Pedestrians, also known as citizens, civilians, or peds, are non-playable characters (NPCs) that appear in all of the Grand Theft Auto games.
Pedestrians are civilians and residents of the cities and area that the protagonist is in. However, babies, children and teenagers do not appear in any of the games outside certain conditions, such as cutscenes, where they cannot be harmed by the player in free roam (which would be considered unacceptable by most video game critics and enthusiasts). The only exceptions would be Mary-Beth Williams in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, Jill Von Crastenburg in Grand Theft Auto IV and two unnamed children shown on www.accept-the-chaos.com in Grand Theft Auto V Online, though they only appear in non-interactive cutscenes.
In Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (in the PSP version), there are cheats that allow the player to play as an NPC, as these games featured single-outfit mechanics. This idea was scrapped after Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, although modifications still allow the player to play as a pedestrian. The enhanced version of Grand Theft Auto V allows the player to use a pedestrian model in Director Mode.
Pedestrians in the 3D Universe share a glitch nicknamed "clumping", in which multiple instances of the same pedestrian model can be observed in the same area. This makes it possible for two pedestrians of the same model to interact with the other. However, this is patched in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, as pedestrians will not react with another character of the same model. This is also extended on in GTA Vice City Stories, where pedestrians have different clothing palettes thereby mitigating clumping.
In the HD Universe, pedestrian models are varied and the amount of models have now been increased, preventing the chances of clumping from happening during normal gameplay. This is due to an implemented mechanic of clothing and age for pedestrians.
In addition, certain pedestrians are only found in appropriate places, and their behavior is much more realistic and distinct to that particular pedestrian. For example, homeless people will hang around in back alleys, lie around on the streets and ask other people, including the protagonist, for spare change. Russian immigrants will hang around Hove Beach in Broker close to where the ships dock, office workers can be found in Downtown Algonquin and criminals such as muggers and carjackers will hang around Bohan. Also, prostitutes only appear at night around the poorer areas of the city.
From the 3D Universe games onwards, Pedestrians while on foot carry out complex and realistic actions. Pedestrian behavior includes smoking, talking on the phone, sitting on park benches and reading newspapers, conversing or fighting with others, carrying home shopping bags and the like, reflecting that of real life. In Grand Theft Auto IV, pedestrians can be seen putting something in a car's trunk or fixing a broken down engine on the side of the road. Street Criminals can also be observed stealing vehicles or carjacking other pedestrians much more commonly. Under certain conditions, pedestrians will draw Melee Weapons or firearms on each other or the player. Sometimes in Grand Theft Auto IV and its episodes, certain pedestrians may grab the door handles of the player's car and hang on as the player drives away. This also occurs in Grand Theft Auto V, but much more rarely.
Pedestrians in all games show features such as aging, ethnic groups, weight, height and the like. Each have their own dialogue, and interact with each other as well as with the player. Gang members may also qualify as pedestrians, but feature different behavior by often appearing in groups or in a specific area of the city.
Until Grand Theft Auto III, standard pedestrians were often deprived of details, and as such, few distinctions were made in where certain pedestrians appear and their appearances. From Grand Theft Auto 2 onwards, attempts were made to program gang members to appear in respective gang turf,
From Grand Theft Auto III onwards, civilians reflect what city, district, time, and setting the game is in. For example, in a college area, college students are spawned, while a Chinatown may feature people of Chinese ethnicity. In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, many civilians are dressed in 80s apparel due to its time period, while the game additionally switches between pedestrians donning swimsuits and those dressed in party attires for day and night in Vice Beach. In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the neighborhoods in Los Santos are highly diverse. Ganton will spawn mainly African American pedestrians and have large gang presence, and Las Colinas/East Santos has a big Latino community. In the countryside, pedestrians are mainly farmers and hillbillies. The player will also never see a homeless person in an affluent area of town, nor would they see a businessman in the country. Also, certain pedestrians, generally, drive certain vehicles. Wealthier civilians typically drive more luxurious cars, and poorer pedestrians typically drive less appealing vehicles. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas re-used pedestrian elements from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, but instead uses influences and trends made popular during the 90s. Another noticeable trait is that certain pedestrians walk in different styles; Certain female pedestrians might have their cleavage moving when walking, while the homeless and elders walk limping and the upper class pedestrians will walk in a much more refined style in comparison to pedestrians of a lower class.
