Health as a statistic
Measurement of health on HUDs was not prominent in the original Grand Theft Auto, as the game has no indication of the player's health - players will simply die after an unspecified amount of minimal damage. Grand Theft Auto 2, however, gave players indication of the health for the first time, measuring it using a 5-heart gauge, with each heart denoted as full, half-sized and depleted, thus giving the health a 10-level scale.
In Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the 5-heart system is replaced by a numbered counter, with its default maximum as 100%; in most of these games, the player's health can be extended, usually as a reward for completing one or more side missions.
From Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas onwards, the numbered counter is changed into a health bar, but it functions just as GTA III's. When the player receives an extra health, the bar will be marked with a "+" symbol on it.
Health pickups scattered around the map can restore the player's health to the maximum level. Between Grand Theft Auto 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV, health pickups are generally shaped as rotating health icon with the symbol of a heart. In GTA IV, health pickups are shaped as medical kits. Health can be also replenished by up to 20% when entering Ambulances.
Many things can damage the player's health: being shot, stabbed, or beaten, fire, explosives, being struck by a vehicle, drowning, being thrown from a vehicle, falling from heights, consuming drugs or smoking,tumbling, and several other methods not included in this list. When the player's health is completely depleted, the protagonist is considered "wasted", and is then transported to the nearest hospital, after which a fee for healthcare will be assessed, and all weapons confiscated in the 2D and 3D Universes. Any mission that may have been in progress at the time is considered as failed.
Accessibility of health pickups varies between games:
- In Grand Theft Auto III, health pickups can be found in front of all hospitals and scattered throughout Liberty City, often in recreational areas such as rest stops, parks, and shopping centers. Employing the services of a prostitute also replenishes health to a possible total of 125%.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, health pickups appear in Vice City primarily in front of hospitals and replenish the player's health to maximum for $100 (default 100%, which can be extended to 200%). Food stores only help you replenish up to 100% health. The player's maximum health can be increased to 150% by performing Pizza Boy side missions. The player's maximum health will be 200% after the 100% Completion.
- In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, health pickups appear in San Andreas during gang warfare and in most missions involving a lot of gun fights. Health is replenished to maximum, which is a variable scale that can be increased by performing paramedic side missions and exercising (sprinting, swimming, or visiting a gym).
- In Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, health pickups like in the previous games appear randomly around the city and always inside safehouses and by hospitals. Maximum health can be increased by finishing the Pizza Boy and Noodle Boy side-missions, with each of them increasing 25% health, when completed.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, health pickups here appear in the same form as in Liberty City Stories and are always inside safehouses and by hospitals. Increasing the maximum health requires completing the odd job, Air Rescue.
- In Grand Theft Auto IV, health packs are found all over Liberty City, generally in out-of-the-way locales, Hospitals, and in subway stations. The player can use their Phones to call Paramedics to their location to heal them for a fee. Food stands and stores are dotted around the city, and are great for replenishing health. A map of health pickups is shown in the game's website www.whattheydonotwantyoutoknow.com.The functionality of health packs in GTA IV is also extended in multiplayer modes, when it can also be used to repair a vehicle the player is in by simply driving onto a health pickup.
- In Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online, health is provided in the form of drinks (Sprunk or E-Cola) purchased at vending machines spread throughout Los Santos and Blaine County, as well as snacks (such as P’s & Q’s, Meteorite, Egochaser, and E-Cola) which can be be purchased at convenience stores, or dropped by dead enemies/pedestrians. Each snack replenishes health in different amounts. In Grand Theft Auto Online only, snacks can be purchased and kept in the inventory for future use, allowing the player to replenish their health at almost any time.
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- Red Light District - In a smal alley beside XXXMags
- Hepburn Heights - At east, inside the park, near El Burro's contact point
- Harwood - In the northwest corner of AMCo. gas station
- Saint Mark's:
- Portland View - 2 located at Sweeney General Hospital doorway
- Chinatown - in a L-shaped alley beside Hong Hung Inc., central part of the district
- Portland Harbor - At south, behind some truck trailers and near the Linerunner
- Callahan Point - At southwest, in the end of a dirt road just south of Greasy Joe's
- Belleville Park:
- In the grassy area beside Shoreside Lift Bridge entrance;
- Under the green canopy of a building facing west the center of the park;
- In front of the mall entrance, just east of the north side of the park.
- Rockford - 2 located at Carson General Hospital
- Fort Staunton - on second floor of the unfinished building inside Panlantic Construction Site, next to the Body Armor (take the ramp at the west side, follow it to the end then turn right on the stairs)
- Bedford Point:
- Among some bushes and trees near a building at south of Liberty City Cathedral;
- In front of the south doorway of Liberty City Cathedral;
- At southwest, in a dead end between two buildings located in the triangular alcove facing south the street that leads to the lower avenue. One of these buildings has a transparent window.
- In the east corner of AMCo. Headquarters;
- At south, in front of a large building facing east the stairs to the subway.
