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Gang Warfare in GTA San Andreas

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Gang warfare is a feature in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It is available upon completion of Sweet's mission Doberman. Taking over enemy gang territory earns you more Respect and Money.

After The Green Sabre, CJ temporarily loses the ability to control territory; this feature returns upon completing the mission Home Coming.

The gang territories in San Andreas are denoted by colored areas on the map. This is a list of gangs whose territories you can take over, with their corresponding colors:

Gang Color
Ballas Purple
Grove Street Families Green
Los Santos Vagos Yellow
Varrios Los Aztecas Turquoise
San Fierro Rifa Blue
San Fierro Triads Red
Da Nang Boys Grey
Russian Mafia White
Italian Mafia Black

Note: in normal play, only territories involving Grove Street Families, Ballas, Varrios Los Aztecas, and Los Santos Vagos appear and can be taken over. The other territories only become available if the player exploits a glitch (see below).

Taking Over Enemy Territory

Wave 1 Wave 2 Wave 3 The Hood Is Yours
Territory Territory3 Territory3 Territory4

To take over an enemy gang's territory, enter the territory on foot and start attacking gang members (note: the initial kills must be done on foot). Once you've killed three gang members, you will be notified that a gang war has begun. Health and armor pickups spawn in the streets, and the first wave of gang members will move in on you.

Generally, an area with a darker shade of a gang color means a greater presence of that gang in that area. This means that an area that's shaded light purple, for example, would have few Balla members roaming around, which would make it hard to trigger a gang war in that area. To overcome this, walk over to the one or two Balla members, then get them to chase you until you find some more Balla members. This will get you the three gang members required to trigger the war.

Another useful method is to tackle less concentrated areas first, leaving highly concentrated areas to be taken over last. This is because a gang war can also be triggered by shooting enemy gang members from afar. As long as you are standing in the area with little enemy gang presence, you can bring that area to war by killing gang members from the neighboring areas. This sometimes cause a minor bug where, for example, killing Vagos members leads to a gang war with the Ballas.

There are a total of three waves of enemies you must defeat. In the first wave, enemy gangs are likely equipped with poor weapons such as Baseball Bat, Pistols and TEC-9, which can easily finish them. The second wave is slightly difficult than the first wave as some enemy gangs will equip SMG. On a rare case, they're equiped with poor weapons like in the first wave, sometimes they're equiped with powerful weapons such as AK-47 that would kill CJ. The third and last wave is the most difficult wave as they're equiped with AK-47, and can easily kill CJ if his health is critically low. They may attack unexpectedly or in large numbers, so make sure you have a plentiful supply of health and armor before starting the war. If possible, shoot from long distances or from rooftops. Enemy gang members will almost never walk on the roads unless it is absolutely necessary to reach the pavement you're on; you can use this restriction to your advantage. Killing all three waves of the enemy will win you the gang war and cause the territory to fall under Grove Street Families control, with Grove Street members beginning to wander the area. (In larger or more concentrated areas, sometimes the last few enemy gang members run away, and the gang war is won.)

An alternate strategy is to use a vehicle to run over enemy/do drive bys. Although vehicles will disappear from the roads during a gang war, any vehicle you bring into the area will remain accessible, up to and including a tank, arguably the vehicle that makes taking over and defending territory the simplest.

Taking over all of the other gangs' turf in Los Santos will mean that the Grove Street Families have completely taken over Los Santos; the player's territories will no longer be attacked.

Taking over 100% of territories is not a requirement for 100% completion of the game or its storyline, but does remove the random factor of territories coming under attack (which may occur while the player is engaged in another activity). After completing the game, gang warfare conditions continue when the game enters sandbox mode, meaning Carl can continue to take over and defend territories.

