- "Supposedly illegal. Banned for civilian use. Have been appearing on the streets of Vice City for the past couples of years, Present extreme danger for public order. I thought we sold all of these things to corrupt dictators and people fighting the Russians?"
- — GTA Vice City Website.
The Rocket Launcher is an extremely powerful weapon, it can destroy almost anything capable of being damaged. The chief advantage of this weapon is its destructive power and area effect (with its blast being capable of inflicting heavy damage several meters away from the point of impact). Although its rockets self-destruct after traveling a certain distance, its range remains impressive. The weapon's disadvantages are its slow aiming, and its potential to seriously injure or kill the operator if a rocket detonates at close range. Its weight is also an issue — the protagonist will be slowed to a walking pace while the rocket launcher is equipped in all games.
GTA III — GTA Vice City Stories
In GTA III and GTA Vice City Stories, the rocket launcher resembles a US Army M72 LAW rocket launcher, with some aesthetic differences (the weapon is held by a handle on the bottom and fired through a scope, unlike the real life M72 LAW).
In the rest of the 3D Era (GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas & GTA Liberty City Stories) the rocket launcher resembles a Russian RPG-7 portable anti-tank rocket launcher. It is a useful weapon for starting gang wars in GTA San Andreas, as its splash damage can be used to kill a group of enemy gangsters in one shot. The rocket launcher is an incredibly powerful weapon and an errant shot at nearby objects could kill you.
GTA IV — GTA V
In the HD Era , the rocket launcher again resembles the Russian RPG-7 portable anti-tank grenade launcher; however, it is not fitted with the PGO-7 optical sight usually seen on the launchers. Its front cross-hair is more like a standard gun sight. Unlike the GTA III Era, the player aims the rocket launcher from the over-the-shoulder perspective, allowing the player to move while aiming. Also, the rocket can be fired while in cover. Because of GTA IV's emphasis on realism, a rocket can be deflected if the tip of the rocket does not hit a solid object. This is the most powerful weapon in the game, able to take on cars, trucks, enemy players, motorcycles, and even the fearsome Annihilator gunship. Unlike other GTA games, the player does not explicitly need a direct hit on a helicopter to destroy it as the force of a self-detonating rocket can cause a helicopter pilot to crash. In GTA V, it is less accurate, but even more powerful. It's appearance mostly remains the same as the one in GTA IV, but it can be changed at the Ammu-Nation.
The Rocket Launcher can be purchased at the back-alley gun shops for $15,000 and each rocket will cost $5,000. The Rocket Launcher cannot be obtained from Little Jacob in GTA IV. However, the player can obtain a Rocket Launcher from Terry Thorpe in The Lost and Damned or from Armando Torres in The Ballad of Gay Tony for $10,000 for the launcher and $3,500 for each additional rocket. This weapon is available in multiplayer via helicopters, which instantly give players an RPG and full RPG ammo upon entry. The rocket launcher's carrying capacity of 8 rockets and its price means that the weapon should be used sparingly.
Customizations (GTA V)
- Grip (more stability, slightly increases accuracy) - $320
- Rockets (2 rounds) - $100
- Black (default) - Equipped by default
- Army Tint (Desert sand) - $100
- LSPD Tint (Metallic Blue) - $600
- Rockford, Staunton Island - Available to buy from Phil Cassidy's Army Surplus after completion of Arms Shortage. ($25,000)
- Cedar Grove, Shoreside Vale - On the west side of the roof of the large pink house at the west end of The Homes (closest to Cochrane Dam). To get this weapon icon, wedge an Ambulance under the lowest part of the roof on the east side of the house, climb the Ambulance then to the roof, then go west along the south side of the roof to reach it.
- Spawns at every safehouse after collecting all 100 hidden packages.
GTA Vice City
- Phil's Place, Little Haiti - The weapon is available for purchase here after completion of Boomshine Saigon. ($8,000)
- Hooker Inn, Viceport - Located in the swimming pool, directly after the entrance arch.
- Spawns at the Ocean View Hotel, the Hyman Condo, and the Vercetti Estate after collecting 70 hidden packages.
GTA San Andreas
- Downtown, Los Santos - On roof of a building with large radio antenna. You must use a helicopter, a plane or a jetpack to reach it.
- Downtown, San Fierro - On the helipad of the San Fierro Police Headquarters (only during Toreno's Last Flight).
- Tierra Robada - Inside Mike Toreno's ranch upon completion of Vertical Bird.
- Las Venturas Airport, Las Venturas - Beside some freighters north of the garage for the AT-400.
- The Emerald Isle, Las Venturas - Two are located here, one on the 8th floor of the garage, the other on a corner of the roof.
