GTA IV, EFLC and Chinatown Wars
Their presence is indicated by a small blue person icon on the radar, but only when within close proximity to the player (Usually around 1 block). They provide Niko, Johnny, Luis and Huang with small missions. They generally are in some problem and will ask the Protagonist's help.
After completing all the random encounters in GTA IV, the achievement/trophy "No More Strangers" will be unlocked. Most of the random character missions are required for 100% completion. Though some are not required (like Cherise Glover's random encounter).
In Grand Theft Auto V random characters are known as Strangers and Freaks. They take elements from the Strangers featured in Red Dead Redemption, which means that even after starting one of this side missions, the player is still free to roam around the map and complete other missions.
There are a total of 58 Strangers and Freaks missions, only any 20 of them are required for 100% Completion.
Random characters in GTA IV
Random characters in The Lost and Damned
Random characters in The Ballad of Gay Tony
Random characters in GTA Chinatown Wars
Strangers and Freaks in GTA V
- pwnsu Random Characters map - GTA IV.
- GTA 4 Liberty City Map (select NPCs > Person (contact) in the right menu).
- Random Characters map on GameFAQs - GTA Chinatown Wars'.
There's a few more types of distinguished random people:
- Soapboxers - People who talk about themselves, or something.
- Buskers - Performers.
- Random Events - Unnamed people in GTA V who are usually in some kind of trouble, like getting robbed/mugged/hijacked. The player can return their vehicle/wallet/purse after killing the thief.