Off-road remote control (RC) cars provide an exciting way to experience the thrills of driving on rugged terrain right in your own backyard. As an avid RC enthusiast, I’ve spent countless hours tweaking my vehicles and testing them on various surfaces. In this blog post, I’ll provide a comprehensive guide to off-road RC cars, including the best off roading RC cars available on the market, overview of different types of off-road vehicles, terrain considerations, modification and maintenance tips, and suggestions for getting started in RC off-roading. Whether you’re a beginner looking to get into the hobby or an experienced driver seeking ways to boost your RC skills, you’ll find this guide helpful for maximizing your off-road adventures.

List of the Best Off-Road RC Cars

Check out the thorough review of the best Off-Road RC cars below.

1. Traxxas Stampede 1/10 Monster Truck

1. Traxxas Stampede 1/10 Monster Truck

The Traxxas Stampede boasts high-octane off-road performance with a top speed exceeding 30 mph and massive torque to perform impressive wheelies and jumps. Its rugged build allows it to traverse grass, dirt mounds, curbs and all types of terrain. The truck’s waterproof electronics ensure all-weather driving excitement through mud, puddles and snow. The Stampede comes fully assembled with a Titan 12-turn 550 motor and Magnum 272 transmission. It includes a TQ 2.4GHz radio system and XL-5 waterproof electronic speed control. With a pre-painted ProGraphix body, 3000mAh 7-cell NiMH battery and 4-amp fast charger, the Stampede is ready for action right out of the box.

Pros And Cons

  • Powerful 550 motor provides 30+ mph top speed

  • Waterproof electronics allow driving in all conditions

  • Includes battery and fast charger for instant fun

  • Rugged build handles off-road terrain with ease

  • Fully assembled and Ready-To-Race

  • Short run time per charge

2. ARRMA 1/10 Granite Monster RC Truck

2. ARRMA 1/10 Granite Monster RC Truck

The ready-to-run ARRMA Granite 4X4 3S BLX delivers incredible 50+ mph brushless power with durability for extreme bashing. It features a tougher chassis, stronger steering and upgrades for unstoppable performance across all terrains. Waterproof electronics allow driving through mud and snow while the adjustable ride height and body mounts enable easy maintenance. This version includes the Spektrum SLT3 transmitter and SLR300 receiver for precise control. The truck is equipped with a 3200Kv brushless motor, 100A BLX100 ESC, metal-geared steering servo and foam-filled tires mounted on gun metal wheels. Everything is fully assembled except the required 2S/3S LiPo battery and compatible charger.

Pros And Cons

  • 50+ mph brushless motor for extreme power

  • Waterproof electronics for all-weather use

  • Upgraded chassis, steering and parts

  • Adjustable ride height and mounts

  • Includes transmitter and receiver

  • Advanced settings not adjustable

3. Redcat Racing Everest-10 Rock Crawler

3. Redcat Racing Everest-10 Rock Crawler

The Redcat Racing Everest-10 delivers impressive crawling performance with its rugged aluminum chassis, 4-link suspension, oil-filled shocks and functional beadlock wheels. Waterproof electronics allow driving through mud and snow while the adjustable ride height and tunable suspension enable tackling various terrains. A centrally mounted 54T brushed motor provides power to both axles via telescoping drive shafts, allowing full articulation. Equipped with a 40A ESC, high torque servo and 2.4GHz radio system, the Everest-10 is ready to scale obstacles out of the box. The package includes a 7.2V 2000mAh NiMH battery, charger and aggressive 1/10 scale tires mounted on beadlock wheels for optimal traction.

