The Dev Team Thinks Of Everything: Grand Theft Auto

    open/close all folders 

    GTA Radio 
  • Since the beginning but especially since well known songs featured in Vice City, the radio stations have been like real life stations, playing licensed music, with their own D Js, stories and details of events which can be seen taking place in the game universe, even having different shows at different times of the day. It's such a detailed world that it got its own trope page: GTA Radio
  • One of the radio adverts in Vice City is for 'Complete The Look', a clothing store that sells stereotypical 80's clothing. What clothing it advertises depends on what station you hear the advert on, with seven variations for each of the game's music playing stations.
  • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto V (but strangely not the other games), radio host comments will change based upon the weather (in the case of San Andreas) and time of day (in the case of GTA V). Some D Js in San Andreas will also remark on current game events, such as the riots that dominate Los Santos during the final stage of the game beyond the evolving news report segments.
  • In IV, noting that many players were trying to identify the songs being played on the huge radio stations, Rockstar added "ZiT", an expy of smartphone music identification apps like Shazam and SoundCloud. (By V, though, they simply started listing the song with the radio station.)

    GTA III and GTA Vice City 
  • In Grand Theft Auto III, there is an enclosed area limited by four high walls. If you manage to jump over one (with the help of a tall vehicle, for example), you can read the text "You weren't supposed to be able get here you know" on one of the walls.
  • In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, if a pedestrian wearing roller skates traverses onto grass, they will trip over constantly until they gradually get back onto tarmac.
  • One mission has you following a target of interest as he gets driven around by a taxi. Normally, you are supposed to keep your distance or you will scare the target off. However, if you kill the cab driver and take his place (or ram the taxi out of the way with one of your own), the target will get into your taxi and you are the one that drives him to his destination! You still have to kill him afterwards and he will still get spooked if you drive too recklessly.

    San Andreas 
  • In San Andreas, tunnels are just big enough to get a helicopter/VTOL jet through
  • There's a sign atop a bridge saying, 'There are no easter eggs up here. Go away.'
  • San Andreas also changes how CJ speaks based on his physical appearance. The developers knew some players would try to get CJ as fat as possible, so they have CJ speak alternate lines to any NPC he interacts with based on his weight (he'll say "Lunch money!" when he takes someone's money for example), or based on his clothes (dress in a suit and he'll say "Just cause I dress nice I can't bang, huh?" as he's stomping a pedestrian). He still speaks the same lines in cutscenes however.
  • Certain missions in San Andreas can't be started if CJ is too fat and you'll get a special cutscene telling you this. For instance, the mission Green Goo, which requires CJ to put on a jetpack, won't begin because the jetpack won't fit around him.
  • "Stowaway" has you destroying a plane by planting C4 before jumping out with a parachute, and the plane can be destroyed by shooting it from the inside. Not only do you get a funny mission failed cutscene for jumping out the plane without a parachute, but if you happen to have a parachute before you start the mission, you can just shoot the plane and jump out before the explosion kills you, skipping most of the mission.
  • Many areas have proper pathfinding for cars even if traffic never spawns there. Lose a wanted level in a place such as the San Fierro docks and you will see the police cars making their way back onto the main roads.

    City Stories 
  • In the PSP version of Liberty City Stories, there is a new sign in the alley from GTA III, with a goofy smiling face with outstretched arms, and the message "Hello again!" In the PS2 port of LCS, the sign reads "You just can't get enough of this alley, can you?"
  • The Liberty City Stories side mission Karmageddon has you causing havoc by ramming into traffic with the fire truck. The game accounts for lots of things you can do to the cars, even ramming them into the water when there are only a few areas where that is practical.

    GTA IV 
  • In Grand Theft Auto IV you get a mobile phone. If you're in a car listening to the radio when someone contacts you, the car speakers skip just before it rings, as often occurs in real life.
  • The subway stations have performers at rush hour that you can tip. You can meet a girl on the in-game internet, and after your dates she will blog about them. You can even take the Roosevelt Island tram ride.
  • Not to mention the meeting up with friends to play pool, go bowling, get drunk, even drive drunk which immediately causes the cops to chase after you and your character to say it might be a bad idea. When you haven't seen a friend in a while their dialogue will be different to if you see them often. In the expansions, you can play air hockey and go to the nightclub for drinking games.
