Elevators are a feature in the Grand Theft Auto Series used in scripted events to move between building floors. They also serve as a non-interactive part of the scenery.
In all games except GTA III, Vice City and Online, elevators are mission-related and cannot be used out of the missions where they are used. In GTA V, they can still be opened, however standing inside has no effect.
Elevators carry the character to another floor, which avoids the use of a staircase (as in GTA IV). While GTA III and San Andreas do not feature any animation, it does in Vice City, GTA IV and GTA V, showing a detailed interior and opening/closing doors.
Numerous elevators can be seen in the GTA series, however these are props and cannot be interacted with.
3D Universe elevators are unrealistic, and when used, do not open and simply teleport the player to the destination ; however, this does not applies to Vice City.
Elevators are more realistic in the HD Universe, featuring a full and detailed interior. Unlike Vice City, they remain unusable out of missions where they are used.
An elevator appears in one of the housing projects in northern Algonquin in "A Long Way To Fall", where it is usable by Niko to quickly reach his target, Teddy Benavidez. It remains unusable out of mission.
An elevator is used to access Playboy X's Penthouse and there are entry and exit animations until the end of The Holland Play mission. If the player elects to kill Playboy X, Niko will use the elevator as a cover position to take out the bodyguards before giving chase to Playboy X. After taking possession of the penthouse as a Safehouse, the animations no longer play and Niko is teleported from the lobby to the apartment and vice versa. A similar non-interactive elevator is used as the entry point to the Middle Park East Safehouse.
An elevator in Majestic Hotel can be used in mission Late Checkout by Niko to reach his target Issac in the penthouse. Niko can also alternatively use a Window Cleaning Platform, but outside the mission player can use helicopter to land on the penthouse.
In GTA Chinatown Wars, elevators are used only in the mission Hit from the Tong, Huang Lee uses three construction elevators to reach the top of each building to destroy Zhou Ming's Helicopter, they remain unusable for the rest of the game.
Several elevators appear in GTA V, again only usable during missions. The first of these is encountered during "Monkey Business", inside the Humane Labs & Research, used by Steve Haines, Michael De Santa and Dave Norton use it to progress inside. Another one is encountered inside the FIB building if the player has chosen the Fire Crew option for "The Bureau Raid", it is used by Michael to reach the Comms floor, and later by the crew to reach the 47th floor. At the end of the mission, the crew is seen rappelling down a broken elevator shaft, where a elevator cabin can be seen. Another one is used in the Subtle option of The Big Score, where Michael, Trevor and Casey use to carry two carts of gold. A construction site elevator may be used by Franklin Clinton during "Architect's Plans" and "The Construction Assassination".
Out of missions, they cannot be used. If the player glitches into either the Labs or the FIB building and approach the elevator, it will open, and even close if going as deep as possible. They won't be able to be used however. There is actually more than one elevator interior in a single shaft, as the player is able to open the elevator in both the 47th and 49th floors of the FIB tower. The elevator in Mile High Club can be accessed, but remains unusable.
There are also two unused elevators in Fort Zancudo. One is in the control tower and may be opened from both the ground and the top floors. There is also another one in an underground bunker (that cannot be opened without a glitch), a source of a theory that Fort Zancudo possesses an underground area similar to its GTA San Andreas counterpart's. Both cannot be used.
The elevators in GTA Online are still in the same locations as those in GTA V, and likewise they cannot be used in gameplay. However, players inside high-end apartments are able to use an elevator that goes from the garage to the apartment suite. These elevators cannot be used by more than one player at a time.
- The elevator in the FIB building has 59 buttons, despite the building having only 53 floors.
- An elevator appears in the coroner office in Dead Man Walking. After getting past the first doors, it will open revealing an IAA agent inside. If Michael goes inside, he will say that he has to take the stairs. For some reason, it never closes.
- Window Cleaning Platform, an utility with the same basic usage in GTA IV.