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Pedestrians in Middle Park East.

Pedestrians are non-playable characters that appear in all Grand Theft Auto games. Simply put, they are civilians and residents of the city that the protagonist is in. However, babies, children and teenagers do not appear in any of the games.

In Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City and Liberty City Stories (PSP version), there are cheats that allow the player to play as NPCs since those games have single outfits mechanic; this was scrapped in San Andreas and IV since these games contain buyable clothes, models, and perfect lip syncing. There are mods that will let you play as NPCs though.

The pedestrians in the 3D Universe suffered from "clumping" in which the same models of pedestrian appear very often, sometimes even two pedestrians of the same model can be seen speaking to each other. This glitch was fixed in GTA IV, though another glitch; "car clumping" which causes many of the same car model to spawn together, remains. Pedestrians throughout the 3D Universe are identifiable due to the repeated clothing and models.

However in GTA IV, pedestrian models are varied and there are many more of them. Two pedestrians of the same model rarely appear together on the screen at one time. This is due to an implemented mechanic of "clothing" and "age" for pedestrians. For example, the businessman model has 2 variants, young and old, and both variants can have different suit colours and hairstyles. In addition, certain pedestrians are only found in appropriate places, and their behavior is much more realistic and distinct to that particular pedestrian. For example, homeless people will hang around in back alleys, lie around on the streets and ask other people, including the protagonist, for spare change. Russian immigrants will hang around Hove Beach in Broker close to where the ships dock, rich suited businessmen can be found in Downtown Algonquin and criminals such as muggers and carjackers will hang around Bohan. Also, prostitutes only appear at night around the gritty areas of the city.

Pedestrian behavior includes smoking, talking on the phone, sitting on park benches and reading newspapers, conversing with others, carrying home shopping bags and generally doing things one should expect a random person on the streets to do. Also in GTA IV, pedestrians can be seen putting something in a car's trunk or fixing a broken down engine on the side of the road.


General appearance

Pedestrians come in all shapes, sizes, ages and ethnic groups. Each have their own dialogue, and interact with each other as well as with the player. There are no children in any GTA games, however, which is likely due to the controversies that might arise from including them in the game, considering that the player can kill any NPC in the game; the beta version of Grand Theft Auto III had schoolchildren as well as drivable School Buses, but were scrapped in the final version. Gang members may also qualify as pedestrians, but feature different behavior by often appearing in groups or in a specific area of the city since their first appearance in Grand Theft Auto 2.
GTA 2 pedestrians

Pedestrians waiting for the bus in GTA 2.

Until GTA III, standard pedestrians were often deprived of details, and as such, few distinctions were made in where certain pedestrians appear and their appearances. From GTA 2 onwards, attempts were made to program gang members to appear in respective gang turf, and from GTA III onwards, civilians reflect what city, district, time, and setting the game is in. For example, in a college area, college students are spawned, while a Chinatown may feature people of Chinese ethnicity. In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, many civilians are dressed in 80s apparel due to its time period, while the game additionally switches between pedestrians donning swimsuits and those dressed in party attires for day and night in Vice Beach. The player will also never see a homeless person in an affluent area of town, nor would they see a businessman in the country. Also, certain pedestrians, generally, drive certain vehicles. Wealthier civilians typically drive more luxurious cars, and poorer pedestrians typically drive less appealing vehicles.



Michael with a hooker in Grand Theft Auto V.

Hookers are a special type of pedestrian that are able to enter the player's car and have sex with the protagonist, replenishing the health bar, for a fee.

Pedestrians can be run over by cars, shot, and beaten up. Many leave money when they die, which can be obtained by the player. Most of the time, if a pedestrian is killed, an ambulance will show up to heal the pedestrian, at which point the pedestrian will simply get up and continue with his/her business or enter the ambulance to be taken to a hospital. This does not always happen in 3D Universe, though, e.g. when a pedestrian's head is shot or the pedestrian is burnt with Molotov Cocktails or flamethrower, the ambulance will usually not arrive. (This is due to the change of the pedestrian models, e.g. if their head disappears, they cannot be revived.) However, it is probably not in the protagonist's best interests to kill a pedestrian unprovoked, and most likely contradicts their moral values. In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories and Grand Theft Auto IV, pedestrians and cops can also swim, but only in for a limited time before drowning.

