Maps represent and depict regions in the Grand Theft Auto series to enable the player to navigate smoothly throughout the game without getting lost or losing direction. The maps show the geographic location of the setting of the game and play a vital role in traveling to missions or evading the police wanted level. Every GTA game has had a map which varies in clairity and size. Below is a list of every game map in the GTA series.
2D maps, which depict cities navigated through aerial view with simple graphics, feature rectangular ("squared-off") blocks and streets.
- Game: GTA 1
- Based on: New York City
- Description: "The so-called "gateway to freedom", where millions of Europeans first entered the USA, is everything you imagined it could be and more. Glamorous and cynical, hard-edged and soft-livered, beautiful and damned, it is a city living on the edge. From the glamor of Island City to the down at heel bums of The Brix, this is truly the city that sleeps with one eye open. Founded on land bought from Native Americans for just $37, a barrel of mead and a sack of feathers by Belgian settlers in 1603, the ancient 5 boroughs of Liberty Island (incorporating Nixon Island and Law Island), The Brix, Estoria, Kings and Brocklyn have effectively been joined in the metropolitan area by urban areas from the neighboring state of New Guernsey.
Whether you have lived in Liberty all your life, or are visiting for the first time, there is always something new to see. From the tragedy of Law Island, where a plague out break once killed a million immigrants awaiting transfers to the mainland, to the ethnic charm of Island Heights, to the galleries and sky scrapers of downtown Island City, there is so much to see and do.
What really makes Liberty City, though, is the people who choose to live there. From plague to city-wide bankruptcy in the 1970s, from new dawns to broken promises, these people have lived through it all, secure in the knowledge that as long as they have coffee in the morning and an easy buck to make, things can't be that bad. Liberty City has acquired a terrible reputation for violent, organized crime over the years. Yet, as the mayor's office spokesman says, "Liberty City used to be a very violent place, but since we took office, it now has the 47th lowest murder rate of any cite on the eastern sea board". Nonetheless, inexperienced visitors are advised to avoid The Park at night, when drug-addled squirrels run wild, keep out of Kings at day or night, and to avoid The Brix at any given time."― Official GTA 1 website > Cities > Liberty City
- Game: GTA 1
- Based on: San Francisco
- Description: "Old world Latin charm and new order Pacific rim technology live happily side by side in San Andreas, the city of the future. San Andreas, which expanded rapidly following the famous 'Fool's Gold Rush' of 1869, has long had ties with the orient. Today, this is reflected in it's thriving oriental communities. As well as Korean and Japanese populations, the city boasts the ninth largest Chinese population in a major city with a two word name anywhere in the world. It has long been rumored that the Chinese control much of the organized crime on the west coast from a laundry in San Andreas's Chinatown, but no one has ever been able to substantiate these claims, although some have disappeared while trying. Conflicts between Mexican and Chinese communities are common in the area, which also has long been associated with the peace movement. In 1968, hippie students occupied an area to the west of Sunrise, and founded a commune. The dispute with the authorities ended when the Governor sent in a crack team of SWAT operatives, who rapidly ended the confusion. The area has subsequently become known as Soviet Hill. The city of San Andreas grew up around the natural harbor to the south of the modern city. This harbor was formed by the geological fault line which will one day tear San Andreas apart. Seven major earth quakes have rearranged the city, and it sometimes feels as if the people know they are not here to stay. From hippies and Hari Krishna to gangsters and policemen, everyone wants a piece of the action on their own terms in this thriving, 23 hour a day city." - Official GTA 1 website > Cities > San Andreas
- Game: GTA 1
- Based on: Miami
- Description: "A former Spanish slaving colony, Vice City, or City of the Fallen Angel, holy mother of all and yet of nothing (to give it its nish name), is a city that revolves around just one thing; money. From the retired doctors and lawyers of Vice Beach to the cocaine dealers of Little Bogotá, everyone is desperate to show off just how much they can spend in this subtropical paradise. The downtown area of Felicity is so-called to reflect the fortune early settlers felt at arriving at such a beautiful place. Modern-day visitors might feel slightly-less fortunate if they take a wrong turning and stumble into the nastier corners of Little Dominica. More than anywhere else in America, Vice City is the archetypal 'melting pot', with large Caribbean, Colombian and European communities, always feuding with another, often with very violent consequences. The once-peaceful