If you want to improve your ping pong skills you’re going to need to practice and you’re going to need to practice a lot. If you don’t have a partner who’s equally keen to play every day then a good option is to buy a ping pong robot to play against on your own. A good ping pong robot should have a wide range of features and capabilities, suited for players of all ability levels.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at some of the options available when looking for the best ping pong robot and what features you should look for when choosing one.
At A Glance: The Best Table Tennis Robots in 2022
Table Tennis Robot Buying Guide
Making an investment in a robot to help you practice table tennis is not a small thing. While some of the table tennis machines we recommend are under $500, some ping pong robots are way over $1000 and are only just under $2000 so there is a broad spectrum of prices. So with that in mind, it’s really important to do some research before buying yours. Below, we’ve covered all the features you need to consider along with some recommendations from us here at PingPongRuler.com.
Technical specs to consider
Not all robots have the same features or technical abilities so considering what you’ll need before you hit the buy button is important. Below we’ll cover some of the features we think are important so you can think about what you’ll need in your table tennis robot.
Can it produce spin?
To be the best ping pong training robot, it really should be able to generate topspin, backspin, sidespin, or no spin at all. Basic models may only be capable of one or two kinds of spin or you’ll need to change the settings to alter the spin. More sophisticated ones are capable of randomizing the spin on the ping pong ball for a more complex game.
Some of the more advanced ping pong machines can also create bi-directional spin, which is something that human players can’t do. While this isn’t realistic practice against a human opponent, it does sharpen your game to respond to unpredictable throws.
Speed and frequency
Getting a robot with a large capacity is a feature you’ll find useful. Most table tennis robots can hold anywhere from 100 balls all the way up to 200 at a time. Larger, more complex robots have a recycling net that collects and re-feeds balls for uninterrupted play which is very convenient.
If you need to buy ping pong balls in bulk we recommend the Sanwei ABS 1 star 500 balls which are ideal for training and a very comparable to 3 star balls that are a lot more expensive.
Getting your robot to send the ball at a pre-programmed location can be useful when you want to improve your game and practice a certain type of shot. Some of them can ve incredibly accurate in their placement too. Others have settings that vary where the ball will land and can oscillate to throw the ball with more variations.
Intermediate and advanced table tennis robots can allow you to play programmed drills to sharpen your skills. An advanced robot might have a wider choice of competitive drills, and many even allow you to program your own drills.
Convenient features to look for
In addition to these features, it’s important to find a table tennis robot that also fits your lifestyle needs. Some optional convenience features of a table tennis robot include:
Battery-powered or plug into the mains?
Is your ping pong table set up in the garden or garage where it’s far from the nearest power socket? If so you might be better off with a battery-powered robot but then you’re going to be constantly charging it or you’ll set up for a practice session only to find it’s got no power.
A remote control
Some robots have a corded or wireless remote control that allows you to change settings at a distance. It’s Very handy to be able to switch between the settings from the other end of the ping pong table rather than having to walk around to change it each time you want a different type of shot. That’s why we always recommend looking for one with a wireless remote control. Some of the most expensive ping pong robots come with a mobile phone app which is extra convenient but, they tend to cost a bit more.
Ease of setup and portability
How easy do you want the set up to be? A simple ping pong robot could be ready to go in a minute or two whereas others, that have more features, may take longer to set up and need a bit more effort. Along with a basic setup and pack down you’ll want to think about portability and where you’ll be using it. Storage is another thing to consider as some robots are a lot larger and more cumbersome than others.
If you’ll be using your ping pong robot at home you’ll want to consider the people you live with as some table tennis robots can be quite noisy! Make sure to read some of the ping pong robot reviews from previous customers to check if the model you’re interested in is particularly loud if that might be a problem.
Some sophisticated pro table tennis robots have a companion phone/tablet app, which not only lets you customize settings and program drills, but will help to track your progress and review your strengths and weaknesses. A really cool feature for those taking their game seriously.
Another thing that you need to consider before buying a ping pong robot is how much memory that you can store your settings and drills in for next time. This makes it easy to build a “library” of your ping pong drills and preferences and switch between them, rather than adjusting settings every practice session which will save you a lot of time.