Pedestrians can be run over by cars, shot, and beaten up. Many leave money when they die, which can be obtained by the player. Most of the time, if a pedestrian is killed, an ambulance will show up to heal the pedestrian, at which point the pedestrian will simply get up and continue with his/her business or enter the ambulance to be taken to a hospital. This does not always happen in 3D and HD Universes, though, e.g. when a pedestrian's head is shot or the pedestrian is burnt with Molotov Cocktails or flamethrower, the ambulance will usually not arrive. (This is due to the change of the pedestrian models, e.g. if their head disappears, they cannot be revived.) In GTA IV, pedestrians' health can be brought to zero without killing them, at which point they fall and drop their money but continue to squirm on the ground, sometimes managing to get back up and limp for a short distance, and they do not count under the "people killed" statistic. At that point, the pedestrians can be rescued by paramedics and taken to a hospital if the player does not kill them. If the player chooses to kill a pedestrian, the pedestrian will stop moving, a pool of blood may begin to form depending on how they were killed, and the paramedics may try unsuccessfully to save them. This changed again in GTA V; pedestrians now always die when their health is depleted, and the paramedics respond only to document the death.
However, may not in the protagonist's best interests to kill a pedestrian unprovoked, and most likely contradicts some characters' moral values. Since the player can take a pedestrian's money without finishing him or her off in Grand Theft Auto IV, killing them is only a deliberate act of cruelness. In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories and onward, pedestrians and cops can also swim but only for a short time before drowning.
In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Carl can have limited conversations with pedestrians. Occasionally he may hear a pedestrian make a comment about how he smells, his looks or mode of dress; he can choose to respond negatively or positively (a negative response may provoke the pedestrian and using the same control scheme used for interacting with hookers), or he can choose to ignore the comment which may result in the pedestrian criticizing Carl for ignoring him/her. Similarly, Carl may encounter drug dealers who likewise can be conversed with in this manner. Rival gang members will walk up to Carl and ask if he himself is a gang member. No matter which Carl chooses, the gang members will still chase/attack him.
In Grand Theft Auto IV, the player cannot communicate with other many pedestrians via controls with the exception of a couple instances. However, some pedestrians do sometimes communicate with the player in response to something the player does to them; for example, they will typically say something if the player bumps into them, attacks them, hits their car, runs them over with a car, or attacks another pedestrian. Some pedestrians, such as: Hobos on the beach/under the bridge or Saxophone musicians located outside the train stops can be given money using the interaction button. If the player aims a gun at a pedestrian, he or she may put his or her hands up in a surrender position and will run away or duck, often begging or yelling insults at the player while fleeing or ducking. On some occasions, Niko may reply to the pedestrian by default.
In Grand Theft Auto V, pedestrians are much more interactive than before. The player can simply say hello or threaten pedestrians depending on which character is being played as or the attitude they display towards the characters (Trevor insults pedestrians by default). Certain Pedestrians may engage in conversation with one of the three characters, in which case the player may choose to react or ignore the conversation. They react to the world around them as well. Pedestrians are known to call the police or film crimes as they happen. In other cases, if the player were to stop next to pedestrians without provocation (if driving a high-end vehicle) they will sometimes take pictures of it, even complimenting the player's vehicle.
Aside from the civilians who accidentally hit the player with their vehicles, there are even more dangerous pedestrians. Some examples include gang members, who are particularly dangerous as they are mostly armed and will almost always fight back.
In GTA IV, gang members usually leave the player alone outside of missions, unless they are provoked. This can happen with the Russian Mafia if the player opens fire against everyone in their territory.
In GTA IV, if the player attacks a pedestrian, sometimes, other pedestrians will come to the aid the pedestrians. This occurs more often if the player attacks a female pedestrian. Women usually don't aid other pedestrians. Also, pedestrians will sometimes come to the aid of the player if he is being attacked. In certain areas, if the player fires a weapon, a pedestrian may pull a gun (usually a pistol or a micro SMG) and fire at the player in an act of defense. Sometimes in GTA IV, when a player is committing a crime involving explosives, a pedestrian will act as a "good samaritan" and try to attack and stop the player. Pedestrians armed with weapons will attack each other or the player if they fire a weapon. If the player attacks an NPC unarmed or with a melee weapon, then the NPC may attack the player in self defense.
In GTA V, if the player honks their horn in front of a driver repeatedly, the driver will at times become hostile and attack the player. This also happens if the player stands next to a hostile NPC, which can result the pedestrian to attack the player in the process. In GTA V pedestrians may also call the police if they see player committing a crime.