Rastafarian community has become a haven for Yardie criminals who found the going a little too hot in Kingston, and their clashes with the Colombian drug lords have given western Vice City an unenviable reputation. Initial attempts to control the troubles by the Police Department failed following revelations of wide spread corruption and drug trafficking within the force, and the problems have. Vice City now boasts the highest murder rates, the highest amounts of drug-related crime and the least respected police department of anywhere in the USA. Still, it's not all bad. As Mrs. Mary Clam, President of the Tourist Board, told us 'Vice City has a deservedly bad reputation as a very dangerous city, but as long as visitors stay out of the downtown area, only go out in daylight hours and never leave their car, they stand a very good chance of survival. Besides, we serve the best tacos in the south-east, and there's no denying the Vice City orange juice is the finest in the USA. As we say in these parts, our welcome may not always be friendly, but it's always warm." - Official GTA 1 website > Cities > Vice City
- Based on: London
- Description: As the name implies, GTA London 1969 takes place in London in the year 1969. The player once again enters the role of a criminal looking to work his or her way up the career ladder of organized crime. The temporal setting has been exploited through a number of cultural and historical references, including the appearance of a James Bond-like character and the usage of more or less authentic slang. In addition, the cars drive on the left, as is the case in Britain. London, along with Manchester from GTA London 1961 are the only real life cities used in the entire GTA series, and also the only games in the series to be set outside the U.S. They are also the only games in the series to have the same protagonists, albeit 8 years younger.
- Game: GTA London 1961 (multiplayer mode only)
- Based on: Manchester
- Description: The map of Manchester is only used in multiplayer, while the main game takes place in London, just like GTA London 1969. GTA London 1961 is the least known game in the series, simply because the game was not heavily promoted by Rockstar, is only available as a download, and does not feature prominently on the Rockstar Games website.
- Game: GTA 2
- Description: Anywhere City is a retro futuristic city set in the year 2013, set 14 years after the game was made in 1999. Inspired by other locations in fiction and the real world such as Metropolis, Blade Runner, and possibly Tokyo with its neon lit streets, dark dingy buildings and heavy corporate and fascist government control. Buildings tend to look dark and grey with neon lights to light them up, in each district of the city the gangs that own the areas within them tend to have arcitecture suited to their look and theme. (The rednecks living in a trailer park, the Zaibatsu having large Orwellian style buildings such as ones you would find in old communist russia, adorned in red banners displaying their logo and the Loonies living in the insane asylum while the Scientists occupy a massive laboratory). The vehicles that drive around it are typically retro futuristic as well, featuring designs from the 30's, 40's and 50's and combining them with modern or future tweaks. As for the population of the City there isn't much about what they look like, but police force looks quite millitant. Crime is rife in Anywhere City with pickpockets and car thieves at every corner, not to mention heavy gang control and rivalry as well as corrupt government. The City is split up into 3 disctricts, Downtown, Residential and Industrial each occupied by 3 gangs. The Downtown District is populated by the Loonies, Yakuza and The Zaibatsu Corporation. Here you will find big businesses and shops. The university is located here with some docks and the insane asylum. The Residential District is home to the Rednecks, Scientists and also the Zaibatsu Corporation. Here there is the police headquarters, the Alma Mater Prison, a military base, the Zaibatsu Village, the Redneck's large trailer park and the Scientist's laborotories. The Industrial District is the last area of the city, the gangs that live here are the Hare Krishna, The Russian Mafia and once again the Zaibatzu Corporation. Locations include factories, although there are also blocks of flats and a small village in the northwest, Mad Island. Mad Island is populated by a gang which always attacks Claude, regardless of Claude's respect level. The Zaibatsu Corporation seem to own a lot of the pharmaceutical business in the city, (With The Scientists owning some of it). Drugs range from a wide array of uses, from energy stimulants, fake breasts that look and act like the real thing, baby food, self-reliant sedatives and probably much more. They own a big chuck of the city, including its electricity grid and have wide influence over Anywhere City as a whole. Everyone in the city uses futuristic weaponry as well, including body modifications such as invisibility and electro fingers. All these themes help to make Anywhere City a city set in the future with its themes and plots.
