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by Andrew Testa

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FAQ/Walkthrough by Andrew Testa

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 03/26/15

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Basics
    1. Game Mechanics
  3. Mission Order
  4. Starting Missions
    1. Big Smoke
    2. Ryder
  5. Sweet's Missions
    1. Tagging Up Turf
    2. Cleaning the Hood
    3. Drive-Thru
    4. Nines and AK's
    5. Drive-By
    6. Sweet's Girl
    7. Cesar Vialpando
    8. Doberman
    9. Los Sepulcros
  6. Big Smoke's Missions
    1. OG Loc
    2. Running Dog
    3. Wrong Side of the Tracks
    4. Just Business
  7. Ryder's Missions
    1. Home Invasion
    2. Catalyst
    3. Robbing Uncle Sam
  8. OG Loc's Missions
    1. Life's a Beach
    2. Madd Dogg's Rhymes
    3. Management Issues
    4. House Party
  9. C.R.A.S.H. Missions
    1. Burning Desire
    2. Gray Imports
  10. Cesar's Mission
    1. High Stakes Low-Rider
  11. Sweet's Missions (2)
    1. Reuniting the Families
    2. The Green Sabre
  12. C.R.A.S.H.'s Mission (Badlands)
    1. Badlands
    2. Traversing the Badlands
  13. Catalina's Missions
    1. Tanker Commander
    2. Small Town Bank
    3. Local Liquor Store
    4. Against All Odds
  14. The Truth's Missions
    1. Body Harvest
  15. Cesar's Missions (Badlands)
    1. Wu Zi Mu
    2. Farewell My Love...
  16. The Truth's Missions (2)
    1. Are You Going To San Fierro?
  17. CJ's Missions (San Fierro)
    1. Wear Flowers In Your Hair
    2. 555 We Tip
    3. Deconstruction
    4. Photo Opportunity
  18. Jizzy's Quests
    1. Jizzy
    2. T-Bone Mendez
    3. Mike Toreno
  19. CJ's Missions (San Fierro 2)
    1. Outrider
    2. Snail Trail
    3. Ice Cold Killa
    4. Pier 69
    5. Toreno's Last Flight
    6. Yay Ka-Boom-Boom
  20. Wu Zi Mu's Missions
    1. Mountain Cloud Boys
    2. Ran Fa Li
    3. Lure
    4. Amphibious Assault
    5. The Da Nang Thang
  21. ?/Mike's Missions (Desert)
    1. Monster
    2. Highjack
    3. Interdiction
    4. Verdant Meadows
  22. Flight School Missions
    1. Learning to Fly
    2. N.O.E
    3. Stowaway
  23. Wu Zi Mu's Missions (Las Venturas)
    1. Fender Ketchup
    2. Explosive Situation
    3. You've Had Your Chips
  24. The Truth's Missions (Las Venturas)
    1. Don Peyote
  25. Ken Rosenberg's Missions
    1. Intensive Care
    2. The Meat Business
  26. C.R.A.S.H.'s Missions (Las Venturas)
    1. Misappropriation
    2. High Noon
  27. Madd Dogg's Mission
    1. Madd Dogg
  28. The Truth's Missions (Desert)
    1. Black Project
    2. Green Goo
  29. Salvatore Leone's Mission
    1. Freefall
    2. Saint Mark's Bistro
  30. Wu Zi Mu's Missions (Las Venturas 2)
    1. A Home in the Hills
  31. CJ's Missions (Los Santos 2)
    1. Vertical Bird
    2. Home Coming
    3. Cut Throat Business
    4. Riot
  32. Sweet's Missions (Los Santos 2)
    1. Beat Down On B Dup
    2. Grove 4 Life
    3. Los Desperados
    4. End of the Line
  33. 100% Completion
  34. Zero's Missions
    1. Air Raid
    2. Supply Lines
    3. New Model Army
  35. Heist Missions
    1. Architectural Espionage
    2. Key to Her Heart
    3. Dam and Blast
    4. Cop Wheels
    5. Up, Up and Away!
    6. Breaking the Bank at Caligula's
  36. Wang Cars
    1. Zeroing In
    2. Test Drive
    3. Custom Fast Track
    4. Puncture Wounds
  37. Asset Missions
    1. Courier Missions
    2. Trucking
    3. Valet
    4. Quarry
  38. Export/Import
  39. Races
    1. Los Santos
    2. San Fierro
    3. Las Venturas
    4. Las Venturas Airport
    5. Stadiums
    6. Vehicle Challenges (BMX, Chiliad, NRG)
    7. Vehicle Missions
  40. Schools
    1. Driving School
    2. Bike School
    3. Boat School
  41. Collectibles
  42. Safehouses
  43. Clothes
  44. Haircuts
  45. End
    1. Credits
    2. Contact Information
    3. Legal Disclaimer

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

This document is copyright © 2015 Andrew Testa. All rights reserved.


Welcome to my strategy guide for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas! This game is regarded as one of the greatest of all time, what many gamers consider to be the granddaddy of them all. It is also one of my personal favorite games. I have been thinking about writing a guide for this game for several years, probably since its original release on the PlayStation 2. It is just such a massive game though, and quite an undertaking!

My curiosity to write for this game was piqued recently when I saw someone livestreaming the game. I then went to other streams of the game, and I found some people "speedrunning" the game. For those not familiar with the concept, speedrunning is simply completing the game as fast as possible. I really liked the "strats" (or strategies) that speedrunners were employing; it made the game much more straightforward, especially knowing the quick "set path" of the order of missions. I then realized that a new guide for this game would be worthwhile; a guide that both combines simple, traditional strategies with the speedrunnin' order of operations.

Thus the existence of this guide. I also tried to write it while keeping in mind the current best practices of technical writing. This means that I tried to emulate the style of exemplary technical writing, that which is "in" today. Essentially, what this means is that the walkthrough is formatted in numerals, not paragraphs, which makes it easier for the reader (you!) to accomplish each step and digest information. Most steps have "mini-steps" for completing each step, and missions are basically each a "task." So, instead of reading a full paragraph, you can quickly find which specific "part" of the mission is troubling you and find out how to complete it.

