- "60 tons of fun. A heavily-armored battle tank with a 1,500hp turbine engine and a 120mm cannon, the Rhino delivers a hell of a lot of bang for your buck. Much like its namesake, the Rhino is slow on the turn, surprisingly fast on the charge, and generally terrifying to anyone in the vicinity. One of the few vehicles still manufactured in America. Great for doomsday preppers."
- ―Warstock Cache & Carry webpage
The Rhino is the name of an armored fighting vehicle appearing since Grand Theft Auto III, commonly referred to by players and police chatters simply as the Tank. The Rhino has subsequently appeared in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and Grand Theft Auto V.
Like its predecessor in Grand Theft Auto 2, the Rhino appears when the player attains a six star wanted rating. In all games, the Rhino can be avoided without much difficulty because of its slow speed and bad handling, but it's extremely deadly if the player attempts engaging one, and the soldier driving it always carries strong weapons. Also, when successfully stolen, authorities can bust the player due to the Rhino's slow speed. When it hits a vehicle, the vehicle most of the time explodes straight away; if not, it starts to burn instead, in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars however, this does not happen. Law enforcement tends not to use the main cannon of the Rhino, except in GTA Chinatown Wars, in which the gun causes massive damage and usually kills the player. The Rhino is practically invincible to small arms fire and crashes; only Satchel Charges, dozens of other explosives & rockets, and the Police Maverick's mounted gun can inflict damage. Additionally, flame weapons such as the molotov cocktail and flamethrower) are able to damage the tank. Note that it is also possible to destroy a Rhino with conventional ordnance, but it takes a staggering amount and a long time to do so. In GTA Liberty City Stories, if you can get the Rhino up and onto the tracks of the subway or the El-Train, the incoming train cars will destroy the tank on impact.
In GTA: San Andreas and GTA: Liberty City Stories, it's possible to carjack a Rhino and even store one in a safehouse garage. Vice City Stories removes the ability to carjack the Rhino and unlike the other games where a Rhino spawn point is found, the tank is locked until a certain mission is completed (and even then the PS2 version of the game keeps the Rhino locked).
In GTA III, GTA Vice City, GTA Liberty City Stories and GTA Vice City Stories, the Rhino does not appear to be directly based off of any real life military vehicle. However, its front end does bear resemblance to that of the 6 wheeled M93 Fox reconassaince vehicle, and the sides belong to the design of the Panhard ERC 90. Its features also resemble the seemingly original and chunky design reminiscent of a modified M3 Stuart, but with a front that more closely resembles that of an M4 Sherman. The Rhino's weapon configuration and chassis are similar to the equipment of the LAV-600. Because of its heavy construction, with doors on both sides that can easily be damaged with even the slightest hit, and a truck-style 3-axle drivetrain with visible wheels, the turret can only be rotated by pressing buttons, which makes precise shooting almost impossible.
In its original appearance in GTA III, the Rhino assumes a stark appearance with little detail on its armored body. The GTA Vice City rendition, however, saw the addition of a variety of equipment to the vehicle, as well as the enlargement of the turret's barrel. The GTA Liberty City Stories and GTA Vice City Stories variants follow the design cues of the GTA III and GTA Vice City renditions, with the turret barrel of GTA Liberty Stories rendition even being of the same size and length as that in GTA Vice City, although the GTA Vice City Stories variant is even longer.
In GTA San Andreas, the Rhino looks like an M1 Abrams and it is much more realistic than its predecessors. This variant of the Rhino features a beige (desert) camouflage, a normal tank entrance hatch in the front, and a new drive-train with numerous smaller wheels. The design overhaul gives a great deal more realism to the tank's appearance.
It also has a new steering system, which finally allows the player to make very tight turns. The turret is operated with the mouse (PC) or right thumb-stick (PlayStation 2), which allows the player to aim more precisely--however, this means the Rhino can no longer fire backwards on pursuers while keeping the camera pointed forward for steering. The Rhino in GTA San Andreas is also heavy enough to push aircraft, making a Rhino an ideal vehicle to push the destroyed Andromada from "Stowaway".
