Haines is a highly decorated but also highly corrupt FIB agent, who is not above breaking both the law and Bureau procedure and policy to advance his career. He is also the host of a TV show called The Underbelly Of Paradise, where he makes reports on gang activity and the overall criminal underworld of Los Santos. At the time GTA V takes place, the FIB and the IAA are in the middle of a heated battle to secure more government funding and Haines is one of the main FIB agents that actively engages in attempts to sabotage the IAA, in order to gain more prestiege within the Bureau.
Events of Grand Theft Auto V
In 2013, Haines uses his influence over Dave Norton to force Michael De Santa, Trevor Phillips and Franklin Clinton to aid him in his plans to sabotage the IAA's operations and thus secure more government funding for his own agency. The first of these plans involves kidnapping Ferdinand Karimov, an IAA prisoner/informant and getting information out of him to kill a suspected terrorist.
Under Steve's orders, the protagonists hijack a security van containing IAA money; rob a corrupt bank in order to obtain funds to raid an IAA compound and steal an experimental neurotoxin and break into the FIB building to steal compromising information about Haines.
As the missions progress, more and more suspicion begins to fall upon Haines, making him become increasingly paranoid. After the raid on the Bureau's offices, Haines attempts to have both Michael and Norton arrested and framed for the raid, but he gets betrayed by his associate Andreas Sanchez, who alerted some of his enemies to their location. Separate groups consisting of IAA agents, rival FIB operatives and a Merryweather batallion arrive and a massive three-way shootout breaks out, during which Haines kills Sanchez and escapes, leaving Michael and Norton behind to die, only for them to be rescued by Trevor.
After the shootout, an infuriated Haines wishes to have all three protagonists killed, but Dave manages to calm him down. Ultimately, Haines decides to spare Michael and Franklin, but insists that Trevor has to die. Haines tasks Franklin to kill Trevor, while Devin Weston simultaneously hires Franklin to kill Michael. As he can't kill both, Franklin is left with three choices: kill Michael, kill Trevor or save them both and team up to take down their enemies.
If Franklin chooses "Deathwish", he, Michael, and Trevor decide to put a stop to their enemies once and for all. While Michael kills Stretch, Franklin kills Wei Cheng, Trevor is picked to kill Haines. While Haines is shooting a show at a pier, Trevor manages to assasinate Steve and escape with his life.
- Andreas Sanchez - Murdered for working with a rival agency and telling them Steve's illegal activities.
- GTA V
- Three's Company
- By The Book (Boss)
- Blitz Play (Boss)
- Paleto Score Setup (Boss)
- Derailed (Post-mission phone call)
- Monkey Business (Boss)
- Cleaning Out the Bureau
- The Wrap Up (Betrayal)
- Lamar Down
- The Third Way (Killed)
- Haines is similar to Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption antagonist Edgar Ross. As both men are corrupt federal agents that blackmail the protagonists into doing their dirty work, and both eventually betray the protagonist by setting them up to be killed. Unlike in Redemption, Haines' plot to have the protagonist he betrayed murdered can fail or succeed based on the player's choices.
- Haines' full first name is only mentioned in his TV show.
- There are several ways to kill Steve Haines. Killing him with a sniper triggers a short cutscene where the cameraman reports Haines being killed while on camera. The bazooka triggers a cutscene where Haines and the cameraman are killed.