Similar to TLAD's Gang Warfare, Drug Wars is introduced to Luis by Armando after completing the mission "Corner Kids". Their starting locations are marked on the map by pill icons. They become progressively more difficult, but the money earned increases as well. Every 10 Drug Wars completed gives the player a weapon in Luis Lopez' Northwood Apartment. Completing 25 Drug Wars will raise the player's completion percentage and also unlock the "Snow Queen" achievement/trophy.
The Drug Wars are infinite - even after completing 50 of them, the players can still play the missions; this was likely done by Rockstar to provide players with a playable activity after the primary story missions and other side-missions, required for completion percentage, are completed, as well as the ability to earn in-game cash for weapons and the like.
The drop-off area will be the same location according to the borough where the mission started:
- Dukes or Bohan - Cerveza Heights, Dukes. This area is actually in the same location of Huang Lee's first safehouse in GTA: Chinatown Wars.
- Algonquin - Purgatory, Algonquin. Over Union Drive West. It is featured during the mission Harboring a Grudge in the original game.
- Alderney - Korea Town, Alderney. Right behind Mr. Fuk's Rice Box, at the intersection of Lyndon Avenue and Boyden Avenue. It is featured during the mission Dining Out in the original game.
- On Convoy or Highjack missions that require stealing a boat or helicopter, the drop-off point will be on a water platform in Northwood.
Drug War enemies
There are 5 different gangs Luis, Armando and Henrique will attempt to rob. Each of these gangs drive their vehicles with unique paintjobs usually reminiscent of the gang's colors.
- The Mafia (Gambetti, Pavano, Messina, Lupisella, Ancelotti, and Pegorino crime families)
- The Jamaican Yardies
- The Korean Mob
- The Russian Mafia (Petrovic, Faustin, Bulgarin, and Rascalov crime families/syndicates)
- The Spanish Lords
Completing Drug Wars will reward Luis with weapons which will spawn at his safehouse.
- 10 Wars completed: A Pistol .44 spawns on the coffee table of Luis' safehouse. The weapon spawns after completing the mission “Boulevard Baby” and the necessary Drug Wars.
- 20 Wars completed: An Advanced Machine Gun (M249) spawns in the kitchen of Luis' safehouse. The weapon spawns after completing the mission “Going Deep” and the necessary Drug Wars.
- 25 Wars completed: The 'Snow Queen' achievement/trophy, worth 20G for the Xbox 360 and a bronze trophy for the PS3, is unlocked.
- 30 Wars completed: An Automatic Shotgun (AA-12), loaded with green explosive shells, spawns in the kitchen of Luis' safehouse. The weapon spawns after completing the mission “High Dive” and the necessary Drug Wars.
- 40 Wars completed: Sticky Bombs spawn on the coffee table of Luis' safehouse. The weapon spawns after completing the mission “Bang Bang” and the necessary Drug Wars.
- 50 Wars completed: A Gold SMG spawns on the dining table of Luis' safehouse. The weapon spawns after completing the mission “Departure Time” and the necessary Drug Wars.
Drug War Variations
- Hijack: These missions require the player to steal a stationary drug loaded vehicle, often located within a drug gang's compound. These are the only time a police sting can be encountered. These often require the player to eliminate the drug gang in order to safely steal the vehicle. If no-one is protecting the vehicle, the player gets 2-5 star wanted level and must evade it. These vehicles vary from sports cars, boats, and helicopters.
- Convoy: These missions require the player to steal a moving drug vehicle, usually protected by trailing vehicles as part of a convoy. Once the attack on the vehicle begins the drug vehicle will attempt to speed away and its escorts will attack Luis and his friends. The player must take care not to destroy the vehicle, otherwise the drugs are destroyed with it, failing the mission. However, as long as the enemies are driving the drug vehicle, it is invulnerable and can't be set on fire; only the passengers can be shot down. Convoys consist of cars and boats.
- Stickup: These missions require the player to crash a drug deal between two gangs. The player must obtain a gang's drugs, and optionally the other gang's money with the drugs in a duffel bag carried by one of the gang, in their compound. The player must eliminate the gang one by one until the drugs are dropped, and continue to kill enemies until the one carrying the money meant of the deal drops it, which Armando or Henrique will comment on. On harder missions the dealers will attempt to escape, and if they do, the mission is failed. Occasionally, the two gangs can be made to fight each other when the initial attack is done while out of sight, such as with a sniper from a distance. One gang member will drop body armor as a pickup when killed.
- Stash: These missions require the player to steal a gang's drug stash, which is located within their perimeter.
All missions will involve the gang chasing the player whilst driving to the drop off point. If the player moves too far from the drugs, or the dealers holding the drugs escape, the mission is failed.
