RC tanks are such great fun, whether you’re looking for one for yourself or buying one as a gift – you can’t go wrong getting into this hobby. My aim with this best RC tank reviews article is to share what I’ve researched on solid RC tanks to get across all budget ranges.
The best RC tanks will be fun to drive, work on a variety of terrain, and yes of course they’ll shoot. That’s the whole point of a tank, to shoot! So due to that I won’t be including any RC tanks that don’t shoot air soft style ammo because I think that’s pointless.
Best RC Tanks: Review Table
|Best RC Tank||Pic||ModGod Review||Our Rating||Get It Here|
|Hobby Engine Leopard 2A6||Best RC tank under $100||(3.5 / 5)|
|Hobby Engine Leopard 2A5 Premium||Great RC tank for under $200, better than the 2A6 :eopard.||(4 / 5)|
|HengLong German Panzer IV||Best RC tank under $200 - shoots and smokes with realistic sounds. Awesome tank.||(4.5 / 5)|
|German Tiger 1 Infrared||Best RC tank if you want to battle other tanks using the IR (infrared) system. Best budget IR tank.||(4 / 5)|
|German Tiger Battle Tank 1:24||Best cheap RC tank, under $50||(3.5 / 5)|
|Taigen Sturmgeschutz II||Best metal RC tank - awesome heavy duty tank||(4.5 / 5)|
|iPlay RC Battling Tanks||Best budget IR battle tanks - great starter set for kids!||(3.5 / 5)|
|VS Tank Sherman IR Battle Tanks||Solid battle tanks with an interactive IR system - better than other systems.||(4 / 5)|
|Taigen Tiger IR Tank||Best overall IR battle tank, individually sold.||(4.5 / 5)|
Best RC Tank Reviews
In this starting section I’m going to go over what I think are the best RC tanks and I’ll break them down into categories like best budget RC tank, best overall tank, and some other cool options.
Hobby Engine Leopard 2A6
Coming in at around $100 this is a great starter tank for anyone interested in getting into the hobby. This is a ready to run (RTR) tank that only needs a battery in the controller to run. It’s electric powered, an incredibily detailed Leopoard replica, and it shoots REAL airsoft ammo at a respectable speed. The tank is nothing crazy in terms of speed or power but it moves, crawls, and shoots which is all you can really ask for from a $100 tank.
- Shoots16mm airsoft BBs
- 1/16 scale
- Comes with 7.2V NiMH tank battery pack and a wall charger
- Best RC tank under $100
Hobby Engine Premium Label Leopard 2A5
Similar to the tank reviewed above, this is upgraded Leopard is a great RC tank for under $200. This has a much more powerful motor, indepdent suspension, and more precise controls in comparison to the Leopard 2A6. This tank now comes with sound and lighting, and you can control it from up to 30m away. The premium label Leopard will provide an experience that’s more enjoyable with a faster, more responsive, and tank that shoots farther.
- Fires 6mm airsoft bbs
- Fire while moving or stationary
- Has super realistic light or sound
- Turret rotates 360 degrees
- Strong enough to climb up inclines
- 24x9x7 inches
German Panzer IV HengLong
This is the first HengLong or HL tank that’s made it onto this list, just in time to be the best RC tank under 200 dollars. Upgrading the metal gears and tracks is a great option for 1/16 scale tanks as they can handle much more terrain including the dreaded carpets. This tank has realistic sounds, can climb hills, the barrel rotates 320-degrees around and also can tilt or lower 30 degrees.
- Airsoft RC tank that shoots and smokes
- Realistic sounds
- 1/16 scale tank with metal gears and tracks
- Side turning for turret is 330 degrees, up and down is 30 degrees
- Can climb 35 degree inclinces
- Awesome startup motor sound
- Best RC tank under $200
- Also available in Snow Leopard M26 skin, and US M1A2 Abrams skin
German Tiger 1 with Infrared Battle System
This is the first tank on the list to have an Infrared Battle System or be an “IR Tank” as you’ll commonly see it listed. If you want an RC tank to drive around the yard, house, and shoot at targets then you don’t need an IR battle system. HOWEVER if you ever have any intention of battling your tank against another you’ll really want to get an IR tank. Basically, depending on the IR system. once the tank is hit with a shot it will reduce power and if you’re shot enough times the tank will be destroyed. This allows accurate tracking of RC battles and makes for great fun. Obviously since accuracy is required to hit another small RC tank, IR tanks tend to become more expensive with upgrades, speed, and accuracy improvements.
