Highways are large main roads with four or more total lanes, encircling or connecting cities in various Grand Theft Auto games.
They are particularly prevalent in games with large maps, such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto V. Many highways are unnamed, but others, such as those in GTA San Andreas, are named.
Most highways are interconnected, and provide smooth transitions from one region of the map to another without stopping. However, some highways are limited in their service and in the intersections they make with other major roads, and may not provide a faster alternative to smaller roads. Main roads are generally easier and more direct for inner-city travel, but highways are quicker for inter-city travel.
Highways have more lanes than smaller roads, allowing for greater speeds and more room for maneuvering. However, in the 3D Universe, especially in GTA San Andreas, cars often switch lanes quickly and without warning, which can be particularly hazardous if the player is traveling at high speeds. Almost any minor crash on a highway will cause a major pile-up of other vehicles and can lead to a chain reaction of explosions. This is especially dangerous on the long, straight roads around Las Venturas where cars can reach speeds of 150km/h.
When the player is travelling through the countryside, they can be faced with the hazard of slow-moving vehicles such as Tractors, Freeways, Sanchezs and other motorcycles. On most highways, the maximum speed limit often changes abruptly and without warning, causing vehicles in front of the player to slow down suddenly and lead to the risk of being rear-ended by the player. Sometimes, the driver of a rear-ended vehicle will exit and start attacking the player or their vehicle with either a Shovel, Baseball Bat, Golf Club or their fists.
Named highways and routes
San Andreas (GTA SA)
Main article: San Andreas Highway System
- Los Santos Freeway (A looped highway that travels through Los Santos and Red County) Interstate 25
- Julius Thruway (A highway encircling Las Venturas) Interstate 226
- Harry Gold Parkway (A major road connecting the Los Santos Freeway to Julius Thruway North via the middle of Las Venturas) Part of Interstate 25
- San Fierro Highway (From Los Santos to San Fierro via the edge of Flint county and western Whetstone) Interstate 27
- Las Venturas Highway (From Las Venturas to San Fierro via Tierra Robada and Bayside) Interstate 26
- San Fierro Bypass (From Foster Valley to Tierra Robada through San Fierro) Interstate 127
- East Beach Freeway Extension (The freeway extension connecting the Los Santos Freeway to the stadium, via Ganton) Interstate 125
- Santa Maria Freeway Extension (Another freeway extension, connecting the Los Santos Freeway (Airport section to the beach) Interstate 425W
San Andreas (GTA V)
- Because of the constant pile-ups in San Andreas, this can provide an easy opportunity to make money early on. Simply go to any highway (preferably near the Mulholland Intersection, or also near the airport), wait for a pile-up to begin, and wait for the explosions; dead pedestrians will drop money. The player should nonetheless be cautious as the player might be harmed by explosions, fires, debris, or even bullets from the police.
- Vice City is the only city in the 3D Universe to not have any highways.
- Unperturbed cars and trucks in GTA San Andreas travelling at a high speed come to an instant halt just before hitting the player if he/she is blocking their path. This is due to how the game handles the paths of such traffic vehicles. This is not true with police vehicles, bikes or any vehicle that has been subject to any physical interaction.
Grand Theft Auto IV
- Liberty City is the city with most highways in the HD Universe.
Grand Theft Auto V
- Grand Theft Auto V is the first GTA game after the 2D Universe to contain four or more lanes on highways. However, four lanes as one-way streets were commonplace in GTA IV, as seen in Star Junction.