Interestingly enough, none of the pre-GTA IV versions have caterpillar tracks, unlike their real world counterparts; this is likely due to tracks being too complex for the game's engine to render. In GTA IV's first DLC, The Lost and Damned, the text files for a Rhino tank are included, even though it never appears in game.
The Rhino does not appear in Grand Theft Auto IV. It is assumed that Rockstar's goal of making GTA IV more realistic than previous GTA entries led to the tank being cut from the game. It is later replaced with the APC in The Ballad of Gay Tony. GTA Chinatown Wars reintroduces the Rhino with an appearance similar to the M7 Priest. The GTA Chinatown Wars Rhino bears the distinction of being the first Rhino to ever be depicted as having tracks.
The Rhino returns in Grand Theft Auto V, resembling the German Leopard 2A3, and like GTA Chinatown Wars, is depicted as having tracks, making it overall the most realistic rendition of the vehicle in the series to date (despite being modeled after a non-American military vehicle). It features a powerful main cannon and an unusable mounted machine gun. Like the SA model, there is a hatch to the driver's seat, but in the left side of the tank. The turret is again controlled by the right thumb-stick, but with greater accuracy than earlier versions of the tank, enabling it to turn very quickly and even aim at pursuing helicopters above. Unlike GTA III era, the cannon is solid, making a great advantage of clear out obstacles without the risk of firing, avoiding the explosion.
Performance and durability
|First Rhino (GTA III/Vice City/Liberty City Stories/Vice City Stories)||Second Rhino (GTA San Andreas)||Third Rhino (GTA V)|
|Color||Green camouflage||Beige camouflage||Desert camouflage|
|Handling||Handling of this tank is terrible. Even at low speeds its turns are horribly wide. Unlike the normal tank it has very poor acceleration, when maximum speed is normal for this kind of tank. It has a working handbrake, but because of its wide turning radius and dual rear axles it is difficult to tighten turns with it. Tank is quite bouncy, so its wheels easily lose contact with ground. Its small ground clearance, bouncy suspension and low torque makes this tank very poor when driving off-road, or even through small barriers.||This tank has 2 steering modes: normal allows it to make turns a little better than trucks, and extra, activated with handbrake button, allows to make extra tight turns. It has little better off-road abilities, but it is still far from perfect. It has better acceleration and grip, but it still cannot go through high obstacles. It handles better on road. The turret now points to where the player's camera is pointed, making it difficult to aim in some circumstances. It has no lights or sirens.||The handling of this tank, while not perfect, is fairly good. The vehicle is adept at driving off road, though its tracks can occasionally cause it to become stuck on solid objects. For the first time, the tank's main gun barrel has collision detection, and striking other objects with it can cause the tank to flip or become stuck; this is especially problematic when first entering the tank, as the turret will suddenly 'snap' to the direction the camera is facing, and the movement can be so violent it will literally flip the tank over. The player view whilst in the tank is zoomed out to make aiming at targets easier; a targeting reticle is also placed on the screen to allow for accurate shooting. As a result of its improved aiming mechanics, the Rhino is much better at blowing up low-flying aircraft, including police helicopters, although it's gun has a maximum elevation.|
In GTA III and GTA Vice City, the Rhino is bullet-proof and explosion-proof and as such it is immune to all weapons except the flamethrower and molotovs. In GTA San Andreas, the Rhino is still a tough vehicle, however, after colliding several times with other tanks, it will start smoking and explode. While driving the Rhino, one should be careful not to drive through the flames left behind by vehicles that have exploded, as these will set the Rhino on fire doing massive damage and usually destroying it. In Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, the Rhino is immune to bullets but can still be destroyed by fire and about 10-15 hits from another Rhino's cannon or explosives.
Due to the introduction of treads for GTA Chinatown War's Rhino, the tank gains another a minor advantage in that it can turn while in a stationary position. The durability of the game's Rhino, however, is turned down a notch, being more vulnerable to explosive damage than previous renditions; a pristine Rhino will begin burning as a whole after receiving seven direct hits from a Rocket Launcher or another Rhino's turret.
While GTA V's Rhino is still very powerful, is not completely indestructible and can be destroyed if it gets caught near too many explosions or if one of the tracks gets caught on fire, which is a fairly rare occurrence. Large amounts of smoke coming out the back engine is a sign that the Rhino is losing power, and can be avoided more by staying away from fire and explosions as much as possible. The tracks allow it to turn reasonable well, though the tires can sometimes be shot out which can make it's handling more difficult.