In all, I hope that my unique spin on how to tackle the huge world of San Andreas is useful for you! :)

Game Info
  • Game Name: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (US)
  • Genre: Open-World Action-Adventure
  • Platforms: PS2, PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, Mac, Android, iOS
  • Release Date: October 26, 2004 (first release for PS2)
  • Mode: Single-player
  • MetaCritic Scores: 95 (PS2, original release); 93 (PC); 93 (Xbox); 84 (iOS)

Version History

Version 1.0 (3/25/15): Guide completed.

Unique Features of this Guide

  • This is a formatted FAQ, so it has full HTML and hyperlink support. It is not a text file! :) Simply click on a mission in the table of contents, or any highlighted linkification, to automatically "jump" to the mission in the guide.
  • The text is written in a numerical, step-by-step format for easy reading.
  • The guide has full image support for information that supports the text and is difficult to describe in writing.
  • I try to employ simple but effective strategies for beating missions.
  • The writing style is (hopefully!) clear and grammatically correct. :)
  • The guide contains as few spoilers as possible. I do not narrate story, but I do give background information on each mission.
  • Each section is "self-contained" and uses the current "best practices" of technical writing.
    • Each mission begins with some background information, as well as what is noteworthy about the gameplay of the mission.
    • The steps are written in clear numerical form, with mini-steps when applicable, for the most easily digestible format of writing.
    • Each mission contains summary text and a link to the suggested next mission. Since San Andreas gives you some free reign on when to complete missions, this is, as you can imagine, very useful; that is, it gives you an idea of what to do next. Basically, I tell you what's the closest next mission and what's most logical next mission to tackle next.

There are other great guides for this great game available on the internet. I wholeheartedly recommend both RARusk's guide and War Doc's guide, both accessible at GameFAQs.com.

Finally, I'd just like to impart some video game advice: try to complete the missions by yourself! Games are much more fun when you discover how to do things; there is more satisfaction when you beat the game on your own. Although this guide can be followed from front to back, I didn't intend for it to be read as a book. Instead, it is designed to help you at a specific part of the game; you jump in, find how to complete something, and get back to gaming.


You have an arsenal of weapons at your disposal: pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, submachine guns, rifles, grenades, and explosive weapons. You can buy these at Ammu-Nation or pick them up off of enemies. New weapons become available as you progress in the game. Here is a breakdown of the weapons:

  • Hand: hand-to-hand combat is the most basic form of combat in San Andreas. In addition to bare fists, you can also equip Brass Knuckles; with them, one hit can send an enemy to the ground. A lot of pedestrians will attack you with just their fists.
  • Melee Weapons: these weapons use the same system as hand-to-hand combat, but they are much more powerful and have a longer range. The most common melee weapon is the baseball bat, but there are also knives, golf clubs, shovels, nightsticks, and even katanas.
  • Pistols: the good ol' fashioned pistols are good for most situations. They are weak weapons, but they can still one-shot with a headshot. These weapons include the normal Pistol, the Silenced Pistol, and the Desert Eagle.
  • Shotguns: shotguns are great for close-range combat and can hit like a truth from point-blank range. They are also fairly common. I highly suggest them for close-corridor combat only, as their power is definitely diminished the farther away the target. Shotguns include the Pump-Action Shotgun, the Sawn-off Shotgun, and the Combat Shotgun.
  • SMGs: sub-machine guns have a high rate of fire but do not deal out a ton of damage; still, they can one-hit headshot. This is also the weapon that you use for drive-by's while in a car.
  • Assault Rifles: these more heavy-duty weapons have average rate of fire but very high damage. Along with SMGs, they are the 'best' weapons in the game. Assault rifles include the AK-47 and M4.
  • Rifles: these include the normal rifle and the Sniper Rifle. Of course, the Sniper Rifle has a huge scope which allows you to zoom in and out and kill enemies from afar. Certain missions make good use of the Sniper Rifle.
  • Heavy Weapons: these weapons are truly "heavier," but overall they are situational. Heavy weapons include the Rocket Launcher, Flamethrower, and Minigun.
  • Explosive Weapons: explosives are great for destroying clusters of enemies. They are highly recommended! Other weapons in this category include Molotovs and Satchel Charges.

The cheapest and most overpowered "trick" in the game is to blow up vehicles before the enemies exit them. Enemies are much more tough to face when they've exited a vehicle, but you can blow them all up with just one shot from the rocket launcher, with one well-lobbed grenade, or with one well-placed satchel charge. I usually tell you in the walkthrough when it is ideal to blow up vehicles, but that should pretty much always be your go-to strategy for big firefights.


You can travel in several ways in San Andreas. The most basic form is, of course, the car; in fact, car driving will probably comprise more than 90% of your traveling. But you can also travel by bike, boat, plane, helicopter, and yes, even on foot.

  • By foot: you can't forget your feet! Between hijacking cars, you will need to run around a little. You can "sprint" by tapping the sprint button rapidly. But CJ is only human; he will run out of breath eventually! (And so your hijacking days begin.)
  • By car: this is the most used form of travel. There are several kinds of cars in the game; each model has different speeds and handling. Generally, the nicer, more cool-looking the car, the faster it will drive. And in a nutshell, you'll always want the fastest car that you can get your hands on.
  • By motorcycle: these are different than cars. They are generally faster and also handle better, but they are also very dangerous. If you run into something hard, you will fall off and might hurt CJ. Motorcycles are usually the ideal mode of transportation if you are an adept driver. Also, you can shoot ahead of you while on a motorcycle, which is an extremely useful function for most kill-vehicle missions.
  • By bicycle: there's always the plain ol' bicycle too. You ride one in the very first mission. It functions like sprinting on foot; tap to go faster, but also keep in mind CJ does not have iron lungs.
  • By boat: there are actually not many missions that incorporate the boat, nor would you really ever be inclined to use them unless forced to, but it's worth listing. Boats handle as you might expect in the water. Of note, however, is that you have to jump inside the boat before you can drive it. So, you can't just press the hijack button while floating in the water; you first need to be physically on the boat.
  • By helicopter: this is somewhat easier than the plane. There is a button to go up and a button to go down, and to go forward you want to tilt your joystick (or movement button) up while pressing the acceleration button.
  • By plane: ah, the bane of existence for many Grand Theft Auto fans. Flying a plane can be downright hard at first. The key is to keep the plane steady and level. If it starts to jilt around, try your best to even it out. For turns, you can use the rudder or arch the plain to the side; I prefer the latter. Finally, with landing, you need to put down landing gear first, and remember to slow down before landing. Overall, this is a great way to travel between areas because you go really fast and circumvent the environment completely.

