Drug Wars is a side mission in The Ballad of Gay Tony. In these side missions, Luis Lopez helps his friends Armando Torres and Henrique Bardas in build up their drug empire, by stealing it from other drug gangs in a variety of ways. There are 50 drug wars, similar to TLAD's Gang Warfare, introduced to Luis by Armando after completing the mission Corner Kids. Their starting locations are marked on the map by pill icons. They become progressively more difficult, but the money earned increases as well. Every 10 Drug Wars completed gives the player a respawning weapon in Luis Lopez' Northwood Apartment. Completing 25 Drug Wars will raise the player's completion percentage and also unlock the "Snow Queen" achievement/trophy. Even after completing 50 of them, Luis can still engage in more Drug Wars as they are infinite; this was likely done by Rockstar to provide players with a playable activity after the primary story missions and other side-missions are completed, as well as the ability to continue earning money for the remainder of the game.
Drug Wars enemies
There are 5 different gangs Luis and the others will attempt to rob. Each of these gangs drive their vehicles with unique paintjobs usually reminiscent of the gang's colors.
Rewards for completing Drug Wars
Completing Drug Wars will reward Luis with weapons which will spawn at his safehouse.
- 10 Wars completed: A Pistol .44 spawns on the coffee table of Luis' safehouse. The weapon spawns after completing the mission “Boulevard Baby” and the necessary Drug Wars.
- 20 Wars completed: An Advanced Machine Gun (M249) spawns in the kitchen of Luis' safehouse. The weapon spawns after completing the mission “Going Deep ” and the necessary Drug Wars.
- 25 Wars completed: The 'Snow Queen' achievement/trophy, worth 20G/bronze trophy is unlocked.
- 30 Wars completed: An Automatic Shotgun (AA-12), loaded with green Explosive Shells, spawns in the kitchen of Luis' safehouse. The weapon spawns after completing the mission “High Dive” and the necessary Drug Wars.
- 40 Wars completed: Sticky Bombs spawns on the coffee table of Luis' safehouse. The weapon spawns after completing the mission “Bang Bang ” and the necessary Drug Wars.
- All 50 Wars completed: A Gold SMG spawns on the dining table of Luis' safehouse. The weapon spawns after completing the mission “Departure Time ” and the necessary Drug Wars.
Drug War variations
- Hijack: These missions require the player to steal a stationary drug loaded vehicle, often located within a drug gang's compound. These often require the player to eliminate the drug gang in order to safely steal the vehicle.
- Convoy: These missions require the player to steal a moving drug vehicle, normally only protected by the car's passengers. These are the easiest of the missions, but the player must take care not to destroy the vehicle, otherwise the drugs are destroyed with it, failing the mission. However, as long as the enemies are driving the drug vehicle, it is invulnerable and can't be set on fire; only the passengers can be shot down.
- Stickup: These missions require the player to crash a drug deal between two gangs. The player must obtain a gang's drugs, and optionally the other gang's money with the drugs in a duffel bag carried by one of the gang, in their compound. The player must eliminate the gang one by one until the drugs are dropped, and continue to kill enemies until the one carrying the money meant of the deal drops it, which Armando or Henrique will comment on. On harder missions the dealers will attempt to escape, and if they do, the mission is failed.
- Stash: These missions require the player to steal a gang's drug stash, which is located within their perimeter.
All types will involve the gang chasing the player whilst driving to the drop off point. If the player moves too far from the drugs, or the dealers holding the drugs escape, the mission is failed.
- Once you have the drugs, immediately leave the scene and return the product. There is no bonus for killing the remaining gang members, and continuing to fight may attract unwanted police attention.
- If things get too heated after you have the drugs, you can leave without Armando and Henrique. After you get far enough away, they will spawn in a car behind you and follow. They'll even fire at pursuing enemies.
- The black Cavalcade that spawns in the beginning of each individual mission is incredibly tough; it can stand an insane amount of gunfire, which is useful for dealing with enemies that are chasing and firing at you as you try to return the drug load.
- In later missions, enemies will begin to throw Molotov Cocktails. Watch out for these people, as they can hit you and the guys with unerring accuracy, rendering you disabled and most likely killed.
- Whenever there pursuing cars after you, use sticky bombs to kill them off quicker.
- An alternate strategy for disposing of the pursuing cars is to exit your getaway car and fire a few explosive shells from your shotgun, this allows for more accuracy and may save ammunition.
- When you first pull up to the drug location, try to to get the jump on them by using the gang's cars against them, one rocket, or a well thrown grenade/sticky bomb can take out 2-10 gang members in one shot, making easier for you to grab the drugs and escape (Note: this method can only be used in "The Stash" or "The Stickup" Drug Wars as it doesn't matter if you destroy gang vehicles).
- At number 35 and higher, Drug War gang members are very tough and can take a large amount of bodily hits before being killed, so it is best to aim for the head, as one shot will kill them. (Turn off AutoAim to get one of the closest simulators to Online Deathmatches).
- Most of the cars seen during the Drug Wars have exclusive colors. This includes cars which have blue topsides and deep maroon undersides or Jamacian colors on cars that normally don't support them.
- Armando and Henrique's weapons increase quality incrementally with each drug war. Eventually, they will be equipped with Carbine Rifles and SMGs. After 50 Drug Wars, they are equipped with Advanced MGs and Gold SMGs.
- When the drug vehicle or an escape vehicle only has 2 seats, either Armando or Henrique (usually Henrique) will get in the black Cavalcade and follow you back to the drop off point. If the Cavalcade is destroyed halfway to the drop off, the SUV is substituted with a random road vehicle.
- Armando and Henrique do not need to survive in order for the mission to succeed, only Luis needs to stay alive. After the mission is complete, everything will be as if they never died in the first place (If only one dies, the other will state that the "dead" one was injured badly enough that they'll need to go to the hospital like this, "Fucking H in the hospital again!","Damn! A's Dumb!" and when they both die Luis will say, "Yo! You fucks got a thing for paramedics, why you leave me?). As more Drug Wars are completed, it gets harder to keep them alive and often at least one will die.
- Henrique and Armando each have colossal amounts of health during any Drug War, equivalent to Niko Bellic or Patrick McReary's in "Ladies Half Price". They can survive by being thrown from three-story building and still emerge to follow Luis Lopez.
- When Henrique and Armando fall from a considerable height, they usually scream random pedestrian screams.
- The drugs stolen may be marijuana because if you die by falling off a building and hit the ground, the bag holding the drugs will burst, scattering marijuana leaves onto the ground.
- One odd thing that happens during Drug Wars is, after you have gotten away from the chasing gang members/police, when you drive around you'll notice that parked cars still spawn, but there are almost no cars driving on the road, it will stay like this until you deliver the drugs/drug vehicle.
- On a rare occasion, when escaping after you have obtained the drugs, Armando and/or Henrique may teleport into a gang vehicle and follow you with the gang members inside, firing at you.
- Oddly, they will spawn in a car behind you sometimes landing or falling from the sky.
- If the player goes to the Alderney State Correctional Facility before starting a Stickup, there will be no cops in the facility and only inmates although you will still get a wanted level. This has only been tested in the Stickup.
- It is possible to have quadrupled of Armando and Henrique. During a Hijack or Convoy, destroy the targeted vehicle with Armando and Henrique still in the car. Then, drive to any other drug wars side mission but make sure Armando and Henrique NEVER get out the car. Drive into the pink marker and there will be two Armando’s and two Henrique’s, however only two will help you fight and the other will act as pedestrians.