Tanks are a classic childhood military toy that have grown significantly with improvements in technology, and feature packed RC tanks have become so popular that choosing a model can be difficult. There’s a lot of options out there, some of which have more features and interactivity than others.

If you’re wondering which one’s right for you, we’ve taken a look at the 10 best RC tanks and provided a side by side comparison so you can see how they stack up.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall RC Tank

Best Overall

M1A2 Abrams USA Battle Tank

Best Budget Buy

Cheerwing German Tiger Panzer

How to Pick the Best RC Tank

1. Recommended Age

Radio controlled vehicles can vary in difficulty level and complexity. Some of the ones listed here have real projectiles that require responsible use. Making sure you choose a tank that’s appropriate for your child’s age ensures that they’ll be happy with the purchase, safe while using it and that your money won’t be wasted.

2. Size

The tanks on our list vary pretty significantly from small to large. You don’t want to disappoint your child with something too small or overwhelm them with something too large, so think carefully about what a reasonable size for them would be and then take a look at the dimensions of a product before you buy.

3. Batteries

The component that makes RC vehicles what they are is power, usually provided by batteries. Sometimes batteries are rechargeable and already present inside the vehicle, while other times you’ll be required to bring your own batteries for both the tank and the remote. It’s important to note if batteries are needed, how many and what they are.

4. Shooting Action

Some of the tanks on our list use real projectiles, such as Airsoft bbs or small plastic “missiles”. Others use lasers, some feature only sound, and two have no shooting action at all. The level of battle tank you want and the level of safety you want to maintain may play a role in your decision, so make sure you check for the kind of shooting action you’d prefer.

5. Includes

While some of the tanks listed here are just a tank and a remote, others have numerous additional items included. Some of these may make a product a better buy for you than an alternative, so check out what else is included before you make your pick.

6. Color

Not all tanks are just plain Army green(but some definitely are). Lots of kids have a favorite color or style, which makes this a noteworthy feature in some cases. If your child is looking for a specific aesthetic for their RC tank, make sure you check out colors before purchasing.

An RC tank in snow.

The Winners

#1

Best Overall

This M1A2 Abrams USA Battle Tank is a scaled replica of the original. It shoots 6 mm BBs (the manufacturer doesn’t specify this, but Airsoft ammo would work here) with a hatch that loads up to 50. Realistic engine and cannon firing sounds as well as real recoil create an immersive RC experience for kids. The tank features forward and reverse motion and spin as well as a 300 degree rotating turret. It can climb slopes and features multi-speed control, meaning it works well on a multitude of terrains. 

Recommended age: 14+
Size: 16 x 6 x 5 inches
Batteries: 4 AA not included
Shooting action: 6 mm BBs
Includes: Tank, remote control
Color: Desert camo

#2

Taigen 1:16 German Tiger 1

Upgrade Choice

A high end model from a trusted manufacturer, this Taigen 1:16 German Tiger 1 tank from World War II features detail and quality that make it a standout. 1:16 sounds small, and for a car, it is – but tanks are huge, and this toy is quite large compared to some others listed here. It’s a full metal model, heavyweight and sturdy with a gun barrel, caterpillar tracks, a drive wheel and front and rear hooks with pull ropes. The tank shoots real Airsoft BBs, and it comes with a target for practicing accuracy plus decals and a soldier figure for extra fun.

Recommended age: 10+
Size: 22 x 9 x 7.5 inches
Batteries: 6 AA not included
Shooting action: Airsoft BBs
Includes: Starter pack of BBs, target, decals, soldier figure, pull ropes, tank, remote
Color: Army green

#3

Best Budget Buy

A realistic 1:72 model, this German Tiger Panzer Tank by Cheerwig features a 360 degree rotating turret and flexible plastic tracks with a full range of motion as well as lights and sounds. This mini tank is a good pick for first time RC users – it doesn’t have as many features as some of the others on the list, but it’s small, fairly durable and the interface is simple to understand. The gun barrel moves up and down and a high and low speed switch allows users to control movement speed. The realistic engine, turret, movement and firing sound effects are impressive for a product that’s, compared to others in its class, a budget buy.

Recommended age: 14+
Size: 35.4 x 1.97 x 1.57 inches
Batteries: 4 AA not included
Shooting action: Sound only
Includes: Tank, remote
Color: Green camo

#4

This set of two Liberty Imports RC Battle Tanks features skillful detailing and immersive sound and light features that make it a hit with kids. These tanks feature an infrared firing system which allows kids to battle it out. Keep an eye on the ‘life indicators’ because three hits and you win! With two tanks in the pack, it means family fun doesn’t require multiple purchases. These tanks create a great opportunity for creative cooperative play, drawing interest through features like a full motion range including 360 degree rotation and 330 degree turret rotation as well as both cannon and gun attacks.