- Francis International Airport - At north of the west part of the small runway, between two yellow-striped ramps, along with an Adrenaline Pill
- Pike Creek:
- Wichita Gardens - At northeast, in the corner between two buildings (not far from D-Ice's contact point)
- Cochrane Dam:
GTA Vice City
- On the bridge in the golf course
- Inside the Dispensary, near an Adrenaline Pill
- At Shady Palms Hospital
- Between a dumpster and Vice City Inside Track building, just northeast of Pay 'n' Spray
- At the north side, inside a giant cup next to the parked Infernus
- Behind the fountain in front of the north mansion
- Inside the Dispensary, along with an Adrenaline Pill
- At Schuman Health Care Center:
- At the entrance;
- On the roof above the other Health icon.
- On roof of Ammu-Nation
- On the test tracks at northeast
- Inside Ryton Aide, beside Pay 'n' Spray
- Inside the Vice City Junkyard, on top of the central conveyor belt of the southernmost processor
- By the stairs on the left of Haitian Drug Factory entrance
- Under the first gangplank of the ship at the port gate.
- At southeast, downstairs, in the Boatyard.
- On top level inside the terminal
- On roof of a white building just west of Calley Delicatessen Restaurant
- At West Haven Community Healthcare Centre
- Vercetti Estate (after "Rub Out ")
- In the small room at bottom of the stairs, along with several weapons
- In a waiting room beside the large central stairs of the main hall
- At the west side, in a basement hall near the hedge maze
- On the sidewalk at the west side entrance
- At north, under a horizontal ladder. This place is not so far from where the Strangers and Freaks mission Exercising Demons - Franklin ends
- At south, behind Sheriff's Office
- Inside a small tent at right of the entrance
- In front of Ursula's House, next to the bench
- In the covered area just southeast of the main house
- Between the main house and a red barn at north
- In the front guard tower
- Near some telescopes on top of a hill in Senora National Park, just north of You Tool. This is the same place where the GTA Online mission Chopper Tail usually begins.
- Inside the Sandy Shores Airfield hangar
- At Sandy Shores Medical Center
- Inside Trevor's house (Trevor only)
- Inside Liquor Ace, on the counter
- In front of the yellow house, at north of a spaceship part.
- Behind a blue house near Baytree Canyon Road, where the GTA Online mission Method in the Madness usually begins.
- On the west side of Parsons Rehabilitation Center. You can also find a spaceship part nearby
- Inside the fenced area at north of Vinewood Sign, near the northern edge of Mount Haan Drive (the same place where you have to steal a trailer in Satellite Communications)
- On the wall at the sightseeing site of the Galileo Observatory
- Inside a fenced construction area east of Madrazo's Mansion.
- Inside Franklin's Mansion (Franklin only)
- Behind O'Deas Pharmacy building
- In Kortz Center, on the second floor, near the border of Low Rotunda and Bell Building
- Between Pacific Bluffs Country Club building and the Tennis courts
- 2 inside Michael's mansion: one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen (Michael only)
- At Mount Zonah Medical Center
- Behind a white building beside Weazel Dorset.
- Beside Pitchers, near an alley
- Underground of Union Depository, attached to a small cabin near the stairs. You can also find a Body Armor and an Assault Shotgun nearby
- At Pillbox Hill Medical Center
- In the center of a patio between two buildings and just west of the Tennis courts.
- Between a trailer and a snacks stall next to the central east entrance.
- At the Recreation Center, under a small building northwest of Smoke on the Water and beside the basketball court.
- On porch of the building just east of Puerto Del Sol Marina (use stairs)
- In the homeless camp under Olympic Freeway
- In the small office inside Vanilla Unicorn (Trevor only)
- At Central Los Santos Medical Center
- On the white building just south of Davis Mega Mall, under the stairs.
- Underwater, between some rocks at the east side of the train bridge. You can also find a Sticky Bomb, a MP5, a Crowbar and a Hidden Briefcase nearby.
- In the northeast corner of Bugstars building on Signal Street
- In GTA III and GTA Vice City, you can increase your health above 100 by having sex with a Prostitute and it will slowly increase to 125 (GTA III) or 150 (GTA VC).
- GTA San Andreas is the first 3D Universe game to feature a health bar, rather than the number counter.
- In GTA LCS and GTA VCS, health pickups in safehouses are always located in the kitchen. This is an obvious reference and an odd "replacement" to eating, which is absent in both games.
- ln GTA IV, its episodes, and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, the health/armor bars come in the form of a semi-circles, rather than bars.
- GTA IV is the first game in the whole series that shows physical damage on the protagonist, since as they get shot, bullet holes and blood will appear on their bodies. Also, when burnt to death, their textures will change to one where their clothing and skin is burnt to ashes and when they kill a person near themselves, blood splatters on their faces.
- In GTA V, the protagonists' health can regenerate up to 50% after taking damage. Every regeneration takes longer to take place each time the bar flashes red, however.
- In GTA Online, max health increases every 20 ranks, up to 100. There is no visible indicator though in regards to the health bar, assuming it has the same damage-reducing effect that increasing Strength provides.