Note: The practicalities of this mission have been changed with patches and may differ depending on the game edition. Players running older or unpatched editions may have a harder time collecting.
The player can start to collect the submarine pieces once he completes the mission The Merryweather Heist, buys the Sonar Collections Dock for $250,000 with any character and completes the Death at Sea Strangers and Freaks mission as Michael.
Pieces can be collected while free diving (as long as the depth allows it), scuba diving, or touching the pieces while piloting the Minisub (when no rubble is in the way). The Dinghy and Minisub provide scuba gear when exiting them at sea.
Any of the three protagonists can collect the pieces, however only Michael can return them to Abigail. The mission What Lies Beneath is unlocked once all 30 pieces are collected.
The pieces can be found in clusters around the coast all over the state including the shallow waters of the Los Santos harbor. Most pieces are located in or near sunken ships or airplane wreckage.
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- When in the Dinghy, the "Wreckage Site" sonar can be used to locate the general location of the pieces. When a piece is near, there will be a ping on the radar, even when the Protagonist is not using the Dinghy.
- If the Protagonist owns one, a Cargobob can be used to airlift the Minisub or Dinghy to location.
- The Minisub can be exited at depth but needs to be retrieved at the surface at it will float up when abandoned.
- The Dinghy can be easily lost as it will drift off when abandoned.
- This mission can be combined with collecting Nuclear Waste if the Minisub is used.
- Just like with all sea actively, care needs to be taken to not be eaten by a Shark. The Protagonist will need to either stand on the boat and shoot the shark, or leave the area to return later.
- Although Michael only receives $10 for collecting all the Submarine Pieces, plenty of weapons, armor, health kits and money suitcases can be found near the locations of some submarine parts.
- An internet article from Public Liberty Online published after the mission Blitz Play mentions the Submarine Pieces; the article reports on the death of Frank Mathers while he was testing a submarine, and mentions that the submarine broke apart spreading its pieces across the ocean.