Last updated: February 19, 2019

Remote Control Submarine Guide

Sara Fletcher
Published 9:17 am

Dive deep into the waters and make it more fun with your very own remote control submarine. With the best remote control submarine, you will be able to explore the depths of your pool, ponds, the ocean or any body of water. You will be able to share this fascinating experience with your kids, friends, pets, or other remote control submarine enthusiasts. Isn’t that amazing?

Choosing any remote control submarine’s easy, but choosing the best one that suits your needs and worth your money isn’t. There are many remote control submarine available in the market today so it’s easy to just pick anything. Trust us, that’s not how it should be.

In this article, we hope to guide you in selecting the best remote control submarine. Because there are different kinds of RC submarine, we listed their differences here. We also have a list of the few features that you need to consider and a few recommendations of submarines.

Remote Control Submarine Guide

You need to be guided when you make your first remote control submarine purchase. If this isn’t your first, then you’ve probably regretted your previous purchases. But we won’t let that happen again or ever let that happen to you.  

Before checking out products, you need to know even just a little information about remote control submarines.

A remote control submarine is a scale model of a submarine that can be maneuvered with a remote controller. The most common form of remote control submarines are those operated by RC enthusiasts. This marvelous toy lets you go deep into and explore the depths of any body of water or your pool faster and easily.

Remote control submarines can range from inexpensive toys to complex projects which include more sophisticated electronics. Also, the military and oceanographers operate remote control submarines for their work.

A remote control submarine is a ship that can float on the surface and can also dive into the water, and then make its way back to the surface again.lady with rc submarine

Types of Remote Control Submarine

Before you enjoy having a remote control submarine, you must know that this submarine model comes in two types. There is static diving and dynamic diving. The difference is not that complicated at all. You will know your remote control submarine is a static one, if it has a ballast system. On the other hand, if it doesn’t have a ballast system, then your remote control submarine is a dynamic one.

Read on to know the characteristics of each type and to find the best models of RC submarine we recommend.

Static Remote Control Submarine

A Static Remote Control Submarine dives straight into and under the water. It does this with little to no help from the surface. By forcing water out of the ballast with a pump or compressed gas, a static remote control submarine floats back to the surface.

It is by pumping out water or taking on, the static kind of RC submarine has the ability to change their displacement. Through the use of a piston, an inflatable bladder, or through a ballast tank, this can be accomplished.

Generally, remote control submarines that utilize a ballast tank fill the tank by opening a vent at the top. It then forces the water out through the use of compressed gas. There are also other variants that use water pumps. To push water out, a liquid gas is dosed into the ballast tank.

You can also find interesting stuff about RC submarines here.

Dynamic Remote Control Submarine

Now, let’s talk about the dynamic remote control submarine. Perhaps, the simplest form of diving technology is the dynamic diver. Compared to the static diving, the dynamic remote control submarine has no functional ballast system at all. Rather, it uses its dive planes to “push” it under the surface of the water.

Meaning to say, dynamic remote control submarines are forced into the water. This is made possible with the help of control surfaces. As soon as the speed goes down, the buoyancy makes the mini-submarine float back to the surface of the water. To add, this type of remote control submarine is positively buoyant. Until enough thrust is generated over their control surfaces to push them down underwater, a dynamic RC sub will remain on the surface.

What’s Good About Dynamic Divers?

Furthermore, the dynamic diving models are both the cheapest and simplest designed models available. This is because the complicated buoyancy control systems are replaced by diving planes or thrusters. What’s great about this type of RC submarine is that they are able to return to the surface once radio contact is lost. Their positive buoyancy becomes a major advantage for dynamic remote control submarines.

Pros and Cons

Since these models are positively buoyant, they must remain sufficient speed while they’re underwater to remain there. Also, they are unable to stop without rising to the surface.

To dive, the dynamic remote control submarine must be moving forward at a certain pace. It should be that the pressure exerted by the dive planes are sufficient to overcome the model’s buoyancy itself.

These dynamic divers usually feature a rather large dive plane surfaces. Normally, they are also ballasted or weighted very low in the water. This is so that their reserve buoyancy is as low as possible. Also, the dive planes can be as small as possible. As a result, the necessary forward speed to dive of a dynamic remote control submarine is as slow as possible.

