the Guz 2 and its app).
The app is called Guz World and it has a list of games and variations you can play and synch to compete against remote players.
There are 8 games total, including Target Train, 01 Games (301, 501, 701, 901, 1101, 1501) with different in/out options, Cricket with 4 variations, Count-Up, Half-It, Battleship, Booster, and Guzy Party.
- Can connect via the app to compete with other players anywhere in the world
- Customizable with interchangeable covers
- Unique transparent casing with vibrant colors
- LED lights and stereo sound effects controllable via the companion app
- Can use batteries or AC to power
- Lightweight and easy to mount
- Less traditional appearance (if that’s important to you)
- Must use the app to display and track scores for each game
- Less games available
The Guz 2 features flashing LED lights and stereo sound effects that can be controlled via the app.
At just over 9 lbs, this board is relatively lightweight for an electronic board and easy to mount (hardware included).
The Guz 2 is available at different retailers from $260 – $300 and the companion app is free.
Best Traditional Design with Modern Connectivity
The Gran Board 2 is a minimal electronic dartboard that can display scores and other game details via Bluetooth to your tablet, smartphone or other Bluetooth enabled device.
There is no extra display or cabinet. It’s just the board and all the features that come with the companion app.
But the app offers a lot of features, including player averages, connectivity to play real time against other players, and plenty of games to choose from.
The available games include Cricket (with 4 variations), 01 games (301 – 1501), Count Up, Legs, Half-It, and more games as the app gets updated.
The dartboard includes foam backing behind the plastic surface to reduce noise and soften the impact of the dart. This design also reduces bounce outs.
At just over 8 lbs, this board is relatively light for an electronic board and easy to mount. It is powered by AA batteries only, so you don’t need to worry about mounting near an outlet.
- Interactive play via Bluetooth and companion app on iOS or Android
- Includes player scores and averages
- Nice quality dartboard with dampening features and minimal bounce outs
- Lightweight board with easy installation and enough games for most players
- Must use the app if you want any information displayed while playing
- Does not include built-in lighting or sound effects
- Battery powered only. Batteries should last plenty of rounds, but some people like having the option of using AC.
At $235, the Gran Board 2 may seem a little pricey for a simple looking dartboard. But there’s more than meets the eye here. Thanks to the app, which is currently free, you can access player data and even sync games live via video.
Interactive features like this are the future for new electronic dartboards, including the Guz 2.
5. Viper ION LED Illuminated Dartboard
Best New Twist on a Traditional Electronic Dartboard
If you’re getting bored with the same old features and game options on your electronic dartboard, the Viper Ion offers a fresh look with some new game options.
This is due to the LED illuminated scoring dividers that light up and flash during the game.
But the lights are not just for fancy effects. The illuminated scoring sections actually serve a purpose for certain games.
For example, a series of scoring sections will light-up to show what’s open and closed during a Cricket game.
Or, 3 scoring sections will light up to indicate the best 3-dart out combinations during an 01 game.
The LED backlights also add 17 new game options to the traditional line-up.
- LED illuminated scoring sections add unique functionality and 17 new light-based games
- High quality, durable thermoplastic board surface with micro-thin segment dividers
- Bright green and blue colors make this board stand out
- Tons of games and variations
- Supports up to 8 player games
- Scoring display is LCD
- Limited feedback on lighting effect after long term use (although Viper designs and stands by their products for demanding and long term use)
The Viper Ion also has the same traditional design features as several other Viper models; a 15.5” regulation size board surrounded by a large catch ring.
The board is made from durable thermoplastic with concaved dart holes and ultra-thin segment dividers to reduce bounce outs.
On the board, there is an LCD display showing players and scores, a control panel, dart holders, and separate compartment for spare dart tips.
Plus, the Ion offers 43 games with a whopping 315 game variations!
This board is powered by 3 AA batteries or the included power adaptor.
The Ion supports up to 8 player games, with 4 scores visible at the same time. It comes with 6 starter darts and extra tips.
Why choose a soft tip or electronic dartboard instead of a steel tip bristle dartboard?
