How to Choose LiPo Battery for RC in 6 Easy Steps

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Blog cover how to choose a LiPo battery for RC

Today, you have multiple RC LiPo battery choices, whether you are trying to do something like the Traxxas X-Maxx, a race buggy, a drift car, or a crawler.

But there are so many of them that it’s hard to figure out the best one to purchase. So, we will go through these six steps to select your LiPo battery.

Let’s get to it.

Step 1. Read the RC manual in detail

I know nobody likes to read manuals, but it turns out that almost every RC manual has a section that talks about the vehicle’s battery.

The manual will tell you the battery capacity and C-rating needed to start the RC vehicle.

For example, an RC crawler will tend to run on 2S or 3S, which is a two-cell or three-cell battery, and almost every vehicle you encounter in the RC world will be requested at a minimum 30C or higher discharge rate on the battery.

1 10 scx10 iii jeep jlu wrangler RC cars manual horizonhobby

So, that’s two metrics you immediately get to know right out of the box. Make sure you get the manual and check it out.

Step 2. Measure the LiPo battery box

From what I’ve seen online, the second step is where most people really screw up.

Many new drivers are so excited that they bought an expensive battery online, but the reality makes them dumbfounded. The battery cannot be installed because the size is wrong.

I recommend you get the RC vehicle, open it up, and measure the battery tray dimensions.

Step 2: measure the lipo battery box
How to Choose LiPo Battery for RC in 6 Easy Steps 6

We need three dimensions, namely the length, width, and height of the battery tray, so we don’t accidentally buy a LiPo battery that doesn’t fit in the tray.

If you’re shopping at your local RC hobby store, you could bring the vehicle with you to ensure the battery fits before you even walk out of the store.

Step 3. Confirm LiPo battery plug type

While you have the vehicle here, you’ll look at item number three. What is the battery plug type on that RC vehicle?

RC car retailers or manufacturers have many different available battery plugs, but it is excellent to buy a battery with the same connector.

RC battery connector type
How to Choose LiPo Battery for RC in 6 Easy Steps 7

But that’s not required.

One method is soldering, which is an advanced skill in the remote control world. Because you’re able to buy a battery that doesn’t have the plug for a cheaper price and adapt it to fit in your vehicle.

Step 4. Choose the power level

I find that most people step up to too high of a voltage too early in their RC career and get themselves in trouble often.

For example, the Arma 3S series can run well on a 4S lithium battery, so upgrading to a 6S lithium battery is unnecessary.

tra2890x rc LiPo battery 6700 mAh
How to Choose LiPo Battery for RC in 6 Easy Steps 8

I know without upgrading the battery, the voltage is lower, and the RC car isn’t high-speed. But it also means your RC car won’t get bumped as often. You’ll spend less money on parts.

So, consider the voltage you want when buying the battery.

Also, consider that most RC vehicles in this day and age actually have a selectable throttle limiter on the controller.

Even if you get the higher voltage battery, you could limit the controller’s full speed until you’re ready for all that voltage level.

Step 5. Do the research and go out

Step five is time to see what’s available and what you can purchase.

Whether going to your local hobby store, a retailer like Amain Hobbie, or Amazon, you must go out there or start doing the searches with the battery metrics you know.

It’s very easy to start with something like searching for if I’m looking at an X-Maxx battery, “4S LiPo.”

If you are unfamiliar with battery terminology, please read this post to learn. It explains what mAh is, what C-rating is, et.

After that, you got to look at these kinds of things:

  • Is it smarter to buy maybe a slightly smaller battery?
  • Is purchasing a 5,000 mAh battery drastically cheaper than an 8,000 mAh?
  • Could you get two for the price of one and have a total run time?

These are the kinds of things that you need to consider.

Step 6. Swap the plugs and charge the battery

Now, you’ve gone through five steps and got your vehicle. You only have one step left to do, which is to swap the plugs and charge the battery.

Swap the battery plugs

If your new battery has a plug different than the one used by your RC vehicle, you’ll need to either swap the plug on the battery or use an adapter.

As mentioned earlier, soldering is a helpful skill to learn for this hobby, saving you money in the long run.

Be sure to follow proper safety precautions when soldering, and if you’re unsure, consult with someone experienced or watch instructional videos online.

Charge your battery

Once you have the correct plug type, it’s time to charge your battery.

tra2990 RC LiPo battery and dual multi chemistry battery charger 5000mAh
How to Choose LiPo Battery for RC in 6 Easy Steps 9

Charging LiPo batteries can be daunting for first-time users, but it’s esential to follow proper charging guidelines to ensure the longevity and safety of your battery.

Charging LiPo batteries can be daunting for first-time users, but it’s essential to follow proper charging guidelines to ensure the longevity and safety of your battery.

  • When charging, make sure to use a LiPo-specific charger and follow the manufacturer’s recommended charging settings.
  • Keep an eye on the charging process, and never leave the battery unattended while charging.
  • Using a LiPo-safe charging bag is also a good idea, as it can help contain any potential fires or issues that may arise during charging.

After fully charging your battery, you can hit the track, trail, or backyard with your RC vehicle!

Final words

Remember to monitor your battery’s voltage during use and avoid over-discharging it, which can cause permanent damage.

Your LiPo battery should provide hours of fun and excitement with proper care and handling.

By following these six steps, you can ensure you’re making the best choice for your RC vehicle and enjoy a fantastic RC experience.

Good luck, and have fun!

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Written By Ted Dulles

I'm Ted Dulles, an avid RC hobbyist extraordinaire! My passion for the world of remote-controlled (RC) models ignited in 2018. Just a year later, fueled by this passion, I took a bold step and opened my own RC shop in California. I have a deep fascination with all kinds of RC models – be it cars, planes, or boats. I'm always eager to take on new challenges and absolutely love the thrill and excitement that come with this hobby.

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