Vending machines are one of the many ways that the player can restore their health. Although vending machines were first seen as early as Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, interactive vending machines are found in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto V.
With the advent of fully 3D environments in GTA III and GTA Vice City, vending machines were added as static, non-interactive props that decorate specific interiors in the game.
Vending machines in GTA III were originally designed with a red-and-white frontage and a "SODA" caption; while this clearly indicates it sells beverages, the vending machine also depicts a candy bar on the upper left corner that can be purchased for "50 cents", implying that it also offers snacks. The texture of this vending machines was eventually reused in functional vending machines in GTA San Andreas, with its mention of snacks still intact. GTA Vice City also features a redesigned vending machines bearing the Sprunk name, one of the first in the series to feature an in-universe brand name.
Non-interactive vending machines are further included in GTA Vice City Stories.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
In GTA San Andreas, the player is able to walk up to any vending machine that sells snacks or drinks to replenish approximately 50% of the player's base health. The player may use a vending machine after walking close to one, prompting the game to produce a message that informs if the player wants to buy a snack or drink for $1. Like street vendors, purchasing and consuming anything from a vending machine will fully satisfy the player character's hunger, allowing him to go without food or drinks for another three days. Vending machines in the game come in two forms: Snack vending machines and drink vending machines.
After purchasing a snack from a snack machine, the player may see the player character perform an eating animation (although the player can't see what the player character is eating); for drink vending machines, the player character may be seen drinking from a Sprunk can, before discarding it onto the ground. Drinks sold in the vending machines are unlimited.
- Inside the Alhambra club in Idlewood, Los Santos.
- Carniceria El Pueblo, Las Colinas, Los Santos.
- Shopping mall in Jefferson, Los Santos.
- 6th Street Plaza, Willowfield, Los Santos.
- Northern terminal building of Los Santos International Airport.
- Las Venturas City Planning Department building.
- In the back halls of Caligula's Palace.
- Linden Station, Las Venturas.
- Inside all the 24/7 stores.
- Inside the Jefferson Motel in Jefferson, Los Santos.
- Going gas station in Idlewood, Los Santos.
- In front of the Ten Green Bottles bar in Ganton.
- Unity Station.
- Inside the Alhambra club in Idlewood, Los Santos (x2).
- Public plaza in Downtown Los Santos.
- Verona Mall, Market.
- Inside Big Smoke's Crack Palace, East Los Santos.
- In front of a liquor store in East Los Santos.
- In the train station in Doherty across from the Doherty Garage.
- Xoomer gas station in Juniper Hollow, San Fierro.
- Montgomery, round the road from the burnt building.
- Inside all the 24/7 stores.
- Outside the Blueberry Safehouse.
Grand Theft Auto IV
In GTA IV, the player can also restore portions of their health by paying $1 to any Sprunk or eCola vending machine. Drinks sold in the vending machines are unlimited. The player character will pick up the can, drink it, and then throw it on the ground. Buying drinks from vending machine while dating with Michelle will cause the whole game to hang.
It is funny to mention that, even though the machines have Sprunk or eCola livery, the cans dispensed will be Orang-O-Tang.
Players are still able to buy drinks from the vending machine no matter how badly damaged it is.
Although snack vending machines appear in Grand Theft Auto IV, they are not interactive to the player. Similarly, coffee machines debut in the game, particularly appearing within the interiors of the Schottler Medical Center and Westdyke Memorial Hospital, but once again these are non-interactive and are merely for decorative purposes.
- Ground level entrances of the Lancet-Hospital Center in Lancet.
- The underground car park in Lancaster.
- Pier 45 in Fishmarket South.
- Golden Pier, close to its Memory Lanes bowling alley.
- At both platforms of the Skycar.
Grand Theft Auto V
Vending machines also feature in GTA V. The player is able to purchase drinks from eCola and Sprunk vending machines to replenish all the health, while Rainé, The Bean Machine and the Candybox vending machines are non-interactive. The latter two are manufactured by Blick. After consuming the drink, the protagonist will often comment on how good the drink is, or belch.
- Jetsam Terminal, Terminal.
- Del Perro Plaza, Del Perro.
- Pleasure Pier, Del Perro.
- BJ Smith Recreational Center, Chamberlain Hills.
- Kortz Center, Pacific Bluffs.
- Convenience stores.
- Los Santos Transit stations.
- The two branches of Ammu-Nation with a shooting range.
- In GTA V, after purchasing a soft drink, the player character will tap the top of the can three times and then proceed to open it. This is a well-known way to prevent a drink "exploding" after opening it.
- In GTA V, after the "Independence Day Special " update, the vending machines have been reported to be unusable, possibly due to a bug caused accidentally while Rockstar produced this update. When any protagonist walks up to a Sprunk or E-Cola machine, the standard message instructing the player to press left on the D-Pad no longer appears, and even if the player does press the button, nothing happens.
- The San Andreas Flight School Update addresses this bug, and thus after downloading, all vending machines will function as intended.
- In GTA V, A player can only purchase a maximum of 10 drinks from the same vending machine in succession, any further attempts to buy more will make a notification appear saying 'Vending machine has run out of sodas.' The counter will reset however, if the player moves a short distance away from the machine and returns to it again.
- On the Raine water vending machine, one can see "May contain acid and some dirt" - this is likely a joke referencing the name, considering rainwater isn't clean and could be acid rain.
- When Carl purchases a drink and right after he got the can, if players move away from the machine, they can observe that, when Carl finishes the drink and throws away the can, the can disappears into oblivion without a stated reason.