Tips and Tricks

  • Be cautious when scouting for enemy gang members along the borders between Grove Street and enemy territory, as it's common for Grove Street members to enter the periphery of other territories and be potential targets for friendly fire. Killing one of your own gang members results in a respect penalty.
  • Taking over a 'hood does not require killing all combatants. Some may run away, or CJ may kill enough to take over the territory. Watch out for "leftover" gang members who might still attack Carl. He'll also frequently encounter gang members at the start of the battle who do not appear as blips on the radar, but who might have been nearby when he made his initial attack to trigger the war.
  • Some of the larger territories, when attacked, may spawn a gang car that will attempt to perform drive-bys on Carl.
  • Weapons, cash, and the health and armor pick-ups usually remain on the street for some time after the gang war ends.
  • It is strongly advised that Carl begin dating Katie Zhan before attempting the gang warfare in the later part of the game, as dating Katie will allow Carl to be killed and revived at hospital without losing his weapon inventory.
  • Also, getting busted is less likely, but to avoid a similar issue Carl should also start dating Barbara Schternvart before entering into serious gang warfare.
  • If Carl is killed or busted during a takeover attempt, the color of the disputed territory will turn gray and Grove Street members might begin appearing within it, but Carl will still need to successfully survive the three waves for it to become fully Grove Street property.
  • The smaller the rest the territory of the another gang, the weaker the gang members that come in gang war waves.
  • Some territories are extremely small, often little more than a sliver of land, and as such may not clearly show up on the map. If an area you think is clear is still being attacked, this means there must still be a tiny enemy gang territory on the periphery. If in doubt, attack any non-Grove Street gang members you see hanging about along the edges of a Grove Street territory, even if enemy colors aren't visible on the map.
  • You may also want to do a trick in Mike Toreno's Ranch. Get a Minigun then save. Repeat the process and you will have enough ammo for getting into a Gang Warfare.
  • Good cover is essential, especially places where you can crouch and shoot enemy gang members from. Standing in the open will get your health and armor drained very quickly in gang wars.
  • You can leave the car on the sidewalk so that if they're close to the car, you can shoot it and blast them.
Available Territories
East Beach
East Los Santos
El Corona
Glen Park
Las Colinas
Little Mexico
Los Flores
Playa Del Seville
Santa Maria Beach
Unity Station
Verona Beach

Defending Grove Street Territory

When a Grove Street Families territory is attacked by an enemy gang, the area flashes red on the map, and a flag appears on your radar. You'll also receive a pop-up warning of the attack.

If you do not defend the territory, after a period of time you will lose it to the attacking gang, and you will lose respect. Once at the site of the attack, there will be one or more enemy gang vehicles blocking the road and a single (though sometimes large) wave of enemy gang members that need to be killed. Beware that some enemy gangs are equiped with Shotgun that would likely end you up in hospital. Health and armor pick-ups will spawn in the area, just as they would during a takeover attempt.

There are two ways to avoid defending territory:

  1. Save at a safehouse.
  2. Commence a side mission, such as Paramedic. Both cancel out the attack with no penalty.

Attacks will typically not occur when Carl is outside of Los Santos.

If Carl is killed while defending a territory, that territory will remain in Grove Street hands when he comes out of the hospital. This may be due to a glitch.

Recruiting Gang Members

You can recruit gang members. Once they are recruited, you have the option of either calling them to you, having them stay put, or allowing them to scatter.

Respect # of Members
1% 2 members
10% 3 members
20% 4 members
40% 5 members
60% 6 members
80% 7 members

If gang members are following you, they will attack any person that attacks you. They will also attack anyone you attack. If you attack an enemy gang member, your gang member will attack any member of that gang. When you are driving in a car and there are enemy gang members walking down the street your members will attack them automatically if they have a weapon. If the police are chasing you, they will shoot at the police.

Occasionally, however, gang members might "go rogue", hijacking vehicles or chasing off after someone. As the BradyGames official strategy guide recommends, do not rely on them for protection, but more as distraction for the enemy.

Glitch: Unlocking More Territory

If you take a plane and fly east or west for 15 or more minutes ,then crash the plane in the water and let CJ drown, there will be more Gang Territory unlocked all over San Andreas after you re-spawn at a hospital.

This method will give Grove Street, Ballas, and Los Santos Vagos territory across the entire map. These territories won't come under attack. It is hard to take them from the rival gangs, since they will rarely spawn gang members in them.

You can repeat this method to unlock more territory. As noted above, make sure you're dating Katie Zhan before attempting this glitch so that you don't incur weapon or money penalties.

Glitch: Can't trigger turf war

The PS2 has a glitch that may be triggered after the conclusion of the main storyline. Several territories in the El Corona area north of the Los Santos Airport will be shown to be in enemy hands (even if these territories were taken over by Grove Street earlier). Although enemy gangs will be encountered, it's not possible to trigger a gang war and take over these areas, preventing 100% takeover of gang areas by Grove Street. If possible, these territories should be taken over before doing the final storyline mission.

See also

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