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Currently, there are fifteen major gangs (including street gangs and drug cartels), three types of player-made gangs, five minor gangs, and two major criminal organizations.
Crews consist of a group of players that can battle against other crews and even form alliances with them. Crews have a crew logo and are available for up to 1,000 members, while Rockstar-created crews have no limit on the amount of members. The game allows characters to band together in a Crew and assist one another in criminal activities. Joining and ranking up in a crew will unlock special bonuses, including increased Reputation. Crew rankings are maintained in leaderboards.
Each crew has its own Hierarchy. Crews consist of a Leader, Commissioners, Lieutenants, Representatives, and Muscle. Each role has varying permissions to manage the crew affairs.
The Organizations are a player-made crew introduced in the Executives and Other Criminals update. It allows players to start a criminal organization as a VIP/CEO and carry out various tasks while hiring other players as bodyguards/associates to protect it.
They are run through the SecuroServ network and are created by players in Free Mode. The name of newly registering organizations defaults to 'An Organization' during creation. As VIP status is temporary, only CEOs can keep a permanent organization name. The name can be changed post-registration for $50,000.
The presence of the CEO status has become an increasingly important role to assign to, as players who are part of Organizations have the ability to conduct a variety of business-based work parallel to Motorcycle Clubs. Some of these features can be played in Free Mode, while others are structured like Contact Missions and are based in job lobbies.
The Motorcycle Clubs are a player-made gang introduced in the Bikers update. It allows players to start Motorcycle Clubs and carry out tasks while hiring other players prospects and promoting their ranks.
After buying a Clubhouse, the player can now become the president of their own named MC at any time using the Interaction Menu, which by default is 'Motorcycle Club'. Being a member of a Motorcycle Club works in a similar way to the Organizations system, Club Work and Challenges can be started via the Interaction Menu. The Menu also allows the players belonging to a MC to use abilities that are unique for each rank.
A Motorcycle Club can only have a maximum of 8 members, including the president.
The Ballas are a large African American street gang. They mainly operate in Davis. They have three sets:
- Original Covenant Ballas (OCB) - A Balla set that controls the western part of Davis, with their hotspots for activity being Grove Street and Covenant Avenue.
- East Side Ballas (ESB) - A Balla set that controls the eastern part of Davis, with they hotspots for activity being Brouge Avenue and Davis Avenue.
- South Rancho Ballas (SRB) - A Balla set based in an unknown part of Los Santos, with their clothes suggesting that their territory is in the southern part of Rancho.
They are the first enemies to the GTA Online Protagonist, and appear as secondary antagonist group in the Lowriders update missions.
Los Santos Vagos
The Los Santos Vagos, also known as LSV or the Vagos, are a large Mexican street gang said to be the largest Hispanic street gang in Los Santos and are rumored to have connections with some major Mafia groups, according to The Underbelly Of Paradise TV program. Vagos are supporters of LS Pounders football team, as they wear different clothes with their logos and a yellow colour to match.
The Vagos control almost the entire neighborhood of Rancho. Jamestown Street and the Rancho Projects in the southern part of Rancho are also particular hotspots for Vagos activity, as well as various backalleys like Cypress Flats. They have three sets:
- North Side Vagos (NSV) - Controls the north side of Rancho. They are probably at war with the Varrios Los Aztecas, due to Northern Rancho being an Azteca territory, too. They sometimes can be seen in the northern part of Jamestown Street and also in the territories of the Original LS set.
- Original LS Vagos (OLSV) - Controls the south side of Rancho. They are probably at war with the Ballas, mainly the South Rancho Ballas set, due to the proximity of the territories. They can be seen in the southern part of Jamestown Street.
- East Side Vagos (ESV) - Controls the Cypress Flats and also the east side of Rancho. They can be seen in the Central Cypress Flats and also in the territories of the other sets.
They appear as the main antagonist group in the Lowriders update missions.