In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Carl can have limited conversations with pedestrians. Occasionally he may hear a pedestrian make a comment about how he smells, his looks or mode of dress; he can choose to respond negatively or positively (a negative response may provoke the pedestrian and using the same control scheme used for interacting with hookers), or he can choose to ignore the comment which may result in the pedestrian criticizing Carl for ignoring him/her. Similarly, Carl may encounter drug dealers who likewise can be conversed with in this manner. Rival gang members will walk up to Carl and ask if he himself is a gang member. No matter which Carl chooses, the gang members will still chase/attack him.

In Grand Theft Auto IV, the player cannot communicate with other pedestrians via controls. On some occasions, Niko may reply to the pedestrian by default.

In Grand Theft Auto V, pedestrians are much more interactive than before. You can simply say hello or threaten pedestrians depending who you play as or the attitude they display towards the characters (Trevor insults pedestrians by default). Certain Pedestrians may engage in conversation with one of the three characters, in which case you may choose to react or ignore the conversation. They react to the world around them as well. Pedestrians are known to call the police or film crimes as they happen.

Dangerous Pedestrians

Aside from the civilians who accidentally hit you with cars, there are even more dangerous pedestrians. Some examples include gang members, who are particularly dangerous as they are always armed and will almost always fight back. Up until GTA IV, they would attack you on sight if you strolled into their turf and you had bad relations with their gang, but in GTA IV they usually leave the player alone outside of missions, unless tempted to attack you. This can happen with the Russian Mafia if you open fire against everyone in their territory or with any gang if you attack or provoke a gang member. In GTA SA, if the player replies negatively to wearing Grove Street colors, the gang might leave the player alone. Taxi Drivers and other pedestrians will often respond to carjackings by trying to pull you out and beat you, or they might simply attempt to run over the player or repeatedly ram their car. Some pedestrians will fight back when provoked or call the police. During the Los Santos Riots in the last few missions of GTA San Andreas, pedestrians become hostile, carry weapons and attack the player or steal his car. Also to look out for are Street Criminals that have been reported to carjack players, pedestrians, and even police. In GTA IV, sometimes, pedestrians will come to the aid of other pedestrians if the player attacks them, or if the player attacks a female pedestrian, men may come to her aid. Also, pedestrians will sometimes come to the aid of the player if he is being attacked. In certain areas, if the player fires a weapon, a pedestrian may pull a gun (usually a pistol or a micro SMG) and fire at the player in an act of defense. Sometimes in GTA III, when a player is committing a crime involving explosives, a pedestrian will act as a "good samaritan" and try to attack and stop the player. Pedestrians armed with weapons (due to cheats) will attack each other or the player if startled.

Noteworthy Pedestrians

The player can communicate more extensively with noteworthy pedestrians. Some noteworthy pedestrians will come to the player's aid when he is hurt, or if the player harms another pedestrian, some bystanders will try to defend the victimized pedestrian that the player attacked.

Some noteworthy pedestrians will beg or perform for money. Those including Buskers, Prostitutes, Tramps, and Crack Dealers.

In games such as Grand Theft Auto IV or Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, if the player is in a particularly crime-riddled neighborhood, the player may be attacked or car-jacked by a random Street Criminal, particularly at night when fewer police are patrolling the streets. In bad areas such as Bohan (GTA IV), the player will occasionally be held at gunpoint by a gang member or street criminal.

List of Noteworthy Pedestrians



  • Sometimes, specifically in GTA San Andreas and GTA IV , the dialogue is completely off-key. For example pedestrian 1 may ask pedestrian 2, "Has your family ever let you down?" and pedestrian 2 would reply "Yeah, I agree!".
  • Before the HD Universe, pedestrians, once killed, their bodies would disappear after 2-3 minutes if not revived. In GTA IV and GTA V, their bodies do not disappear until the player leaves the body. If the player keeps killing a lot of pedestrians and/or officers in the same directions, bodies will start to disappear. This is to prevent the system from overloading.
  • When using auto aim the weapon may lock on to thin air, but there is a invisible pedestrian also referred to as a ghost. Shooting that pedestrian will cause blood splatter on the floor and money to appear. This glitch only occurs in the PS2 version of GTA San Andreas, although it has been reported in certain places in the Xbox version, as well as the Xbox 360 version of GTA IV. It may also happen on the PS3.
  • In all GTA games, despite the fact that each pedestrian has their own unique voice and dialogue, their voices all sound similar when they scream, get injured, or die.