- By activating the Tier 1 Thugs tools cheat which gives an RPG and any other weapons.
- From pedestrians (only available when cheats 'everyone is armed' and/or 'riot' are activated).
GTA Liberty City Stories
- Francis International Airport, Shoreside Vale - Underneath the Shoreside Lift Bridge.
- Bedford Point, Staunton Island - Can be bought from Phil Cassidy's Fully Cocked Gun Shop after completing False Idols. ($9,000)
- Spawns at each safehouse after collecting 90 hidden packages.
GTA Vice City Stories
- Starfish Island - From the western bridge, it is at the front of the second house on the left.
- Ocean Beach - Available at the Ammu-Nation store after completing the mission "Turn On, Tune In, Bug Out" for $9,000 but the price will decrease to $6,750 after completing Phil's Shooting Range.
GTA IV + Episodes from Liberty City
- Northwood, Algonquin - Can be found on a large boulder in the water north of Northwood. This is the easiest RPG pickup in the city.
- Castle Gardens, Algonquin - Can be found in an alcove on the southeastern partition of the construction site seen in the mission Deconstruction for Beginners. The RPG is inside an alcove facing the water, and can only be reached by boat or with careful use of a helicopter.
- Alderney City, Alderney - Can be found on the roof of the Kakagawa Building near AutoEroticar. There is no roof access from the street, so a helicopter is needed.
- Acter Industrial Park, Alderney - On a corner of a platform of the sunken cargo ship situated the the far west of the district.
- Can be purchased at Ammu-nation for $6,500.
- National Office Of Security Enforcement - On top of the building, next to the helipad, where the Buzzard helicopter spawns.
- At the top of the western part of La Puerta Freeway Bridge, next to Los Santos International Airport.
- Chiliad Mountain State Wilderness - Inside Altruist Cult Camp, on the ground in the church porch.
- Alamo Sea - Inside of the sunken Cargo Plane after the mission Minor Turbulence.
- Unlocked at rank 100, then can be purchased for $36.500 at Ammu Nation.
- Spawns at waves 4, 7 and 10 in survival mode.
- The Rocket Launcher and the basic Pistol are the only weapons to appear in every Grand Theft Auto game.
- In all games excluding Grand Theft Auto Advance, it is possible for a launcher's rockets to be hit by gunfire, knocking them off-course. This is a noticeable occurrence when fighting Army soldiers, particularly in Vice City.
- Contrary to their depiction in the series, modern rocket launchers cannot be used to commit suicide by firing them at the ground. This occurs due to most rockets being outfitted with a timer fuse, a safety measure that renders the main warhead unable to explode until a rocket has been airborne for a certain period of time.
- In Grand Theft Auto III, pedestrians using Rocket Launchers through cheat codes are incapable of operating the weapon properly. As they adopt the behavior of a character with a normal firearm, they will run up to a target and fire at their feet, killing themselves and anybody standing nearby, or greatly injure them.
- With the use of the "Infinite Ammo" cheat in San Andreas, the RPG gains a greatly increased rate of fire, comparable to a 9mm pistol. The same occurs with the heat-seeking variant.
- In Vice City, continuously firing the RPG with the "Fast Reload" upgrade and swinging the weapon will sometimes cause a rocket to detonate by making contact with the launch tube, injuring the player. A similar quirk is present on the Hydra's rocket pods.
- The projectiles of the Vice City launcher do not explode when fired into the sky.
- When fired point-blank at the mirrors in a safehouse wardrobe, the rockets of the San Andreas model will clip through them and fly for a considerable distance before impacting an invisible object, causing the same fire effect that occurs in normal gameplay. The flames can be seen through the mirror, although the object that was hit cannot be seen. The object is presumably a building/interior in the Hidden Interiors Universe, as the Wardrobe is an interior.
- When blindfiring from a standing position while facing left, the protagonists of the Liberty City trilogy will release their left hand and fire the RPG using only their right hand. This would be impossible, as RPGs are designed to be fired with the left hand.
- In GTA IV multiplayer, rockets fired at the ground will disappear into the ground for a brief moment before exploding.
- In Grand Theft Auto V, a GTA IV-model Rocket Launcher is hung on the wall of the Paleto Bay Ammu-nation.
- In GTA V, Lester Crest calls his RPG "the noob tube." This is a reference to first person shooters such as Call of Duty and Battlefield where many players criticize the grenade launcher weapon attachment, calling it "the noob tube" because it is widely considered a misused and "cheap" attachment.
- Heat-Seeking Rocket Launcher - GTA San Andreas variant.