Getting Around - Guide for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

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                                  Getting Around

There are many, many different ways to get around the world of San Andreas. I will 
introduce you to the most popular ones, but there are still others in the game 
world for you to discover, such as trains, SWAT tanks, and a certain 60-million 
dollar military secret project. Anything not listed here will likely pop up as a 
mission reward, so it’s unlikely that you’ll miss anything. 

On Foot
Nothing’s quite as reliable as your feet when you need to escape from a sticky 
situation. Although GTA characters have always ran like big spazzes, CJ has a few 
improvements over his predecessors. For one, you can now increase his stamina by 
leaps and bounds at the gym, allowing him to run much longer than could Nameless 
Guy or Tommy Vercetti. Secondly, you can now scale boxes and ledges by hitting the 
square button to jump. If you’re near a ledge, you should attach to it 
automatically, and can press the square button again to pull yourself up. 

Cars are going to be your primary mode of transportation in San Andreas. They’re 
plentiful, easy to steal, and come in a wide variety of makes and models. Although 
you’ll begin the game in the hood, where most of the vehicles are slow-moving 
coupes and the like, you’ll soon graduate to more stylish and speedy autos. 

Obtaining One
The triangle button, as ever, will let you jack a car for yourself. Very few cars 
are actually locked (probably because the game wouldn’t be very much fun if they 
were), so feel free to walk up to parked cars and take them as you like. If the 
car’s empty, you won’t have any problems, but if there’s someone in the driver’s 
seat, CJ will have to hit them before throwing them out, which results in a jacking 
motion that’s a bit slower than in previous GTA games. You can also usually cause 
someone to exit the vehicle by hitting it with a weapon, but they’ll sometimes 
decide to floor it instead. 

Note that jacking vehicles will cause a bit of resentment in some of the game’s 
inhabitants. If you jack a gangbanger, you’re liable to get shot at as you drive 
away; by the same token, some drivers will attempt to jack you right back if you 
stick around their location too long. There are also some occasions where you’ll 
just get jacked out of the blue, usually while you’re in a bad part of town, so 
keep an eye out for people running to your driver’s side door and floor it if you 
spot anyone. Of course, the cops will attempt to wrestle you out of your vehicle if 
you have any wanted stars, so you should keep moving if there’s any heat on you. 

Driving One
The basic car controls are the same as they were in previous GTA games for the PS2: 
the X button accelerates, the square button acts as a break, and the R1 button 
serves as your handbrake for tight, squealy, uncontrollable (but fun) 180-degree 
turns. Of course, different vehicles will handle in different ways, so try as many 
of them as possible and build an internal reference so that you’ll know which ones 
to avoid when you have to get away from the cops. 

Although the cops don’t seem to use spike strips in San Andreas, as they so 
annoyingly did in Vice City, you can still get your tires shot out by the police, 
or anyone else that’s shooting at you, for that matter. Some vehicles are more 
impacted by this than others, but it’ll always impact your maneuverability; visit 
the Pay N Spray if you want to repair the tire. 

The freeways are the place to go for high-speed vehicular travel. The cars have a 
tendency to pile up if something blocks them, though, which can lead to quite a 
A new addition to the cars in San Andreas is the inclusion of shootable gas tanks. 
If you can nail a shot directly on a car’s gas panel, it should blow 
instantaneously. Since this is nearly impossible to do on a moving target (let 
alone during a drive-by), this is really more of a party trick than anything else. 
Try it on cars that are stopped at stoplights if you want to have some fun. 
Luckily, your enemies will never hit your gas tank if they fire at you, random 
mission-failing explosions not being conducive to fun gaming. 

Many missions, especially those where you have to drive other characters around, 
will be failed if you can’t keep the car you started the mission with in one piece. 
You’ll have to drive carefully in these kinds of situations, or keep an eye out for 
the Pay N Spray, which will completely restore your car’s health. 
Although each car has its own particular speed and handling characteristics, in 
general, the faster and more expensive it looks, the faster it’ll go, but the 
fastest cars often have the lowest health and poor handling. 
Similarly, the taller a car is, the more likely it is to tip over when you have to 
make a sharp turn. Beware of going too fast or turning too quickly with the 
delivery trucks in the game. 
Don’t forget that you can take your cars to the chop shop to outfit them with 
custom upgrades. Nitro is the most useful of the bunch, especially when you’re 
cruising for unique jumps, but there are plenty of options to choose from. 


Bailing Out: If you’re going fast and need to exit your vehicle quickly, just hit 
the triangle button to bail; CJ will jump out the passenger side door and take a 
bit of damage, but your car will keep on moving. This is most useful when your car 
is on fire and you don’t think you’ll have time to stop before it blows. 

Drive-By: After you obtain a machine pistol, such as an Uzi, you’ll be able to use 
a car to perform a drive-by. When you’re near a target, drive slowly past it and 
hit the R2 or L2 button to point your gun out the window, then use the circle 
button to fire. Drive-bys are the preferred method to take out individual soldiers, 
since any gunfire that comes in will be absorbed by the car itself and not CJ. 

Rear-view: If you hold down the R2 and L2 buttons at the same time, you’ll be able 
to see what’s coming up behind your car. This is tremendously useful during police 
chases, since the cops will often try to ram into your car from the side; if you 
can see them coming, you should be able to cut them off or just avoid them. 

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