In GTA Online, the Rhino seems to have recieved a boost in health. It can take more car explosions and rockets than it could in the campaign.
In the tank, the player can perform vigilante missions, which means catching and killing suspects. The Rhino isn't necessarily the best vehicle to do this mission (especially not in games where the Hunter is available) because the player risks increasing his own wanted level at an accelerated rate due to the tank's penchant for collateral damage. On the other hand, if the player cannot complete the missions with the other, comparatively flimsy police vehicles, the Rhino might be better. If the player can intercept the enemy vehicles, rather than chasing them, the player may be able to strike the targets with the tank instead of firing on them. This method cuts down on the wanted level the player receives, which may help him avoid having to fight the military on some occasions.
In GTA Vice City, there is a mission in which the player has to steal a tank, Sir, Yes Sir!. Its doors are closed, so the player needs to wait until the driver hops out to buy some doughnuts, or kill the soldier on top of the tank. This tank has a self-destruct mechanism which the player must disable before it destroys the tank. In GTA Liberty City Stories, during the mission "Shogun Showdown", the Yakuza are storing weapons in a warehouse and along with that Toni Cipriani finds a Rhino which he later destroys by detonating it with a bomb. In GTA Chinatown Wars, during the mission Deadly Xin, Xin Shan has the player use a NOOSE Rhino parked at Francis International Airport to create havoc, diverting the police from his own machinations.
In GTA: San Andreas and GTA: Liberty City Stories, the player can use the Rhino to complete the Vigilante side-mission. Given its near-indestructibility and ability to destroy vehicles on contact, it is considered the easiest vehicle with which to complete the mission, even taking into account its slow speed.
- Spawns at Phil Cassidy's Army Surplus in Rockford after completion of The Exchange.
- Military officers pursue the player at a 6-star wanted level.
- Can be spawned using cheats.
GTA Vice City
- Can be found inside the Fort Baxter Air Base after having collected 90 hidden packages.
- Can be encountered during a 6-star wanted level.
- Driven by the military during the mission Sir, Yes Sir!.
- Can be spawned using cheats.
GTA San Andreas
- Available inside Area 69.
- Will spawn underneath the overpass going above the end of Grove Street after 100% is achieved.
- Can be spawned using cheats
- The military will pursue CJ at a six-star wanted level, sometimes using Rhinos.
GTA Liberty City Stories
- Spawns in Fort Staunton when 100% is achieved.
- Spawns during the 6 star wanted level.
- Stolen from the Yakuza compound and destroyed by Toni in the mission Shogun Showdown.
GTA Vice City Stories
- Inside the Fort Baxter military base, it is there from the beginning of the game but unlocked only when the mission Over The Top is done.
- Driven by the army whan the player gets a 6 star wanted level. As with the Rhino at Fort Baxter, they remain locked until the completion of Over The Top. Note: in the original PS2 version of the game, the Rhinos remain inaccessible, even after completing Over the Top, but in the double pack version, the Rhinos are almost always unlocked.
GTA Chinatown Wars
- Available for purchase from the Auto Merchant when the main story is complete, at $10000.
- Can be found in a fenced-off warehouse area at the southern end of Francis International Airport; activates Fast Tracks. Players will warp outside a parked Rhino at the starting point regardless of whether or not the player completes or fails the mission (Note: To be used normally, the Rhino must be entered, before the player quits the side mission and reenter the Rhino quickly, or start a Vigilante or taxi mission and entering the Rhino).
- Driven by military when the player gets a 6 star wanted level.
- Can be found at Fort Zancudo. The military will use Rhinos to shoot at the player once inside the base.
- Can be bought for $3,000,000 from Warstock Cache & Carry.
- The army will use Rhinos to attempt to kill Trevor in the army Rampage.
- Can be found at Sandy Shores Airfield hangar. The player must be using Trevor to gain access to the airfield.
- Can be found at the Los Santos International Airport hangar. The hangar must be purchased first by either Michael or Franklin.