As far as which vehicles to hijack: your best bet is what is fast and what is openly available throughout the game. It might seem like suicide, but the police car and motorcycle are actually the two best cars that are omnipresent. They are really fast and handle well, and you can't go a few blocks without seeing one. You will, however, get a wanted star for hijacking one, but as I will talk about below, one star is nothing at all.

Health and Armor

As with most video games, you have a health bar that depletes when you take damage. In addition, if you have armor, you will also have an armor bar, which will go down first. Armor can be bought at an Ammu-Nation or picked up from various locations. For tough missions, it is always recommended to get some armor first. If there is armor that is obtainable during a mission, it will be listed in the walkthrough. Overall, the key here is to always have armor!

Wanted Levels

This mechanic functions the exact same way as other GTA games. You do the crime, you get the wanted stars! Typical crimes include stealing a car while the police can see you, running into a policeman's car, killing people, and killing cops. You get wanted stars based on just how bad the crime was (in the eyes of the police).

  • One Star: this is given for "minor crimes"; basically, you killed someone, shot someone, or hijacked something, while right in front of a police officer. Also given if you run into a police vehicle. The police do not really actively chase you with one star unless you are right in front of them.
  • Two Stars: you killed a police officer, destroyed many cars, or killed many people. The police will now actively try to apprehend you.
  • Three Stars: you continued to kill law enforcement. Roadblocks will go up and a police helicopter will now actively search for you.
  • Four Stars: you continued to kill law enforcement even more. This is often given after you destroy the helicopter that they employed when you got three stars. SWAT is now searching for you, which means armored cars, armored enemies, and automatic weapons.
  • Five Stars: just as before, you get this if you continued to slaughter law enforcement. Also if you fly over Area 69. The FBI will now pursue you, and they have even better weapons than SWAT.
  • Six Stars: you did not die with five stars and instead kept killing everything in your path. The military now actively tries to apprehend you. They have army weapons and tanks.

Now, to shake off wanted stars, you have a few options:

  • Simply evade the police and wait it out. This does not work when you have a lot of stars, but for one and two star offenses, you can easily just out-drive the police and your wanted level will drop after a little while.
  • Go to a Pay 'n' Spray and pay for a paint job. This will make the stars blink, which means that the police are still searching for you, but they do not know your car. So, if you commit another crime while the stars are blinking, your previous wanted level will be reinstated. Just cruise around until the stars finally go out!
  • Drive over a wanted star symbol, which are located throughout the map.

Mission Order

This is the "most optimized" route for completing each mission in San Andreas. This route causes the least amount of needless driving and backtracking, so it is the most time-efficient path.

Los Santos Mission Order

  1. Big Smoke (Starting)
  2. Ryder (Starting)
  3. Tagging Up Turf (from Sweet)
  4. Cleaning the Hood (from Sweet)
  5. Drive-Thru (from Sweet)
  6. Nines and AK's (from Sweet)
  7. OG Loc (from Big Smoke)
  8. Life's a Beach (from OG Loc)
  9. Running Dog (from Big Smoke)
  10. Drive-By (from Sweet)
  11. Sweet's Girl (from Sweet)
  12. Cesar Vialpando (from Sweet)
  13. High Stakes Low-Rider (from Cesar)
  14. Madd Dogg's Rhymes (from OG Loc)
  15. Management Issues (from OG Loc)
  16. Burning Desire (from C.R.A.S.H.)
  17. Wrong Side of the Tracks (from Big Smoke)
  18. Just Business (from Big Smoke)
  19. Doberman (from Sweet)
  20. Gray Imports (from C.R.A.S.H.)
  21. Home Invasion (from Ryder)
  22. House Party (from OG Loc)
  23. Catalyst (from Ryder)
  24. Robbing Uncle Sam (from Ryder)
  25. Los Sepulcros (from Sweet)
  26. Reuniting the Families (from Sweet)
  27. The Green Sabre (from Sweet)

Badlands Mission Order

  1. Badlands (from C.R.A.S.H.)
  2. Tanker Commander (from Catalina)
  3. Body Harvest (from The Truth)
  4. Small Town Bank (from Catalina)
  5. Local Liquor Store (from Catalina)
  6. Against All Odds (from Catalina)
  7. Wu Zi Mu (from Cesar)
  8. Farewell My Love... (from Cesar)
  9. Are You Going To San Fierro? (from The Truth)

San Fierro Mission Order

  1. Wear Flowers In Your Hair (from )
  2. 555 We Tip (from CJ)
  3. Deconstruction (from CJ)
  4. Photo Opportunity (from CJ)
  5. Jizzy (from CJ)
  6. Mountain Cloud Boys (from Wu Zi Mu)
  7. Ran Fa Li (from Wu Zi Mu)
  8. T-Bone Mendez (from CJ)
  9. Mike Toreno (from CJ)
  10. Lure (from Wu Zi Mu)
  11. Outrider (from CJ)
  12. Snail Trail (from CJ)
  13. Ice Cold Killa (from CJ)
  14. Amphibious Assault (from Wu Zi Mu)
  15. Pier 69 (from CJ)
  16. Toreno's Last Flight (from CJ)
  17. The Da Nang Thang (from Wu Zi Mu)
  18. Yay Ka-Boom-Boom (from Wu Zi Mu)

Desert Mission Order

  1. Monster (from Mike Toreno)
  2. Highjack (from Mike Toreno)
  3. Interdiction (from Mike Toreno)
  4. Verdant Meadows (from Mike Toreno)
  5. Learning to Fly (from Flight School)
  6. N.O.E (from Flight School)
  7. Stowaway (from Flight School)

