The Rhino is the name of an armored fighting vehicle since Grand Theft Auto III, commonly referred to by players simply as a Tank. The Rhino has since appeared in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.
Like it's 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 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. Although the Rhino has a cannon it is never used by law enforcement, this however is changed in GTA Chinatown Wars as the Army will fire the cannon which causes massive damage to, and usually kills, the player. The Rhino is practically invincible to small arms fire and crashes; and only Satchel Charges, Dozens of other explosives and rockets and the Police Maverick's mounted gun can cause damage to it. Also, flame weapons (such as the molotov cocktails and flamethrower) can also be used to inflict damage.
In GTA III, GTA Vice City, GTA Liberty City Stories and GTA Vice City Stories, the Rhino resembles either a modified M3 tank or a Non-Line-Of-Site Mortar (NLOS-M), but it is very unrealistic. It is tall, with doors on both sides that can be easily damaged with even the slightest hit, and a truck-style 3-axle drivetrain with easily seen wheels. The turret was rotated by pressing buttons, which made precise shooting almost impossible. In its original appearance in GTA III, the Rhino assumes a stark appearance with little details on its armored body. The GTA Vice City rendition, however, added various equipment on the vehicle, as well as enlarging the turret's barrel. While the GTA Liberty City Stories and GTA Vice City Stories would follow design ques of the GTA III and GTA Vice City renditions, the turret barrel of GTA Liberty Stories rendition is of the same size and length as that in GTA Vice City, while the GTA Vice City Stories' is even longer.
In GTA San Andreas, the Rhino looks like an M1 Abrams and it is much more realistic. It is colored beige (desert camouflage), has a normal tank entrance in front and a new drivetrain with smaller wheels, which look almost like tracks. It also has a new steering system, that finally allows the player to make very tight turns. The turret is operated with the mouse or right thumbstick (PS2), which allows the player to shoot directly at the target. Interestingly enough, neither the GTA San Andreas nor non-GTA San Andreas versions have caterpillar tracks as their their real life counterparts. The reason for this is probably due to the limits of the game's engine.
The Rhino does not appear in Grand Theft Auto IV. This is assumed to be because of Rockstar's goal of making GTA IV more realistic than previous games. However, GTA Chinatown Wars reintroduces the Rhino with an appearance similar to the original Rhino but depicts threads.
Performance and durability
|First Rhino||Second Rhino|
|Color||Green 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.|
In GTA III and GTA Vice City, the Rhino is bullet-proof and explosion-proof and as such it is immune to all weapons minus the flamethrower and molotovs. In GTA San Andreas, the Rhino is still a tough vehicle, however, after sustained fire from other tanks, it will eventually 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 thread 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.
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 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.
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 solider 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 Chinatown Wars, Xin Shan has the player use a Rhino parked at Francis International Airport to create havoc, diverting the police from his own machinations.
GTA Vice City
- Starts spawning inside the Fort Baxter Air Base after having collected 90 hidden packages.
GTA San Andreas
- Available inside Area 69, but when the base is entered 5 stars wanted level is automatically gained.
- Will spawn underneath the bridge going above Ganton after 100% is achieved.
- Can be spawned by typing the code "aiwprton" during gameplay.
GTA Liberty City Stories
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.
GTA Chinatown Wars
- Available for purchase from the Auto Merchant when the main story is complete.
- 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).
- Sometimes a glitch occur 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.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, the Rhino is briefly referenced as the N.O.O.S.E. Tank.
- Tank, GTA1, GTA2 and GTA Advance equivalents.
- Royal Pain, GTA London 1969 equivalent.
- Tiger Tank, GTA London 1961 equivalent.