Important Features of Remote Control Submarines

If this is your first purchase of a remote control submarine, then you must take note of the following features. Most of the new RC sub buyers, they often disregard these basic features. Knowing these features allows you to understand how your mini-submarine works. And with that, if anything goes wrong, it will be easy for you to point that out.

That’s why we listed some of them here for you. We don’t want to overwhelm you, so, we hope this short list helps.

Radio Transmission Through Water

First of all, you need to know your submarine’s radio transmission through water. The transmission, also termed as frequency, is the distance wherein your remote control can still reach your remote control submarine. Once you go beyond that distance, you will no longer control your submarine.

Regarding radio transmission, you need to understand that some RC submarines will stop working when they reach certain distances. Most of the time, remote control submarines stop at a depth of 10 feet. And once they stop, the retrieval of your RC sub will be difficult for you. This is the reason why you need to know this feature.

But, we do have good news for you! Newer models come with a technology wherein your submarine automatically resurfaces when your remote control cannot reach your unit. Impressive, huh?

Remember also that the weather can have a significant effect on your radio control’s transmission.

Controller Range

This is just related to the previous feature. But we want to give you another example with it is important to know this. For instance, you have submerged your new RC sub in a pond. And then all of a sudden, you spot an animal, perhaps an otter, submerging in the water. You tried to control your toy to a new direction but nothing happens. The next thing you know, your remote control submarine has gone out of range. You might have rammed the creature you were moving from.

That must have sucked, right? So, never by a remote control submarine without understanding its controller range or radio transmission through water. Well, now that you know this, it probably won’t ever happen to you.

Not too much

Want our advice? Go for a remote control submarine that has much range as your money can afford. But also, try to avoid going for an extremely high range. Because then, you will have difficulty tracking a small ship about 500 feet away. You never want your RC sub to go out of sight.

Remote Control

Well, if this isn’t too obvious, take note of the remote control. The remote control is definitely the most important tools that come with your submarine. You need it in order to maneuver the unit on the surface and under the water. Based on how different submarines are powered: battery; infrared; and Wi-Fi, the remote controls vary.


It is necessary that you consider those handheld remote controls that have an easy-to-hold design. This prevents you from having wrist and finger pains. Easy-to-hold designs can be found in battery-powered and infrared-powered remote controls. Meanwhile, there are remote controls which are downloadable as mobile or computer software. These too should be compatible with most devices.


More importantly, the remote control must have buttons that are straightforward. Through this, you will no longer need to be searching where the buttons for diving, resurfacing, etc. are located. Also, these buttons should have spaces in between them. This is so you will not make mistakes when you’re controlling your RC submarine or when you’re pressing the buttons.

Indicators and Batteries

Nowadays, most remote control submarines are already powered by rechargeable AA or AAA batteries. Therefore, you should expect that they can’t be played for long hours or for the whole day. Hence, if you don’t want to lose your submarine, then it’s important to know how long the batteries will last.

Luckily, a lot of modern models of remote control submarines now have LED lights. These help you indicate if the battery is already at its critical level. Also, there are those that make a sound as soon as your submarine is running out of gas or power. Cool, right?


Now, you also need to examine the product’s durability. Don’t just look deep into the features that come with your remote control submarine. Firstly, the sub’s body must be manufactured from high quality, as well as durable materials. The durability of the materials used in your remote control submarine ensures that it can endure regular usage underwater. Also, try to see if the manufacturer can offer you its services for longer periods.

Furthermore, most of the popular remote control submarines are made from ABS plastic material. This is known to be highly durable. Even under durable use, the material lets your toy to stay longer.

Aside from the hull, other parts like the deck, rudder, strut, and port must be made of durable materials. You will never know what could happen underwater or even before you go under the water. With durable materials, these help prevent your submarine from impacts.

Number of Motors

Next on our list is the number of motors. This is another important aspect that you need to consider in any new remote control submarine. When you’re planning to buy one, look up how many motors it incorporates.

At incredibly high speeds, one motor can be enough to power your propeller and sweep through the water. Why did we say number of motors, then? Because, some remote control submarines can come with a single motor, others two, and some might have up to three.

Whether you are a newbie or not, it would be very convenient for you to go with more than one motor. Most advanced RC hobbyist would want a more robust submarine. Having more motors would mean having a more mind-blowing RC experience. Then again, remember that you should not go beyond your controller’s range.