Las Venturas Mission Order

  1. Fender Ketchup (from Wu Zi Mu)
  2. Explosive Situation (from Wu Zi Mu)
  3. You've Had Your Chips (from Wu Zi Mu)
  4. Don Peyote (from The Truth)
  5. Intensive Care (from Ken Rosenberg)
  6. Misappropriation (from C.R.A.S.H.)
  7. The Meat Business (from Ken Rosenberg)
  8. Madd Dogg (from Madd Dogg)
  9. Freefall (from Ken Rosenberg)
  10. Black Project (from The Truth)
  11. High Noon (from C.R.A.S.H.)
  12. Green Goo (from The Truth)
  13. Saint Mark's Bistro (from Salvatore Leone)
  14. A Home In The Hills (from Wu Zi Mu)

Los Santos 2 Mission Order (Final Missions)

  1. Vertical Bird (from CJ)
  2. Home Coming (from CJ)
  3. Beat Down On B Dup (from Sweet)
  4. Grove 4 Life (from Sweet)
  5. Cut Throat Business (from CJ)
  6. Riot (from CJ)
  7. Los Desperados (from Sweet)
  8. End of the Line (from Sweet)

Starting Missions

"After five years on the east coast, it was time to go home." -- CJ

CJ's house, the first safehouse, and the red marker (Starting)

Thus begins your epic adventure into the thriving, corrupt world of San Andreas. After the opening cutscenes in which CJ gets picked up and promptly thrown out by the police, you're on your own in Ballas territory. Thankfully, in this alley there is an "abandoned" bicycle right in front of you. Get on the bike and peddle to the "CJ" icon on the minimap. It's best to use the overpass to go over the highway instead of trying to cross it below. At the icon, you will find CJ's house, as well as a red marker. Stand on it to complete this starting mission.

Big Smoke

The Ballas car (purple, left) try to get up alongside you and shoot. (Big Smoke)

After a series of cutscenes, there will be an unsuccessful drive-by from the Ballas. This is a "chase" mission of sorts that introduces you to more driving and biking mechanics. What's annoying about this mission are the Ballas. From the safe confines of their purple car, they love to drive up alongside you and fire at you with their SMGs. Avoid them by keeping up with your friends.

  1. Grab the bike and follow the gang as they peddle through the city.
    1. Turn left onto the same road as your friends, then peddle straight ahead until you reach a parking lot, which triggers a cutscene.
    2. Note: This is probably the hardest part of the mission because the Ballas will be driving up alongside you and firing at you.
    3. To counteract this, peddle as fast as you can by repeatedly tapping the accelerate button.
    4. Fun Fact: You can also use a vehicle to complete this mission. Simply hop off your bike and grab anything you can find. This is not recommended unless it is a motorcycle, as the Ballas will have no trouble blowing up a car.
  2. At the parking lot, a cutscene triggers and you're left to follow Ryder and Big Smoke.
    1. During this part of the mission, there will be no Ballas, so you do not have to worry about them firing at you.
    2. You need to weave in and out of alleys, then go through a skate park, and finally cross the highway.
    3. Just go slow, take your time, and follow the twosome. You have no reason to be a speed demon as the Ballas are not on your tail here.
  3. After getting off the highway, you need to bike down the long stretch of road that leads to the cul-de-sac, which is the gang's end of Grove Street.
    1. The Ballas car will reappear here, so be careful not to get hit too much by them.
    2. Go as fast as you can, but also note that if you get too far ahead of Ryder and Big Smoke, they will just stop and wait for you to go back to them.

After the mission, head inside your house and save the game, then exit your house, listen to Sweet's phone call, and go to Ryder's house to start his mission.

You receive Respect for completing this mission.
Suggested Next Mission: Ryder.


The barber shop! (Ryder)

CJ gets a haircut and grabs a bite to eat with Ryder in this mission. In a nutshell, you are introduced to some buying mechanics of the game: how to get a haircut and how to buy food. You also get some quality time in with Ryder, who might think you are a buster, but also wants to show you the ropes.

  1. Get in Ryder's car and drive to the barber shop.
    1. Ryder's car has decent speed, and the barber shop is just down the road.
    2. Go down the main road heading out of Grove Street, then hang a left to reach the barber shop.
    3. Drive into the red marker to trigger a cutscene.
  2. Get a haircut.
    1. Enter the barber shop by walking into the yellow marker near the door.
    2. Inside, walk on the red marker to get to the haircut screen.
    3. Choose whatever style you like. Just note that this is what CJ will look like during cutscenes, but you can come back and get a new haircut anytime you like.
  3. Cross the street and buy something at the restaurant.
    1. Do not bother driving across the street; simply walk across and go inside.
    2. You can order at the counter by walking over the red marker.
    3. Buy any of the meal options. It does not matter which one.
  4. After Ryder's bright idea, you need to drive back to Grove Street.
    1. Run back to Ryder's car, which should be right across the street.
    2. Be sure to wait for Ryder to enter the vehicle. You can accidentally drive off without him.
    3. Do not pay too much attention to the shotgun-wielding cashier. If you get in the car quick enough, he will not be a problem.
    4. Park the car in Ryder's driveway (yes, red marker!) to end the mission.

Ryder suggests talking to Sweet, so head across the cul-de-sac to Sweet's house and start Tagging Up Turf.

You receive Respect for completing this mission.
Suggested Next Mission: Tagging Up Turf.

Sweet's Missions

Sweet is CJ's brother, but he is rather ironically not all that "sweet" to CJ. Nevertheless, Sweet's missions help you learn the basics of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. From tagging stuff up, to punching stuff down, to shooting stuff out, Sweet's first few missions almost act as a tutorial to get you into the swing of things in San Andreas. As such, it makes the most sense to do these missions first, through "Nines and AKs," so that you can learn how to fight under the safe guidance of your not-so-sweet brother. The later missions are unlocked as you progress in the story.

Tagging Up Turf

CJ's first tag. Lock on and spray! (Tagging Up Turf)

This mission has the Johnson Brothers tagging up some turf together. The tagging game mechanic acts as a "collectible" in the game, and this mission instructs you on how to tag. In addition, you must evade some enemies in this mission, and you also learn how to hop fences and climb onto buildings. Note that the spray can also can be used to temporarily blind enemies if you spray in their face.

