GTA III — GTA Vice City Stories
In the GTA III Era games, players must have any sub-machine gun in hand in order to perform drive by shooting. While in a vehicle, the player may look left or right to view the target and take aim, then fire their weapon, discharging bullets to the target.
The aforementioned concept has remained the same between GTA III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, but underwent several changes. From Grand Theft Auto: Vice City onwards, players are also allowed to shoot forward while on a motorbike or bicycle, which is usually far more effective than conventional drive-by shooting in cars due to the player being able to watch the road and shoot at a target at the same time; "drive-by" shooting on boats are made possible. Additionally, in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, the protagonist is able to shoot forward while driving the jetski. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and GTA Vice City Stories allow for non-player passengers of a car to perform drive-by shooting, shooting with pistols, sub-machine guns or assault rifles; however, the effectiveness of this feature is dependent on how close the car is to targets.
The ability for the player to shoot as a passenger was first explored in GTA Vice City, during "Phnom Penh '86" (positioned on the side of a Maverick) and "Supply & Demand" (positioned on the back of a Squalo), when the player is able to free-aim, but use only weapons with first-person view (the M-60 and Ruger). In GTA San Andreas, free-aiming first person view is additionally utilized while the player is seated as a passenger in a motorbike and a car, during "Just Business" and "End of the Line." A few missions reused the method of first-person free-aim drive-by during "Reuniting the Families" and "The Da Nang Thang."In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas The player as the driver can do full-aim drive-by´s only with cheat devices.
As Grand Theft Auto IV was developed, drive-by shooting mechanics were retooled to allow for more flexible aiming and improved accuracy. The player may aim their weapon freely while driving; the "look left" and "look right" commands were removed in favor of an analog stick-based/mouse-based camera. Also, drive-bys were extended to being possible out of helicopters and on boats with assault rifles, and out of any other vehicle.
While the choices of weapons for use in drive-by shooting is still limited, the player can now either use a sub-machine gun or pistol, and grenades or Molotov Cocktail can actually be dropped from vehicles, useful for blowing up pursuers. The Lost and Damned also introduced the ability to fire a sawn-off shotgun while riding motorcycles. However, even with the ability to use a sawed-off shotgun, drive-bys on motorcycles are highly discouraged, as the player is fully exposed and vulnerable to gunfire.
Overall, the Micro Uzi in GTA IV and TLAD is the best weapon for drive-bys in cars with its incredible rate of fire, while the the Gold SMG in The Ballad of Gay Tony is the best weapon available. The M4 carbine is most suited for passengers on aircraft and boats, but the accuracy of gunfire from a helicopter or on a boat is often abysmal due to difficulty in aiming (due to rapid movement of the vehicle) and a limited field of view.
In GTA Chinatown Wars, the player can use either a pistol or SMG to do a drive-by in all types of vehicles
- In San Andreas, when you return your girlfriend back to her house after a date. The fist slot will appear in the HUD, temporarily disabling a drive-by at that moment. Simply exit the car, and return to fix this problem.
- In some vehicles without doors, such as the BF Injection, or roofs, such as the convertible Stallion, the player cannot be hit by oncoming bullets or burned by flame-based weapons. This doesn't work in the GTA IV era games.
- In GTA San Andreas, it's sometimes possible to perform a drive-by with pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, and the minigun. To do so, you will need to make sure you have a Micro-SMG or SMG in your inventory and that you have Katie or Barbara as a girlfriend. Cause CJ to get wasted or busted. After spawning at the hospital or police station, quickly find the nearest vehicle. Before entering it, select the weapon of your choice as long it's a pistol, shotgun, assault rifle or the minigun if it's in your inventory. Avoid selecting the Micro-SMG or SMG, as this may cause the trick to not work. Enter the vehicle and the weapon you had before entering should still be displaying in the HUD. Enter the Manual Drive-By shooting cheat and you will be able to perform a drive-by with your weapon. This will work until you exit the vehicle. This may take a few times to work.