Cranes are heavy machinery used for heavy lifting or construction work that appear in some Grand Theft Auto games.
In Grand Theft Auto 1 and its two expansion packs in GTA London, cranes were positioned at the docks in the games. Cranes were used to transport vehicles onto a ship where the player was given varying amounts of money depending on the condition of the vehicle. They are meant to be a source of income other than the missions. They are also used in the missions of the game. The crane works by driving a vehicle under a designated area and exiting when the crane starts moving and giving money when the vehicle is on the ship.
In Grand Theft Auto 2, cranes are used similarly to the way they are in GTA 1. A vehicle is driven under the crane and lifted into a certain area where money is awarded to the player. Instead of putting vehicles on a ship for export, the crane in GTA 2 drops vehicles into a car crusher. The awards given to the player are also more rewarding than in GTA 1 since certain vehicles offer some other rewards such as weaponry.
GTA III and GTA Liberty City Stories
In Grand Theft Auto III & Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, the crane is operated by an NPC at the Crusher. Players need to park a vehicle in an area marked by old car tires. The NPC crane operator will then automatically pick up the car, and put it into the crusher. The crusher would then close, as soon as the crane puts the vehicle inside of the crusher. There is another crane nearby the Import Export Garage, where a NPC picks up vehicles that you have to deliver, these are the emergency vehicles.
GTA San Andreas
In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the player is able to operate various large construction cranes around San Andreas outside of missions. The player can adjust the height and position of the object that the crane is holding (either a wrecking ball or a large magnet) and use it to smash/pickup objects. Cranes in GTA San Andreas are manufactured by DUDE or Final Build Construction. The magnet is able to pick up any vehicle in the game, with the exception of aircraft and boats.
Known crane locations:
- Doherty, San Fierro : Wrecking ball crane, in the construction site behind CJ's garage. Is easy to control, with just turning and elevation.
- Easter Basin, San Fierro : Magnet crane, can be used to lift cars onto the ship for Exports and Imports, usable only after Customs Fast Track. A bit tricky, as the crane will start moving on the rails using the stick on the rail's orientation, plus the magnet's lenght to pickup objects.
- Hunter Quarry, Bone County : Magnet crane found in the eastern part of the quarry. Not very hard if stay focus on the magnet, due to the length.
- The Clown's Pocket, Las Venturas : Magnet crane, in a construction site near the Clown's Pocket casino. Same as the first one.
- Although technically not a crane, the Leviathan has the ability to lift vehicles using a magnet. This feature only appears in Up, Up and Away! however.
GTA Vice City and GTA Vice City Stories
GTA Chinatown Wars
In Grand Theft Auto V, a rail crane can be operated during the mission Scouting the Port, where the player must move containers in the port. This crane cannot be entered nor controlled outside of this mission. This crane is manufactured by HVY. When used, its controls are not easy to use, more complex than the SA Easter Basin Crane.
Another sky crane appears, the Cargobob. It features a mounted winch that can lift vehicles and even other props. Unlike GTA San Andreas, this feature remains available in normal gameplay.
- In the Easter Basin docks, if the player drives an export/import vehicle onto the red marker with the crane magnet still attached, it will cause a funny glitch. CJ will get out of vehicle as usual, when it's ready for exporting. But having the magnet on the car will cause the car to be hanging in the air, while CJ jumps and shouts as he gets out of the car. Even better, he will not be injured after his jump. (The car will still be successfully exported even after this glitch.)
- There is also another glitch in the crane found in Las Venturas. If the player picks one of the boxes in the construction site, rise it and move it, it will be at some point stuck in the air, and the player won't be able to move the box anymore. If you release the box, it will not fall and will stand indefinitely in the air.
GTA San Andreas
- The cranes are one of the best methods in San Andreas to obtain the Police Maverick and the News Chopper. If you attain a 3/4 stars wanted level and go on top of a crane using a Jetpack, there is a chance that pursuing helicopters will fly very close to you; you can then hijack one and fly away.
- Los Santos is the only city in San Andreas not to include any crane. A crane can be found in a construction site next to the All Saints General Hospital (excluding PS2 version), though it has no equipment and therefore is uncontrollable. There are also cranes found in Ocean Docks which are unobtainable.
- Uncontrollable crawler cranes manufactured by NAG can be found in the Angel Pine Junkyard in Whetstone.