If you’re looking to kill some time for an afternoon or evening, a game of darts is always a good idea. Of course, there’s generally beer involved in that decision and who has time to do math while you’re having a good time? Electronic dart boards can take care of the scoring for you, allowing you to enjoy the game without needing to break out the calculator app on your phone.
Of course, you want the best electronic dart board around and that’s where we come in. We’d like to present you with the Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dartboard, which we feel is the best around. It’s not perfect for everyone, so read on and we’ll show you our favorites and help you come to a logical decision to help kill those long Friday nights.
The board itself is absolutely the best on the market, but there’s one major issue: the darts that come with it are downright terrible.
Top 5 Electronic Dartboards
|Name||Supported Players||# of Games|
|Arachnid Cricket Pro 800||8||39 Games||Check Price|
|Darts Connect Online||Online||Unlimited||Check Price|
|Viper Neptune Electronic Soft Tip||16||57||Check Price|
|Fat Cat 727 Electronic Soft Tip||8||18||Check Price|
|Arachnid Cricket Pro 650||8||24||Check Price|
1. Best Overall
Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dartboard
If you’re looking to make sure that you have the absolute best e-board around, this is the one that we found performs the best and longest.
With nylon dividers this board will last for a long time to come, but the main draw is the huge amount of player support as well as the 39 games which are integrated directly into the software for the board.
The board itself is absolutely the best on the market, but there’s one major issue: the darts that come with it are downright terrible. You’ll want to replace them as soon as possible if you’re serious about getting the most out of this board.
On the other hand, if you’re willing to find a better dart set to go with this board then you’ll be in good hands for a long time to come with this, admittedly hefty, investment.
Pros and Cons
- Nylon backing will last for a long time to come
- Plays 39 different games, with 179 total counting variations
- Super thin dividers to reduce bounce out
- Score averaging to keep track of progress
- Darts that come with it are seriously terrible
2. Best Online Board
Darts Connect Online Electronic Dartboard
We’re going to be upfront about one thing: this electronic board is on the top end of mediocre when it comes to the quality of the backing. It’s also a 15.5” board, which is international instead of tournament standard.
On the other hand, with a wifi connection and this board you can play with anyone in the world who has one. That’s pretty awesome and there are already leagues in place to support the board itself, which makes it a great buy for the money.
On top of that it has a camera to prevent cheating, so you won’t have someone three states over walking in and sticking bullseyes.
While the board isn’t the greatest, many people will quickly find that the online features make it an engaging addition to the home, especially if you don’t have anyone local to play with.
Pros and Cons
- Online play
- Camera to prevent cheating
- Quick and easy to connect online
- Optimized for damage-free strip hanging
- Board is only “okay”
- Connectivity has some fairly high requirements
3. Best Cabinet Set
Viper Neptune Electronic Soft Tip Dartboard with Cabinet
If you like the classical look of a darts cabinet, then the Viper Neptune is sure to please. It’ll cost you a little bit, but it’s nice to be able to hang and forget, and the cabinet will help protect your walls from those nasty stray darts.
It also has an external power adapter, allowing you to plug it in and never have to worry about changing the batteries. All in all it’s a pretty impressive set.
Add in the huge number of different games and support for 16 players and you’ve got a clear winner.
If you want to have a complete cabinet set delivered to your home, then you really can’t do any better than the Viper Neptune cabinet set.
Pros and Cons
- 16 player support
- 57 different games available
- Complete, high-quality cabinet setup
- External power adapter
- A bit expensive
- Built-in AI player is horrible
4. Best Budget Electronic Dartboard
Fat Cat 727 Electronic Soft Tip Dartboard
While it’s not quite as awesome as the Viper or Arachnid boards, this entry from Fat Cat is available at a fraction of the price and most people will find it suits them just fine.
This is a board for casual players, having limited game options but still supporting up to 8 players. The whole thing is available for a fifth or so of the price of our favorite board, and it’s not really built to last but it should be around for awhile without daily use.
The spacing is pretty good, considering the price, and it has a “missed” ring around the outside to get some additional catches when you’re throwing at the board.
If you just want a casual board to mess around with on those lazy weekends, then you could do a lot worse than the Fat Cat 727 but serious players are going to want to spend some more money to make sure they’ve got the quality they deserve.
Pros and Cons
- Super low cost
- Supports eight players
- Battery operated and highly portable
- Has a missed darts ring
- Fairly low quality board
- Not regulation size, making it hard to use for tournament training
5. Best Board for Cricket
Arachnid Cricket Pro 650 Electronic Dartboard
If cricket is your game, then this high-quality board is exactly what you’re looking for. In addition to supporting 8 players and allowing for 24 different games you have five variants of cricket… and a special counter to keep track of your hits specifically for the game.
In addition to that, it’s a high-quality Arachnid board. The nylon backing, super thin segments, and impressive quality are all there just waiting for you to get tossing.
Of course, it does have one problem: this is an expensive board. Thankfully it’s sure to last for a long time to come thanks to all of the features put into it.
Like most Arachnid boards, you’re also going to want to look elsewhere for your darts. The ones that come with it are simply trash.
But if you’re dedicated to playing cricket with darts, then you’ll be hard pressed to find a better board for anywhere near the same price.
Pros and Cons
- Optimized for cricket play with extra score counters
- Nylon backing for added longevity
- Super thing segments to reduce bounce out
- Comes with a ton of additional games programmed
- Expensive, especially for a dedicated cricket board
- The darts that come with it are just… bad
Picking Your Electronic Dartboard
Electronic dartboards have been growing in popularity for some time. The reasons vary from person to person, but there really is something for everyone.
