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Drug Wars

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Drug Wars is a side mission in The Ballad of Gay Tony. In these side missions, Luis Lopez helps his friends Armando Torres and Henrique Bardas in build up their drug empire, by stealing it from other drug gangs in a variety of ways. There are 50 drug wars, similar to TLAD's Gang Warfare, introduced to Luis by Armando after completing the mission Corner Kids. Their starting locations are marked on the map by pill icons. They become progressively more difficult, but the money earned increases as well. Every 10 Drug Wars completed gives the player a weapon in Luis Lopez' Northwood Apartment. Completing 25 Drug Wars will raise the player's completion percentage and also unlock the "Snow Queen" achievement/trophy. The Drug Wars are infinite even after completing 50 of them the players can still play the missions; this was likely made by Rockstar to provide players with playable activity after the primary story missions and other side-missions, required for completion percentage, as well as the ability to earn in-game cash for weapons and the like.

Drug War enemies

There are 5 different gangs Luis and the others will attempt to rob. Each of these gangs drive their vehicles with unique paintjobs usually reminiscent of the gang's colors.


Completing Drug Wars will reward Luis with weapons which will spawn at his safehouse.

  • 10 Wars completed: A Pistol .44 spawns on the coffee table of Luis' safehouse. The weapon spawns after completing the mission “Boulevard Baby” and the necessary Drug Wars.
  • 20 Wars completed: An Advanced Machine Gun (M249) spawns in the kitchen of Luis' safehouse. The weapon spawns after completing the mission “Going Deep ” and the necessary Drug Wars.
  • 25 Wars completed: The 'Snow Queen' achievement/trophy, worth 20G for the Xbox 360 and a bronze trophy for the PS3, is unlocked.
  • 30 Wars completed: An Automatic Shotgun (AA-12), loaded with green explosive shells, spawns in the kitchen of Luis' safehouse. The weapon spawns after completing the mission “High Dive” and the necessary Drug Wars.
  • 40 Wars completed: Sticky Bombs spawn on the coffee table of Luis' safehouse. The weapon spawns after completing the mission “Bang Bang ” and the necessary Drug Wars.
  • All 50 Wars completed: A Gold SMG spawns on the dining table of Luis' safehouse. The weapon spawns after completing the mission “Departure Time ” and the necessary Drug Wars.

Drug War variations

  • Hijack: These missions require the player to steal a stationary drug loaded vehicle, often located within a drug gang's compound. These are the only time a police sting can be encountered. These often require the player to eliminate the drug gang in order to safely steal the vehicle. These vehicles vary from sports cars, boats, and helicopters.
  • Convoy: These missions require the player to steal a moving drug vehicle, usually protected by trailing vehicles as part of a convoy. Once the attack on the vehicle begins the drug vehicle will attempt to speed away and it's escorts will attack Luis and his friends. The player must take care not to destroy the vehicle, otherwise the drugs are destroyed with it, failing the mission. However, as long as the enemies are driving the drug vehicle, it is invulnerable and can't be set on fire; only the passengers can be shot down. Convoys consist of cars and boats.
  • Stickup: These missions require the player to crash a drug deal between two gangs. The player must obtain a gang's drugs, and optionally the other gang's money with the drugs in a duffel bag carried by one of the gang, in their compound. The player must eliminate the gang one by one until the drugs are dropped, and continue to kill enemies until the one carrying the money meant of the deal drops it, which Armando or Henrique will comment on. On harder missions the dealers will attempt to escape, and if they do, the mission is failed. Occasionally, the two gangs can be made to fight each other when the initial attack is done while out of sight, such as with a sniper from a distance. One gang member will drop body armor as a pickup when killed.
  • Stash: These missions require the player to steal a gang's drug stash, which is located within their perimeter.

All types will involve the gang chasing the player whilst driving to the drop off point. If the player moves too far from the drugs, or the dealers holding the drugs escape, the mission is failed.

Also, on rare occasions, the drugs can sometimes seem to have nobody guarding them. However, this turns out to be a police sting, and the player must evade a 2-5 star wanted level.

