Friendships in GTA IV
- This article refers to maintaining major friendships in GTA IV. For the minor characters Niko meets in the street, see Random Characters
In Grand Theft Auto IV, the player will eventually befriend several acquaintances over the course of the game's storyline, primarily after performing adequate number of missions for the contacts.
The player's friendship with a character is determined by a "[Character name] like" attribute found in game stats; the higher a friend's "like", the better their relationship with the player. Hanging out with friends is the primary method to improve on the player's relationships with their friends, eventually allowing the player to unlock special benefits; the player can also increase his friendships (as well as their "respect") through certain storyline missions. However, rejecting offers by friends to go out or ignoring friends for too long will eventually result in a friend's "like" towards the player dropping; players will be notified of the latter via a text message.
The player may engage in specific activities with a characters, including bowling, going to a strip club, and going for a drink at a bar; these activities are activated by either having the player call their friends for a specific activity on their mobile phone, or wait for their friends to call instead (to which point their friends will pick a specific activity to do instead).
After setting an appointment, the player will have to head to their waiting friend, which will spawn in one of several possible points of the city (while some characters are constant in their pick-up locations - for example, Brucie seems to always be available at his home in East Hook - others may vary, such as Roman who one outing may be available from the South Bohan Safehouse but the next may be way down in Hove Beach); if the player does not pick their friend up for several hours, the friend will eventually become "bored" and cancel the meeting, reducing the friend's "like" towards the player. After picking up their friend, the player's is primarily instructed to head to the activity as agreed upon during the phone call, but can in fact make several stopovers on the way for other activities to boost the increase of the friend's "like" upon completion of the outing. Once the player complete the primary activity, the friend will ask the player to drop them off a specific location, at which point the friend's "like" will increase.
During the course of the outing, en route to the destination, and less frequently en route back to the friend's home, the friend will engage Niko in conversation with may or more not be relevant to the current state of the game.
The friendship feature is derided by certain commentators as a tedious and annoying aspect of GTA IV, as friends will consistently call the player on offers to go on outings, and there is no clear way of avoiding the activity without sacrificing their player's friendships. Even if the player chooses not to go on any outings, friends will still call the player regardless, even if the player sets their phone into silent mode (which is intended to block incoming calls). However, there is a simple method of avoiding going on outings without penalty; this is achieved by initially accepting a friend's offer to go out, and selecting the "Cancel Plans" option after the call.
The friendship feature was apparently downgraded in importance following GTA IV. The feature was brought over to The Lost and Damned (see Friendships in The Lost and Damned), but is no longer mandatory to the player to do. The feature is absent altogether in The Ballad of Gay Tony.
|Spoiler Warning: Plot and/or ending details are in the text which follows.|
There is a total of five available friends in GTA IV, two of which may be killed over the course of GTA IV's storyline:
- Roman Bellic, unlocked after "Bleed Out". (If the player chooses the Deal ending, he is shot and killed.)
- Little Jacob, unlocked after "Shadow".
- Brucie Kibbutz, unlocked after "No. 1".
- Dwayne Forge, unlocked after "The Holland Play", if the player chooses to kill Playboy X instead.
- Patrick McReary, unlocked after "Three Leaf Clover".
It should be noted the gap between the completion of the mission and the point which a friendship is established may last several days.
There are a total of ten activities that can be performed in an outing, including
- Eating. This can be done at any Burger Shot, Cluckin' Bell and Pizza This branch throughout Liberty City, and also other diners, cafes and restaurants that become available while you're out with a friend. As a bonus, this activity also regenerates Niko's health (just as eating does when Niko is alone).
- Drinking at the bars in Hove Beach (Broker), Steinway (Dukes), Purgatory (Algonquin), or Hatton Gardens (Algonquin). Being seen driving drunk will attract Wanted stars, and the act of driving become difficult; it's best to take a taxi (however Niko cannot summon Roman's car service for this). It may take more than one try to hail a cab whilst drunk, as the taxi driver may not respond to your calls and/or it may be difficult to navigate Niko to where the cab is parked (being hit by cars is a real danger). There is a glitch with using a cab in that it will drop Niko and his friend off near the final destination but in order to trigger the conclusion of the outing, Niko and his friend must pass through the marker in a vehicle, so Niko has to steal a car and drive it to the marker, with all the risks (including wanted stars) that entails. If the player decides to risk the wanted stars and drive, if Niko reaches the destination without being arrested, the wanted stars disappear after dropping the friend off. All this also applies to taking girlfriends to bars.
- Go bowling in the alleys at Purgatory (Algonquin) or Firefly Island (Broker).
- Play pool in Schottler (Broker) or at Playboy X's loft (if available; see spoilers below).
- Throw some darts at the Irish/German Pub in Steinway (Dukes) or in Purgatory (Algonquin).
- Visit a strip club. There are The Triangle Club in Northern Gardens (Bohan), and Honkers Gentlemen's Club in Tudor (Alderney). Lapdances are available in strip clubs but are not mandatory in order to complete the visit.
- Visit the Cabaret Club in Hove Beach (Broker) or the Comedy Club, Split Sides, in Star Junction (Algonquin) to catch a show. Note: you can chose to skip the cutscenes, but your friend will act as if you've walked out of the show before its conclusion (but there appears to be no negative impact on friendship).
