- "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 V
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 cause a helicopter pilot to crash. In GTA V, it is less accurate, but even more powerful. It's appearance mostly remains the same as the one in GTA IV, but it can be changed at the Ammu-Nation.
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.
Customizations (GTA V)
- Grip (more stability, slightly increases accuracy) - $320
- Rockets (2 rounds) - $100
- Black (default) - Equipped by default
- Army Tint (Desert sand) - $100
- LSPD Tint (Metallic Blue) - $600
- 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.
- Can be purchased at Ammu-nation for $6,500.
- National Office Of Security Enforcement - On top of the building, next to the helipad, where the Buzzard helicopter spawns.
- At the top of the western part of La Puerta Freeway Bridge, next to Los Santos International Airport.
- Chiliad Mountain State Wilderness - Inside Altruist Cult Camp, on the ground in the church porch.
- Alamo Sea - Inside of a sunken Cargo Plane after the mission Minor Turbulence.
- Unlocked at rank 100, then can be purchased for $36.500 at Ammu Nation.
- Spawns at waves 4, 7 and 10 in survival mode.
- The Grand Theft Auto IV era launcher can be found in the Paleto Bay Ammu-nation hung on the wall.
- 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 then 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.
- You can use the RPG to rob a store, but better use standard weapons, because the NPC on the store may pull a weapon, and if you fire a rocket, both the player and the NPC will die because there is small space and you might need to leave quickly if you are near-death.
- Unlike every GTA, it's impossible to commit suicide by firing a rocket too close to the ground, unless the rocket ricochets back and hit the user. This is because even old rockets like the RPG and the LAW, have what is known as the timer fuse. This fuse will not engage the primary fuse until a certain amount of time has passed after firing for the specific reason so the rocket will not detonate too early and harm the shooter for any reasons, such as striking the ground or and other obstacles.
- In GTA III, the RPG is the only weapon that cannot be acquired if the player uses the jumping in between the girder and steel beam off the Callahan Bridge trick to get to Staunton and Shoreside before they are opened normally. This is because one of the hidden package on Staunton is hung up in the air on the draw bridge that connects to Shoreside. Since this bridge is not operational until the mission Grand Theft Aero, there is no way to get to it until Shoreside opens normally.
- However, one is located at the top of a garage in Cedar Grove, using the exploit can be an easy way to obtain it.
- It's still possible to get RPG by collecting last hidden package in GTA III. You should get Dodo from airport and use road as runway for "jump" to the bridge. You don't have to fly it, just drive to bridge, get top speed and take off airplane. Single impulse will be enough to land on draw bridge. Once Dodo is on draw bridge use it as platform to jump to package. It's hard but not so impossible.
- There is a huge bug in GTA: VC with the rocket launcher. This bug is much more apparent if the player gains the "fast reload" ability. When ripple firing the rocket with the ability and swings around quickly, there is a off chance the launch tube will hit the rocket, causing it to explode and do major harm to the player. This is also true for the Hunter attack helicopter. Ripple firing its infinite rocket launcher while swinging around too quickly will also sometimes detonate the rocket too early due to the pods impacting on the rocket.
- Another bug affecting the rocket launcher in GTA:VC and sometimes GTA III is sometimes the correct collision detection files may not load correctly (most apparent on the PC version), causing the rocket's collision detection to go off-kilter. This is especially true for close in target. Even though the target is around 20 meters away (close but should not harm the player), it may cause the rocket to explode instantly right in the player's face. This happens when police closes in or when police Mavericks are dropping SWAT rappelling off the helicopter (when aiming at the rappelling lines). This bug will only harm the player, but not the target.
- In GTA V, Lester Crest calls his RPG "the noob tube." This is a reference to first person shooters such as Call of Duty and Battlefield where many people hate the grenade launcher weapon attachment calling it "the noob tube" because it is widely considered a misused and "cheap" attachment.
- Heat-Seeking Rocket Launcher - GTA San Andreas variant.