Many people prefer the authentic feel of steel tip darts and the quality you can expect from a real bristle dartboard.
Bristle boards are also generally less expensive than a high quality electronic dartboard.
Yet there are several benefits to using a soft tip electronic dartboard.
The main reason you would want an electronic dartboard over steel tip darts and a traditional dartboard is safety.
You should never play with steel tip darts around young children. And this makes a traditional board a poor option for most family-friendly settings.
In addition to safety, with soft tip darts you don’t have to worry about damaging your walls or other items when playing.
Plus, electronic boards come with a host of features that can make the games more entertaining.
I’ll cover these added features in more detail below.
But, in general, these bonus features include things like:
- Tons of pre-loaded dart games and variations on traditional games
- Automated scoring (a nice bonus for 01 games)
- Player averages and data on display
- Interactivity and Bluetooth synching
- Built-in handicapping.
These added features can all make darts more fun and engaging for a wider audience.
Soft Tip Dartboards: General Features and Specs
From a distance, many soft tip dartboards look just like a traditional dartboard setup.
For instance, they have the same clockwise numbered scoring sections with alternating colors to make each scoring wedge nice and visible.
But look closely and you’ll quickly see the differences.
The Dartboard Face
The dartboard face is made from durable thermoplastic material, such as nylon, and covered with thousands of tiny holes. And each hole is specially tapered to accept the plastic tip of a soft tip dart.
Plastic rings and dividers (also known as the spider) separate each scoring section. These rings and separators must be as thin as possible to prevent or reduce bounce outs.
And there is also no steel numbered ring surrounding the scoring area.
Soft Tip Dartboard Size
Soft tip dartboards are also smaller than bristle dartboards.
For example, a regulation size bristle dartboard is 18 inches. While the size of soft tip dartboard can be anywhere from 13.5 to 15.5 inches in diameter.
The international standard size of a soft tip board is 15.5 inches in diameter. And the target area on a regulation board is 15 inches in diameter.
Soft Tip Dartboard Measurements
Soft tip electronic dartboards should be mounted at the same height as bristle dartboards: 5 feet 8 inches at the bullseye.
The toe line (throwing line) should be 8 feet from the face of the board. This is slightly farther than a bristle toe line distance of 7 feet 9 1/4 inches.
Many of these boards are sold with or without cabinets.
Like bristle boards, the cabinets can be made of wood or synthetic materials and typically include dart holders, LED or LCD score and player displays (unless they are controlled via an app, where the display will be on your device), a list of games, volume and game controls, AC input and/or battery compartment.
How to Find the Best Electronic Dart Board: Additional Factors to Consider
Apart from basic safety advantages of soft tip darts, the best electronic dartboards have loads of other features that enhance the fun and interactivity of standard dart games.
When trying to find the best electronic dart board, it’s helpful to understand what features are available and then evaluate your options based on how important these are to you.
If you want to find a high quality electronic dartboard, a good place to start is with the brands.
Popular brand names of electronic dartboards and soft tip darts include Viper, Arachnid 360, Elkadart (for soft tip darts), Laser Darts, Black Widow Darts and some newcomers like the Darts Factory and their interactive Guz 2.
Many consumers are familiar with the Arachnid name. They are one of the original electronic dartboard companies. As mentioned, Arachnid 360 started making electronic dartboards back in 1975. Learn more about them here.
Viper is also a well-known brand in the electronic darts market.
Preloaded Games and Game Variations
Most electronic dartboards come preloaded with tons of games and game variants to choose from.
Some of these boards have as many as 50 games with over 200 game variations built in. Plus, newer boards with companion apps are continually adding to the list of available games via app updates.
For example, a common list of programmed games might include Cricket, all the 01 games (301 – 1501), Around the World or ‘Round the Clock, Baseball, Count-Up, Shoot-Out, Over Bermuda, Shanghai, All Fives, Gotcha, Legs, Double Down, High Score, Killer and many more.
On top of these, you can choose from tons of variations in how to play the most popular games.