In GTA V, carjacking a pedestrian who has a weapon is considerably more dangerous. If the player fails to leave in time, the pedestrian may pull the player out of the vehicle, then repeatedly shoot them before they can get up. Some pedestrians without a weapon may also become hostile. However female pedestrians will rarely, if ever, become hostile after a carjacking. Exceptions are older women in different areas of Blaine County.
In GTA V, if the player approaches a hostile pedestrian and tries to provoke them, such as bumping into them or insulting them, the player will receive a verbal warning from the pedestrian. If the player continues to agitate the pedestrian, he/she will attack the player. Gang members, while giving verbal warnings, may also show a sign of provocation by pulling a gun out of his/her back pocket, and keeping it at his/her side, until they begin shooting at the player.
Some pedestrians will also become hostile, or call the police, if they are followed for too long. They will usually give a verbal warning first. This is a risk for players who wish to eavesdrop on a pedestrian's conversation.
In GTA SA
In GTA SA, if the player replies negatively to wearing Grove Street colors, the gang might leave the player alone. Taxi Drivers and other pedestrians will often respond to carjackings by trying to pull the player out and beat them, or they might simply attempt to run over the player or repeatedly ram their car or sometimes just carjack their vehicle back and drive away. Pedestrians in vehicles will sometimes respond angrily to minor automobile collisions, and will try and damage the player's vehicle by hitting them with Melee Weapons, or giving chase in their own vehicle. Some pedestrians will fight back when provoked.
Sometimes, if the player responds negatively to a pedestrian criticizing CJ's appearance (which causes CJ to hurl an insult at the pedestrian), they will sometimes stand still before proceeding to beat the player up, or, if armed, use a firearm against them. This happens with any pedestrian in the game, even the likes of affluent pedestrians or females, who are usually peaceful, will still beat the player up.
Also in GTA SA, during the Los Santos Riots, pedestrians will become hostile, carry weapons and attack the player or steal their car. They will also attack cops and other pedestrians. During this part of the game, Street Criminals that may carjack the player, pedestrians, and even police spawn much more often than before or after the riots.
If the player provokes a hostile or even a GSF gang member, all other members of that gang in present on foot will also turn hostile to the player, although gang members recruited by player via cheats may also attack their fellow gang members, IE player-recruited Ballas Gang Members will attack Hostile Ballas Gang Members. However, if those attacks accidentally hit a vehicle of a gangster of the same gang, the gangsters on the car will get out and turn hostile to his own homies. But bullets of gangsters from the same gang will never hit each other. In addition, it is also possible for some GSF gang members to become hostile towards CJ, although GSF members on CJ's side may also attack hostile GSF members.
If a gangster accidentally hits a police vehicle, the police officers inside will attack all members of the gang. Any passing-by police vehicles will join the gunfight.
The player can communicate more extensively with noteworthy pedestrians. Some noteworthy pedestrians will come to the player's aid when he is hurt, or if the player harms another pedestrian, some bystanders will try to defend the victimized pedestrian that the player attacked.
In games such as Grand Theft Auto IV or Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, if the player is in a particularly crime-riddled neighborhood, the player may be attacked or car-jacked by a random Street Criminal, particularly at night when fewer police are patrolling the streets. In bad areas such as Bohan (GTA IV), the player will occasionally be held at gunpoint by a gang member or street criminal.
List of Noteworthy Pedestrians
- Crack Dealers
- Drug Dealers
- Elvis Impostors
- Gang members
- Police officers
- Security Guards
- Sentinel XS Driver
- Street Criminals
- Taxi Drivers
- Sometimes in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Grand Theft Auto IV, pedestrians talking to each other use dialogue that is completely off-key to the discussion. This is improved upon in GTA V, where interacting pedestrians are more likely to have relevant dialogue with each other.
- Before the HD Universe, pedestrian corpses would disappear after two to three minutes if they were not revived. In the HD Universe, pedestrian bodies do not disappear until the player leaves the area where the bodies are located. If the player keeps killing several people within the area, bodies will then start to disappear. This is to prevent the system from overloading.
- In some games, when using auto aim, the weapon may lock on to thin air, before locking onto an invisible pedestrian. Shooting the invisible pedestrian will cause blood splatter on the floor and money to appear. This glitch only occurs in the PS2 version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, although it has been reported in certain places in the Xbox version, as well as the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of Grand Theft Auto IV.
- In all Grand Theft Auto games, each pedestrian has their own voices and lines, however they share the same sounds for dying, screaming and getting injured as the rest of their gender.