  1. Drive to Idlewood.
    1. You must take Sweet's car, which is parked right in front of you.
    2. You should try to get used to driving this type of car, as you will be driving it a lot in this game for missions.
    3. The first location is next to the highway overpass.
  2. After the cutscene, you will have to tag two walls in this area.
    1. The first is on the front of the house across the street from the first tag.
    2. The second is in the middle alleyway behind the house. Hop over the wall to reach it.
    3. Note that it is illegal to tag. If the cops see you, you will get one wanted star and they will try to arrest you. They are not that vigilant, though, and you can easily evade them by running around or driving off.
  3. Get back in Sweet's car and drive to the second tagging area.
    1. Sweet drops you off and tells you to spray some tags here.
    2. The first tag is right in front of you, on the wall near the store entrance.
    3. The second is in the middle alleyway. There will always be two Ballas members there, and they will try to attack when you spray the tag.
    4. Just spray it and ignore them; if they get close to try to hit you, the spray will get in their eyes and stun them.
  4. Once you've sprayed the first two tags, a third tag pops up on your radar.
    1. Hop the chain-link fence and run over to the tag, which you will see is on the roof of a building.
    2. Hop the two chain-link fences at the red marker, then jump up on the roof by using the small block.
    3. Up on the roof, spray the tag, which is facing toward the road.
  5. After spraying the last tag, Sweet drives near you and tells you to get in.
    1. Jump down off the road and enter the car.
    2. Even though Sweet was seemingly driving before, he is now in the passenger's seat, so you are left to drive back home.

Sweet's next mission explains some combat mechanics, so it is suggested you continue his line.

You receive Respect and $200 for completing this mission.
Suggested Next Mission: Sweet's Cleaning the Hood.

Cleaning the Hood

You are outnumbered in the crack den, but this is the only enemy that has a baseball bat (Cleaning the Hood)

This mission has you beating up drug dealers in an attempt to "clean up the hood" and revert Grove Street to its former glory. Basically, drugs are rampant in the Grove, so the sentiment is that if you run out the drug dealers, the Grove Street members will come out of their inebriated stupor and return to protecting the hood. This mission introduces fighting mechanics; in particular, hand-to-hand combat and combat with melee weapons.

  1. With Ryder, drive to the yellow marker.
    1. This triggers a cutscene in which you get no help from formerly loyal Grove Street members.
  2. Afterward, get back in the car and drive to the red dot on your mini-map.
    1. This is a drug dealer, and you must kill him.
    2. You only have your fists right now, so just lock onto him and mash the attack button to beat him up.
    3. Even though he has a baseball bat, he should be no problem to defeat if you simply unleash a flurry of the attack button.
    4. After killing him, grab his baseball bat and get back in the car.
  3. Drive to the crack den, which is just across the train tracks.
    1. Inside, you need to beat up four enemies.
    2. Ryder takes the guys on the right, so you need to defeat the enemies on the left.
    3. Defeat the enemy with the baseball bat first, as he will do the most damage to you.
    4. If you get crowded, run around to the other side of the room so you don't get overpowered.
  4. After defeating the enemies, exit the crack den and drive Ryder back home.

Let's stay on Sweet's line and do his next mission.

You receive Respect for completing this mission.
Suggested Next Mission: Sweet's Drive-Thru.


Drive up alongside the car like this and let Sweet and Ryder do the heavy lifting. (Drive-Thru)

CJ and friends go get some grub from their neighborhood Cluckin' Bell, then the funny happens: there is a drive-by at the drive-thru! Overall, this mission introduces combat mechanics in vehicles. More specifically, if there is friendly AI in your car; your friends (sans Big Smoke) will fire at the Ballas car with SMGs. So, all you have to do is give them a good aim at the car so they can blow it up. And then, of course, drive everyone home. :)

  1. Drive the gang to Cluckin' Bell drive-thru. (Yes, you are their personal chauffeur apparently.)
    1. There are actually two near here. Go to the one with the yellow marker on the mini-map, which is ironically the farther away of the two.
  2. After ordering, there is a drive-by at the drive-thru.
  3. You need to kill the Ballas that committed the drive-by.
    1. Drive after them and let Sweet and Ryder blast at them from the car.
    2. Just nestle up alongside of them and hope that Ryder and Sweet's AI decides to fire.
    3. If they are not firing, drive against the car until they start to fire.
    4. Try to "trap" the car as quickly as possible; do not let if drive off ahead of you.
    5. Bashing into the car will also damage it, but you primarily want to destroy the car with Sweet and Ryder's gunfire.
  4. After destroying the Ballas car, head back to the Grove.
  5. Your last chauffeur activity for the day is to drive Big Smoke back to his house, which is not in the Grove, but actually across the street from the very first tag you sprayed with Sweet, near the highway overpass.

Sweet calls you after the mission and tells you that you need to work out. This is not required; in fact, you do not need to take even one step inside the gym for the main missions, but you can go check it out if you like.

You receive Respect and $200 for completing this mission.
Suggested Next Mission: Sweet's Nines and AK's.

Nines and AK's

Fire at the gas tank of the car to blow it up in one shot! (Nines and AK's)

It is Sweet's mission, but Big Smoke's riding shotgun here. Only you don't get a shotgun, or an AK, or anything automatic. But you do get a trusty pistol in this mission! Basically, you are introduced to gunplay mechanics: how to get guns, how to shoot stuff, how to lock onto stuff, and even slightly more advanced strategies such as crouching and blowing up a car by firing at its gas tank. All in a days work!

  1. Drive to Emmet's place.
    1. Remember, Big Smoke's with you, so make sure you don't leave without him at any part of the quest.
    2. The quickest way to get to Emmet's house is to go out the side alley street between CJ and Ryder's houses.
  2. At Emmet's, you get to try out your pistol.
    1. First, simply lock on and fire at the bottle.
    2. Next, you must destroy three bottles. You can cycle between them by pressing the appropriate button.
    3. For the third task, you can also crouch if you want, which will increase your accuracy. Also note that you must destroy five (that's 5!) bottles this time. This hung me up a little when I played the game when it first came out because I thought it was only three.
    4. For the final tutorial, aim at the gas cap and shoot at it to blow up the car.
    5. Note: you have unlimited ammo during these tasks.
  3. After the shooting tutorials, you must drive Big Smoke back to his house.
    1. Yes, CJ has a future in the taxicab business.
  4. Once dropped off, Sweet calls and tells you to get some new clothes to represent.
    1. Grab Big Smoke's car and drive over to Bincos.
    2. Buy any clothing item you like; it does not matter. But again, please remember that you will be seeing CJ in these clothes during cutscenes, so try not to make it too weird unless that's what you're going for! :) I have personally always preferred a good Combat Jacket and Woodland Camos.
  5. The mission automatically ends after you leave the clothing store.

