Health as a statistic
Measurement of health on HUDs was not prominent in Grand Theft Auto, as the game has no indication of the player's health - players will simply die after an unspecified amount of minimal damage. Grand Theft Auto 2, however, gave players indication of the health for the first time, measuring it using a 5-heart gauge, with each heart denoted as full, half-sized and depleted, thus presenting a 10-level hit point gauge.
In Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the hit point system is replaced by a numbered counter, with its default maximum as 100%; in most of these games, the player's health can be extended, usually as a reward for completing one or more side missions such as raising max health to 150 by completing all 10 levels of the Pizza Boy mission in Vice City.
In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the numbered counter is changed into a health bar (red in San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and pink in Vice City Stories), but it functions just as GTA III's. When the player increases in maximum health in GTA San Andreas, the bar is extended and a pop up stating the health increase is shown, whereas in Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories, the bar will be marked with a "+" symbol on its left.
In Grand Theft Auto IV, its episodes, and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, the health bar comes in the form of a green semi-circular bar, rather than a straight bar, surrounding the left half of the radar (in the right half, it is surrounded by the blue Body Armor bar).
In Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online, the health bar is now a straight bar located below the radar, occupying the left half of the bottom's width (the right half is reserved for either a full blue bar of body armor or split into said blue bar and a yellow bar reserved for character's Special Ability or specialized vehicle's functions). A new mechanic not used in any other games is automatic health regeneration. Whenever the player takes damage and health dips below 50%, then they can automatically replenish lost health up to the halfway point but this can only be done if the player's character stands still on the spot and doesn't walk or run. In Grand Theft Auto Online, max health of the character increases every new rank, up to rank 100. The skill progress indicator is visible every 20 ranks, but progress happens every single rank, similar to other skills. There is no visible indicator though in regards to the health bar, assuming it has the same damage-reducing effect that increasing Strength provides.
Health pickups scattered around the map can restore the player's health to the maximum level. Between Grand Theft Auto 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV, health pickups are generally shaped as rotating health icon with the symbol of a heart. In GTA IV, health pickups are shaped as medical kits. Health can be also replenished by up to 20% when entering Ambulances or the Hotdog van in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Many things can damage the player's health: being shot, stabbed, or beaten, fire (unless the Firefighter side mission is completed in GTA Vice City Stories, GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas, and GTA Liberty City Stories), explosives, being struck by a vehicle, drowning, being thrown from a vehicle, falling from heights, consuming drugs or smoking, tumbling, and several other methods not included in this list. When the player's health is completely depleted, the protagonist is considered "wasted", and is then transported to the nearest hospital, after which a fee for healthcare will be assessed, and all weapons confiscated in the 2D and 3D Universes. Any mission that may have been in progress at the time is considered as failed.
Accessibility of health pickups varies between games:
- In Grand Theft Auto 2, health power-ups can be obtained as a reward for crushing specific cars.
- In Grand Theft Auto III, health pickups can be found in front of all hospitals and scattered throughout Liberty City, often in recreational areas such as rest stops, parks, and shopping centers. Employing the services of a prostitute also replenishes health to a possible total of 125%.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, health pickups appear in Vice City primarily in front of hospitals and replenish the player's health to maximum for $100 (default 100%, which can be extended to 200%). Food stores only help the player replenish up to 100% health. The player's maximum health can be increased to 150% by performing Pizza Boy side missions. The player's maximum health will be 200% after the 100% Completion.
- In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, health pickups appear in San Andreas during gang warfare and in most missions involving a lot of gun fights. Health is replenished to maximum, which is a variable scale that can be increased by performing paramedic side missions and exercising (sprinting, swimming, or visiting a gym).
- In Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, health pickups like in the previous games appear randomly around the city and always inside safehouses and by hospitals. Maximum health can be increased by finishing the Pizza Boy and Noodle Boy side-missions, with each of them increasing 25% health, when completed.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, health pickups here appear in the same form as in Liberty City Stories and are always inside safehouses and by hospitals. Increasing the maximum health requires completing the odd job, Air Rescue.
- In Grand Theft Auto IV, health packs are found all over Liberty City, generally in out-of-the-way locales, Hospitals, and in subway stations. The player can use their Phones to call Paramedics to their location to heal them for a fee. Food stands and stores are dotted around the city, and are great for replenishing health. A map of health pickups is shown in the game's website Whattheydonotwantyoutoknow.com. The functionality of health packs in GTA IV is also extended in multiplayer modes, when it can also be used to repair a vehicle the player is in by simply driving onto a health pickup.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, health can be replenished partially or completely by winning on a Scratch Cards game (specifically Burger Shot or Wigwam Burger cards).