Varrios Los Aztecas
The Varrios Los Aztecas, also known as VLA or simply Aztecas, are a relatively small Mexican street gang in Los Santos, which can be identified by their light teal/turquoise coloured cholo-style clothing. They are frequent adversaries and are known to steal shipments of goods intended for the player's Organization, and as a rival gang for the Motorcycle Clubs in Bikers update missions.
Varrios Los Aztecas members can be found in their territory east of Central Los Santos Hospital around Northern Rancho, and on Blaine County, with their headquarters being the Alamo Sea area.
The Marabunta Grande is a Salvadoran street gang involved in drug trafficking rivals of the Mexican gang Varrios Los Aztecas over the drug trade, drug trafficking and arms trafficking in Blaine County. They can be identified by their full-face tattoos and bandannas on their heads, faces necks and wrists. Marabunta Grande members can be found in their territory of East Los Santos specifically El Burro Heights, and have another set in Vespucci Beach.
The Families are a large African American street gang based around the areas of South Los Santos. They have territory in the whole of Chamberlain Hills and Strawberry neighborhoods, and also some parts of Davis. They hold a bitter rivalry with the neighboring Ballas gang (until 2021) and the Los Santos Vagos gang on the southeast side in Rancho. Their signature green attire mainly comes from the support of the colours of the Los Santos Corkers Baseball Team and the Feud Baseball Team. Their sets are:
- Chamberlain Gangster Families (CGF) - Their largest set, consisting of the entire Chamberlain Hills neighborhood. They are also referred to as "The Hills" or "Killer Hills". They hang around the Crystal Heights project buildings. They normally wear black, white, or green track jackets with the Feud or Corkers logo in front as well as green, white or black caps.
- Forum Drive Families (FDF) - More commonly referred to as the "Forum Gangsters" are the secondary set of the Chamberlain Gangster Families, founded shortly before the 2013 events of Grand Theft Auto Online by the former gangster and current successful multi-millionaire and businessman Franklin Clinton, and his friend Lamar Davis, owner of LD Organics in the neighborhood.
- Carson Avenue Families (CAF) - Hostile to the Chamberlain Gangsters and presumably other sets, and are led by someone known only as "The Boss". Their territory consists of the Strawberry section of Carson Avenue though they sometimes appear in Chamberlain Hills. Members of this set often sport varsity jacket attire with the letter "C" for Chamberlain, which also stands for "Corkers", the baseball team supported by the gang.
- Davis Neighborhood Families (DNF) - Their territory consists of the northwest part of Davis. They currently are at war with the East Side Ballas set, due to proximity of the territories. They are known as "Dirty Davis Devils" or "Davis Devils". They can often be seen around Chamberlain Set territories (mainly Forum Drive) and sometimes on south and northwest of Davis.
Madrazo Cartel, also known as the Madrazo Crime Family is a Mexican-American drug cartel operated by Miguel Madrazo's father Martin Madrazo. The gang muscle is mainly made up of young Hispanic men of Guatemalan origin. Gang muscle are seen wearing distinctive Flying Bravo polo shirts of varying colors and designs, usually with numbers on the sleeves.
The cartel members at Martin Madrazo's house La Fuente Blanca will not be immediately hostile to the player unless the player stays in their vicinity too long. Verbal warnings will be given before any aggressive response is encountered.
By 2020, during the events of The Cayo Perico Heist update, the Madrazo family is having some disagreements with the Colombian narco-trafficker Juan Strickler, better known as "El Rubio", one of their main suppliers, with Miguel Madrazo hiring the GTA Online Protagonist through his father's contacts to help his family.
El Rubio's Private Security/Drug Cartel
El Rubio's Private Security/Drug Cartel (tentative) is a Colombian drug cartel and drug-trafficking private security guard force in Cayo Perico, Colombia, led by the most notorious narcotrafficker in the world, Juan "El Rubio" Strickler. They are variously described as a cartel, employees, soldiers, staff, cutthroats and mercenaries, goons, and guards, but never named as a specific force in the game. They have a cybersecurity team who operate in the United States' mainland, specifically Los Santos, San Andreas. They are one of the main suppliers for the Madrazo Cartel.
