Threatening is the term given in scaring an NPC without much brute force, or killing. To threaten an NPC, simply point a gun to him/her to make him/her raise his/her hands. This is useful in stopping an NPC's actions. However, threatening police officers, gang members and military personnel causes them to attack you.
GTA Vice City
GTA: Vice City introduced a more comprehensive way of threatening. These were store robberies, where the protagonist, Tommy Vercetti can point his gun to a store owner, threatening him to steal money whilst the wanted level increases. Robberies in this process also increase your Wanted Level.
GTA San Andreas
While GTA: San Andreas did not use the store robbery feature from Vice City, threatening had some minor upgrades in the game. The player may "threaten" a gang member to recruit him. This can also be used to command your gang members to target a selected enemy by means of threatening. Different as in Vice City, the protagonist speaks often when aiming at someone.
In GTA V and GTA Online, the player now has the option to rob convenience stores by threatening the clerk (if the clerk is absent or dead, the player can also take money directly from available cash registers). This does not always work as some clerks will cower behind the counter while others will refuse to give the player any money. If the same convenience story is robbed several times, a clerk may even pull a weapon and begin firing at the player.
- When your back is turned on a store robbery in Vice City, the robbery process will be incomplete, and the owner will be more likely sound the alarm to call the Cops.
- Turning your back on a clerk in GTA Online (Unconfirmed in GTA V) during a robbery may result in him dropping the money and grabbing a Shotgun to harm the player.
- If you use an empty slotted gun on the clerk in GTA Online, and pull the trigger, the clerk may pull a weapon out and begin shooting at the player.