For example, Cricket lovers can play standard cricket or several other versions such as cutthroat cricket, quick cricket, doubles-only cricket, low ball cricket, wild card cricket and more.
For 301 and 501 enthusiasts, you may be able to choose from several variations such as single in/single out; single in/double out; double in/double out, and more.
Is having a really broad selection of games and variations important to you? You’ll want to have a few options of course, but having hundreds to choose from may be overwhelming. There are many choices at both ends of the spectrum.
If an excessive selection of games results in a higher priced electronic dartboard, you can always filter your options based on less games and variations.
LED or LCD Display
Electronic boards have either LED or LCD electronic displays that show scores, players, and a number of other details.
When choosing the best electronic dart board for your needs and budget, consider that an LED is the preferred display type. But several quality boards still use an LCD display.
The LED display colors are more vibrant, making it easier to read scores and game details from the 8-foot throwing distance.
Higher quality LED displays also change colors to distinguish scores, players, and other game details.
LCD displays, on the other hand, tend to be a little duller and therefore harder to read. But LCD displays are usually adequate for most players.
Electronic Display Scoring Formats
In addition to the vibrancy and quality of the display, you’ll want to consider how much information the display includes at once. This is important if you enjoy multi-player dart games and want to see several scores at once.
For example, some electronic dartboards can accommodate up to 8 or even 16 players for a single game. But how many scores can you see at any given time? Hopefully more than 2, although that’s often the case with lower budget boards.
This may or may not be a big deal to you. But if you want to be able to get a better picture of where you stand in a game when it’s your turn, find an electronic dartboard with a large display that shows at least 4 scores simultaneously.
Another thing to consider is how much scoring info is displayed per player.
For example, when you play Cricket, you want to see your marks (i.e. the /, X and O) and the score next to each number. Some boards will display all this info at once. Other boards may only show the marks or alternate between the score and the marks.
Electronic dartboards need electricity. Sorry for this obvious point. But that can be an important factor when deciding how and where to mount your dartboard.
Some electronic dartboard sets rely on AC power, while others are battery powered. Certain boards can be powered by either AC or battery. If the board is AC, make sure the adapter is included with your purchase.
If you can easily mount the board near a power outlet, an AC powered dartboard should be fine. You know the power supply will be reliable and colors will be vibrant. If not, look for a battery powered board with long battery life, or one that has both power options available.
Sounds Effects and Voice Features
Do you want your dartboard to come with a peanut gallery? Don’t worry, many electronic dartboards include some type of sound effects to cheer you on and ‘heckler’ features to put you down when you throw a bad dart.
These voice features can add to the entertainment value; some people find it fun and amusing.
Others think the ‘heckler’ is a slightly annoying feature, especially if the voice or sound effect is too loud and becomes a distraction.
If you can turn it down or off, it’s usually not a big deal.
Data Tracking and Interactivity
A big plus with electronic dartboards is the ability to track scoring and player data. For example, many boards can store and display player scoring averages, such as points per dart, and also allow you to input player handicaps.
Some electronic boards are also interactive. With these boards, you can coordinate scores with leagues or connect via Bluetooth to iOS or Android apps for real-time game syncing.
Even if you’re throwing darts on your own, you can compete against others from around the world.
Bounce Out Effect
One of the main complaints with soft tip dartboards is the bounce out effect. Bounce outs are simply more common with soft tip dartboards.
So, if you’re looking for the best electronic dartboard and planning to play a lot, make sure the design includes a high-quality surface and micro-thin scoring separators.
You will still need to throw a little harder, but using better soft tip darts and finding a board with extra thin rings and a quality thermoplastic surface will make bounce outs much less common. It will also make the board quieter.
Bounce outs are annoying. But electronic dartboard manufacturers understand that they happen frequently compared to bristle boards.
That’s why a bounce out that hits the board firmly will still register a score on an electronic board; unlike a steel tip board, where a bounced dart would be out of play.
This is the determining factor for many. There are a lot of good electronic dartboards available with tons of features, but they vary widely in cost. Plus, electronic dartboards are more expensive to begin with.
