5. Surviving There / General Tips In this chapter, I'll give a few general tips for survival in locked-off areas. Apply at your convenience and according to the situation you're in. 5.1. Various
Before you've done the storyline mission 'Farewell My Love' your wanted level
will not go higher than 4 wanted stars. So you can actually run your own private rampages, even in locked off territory, without your wanted level ever getting to anything higher than those 4 stars.
The garage in Doherty/SF
can be used right from the beginning of the game, even if you don't officially own it yet. So feel free to nick a Patriot from Easter Basin Military Base on 4 rather than 5 wanted stars (and no chasing FBI Ranchers) and stash it in Doherty garage for the 'Exports' later in the game. You can also keep one or two bikes in there for a quick vehicle swap (see chapter 5.3). Cop choppers
will only fire at you when you've been in their searchlight for long enough. So if you have to flee from a chasing chopper, especially when you are on foot or swimming, go in zig-zags. That'll help you effectively to stay out of the searchlight and thus prevent you from being fired at. Update: Shooting down choppers can be dangerous if they land and explode near you. If you want to anyway either use heavy weaponry like the minigun or the sniper trick Gray_Eagle reported : you can shoot down a chopper with just one sniper bullet if you aim for "where the spinny bit that spins the rotors meets the roof".
Still, being on foot
is generally a bad idea. Foot cops spawn by the dozen, you can get run over by cars, etc... So if you end up on foot, run for your life and a vehicle, in this order. If you're on foot and are fireproof and brought molotovs, now's the time to use them... 5.2. Driving Bikes
are probably the best means of transport. Vehicles in general protect you from bullets and too many foot cops, but on a bike you are way more mobile than in a car. Speaking of mobility, maybe the Freeway shouldn't be your first choice of bike.
If you still want a car
you might want to go for the big & heavy variety (Firetruck, Dune, ...). Find a little insight on how to drive those on 4 wanted stars in quartet1977's video of the 'Trucking' mission level 8
. Territory's not restricted there, but 4 wanted stars are still on.
Try never to fall off your bike (see 'being on foot' in chapter 5.1.
). Driving slowly
helps incredibly with that. Yes. The faster you drive, the higher the speed of the spawning cop cars that try to hit you and hence the higher the chances that you fall off in case they succeed. Try to find a speed that is just fast enough to stay away from foot cops and the chasing cop cars you're dodging. Doing the LV 'Courier' mission on the little Faggio will give you an idea of what I'm talking about, watch the video here
cannot be avoided, slow down as much as possible before you are hit and try not to get hit in a full-frontal manner. This will lessen the damage your vehicle takes, and if you're on a bike it'll help to avoid getting knocked off.
Always bear in mind that the chasing cops
are but computer bots following certain patterns. Try to learn about those patterns and use them against them. For example, on some crossroads there'll always be cop cars spawning on a straight 90 degree collision course to you. Keep in mind which crossings those are and learn how to brake at the right moment.
Learn how to lose chasing cops at road signs, trees, poles or by changing the side of the road you're driving on (especially on the LV Strip). On freeways you might want to drive just left of the wrong side of the road altogether.
Use railtracks, sidewalks and off-road ways, turn around corners often
, be careful at crossings. Preferably turn around corners on the inside pavement, thus avoiding cop vehicles on a 90 degree collision course. Also you might lose chasing cops at traffic poles this way. Unique stunt jumps
might help to escape chasing cops. crazyanurag reports that they usually land you in a cop-free area, giving you that bit of extra time to speed off and avoid 'The Man'.
The longer you stay in one specific area, the more road blocks
will appear (they're especially nasty in some areas of SF). So never hang around the same area for too long.