Unique Paint Jobs
Most of the cars seen during the Drug Wars have exclusive paint jobs:
|Ultra Blue Poly (Primary)
Formula Red (Pearlescent)
|Light Blue Grey (Primary)
Steel Gray Poly (Secondary)
Black Poly (Secondary)
Torch Red (Pearlescent)
Securicar Dark Green (Secondary)
Frost White (Pearlescent)
Race Yellow Solid (Car4)
|Brt. Currant Red Poly (Primary)
Pastel Alabaster (Secondary)
Those paint jobs are used on: Buffalo, Super GT, Bullet GT, Dinghy, Huntley Sport, Sultan, Sultan RS, Presidente, Blista Compact, Tampa, Comet, Super Diamond, Banshee, F620, Voodoo, Uranus LOZSPEED and so on.
Obtaining vehicles with unique paint schemes
- To get the drug vehicles in Hijack and Convoy, just finish the side mission, and then drive it to a parking spot.
- To get other vehicles, the player has to leave the bodies out of the vehicles (if necessary...), drive it to a parking spot, destroy it (make sure the wrecks are on the parking spot.), and then commit suicide.
- Specially coloured vehicles that spawn at the start of the Drug War (Stash and Stickup variants) can be stored after normal completion by saving in a parking space as per normal.
- Specially coloured vehicles can sometimes be saved by mission failure (Convoy and Hijack) without committing suicide, by killing all occupants and then taking the vehicle to a parking spot.
Note that if the player tends to get the vehicles on the spot (not the chasing vehicles) in Stickup and Stash, just drive it after the fight without getting the drug bag, go away, and the mission will fail while the player is still on the vehicles.
- Armando and Henrique's weapons increase quality incrementally with each drug war. Eventually, they will be armed with Carbine Rifles and SMGs. After 50 Drug Wars, they are armed with Advanced MGs and Gold SMGs.
- It is not possible to obtain a wanted level when driving to the drug vehicle or the drug scene without shooting at a cop or using cheats.
- When the drug vehicle only has two seats, either Armando or Henrique (usually Henrique) will get in the nearest vehicle and follow Luis back to the drop off point.
- If the player leaves Armando and Henrique behind, they will both automatically follow Luis in a random vehicle individually.
- Armando and Henrique do not need to survive in order for the mission to succeed, only Luis needs to stay alive. After the mission is complete, everything will be as if they never died in the first place (If only one dies, the other will state that the "dead" one was injured badly enough that they'll need to go to the hospital). And if both die, Luis will comment about them leaving him alone. However, the reward is reduced by $1000 (if one of them dies) or $2000 (if both die).
- Henrique and Armando each have colossal amounts of health during any Drug War, equivalent to Niko Bellic or Patrick McReary's in the mission "Ladies Half Price".
- If the player falls from a great height while carrying a stash the duffle bag may burst and something resembling marijuana leaves will spill out. This is strange because marijuana leaves contain very little THC, and aren't sold medically or illegally. However, a lack of a model for marijuana buds likely meant that this was just compensating.
- Traffic does not spawn during the getaway to the drop-off point, but parked cars do, this is most likely to make escaping pursuers easier.
- The player can only get a maximum of a two star wanted level, no matter what they do, wanted levels are really hard to get as well without cheats, as doing most things to attract police attention (carjacking, killing, etc.) will not work.
- The only time when the player gets more than 2 stars is during Hijack missions where one needs to steal a vehicle (except helicopter) without any gang members guarding it.
- If the player causes chaos or shoots at a police officer before reaching the drug vehicle/drug deal in any of the drug wars, Luis will attain at least three stars as a result. If Luis does these after obtaining the drugs, it is usually downgraded to a 2-star wanted level.
- After doing 30 Drug Wars and unlocking the AA-12, the message, that pops up to tell Luis that he has unlocked it, will say Shotgun-EX.
- Strangely enough, during the Castle Garden "stash" drug war, there will be a Maverick leaving the top of the building. If the player destroys it, they will fail the drug war and the pop-up message will state that they have lost the shipment of the helicopter, although the Maverick has already dropped the shipment on the building already.
- If a decoy vehicle during The Hijack missions is destroyed before getting in, the player will still get a wanted level.
- For an unknown reason, Luis, Armando and Henrique cannot take a taxi to the drug vehicle or the drug deal.
- If the player damages a drug vehicle until it is burning or flips it in Hijack or Convoy Drug Wars, the game will say that the drug vehicle is destroyed/immobilised and the drug war will fail. If the player activates "Replenishing Body Armor and Health" cheat after entering the vehicle rapid enough, the vehicle will be repaired and the player is able to save it, but it won't work on the flipped ones.
- In rare occasions, after the player drops a drug vehicle upon completing a drug war, the vehicle may disappear without in-game explanation. This glitch only happens after completing a Stickup or a Stash mission.
- Gang Wars, the The Lost and Damned equivalent.
- Gang Warfare in GTA San Andreas
- Empire Building
- Gang Attacks in GTA Online