Head to Big Smoke for his first mission.

You receive Respect for completing this mission.
Suggested Next Mission: Big Smoke's OG Loc.


Run over these Ballas under the bridge to finish the drive-by's (Drive-By)

In response to the, well, oppression in the Grove, Sweet and company want to do some drive-by's in Ballas country. This mission is somewhat similar to Drive-Thru because you are primarily the wheelman. But unlike before, you can -- and should -- try to run over as many marked Ballas as you can. The car's health is also an important factor in this mission; try to keep the car's health bar as high as possible!

  1. Get in the car and drive to the waypoint, which is straight-up Ballas country.
    1. Use the overpass and then drive over.
  2. At the red marker, the gang will see some Ballas. Let the drive-by's commence.
    1. Your best "tool" here is to try to run over as many as possible. While the gang is decent enough at shooting Ballas down, you need to get that initial "run-over" to clear most of them.
    2. Remember to run over them more than once, as just one time doesn't normally kill them.
    3. The crew is great for stragglers and perhaps for moral support.
  3. There is a second and third drive-by that you also need to do.
    1. The same strategies as before apply to both of these drive-by's: try to run over as many enemies as possible.
  4. After the three drive-by's, you must now go into a park area and kill even more Ballas.
    1. These Ballas are under a bridge, in the walkway. You can easily run over all of them because of the confined space.
  5. After clearing this last batch of Ballas, you will get a 2 Star Wanted Level. Time to leave and get rid of the wanted stars.
    1. A Pay 'n' Spray pops up on the map; drive to it while evading the police.
    2. It does not matter if the police see you go inside: simply enter the Pay 'n' Spray garage and your wanted stars will star to blink.
    3. You still need to be on your best behavior (don't run into any cop cars or run over people in front of cops), but besides that, you are free to drive back home without being chased by the police.

Go right back in the red marker to start Sweet's Girl.

You receive Respect and $500 for completing this mission.
Suggested Next Mission: Sweet's Sweet's Girl.

Sweet's Girl

Try to run over these guys to clear out the area quickly. (Sweet's Girl)

This mission tests your combat abilities under a time constraint. Sweet is in trouble and needs your help. The Ballas have him cornered in an apartment complex, and he needs you to come clear them out. You will see Sweet's health bar in the top-right corner. This health bar will gradually go down as time progresses. The main "tip" is getting there quickly so that you can take out the enemies with no time constraint.

  1. Drive to Sweet, preferably before his health gets too low.
    1. A fast car is recommended, preferably one in your garage or around the cul-de-sac. Try to pick up any car as fast as possible, though.
    2. The apartment complex is not that far; it is near a large stadium.
  2. Clear out the Ballas.
    1. They are out on the sidewalk and street, so running over them with your car is the safest option.
    2. In addition, headshots with your pistol is also a possibility. Because they are firing at Sweet, they are not paying attention to you at first.
    3. There are four Ballas in total.
  3. Grab a car and drive Sweet and his girl back home.
    1. The car right outside that the Ballas used is fine.
    2. Simply get inside the car, pick up Sweet and his girl, and drive back to the Grove.

That's it for this mission. It is a somewhat short mission, but you really bailed Sweet out.

You receive Respect for completing this mission.
Suggested Next Mission: Sweet's Cesar Vialpando.

Cesar Vialpando

The first rhythm mission, and the easier of the two. (Cesar Vialpando)

Cesar, who's from a different gang and neighborhood, is dating CJ and Sweet's sister. This of course does not sit well with Sweet, who wants CJ to check it out. For the mission, you need to get a lowrider and drive it over to Cesar. Then, you must complete a rhythm minigame in the car, which uses hydraulics to bounce around. The minigame is not as hard as future rhythm minigames, and it does a nice job of introducing you to the hell that is rhythm in San Andreas.

  1. Drive to the garage in Willowfield.
    1. It's near where the Sweet's Girl mission transpired.
    2. You will get a car here, so don't bring your best car because you will be ditching it.
    3. Back the lowrider into the garage and give it a nitro upgrade.
  2. Drive to Cesar.
    1. The quickest way is actually through the sewer system to the right of the garage.
  3. At the meet, you must complete a rhythm minigame in your car.
    1. This game is much easier than OG Loc's "Life's a Beach."
    2. It is only directional moves that you need to do. The diagonal moves are a little harder, so be ready for them.
    3. You only need 2000 to pass this part of the mission.
    4. You can easily get the required 2000 in about a third of the minigame, so do not give up if you are missing.

After the mission, wait for a call from Cesar, who will have a racing mission for you to do.

You receive Respect and $100 for completing this mission.
Suggested Next Mission: Cesar's High Stakes Low-Rider.


Take out the waves of Ballas! (Doberman)

This mission opens up the gang territory mechanics of San Andreas. More specifically, after this mission you can take over gang territories and further the empire of Grove street. This mission has you defeating several Ballas, three times in waves, and so it is recommended that you have an automatic weapon or a thrown weapon that can quickly kill clusters of enemies.