The different types of board available are pretty astounding, and you might want to take a close look before investing in a board if you’re serious about play.
So, let’s take a look at the different things you can expect from electronic dartboards.
Types of Darts
The original electronic dart boards only accepted plastic tipped darts. These tip into the hole in order to press on the electronics in the back and register a score.
They still make up the vast majority of the electronic boards available on the market. They’re great for play at home, especially for novice players who might miss the board on more than the rare occasion since they can prevent holes in the wall.
These darts can be a bit odd for those who are used to regular darts, of course, but they’re generally balanced in much the same way and a good-quality board will have enough holes that bouncing off the material in between is a rare occurrence.
On the other hand, recent developments have made the use of standard darts on electronic boards possible. These are awesome if you just want to take advantage of capabilities and already have a favored set of flyers.
For in home use, we recommend a board which takes soft-tips for obvious reasons. If you’re in the garage, however, then feel free to look for a board which accepts steel darts.
Tracking Metrics and Number of Games
Most boards will have more than just traditional darts available to you. Games such as Round the Clock, 20 to 1, and many others are available to be tracked and built right into the boards themselves.
The number of games can get pretty high, with some of the best models boasting over 20 games, more than enough to keep you occupied for a long time to come.
Of course, tracking score is the primary purpose of these boards. You can expect any electronic dart board to be tracking your score as you play, but there are other options available which can help you out when it comes time to play.
Our favorite extra feature is primarily useful for those who are planning on playing in leagues: averaging. This will give you a breakdown of how you’re doing when you’re hitting the board.
For instance, if you’re the bold type who keeps trying for that coveted triple 20 then you’ll be able to find out what your score averages out to over time. Being able to track player metrics is pretty awesome no matter how you slice it.
Always keep an eye out for advanced features in the electronics.
Supported Number of Players
The amount of players who can use a board at the same time varies. Cheap variants might only allow for two players, which is fine if it’s just you and a buddy but it’s going to leave people hanging if you’ve got a party at your house.
On the other hand, some of the more advanced boards might be able to support up to sixteen players in a single game.
That’s not bad, all things considered.
Picture the environment you’re going to be using the board in. Most boards will support at least four players, of course, but if you regularly have large gatherings or if you’re going for league play then you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got enough support or it’s back to keeping score by hand.
Not all plastics are equal, and even soft tipped darts are going to leave some wear after a while. Cheap boards don’t last nearly as long as the high-end boards which can be found if you take an in-depth look around.
This is even more important if you’re using a board with steel tipped darts. A steel tip can make short work of cheap PE or other plastics, no matter how thick they are.
On the other hand, materials like nylon can withstand a pretty amazing amount of punishment and are suitable for heavy play even with regular darts.
This will be another big factor in the cost, but it can save you money in the long run if you’re a regular player.
Plug-in or Battery?
Some models can be plugged in. You won’t have to worry about batteries if you invest in a model which can take it, which is great for everyone.
On the other hand, if you want to play out back or away from the wall then it’s going to leave you out of luck.
Even better, some can be used either way. This allows you a portable board that isn’t going to eat the batteries when it’s sitting on the garage wall.
Choose carefully, especially if you’re not going to permanently mount your board somewhere.
Some electronic boards, particularly cheap ones, aren’t made to regulation size.
The regulation size of a dart board is eighteen inches in diameter.
While it’s unlikely to affect how you’re playing if you’re doing things just for fun, you might want to ensure that you’re playing with a regulation sized board if you’re going to be competing in tournaments or other more formal playstyles.
Setting Up Your Board
If you’re intent on playing in leagues in the future, and you made sure to get a regulation sized board, then you may want to know how best to practice at home.
It’s a remarkably easy setup:
- The board should be mounted on the wall, flush and straight up. It should be 5’8” to the exact center of the bullseye.
- The throwing line should be 7’9 ¼” from the dartboard. 8’ for soft tip darts.
- A 2’ mat or rug should be placed behind the line.
In addition to the dimensions, putting together the ultimate dart den can require a little bit of know-how that isn’t common sense in the first place. Many people pace their score boards to the sides of the board, for instance, but if you’re using an electronic board it’s not necessary.
We prefer to lay down a small piece of wood instead of just a line for throwing. They do this in big tournaments anyways, and it will help to ensure that you don’t start practicing with your toe on the line. Something about 1 ½” high will suffice.
You may also want to grab a dart mat if you’re on concrete or hardwood. These will help to protect both your darts and the floor in the event that something goes wrong with a throw. They’re fairly inexpensive and available ready-made online.
Where you place the above setup is dependent on a few different things. The first is which room in the house you’re going with. Most of us opt for the garage, but it really depends on your own home’s layouts and personal preference.
Keep your board away from windows or any shelves with breakables on them. Not everyone is a pro and all sorts of bad things can result from flinging a seemingly light bit of metal at the wall if there’s a big miss.
Once you’ve picked a location, we recommend placing a backing board to mount your dartboard on that extends for at least 18” in each direction from the side of the board. This will protect your walls, and you can easily hang the board and then mount your dartboard.
Lastly, make sure that it’s not in a location where someone can walk across the “firing line” for the best results. No one appreciates catching a dart in the side, even a plastic-tipped one.
If you enjoy darts, then adding an electronic dartboard to your home might be the best use of money you’ll ever make. Getting the right board really isn’t that hard, just make sure that you have enough different modes to keep you occupied and it supports enough players for your usual gatherings and you’re well on the road to a good time.