|For other uses, see Stinger (disambiguation).|
A spike strip (commonly known as a stinger) is a piece of equipment used by police to puncture and damage the tires of a vehicle, attempting to slow it down and make it difficult to control during chases.
Description and appearances
The spike strip first appears in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, where officers deploy them from the roadside after a 3-star wanted level is obtained by the player. They appear in every subsequent 3D Universe game as a police device, with the exception of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. In San Andreas, they do make an appearance in the mission Puncture Wounds, where CJ must drive a Tampa that's been modified to deploy stingers, to stop an erratic driver and steal their vehicle. They are also used in the Driving School test "Pop and Control".
Even though they are supposed to make pursuits tricky, evading the spikes is easy if driving fast enough and away from the sidewalk, as the police only deploy them once the player is close enough to the officer.
Spike strips are not present in Grand Theft Auto IV; however, they return in Grand Theft Auto V, and are deployed at a 3-star wanted level by officers in Police Transporters, if the road is wide enough. The spike strips are notably used in the heist The Big Score.
A spike strip alternative, known as caltrops and referred to in-game as "spikes", are individual spiked objects that are released in a cluster and spread across the road. Caltrops can be deployed by the JB 700 in the missions Deep Inside and Pack Man, to evade chasing pursuants. However, they cannot be deployed from the car outside of the missions.
On wanted levels, spike strips are often deployed at the middle of the road, but these doesn't cover the road completely, as leaves a blind spot in the left. This is useful for narrow or weaker vehicles, but is advised to take care of any spawned police car.
- Car tires lacked the ability to deflate in Grand Theft Auto III, which is one of the reasons why they don't feature in the game.
- Rhinos and BMXs are the only tire-fitted road vehicles unaffected by the spikes, as they are pop-proof. Many of the large vehicles and bicycles in GTA San Andreas have pop-proof tires, but they would never encounter spike strips under normal conditions.
- Even if the player is fleeing in an aircraft, the police will still deploy spikes on the roads below.
- In GTA: San Andreas, if only one tire hits the spike, all tires will pop. This is likely an oversight, as they do not appear outside missions.
- On some occasions, when a severely-damaged vehicle (emits black smoke) hits a spike strip, it will instantly catch fire and explode.
- In GTA V, spike strips appear along with Police Transporters, on roads that are at least two lanes wide.
- Sometimes vehicles can pass a spike strip without popping a tire, it is usually seen that going fast might have this result. However, not all tires are popped, probably for gameplay balances.
- Unlike previous games, spike strips will affect a Rhino's treads in Grand Theft Auto V.