3D Universe

  • In Grand Theft Auto III, there are "boss" pedestrians across Liberty City. The pedestrian wears green clothing, and if he attacks another pedestrian, they will flee. A "weak" pedestrian is also seen everywhere in Liberty City. He wears a blue Hawaiian shirt and blue shorts, and will flee whenever anyone attacks him.
  • In GTA Vice City, there are also "boss" and "weak" pedestrians across Vice City. The first "boss" pedestrian is a businessman who wears a green suit, and If he attacks another pedestrian, they will start running, even If he attack cops, they will also flee, and the other is a man who wears a black outfit, black sunglasses, black sombrero, and is black himself, happens the same with this man, If they attack at each other accidentally, they will continue walking like nothing happened. The "weak" pedestrian is a man who wears a light-yellow t-shirt, with a camera in his t-shirt, who will run if someone attacks him.
  • In GTA III, if the player runs against elders pedestrians, they will fall down.
  • In all the 3D Universe citizens have a chance of dropping large sums of cash. This is sometimes referred to as a "jackpot" by some players. It is possibly just a glitch in programming from the money drop rate. Some players have obtained over 3 thousand dollars before in one kill. Sometimes, even a bum they may leave a few thousand dollars when killed. It is unknown if this is a glitch or a reference to people who act like homeless people just to get money even though they are not homeless (some are actually rich). This feature is more notable in GTA III because the cash in the aforementioned game is inflated ten times.
  • Sometimes in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, a glitch occurs where a pedestrian will not get killed no matter how much punishment is dealt to them, they simply become invulnerable.
  • Carjacking in GTA San Andreas will sometimes cause an NPC to say "Now I'm going to have to steal another car", or say that he stole this car first. This implies that NPCs also steal random cars, either parked or driven by other NPCs, albeit off-screen.
  • In GTA San Andreas, there is a certain pedestrian that resembles Denise Robinson, while another - a blonde in a tight white dress - appears to resemble Sharon Stone's character in Basic Instinct and possibly referencing Paris Hilton from her dialogue to the player and other pedestrians. Still another pedestrian, a white male with long blond hair and a green jacket with ivory pants, resembles Kurt Cobain. Many fans of the game also suggest that the pedestrian that wears orange track pants, orange bucket hat and no shirt is Dr. Dre. One of the pedestrians that hangs around Grove Street resembles O-Dog from Menace II Society. An oriental San Fierro pedestrian - with a black 'chongsam' dress and straight hair, resembles Ling Shan from GTA Chinatown Wars.
  • In GTA San Andreas, pedestrians have an irritating habit of jumping into the path of the player's car. Pedestrians are scripted to jump away from the player's vehicle if he is driving towards them, but sometimes, if the player changes his direction at the last moment, the pedestrian may end up jumping into his path and getting run over.
  • In GTA III, GTA Vice City, GTA Vice City Stories and GTA Liberty City Stories, bodies from dead pedestrians that disappear will be replaced with the white chalk outline of their body.
  • In GTA San Andreas, when a woman in a swimsuit is driving, sometimes their breasts raises up to their chin or disappears. But when you remove (carjack) them out of the car, their body will go back to normal. Tested on PC version.
  • In Vice City, Liberty City Stories, and Vice City Stories, the player can assist police officers that are chasing street criminals through the street by killing the pedestrian without gaining a wanted level, the player will also receive a "$50 Good Citizen Bonus" for helping the police, in later games like San Andreas, IV, and V, the player will receive a wanted level instead.
  • In San Andreas, sometimes pedestrians pull out guns and start shooting the cops.
  • In GTA Vice City, If you continue to beat down the street criminal when already killed, the police will ignore you.
  • Police Officers, before GTA IV, and GTA V, unusually attack and even kill Street Criminals with their bare fists, rather than using a baton; which the latter they use in order to arrest you.