With GTA III, curved streets became graphically possible, thus being introduced on maps. In GTA San Andreas maps began to represent more than urban landscapes, as natural areas, such as forests and deserts, and rural areas, such as farms and small towns, were also introduced.
- Based on: New York City
- Description: The GTA III map was the first map in the 3D Universe. It was also the first map to feature curved streets and was the first map not to have a squared off look typically seen in older games. The city is divided into three islands (first time implemented) which are: Portland Island, Staunton Island and Shoreside Vale. Note that the northern area of the map is not normally accessible to the player, but is still part of the radar map. Liberty City is next featured in the opening cutscene in Vice City, however only inside Marco's Bistro. Liberty City is also featured in GTA San Andreas, albeit briefly in the mission Saint Mark's Bistro. Liberty City is also featured in The Introduction, a 20 minute movie explaining the events that happened before the main storyline, replacing the need for GTA San Andreas Stories.
- Based on: Miami
- Description: The map of Vice City is split into two main islands, the Mainland (left) and Vice Beach (right). The city features two main beaches, one stretching the entirety of the islands.
- Game: GTA San Andreas
- Based on: California and Nevada
- Description: The GTA San Andreas map depicts the State of San Andreas. The map itself is the largest map in the 3D Universe and was the largest in the entire series before Grand Theft Auto V. What makes this game map so unique is that it holds three major cities with airports, various small towns, and massive mountains with a seemingly endless wilderness. San Andreas is also featured in The Introduction, a 20 minute movie explaining the events that happened before the main storyline, replacing the need for GTA San Andreas Stories.
Cities and Counties
In GTA IV, a GPS line was introduced to guide the player in getting to their destination. In GTA V, the map became three-dimensional.
Liberty City and Alderney
- Based on: New York City and New Jersey
- Description: The entire map is mostly urban with the exception of northern Alderney, the natural geography has been hidden away by the urban city except for the a few natural shorelines that still remain untouched. Instead of mountains defining the skyline like in GTA San Andreas, there are skyscrapers such as the Rotterdam Tower and the Cleethorpes Tower. On the in-game radar, the overall map is presented in black and white and there is a navigational system available that highlights the quickest legal route to a given location. Alderney doesn't appear in GTA Chinatown Wars, and while Liberty City does appear physically in GTA V, it only appears in movies aired at the movie theater.
Boroughs of Liberty City
Los Santos and Blaine
- Game: GTA V
- Based on: Southern California
- Description: The map from Grand Theft Auto V is the biggest map in the entire Grand Theft Auto series. It is bigger than GTA San Andreas, GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption's maps combined. Additionally, it is not recommended that the player traverse too close to the map borders out at sea as vehicles will no longer function. Planes will stall and crash into the sea whereas boats will stall and sink. This could pose a problem to the player as sharks roam the far reaches of the ocean and they will attack and kill the player if they wish. However, a skilled enough pilot may be able to safely land their plane if they can turn back to the mainland, wheels down, and find a flatish area of land in which to touchdown. As mentioned before this will require a lot of skill coupled with luck in order to meet the afore stated criteria.
- Game: GTA V (two missions)
- Based on: North Dakota
- Description: Only available in two missions in GTA V (Prologue and Bury the Hatchet), North Yankton is a mid-western state featuring the small town of Ludendorff. In both of the areas appearances, the region is covered in snow. Exploration of the map is considerably restricted as the map only serves as a plot element and not an actual explorable region. It is the only map in the Grand Theft Auto series to be landlocked.