Pros And Cons

  • Waterproof electronics for all-weather use

  • Adjustable ride height and tunable suspension

  • Functional beadlock wheels and aggressive tires

  • Shaft driven 4WD with full articulation

  • Rugged aluminum chassis and oil-filled shocks

  • NiMH battery has shorter runtime

4. Losi LMT Monster Truck

4. Losi LMT Monster Truck

The Losi LMT delivers unmatched monster truck performance and realism with its licensed Grave Digger or Son-Uva Digger body atop a rugged twin vertical plate chassis. Waterproof electronics allow driving through mud while the customizable suspension enables tackling various terrains. It packs a 3150kv brushless motor and Smart 130A ESC for 35+ mph speeds. The multi-piece axle housings surround 1/8th scale diffs for durability, and the center diff with cush drive provides protection. Short course-style wheels reduce rotating mass while aggressive licensed tires and scale details like LEDs and a driver figure add authenticity. The 2.4GHz radio system ensures precise control. This RTR comes fully assembled, lacking only a battery and charger.

Pros And Cons

  • Officially licensed Monster Jam bodies

  • 1/8th scale diffs for durability

  • Customizable suspension for any terrain

  • Center diff with cush drive protects drivetrain

  • Over 35mph with 3150kv brushless power

  • Complex adjustments may frustrate beginners

5. ARRMA 1/8 Notorious 6S RC Truck

5. ARRMA 1/8 Notorious 6S RC Truck

The ARRMA Notorious 6S V5 unleashes outrageous 60+ mph stunt performance with its 2050kv brushless power system and 1950s “Real Steel” bodyshell. The updated chassis offers greater strength for backflips and wheelies while the suspension geometry ensures smooth landings. Waterproof electronics allow driving through water and mud. Features like the pivot ball front suspension, quick maintenance design and included optional pinion gear maximize speed and control. This RTR includes a 3-channel transmitter, dual protocol receiver, metal-gear servo and Smart 150A ESC for precision functionality. Just add a compatible 6S LiPo battery and charger.

Pros And Cons

  • 60+ mph with 6S LiPo battery

  • Strengthened chassis for stunts

  • Pivot ball front suspension for control at speed

  • Quick maintenance design

  • Optional pinion gear included

  • Short runtime per charge

6. Traxxas TRX-4 Sport 1/10 Crawler

6. Traxxas TRX-4 Sport 1/10 Crawler

The Traxxas TRX-4 Sport delivers unstoppable traction and torque-free crawling with its portal axles, locked differentials and optimized transmission. Massive ground clearance allows climbing rugged terrain as waterproof electronics enable driving through mud and snow. The Titan 550 motor provides ample low-end torque while the XL-5 HV ESC accepts 2-3S LiPo or 6-7 cell NiMH batteries for flexibility. The lightweight body maintains balance and realism with many scale accessories available. Easy access to the battery and electronics streamline maintenance. Between its high-torque crawling performance, terrain-taming clearance and four-wheel drive, the TRX-4 Sport conquers technical trails and obstacles at slow speeds with control.

Pros And Cons

  • Portal axles increase ground clearance

  • Fully locked differentials maximize traction

  • XL-5 HV ESC accepts multiple battery types

  • Waterproof for driving in all conditions

  • Lightweight body improves balance

  • Low top speed limits trail running

7. LAEGENDARY 4×4 Offroad RC Crawler

7. LAEGENDARY 4x4 Offroad RC Crawler

The LAEGENDARY RC Crawler delivers rugged off-road performance with its brushed motor and 2-speed transmission enabling high and low speed modes. The 1800mAh NiMH battery provides long run times while waterproof electronics allow driving through mud, snow and water. Adjustable multi-link suspension, beadlock wheels and aggressive tires equip it to traverse rocks, sand, dirt and any terrain. An easy-to-use pistol grip transmitter offers precise control up to 328 feet away. Weighing 9 pounds, the 1/8 scale crawler has sufficient heft for climbing yet remains nimble. The package includes a charger, battery connector and full set of replacement parts.

Pros And Cons

  • 2-speed transmission with high/low modes

  • 1800mAh battery for long run times

  • Waterproof for all-terrain driving

  • Adjustable suspension and beadlock wheels

  • Easy-to-use pistol grip transmitter

  • Slow top speed

8. JLB Racing Cheetah 1/10 Scale RC Truck

8. JLB Racing Cheetah 1/10 Scale RC Truck

The JLB Racing Cheetah delivers extreme 80+ km/h speed runs and stunt driving with its 3600kv brushless motor and 120A ESC. Waterproof electronics allow driving through water and mud while the 4WD system provides grip across terrain. An extended 60+ minute run time comes from the included 4000mAh LiPo battery. Adjustable suspension smoothes out jumps and rough terrain. The 2.4GHz pistol-grip transmitter enables precise control up to 150 meters away. Aggressive treaded tires add traction on dirt, sand and grass. Integrated foam bumpers help absorb crashes while the durable composite chassis withstands hardcore use.