- You can go with Brucie Kibbutz and two of his lady friends on helicopter and boat trips throughout Liberty City. A glitch relating to vehicle ownership may result in you receiving a one-star wanted level upon entering the vehicle, which is pointless as the helicopter can simply fly out of the wanted zone. In the case of the helicopter ride, Brucie will direct Niko to fly to a random location and hover close to the ground (the hovering is done automatically). Niko must then fly the chopper back to Brucie's apartment and successfully land it on the helipad (being wasted is a real danger in this activity). The boat ride basically involves going to a set destination and then going back. In both cases, Niko loses whatever vehicle he may have been driving when he arrived to pick up Brucie, but the boat ride activity gives a reward of sorts by allowing Niko to take whatever vehicle Brucie uses to get to the dock.
- Occasionally you will be called to give someone a lift; this usually happens when a friend is injured, though not always (for example, Little Jacob or Brucie may ask to simply be ferried from one side of town to the other). This seems to be the less common outing option.
Only certain activities are available to each friend, and even then so friend may express preferences towards a certain type of establishment to go to:
- Roman Bellic: The Burger Shot in Beechwood City, Broker
- "Little" Jacob Hughes: Cluckin' Bell in Cerveza Heights, Dukes
- Brucie Kibbutz: Superstar Café in Middle Park East, Algonquin
- Dwayne Forge: Cluckin' Bell in The Triangle, Algonquin, and Pizza This in Leftwood, Alderney.
- "Packie" Patrick McReary: You can't eat with Packie.
Like girlfriends in GTA San Andreas, friends provide special benefits if their "like" percentage reaches 75% (they will call you to offer their particular ability). You can lose these benefits if their "like" percentage fall below 75%; when you raise the level again, you will get a text message. This will also have effect on the voicemail your friend leaves when he/she is absent.
Note: Sometimes a friend's benefit will not be available, due to excessive use or being blocked during certain missions.
|Spoiler Warning: Plot and/or ending details are in the text which follows.|
- Roman Bellic: Sends a cab to pick Niko up and take him anywhere for free (albeit at the driver's annoyance). Following Roman's Sorrow, this benefit will be unavailable for several missions (as his depot has been burned down). The car service will be avaliable after completion of the mission Blow Your Cover, when Roman buys a new fleet of cabs. After Mallorie calls to report Roman missing, Niko cannot hang out with him or call for a taxi until he rescues Roman in "Hostile Negotiation". Roman is available at all times for activities. However, if you chose the Deal Ending, Roman, your friendship with him and his ability are lost.
- Little Jacob: Drives to a secluded location near the player; his car's trunk is full of guns to purchase at a discount (60% off). Niko can do this during a mission. The best times to call for activities are between 1pm - 4am.
- Brucie Kibbutz: Picks Niko up with his helicopter, and transports him to designated landing zones around the city (Niko will have to meet him at these points). The best times to call for activities are between 7am - 1am.
- Dwayne Forge: Sends a car with two armed men who will follow and help Niko in combat. In order to unlock his friendship, the player must allow him to live in The Holland Play, and later respond positively to an e-mail he will send (some time after this he will invite Niko out). The best times to call for activities are between 11am - 3am. Sparing Dwayne also allows use of Playboy X's loft apartment, including its pool table.
- Patrick McReary: Supplies Niko with a car bomb which can be placed under any car and detonated using Niko's phone. The best times to call for activities are between 3pm - 6am.
- It is possible to arrange more than one appointment with multiple friends, but the player can only select one friend to pick up, to which point other appointments are automatically canceled. There is no penalty in friendship under this condition.
- If the Niko receives an invitation to go out, he has to accept otherwise there is a penalty, however, Niko can then immediately call back to cancel the outing without penalty. This does not apply if Niko issues the invitation; if he subsequently cancels, a penalty is assessed.
- The player can use nearly any mode of transport during an outing. In addition to regular road vehicles, the player can also take a taxi or ride the subway. If the player chooses to pick a friend up using a motorbike or a helicopter, the friend will utter unique comments on the player's choice of vehicle. Note: two actvities involving Brucie - the helicopter and boat rides - will result in Niko losing whatever vehicle he takes to pick him up, although Brucie usually leaves a vehicle behind at the dock after the boat ride. If Drinking is the activity, whatever vehicle taken will also be lost if the player chooses the safer cab option for going home.
- After picking up a friend for an outing, he will usually engage the player character in a conversation about their personal life.
- It is possible to use Roman's friendship ability to gain the "Walk Free" Achievement. First, the player has to obtain a four star wanted level, either by dialling the "gain one-star wanted level" cheat (267-555-0150) four times (this will not block any achievements) or mass murder every pedestrian and police officer in sight. Once the player has obtained the four star wanted level, call Roman for a taxi. Once the taxi arrives, set a GPS waypoint as far away as possible outside the search radius. Once Mohammed (the taxi driver) begins driving, immediately skip the journey. If executed correctly, the player should lose their wanted level and gain the Walk Free achievement.
- A rare, but humorous, glitch may occur when driving a friend to and from a destination. If the vehicle arrives at a destination and a mini-cutscene begins (such as a friend saying "thanks for taking me out"), but an AI vehicle, perhaps stopped in traffic, is blocking the passenger door, the friend will actually attack Niko, punching him and causing him to leave the vehicle, so the friend can exit. As long as Niko/the player doesn't attack back, this seems to have no impact on friendship status. (Confirmed and experienced during a Little Jacob outing.)
Dwayne Forge (possible)
- Friendships in The Lost and Damned
- Friendships in The Ballad of Gay Tony
- Girlfriends in GTA IV
- Girlfriends in GTA San Andreas