Recommended age: 7+
Size: 9.9 x 8.4 x 3.2 inches
Batteries: Rechargeable battery packs for tanks (included), 3x AG13 button batteries for remotes (not included)
Shooting action: Infrared ‘laser’
Includes: 2 tanks, 2 remotes
Color: Navy vs khaki

#5

Best RC Tank That Really Shoots

The cool and compact green design of the Liberty Imports RC Power BB Tank belies a feature kids will love – it fires real Airsoft BBs. The operation is extremely simple, performed via a 5 button remote that’s ideal for responsible first time users. The toy features a full range of motion as well as firing recoil, and it’s accompanied by an impressive 100 Airsoft BBs – it’s notable, though, that this tank requires the most batteries on the list at 8 AA which may be a lot to keep up with. 

Recommended age: 8+
Size: 10 x 5 x 4 inches
Batteries: 8 AA not included
Shooting action: Airsoft BBs
Includes: 100 BBs, tank, remote
Color: Green

#6

A combo battle tank and robot toy, Air Hogs Robo Trax All Terrain Tank offers dual functionality in a cool black and red design. Transformation is easy to initiate, requiring only one button push for zero frustration during play. The toy has two missile bays and comes with six missile projectiles. It stands at 8 inches in robot form, and can fire missiles in both forms. Another great feature is the large tread of the tracks, which makes the durable toy great for all-terrain play. 

Recommended age: 8 – 10 years
Size: 5 x 16 x 12 inches
Batteries: 3 AA not included
Shooting action: Missiles
Includes: Tank, remote, USB cord, 6 missiles
Color: Red and black

#7

Best RC Tank With Camera

The Blomiky I-SPY Mini Tank is a bit different than the others on our list, but it’s cool for other reasons. It’s not very military themed and it’s definitely not for battling – there’s no shooting, lights or sounds here. However, it features a 0.3 MP camera and can stream live video or take photos, making it the perfect tool to capture unique footage that would be difficult to obtain manually. Perhaps better described as a drone, the A-Parts tank car features a full motion range and is great for encouraging exploration and adventure. It’s notable that this device can only be powered through the use of certain Apple devices – see below for more details. 

Recommended age: 8+
Size: 3.9 x 4.7 x 2.4 inches
Batteries: Lithium ion battery included
Shooting action: None
Includes: Tank, USB cord
Color: White with black accents

#8

Best Mini RC Tank

Compact with a cool old school design, NitroRCX Russian T34 Battle Tank features laser machine gun functions as well as a full range of motion. It can also climb slopes easily, which makes it a fun just like other all-terrain toy. The detailed exterior adds an immersive element to play and the treads allow it to traverse a variety of surfaces easily. It’s small, easy to use and not very expensive, so it’s a good first pick for a younger user and an ideal travel toy. 

Recommended age: 8+
Size: Dimensions not specified
Batteries: Lithium ion battery included
Shooting action: Laser
Includes: Tank, remote
Color: Black

#10

Brain Crunch SM1702 Tank

A bit different than others on this list, the Brain Crunch SM1702 Tank that is one of the possible final products of this kit has no firing action and isn’t very militaristic. That said, if your child loves the building an RC aspects of toys but doesn’t much prefer battle, it’s an ideal choice. The kit has 237 reusable pieces, and as we alluded previously, the tank is only one option – you can also build a race car, a bug or a knight on a horse. Once kids are familiar with the kit, they can disassemble it and use it to make RC creations from their own imagination. It’s a great toy for encouraging important skills like spatial reasoning and hand eye coordination. 

Recommended age: 8+
Size: 14 x 2.8 x 11 inches
Batteries: 2 AA and 4 AAA not included
Shooting action: None
Includes: 237 pieces, 2 motors, RC/receiver, 56 page manual with diagrams
Color: Multicolor

DIY and Craft Ideas for RC Tank lovers

Where better to play with an RC tank than a military birthday party from Kara at Kara’s Party Ideas? It’s great for a kid with a mom or dad who has served or is serving.

bday party DIY

Need a fun tank craft for the younger set that won’t break the bank? Check out this cardboard tank craft from About Needlework.

DIY Tank

Another fun Army party ideas with an awesome scavenger hunt plan comes from Stephanie at Somewhat Simple

Quick Decision

M1A2 Abrams USA Battle Tank – Best Overall
It shoots real 6 mm BBs, is a scale model of a real American battle tank and features immersive realistic sounds, motion and recoil

Taigen German Tiger Tank – Upgrade Choice
It’s massive, has a heavyweight full metal structure that’s built to last and is feature packed with real firing

Cheerwing 1:72 German Panzer Tank – Best Budget Buy
It’s an inexpensive pick with realistic features that’s durable and easy for new users to grasp

THE BEST TOY FIRE TRUCKs

We’ve rounded up the best RC firetruck toys for your little fire fighter. Dive in a check out this awesome selection. 

Gary B.

Gary B.

Gary is a father of two, self-identified RC fanboy, and part-time guitar plucker. When he's not racing his collection of remote-controlled vehicles or strumming away, we bend his arm and get him to write with precision and expertise on a range of mechanical and electrical toys.

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