  • On the Statue of Happiness, there is a hidden door which can only be accessed by helicopter. Walking through it (the door does not open and can literally be walked through as if it were an archway) you find a long ladder which leads up to a huge beating heart. In other words, the Statue of Happiness is the heart of Liberty City, much like the real life Statue of Liberty is considered to be to New York City.
  • In the first Francis mission in Grand Theft Auto IV you are supposed to kill a man, take a flashdrive off his body, lose the police and deliver the flashdrive to Francis. However, as seen here at 13:08, if the target falls in the nearby water, he drowns and the mission succeeds immediately, with no need to deliver the evidence as it's destroyed.
  • There is even dialogue recorded and programmed to play for events that wouldn't happen normally; each friend can say different things no matter the occassion. Roman actually has dialogue for when he steals a car even though it would almost never happen by accident.
  • Police will often be seen chasing and arresting NPC's on foot. If you park a police vehicle near an arrested NPC, the policeman will actually direct the criminal to the car before realising his mistake, giving you a wanted level.
  • If a driver pulls away when a characternote  is grabbing one of the car's door handles, they will ragdoll while continuing to hang onto the car. Assuming the character doesn't collide with other objects, they can be dragged for several seconds.
  • A head-on collision with another car at high speed can occasionally send the other driver flying through their windshield. It can also happen to you, too.
  • Following NPCs for long enough, or even just staring at them for too long, will result in the computer-controlled character noticing and making a remark of the "go away" variety.
  • Eavesdropping on NPCs using cell phones, it's possible to follow complete conversations (they aren't just making random remarks). Also applies to V.
  • Unlike the GTA III era when everything is open 24/7, there are a few cases where businesses are not open during certain hours of the day, most notably the fancy car dealership downtown. If there happen to be NPCs inside the dealership when it closes, they actually end up trapped inside.
  • During Romans Sorrow, you are told to go to your apartment first before going to the cab depot, but you can visit the two in either order, and dialogue will change accordingly.
  • In The Lost And Damned mission "Roman's Holiday", you can complete the mission the normal way by making a long drive from the gambling den to the warehouse with Roman. Or you can just call his taxi firm whose number is given away in a blink-and-miss-it line in a cutscene and have Roman drive to you.
  • Killing a person in a car makes them fall and hold down the horn or gas pedal. Aiming at a person in a car makes them hold their hands up and either get out of the car or attempt to drive away.
  • The video editor in the PC version is a thing to behold: Instead of just being a Fraps alternative, the game constantly records every single thing going on around the player, and upon pressing the F2 key, saves the last 10-30 seconds to the hard disk. The player can then load these scenes and have them play out in-engine, while being able to focus the camera on every NPC, or just have a free camera doing tracking shots, slow or speed up the action, zoom in or out, and at the end of the day have the game render the video in smooth 30 FPS.
  • The simple native trainer: a player-made hack for the PC version which has, despite its name, quite a lot of features. Some of them can be used for cheating, but others simply show how much effort the devs have put into the game: You can spawn a dozen of the same NPC and still not get a single clone, as almost each of the ~100 NP Cs has several variations of upper body clothes, lower body clothes, faces, accessoires... Same goes for the cars - despite already being the game with the most cars in the series, they have variations in bumpers, roofs, and other details. You can also make your character say certain lines, and you can turn your character into other characters or just pedestrians, most of which have lines for car stealing etc. which would never happen in the actual game. And the best thing - the video editor can track and save all of that.
    • Now the experienced player would think that this trainer only works in local mode - and that it either wouldn't work in multiplayer, or the things you do would only be visible locally, as the netcode would lack the ability to transfer the information "player turned into a hooker" or "player openes his car's trunk", as they weren't intended by the devs. Wrong - almost everything that can be done in singleplayer with this trainer can also be seen and experienced in multiplayer.
  • Street Vendors have propane tanks in their stalls that will explode if you hit them. To go further, only the hot dog and hamburger stands have propane tanks in them, the nut stalls do not.

    GTA V 
  • GTA V has so many of these, IGN has created a list that reaches 100 examples. The kicker? It's incomplete.
