Weapons in GTA San Andreas are a principal aspect of the game. Some weapons have returned from previous games, while others are additions available only in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (and later Grand Theft Auto IV). A particularly useful addition is the silenced pistol, which is perfect for stealth maneuvering (another new feature), as it attracts less attention. There are also two key improvements in weapon handling, as compared to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City: assisted aiming and dual-weapon wielding.
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GTA San Andreas includes computer-assisted auto-aiming, which occurs when pedestrian targets are within the weapon's range. The range is determined by the type of weapon and the player's proficiency with that weapon (Weapon Skill stat). Aiming is an improvement upon the auto-aim available in previous games where the computer would cycle between auto-aim and manual aim, depending upon the proximity of possible targets. [Verification Needed] Furthermore, when multiple targets are within range, the computer selects the closest target first. Another key feature is the targeting lock that changes color as the target's health decreases. Green progresses to orange, which progresses to red, and finally black upon the target's death.
The assisted aiming feature is available on every weapon except the Rifle, the Sniper Rifle, projectiles, or any of the heavy weapons. This aiming system also bears a strong resemblance to the execution system in Rockstar's Manhunt [Verification Needed] where the darker the color or the target, the more gruesome the execution; while in San Andreas the darker the color of the target, the less health of the target.
The second new feature is the ability to duel-wield several weapons (Pistol, Tec9, Micro uzi, Sawnoff shotguns) after reaching hitman weapon skill level. These weapons are light enough and feature reloading that is compatible with holding one in each hand. This allows the player to inflict twice the amount of damage per reload cycle.
Here is a list of the available weapon slots, and the weapons that can be used in those slots. Weapons in italics can be dual-wielded.
|Slot 1: Hand||Slot 2: Melee Weapons||Slot 3: Handguns||Slot 4: Shotguns||Slot 5: Sub-Machine Guns||Slot 6: Assault Rifles|
|Slot 7: Rifles||Slot 8: Heavy Weapons||Slot 9: Explosives||Slot 10: Handheld Items||Slot 11: Gifts||Slot 12: Special Items||Slot 13: Others|
Rules of Discharge
- Among the various slots of weapons, only melee weapons, the fist, the brass knuckle and the gifts warrant safety from a wanted level when inside a police precinct upon unwanted entry. Any weapon from the other slots, including the Detonator, if picked up or selected from inventory within a law enforcement premise, will instantly trigger a 2-star wanted level.
- The sniper rifle is often a good choice for rapid destruction. During early phases in the game, it can only be stocked up by a repeated game-save process, picking up from the spawn point at a studio in Vinewood. However, if the player uses the map unlock glitch early on in the game correctly, a lot of ammo can be stocked up for the rifle.
- Only the satchel charge has the ability to spawn a detonator in the player's inventory. No other weapon can do so, but if the unlimited ammo cheat is used while possessing a satchel charge and using atleast one within the inventory, and a different throw weapon is then picked up, the detonator remains until the cheat is deactivated or unless weapons are surrendered to authorities.
- Acquiring a minigun will ease a lot of rapid destruction activity. Using it in missions post the desert segment of the storyline can be extremely useful and will save the player a lot of game time.
- For the mission 555 We Tip, throw weapons must not be used within the parking lot.
- The Tec-9 and the Minigun are the only weapons which, when fired, do not move Carl's body, unlike most weapons.
- Oddly enough, melee weapons such as the chainsaw can be used to amass large sums of money in short periods of time if the player correctly utilizes the weapon with no law enforcement in their vicinity. Much like the bat in GTA III where the play can kill literally thousands of citizens with no wanted level if planned correctly.