  1. The mission starts in the center of town at Ammu-Nation.
    1. If you do not have a weapon, you can buy something at Ammu-Nation. You will be committing your first gang war, so you need something like an SMG to make the mission easier.
  2. Grab a car and head into Ballas territory, which is denoted by the cactus icon on the map.
  3. To provoke a gang war, you must kill three Ballas members. They randomly spawn, but you should not have too much trouble finding some if you simply drive around the purple area.
    1. Get out of your car and kill them with a gun. At most they usually might have a pistol, but you shouldn't have any trouble since you have the drop.
  4. Killing three enemy gang members in enemy territory provokes a gang war. You must defend against three waves of gangs.
  5. For each wave, there is a group or two of Ballas that spawn on the sides of the map. You must kill all of them to complete each wave.
    1. An automatic weapon is preferable for this part. Shoot from a distance because they do not start fighting until they get close.
    2. You should try to shoot them as soon as they spawn.
    3. Also, if you have those grenades that I wanted you to get, you can throw a grenade in the crowd and kill them all quickly.
  6. After three waves, you acquire the Turf. So, it's Grove territory now!
    1. The game then explains some facets of gang territory.
    2. You can now take over territories. Note: this is not advised until late game.
  7. After the cutscene, you have to kill one more Ballas member.
    1. Chase him on a vehicle and run him over. The mission is finished when you have killed him.

After the mission, head to the donut shop for a mission from C.R.A.S.H.

You receive Respect for completing this mission.
Suggested Next Mission: C.R.A.S.H.'s Gray Imports.

Los Sepulcros

Kill the fleeing Kane. (Los Sepulcros)

In this mission CJ and Sweet pay back the Ballas with a little bit of their own medicine, through a killing spree at a cemetery. There are two "timed" parts of this mission. First, driving to the cemetery is timed; and second, you must kill Kane before he runs away. There are a lot of enemy gang members at the cemetery, but the new recruit function lets you bring along two allies to the firefight.

  1. First, you need some allies, so you must recruit two gang members.
    1. Look for people representing Grove Street by wearing the green colors.
    2. To recruit them, target them with the lockon system and then press the appropriate button to recruit them.
    3. Recruit two allies for this mission -- that way, you have Sweet and two other guys.
  2. Drive to the cemetery.
    1. This is timed; you have four minutes.
    2. The quickest way is to get on the highway and take that as much as you can.
    3. You will be using Sweet's trademark car, which has good but not excellent speed.
  3. At the cemetery, climb the wall and stand next to Sweet.
  4. Kill Kane at the cemetery.
    1. You can instruct your allies to help you by telling them to close in.
    2. Kane is not alone; there are several enemies with him.
    3. Kane should be your only target right now since he is fleeing.
    4. The best way to kill him is to get into the car in the cemetery (it should be almost in front of you when you run straight toward him) and run over him with the car.
  5. After killing Kane, kill any remaining men in the cemetery.
    1. Again, running them over is probably the safest idea.
  6. Get in Sweet's getaway car.
  7. Drive to the waypoint on the map.
    1. You have two wanted stars during this part of the mission.
    2. It is best just to take the highway back; basically, the same way you came here.
    3. You can also go to any Pay 'n' Spray to shake off the cops.
  8. The mission ends when you get back to Grove Street.

With Los Sepulcros in the books, it's time to Reunite the Families!

You receive Respect for completing this mission.
Suggested Next Mission: Sweet's Reuniting the Families.

Big Smoke's Missions

The lovable, super-friendly Big Smoke is happy to welcome you back to Los Santos, and he enlists you on a variety of missions, most of which measure your driving toughness and mental resilience to backtracking.

OG Loc

This is the end of the insane pursuit for Freddy. (OG Loc)

This mission introduces a new character, OG Loc, and also opens up his mission line. Overall, this is probably the toughest mission you've encountered yet. The bike chase is hard and finicky; you can easily run into something and have to replay the whole mission if you are on the earlier versions of the game. Just remember that, when all's said and done, you can sleep easy at night knowing you helped the OG out.

  1. Drive to OG Loc.
    1. The marker is not very far from Big Smoke's house. Drive the gang to your recently-released comrade.
  2. With OG Loc, drive to Freddy's house.
    1. This is actually quite a bit away from your current location. Stick to major roads (and maybe drive on the railroad tracks for a bit) to get there.
  3. At the house, walk up the steps and enter the red marker to ring the doorbell.
    1. Of course this does not go as simple as expected!
  4. This ends up in a long chase scene. It can be really tough, and losing it means you have to restart the whole mission all over again.
    1. To begin, follow Freddy through the alleyways between the buildings.
    2. Try not to hit walls or cars, as you may get knocked off your bike.
    3. There is a strategy that some people use to cut off Freddy by going around the building. You should only try this if you know his route.
    4. You can actually blow up the bike and end the mission early, but you will most likely just have to chase him through the city.
  5. The full chase to Freddy.
    1. Freddy likes to do down sidewalks, make tight turns, and go through alleyways.
    2. Follow him on the sidewalks; it is easier to navigate than on the road where you may get hit by a car.
    3. While on the highway, just go as fast as you can while following Freddy.
    4. Freddy will make a sharp turn when he gets off the highway.
    5. Follow him into the mall area.
    6. He will go into the skateboard park. Follow him into it, but be careful when you have to drive out of it. You will make quite a jump and can easily run into the fence, which will knock both of you off the bike and might even kill OG Loc. So, go slow when you exit the skateboard rink.
    7. Freddy then jumps back down to the highway, then back up to town area. Here, watch out for the indestructible fences again.
    8. Follow him on the train tracks and he will finally get off his bike near some steps. This is when a cutscene occurs in which Freddy finally dies.
    9. The best advice throughout this whole chase: do not go too fast! Take it slow because Freddy has such a strange route.
  6. After taking down Freddy, you need to drive OG Loc to his job at Burger Shot.
    1. This is not your territory, so try to avoid anyone wearing purple!
    2. Grab any car you see; Loc gets inside quick enough.
    3. The drive to Burger Shot is long; it's on the other side of town.
    4. When you get there, park in the space in the back to complete the mission.

This mission opens up OG Loc's mission line. And since we're here on the other side of town, you should probably do his first mission right now, which is Life's a Beach.

You receive Respect for completing this mission.
Suggested Next Mission: OG Loc's Life's a Beach.

Running Dog

Try to take him out here, in wide open space. (Running Dog)

You are runnin' with Big Smoke for this mission. It's fairly short, but the length of the mission depends on how fast you can chase and kill someone. Other than that, it's more of Big Smoke's shenanigans. Basically, a meet goes wrong and you have to kill a guy. He's running away (hence "Running Dog") and you have to catch up to him and kill him. You get a clear opening to shoot him in the beginning, but most of the time you will end up shooting him when he's running through the front lawns.