Pros And Cons

  • 80+ km/h top speed with brushless power

  • 60+ minutes of runtime per charge

  • Adjustable suspension for smoothness

  • Waterproof for all-terrain driving

  • 2.4GHz pistol-grip transmitter with 150m range

  • Requires LiPo charging knowledge

9. RIAARIO 1/12 RTR Brushless RC Desert Car

9. RIAARIO 1/12 RTR Brushless RC Desert Car

The RIAARIO 1:12 brushless RC desert car delivers high-speed performance up to 45mph with its adjustable 3100kv motor and efficient 45A ESC. The 7.4V 2800mAh LiPo battery enables long runtimes while the 2.4GHz transmitter provides 150 meters of responsive control. Oil-filled shocks, anti-slip tires and 4WD optimize stability across rough terrain as the metal drivetrain withstands hardcore use. For hobbyists seeking durability, speed and runtime in a 1:12 scale package, this RC car hits the mark.

Pros And Cons

  • Up to 45mph speeds with 3100kv brushless power

  • 2800mAh 7.4V LiPo battery for long runtimes

  • Adjustable metal oil-filled shocks

  • Durable metal drivetrain and gears

  • 150 meter 2.4GHz transmitter range

  • Requires buying 3S LiPo battery separately

10. WOWRC RocHobby Atlas 1/10 RC Crawler

10. WOWRC RocHobby Atlas 1/10 RC Crawler

The WOWRC RocHobby Atlas delivers versatile crawling performance with its 1/10 scale dimensions, four-link suspension and aggressive all-terrain tires. The 35T motor provides torque for climbing while the 2.4GHz transmitter enables precise control up to 80 meters away. Foam-filled rubber tires, plastic body with nylon cage and full ball bearings equip it for indoor and outdoor use across rocks, dirt and various surfaces. Run times reach 20 minutes via the included 7.2V 1500mAh Ni-MH battery. Integrated headlights allow night driving.

Pros And Cons

  • Four-link suspension with ample articulation

  • All-terrain tires and foam inserts for grip

  • 2.4GHz transmitter with 80 meter range

  • Durable construction with nylon cage

  • Includes NiMH battery for 20 minute runtimes

  • Top speed only 15 km/h

What Are Off-Road RC Cars?

Off-road RC cars, also known as off-road remote control vehicles or bashers, are a type of radio-controlled model car designed specifically for driving on rough, unpaved surfaces and challenging terrain. Unlike their on-road counterparts, which are built for smooth surfaces like pavement or carpet, off-road RC cars are engineered to handle obstacles, jumps, and rugged conditions with ease.

These vehicles typically feature a robust construction with a durable chassis, reinforced suspension components, and specialized tires that provide excellent traction on loose surfaces like dirt, gravel, or mud. Many off-road RC cars also have waterproof electronics, allowing them to withstand splashes and puddles without sustaining damage.

Off-road RC cars come in a variety of scales, with popular sizes ranging from 1/10 scale (around 18-20 inches long) to 1/8 scale (around 22-24 inches long). They are powered by electric brushless motors or nitro engines, with electric models being more popular for their convenience and ease of use.

These vehicles are designed to tackle a wide range of challenging terrains, including:

  1. Dirt tracks: Off-road RC cars excel on dirt tracks, which often feature jumps, banked turns, and varied terrain that tests their suspension and traction capabilities.
  2. Rock crawling: Some off-road RC cars are specifically designed for rock crawling, with features like aggressive tires, low gear ratios, and high articulation that allow them to navigate over large rocks and obstacles.
  3. Mud and sand: With their knobby tires and waterproof components, off-road RC cars can plow through muddy conditions and loose sand without getting bogged down.
  4. Backyard bashing: Many off-road RC enthusiasts enjoy “bashing” their vehicles in their own backyards, taking on obstacles like logs, hills, and rough terrain for thrilling off-road action.