HD Universe

  • Sometimes, when carjacking somebody in Grand Theft Auto IV, he will say "What? I can't afford a Renault!" This might be a joke on the pricing of certain Renault cars that were quite expensive.
    • Oddly enough, Renaults never appear in any GTA game (with the exception of mods). It may be just a reference on the brand, or the pedestrian is meant to say a fictional brand (most likely a cheapskate brand like Karin or Dundreary).
  • In GTA IV, certain emergency workers such as doctors, nurses, paramedics, and firefighters, will attack the player if provoked. Yet unlike any other pedestrian, the LCPD will simply ignore the assault, and fighting back results in a one-star wanted level. This is unusual as LCPD officers normally arrest pedestrians for fighting, however their status as honest emergency personnel may make them exempt from arrest, paramedics and doctors however, will be attacked by the police If they run over people or other officers. This is most notably seen in firefighters, as police will sometimes open fire at the player or others NPCs (if players dialed in-game 911 for the police)
  • In GTA IV, some male pedestrians have female voices they use for screaming and when in pain, this is somewhat unusual, but most of them won't fight back if attacked. These pedestrian models usually have effeminate mannerisms and styles usually associated with stereotypical homosexuality, so it may be a joke on the part of the developers.
  • There have been instances in GTA IV where if there is an injured pedestrian laying on the ground that has been hurt to the point that they can't get up, another pedestrian may shoot them to death. This occurs when having a shootout between the protagonist and gang members outside of missions.
  • In GTA IV and V, the pedestrians will drop the objects which they are holding including umbrellas, cellphones, broom (for cleaners), a clip board, coffee and soda cups, shopping groceries, cigarettes, etc. Whenever they are bumped into and/or shocked/surprised. They will also drop their hats or baseball caps and also their sunglasses will fall off if pushed or ran into.
  • In GTA IV, pedestrians no longer produce the sound effects of bodies being crushed while getting run over by vehicles and landing on the ground after falling from heights.
  • In GTA IV, if the protagonist attacks a female pedestrian, a male pedestrian will intervene and attack the player, however, rare times, a man will help the player to attack the woman. The player will get the same result even if they attack a prostitute.
  • In GTA IV, if an attacking pedestrian misses the protagonist and strikes another pedestrian, the attacker will then ignore the protagonist and the two pedestrians will usually begin to fight each other until one of them is injured or arrested.
  • In GTA IV, if the player wounds or kills a street criminal, then the police will ignore the criminal, and start chasing the player.
  • In GTA V, pedestrians will react to what you do; if you rob or kill someone, they might call the cops, film it or try to take you down themselves.
  • Sometimes in GTA V, when a pedestrian sees the protagonist or another pedestrian in an expensive looking vehicle, they will say positive responses like "Nice ride dude" or if they see an expensive looking vehicle parked, a pedestrian may pull out their phone and take a picture of it.
  • In GTA V, if any Pedestrians are caught in the middle of a gunfight (i.e. when Street Criminals get out of their car and shoot at the cops), they will drive recklessly trying to evade the situation. However, even after they have evaded the situation, the frightened pedestrians will continue to drive recklessly. This can also be experienced if the player shoots at a pedestrian's car near other pedestrians.
  • In GTA V, one of the pedestrian models appear to resemble Bulgarian pop icon, Azis.
  • Frightened Pedestrians on foot also behave similarly to the ones in cars, for they also will not stop running and screaming even after they have gone far away from the gunfight.
  • In the HD Universe, if an unarmed pedestrian is hostile to you, simply pulling out a weapon will cause them to flee. You don't even need to aim at him/her.
    • If the pedestrian is holding a melee weapon, they will only flee if you draw a firearm. If the pedestrian is holding a gun, there is no way to make him/her flee.
  • In GTA V, if you perform a melee attack without harming anyone, pedestrians may flee.

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