- Startup sound, shooting sounds
- 320 degree barrel rotation, 30 degree tilt
- Climbs up to 35 degree slope
- Has built in Infrared battle system
- Best budget IR tank
German Tiger Battle Tank 1:24
This is going to be my budget tank pick on this list, coming in at around $50 you will not find another tank that shoots, has engine sound, and shooting sound as well. It even has a fully metal barrel that has a recoil action upon shooting. This tank is built surprisingly well for the amount of money you pay so you’re getting a lot of value here. If you’re unsure if you want to get into the hobby of RC tanks or just want a cheap tank, this is a great option. I would advise against going any cheaper than this because the quality of the motors, batteries, and moving parts really starts to degrade and you’ll end up with something that breaks after a short amount of time – not really saving you any money in the long run.
- Shoots 6mm airsoft BBs
- Engine and cannon sound
- Cannon recoil action
- Tires are pretty grippy
- Best budget RC tank overall
TaiGen Sturmgeschutz II – Metal Tank
This is the first big, bad, heavy-duty tank making it onto the list. Here we have the TaiGen Sturmgeschutz III tank that’s almost entirely made of metal. If you’re into RC tanks and you want a vehicle that will go over anything and pass the test, this is your tank. It’s the metal edition with all metal drives, wheels, suspension, and chassis too.
- Shoots 6mm airsoft
- Metal driver, idler wheels, torsion bars, suspension arms, and chassis
- Really a heavy duty tank built to handle whatever you can throw at it
- Buy with confidence knowing this tank will outlast the rest
- Pretty heavy price tag considering all of the metal parts
- Best metal RC tank
I think now there’s been a fair amount of tanks reviewed, I want to get into specifically reviewing IR, or infrared battle tanks.
Best RC Tanks for IR Battle
The most important thing when it comes to battling RC tanks with infrared systems is that the tanks are similarly armed. Sure there are different size tanks that will offer different advantages, but if you and your friend have tanks and one is way faster, more maneuverable than the other – it won’t be fun. One tank will run circles around the other and it won’t be a fun fight. So it’s really important for both tanks to be on equal fighting grounds for the best experience.
iPlay RC Battling Tanks – Set of 2
This is a super budget options when it comes to IR tanks and I actually can’t believe that you can get two for this amount of money. This is not a full IR battle system integration, but if you hit the other tank then it will stimulate being hit so you can mentally track the amount of hits, or set up your own scoring.
- Uses an infrared laser system to battle between the tanks
- Two tanks with controllers, and rotating barrels
- Batteries and chargers included
- Fully functioning IR battle set with two tanks
- Best budget IR tank set
VSTank M4 Sherman IR Battle Tank
Next I want to get into reviewing the VSTank IR tanks because they’re a pretty solid tank with a battle system that won’t break the bank. Meant for battling, these tanks come with accurate controls in 3 forward speeds, 2 turning speeds, and even a reverse speed.
- VSTank has the first more interactive IR battle system that tracks hits on this list
- Scale is 1:24
- IR tank that comes ready to battle other similar IR tanks (get another one or find friends/hobby stores to play it)
- Requires some batteries
TaiGen 1/16 Tiger IR Tank
Here’s an IR tank by the reputed TaiGen manufacturer that comes ready to do battle with other tanks. Instead of shooting BBs these tanks are equipped with an infrared battle system that allows you to fight other tanks and track the hits. Whoever gets the most hits will destroy the other tank and be victorious!
- 2.4ghz 1:16 scale tank
- Plastic body with metal upgraded parts
- Metal chassis, torsion bar, and gun barell
- Comes with batteries and charger for tank
- Overall a solid IR battle tank
Hopefully this is enough variety in the IR battle tank options to get you sorted. Basically there are a ton of airsoft/bb battling tanks out there to choose from that can battle any other tank, and there are IR tank systems like TaiGen, VSTanks, specific kits of two, and Tamiya but I wasn’t able to find any Tamiya RC tanks to review just yet.