Merryweather Security Consulting is a private military company and security contractor who appears as a prominent enemy group in several missions. Despite all the negative setbacks suffered in the past, Merryweather continues to maintain operations in the State of San Andreas. It is unknown whether or not their ongoing activities on American soil are legal. As expected, more trouble befalls them at the hands of the player, Organizations, and Motorcycle Clubs.
Despite being adversaries, Merryweather offers multiple services to the GTA Online Protagonist. Some of these services are also available as an CEO in the Interaction Menu, by navigating to the "CEO Abilities" section, including Ammo Drop, Backup Helicopter and Airstrike.
The Professionals, as their name implies, are a professional group of criminals that deal in everything from drug trafficking to arms smuggling to robbery to general mercenary work, operating all throughout San Andreas. They appear to be a drug-distribution network, dealing with various other gangs such as the Ballas, the Vagos, and The Lost MC. The Professionals seem to be affiliated with the Federal Investigation Bureau as well. They are in control of many different fronts, including the Mile High Club construction site, as seen in a Gang Attack.
The Professionals also seem to be providing courier and bodyguard services for a variety of valuable employers, thus making them potential competitors of Merryweather Security Consulting. They are described as a "ex-military unit" by Lester Crest.
Duggan Crime Family
The Duggan Crime Family is a corrupt family of Texan petrochemical magnates led by The Diamond Casino & Resort owner Thornton Duggan.
They are further damaged by the events of The Diamond Casino Heist, which leads to numerous security shipments being destroyed, dozens of guards getting killed, and a significant amount of valuable goods being stolen from the casino.
The Cliffford Mercenaries are a paramilitary organization, formerly led by the Cliffford AI, and its creator, Avon Hertz. Based on their behavior, tactics, and "ideology", they could be classified as terrorists. It is unknown where they originally came from and whether or not they had secretly been active prior to the events of The Doomsday Heist. All Cliffford Mercenaries look identical/very similar to each other, dress in the same attire, and speak with the same accent. It is speculated by Lester Crest that they are clones.
As of 2019, their remnants appear to have reorganized themselves into something of a paramilitary cult and are operating independently because Avon and Cliffford were killed during the events of The Doomsday Heist.
The Armenian Mob is a criminal group operating on scrapyards and construction sites. Not much is known about them. They can easily be identified with their brown leather jackets, dress suits, gold chains and thick accents.
They are prominent buyers/clients for the GTA Online Protagonist in both The Diamond Casino Heist and Los Santos Tuners updates.
The Kkangpae, also known as the Korean Mob is a South Korean criminal organization based in Los Santos. They are a small yet very dangerous group of Korean Mobsters as they're involved in a wide range of criminal activities such as, Weapon & Drug Trafficking, Hacking, Gambling, Credit Fraud, Car Theft, Extortion, Robberies, and posses every military grade weapons as well as vehicles, boats and helicopters of all types. They can usually be found on Ginger Street in Little Seoul.
They appear as the main group of antagonists in A Superyacht Life mission series, as part of the Los Santos Summer Special update.
Los Santos Triads
Los Santos Triads are a large Chinese crime syndicate originated from Yangshan in China who appears as a prominent enemy group in several missions. Their most notorious front is the Raven Slaughterhouse in Cypress Flats.
The Lost Motorcycle Club
The Lost Motorcycle Club is an outlaw motorcycle club operating primarily out from both the East and West coasts of the United States, as well as the Midwest. They own a club hideout in Stab City, known as The Range. The Lost also own a safehouse/front in Grapeseed. The Lost's primary businesses in Blaine County became the illegal distribution of firearms and drugs. This caused tension between them and Trevor Philips Enterprises back in 2013.
Although The Lost maintain a strong presence in Blaine County, they also happen to be active in the city of Los Santos as well. The Lost are mostly seen around the East Vinewood area, where they patrol in their Gang Burritos and operate a clubhouse near The Diamond Casino & Resort.
The Hippies are inspired by the American subculture of the same name. The Hippies have a fascination with extraterrestrial life as they are seen at alien-related landmarks.