Tips and Tricks

  • Once you have the drugs, immediately leave the scene and return the product. There is no bonus for killing the remaining gang members, and continuing to fight may attract unwanted police attention.
  • If things get too heated after you have the drugs, you can leave without Armando and Henrique. After you get far enough away, they will spawn in a car behind you and follow. They'll even fire at pursuing enemies.
  • The black Cavalcade that spawns in the beginning of each individual mission is armoured; it can withstand an insane amount of gunfire, which is useful for dealing with enemies that are chasing and firing at you as you try to return the drug load. You may also use the Cavalcade as heavy cover during the fight, keep it for your own use after the Drug War or use it again in another Drug War.
  • In later missions, enemies will begin to throw Molotov Cocktails. Watch out for these people, as they can hit you and the guys with unerring accuracy, but can be used to your advantage as they also tend to hit their own men as well and even commit suicide.
  • A very easy way to finish drug wars is to use any vehicle that has lots of health and built-in weapons, for example, the APC is very durable as it takes a lot of continuous shooting to destroy or the Buzzard with miniguns and missiles, but it is only effective in the stash or the stickup because you have to highjack vehicles on the other missions.
  • Whenever there are multiple pursuing cars after you, use sticky bombs to kill them off quicker.
  • An alternate strategy for disposing of the pursuing cars is to exit your getaway car and fire a few explosive shells from your shotgun, this allows for more accuracy and may save ammunition.
  • When you first pull up to the drug location, try to get the jump on them by using the gang's cars against them, one rocket, or a well thrown grenade/sticky bomb can take out 2-10 gang members in one shot, making easier for you to grab the drugs and escape (Note: this method can only be used in "The Stash" or "The Stickup" Drug Wars as it dosen't matter if you destroy gang vehicles).
  • At number 35 and higher, Drug War gang members are very tough and can take a large amount of bodily hits before being killed, so it is best to aim for the head, as one shot will kill them.
  • If the hijack mission requires you to steal a helicopter, pursuing enemies will chase you in helicopters. For an easier escape, land and destroy the enemy helicopter with an explosive weapon.
  • When you get close to the gang take them out from far away with the Advanced Sniper and pick them off one by one and don't worry if they get to close to you because Armando and Henrique will kill them.
  • During the "Stickup", the two gangs will sometimes attack each other. This can be used to your advantage, as they will be busy fighting themselves, greatly reducing the amount of firepower that is targeting you and can allow you to pick up a dropped stash without being targeted.

Unique Paint jobs

Most of the cars seen during the Drug Wars have exclusive paint jobs:

  • Blue with pink undertone
  • Black with green stripes
  • Black with green and yellow/Jamaican
  • White with grey stripes
  • Maroon

Those paint jobs are used on: Buffalo, Super GT, Bullet GT, Dinghy, Huntley Sport, Sultan RS, Presidente, Blista CompactTampa, Comet, Super Diamond and Banshee.


  • Most of the cars seen during the Drug Wars have exclusive colors. This includes cars which have blue topsides and deep maroon undersides or Jamacian colors on cars that normally don't support them.
  • Armando and Henrique's weapons increase quality incrementally with each drug war. Eventually, they will be armed with Carbine Rifles and SMGs. After 50 Drug Wars, they are armed with Advanced MG's and Gold SMG's.
  • When the drug vehicle only has two seats, either Armando or Henrique (usually Henrique) will get in the nearest vehicle and follow you back to the drop off point.
  • Similarly, if you travel too far away from Armando and/or Henrique they will warp behind you in a vehicle (usually one that was parked near the drug war location).
  • Armando and Henrique do not need to survive in order for the mission to succeed, only Luis needs to stay alive. After the mission is complete, everything will be as if they never died in the first place (If only one dies, the other will state that the "dead" one was injured badly enough that they'll need to go to the hospital). And if both die, Luis will comment about them leaving him alone.
  • Henrique and Armando each have colossal amounts of health during any Drug War, equivalent to Niko Bellic or Patrick McReary's in the mission Ladies Half Price.
  • The drugs may be marijuana, because if you die by falling from a building and hit the ground, the bag holding the drugs will burst, scattering leaves onto the ground.
  • One odd thing that happens during Drug Wars is, after you have gotten away from the chasing gang members/police, when you drive around you'll notice that parked cars still spawn but, there are almost no cars driving on the road, it will stay like this until you deliver the drugs/drug vehicle.
  • The player can only get a maximum of a two star wanted level, no matter what they do, wanted levels are really hard to get as well, as doing most things to attract police attention (carjacking, killing, etc) will not work.
  • In very rare occasions, when in a Super Drop Diamond, Henrique will follow Luis and Armando driving another Super Drop Diamond.
  • After doing 30 Drug Wars and unlocking the AA-12, the message, that pops up to tell you that you unlocked it, will say Shotgun-EX.
  • Strangely enough, during the Castle Garden "stash" drug war, there will be a Maverick leaving the top of the building. If you destroy it, you will fail the drug war and the pop-up message will state "You lost the shipment", although the Maverick has already dropped the shipment on the building already.
  • Alot of the dialogue said by Luis, Henrique and Armando during the missions is frequently repeated with annoying results.

See also

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