- In Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online, health is provided in the form of drinks (Sprunk or E-Cola) purchased at vending machines spread throughout Los Santos and Blaine County, as well as snacks (such as P’s & Q’s, Meteorite, Egochaser, and E-Cola) which can be be purchased at convenience stores, or dropped by dead enemies/pedestrians. Each snack replenishes health in different amounts. In Grand Theft Auto Online only, snacks can be purchased and kept in the inventory for future use, allowing the player to replenish their health at almost any time.
Grand Theft Auto 2
- Appears as a Crusher reward for the following vehicles in specific districts:
Grand Theft Auto III
- Red Light District - In a smal alley beside XXXMags.
- Hepburn Heights - At east, inside the park, near El Burro's contact point.
- Harwood - In the northwest corner of AMCo. gas station.
- Saint Mark's:
- Portland View - 2 located at Sweeney General Hospital doorway.
- Chinatown - in a L-shaped alley beside Hong Hung Inc., central part of the district.
- Portland Harbor - At south, behind some truck trailers and near the Linerunner.
- Callahan Point - At southwest, in the end of a dirt road just south of Greasy Joe's.
- Belleville Park:
- In the grassy area beside Shoreside Lift Bridge entrance;
- Under the green canopy of a building facing west the center of the park;
- In front of the mall entrance, just east of the north side of the park.
- Rockford - 2 located at Carson General Hospital.
- Fort Staunton - on second floor of the unfinished building inside Panlantic Construction Site, next to the Body Armor (take the ramp at the west side, follow it to the end then turn right on the stairs).
- Bedford Point:
- Among some bushes and trees near a building at south of Liberty City Cathedral;
- In front of the south doorway of Liberty City Cathedral;
- At southwest, in a dead end between two buildings located in the triangular alcove facing south the street that leads to the lower avenue. One of these buildings has a transparent window.
- In the east corner of AMCo. Headquarters;
- At south, in front of a large building facing east the stairs to the subway.
- Francis International Airport - At north of the west part of the small runway, between two yellow-striped ramps, along with an Adrenaline Pill.
- Pike Creek:
- Wichita Gardens - At northeast, in the corner between two buildings (not far from D-Ice's contact point).
- Cochrane Dam:
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
- Inside the Dispensary, near an Adrenaline Pill.
- At Shady Palms Hospital.
- Between a dumpster and Vice City Inside Track building, just northeast of Pay 'n' Spray.
- At the north side, inside the Sprunk stand that is in the shape of a giant cup next to the parked Infernus.
- Behind the fountain in front of the north mansion.
- On the bridge in the golf course.
- Vercetti Estate (after "Rub Out")
- In the small room at bottom of the stairs, along with several weapons.
- In a waiting room beside the large central stairs of the main hall.
- At the west side, in a basement hall near the hedge maze.
- On the sidewalk at the west side entrance.
- Inside the Dispensary, along with an Adrenaline Pill.
- At Schuman Health Care Center:
- At the entrance;
- On the roof above the other Health icon.
- On roof of Ammu-Nation.
- On the test tracks at northeast.
- Inside Ryton Aide, beside Pay 'n' Spray. An Adrenaline pill is nearby.
- Inside the Vice City Junkyard, on top of the central conveyor belt of the southernmost processor.
- By the stairs on the left of Haitian Drug Factory entrance.
- On roof of a white building just west of Calley Delicatessen Restaurant.
- At West Haven Community Healthcare Centre.
- Under the first gangplank of the ship at the port gate.
- At southeast, downstairs, in the Boatyard.
- On top level inside the terminal.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
- Madd Dogg's Crib, in the kitchen (after completing A Home in the Hills).
- Gang Wars - Spawns at wave 1 and 3.
Grand Theft Auto V
- Paleto Bay:
- Stab City - Sitting on a toilet in the central area of the trailer park.
- Dignity Village - Inside a small tent to the right of the entrance.
- Mount Gordo - In front of Ursula's House, next to the bench.
- Altruist Camp, Chiliad Mountain State Wilderness - In the front guard tower.
- Sandy Shores:
- Near some telescopes on top of a hill in Senora National Park, just north of You Tool. This is the same place where the GTA Online mission Chopper Tail usually begins.
- Inside the Sandy Shores Airfield hangar.
- Alhambra Drive, at the Medical Center.
- Zancudo Avenue, inside Trevor's house (Trevor only).
- Algonquin Boulevard, inside Liquor Ace, on the counter.
- Cape Catfish - In front of the yellow house, at north of a spaceship part.
