The M249 SAW in real life
The M249 is a heavy assault weapon featured in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (where it replaces the M60 from GTA Vice City to better suit the game's chronology) and The Ballad of Gay Tony. It is based on the real life M249 SAW.
GTA Vice City Stories
In GTA Vice City Stories, the weapon is a powerful, one shot kill gun that holds 100 rounds per magazine, but is slightly less effective than the Minigun. Unlike the M60 from GTA Vice City and GTA Liberty City Stories, the M249 has a unique firing and reloading animation, no longer copied from the assault rifle animation.
The M249 is a weapon of choice for several Rampages and is featured during "Farewell to Arms"
The Ballad Of Gay Tony
The Advanced MG and its associated HUD icon
The M249 in The Ballad of Gay Tony (referred to as the Advanced MG) is the first machine gun to be featured in the GTA IV series. The weapon is placed in the Assault Rifle slot, unlike in GTA Vice City Stories where the M249 would occupy the Heavy Weapons slot.
The Advanced MG has a high rate of fire, making it well suited for engaging multiple enemies; however, it has less stopping power than the Assault and Carbine Rifles and is less accurate due to the weapon being fired from the hip rather than the shoulder, making headshots more difficult. The weapon's belt-fed design is a double-edged sword: it has a 200-round capacity but takes longer to reload. Against vehicles, the Advanced MG requires sustained fire to the engine or fuel tank to destroy it, unlike machine guns from previous games, which can destroy vehicles in just a few rounds, regardless of where the shots actually land on the vehicle.
It is first given to Luis in the mission Going Deep for Ray Bulgarin. Additionally, law enforcement use the Advanced MG instead of the Carbine Rifle when firing upon the player from a helicopter.
- GTA Vice City Stories features the M249E1 version, while the one featured in TBOGT is the M249E2 version.
- The M249E2 SAW was originally included in Grand Theft Auto : San Andreas, the files of this can be found in the PS2 version.
- The Advanced MG will spawn in Deathmatch when weapons are set to "Snipers."
- There is a dark green skull on the ammo box in TBOGT.
- The fact that Luis fires from the hip rather than the shoulder could mean Luis is inexperienced with the M249.
- GTA Vice City Stories
- At the InterGlobal Films studio in the first studio directly northwest of the entrance.
- Spawns at each safehouse after shooting all 99 red balloons.
- The Ballad of Gay Tony
- Given to the player in Going Deep.
- Available from Armando's gun van after said mission for $7,550, plus $400 for each additional ammo belt.
- Spawns in Safehouse after completing 20 Drug Wars and completing Going Deep.