Table Tennis Robot Accessories
There are a few accessories that we’d recommend getting to make your practice experience easier.
Ball catcher net
A very useful accessory is a ball catcher net to place behind your robot. This way you won’t lose all the balls on the floor and you’ll save your back from bending over constantly to pick them up.
We use the iPONG Carbon Fiber catch net which does the job and isn’t too expensive. Some robots come with a catch net as a bundle so check if your’s does before you order.
An alternative to a catch net is a ball picker like the My Ping Pong Buddy which again is an essential purchase for anyone who doesn’t want a bad back from constantly bending over to pick up ping pong balls!
Our Table Tennis Robot Reviews
Now that we’ve covered some of the features you need to know about, we’ll cover some of our favorite table tennis machines. As we mentioned earlier there is a huge variety of prices and budgets so we’ve tried to include a variety of prices.
#11. JOOLA United Pro 25 w/IPONG Robot Bundle
The JOOLA United Pro 25 w/IPONG Robot Bundle is ideal for players who want a complete package to get training right away. The United Pro 25 is a top-class table with a consistent bounce, and the IPONG Trainer Motion features 5 different settings for diverse drills.
Complete with 80 balls, a pickup net, and a catch net, it is a super bundle that is well worth the investment.
- Includes high-quality table
- 5 different settings
- Multiple accessories included
- Wireless remote
- Limited functionality
- Sometimes prone to jamming
#10. ZXMOTO Robot [Out of Stock, Will Update When It Is Available]
The ZXMOTO is a simple, lightweight, portable table tennis robot with a huge range of shots. It produces frequency from 40 balls all the way to 70 balls per minute. You can control topspin, underspin, left- or right-spin, or have no spin at all. The head can be tilted up or down at 7 different angles to produce different degrees of bounce. And the oscillation function has 8 different ball placement options, with different ball speed options. It has a storage ball capacity of 110 and can be easily adjusted with the wired remote control.
It’s is a high-quality machine, with enough options to allow you to practice almost any stroke, including serve returns. It weighs 7.7 pounds, and is easy to use.
- Huge range of settings and options for various strokes
- Simple to set up and use
- Wired remote for fast adjustments
- Reliable machine
- Setup and operation instructions are in Chinese
It’s also one of the most popular ping pong robots in China, with a reliable mechanical operation for fantastic consistency and reliability. While it cannot randomize shots, it has enough speed and variation for effective training and drilling. Users may need to look on YouTube or online forums for instructions in English (there are lots of them).
#9. iPONG Trainer
The iPONG Trainer is our choice for those looking for an inexpensive table tennis robot. Like the iPONG Trainer Motion or the the iPONG V300, it is fast and easy to set up, lightweight and portable. You can adjust the frequency from 12 to 70 balls per minute, and adjust the speed and spin with the wired remote control. It holds over 100 balls, and weighs just 2.5 pounds. The iPONG Trainer comes with 80 training balls and a tilt stand included, as well.
- Lightweight, portable, and easy to use
- Very affordable
- Big capacity and holds 110 balls
- Not always reliable with ball speed or placement
- Takes time to set up and get the ball right
- With higher spin settings, may vibrate off the table
The iPONG V200 is one of the most affordable table tennis robots on the market and a good choice for adult beginners. It’s probably not the best choice for kids as it does need a bit of tweaking and adjusting to get it to perform fairly consistently. However, for an adult who simply wants a basic robot to help practice their basic strokes, it’s a good option and at a very affordable price.
#4. Butterfly Amicus Prime
The Butterfly Amicus Prime comes with a tablet computer and the Butterfly Amicus app (which you can also operate with your own Android or iOS device) to control the wide range of settings and included pre-programmed drills. It also comes with a small, key-fob-like remote control for quick pauses and frequency control adjustments.
The combination of the app coupled with the Butterfly Amicus Prime table tennis robot, means you can use the library of 10 included common shots, or manually control ball frequency from 5 to 120 balls per minute, and control speed, spin, trajectory, and ball placement. You can also quickly mirror or reverse settings to change your dominant hand or practice forehand/backhand without adjusting any other settings. You can also randomize any of these strokes to vary the game and add interval training.
