- "Tattoos are popular with gang members who like showing that they can write on themselves. It is an important part of the initiation process, I've heard."
- — GTA San Andreas Website.
In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, tattoo parlors are facilities where the player can include tattoos on their player character, Carl Johnson. Much like haircuts, tattoos increase player respect from fellow Grove Street Families members as well as sex appeal from girlfriends. Tattoo parlors are also set to appear in GTA V.
There are a total of four tattoo parlors in San Andreas. Of the four parlors in the game, only one has a specific name, while the other three assume a less descriptive storefront with only a "Tattoo(s)" signage.
The tattoo parlors include:
- An unnamed "Tattoos" parlor in Idlewood, Los Santos, close to Reece's Hair & Facial Studio and across the road from a Well Stacked Pizza outlet;
- An unnamed "Tattoos" parlor in El Corona, Los Santos;
- Hemlock Tattoo in Hashbury, San Fierro, next door to a Sub Urban outlet; and
- An unnamed "Tattoo" parlor in Redsands East, Las Venturas, at a corner store next door to a Gay Gordo's Bouffant Boutique.
In the original PlayStation 2 version of GTA San Andreas, Hemlock Tattoo is inaccessible to the player, resulting in the player having no access to the parlor's unique selection of tattoos. This problem is rectified in succeeding versions of the game.
Players can only apply tattoos to their player character's upper body, but have the option of picking any one of its multiple parts, including the upper and lower parts of their arms, the upper and lower parts of their backs, the left and right chest, and the stomach. Players can also remove existing tattoos at the tattoo parlors. Individually, a tattoo can only increase the player's respect or sex appeal by a maximum of 3%, thus requiring the player purchase multiple tattoos in order to witness any significant changes.
The range of available tattoos depends on the city the player in. The Idlewood and El Corona parlors offer the same selections of tattoos, while Hemlock Tattoo and the Redsands East parlor offer different sets of tattoos each. Prices for tattoos range from a low of $25 to a high of $720, while removal of each tattoo costs $400. Unusually, some of Redsands East parlor's tattoos are not priced at a figure that is divisible to 5, unlike the other three parlors, leading to the notion that the parlor is actually overpricing; comparisons at GTA-SanAndreas.com imply its pricing is 20% higher than in the rest of the state. As mentioned, the Hemlock Tattoo tattoos are unavailable in the PlayStation 2 version of GTA San Andreas.
The following is a complete range of tattoos available to the player by tattoo parlors:
|Body part||Idlewood and El Corona parlors||Hemlock Tattoo||Redsands East parlor|
|Name||Respect % +||Sex appeal % +||Price||Name||Respect % +||Sex appeal % +||Price||Name||Respect % +||Sex appeal % +||Price|
|Upper left arm||Grave||1||2||$45||Weed||1||2||$50||Spider||2||2||$72|
|Lower left arm||Gun||2||2||$50||Rose||2||2||$80||Cross||1||2||$84|
|Upper right arm||Africa||2||2||$90||Aztec||2||2||$40||Web||1||2||$60|
|Lower right arm||Cross||2||2||$70||Cross||1||2||$25||Mary||2||2||$120|
|Back (upper)||Grove St.||3||3||$150||San Andreas||3||3||$250||Card||3||3||$240|
|Right chest||Los Santos||2||2||$80||Weed||2||2||$40||O.G.||2||2||$108|
|Lower back||Angel||3||3||$450||Mayan Bird||3||3||$550||Mask||3||3||$720|
In Chinatown Wars
Tattoo parlors also appear in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. Unlike in San Andreas, however, the player cannot personally receive tattoos. Instead, they work for the parlors, applying tattoos to others with the Nintendo DS touchscreen. A rating is given after each tattoo, depending on how closely the player matches the given pattern. The player may continue to give tattoos until the allotted time has expired, or they perform too poorly on the tattoos.
- A building, a woman with an arcade game or a man with a door can be seen at the right mirror in most interiors of tattoo parlors.
- Tattoos will make re-appearance in GTA V as confirmed by GameInformer when they saw the latest demo.
- Tattoo's Guide at GTA-SanAndreas.com, including images of tattoos.