  • Murdering people instead of evading/subduing them in missions will often get you chewed out for being a killer; in some instances, stopping a robbery by killing the thief will cause the victim to call the cops on your crime. (There is also at least one occasion where being trigger happy and killing a robber will actually penalize the player because it will prevent a valuable heist team member from being unlocked because he's, well, dead.
  • Firing from a vehicle with no weapon equipped makes the character flip the bird at people.
  • Unlike IV, throwing yourself at a wall doesn't mean you either climb or don't — it means you smack into it or fall over it, injuring yourself.
  • During Franklin's assassination missions, you frequently kill CEO's/Directors/Presidents of companies, making it possible to buy stocks in opposing companies and sell them off post-hit for an easy gain.
  • During the beginning of the mission "The Wrap Up", if you try to follow Dave down the building, a helicopter will crash into the walkway, separating him from Michael and forcing him to face a Merryweather Buzzard and be saved by Trevor.
  • Dialogue between characters will frequently change to reflect on which missions you have actually completed. Similarly, if you decide to hang out with one of the other player characters, their banter changes depending on where you're at in the story, and there's at least one or two throwaway lines for each activity and unique to each character combination.
  • Stick too close to another protagonist off-mission (as in walk too close to them for a long time), they will become annoyed with your stalking. Continue after being warned, they will knock you on your ass, instantly killing you.
  • Female NPCs react to being followed too closely as well; if you persist they walk faster and threaten to call the cops.
  • Getting out of your car and hiding in the bushes will help you evade the police. Hiding your car in the bush while you're in the car works as well.
  • The backfire from cars can ignite gasoline trails. It can even ignite gasoline poured over your car.
  • Shooting the approximate location of the gas tank on a car makes it leak gasoline, and it will eventually run down and stop working. The gas trail may be ignited in the meantime too.
  • Rev up your car when you're at a red light and you'll challenge the guy next to you to a race. Honk your horn enough at a guy in front of you and he'll get pissed off and start driving dangerously to get away from you.
  • Story missions will frequently change up dialogue to reflect the player's actions, and there are often several different takes for each line. For instance, if you decide to do some Sequence Breaking on a Sniping Mission as Trevor and shoot some guards before Ron warns you about them, Trevor will mention having cleared the area already.
  • Heists also have varying dialogue depending on which crew members you selected, and it all sounds natural, completely averting Mad Libs Dialogue. One of the most impressive throwaway lines has to be during the "smart" version of The Jewel Store Job, which begins with Franklin climbing to the roof and throwing sleeping gas into the ventilation system. On the off-chance that you visited Ammu-Nation and purchased grenades or sticky bombs, Michael will call you over the radio reminding you to switch grenade types. It might have been Stop Helping Me! material if it didn't show such impressive attention to detail.
  • Similarly, one of Trevor's missions for Josh requires him to use a jerry can that is provided at the beginning of the mission. If you already have a full jerry can, Trevor will compliment himself for being "one step ahead". If you don't have enough gas to use, Josh will mention that he has more in his car.
  • If you kill Amanda, Jimmy, Tracey or anyone one of his friends as Michael, he'll freak out. Fortunately for him, they'll just end up in the hospital and send him the bill. The same applies with Ron if Trevor accidentally kills him... although Trevor doesn't care as much except telling the player it was their fault for running Ron over. Ron will send him the bill anyway since he's in deep debt. Franklin's reaction is a simple precision F or S strike, wondering how a pro driver like him could hit someone like that. Trevor's penalization is the funniest though...
    "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Pay my hospital charges."
  • If playing as Franklin or Trevor, go to Micheal's house and start shooting rockets at it. He will call you and shout to stop firing rockets at his house. Keep doing it and he'll send you the same text message to stop firing at his house.
  • Similarly, if you decide to steal a protagonist's car while as someone else, an angry call will come in telling you to stop stealing his car.
  • Church bells ring on the hour.
  • Clocks show the exact in-game time.
  • The loudspeakers at Fort Zancudo will blare out Reveille at 0530 sharp.
  • When you're wanted, the police dispatcher will report your location (neighborhood and street name), as well as the type, color, and sometimes the name of your vehicle. Further, if you drive out of sight from the police, dispatch will express audible confusion over what vehicle they think you're in.