The Submarine’s Rudder

The last thing that you would want is for you rudder to fail at the worst possible times. Remember that taking your submarine outside your pool or tub and into a body of water, you’re exposing it to unknown creatures. And we all know that waters are also inhabited by creatures that are not so good.

Therefore, it would be best if you take your time to evaluate the materials used for your remote control submarine’s rudder. Its rudder needs to be sturdy and durable enough to resist any potential damage.

Charge Time vs. Runtime Ratio

We hate to break it to you. But, you are going to spend more time charging your remote control submarine than playing with it in the waters. That’s the sad truth about remote control submarine.

You may think of it as your car, a real one. The more you hammer your car, the faster you will burn the gas. You need ensure that you make time researching the type of battery that comes with your mini submarine. You have to take note of its runtime, as well as its charging period.

An acceptable ratio for your remote control submarine’s charge time and run time is 1:4. If it’s more than that, you have to try looking at other models.

Why Buy Remote Control Submarine?

After all of this, you already have some idea about RC submarines. They have their pros and cons. They’re not very cheap, charging takes long, playtime’s fast, and could vanish underwater. But why still buy a remote control submarine?

Why not? This invention is so fascinating! Remote control submarines can do something we wish we can do. These can suspend underwater longer than we can hold our breaths. We wish we could say “for an unlimited amount of time” but you already know it’s not entirely true.

Remote control submarines provide times of fun, not only for kids but adults too! This can be an enjoyable hobby that can take your sadness or boredom away. It allows one to open their imagination and explore what is under the water.

Cool New Features

Nowadays, remote control submarines may come at all sorts of prices. They each have unique features. You will also find that there are remote control submarines that feature a camera. It can click and capture photos or take and record videos. Simply put, RC submarines are not only for fun. But they can also be used for work or for your other hobbies like photography. You just have to expand your imagination.

Where To Buy Remote Control Submarines?

Manufacturer’s Website

Perhaps, the safest way to buy a remote control submarine is through a manufacturer’s website or store. But, most of them are based in China. Purchasing directly from them may require a costly shipping fee in your area. Also, it may take weeks or a month for you to receive your item. Another thing is that, you might be required to buy in bulk or reach a certain number of orders. This would be impractical if you have no plans of reselling them.

Retail Stores

Retail stores are great options but some find it a bit tiring. Sales people tend to come to you and offer you all sorts of things other than product you intend to buy. Luckily, online stores sell all kinds of items. You can even find reviews left by actual persons who actually purchased and used the product.

Online Stores

Visiting online stores is somehow a more practical, and convenient means of buying a remote control submarine.

Table of Recommended Remote Control Submarine

Recommended Remote Control Submarines

Here, we have listed top-rated remote control submarines you can find on the market. They are listed in no particular order.

German U-Boat Mini RC Submarine

remote control submarine

This remote control submarine would definitely fascinate those who are into military-type toys. If you are one of those people, then this remote control submarine will interest you because it looks like it’s from World War II. This little submarine uses 3 motors to control the Static Driving, Propeller System, and Rudder System.

Thanks to its Static Diving System, this submarine is able to float and dive down 0.6 meters under water. Its Propeller System lets the RC German U-Boat to move forward, back, left and right. Meanwhile, its small Rudder System lets the remote control submarine to rotate 360 degrees.

This remote control submarine is only 145 mm in length. It is 33mm in width and 48mm tall. The German U-Boat weighs only 3 ounces which makes it great for your bathtub or other small sorts of tubs.

Want more features?

With the front LED light this remote control submarine has, you can control it around in the dark. Cool, right? Even though this remote control submarine is on the smaller side, it still needs six AA batteries to work. This RC sub has a 3 channel 27MHz radio system. Also, it glides at 0.15 knots which is 0.1m/s.

For charging, you are provided with a USB charging cable that is used for the socket and the transmitter. In 20 minutes, you can have a completely fully charged battery. However, it would take about 15 minutes to drain its battery. The rechargeable battery provided for the sub is 180mAh Li-Po.