The Butterfly Amicus Prime comes pre-programmed with 21 exercises created by table tennis coach Richard Prouse. You can watch a video in the app to see how each exercise should be practiced. Exercises can be modified or replaced, and you can create your own custom exercises and store them in memory. Exercises can be sequenced together to run automatically, or randomized.
The Butterfly AMICUS Prime comes with the tablet computer, small remote, a collection and reloading net, and a carry/storage bag. It’s a perfect upgrade from the Butterfly Amicus Professional, which doesn’t use the app.
- Huge range of possible shots and exercises with the ability to randomize and adjust them, for complex and realistic solo practices
- Comes with a tablet computer, collection net, and small remote
- The app can be used on the included tablet or your own device
- Coach-designed exercises and video demonstrate how best to improve your game
- Complex and difficult to set up and take down
- Robot relies on the app (and Bluetooth connection) to operate; if the app crashes or there are problems with the device, the robot cannot be used
- Very expensive
The Butterfly Amicus Prime is a top-of-the-line professional table tennis robot, and the price tag reflects that. It has all the features and exercises you need for professional, competitive solo intense training.
#3. iPONG Trainer Motion
The iPONG Trainer Motion is the upgrade to the iPong V300 and is a simple, compact ping pong robot with good features and a small footprint. You can control the number of balls per minute, side-to-side oscillation, topspin, and backspin. It can hold over 100 balls and shoot them at a rate of 12 to 70 balls per minute. Not only that, but this great little robot comes with a tilt stand to increase the variety of strokes, as well as a wireless remote.
The iPONG Trainer Motion has a programmable memory to save your settings, and a digital display to make it easy to configure and control. It sets up in just a few minutes, and uses regular AC power.
- Easy to set up, easy to use, easy to move and store
- Digital display, wireless remote, and onboard memory make it easy to choose and restore your settings
- Can be tilted for wider range of stroke placements
- Cheap price
- Oscillation function can be unpredictable and shoot balls randomly to the side
- Can’t independently adjust the speed settings; adjusting topspin and backspin settings changes the speed
- Can be inconsistent and sometimes jam
The iPONG Trainer Motion is a great, affordable table tennis robot for a beginner to improve and practice the basics of the game. It’s easy to set up and use, and the ability to store your settings in memory and use the remote control lets you quickly switch between different kinds of strokes. It currently is available as a bundle with 80 balls and a pick up net too which makes it an even better deal!
#1. The Power Pong Omega
For serious players who are looking for the best table tennis robot on the market in 2022 and one that even pro table tennis players would be happy with, then you have to check out the Power Pong Omega. It’s easily the best table tennis training robot for the money right now and is a state of the art and versatile table tennis machine that will blow you away with its features.
This is the new and improved version of the Power Pong 5000. It comes with its own tablet and can also be controlled with your iPhone, iPad, or Android.
It’s a competitor of the Butterfly Amicus Prime and is almost identical in its design and features, even being made in the same factory.
It’s able to create drills with up to eight balls to give you great flexibility in your training and can store up to 99 drills in the control box and an unlimited amount via the bluetooth app that allows you to control it via your smartphone.
- Can program all types of spin, speed, frequency and trajectory
- 33 Saved drills in each memory slot
- Ball recycling net
- Preprogrammed drils
- 3-year warranty
A highly recommended ping pong robot and if it’s slightly out of budget there are two other models at a bit lower price points the Power Pong 2001 (which we cover later on) and the Power Pong 3001 which are also worth checking out.
Anyway, that about sums it up for what we think are some of the best-rated ping pong robots on the market today. We’ll keep this list updated as and when we hear of any new models making waves in the table tennis community.
We highly recommend checking out the PowerPong series of ping pong robots though. They’ve totally revolutionised how we practice table tennis and it makes it so much easier to train and hone specific skills. While it’s more expensive than some of the other models like the Newgy Robo-Pong 2040 or the iPONG Trainer Motion even their first model the Power Pong 2001 isn’t much more expensive but you get so much more value.