  • Each of the three main characters has a preferred musical genre that will be reflected in their default choice in radio stations. Franklin likes hip-hop, Michael likes classic rock from the '70s and '80s, and Trevor likes hardcore punk. In fact, changing the radio to a different station as Trevor will (at least during scripted missions) result in him complaining about the music and automatically switching it back to the punk station.
    • And during the stretch of the game where Michael has been kicked out of the house by Amanda, living in Trevor's trailer and driving a crappy rental car, he listens to classic country. Because country, as Xander Harris taught us, is the music of pain.
  • If you have the foresight to actually look in the back of the car in the mission where Franklin meets Michael for the first time (Michael holds Franklin up at gunpoint in the backseat of the car), you'll see that something is covered in a blanket in the back seat.
  • During the mission "Reuniting the Family" Jimmy will mention that Amanda cheated on Michael with "the guy on Vespucci Beach who thinks he's Jesus." If you go down to Vespucci Beach you can actually meet the guy. His name is Jesse.
  • If you get three or more wanted stars, police officers switch from shouting their movements to using hand signals.
  • Additionally, harming cops instead of killing them makes them retreat. Shoot a cop in the leg or foot, and other officers will often drag them to cover.
  • Causing a car's alarm to activate and stealing it after the alarm has stopped, will let you off scott-free of cops, much like you could in previous games.
  • If the police witness drivers trying to attack you and you're simply just trying to drive away, the cops will chase the attackers, getting them off your tail.
  • In the story mode, it's possible to hold up certain stores. Do the same store frequently in a small amount of time and they can set a trap, working with the cops to ambush you. Robbing stores in Online too quickly will increase the amount of stars you get in the resulting wanted level; you get two stars for the first two stores, three stars for the next two, and four stars for every store after that. Thankfully, this is reset back to only two stars if you wait for about 10 minutes before robbing another store.
    • There are also two different ways to rob stores. The first one - which is usually more lucrative - is to draw a weapon and aim at the clerk, which will make him empty the register. Yelling at him (through your microphone) or shooting up the store will increase the speed at which he empties the register. The other method is to knock out out or kill the clerk, run behind the counter, and empty the register yourself. This is faster but usually nets the player slightly less cash and more wanted stars.
  • In Online, the cashier will often comment on how many times such a things have happened, depending whether or not another player has robbed the store recently, and may say that they should've gotten a gun. There's also a chance of them pulling one and possibly killing you, if you don't return fire.
  • If you happen to pull the trigger on an empty weapon while performing a robbery, the clerk will immediately fire upon you.
  • In both online and offline mode, calling people frequently will cause them to complain about it. Do it enough without reason (i.e. calling and hanging up rather than selecting a conversation) and they'll start to snub you.
    Lester: Call me back when you get that brain of yours working.
    Ron: Call me when you've grown a brain!
  • The in-game smartphone model shows the same graphics seen on the game's HUD.
  • It's possible to catch most vehicles with the Cargobob's hook, right from regular cars to tanks, but the hook cannot catch convertibles with their roofs down.
  • Online will always remember a player driven vehicle and never despawn it, unless it's destroyed. Even if it isn't a personal vehicle.
  • If your personal vehicle in Online is destroyed by another player, they will pay for the insurance, provided that you bought insurance coverage.
  • Running around in your underwear or, as Trevor, in a dress will have NPCs commenting on your choice of clothing. If you get wasted or busted in Single Player mode, the protagonist will walk out of the hospital or police building in normal, more appropriate clothes.
  • Storing your online cash in your bank account means other players and muggers (obviously) can't steal it from your wallet. You can still get mugged, but you won't lose cash, making the mugging be for naught. (Applies to GTA V Online only, though some single-player walkthroughs suggest investing all your cash in a "safe" stock before engaging in a dangerous mission to protect it should the protagonist be wasted and have to forfeit a large percentage for medical expenses.)
  • Much like GTA SA, you can find parachute atop of buildings or places that would be ideal for basejumping. Getting into planes or choppers, will always equip the player with a free parachute.Not always  The convenient parachute placements are more frequent in Online than Single Player. After each jump, the protagonist is shown removing the parachute and discarding it; sure enough, you need to track down another before you try again.
  • You can send in-game texts to other players, for free, but only if they're in the same lobby. Calling them on the other hand, costs about GTA$10note .
