Missions act as a modern version of levels in video games, and the equivalent of quests in role-playing games. Missions are required unless the player wants to see mission markers, phone calls, and mission prompts all the time.
Missions are usually given to the protagonist by contacts such as gang leaders, friends, or basically anyone in need of help in exchange for pay, either directly in person or through mediums such as phone calls, or e-mails. However some missions are taken on by the protagonist themselves in response to a changing situation or sudden event.
Missions make up the most part of 100% completion of the game, not least because they introduce and encapsulate many aspects of the game, including controls, vehicles, locations, weapons, food, clothing etc. 100% completion of the game is entirely optional, and only used as a personal statistic. However, most people prefer to complete the story missions so they can advance the storyline and see what happens next.
Story and Side Missions
- Main article: Vehicle Missions
- Main article: Random Characters
In Grand Theft Auto IV, The Lost and Damned, The Ballad of Gay Tony, GTA Chinatown Wars and Grand Theft Auto V, side missions are triggered when the player gets close to a "random" character. These characters are out at certain times of day. Some have more then one side mission, that build up to create a mini story. Others branch off the main story to explain the results of certain events. They wait for the player to walk up to them at the sidewalk so they can "talk business".
When you pass a mission, you will see text that indicates that a mission is passed. This doesn't happen in GTA IV and it's episodes, instead, a sound plays. In GTA V, it is more explained.
Once you complete a mission, you will either recieve a call for the next mission, and/or go to a specific blip (for example, a white "S" in GTA:SA on radar indicates Sweet will give the mission; or a square with a L in GTA III indicates that the missions is located at Luigi's Club OR is given by Luigi.) and walk into a Blue (GTA 3) Purple (GTA Vice City & GTA Vice City Stories) Red (GTA San Andreas) Yellow (GTA Liberty City Stories) marker which will trigger the mission. In GTA IV, the marker is replaced with a yellow arrow.
If the player somehow did something wrong on some objectives, a message containing "Mission Failed!" pop-up message will be shown on the screen and the player is being told that what he had done that leads to failure. In GTA IV, only the wrong objective will be shown. (The “Mission Failed!” and “Mission Passed!” messages are censored in GTA IV and its episodes, but returns in Chinatown Wars)
Once it is failed, the player must return to the location where they receive the same mission. However, in the mobile and IOS versions for GTA III~GTA: Liberty City Stories (except GTA Advance), after the mission failed the player is being told that whether they want to retry the mission without getting to the point by either pressing YES or NO on the retrying screen, and if YES is chosen, the mission will replay normally, making faster completions, but if NO is chosen, the same goes with other versions of the game. Unlike mission passed, the player will not receive or lose money after failure (except some of the failure etc. Bomb Da Base: Act II)
In the HD universe, the player will receive a message on the phone of retrying mission by pressing the green letters or red letters, instead of yes or no. After certain missions fail, the protagonist will call the giver.
The mission will be failed if the player have done these objectives:
- Being 'wasted' (Dies by any means)
- Being 'busted'. (Being arrested by the law)
- Killing a main person in the mission (e.g. Kill Sweet in Tagging Up Turf)
- Destroying a useful vehicle (e.g. Destroy the Greenwood in Tagging Up Turf)
- Abandoning someone (e.g. Abandon Roman in Bleed Out)
- Letting someone escape (e.g. Let Dardan escapes in Bleed Out)
- Failing to complete an objective in time (e.g. Waste the time in The Fuzz Ball)
- Not being the first in races or missions (e.g. Being second in Turismo or Being third in Little Loop)
- Gaining a wanted level in some missions (e.g. Gain a wanted level in 555 We Tip)
- Scaring off someone (e.g. Point a gun at Old Reece in Ryder)
- Being spooked by someone (e.g. Curly Bob discovers the player before reaching Portland Harbor, in Cutting the Grass)
- Using guns or cars after the warning notes (e.g. Use guns and cars in Rumble when fighting with Purple Nines)
- Wasting all the bullets in a mission (e.g. Waste the pistol ammo in Do You Have Protection?)
- Using all of the bandits in some missions (e.g. All of the RC Bandit were exploded and none of them were left before all the Securicars destroyed in Toyminator)
- Losing someone (e.g. Lose Cesar in Test Drive)
- Failing to return in a car in time (e.g. Return to the securicar after the time are wasted in Decoy)
- Letting someone gets killed by another one (e.g. Let Roman gets killed by the Kidnapper in Hostile Negotiation)
- Making some parties or races immediately ends (e.g. Kill the DJ before reaching the beach in Life's a Beach or Kill the racers in No.1)
- In 555 WE TIP, if the player takes the Merit to the Pay'N' Spray to respray it when it is damaged on the way to the valet parking space, the mission will considerably fail.
- In Los Sepulcros, if the player damages the Greenwood many times and it is on fire, Sweet will come out of the car, the mission will considerably fail.
- In Lure, if the player exits the car while driving to Angel Pine Sawmills, the mission is failed.
- In Grand Theft Aero, if the player destroys the Dodo containing the real package or the another Panlantic parked near the storage where the Dodo is in it before killing all the Colombians at the airport, the mission will be failed.
- In Bait, if the player fails to lead one of the Cartel Cruisers containing Colombian members to the place where Asuka Kasen arranged, the mission will fail.
- In Highjack and Puncture Wounds, if the player lets the driver drives the car to the garage, the missions will fail.
- In Customs Fast Track, if the player drops any of the containers from great heights and the car gets destroyed, Cesar will flee, the mission will fail, even the player knows the container which is dropped doesn't contain the Jester inside (If a silver Club or a Perennial is inside, the mission will still fail)
- If the player runs in the street after gets the Robbery Outfit, the mission The Job will be failed, and the player will be given a four-star wanted level afterwards.
- If the player lets the VC Cabs driver takes the VIP to Escobar International in V.I.P., the mission will fail.
- If the player kills too much Frighteners in the mission Frighteners, the mission will fail.