How to Pick the Best RC Tank
Picking the best RC tank for you depends on a few things – mainly your intention for the tank. I’ve designed this article with two types of RC tank drivers in mind, the hobbyist looking to roam around, and shoot targets, and the ones who want to battle.
Airsoft vs IR RC Tanks
There are two main types of tanks, airsoft firing, or IR tanks. IR tanks use infrared to register hits and can have a full-fledged battle system that tracks hits and disables your tank as it gets hit more and more. So while you can certainly battle with airsoft tanks as many do, if you’re serious about the battle aspect then I would recommend an IR tank.
Sounds and Realistic Features
This is sometimes an important aspect for the RC driver – we resort to the hobby of RC because we want to replicate, and enjoy a vehicle or device without spending thousands of dollars. Saying that, it makes sense that we want our tanks to be realistic. Tanks that smoke, make sound when they shoot, have recoil on the barrel, and more are very appealing to the RC driver. This list includes tanks with realistic features so select as you desire and make sure you get what you want! Most tanks have pretty good features and you don’t have to pay a ton to get a smoking, rotating, and firing tank. The Hobby Engine Premium Leopard at $200 has just about every realistic feature you could ask for.
Plastic vs Metal for RC Tanks
This is probably one of the more common debates you’ll hear within the RC tank community – metal or plastic? Personally I like to battle my tanks which means they need to be quick and agile, so I almost always choose plastic. However, there is a ton of merit to choosing metal as the parts are way more durable and the tanks last for longer.
So that’s what you’ll have to weigh on your decision – do you want a light and fast tank, or do you want it to be more durable? Also keep in mind that metal tanks are often more expensive than their plastic counterparts.
Batteries for your RC Tank
Most tanks on this list will come with batteries that are rechargable for the tank, but not for the receiver. The receiver/controls will often use a few batteries that you can get from any store. My first recommendation when upgrading your RC tank is to get a better battery pack, and a better charger for the tank. This will lengthen the amount of time you can drive for (important for RC battles) and also lower the time you have to wait to play again – win win!
RC Tank Controls, Rotation, and Speed
Depending on the controls, you may have a barrel that rotates between 300 degrees, and 360 degrees. Basically, some have the full function to rotate all the way and some don’t. Doing battle, this is very important and often makes the tank more expensive due to wiring. If you’re not doing battle then you might want full rotation but you probably don’t need it.
Speed is not the most important thing for tanks, I think the most important thing is to have DIFFERENT speed options, like the VsTanks that have three speed options and turning speed options as well. This means if an enemy tank is nearby you can use your speed options to be super accurate.
Most airsoft tanks will use 6mm BBs that can be obtained from any hobby store, or big chain store like Walmart. Some tanks will even come with ammo.
RC Tank Scale Options
Scale is sometimes important to the RC tank hobbyist – basically it means how close it is to the real size of the tank. For example, 1/8 scale will be bigger than 1/16 scale but also cost more to make. The sweet spots for RC tank scales seems to be 1/16 scale and 1/24 scale. There are some 1/8 scale tanks but they’re simply too expensive and not as maneuverable for RC battles. Also it just seems like more people have 1/16 and 1/24 scale tanks which would make it tricky to battle against with a larger tank as you’d just be a huge moving target without any improved firepower or anything like that.
Replicas and Camouflage Options
How the tank looks is not something to overlook, with so many different camo options and replicas available there’s no need to settle with a tank that doesn’t visually please you. If you want a specific brand of tank just do some searching around and I’m sure they’ll have what you want. If not, you could always look into customizing your own tank’s colors and camo which I love doing.
RC Tank Brands
Now that we’ve gone through some decent tanks, features to consider when picking your tank, let’s talk about the good RC tank brands.
- Tamiya – Great RC tanks with the best IR battle system, but they’re a bit hard to find online
- TaiGen – They make quality tanks, but they are a bit more pricey. They have a good IR battle system
- VSTanks – Great entry level IR tanks, you can pick a few of these up and have a blast
- Other brands – A lot of brands will make airsoft RC tanks and you can choose between them based on your needs
Best RC Tank Reviews Conclusion
Overall the most important thing when picking the best RC tank is to find one that you’ll have fun with. None of the tanks in my reivews will break quickly, and they’ll all spin and shoot – so you can’t go wrong selecting one of this list. Review the features that you want, do your research, and find a sweet tank that will do exactly what you want it to.