- "Supposedly illegal. Banned for civilian use. Have been appearing on the streets of Vice City for the past couples of years, Present extreme danger for public order. I thought we sold all of these things to corrupt dictators and people fighting the Russians?"
- — GTA Vice City Website.
The Rocket Launcher is an extremely powerful weapon, it can destroy almost anything capable of being damaged. The chief advantage of this weapon is its destructive power and area effect (with its blast being capable of inflicting heavy damage several meters away from the point of impact). Although its rockets self-destruct after traveling a certain distance, its range remains impressive. The weapon's disadvantages are its slow aiming, and its potential to seriously injure or kill the operator if a rocket detonates at close range. Its weight is also an issue — the protagonist will be slowed to a walking pace while the rocket launcher is equipped in all games.
GTA III — GTA Vice City Stories
In GTA III and GTA Vice City Stories, the rocket launcher resembles a US Army M72 LAW rocket launcher, with some aesthetic differences (the weapon is held by a handle on the bottom and fired through a scope, unlike the real life M72 LAW).
In the rest of the 3D Era (GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas & GTA Liberty City Stories) the rocket launcher resembles a Russian RPG-7 portable anti-tank rocket launcher. It is a useful weapon for starting gang wars in GTA San Andreas, as its splash damage can be used to kill a group of enemy gangsters in one shot. The rocket launcher is an incredibly powerful weapon and an errant shot at nearby objects could kill you.
GTA IV — GTA Chinatown Wars
In the HD Era , the rocket launcher again resembles the Russian RPG-7 portable anti-tank grenade launcher; however, it is not fitted with the PGO-7 optical sight usually seen on the launchers. Its front cross-hair is more like a standard gun sight. Unlike the GTA III Era, the player aims the rocket launcher from the over-the-shoulder perspective, allowing the player to move while aiming. Also, the rocket can be fired while in cover. Because of GTA IV's emphasis on realism, a rocket can be deflected if the tip of the rocket does not hit a solid object. This is the most powerful weapon in the game, able to take on cars, trucks, enemy players, motorcycles, and even the fearsome Annihilator gunship. Unlike other GTA games, the player does not explicitly need a direct hit on a helicopter to destroy it as the force of a self-detonating rocket can force a helicopter pilot to crash.
The Rocket Launcher can be purchased at the back-alley gun shops for $15,000 and each rocket will cost $5,000. The Rocket Launcher cannot be obtained from Little Jacob in GTA IV. However, the player can obtain a Rocket Launcher from Terry Thorpe in The Lost and Damned or from Armando Torres in The Ballad of Gay Tony for $10,000 for the launcher and $3,500 for each additional rocket. This weapon is available in multiplayer via helicopters, which instantly give players an RPG and full RPG ammo upon entry. The rocket launcher's carrying capacity of 8 rockets and its price means that the weapon should be used sparingly.
- Rockford, Staunton Island - Available to buy from Phil Cassidy's Army Surplus after completion of Arms Shortage. ($25,000)
- Cedar Grove, Shoreside Vale - On the west side of the roof of the large pink house at the west end of The Homes (closest to Cochrane Dam). To get this weapon icon, wedge an Ambulance under the lowest part of the roof on the east side of the house, climb the Ambulance then to the roof, then go west along the south side of the roof to reach it.
- Spawns at every safehouse after collecting all 100 hidden packages.
GTA Vice City
- Phil's Place, Little Haiti - The weapon is available for purchase here after completion of Boomshine Saigon. ($8,000)
- Hooker Inn, Viceport - Located in the swimming pool, directly after the entrance arch.
- Spawns at the Ocean View Hotel, the Hyman Condo, and the Vercetti Estate after collecting 70 hidden packages.
GTA San Andreas
- Downtown, Los Santos - On roof of a building with large radio antenna. You must use a helicopter, a plane or a jetpack to reach it.
- Downtown, San Fierro - On the helipad of the San Fierro Police Headquarters (only during Toreno's Last Flight).
- Tierra Robada - Inside Mike Toreno's ranch upon completion of Vertical Bird.
- Las Venturas Airport, Las Venturas - Beside some freighters north of the garage for the AT-400.
- The Emerald Isle, Las Venturas - Two are located here, one on the 9th floor of the garage, the other on a corner of the roof.
- By activating the Tier 1 Thugs tools cheat which gives an RPG and any other weapons.
- From pedestrians (only available when cheats 'everyone is armed' and/or 'riot' are activated).
GTA Liberty City Stories
- Francis International Airport, Shoreside Vale - Underneath the Shoreside Lift Bridge.
- Bedford Point, Staunton Island - Can be bought from Phil Cassidy's Fully Cocked Gun Shop after completing False Idols. ($9,000)
- Spawns at each safehouse after collecting 90 hidden packages.
GTA Vice City Stories
- Starfish Island - From the western bridge, it is at the front of the second house on the left.
- Ocean Beach - Available at the Ammu-Nation store after completing the mission "Turn On, Tune In, Bug Out" for $9,000 but the price will decrease to $6,750 after completing Phil's Shooting Range.
GTA IV + Episodes from Liberty City
- Northwood, Algonquin - Can be found on a large boulder in the water north of Northwood. This is the easiest RPG pickup in the city.
- Castle Gardens, Algonquin - Can be found in an alcove on the southeastern partition of the construction site seen in the mission Deconstruction for Beginners. The RPG is inside an alcove facing the water, and can only be reached by boat or with careful use of a helicopter.
- Alderney City, Alderney - Can be found on the roof of the Kakagawa Building near AutoEroticar. There is no roof access from the street, so a helicopter is needed.
- Acter Industrial Park, Alderney - On a corner of a platform of the sunken cargo ship situated the the far west of the district.
Grand Theft Auto V
- Can be purchased at Ammu-nation, however it is unknown how much it would cost as of yet.
- The Rocket Launcher and basic Pistol are the only GTA weapons to appear in every GTA game.
- In Grand Theft Auto III, pedestrians given Rocket Launchers via cheat codes are incapable of utilizing the firing mechanism properly; They always run up to their target before firing the weapon, and they always aim downwards at their own feet. As a result, they will kill themselves along with (presumably) whoever they are targeting.
- In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, when fired with the infinite ammo cheat turned on, the Rocket Launcher will fire much quicker than it normally does, with a speed comparable to the MP5. Same goes with the Heat Seeking variant.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, when targeted at the sky and fired, the projectile doesn't explode.
- In GTA: San Andreas the RPG missile can be shot down by gunfire causing the missile to lose control and randomly fly away. This can also be done in GTA IV.
- Although being based on an RPG (in some games), it takes well over 100 shots to destroy a Rhino tank. This is strange as it is based off an Anti-Tank weapon.
- When blind-fired from a standing cover while facing left Niko/Johnny/Luis will release their left hand and the fire the RPG using only their right hand. This should be impossible since the RPG's trigger is pressed using your left hand.
- In GTA IV multiplayer, when firing the rocket towards the ground, it will go somewhat into the ground for a few milliseconds before exploding. As of on single player the missile would usually slide across the ground when firing towards it at a certain angle.
- In San Andreas, if the player has a Rocket Launcher and enters the wardrobe of any of the safehouses, rockets can be safely fired at point-blank towards the mirror. This does not work on the walls. Apparently, the mirror is semi-solid, letting the projectile go through it and hit something around 50 meters behind it, as seen in the explosion and the flames that appear afterwards. The flames can be seen through the mirror, although the object that was hit cannot be seen. The object is presumably a building/interior in the Hidden Interiors Universe, as the Wardrobe is an interior.
- Heat-Seeking Rocket Launcher - GTA San Andreas variant.