The swingset glitch (also known as the swing glitch) is one of the more famous, and humorous, glitches in Grand Theft Auto IV. It encompasses a certain swingset which is capable of catapulting the player or their vehicles with considerably great force. Despite it is proven to be a glitch, it could arguably be classed as an Easter Egg.
There are said to be several "glitched" swing sets around Liberty City and Alderney, the most infamous of them being the swingsets in the playground in Firefly Projects, yet two are accessible to cars and vans, and in a back garden of a mansion in Westdyke, on the junction of Owl Creek Ave and Tenmile St. Most of these are easy to access, specifically the two listed above, so it leaves sufficient space to allow the player to maneuver a decent-sized vehicle into position, the most popular method of exploiting the glitch.
If the player presses up against the swings in a vehicle then it will often be flung, with little or no warning, an incredible distance through the air; it is not uncommon for flying vehicles to reach or even clear Outlook Park to the west. The end result of vehicular flight is almost always catastrophic bodywork damage, although frequently the engine is left running. This enables the player to cruise away in their ruined vehicle. A vehicle that is flung using the swings will often turn out severely deformed, but drivable, in such a manner that could not be easily achieved through street crashes, or crashing into solid objects.
The player risks being thrown out through the windshield upon launch, often depending on the initial orientation of the car; facing the vehicle to the swing will increase the likelihood of it happening. Having been thrown out and falling from a considerable height, the player may fall to his death if he is thrown to the west instead of the east, where the player may land safely in water. However, it is nearly impossible for players to get launched through the windshield in multiplayer. It is also recommended to have the side where the vehicle's engine is located to not touch the swingset or else the engine will eventually catch on fire.
The best swingset to use is the northern one as using the southern one will almost always guarantee crashing into large apartment buildings. It is much preferable to use the middle pole rather than the sides ones.
As well as flinging vehicles, the swings have been known to hurl players and unsuspecting pedestrians on foot who hang from or brush up against them. Although amusing, this is all but guaranteed to result in death, unless they are lucky enough to land in water.
To get the most distance, back the back of the car to the middle pole, and reverse, when the swing catapults you you should go the furthest you can go (E.G East Hook, this is one of the furthest locations the vehicle can land in).
Rarely, when you use the swingset glitch, the vehicle will be invisible when being flinged under the ground, but the vehicle is still drivable, but if you exit the vehicle and you want to enter the vehicle, you can't drive it anymore.
Most vehicles are capable of going high and far but only with the correct conditions, some are more reactive than others such as the DF8-90, and some only go far on much rarer occasions (like the Ingot, Blista Compact, and Yankee (This can be launched as far as the Humboldt River under the right conditions). The best vehicles that hardly get stuck and go as far as (or beyond) Outlook on average are the: Turismo, Cabby, Declasse Taxi, Habanero, Stallion, Merit, Minivan, Moonbeam, NOOSE Cruiser, Perennial, Police Patrol, Police Cruiser, and the Vapid Taxi. It is possible, yet difficult, to use the glitch on a motorcycle,(or on foot) and it would be unwise to do so because of the increased likelihood of being flung off the motorcycle to your death. If a Bus is used on the swingset it will either be flung to the west and land somewhere not to so far or if its done on the swings right next to the block of apartments, it can send you underground spinning endlessly until you or passengers exit the vehicle, which will end up with you spawning in random places in Hove Beach or right next to the swingset. Also, the Bus (and also the Firetruck) has a rare outcome with the swings in the playground where the bus will appear in blue hell and then completely vanish along with one of the swings, leaving the player floating in the jungle gym while in the driving position.
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A Patriot after the Swing Glitch.
- GTA IV "Swing Glitch" on Youtube - one of many videos showcasing the glitch.
- Map of locations of working swings using SnapMap on WikiGTA