  1. Drive to the meet.
    1. Obviously, you need to use Big Smoke's car. Also note that you will be car-less after the mission ends.
    2. You will want to go over the highway overpass first, right in front of Big Smoke's house, before driving to the waypoint.
  2. At the meet, things go wrong, and you have to chase and take down an enemy.
    1. You can kill him relatively easily if you run forward, past the house, and shoot at him as he runs away. There is only a small window, though.
    2. For most, you will have to chase the guy quite a ways through the neighborhood.
    3. Avoid gang fire and make good use of the jump button.
    4. Fire at him whenever you can. The mission ends right after you kill him, no matter where you are at on the map.

After you kill him, the mission automatically ends. Grab a car and go to Sweet's icon for Drive-By.

You receive Respect for completing this mission.
Suggested Next Mission: Sweet's Drive-By.

Wrong Side of the Tracks

This is the correct distance so Big Smoke can shoot the enemies on the train, and not the train (Wrong Side of the Tracks)

This is one of the more difficult driving missions in Los Santos. You must kill some Vagos gang members on top of a train while you are on a dirt bike. To make matters worse, Big Smoke and his AI are the ones doing the shooting! The trick here is to make sure that Big Smoke is shooting the Vagos and not the side of the train. To ensure that he's shooting properly, make sure you are away from the train enough so he has an angle for a shot. Basically, do not drive up right alongside the train; you need to be far enough to the side so he can shoot them.

  1. Drive to the train station with Big Smoke.
    1. You automatically use Big Smoke's car in this mission.
  2. After the cutscene, get on the dirt bike and pursue the train.
    1. Make sure that you give time for Big Smoke to hop on.
  3. Close the gap between yourself and the train.
    1. Just gun it in the dirt bike. It is much faster than the train.
  4. Kill the Vagos gang members on top of the train.
    1. They are on top of the front car.
    2. You need to angle your dirt bike so Big Smoke can hit them; this means you can't be up right alongside the train or Big Smoke will hit the train and not the enemies.
    3. As Big Smoke states, you need to ride up alongside them.
    4. In a more fun yet difficult approach to completing the mission, you can jump on the top of the train with your bike by using the house structures on the left, near the sewer.
    5. Try to kill all the Vagos before you get out of the tunnel.
  5. After clearing the Vagos, drive back to Big Smoke's house to complete the mission.

Continue the Big Smoke path with his next mission.

You receive Respect for completing this mission.
Suggested Next Mission: Big Smoke's Just Business.

Just Business

Look behind at all times, and try to take out the bikers as quickly as possible (Just Business)

Overall, this is probably the most difficult mission in Los Santos. First, you are pitted against a battalion of enemies in a big building. Aside from worrying about your enemies, you also need to worry about Big Smoke's health during this mission, but he can definitely take some shots. And outside, you have to clear another battalion of enemies. But what's more, after all that, you have an extended chase scene in which you must worry about your bike's health as Big Smoke aimlessly drives through the city. This is just a plain tough mission, one that I personally raged over when I first played the game.

  1. Drive to the waypoint with Big Smoke.
    1. Again, you automatically use his car.
  2. After the cutscene, you will be in a huge firefight against the enemies in a building.
    1. Clear out all the policemen in this room before continuing.
    2. Headshots are the best way to quickly defeat them, but "lock on" will also work. It is particularly easy to headshot these guys on the PC version because you can use your mouse to aim.
    3. Remember to kill the enemies on the second floor. They can really deal some damage.
    4. The faster you kill, the less damage Big Smoke will take.
    5. You might also consider using yourself as a "tank" if you have trouble keeping Big Smoke's health high.
    6. You can replenish your health by grabbing the body armor on the far side of the room, in the alcove to the right of the stairs.
  3. Outside, you need to clear more enemies, about the same amount as inside..
    1. These guys are more out in the open, so you can easy lock on and kill them.
    2. Again, you must worry about Big Smoke's health. And since his health carried over from the last area, it might be a bit low. So, try to use the tanking idea since you just got body armor.
  4. With the area clear, the twosome grabs a bike and jets it.
    1. But we are not out of the woods yet!
  5. This starts a long chase sequence, one of the worst chase sequences in the game. Here are some pointers and tips before I describe the chase in detail.
    1. You are not riding the bike, but Big Smoke has a long set path.
    2. You have unlimited ammo for this part of the mission.
    3. The biggest worry is your bike's health. If it is fully depleted, it blows up and, of course, you have to redo the mission.
    4. For cars, fire at the engine (the front of the car) to quickly blow them up.
    5. For bikes, kill the enemy in the back shooting at you first. Then, kill the driver.
  6. This is the play-by-play of the entire chase sequence.
    1. You start with biking on the streets. Kill the pursuing bikers and fire at the semi truck when it comes. You will not destroy it.
    2. Soon, you will come up to two roadblocks. Instead of firing at the enemies on the ground, shoot at the cars to blow them up, which will in turn blow up the enemies.
    3. Big Smoke drives into the flood control area.
    4. You have to kill several cars and bikers here. Again, shoot out the guys on the backs of the bike, and fire at the cars to blow them up.
    5. Just ignore the semi truck; the other vehicles are the ones that can hurt you.
    6. This madness continues for quite a long time. This is usually where you fail the mission if you weren't on top of it in the beginning.
    7. After the cutscene in which you drive over the car blockade, you need to shoot out the sewer gate.
    8. Once you're through the sewer tunnel, the mission finally ends!

It is highly recommended to grab the grenades in the parking structure near here, as well as a car in the parking lot, before heading over to the Grove for Sweet's next mission.

You receive Respect for completing this mission.
Suggested Next Mission: Sweet's Doberman.

Ryder's Missions

Ryder thinks CJ's a straight-up buster, but that does not stop him from enlisting CJ's help in a variety of robbery missions. Ryder's missions are somewhat unconventional in the scope of the game, and some can be tough, especially when stealth is involved. As such, I recommend holding off on Ryder's missions until you have complete the first set of Sweet and Big Smoke missions.