A Global Positioning System, or GPS, refers to a navigation system in Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars that guides the player to a specific waypoint, whether it is related to a mission or plotted by the player themselves, by providing directions to said waypoints. For GTA games prior to GTA IV, players have only their knowledge of the road to reach a waypoint.
The feature can be toggled on or off in both GTA IV and GTA Chinatown Wars.
The GPS system functions by calculating the shortest legal route to a waypoint; as such, closed roads and alleyways are not taken into account, and may not be the most efficient route as far as the player is concerned.
While missions automatically plot waypoints, players may also enter their own waypoint by way of the city map in GTA IV and GTA Chinatown Wars (player-defined waypoints have been present since Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas). After a waypoint has been plotted, the route will be illustrated in both the map and the radar; yellow routes and waypoints are mission specific, while green routes and waypoints are player-defined. Waypoints in the middle of a body of water will not be routed. Waypoints are also crucial if the player needs to reach a specific location in a Taxi; players can select the waypoint's location as one of the taxi's destinations.
Certain luxurious cars in GTA IV may also come equipped with voiced GPS, being primarily capable of informing the player of the distance to their next turn. The system may utilize the voice of a woman or a man, but are generally similar in behavior. The player can turn off GPS speech entirely or have GPS speech available in every car through the setting in the pause menu.
- Voiced GPS systems in GTA IV normally sound a "bing bong" notification when the player is about to approach a turn. On rare occasions, however, the feminine version of the system itself may actually say "bing bong" instead.
- Before Rockstar released the map of Liberty City, a user at GTAForums analyzed the second trailer of GTA IV and found a partial map of the city on the GPS in a Predator.
- Liberty City Map Revealed?, gta4.net