  • Suiciding in Online is usually free. The "easy way out" you take, varies from a cyanide pill, to putting a gun to your head. Doing it on mission will tell you that there's "No easy way out this time!".
  • The Altruist Cult will almost always welcome Trevor into their little abode (unless he attacks). Going there as Michael or Franklin results in them immediately attacking. If Trevor delivers a victim for the cult for the fourth time and slaughters all of them after they turn on him, nobody will be in the village from then on and the cult theme will no longer play.
  • Ballas gangsters will not only insult Franklin for being part of the Families, but also Michael and Trevor if either of them wears green.
  • When Lester gets into a car, he has his own unique animation. Rather than use the stock "one leg in" animation, he sits in the car butt first and rotates his legs in, like a real handicapped person would do.
  • In Online, the player can purchase an apartment which will include a shower. If the player climbs into the shower, they will be encouraged to sing into the microphone, and doing so will give them a few free experience points.
  • Showering after your character has been shot or killed (creating wounds) will clean them off your character.
  • You can do donuts with cars in V, however, if you do it to a car with tires not meant for extensive drifting long enough, the tires will burst, just like in real life. Buying bulletproof tires will let you be able to do donuts without bursting them.
  • If you're on a motorcycle, landing from a great height wheels first will not protect you from damage or getting wasted.
  • As Trevor, people can call the cops on you and get you a wanted star just because you're wearing a dress if you hang around them long enough to allow them to.
  • In Online's introductory missions and various cutscenes, all players involved in the job will have subtle, unique animations in the scene (e.g. When introduced to Gerald, Lamar will rip on Player A's clothing with Player B, C, etc. laughing in the background.)
  • When browsing the internet on your phone, if you're browsing secure pages such as your Portfolio and you try to go back you'll get a "this page has expired," just like in real life.
  • If you park your car in an illegal location and leave it to take part in an activity (such as the Vinewood Tour), the car will have been impounded by the police by the time you get back.
  • Unlike the III era and even IV for the most part, some businesses are only accessible during certain hours of the day. You cannot visit movie theaters in the middle of the night, for example, and the Vinewood Tour is only available between certain hours too.
  • Surprisingly averted in one case, however: the game offers no command for sitting down on a chair; the only time a player character is able to do this is when it's scripted for them to do so or it's part of a cutscene. This is particularly noticeable when riding the subway; you have to stand the whole time (though the game automatically makes the protagonist sit down between stations).
  • Weapon and armor pick-ups are less common or conspicuous (at least in single-player), reflecting real life as you don't normally find submachine guns or bulletproof vests lying around.
  • During By The Book, Steve, Trevor and Mr K's dialogue will change depending on which torture instruments you do or do not use and in which order. Mr K also has two voice tracks for the scene that includes clear and slurred speech depending on whether you pull out his tooth or not. Also, letting Mr. K die by not injecting him with adrenaline will lead to a special cutscene.
  • At night, moths and other insects are seen fluttering around lights.
  • In a return to a feature last seen in GTA: San Andreas, some radio D Js will make reference to things like the time of day (for example, DJ Cara will remark about it being morning).
  • When switching protagonists, the character previously played will stay in his location for a brief time. It is possible, depending on how close the "switched-to" character is randomly placed, to rendezvous with the previously played character. When this happens, the two will acknowledge each other and the previously played character will ask to hang out with the currently played character (at which point a regular friend outing scenario begins if you say yes).
  • In one story mode mission, Mike shoots out an airplane's engine while Trevor chases the disabled plane on an ATV. The route the plane takes will go very close to Trevor's own home. If you detour slightly and drive past Ron's house, Trevor will yell at him as you pass.
    Trevor: Ron! You'd better be working!!!
  • When Franklin moves house, his new home will be filled with boxes which get unpacked as time goes on. Also, if you get back into Franklin's old home, you can find that his room is empty.
  • During vehicle chases, police cars will use real-life pursuit tactics to try and stop the player, such as driving in front of the player and slowing down, shooting at tires, or attempting the pit maneuver. When you get three or more stars, they'll set up spike traps with their roadblocks.
  • If someone is shot with a low damage gun. they do not necessarily die immediately and may continue shooting at the player, even while lying on the ground. Head shots, of course, are instant kills, as are shots by stronger guns to any part of the body and anything that causes the target to fall a great height.