Obviously, try to avoid road blocks as best as you can. Update: Bicycles, especially the Mountain Bike, are actually quite good vehicles too for 4star territory, once you've got the hang of it. A big advantage is that they don't take any damage from bullets and even protect CJ from gunfire. On a bicycle, CJ won't take any hits at all from firing police choppers . Foot cops still get the occasional hit in, but it's nowhere near as harmful as when CJ is on foot. Also, you can pull nice escapes from chasing cops with bunny-hops or even mega-hops (as described in chapter 3.4 ). Try mega-hopping onto roofs for protection from the cops, it's fun. In LV you'll find a Mountain Bike outside the Creek save house. In SF there's one on the N side of the building on the pier just W of Gant Bridge and in Angel Pine there's one at the bottom of Mt. Chiliad next to the finish of the Chiliad Challenge. 5.3. Vehicle Swapping
If your vehicle is getting damaged, go early
to a spot where you can safely and/or quickly swap vehicles. In LV I prefer the Emerald Isle parking garage (see chapter 3.1.
), in SF I usually grab a new NRG-500 from the 'NRG Challenge' trigger at SF Docks (see chaper 3.2.
). For many more vehicle spawning points please consult the usual map resources
given in chapter 0. Depending on how much you care about your 'no. of resprays' stat it may also help to know your spray shop locations. They'll fix your vehicle but of course your wanted stars will stay.
Keep the game's vehicle-spawning behaviour
in mind. If you're on a bike (non-NRG) and want to get a new one of the same type, say at the Emerald Isle, go there on your old bike. If you can't make that, do not get into a different class of vehicle more than once. Try to run if you have to. This way you'll have a much bigger chance that the bike you're after will spawn at the garage.
If you're forced to swap vehicles somewhere in the open
, try to get a parked vehicle. If you're jacking a driving car, the animation usually takes long enough for the shooting cops to destroy the vehicle. When jacking a driving car, your chances are increased if you do so from the passenger side - sometimes the driver will start speeding away from the shooting cops during the jacking animation.
If you're in SF, you can keep some extra bikes in Doherty Garage
(see chapter 5.1.
) and swap your vehicle in there (the garage will 'repair' your old one). I'd suggest stashing an NRG-500, grab one at the NRG Challenge mission trigger (see chapter 3.2.
). 5.4. Armour, Health and Indoor Locations
Always keep an eye on your health and armour stats and memorize according pickup points (see the resources
given in chapter 0). It's generally easier to refresh armour than health (see below) so you might want to keep your health stat maxed
at all times.
The best place in SF to get health is SF Stadium
- the police can't handle the area well at all (I encourage you to explore this yourself, it is kind of funny to watch), no foot cops are spawning and the stadium roof protects you from helicopters. I like to stand under the roof north of the stadium and watch the police cars fighting with that fence while I munch away replenishing my health...
In LV my preferred fast food stalls are on the car park S of the Royal Casino
, between the sphinx and Caligula's. There are two of them and the building and the walls around the car park offer some protection from cop vehicles. A third stall is just around the corner to the north, but that one - just as the three near the minigun garage in N LV - is on fairly open ground.
Generally I prefer the fast food stalls
(Chili Dogs etc.) for replenishing health because there's hardly any animation and you can re-enter your vehicle with hardly any interruptions. If you think about using an indoors health supply
be aware that you'll be greeted by lots of foot cops as soon as you step outside. So you actually need two armour pickups if you're doing this - one you'll have to pick up before you go inside so it'll protect your newly gained health once you exit the building, and a second one after you made your escape from these foot cops.
You'll face this same danger exiting from any indoor location
: loads of shooting foot cops waiting for you outside. So whenever you exit a building, some of your armour will get shot away - and possibly even your escape vehicle. Most of these foot cops will spawn near the building's entrance, so you might have a better chance of getting away if you leave your escape vehicle somewhere around the next corner and out of the reach of those foot cops' bullets. 5.5. Flying
Don't fly too much or you could run into the Taxi or Toreno Glitch
(see chapter 2
Although a few more are available, I'd really only recommend three aircrafts
for locked-off territory: the Seasparrow, the Shamal and the AT-400. More details right below, but in summary: always hug the ground in a Seasparrow, in a Shamal either hug the ground or fly rather high so you can dodge missiles, and in an AT-400 fly as you like, it's the only aircraft that will not get attacked by police hydras (it's huge though). Planes are of course really only helpful if you want to cover long distances and/or can bail pretty well; for example, you could use an AT-400 to get to Mt. Chiliad from LV. For everything else, esp. the airborne 'Horseshoes', I'd recommend the Seasparrow.
