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The Vigilante mission is a vehicle-based side mission in every GTA III Era game, GTA IV, and GTA Chinatown Wars in which the player is required to chase down and kill the indicated targets (other criminals) within a time limit. Vigilante mode can be activated at any time (when not already in a mission) from within a Law Enforcement vehicle, such as a Police Car).

Brown Thunder is a (technically) separate but more or less identical side mission, which can be activated from a Hunter attack helicopter in the games in which that vehicle appears.

At the start of the mission, a criminal spawns in a random vehicle (clearly marked and shown on the radar) and attempts to evade the player. If the vehicle catches fire or is held in place for more than a couple seconds, the occupant/s will bail out and run or attempt to acquire new transport. (Watch out, they may even steal your car!) As the player completes each level, the target/s come armed with better weapons and, as of GTA Vice City, become more numerous until eventually, multiple vehicles appear with each new level. In GTA San Andreas, criminals will have the ability to drive-by.

Aside from the obvious choices of drive-by shooting the target vehicle until it blows up or ramming it off the road, there are other options. For example:

  • Performing the PIT maneuver to spin the vehicle out and then successfully blocking it will prompt the target/s to abandon the vehicle, allowing you to engage them in a firefight or simply run them over.
  • Identifying the target vehicle's likely route (only a practical option in some areas with few side roads) and setting up an ambush or roadblock ahead of it.

The mission is failed if the player remains outside of a Law Enforcement vehicle for more than 60 seconds in one go, or if the player dies or is busted. Vigilante mode does not grant immunity from the Police, who will often pursue the player for murder, firing weapons, hitting police cars etc. Each time a Vigilante mission is started, the player must begin at Level 1, and cannot continue a previously failed or canceled mission. Vice City Stories has a checkpoint every five levels so you can restart at that checkpoint if you failed or canceled before completion. In GTA Chinatown Wars, the side-mission automatically ends when you kill the last criminal on each wave, and to restart it you must reenter a Law Enforcement vehicle and access the Police Computer, so you don't have to beat all 5 waves consecutively.

In GTA IV, the Vigilante missions are retooled. When Niko parks a police car, he can access the criminal database computer and view crimes in progress in the area. The player has a time limit to get to the crime scene, but once there the timer stops. These crimes include gang activity, which involved killing a group of thugs, stolen vehicle, which involved chasing down the criminal in the stolen vehicle and suspect on foot, which consist of only one criminal fleeing a crime scene, and are usually the easiest. 20 missions must be completed for the Cleaned The Mean Streets Achievement and for 100% completion. The 20 missions however do not need to be done consecutively. In addition, there is a new form of the mission called Most Wanted.


Grand Theft Auto III

  • +1 Police Bribe at the Hideouts (Total 10 Kills in Portland)
  • +1 Police Bribe at the Hideouts (Total 20 Kills in Portland)
  • +1 Police Bribe at the Hideouts (Total 10 Kills in Staunton Island)
  • +1 Police Bribe at the Hideouts (Total 20 Kills in Staunton Island)
  • +1 Police Bribe at the Hideouts (Total 10 Kills in Shoreside Vale)
  • +1 Police Bribe at the Hideouts (Total 20 Kills in Shoreside Vale)

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

  • Maximum Armor Increased by 50 (Complete Level 12)

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

  • Maximum Armor Increased by 50% (Complete Level 12)

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

  • Maximum Armor Increased by 50% (Complete Level 12)

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

  • Maximum armor Increased by 50% (Complete Level 15)

Grand Theft Auto IV

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

  • Maximum Armor Increased by 100%


See Also

  • Most Wanted - For more information on the other mission accessed from the police computer in GTA IV.