  • Although businesses where the player can actually buy items are open 24/7, other "scenery" storefronts can be seen to close up shop at night. Also, areas where NPCs gather during the day (shopping areas, sidewalk cafes, etc) are vacated at night.
  • It's possible to run into birds while flying aircraft. No damage is done to the aircraft but it does generate a distracting sound effect and bloody animation.
  • There is a random event involving an abandoned vehicle near the Sandy Shores Airfield. Normally, if the vehicle is approached on foot, the protagonist will be shot with a stun gun and placed on the train tracks. Trevor can bypass this with his special ability, leading to some unique dialogue with the attacker.
  • If you park by a police station, leave the vehicle, and an emergency call comes in while you're there, a cop will commandeer your vehicle and drive away in it. (Unless you stop him, though this will trigger a high wanted level, of course).
  • Unlike past GTA games (including, to a degree, GTA IV), the road network in GTA V is more realistic and generally easier to navigate, with fewer "you can't get there from here" scenarios which made earlier GTA games a challenge.
  • The Scenery Porn aspects of the game world are notable examples of this. Every little side street, even places where neither story mode or Online are expected to take you is loaded with detail. For example, in northwest Los Santos there is a college campus that is an expy of real-life UCLA. One part of the campus includes a track and field arena. Nothing in the gameplay takes the player here, yet if you wander in, you'll find NPCs jogging around the track and at certain times of the day water sprinklers will come on in the infield.
  • If you use the "Look Behind You" button in a car, your character will glance up at the rear-view mirror, unless they are in a truck or other vehicle with something obscuring the back, at which case they glance at the hand mirror
  • Hit the brakes hard in a newer car, and the wheels will lock-up briefly and repeatedly, as what happens on a real car with ABS. Except on older cars like the Rat-Loader, which do this much more slowly, as if the driver is performing cadence braking.
  • The Updated Re-release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One introduced, among other things, a first-person mode. Outside of cutscenes, you can now do absolutely everything in first-person, from skydiving to drive-bys... but most of all, it shows off just how much Scenery Porn was put into the updated graphics, on top of how much already existed in the game. Every car received a fully-detailed interior complete with functional speedometers (a feature that fans had demanded for years), aiming is done down the sights, and cover-based shooting requires you to actually peer out before you can track enemiesnote , but that's hardly the end of it — they even put a giant crack in the corner of the screen on Trevor's phonenote . That's attention to detail.
    • They even aknowledged that rolling while in first-person could make players sick and added an option to pass to 3rd and back when you roll.
    • Having sunglasses on while in first person will tint the screen, with the color depending on your glasses.
  • The opening perspective of some cutscenes will change depending on which character the player initiates the cutscene as. Beginning a cutscene as a character who doesn't show up until a while into it will start the cutscene from that point,
  • Even though they're small and barely noticeable, every car stereo in the updated version is fully functional and displays the correct station and song that's currently playing.
  • In Online, multiple players can pile into 4 door cars. While the two players in the front seats can change the radio station, this affects the music playing for everybody and can induce the same sort of squabbling that occurs in real life. The suckers in the backseat, however, cannot affect the station because they can't reach it and so are stuck with whatever is playing.
  • Cars in North Yankton have license plates properly labeled 'Yankton' on them instead of 'San Andreas'. Quite the amazing detail considering how brief the stays in North Yankton are, and how few people would probably notice such a small thing.
  • During Trevor's hunting minigame, you take pictures of your kills with Trevor's phone. You're supposed to send them to Cletus, but you can actually send them to any of Trevor's contacts. This results with some amusing replies.
    Michael: Could you be any more of a redneck?
    Franklin: Is there anything you won't shoot?
    Jimmy: Politically correct as always uncle T.
    Lamar: I only smoke homies with 2 legs.
    Wei Cheng Sr.: Is this a threat?
    Dave: That one I can't arrest you for.
    Wade: One for the wall!
  • As Trevor, pressing right on the D-Pad will make him insult people. The "dev team" part is that exactly what he says depends on who he's speaking to.
    • Specifically, Trevor has taunts directed at fat people, the homeless, the elderly, gang members, hipsters, and cops.