As soon as you enter an aircraft - or locked-off territory while flying an aircraft - a police Hydra
spawns and that Hydra will fire one or more heat-seaking missiles
at you (appearing as little red markers on your radar). This might happen very quickly or only after a while and so far I haven't found out if there's any rule to that. What to do to avoid those missiles highly depends on your actual situation in the game and all in all, flying is generally rather unpredictable.
When flying the Shamal you can dodge most missiles by doing a sharp 360° turn. Be careful to fly high enough so you don't crash into any obstacles when doing this. Watch an example of this in the video to the 'Chiliad Challenge'
The second way of dealing with missiles is: make them hit something else. Do that by flying low and cutting sharp corners around any vertical obstacles (buildings, mountains, trees, etc...). A hint of 'N.O.E.'-style building-dodging, done in a Shamal, is featured in the "into LV - Burger Shot" video
. Of course this strategy mainly holds for choppers and that is also the reason why I'm recommending the Seasparrow - just like with bikes it's the mobility rather than the speed that matters.
Police Hydras don't usually handle buildings or trees too well so sometimes they will crash, especially if you're following the above advice. Now this is a good thing because you just got rid of a chasing plane - but it is also a bad thing, because the result is the spawning of a new police Hydra which will soon fire new missiles at you. So you should really *always* keep an eye on your radar when flying... Aircraft Locations
- Have a look at the map
for most of the ones described here. There's two Seasparrows
in the desert which I use for some of the 'Oysters' and the 'Horseshoes' you can't get to without flying. One accessible Shamal
is at LS Airport, two more are at LV Airport. The AT-400
is also at LV Airport, inside the big hangar to the south (see chapter 4.
). At SF Airport there's only one Maverick
helicopter you can use early in the game - sometimes I try to sneak up Mt. Chiliad with this one. Enter all airports
similarly to the way described in chapter 2.
for LS Airport, or use the odd jump to access SF Airport, or jump into LV Airport via the ramp described in chapter 4.
). And finally here's my strategy for grabbing a Shamal
at LV Airport (remember: there's 2 of them right next to each other): enter one of them, accelerate, exit as soon as you see missiles on your radar (most of the time you'll have to bail pretty quickly). Run to the second Shamal and take off safely. --> The idea is that you want to have a police hydra spawn and fire rockets. Those rockets will aim at your *first* Shamal and as long as that Hydra doesn't 'unspawn' (i.e. stay in sight) it won't re-fire. So accelerate the first Shamal just a bit to get it away from the second one, so the second one won't take damage from the explosion. This strategy is of course no guarantee, but it has worked a lot for me. The danger is of course that you might end up on foot, miles away from any useful vehicle and very much in the open in case both Shamals get blown to smithereens. If that happens you might want to grab the armour in the hangar where the 'Freefall' mission starts before you make your run for those airport gates. Or continue running to the south and grab the AT-400 (the southern part of LV airport is mainly cop-free). If you're lucky you might find parked vehicles outside the building in the SW part of the airport; these spawns are inconsistent though and might not appear (just as the Super GT underneath the tower at SF airport), especially if you are - or were last - in a plane. 5.6. Boats
is The Fastest Boat and the recommended one. It outraces police choppers and Predators (the coastguards' boats). So if you're on your way back to LS using the routes described in chapter 4.
, simply floor it because you won't run into too many shooting Predators along those routes.
There's one Jetmax in SF and one in LV, find them where routes 1 & 2 on the map
begin. The one in LV even has some armour right next to it.
If you're doing 'Collectibles' or anything else that brings you near Predators
, you might once again want to go slowly so using other boats might work just as well. Stop your boat as soon as the Predator spawns, hit the 'exit vehicle' key and snipe the cops on the Predator. Or, slightly cruder, greet them with your minigun, rocket launcher or assault rifle, according to your armament and personal taste.
In any case, be very careful not to have other vehicles explode near your own boat. Having your own boat explode could have disastrous consequences. Keep this in mind if you have a taste for blowing down police choppers.
If you're far away from boat spawn points and need a new boat, you can snipe some coastguards and then calmly jack their Predator. Using the Sniper will leave your new vehicle intact.