Off-road RC cars offer an adrenaline-fueled driving experience, allowing hobbyists to take on challenging terrain and obstacles that would be impossible for standard on-road RC cars. With their rugged design and impressive capabilities, these vehicles provide endless opportunities for off-road fun and adventure.

What Makes a Great Off-Road RC Car?

A great off-road RC car should possess several key features that allow it to tackle rough terrain and obstacles with ease. The most important factors that contribute to a high-quality off-road RC car include:

Durable Construction: Off-road driving subjects RC cars to a lot of abuse, so they need to be built with durable materials that can withstand impacts, crashes, and rough treatment. This typically means a sturdy metal or composite chassis, reinforced suspension components, and robust drivetrain components.

Effective Suspension: A well-designed suspension system is crucial for off-road performance. Off-road RC cars need a suspension that can absorb shocks from jumps and uneven terrain, while also providing enough travel and articulation to maintain traction over obstacles. Popular suspension types include oil-filled shocks, coil-over shocks, and solid axle designs.

Aggressive Tires: The right tires can make a huge difference in off-road traction and performance. Off-road RC cars typically feature large, knobby tires with deep lugs and a soft compound that can grip loose surfaces like dirt, mud, and gravel. Popular tire choices include off-road truck tires, paddle tires, and specialized off-road RC tires.

Waterproofing: Since off-road driving often involves water crossings, mud, and wet conditions, waterproofing is an essential feature. Sealed electronics, waterproof receivers, and water-resistant bearings help protect the car’s components from moisture damage.

Powerful Drivetrain: Off-road driving requires plenty of torque and power to maintain momentum over obstacles and rough terrain. High-quality off-road RC cars often feature brushless motors, robust drivetrain components, and high-torque servos to provide the necessary muscle.

Adjustable Settings: The ability to adjust settings like gear ratios, suspension tuning, and differential action can be invaluable for optimizing performance on different types of terrain. Many high-end off-road RC cars offer adjustable settings to fine-tune the car’s behavior.

Scale Realism: While not essential for performance, many off-road RC enthusiasts appreciate scale realism in their vehicles. Detailed body shells, realistic suspension designs, and accurate scale features can enhance the overall off-road driving experience.

By combining these key features, a great off-road RC car can conquer challenging terrain with confidence, providing an exhilarating and rewarding driving experience for off-road enthusiasts of all skill levels.

How to Choose the Best Off-Road RC Cars?

If you’re looking to dive into the exciting world of RC off-roading, one of the first steps is picking the right vehicle. With so many types, features, and specs to consider, it can be tricky deciding which rig is best suited for your needs. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the key factors in choosing your ideal RC car for bashing through dirt, mud, and trails.

1. Compare Types of Off-Road RC Cars

When it comes to RC vehicles built for off-roading, you’ll generally be looking at trucks versus buggies. Here’s an overview of the perks of each:


  • Better ground clearance for climbing over large obstacles
  • 4WD for maximal traction and torque
  • Highly customizable with lift kits and large tires
  • Ideal for rocky, hilly terrain


  • Lightweight and optimized for speed
  • Low profile gives stability at high speeds
  • Excellent acceleration and handling in dirt or sand
  • Best for wide open areas for blazing trails

2. Assess the Power System

A major specification to evaluate is the motor and battery, which determines speed and runtime. Brushless motors provide more efficiency and faster acceleration. Battery voltage directly correlates with speed, while capacity relates to run time. Think about the speeds you want to achieve and how long you need to drive per session. High-capacity, high-volt batteries provide maximum power but cost more.

3. Consider the Electronics

Waterproofing is a must for off-road adventures to withstand splashes, mud and other elements. Higher end RC cars will have sealed enclosures and parts to prevent failure. Also look for a proportional steering and throttle for precise control. Quick charging and swappable batteries are also handy features.

