The Radar (also a Satnav in GTA IV), is a map on the Heads-up Display showing the player's current location in the game, and the relative location or direction of various points of interest. Introduced in Grand Theft Auto III, the radar essentially replaces the player centered location compass used in preceding GTA games, and remains an element of all GTA games after.
Blips on the radar show the location of various points of interest such as:
- Mission targets - Initially indicated only by colored squares in GTA III, radars from GTA Vice City onwards specifically use squares for targets on the same physical level (altitude) as the player, and a triangle pointed upwards if the target is above or a downwards triangle if it is below. In GTA IV, the radar uses coloured circles; if the target is higher or lower, there will be a small arrow inside the circle.
- Landmarks - Such as Pay 'n' Spray, Ammu-Nation, Clothing and places where the player can purchase food.
- Location of characters who can give missions to the protagonists.
- Save Points and Safehouses
- Gang Colors or Territory. (GTA San Andreas)
- Custom waypoints (GTA San Andreas onwards)
- In GTA V, the radar has been modified, and now appears rectangular rather than circular like in previous games. It is also the first in the series to have a 3D view, as well as a heat zone which shows the distance enemies will be alerted.