- In GTA San Andreas, the vehicle is completely bulletproof and near to explosion-proof, requiring more than 12 hits from a rocket launcher and 5 hits from a Hydra. It is vulnerable to fire, however.
- It is impossible to pop the tires of the Rhino, except in GTA V.
- The Rhino was originally supposed to return in Grand Theft Auto IV and The Lost and Damned. It was cut as a result of the games' focus on realism and believability.
- In real life, a battle tank was used only a few times in history for law enforcement functions in the United States, most notably the 1993 siege in Waco, TX. Like in the Waco siege, the military in the 3D Universe did not use the tanks cannon.
- Sometimes a glitch occurs in GTA San Andreas, where the player is flying and has full six stars, an NPC-controlled Rhino may randomly jump up in the sky and be spinning around very fast.
- Low-detailed LOD models of the Rhino in GTA San Andreas appear to assume a design more similar to older Rhinos. This difference is apparent when the player views one of the tanks from afar.
- The Rhinos in both GTA San Andreas and GTA Vice City fire rounds similar to air burst rounds. The main differences are the way the rounds will explode on contact but if fired into the air they will detonate in mid air.
- Despite its size, it is possible to successfully park (and therefore save) the Rhino inside the Johnson House garage in GTA San Andreas, and possibly others.
- A glitch that involves one of the health cheats in San Andreas creates a whole new axle dead center in the drive train. (confirmed in the PS2 version)
- Sometimes in GTA Vice City, GTA Liberty City Stories and GTA Vice City Stories when you use a cheat to spawn a Rhino while standing on the road it will sometimes spawn on top of you and trap the protagonist inside the Rhino. The only way to get out the Rhino is to suicide or reload a save file, but no damage is dealt on the player.
- In GTA V, the Rhino has a desert camouflage pattern instead of the traditional plain green or beige, making it the most colorful, yet realistic in the series.
- In Grand Theft Auto V the Rhino is best used when at an open environment such as an airport.
- The Rhino is the strongest vehicle in Grand Theft Auto V and offers a lot of protection against explosive weapons.
- The Rhino may be tough but it does have its limits. If using the Rhino's main gun make sure to aim away from the ground as firing too close to the Rhino could cause it to explode.
- The Rhino in Grand Theft Auto V can run over and crush small cars, resulting in it exploding under The Rhino. The player should be cautious about this as driving over many small cars may cause The Rhino itself to explode.
- The grenade launcher in-game appears to fire fragmentation rounds, which in reality would have little to no effect against tank armor, making the six grenades it takes to set the tank aflame highly unrealistic; this is probably done for balancing purposes.
- The description says that the tank is one of the few vehicles still made in America, when the tank itself is actually based on a German vehicle.
- The Rhino Tank made an appearance in C&C: Red Alert 2 and its expansion (Yuri's Revenge), used by the Soviets.
- The Rhino in Grand Theft Auto V is the fastest Rhino in the series, going a little below a Sanchez.
- Like its GTA: San Andreas predecessor, it fires air burst rounds which explode mid air after a short period of time if they do not hit a solid object.
- In GTA: San Andreas, the Rhino can be righted by firing its turret. Vigilante missions are a great way to make money for properties. I've personally reached level 260 Vigilante and gained over $300m. The trick is to keep your stars at 2 (or preferably lower) with bribes, drive the tank into a garage for repairs occasionally and hop out to get food. You'll have enough time to eat and return without failing the mission. It's best to avoid using the turret too much to take out cars, except outside cities as this will often increase your wanted level, but it's fine in a pinch when the clock's running down and you can't catch up. Once you get enough time on the clock, you can be a bit more cautious about the mission so you don't accidentally end with your tank in the water.
- Despite Warstock Cache & Carry claiming the Rhino has a 120mm cannon, it is stated in the Lago Zancudo tank deathmatch that Rhinos have 155mm shells.
- Strangely, the Rhino is able to honk a horn, similar to civilian vehicles. Interestingly, the horn sound is that of commercial trucks.
- Tank, GTA1, GTA2 and GTA Advance equivalents.
- Royal Pain, GTA London 1969 equivalent.
- Tiger Tank, GTA London 1961 equivalent.
- APC, The Ballad of Gay Tony equivalent.