- Vinewood Hills:
- Inside the fenced area at north of Vinewood Sign, near the northern edge of Mount Haan Drive (the same place where players have to steal a trailer in Satellite Communications).
- On the wall at the sightseeing site of the Galileo Observatory.
- Hillcrest Avenue, inside a fenced construction area east of Madrazo's House.
- Whispymound Drive, inside Franklin's Mansion (After The Hotel Assassination/Franklin only).
- North Sheldon Avenue, in front of a white mansion, just northeast of the intersection with Hangman Avenue.
- Rockford Hills:
- Downtown Vinewood - Clinton Avenue, beside Pitchers, near an alley.
- East Vinewood - Mirror Park Boulevard, inside The Lost MC clubhouse, just north of Downtown Cab Co.
- Pillbox Hill:
- Alta - In the center of a patio between two buildings and just west of the Tennis courts.
- Backlot City - Between a trailer and a snacks stall next to the central east entrance.
- Vespucci Beach - At the Recreation Center, under a small building northwest of Smoke on the Water and beside the basketball court.
- La Puerta - On porch of the building just east of Puerto Del Sol Marina (use stairs).
- Davis - On the white building just south of Davis Mega Mall, under the stairs.
- El Burro Heights:
- Banning - Underwater, between some rocks at the east side of the train bridge. The player can also find a Sticky Bomb, a MP5, a Crowbar and a Hidden Briefcase nearby.
- Elysian Island - In the northeast corner of Bugstars building on Signal Street.
- Burton - In front of Serenity Wellness, on Hawick Avenue.
- LSIA - Inside Los Santos Customs (park a vehicle right next to the front door to make it open, enter on foot, the health is to the left as soon as entering).
- Del Perro - Bay City Avenue, on the bottom of the Lombank West tower, next to the Bluff Tower Office Complex.
- Del Perro Beach - on the southmost lifeguard cabin, just southwest of the large parking lot adjacent to Del Perro Pier.
- Cypress Flats - Orchardville Avenue, near the Auto Shop between Labor Place and Innocence Boulevard, sitting next to a red tooblox (take the yellow ladder to access). The player can also found a Combat MG on the ground.
Outside Los Santos Metropolitan Area
- Great Chaparral - Behind a blue house near Baytree Canyon Road, where the GTA Online mission Method in the Madness usually begins.
- Richman Glen - Marlowe Drive, on the west side of Parsons Rehabilitation Center. The player can also find a spaceship part nearby.
- Chumash Plaza, Chumash - Behind O'Deas Pharmacy.
- Pacific Bluffs:
- Tongva Hills - Back of the main building of Marlowe Vineyards, under a covered area.
- In Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the player can increase their health above 100 by having sex with a prostitute and it will slowly increase to 125 (GTA III) or 150 (GTA Vice City). However, the 100 health cap still applies if the player is wasted.
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the first 3D Universe game to feature a health bar, rather than the number counter.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, health pickups in safehouses are always located in the kitchen. This is an obvious reference and an odd "replacement" to eating, which is absent in both games.
- GTA IV is the first game in the whole series that shows physical damage on the protagonist, since as they get shot, bullet holes and blood will appear on their bodies. Also, when burnt to death, their textures will change to one where their clothing and skin is burnt to ashes and when they kill a person near themselves, blood splatters on their faces.
- In Grand Theft Auto V, the protagonists' health can regenerate up to 50% after taking damage. Standing still or driving a vehicle will slowly regenerate your health, taking cover makes the regeneration slightly faster. However, running or walking interrupts the regeneration process.
- In GTA V, running out of stamina can reduce the protagonists' health. When close of being exhausted, the health bar starts to flash red. If you push further, the health start to decrease slowly with a heartbeat sound. This does not apply if the stamina stats of the player is full, since by then, infinite stamina is gained.
- In the PC version of GTA V, the invincibility cheat code is painkiller. This is an obvious reference to other Rockstar titles. In Manhunt and Max Payne game series, painkillers are used by the player to restore health.
- In the Further Adventures in Finance and Felony DLC of GTA Online, bodyguards players standing around the CEO of the same organization will make their health regenerate up to 100%. However, the CEO himself does not grant this regeneration bonus. You need to be standing still like normal to regenerate this extra amount.
- This effect also applies to the Bikers DLC. Unlike the CEO functionality, the MC President and Prospects can regenerate their health when riding on their favorite motorcycle.
- There is also the Motorcycle Formation that can be initiated by the MC President or a Road Captain. This will replenish health and armor to 100%, regardless of driving your favorite motorcycle or not.