They are found in a trailer park north of RON Alternates Wind Farm, and in Beam Me Up, an art installation located in the hill east of Sandy Shores. They are easily distinguished with sleeveless shirts, or wearing no shirt, bandannas, tattoos on their chest and back, and necklaces. Hippies are normally not aggressive towards the player, in fact they are unarmed and normally run away when the player shows the first sign of aggression.
The Rednecks are a loose affiliation of rednecks found much throughout Blaine County. Rather than being one organized gang, they appear to be a collection of rural citizens, with some being apart of criminal factions such as the O'Neil Brothers.
Its members are exclusively white males, and consist of either thin young men or overweight aging men. Most Rednecks have tattoos and show signs of methamphetamine use.
Bogdan's Crew are a renegade group of Russian soldiers led by Bogdan. Initially members of the Russian military, these soldiers went rogue and traveled to San Andreas in 2017 aboard the Ramius submarine. Upon arrival, they immediately begin launching various attacks against the International Affairs Agency.
The GTA Online Protagonist infiltrates the Ramius and eliminates several crew members. After Avon Hertz orders them to upload Cliffford into the sub's mainframe, Bogdan finally reveals himself by bursting into the room and pleading with the protagonist not to shoot him immediately. Bogdan explains that he and his men are traitors in Russia and are working independently, and their true intent is not to destroy American democracy but to prevent Avon and Cliffford from triggering nuclear armageddon. Bogdan's Crew make no further appearances in The Doomsday Heist, though Bogdan himself goes on to become allies with Lester, the IAA, and the protagonist in their fight to stop Avon and Cliffford.
The O'Neil Brothers are a family of inbred, hillbilly, redneck meth dealers in Grapeseed, Blaine County. They appear as enemies of Trevor Philips and the GTA Online Protagonist in 2013, in the Series A heist as part of the Heists update. They own the O'Neil Ranch and use the basement of the ranch's main house for meth cooking, which was destroyed by Trevor Philips in the same year. Years later, the remaining O'Neil Brothers reconstructed their ranch. The ranch was invaded by the GTA Online Protagonist in 2020 in order to steal their demolition charges to use during The Cayo Perico Heist.
The Altruist Cult is malevolent religious cult comprised entirely of elderly men from the baby boomer generation that follow Altruism and believe that all other generations after them are the cause of all problems in the world. Their main headquarters is the Altruist Camp, in the Chiliad Mountain State Wilderness. It is a small but functional fortified village with numerous buildings painted with their livery.
In one of the SecuroServ VIP missions for Hostile Takeover, they appear as adversaries at their camp, in the middle of some kind of deal with The Lost MC. They can be encountered in Bunkers resupply missions when collecting shipments. They will attack the player with pistols, flare guns or melee attacks. They can also be one of the player's buyers when using a helicopter to sell product for Motorcycle Clubs businesses. When approaching their camp during the sell mission, LJT will warn the player to keep their distance.
Trevor Philips Enterprises
Trevor Philips Enterprises is a business run by Trevor Philips which is a company that deals with arms and drug dealing syndicates.
The group deals mainly with drugs, although Trevor wants to expand the guns trade by shipping firearms to the drug cartels in Mexico. Even though Trevor calls it an Enterprise or Industry, it's ran mainly by four people: Trevor who is the CEO and muscle, Wade Hebert (unseen character) who provides information and some muscle, Chef who cooks meth and used as muscle occasionally, and Ron Jakowski who works as his operations chief, informant and pilot (although in a rookie level). Ron Jakowski left the crew sometime after Trevor became rich after robbing the Union Depository in 2013.
The Cheng Family is a crime syndicate from Hong Kong, led by Tao Cheng's uncle Mr. Cheng. According to Agatha Baker, the Chinese government cannot stand them. They own the Cheng Family Holdings company.
While connected to the Los Santos Triads, the Cheng Family Holdings largely deals with legitimate business and thus prefers peaceful negotiation in order to settle differences between them and their rivals, although they're not above hiring muscles to deal with their enemies when the situation calls for it.