This stunning mini-sub can be enjoyed by all ages. What do you think about the German U-Boat? You can also find this remote control submarine reviewed by RC Gearlab.

eMart Remote Control Boat Submarine Ship Toy

tiny yellow rc submarine

If you are looking for a cool toy submarine for your kid, this is the best choice you have if you opt for a remote control one. It is also a great gift for someone who loves collecting RC submarines for display. This submarine is very affordable. With its tiny size, you can play with it in fish tanks, bath tubs, and swimming pools.

It is powered by its built-in Lithium-Ion battery which is rechargeable with a USB charger that comes with it. Children love this mini-submarine. With a fully charged battery, they can play with it for a maximum of 15 to 20 minutes. For children’s safety, this remote control submarine is equipped with a pusher propeller which discharges cool water.

One turn off though, it can no longer receive a signal from the controller if you go past its recommended depth.

Silverlit Spy Cam Aqua Submarine

yellow rc submarine

This remote control submarine is one that suits adults who are passionate about capturing underwater images and recording live videos. We do not recommend the Silverlit Spy Cam Aqua Submarine to children. But even though, buying this RC sub will serve as a great bonding time for you and your kid. Also, you can still use this remote control submarine for recreational activities or submarine racing with your friends.

What’s great about it?

You’ll surely love this submarine. It weighs one pound and a dimensional size of 4.5 inches by 3 inches by 2.8 inches. You can capture images and record videos even in the dark due to the two LED lights that are placed in front.

Another feature that you will love, this three-channel infrared-controlled sub has a built-in camera and a 256Mb internal memory. It can easily store all the captured memories underwater. Plus, your videos and photos can be transferred through its USB port.

And finally, this amazing remote control submarine is equipped with a detachable feeder arm. This means that you can capture images of fishes up close! You can attract them by attaching food to the feeder.

Other Features


  • This RC subm produces underwater 640 x 480 AVI videos and 1280×960 jpg photos, either up close or at a distance.
  • LED lamps can be turned on and off with the use of the remote control
  • It can be used in saltwater, pools, and tanks.
  • This has an internal memory.
  • It can be connected to a computer or any USB-capable devices.


  • You will need to buy eight AA batteries because they are not included in the package.

  • The maximum frequency range is from three to four feet only.
  • Has a lot of choking hazards (That’s why it is not recommended for kids)

Friends Equipments Remote Control Navy Submarine Boat Green

green rc submarine

This awesome replica of the Navy USS Connecticut SSN-22 Submarine can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. It is a good-sized and well-made remote control submarine. Why? It has an amazing submersible depth with two motor propellers which will ensure this mini-sub’s speed.

This remote control submarine weighs 2.45 pounds and has dimensions of 13.8 by 3.5 by 3.9 inches. You may find it somewhat bulky. Good thing is, you won’t have a hard time learning how to use this. Because, this remote control submarine comes with a detailed user manual.

Its remote control has a unique shape and easy press buttons for dive, ascend, forward, reverse, left, and right movements. Efficiently, it can navigate at a distance of five meters.

Also, its two-brush motor propellers give this remote control submarine unquestionable speed and power. Plus, you can submerge it underwater up to one meter.

AquaBotix HydroView Remote-Controlled Underwater Vehicle

orange rc submarine

Last one on the list, the AquaBotix HydroView Remote-Controlled Underwater Vehicle is one of the best. Truly, fishing enthusiasts, marine lovers, divers, and boat riders loves this remote control submarine.

With HD camera and Wi-Fi capability, this product is considered a professional remote control submarine. This is best for people who need controllable underwater camera, watch fishes and other sea creatures. It can also be for those who want to check their boat propellers.

Due to all the goodness loaded in this submarine, it’s design looks bulky and its weight is quite heavy. Other than identifying where the sub is, its LED lights also help one see through the water while filming.

With a good waterproof rating submersible score, this submarine can go deep down the water without problems.

Other Pros and Cons

It does not come with a standard remote control, though. You will need to download an application on your phone or laptop. This app will let you control your submarine. Another thing, this submarine comes with a standard 70-feet cable. In cases wherein it runs out of battery, you can use this cable to retrieve your submarine. Amazing, right? If you want longer cables, you can buy them too.

Parting Words

What do you think of the recommended remote control submarines we have above? We really hope this guide can help you choose the best remote control submarine for you. And, we hope you learned something from this article.

If you’re interested in other remote control vehicles, you might want to check our other articles:


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