For example, traditional bristle dartboards cost between $30 – $60. And basic non-electronic soft tip boards should cost around $35 or less.
But electronic dartboards range in cost from $35 – $500. I’ve found that the sweet spot for the best electronic dartboard with plenty of features, without breaking the bank, is somewhere between $150 – $250.
This cost depends on a number of factors, most of which we just covered above.
The main factors that affect cost of an electronic dartboard include: the mounting set-up (i.e. cabinet with dart holders and A/C adaptor, arcade style, etc.), added features (number of games, variations, sound effects, LED, scoring formats), brand name, accessories included (i.e. how many sets of soft tip darts are included and of what quality), and general quality of the board face.
Soft Tip + Steel Tip Electronic Dartboards
Some electronic dartboards may accept both soft tip and steel tip darts. This is great if you want to combine all the modern features of an electronic board with the authentic feel and quality of a steel tip dart.
But most people are looking at an electronic dartboard because they are interested in the safety benefits of soft tip darts.
A Quick Overview of Soft Tip Darts
In general, soft tip darts are very similar to steel tip darts. The main difference is in the weight and, of course, the plastic tip.
Soft tip darts generally weigh less than steel tip darts. The weights of soft tip darts can range from 16 – 20 grams, while steel tip darts can weigh up to 50 grams.
Soft tip darts come in a variety of barrel shapes. These are essentially the same as with steel tip darts, but still worth a review.
Barrel shapes of soft tip darts include:
- The pencil shape (the straight long thin barrel)
- The front-loaded dart (characterized by a tear drop shaped barrel)
- The torpedo shape (thicker in the middle and tapered at both ends)
- The scalloped barrel (with a notch in the barrel for finger placement)
Soft tip darts also come with same barrel materials as steel tip darts:
- Brass: for soft, light and bulkier darts. These are typically less expensive than the other materials. Good for beginner players and budget friendly options.
- Nickel Silver: This material results in a heavier dart, but still fairly light. The benefit over brass is that they don’t tarnish as easily.
- Tungsten: This is the best material for most players. It provides a heavier weight but smaller barrel.
Again, soft tip darts tend to be lighter than steel tip darts.
If you can find a higher quality plastic tip dart with a decent barrel that adds weight, this will make them more accurate and authentic feeling.
A good weight to aim for is around 18 grams. An example of high-quality tungsten soft tip darts that each weigh 18 grams would be these one from Arachnid.
Also consider that the plastic tips can bend or break easily. So, you should always have some extra plastic dart points handy.
Many boards also include compartments on the board to store extra plastic tips.
Electronic Dartboards vs Basic Safety Soft Tip Dartboards
The purpose of this article is to help you find the best electronic dart board. But there are also basic non-electronic soft tip boards that are perfect for younger children. These are the no-frills soft tip boards.
There are a few reasons you might want a board like this:
- Basic safety soft tip dartboards are less expensive than electronic dartboards. Much less expensive.
- Some people find the sounds, lights, preprogrammed games, and arcade appearance of an electronic board a little annoying. I think there is a nice balance that exists in the electronic dartboard market. But I understand why some consumers would prefer a more basic option for their kids.
- You don’t need to worry about a power supply or batteries with a simple safety soft tip board.
If you want a nice soft tip safety dartboard without the bells and whistles, check out this board from ActionDart.
This board is priced at around $35 and comes with 2 sets of safety darts. It’s a 16” soft tip dartboard that’s perfect for kids, easy to mount, and has a large target area.
This is a simple, well-made board. And it’s perfect for learning how to play darts.
And it should be mounted at the same height as any dartboard: 5’8” at the bullseye.
But if you’re looking for a higher performance dartboard with more options and the safety benefits of using soft tip darts, an electronic dartboard is a better option.
That wraps up our guide to choosing the right electronic or soft tip dart board. There are a lot of options available and it’s become impossible to keep track of all the new features. But the boards we mentioned in this article are a great place to start.