- "I love this tank."
- — Mattias
The M1 Tank is found only in very seldom instances in Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction. It is a rare prize and should be treasured while in the player's possession.
The first time the player will most likely encounter the tank is during the first Mafia contract in the Northern Province, where as part of a bonus objective, the mercenary must seize the tank and deliver it to the Mafia chop-shop within a time limit or else an AN task force will bear down on it.
The M1 is also available during the Ace of Spades contract, where the player starts inside one during the final battle against Choi Song, along with two other M1 Tanks. Later on in the mission after you rescue President Kim, there might be one or two more waiting if one or both of the tanks from the first part of the mission survived.
The M1 the player starts in will not be replaced if destroyed. Also, during the last Mafia mission when the player must defend the HQ, they are given the option to drive the M1 they obtained earlier and use it to repel the NK assault force. Note that even if the player did not retrieve the tank, it will still be available.
The M1 is mounted with an incredibly large turret, which it can use to destroy almost every target in just one shot (the M256 tank gun fires depleted uranium sabot shells that pierce 300mm of armor which is the reason for the one shot effect on vehicles) and a .50 caliber machine gun that can rip enemy infantry to shreds, for the gunner. These weapons, combined with the amazing armor the M1 provides, makes this tank an incredible asset.
The M1 Tank is the best main battle tank in the entire game. When driving one, it will be very easy for the player to feel invincible. But if the player aims to keep the M1 functioning and themselves alive, they will avoid a reckless and careless mindset. The M1's armor, turret traverse, and firepower are unequaled- yet determined fire from enemy tanks, anti-tank weapons wielded by infantry, or aggressive enemy helicopters can bring down an M1 remarkably fast. The M1 is no less vulnerable to running out of shells for its main cannon than any other tank, so even if you are rolling through all opposition with ease, stops every so often for resupply will be necessary. The M1 is a near-priceless asset; players should watch over it carefully and spend the money for Supply Drops and Ammo Drops liberally. Keeping the M1 Tank in the fight is well worth the price.
A downside to the M256 gun is its relatively diminished effectiveness against infantry due to the lower "splash damage" from the highly-advanced, armor-piercing sabot round. But the cannon can send many Chinese, South Korean, Russian Mafia, and North Korean buildings crashing down with one shot- players can counter the lower direct anti-infantry effectiveness of the M256 cannon by aiming at nearby buildings instead, though this may not always be a viable tactic if collateral damage is a concern. The M1 Tank is probably the MBT in the game most needing of a manned gunner position so the .50 caliber machine gun can be used to cover the tank from infantry.
In armor-to-armor, or indeed, any kind of mechanized combat at all, the M1 Tank is unparalleled. It has no rivals and shows it with its ability to destroy any unarmored, light or medium armored, and many heavy armored vehicles with a single shot from its main cannon. The most any other MBT in the North Korean theater can boast of is not exploding instantly when shot by an M1; the T-62 and the Type 96 are both capable of this, instead catching fire and exploding a few seconds later. However, even the obsolete T-54 and BMP APC can pose a serious threat to an M1 in sufficient numbers; if a player gets over-aggressive and careless, their inferior guns may wear down an M1 through sheer numbers. An M1 driver must be careful not to get oveconfident and let too many hostile forces engage them at once.
Like all main battle tanks, the M1 Tank is highly vulnerable to air strikes, close air support, and helicopters, as well as infantry with anti-tank missiles and RPGs standing on rooftops. The cannon can only aim so high up, so great caution must be exercised whenever hostile helicopters are present, or if the tank is driving through urban areas. The best anti-helicopter tactic for an M1 driver is to never let them get overhead.
The M1 Tank is the fastest MBT in the game, with the most accurate, highest-velocity main gun. A skilled and alert driver will find the M1 Tank has no match among any other vehicle in North Korea; even helicopters can be swiftly dispatched if they are seen while still at a distance. The M1's turret traverses quickly, and its rate-of-fire permits targets to be destroyed about as fast as the player can pick them out and take aim. The M1's armor is outstanding, protecting it well in any and all engagements, but under sustained heavy fire the M1 can be worn down and destroyed. Driving an M1 requires a constant eye on the armor hit points and ammunition display, and being always on the alert for enemy armor, anti-tank weapons, and helicopters. Getting the first shot off in any engagement and watching armor and ammo all but guarantees an M1 operator victory.
The M1 Tank is based on the M1 Abrams, an American third-generation main battle tank in service since 1980.
Although the M1 Tank is referred to as an M1, in game it is actually the M1A2 variant.
Contrary to the standard diesel engine sound file for the M1 Tank in-game, the M1 Abrams does not use such an engine. Its Honeywell AGT1500C multi-fuel turbine engine is a gas turbine that can indeed run on diesel fuel, but is also able to use gasoline, marine diesel, and jet fuel. Thus, while the M1's engine can use diesel fuel, it is not a diesel engine and sounds nothing like one while running.
- It is also one of the faster, if not fastest, tanks in the game.
- In Playground of Destruction, the health is actually a percentage of the total health. The Abrams tank actually has 300 total health (Source: IGN).
- A wreckage of the M1 tank can be found in the contract Clear Channel in the middle of the dirt road that leads to Sinuiju farms.