Rampages, also known as Kill Frenzies in Grand Theft Auto 1 and Grand Theft Auto 2, are a type of side-mission where the player has to carry out certain destructive tasks, usually involving the slaughter of civilians or gang members, in under 120 seconds (2 minutes). Completing these side-missions is typically required for 100% completion (except in GTA San Andreas) and they have been featured in nearly all GTA games prior to Grand Theft Auto IV (with the exception of the PC version of GTA San Andreas, since its rampages are 2-player based and the PC version does not support multiplayer). Rampages were absent from Grand Theft Auto IV, but reappeared in GTA Chinatown Wars and Grand Theft Auto V.
Most rampages task the player with killing a certain number of gang members or civilians in a prescribed way. Typically, one or more weapons will be given to the player for this task, and only these weapons may be used. Sometimes, players are asked to run down their victims or perform the required kills as drive-by shootings; in these scenarios, any kills made outside of a vehicle will not count. Occasionally, the targets may be a certain type of vehicle which must be destroyed, rather than people. In GTA San Andreas, rampages are sometimes 2-player vehicle-based challenges — the first player drives, while the second shoots at the targets.
In GTA 2, Kill Frenzies come in two forms: as green skull icons, where the player must kill a certain number of people or destroy a certain number of vehicles in a time limit with a given weapon, or as parked vehicles, where, upon entry, the player must run down a number of people or destroy a number of cars with vehicle weapons. Completing a Kill Frenzy grants the player an extra life.
In GTA III, if the player fails a rampage on the first attempt, the pickup icon will move to a second location. If the rampage is failed again at this new location, the icon returns to its original position.
Rampages can be only completed once in GTA III, GTA Vice City, GTA Advance and GTA Liberty City Stories, but can be played multiple times in GTA San Andreas and GTA Vice City Stories. In GTA Vice City Stories, once the player passes a rampage for the first time, the white skull on its icon changes to blue, allowing the player to tell which have been previously completed. There is also a special option on the map which marks all completed rampages. Rampages in GTA V can also be replayed, although only through the game's in-built mission replay mechanic.
The first rampage completed earns the player $500 ($5000 in GTA III) and this reward increase by $500 ($5000 in GTA III) for each one subsequent completed ramapge. In GTA Liberty City Stories, completing all rampages rewards the player with an M-60, which spawns at every safehouses. In the other games, only money is given for completing all rampages, as well as contributing towards 100% completion.
There are 20 rampages in GTA III and GTA Liberty City Stories, whereas GTA Vice City and the PlayStation 2 version of GTA Vice City Stories feature 35 rampages. The PSP version of GTA Vice City Stories has 30 rampages. The console versions of GTA San Andreas contain 5 two-player rampages.
In GTA Chinatown Wars, there are 30 rampages, which involve killing gang members with a given weapon. Unlike previous games, the player is given henchmen to help kill enemies in some of the rampages, otherwise the rampage is done alone. Score multipliers are given for consecutive kills. Instead of there being a number of people you have to kill, the rampages work on a points score basis. Destroying gang vehicles also gains points, though fewer than killing gang members. Upon completion, players will be awarded with a bronze, silver or gold medal, depending on their score. All rampages must be completed with at least a bronze medal to obtain 100% completion. Once a rampage is passed, the rampage will still be shown at same location, but instead of a white skull icon, the skull will be outlined in bronze, silver or gold (depending on the player's previous high scores). On top of the 30 rampages, there are also five Riding Shotgun missions, which fall under the same in-game category.
In GTA San Andreas, rampages are not required for 100% completion as they are only accessible in a 2-player games, which would render 100% completion impossible for single players.
A penalty for failing a rampage in Vice City, Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories is that any Wanted Level gained during the rampage remains in force, with Toni, Victor or Tommy left to their own devices to deal with it. Any enemies attacking the player during the rampage will also continue to be a threat, whether the player has passed the rampage or not.
Rampages return in Grand Theft Auto V, but are only accessible to Trevor and take the form of Strangers and Freaks-like side missions. Upon approaching the rampage icon, Trevor will engage the people nearby in conversation, an act that inevitably leads to a confrontation and Trevor flying into a rage and massacring them. There are five rampages in total, spread out across the map, and they must be completed in order to unlock the next. In his rampages, Trevor fights Sandy Shores rednecks, Vagos, the Military, Ballas and finally Mirror Park hipsters. During his rampages, Trevor gains a super-charged version of his special ability, in the form of greatly increased damage resistance and infinite ammo for his given weapon(s) — this effect lasts until the rampage ends. His special ability can still be triggered for an added invincibility boost.
- The censored versions of GTA III and GTA Vice City don't have any rampages.
- There is a glitch on GTA Vice City where if a weapon you carry is used during a Rampage, you will lose that weapon straight after. This is especially, and seems to only occur if the weapon the player is holding is the same as the Rampage weapon. For ex. if the Rampage entails using MP-5 to kill certain number of people, and the player is holding an MP-5 or similar class of weapon (such as the Uzi), to start that Rampage. Then when it ends, the weapon the player has disappears. The reason being after the Rampage is over and the game needs to take away the Rampage weapon, if the weapon the player is holding is the same, the program gets confused and takes BOTH away instead. Start the rampage while holding a different weapon or empty handed seems to solve this problem
- In the censored version of GTA Liberty City Stories, the game has 13 rampages, 7 were removed from the original version because their goal was to kill innocent pedestrians (the PS2 version retains all original rampages).
- In Grand Theft Auto 1 Kill Frenzies don't have an individual icon, instead they are hidden in crates like every other normal weapon and are displayed as a normal weapon once the crate is broken. For example, a Kill Frenzy using a machine gun will look like a machine gun, so unless you know which crates are Kill Frenzies and which ones are not, you may end up picking up a Kill Frenzy instead of a weapon.