Grove Street Families gangsters in GTA San Andreas, who can be used as backup.

In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the feature of recruiting, or being provide with, protection ad help from gang members was added, but to a minor extent. This feature returned, and is significantly expanded in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. This feature was added again in Grand Theft Auto IV, but can only be unlocked if Dwayne Forge's friendship is 75% or higher.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

The Backup feature was first introduced in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, but to a minor extent. The player can only gain backup after achieveing 100% completion of GTA Vice City. Once the player achieves 100% completion of the game, three Vercetti Gang members will spawn in the TV room of the Vercetti Estate. The player can hire them by walking into the halo next to them, but at the cost of $2000.

In certain missions, the player is provided backup at the beginning to help them complete the mission. Lance Vance is commonly used as backup to the player in the game; he backs up the player on five occasions (Guardian Angels, Supply & Demand, Death Row (to a minor extent), Rub Out and Cop Land). In the mission Bar Brawl, Tommy Vercetti is given two Vercetti Gang members (one of them is called Mike) to help him.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

To recruit Grove Street members in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, you must aim a gun at them and then press up on the D-pad on Xbox or up on the Directional Buttons on the PlayStation 2. They will kill rival gang members and kill anyone you attack.They carry a pistol or a TEC-9.If the player chooses to find all the Gang Tags all backup will instead carry a MP5 or a Desert Eagle. They will also attack cops if they are chasing you. Its possible to activate a cheat to recruit anyone (including rival gangs) to join you. For example, if you recruit some Ballas, they will attack Grove Street and Varrios Los Aztecas members. A rare glitch affects this cheat were if you recruit these gangs they will attack their own gang.

Grand Theft Auto IV

The only way to get backup is to get Dwayne's relationship to 75% or higher. Once that is achieved, he will send backup on request. 2 gang members come, and will assist you.One will always carry a Micro Uzi and the other will always carry a pistol. The gang members will only attack others if they attack first or if you attack them first, and will also attack cops, but only if they attack you. Niko's two backup men have very high health being able to take ten Combat Shotgun blasts at point blank range before dying. They can be extremely useful in drawing fire away from targets that need to survive, such as Packie in Waste Not Want Knots, or in missions where Niko is outgunned. The service is disabled in some missions, however, such as Three Leaf Clover.

  • Once summoned, the backup remains with Niko even after the conclusion of a mission, and will enter 4-door vehicles with the player. They'll also accompany Niko to his safehouse and even remain after a save (unless the game session is restarted or the player manually loads a save). Triggering mission cutscenes may only make one of the backup men disappear. The only way to get rid of the backup (other than killing them or saving a game and reloading) is to drive away and leave them behind.
  • The backup won't pass through transition points (i.e. the chevrons) to reach Niko. So, for example, summoning the backup while standing on the balcony at Playboy X's Penthouse won't work and after awhile a message will flash on screen saying the backup couldn't reach Niko. (However, going down to street level to meet the backup and then returning to the apartment with them will work).

The Lost and Damned

When doing a Gang War Johnny Klebitz gets six gang members who help in the war. Two of these members are always Terry Thorpe and Clay Simons. The other four random members can have their 'toughness' go up by doing gang wars and surviving. It is not mandatory that any of Johnny's backup actually survive these battles; Terry and Clay cannot be killed (even if they are shown to be incapacitated) and the others are simply cannon fodder, though there are benefits to concluding gang war battles before everyone is killed. With increased 'toughness' the members get increased health and get better accuracy.

From early in the game, Johnny also gets the to call Terry and Clay as backup (calling either will summon both). By doing wars, friend activities, and just by surviving random gun fights Terry and Clay's 'toughness' will go up upgrading their health, accuracy, fire rate, and their weapon. Terry's weapons are the SMG, the AK-47,and finally the Carbine Rifle. Clay's weapons are the Pump Action Shotgun, the Combat Shotgun, and finally the Assault Shotgun.

Unlike GTA IV or earlier games where summoned backup generally provides little more than distracting police and enemy targets away from the player, in several TLAD missions summoning Terry and Clay can substantially alter the mission, as scripted events occur when they are present. For example, in Bad Standing summoning backup forces Johnny to attack Brian's safehouse in a certain way, and also makes it more difficult to execute Brian, and in Was It Worth It? the backup will automatically set up an ambush, reducing the number of targets Johnny has to defend against.

The Ballad of Gay Tony

When doing Drug Wars Luis Fernando Lopez is accompanied by Armando Torres and Henrique Bardas.The more Drug Wars the player does the better their backup's weapons get.Eventually Armando and Henrique will carry an M249 and a Gold SMG.Tony Prince also serves as backup in the mission Party's Over with a Pistol .44 but mostly he only does blind firing.


  • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas after the mission Riot a glitch happens when you have backup. Sometimes your backup will run as far away from Carl Johnson as possible even jumping out of the vehicle they are currently in and running away.
  • In the mission Breaking the Bank at Caligula's Wu Zi Mu and the San Fierro Triads provide backup for CJ.
  • Sweet serves as backup in some missions.
  • In GTA IV when you get in a car with your backup the one with a Micro Uzi will always ride in the passenger seat while the on with the pistol always rides in back. With that in mind when getting on a motorcycle the one with the Micro Uzi will always get on back with Niko.
  • Niko cannot call for backup during and after the missions If the Price is Right and A Dish Served Cold.
  • In GTA IV if the player is in a gunfight the player can call 911 to have the police come over and shoot at Niko's attackers.But if the player fires his gun all police in the area will automatically turn their attentions to Niko and the player will receive two stars.
  • Patrick McReary, Little Jacob,and Phil Bell serve as backup in some missions.
  • Jim Fitzgerald also serves as backup in some missions before Was It Worth It?. He always carries a pistol.
  • TLAD will often hint (via a timely text message from Jim, Terry or Clay) when summoning backup on a mission is a good idea.