4. Evaluate Durability

When off-roading, crashes and tumbles are inevitable. Check that vital parts like the chassis are made from durable materials like aluminum rather than plastic. Metal drive shafts, bearings and shocks also withstand wear better. Look for protected components like enclosed wheels. And larger scale vehicles typically hold up better to abuse than smaller ones.

5. Match the Terrain

Think about the types of landscapes you plan to conquer – this should guide your choice. For rock crawling, a 4WD truck with ample ground clearance excels. Sand calls for paddle tires that “float” through dunes. A short course truck is nimble for dirt trails and obstacle courses. Make sure to pick a vehicle rated for your intended terrain.

6. Set a Budget

RC cars range drastically in price from under $100 to over $1000. Consider how much you’re willing to spend as a beginner versus an advanced hobbyist. High-end RCs have top-tier components and customization options, but a quality budget model can still deliver off-road thrills. Determine what best fits your needs and capacity.

Frequently Asked Questions When Picking the Best Off-Road RC Cars

1. What are the best off roading RC cars for beginners?

Some of the best off-road RC cars for beginners include the Traxxas Stampede, Arrma Granite, Redcat Racing Everest 10, and ECX Ruckus. These are durable, ready-to-run 4WD monsters that can handle various terrains while being easy to control for novice drivers. They come completely assembled and have simple controls to get new drivers up and running quickly.

2. What is the most durable off-road RC car?

The most durable off-road RC cars are typically the 1/5 scale models made from aluminum and high-strength composites like the Traxxas X-Maxx and Losi LMT Gravedigger. Their large size and metal components allow them to absorb big impacts when bashing through extreme terrain. Waterproofing and sealed differentials further protect them from the elements.

3. What features should I look for in an RC rock crawler?

When selecting an RC rock crawler, ideal features include 4WD/AWD, high ground clearance, articulated suspension and chassis, front and rear gearboxes, metal gears, high torque/low speed motors, and tires with deep lugs and foams inserts. These allow a crawler to grip and climb over large obstacles like boulders.

4. What is the fastest RC car for off-road racing?

For high-speed off-road RC racing, some top performers include the Team Associated RC10 SC6.1, Losi LST 3XL-E, and Arrma Outcast 6S BLX. With speeds over 50+ mph, these short course trucks and buggies have powerful brushless motors, high-voltage batteries, and race-style components optimized for blazing dirt tracks and terrain.

5. What is the best off roading RC car for mudding and water crossings?

Great RC cars for slogging through mud and traversing water include the Traxxas TRX-4 Sport with its sealed differentials and waterproof electronics or the amphibious WLToys A959B which can float and run in water. Their deep treaded tires provide traction in muck.

6. What is the best off roading RC car for grass, dirt and loose surfaces?

Short course style trucks and rally cars work well on grass, gravel and dirt. Models like the Redcat Racing Shredder XTE, ECX Torment, and Arrma Granite have wide stance and grippy tires for dirt roads while their low center of gravity and suspension soaks up bumps at high speed.

7. Which transmitter is best for off-road RC use?

Hobby-grade pistols grip transmitters like the Futaba 3PV, Spektrum DX3, and FlySky GT3C provide precision control for off-road driving. They have adjustable wheel/trigger ratchets, programmable settings, and ergonomic grips suited for intense driving conditions compared to lower end “box” style transmitters.

8. What maintenance tips will extend the life of my off-road RC?

Regular maintenance like cleaning dirt and dust, lubricating moving parts, checking/replacing broken components, waterproofing electronics, and upgrading to metal parts where possible will extend the durability of your off-road RC car. Proper storage and not overusing batteries also prevents unnecessary wear.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a seasoned RC veteran or just getting into off-roading, there’s sure to be an off-road RC ready to conquer your chosen terrain. Just decide if you want four-wheel powerslides, high-speed dirt blasting, or technical rock crawling. Then equip your rig with terrain-matched tires and tunable suspensions so it can handle any obstacle in its path.

Enjoyed this review of the best Off-Road RC cars? Then be sure to check out our other RC Rating guides.