- In all the 3D Universe games, citizens have a small chance of dropping large sums of cash. This is sometimes referred to as a "jackpot" by players. This may be because the money drop rate seems to be randomized. Some players have obtained over 3 thousand dollars in one kill. Even a homeless person may leave a few thousand dollars when killed; it is unknown if this is a glitch or a reference to 'fake' homeless people. This feature is more notable in GTA III because the cash in the aforementioned game is inflated ten times. In GTA: San Andreas, drug dealers usually drop large sums of cash when killed.
- In Grand Theft Auto III, there are "boss" pedestrians across Liberty City. The pedestrian wears green clothing, and if he attacks another pedestrian, they will flee. A "weak" pedestrian is also seen everywhere in Liberty City. He wears a blue Hawaiian shirt and blue shorts, and will flee whenever anyone attacks him.
- In GTA Vice City, there are also "boss" and "weak" pedestrians across Vice City. The first "boss" pedestrian is a businessman who wears a green suit, and if he attacks another pedestrian, they will start running; even If he attacks cops, they will also flee. The other "boss" is a man who wears a black outfit, black sunglasses, black sombrero, and is black himself. He behaves in the same manner as the first "boss". If they attack at each other accidentally, they will continue walking like nothing happened. The "weak" pedestrian is a man who wears a light-yellow t-shirt, with a camera, who will run if someone attacks him.
- In GTA III, if the player runs against elder pedestrians, they will fall down, the same happens in GTA Vice City when the player is playing as a pedestrian.
- In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, a glitch may occasionally occur where a pedestrian will not die no matter how much punishment is dealt to them: they simply become invulnerable.
- This usually happens when the pedestrian is pushed against a wall or corner, or when the player drives his car with an NPC inside into the water.
- Carjacking in GTA San Andreas will sometimes cause an NPC to say "Now I'm going to have to steal another car", or say that he stole this car first. This implies that NPCs also steal random cars, either parked or driven by other NPCs, albeit off-screen.
- In GTA San Andreas, some pedestrians are modelled after 1990s celebrities.
- The blonde lady in a white halter-neck dress, who CJ flirts with in "Just Business", appears to resemble Catherine Tramell, Sharon Stone's character in Basic Instinct, and possibly references Paris Hilton from her dialogue to the player and other pedestrians.
- The white Englishman (with long blond hair, a green jacket, and ivory pants) resembles Kurt Cobain.
- The African-American disc jockey (who wears red track pants, a red bucket hat, and no shirt) looks like LL Cool J.
- One of the pedestrians that hangs around Grove Street resembles O-Dog from Menace II Society.
- One pedestrian wearing a yellow shirt with black sleeves and black pants resembles Tre Styles from Boyz n the Hood. An Asian woman in San Fierro (wearing a black cheongsam, and has black straight hair) is said to resemble actress Lucy Liu.
- The last reference to 1990s celebrities is the black male pedestrian wearing a denim jacket and khakis who appears everywhere, who resembles Bishop, a character played by Tupac Shakur in Juice.
- In GTA San Andreas, a rare pedestrian will spawn whose dialogue seems to suggest that he is aware that he is a character in a fake universe. His standalone comments reference the "lie" that is his world, and in conversation with other NPCs, he will mock their scripted and oblivious responses as being completely irrelevant to anything he might have to say. It is unclear which pedestrian he is, or where he is likely to spawn, but he has been last spotted near the Ocean Docks in Los Santos.
- In GTA San Andreas, pedestrians have a habit of jumping into the path of the player's car. Pedestrians are scripted to jump away from the player's vehicle if he is driving towards them, but sometimes, if the player changes his direction at the last moment, the pedestrian may end up jumping into his path and getting run over. The player should exercise caution as sometimes a police officer might be walking or standing nearby, and if this happens, the player might get a wanted level.
- In GTA III, GTA Vice City, GTA Liberty City Stories and GTA Vice City Stories, bodies from dead pedestrians that disappear will be replaced with the white chalk outline of their body. This feature was scrapped in GTA San Andreas for unknown reasons.
- In GTA San Andreas, when certain women are driving, sometimes their breasts raise up to their chin or disappear, but when the player carjacks them, their body will go back to normal. Tested on the PC version.
- In Vice City, Liberty City Stories, and Vice City Stories, the player can assist police officers that are chasing street criminals through the street by attacking the pedestrian without gaining a wanted level, the player will also receive a "$50 Good Citizen Bonus" for helping the police, In San Andreas, IV, and V, the player will receive a wanted level instead. This feature was originally available in GTA IV, as it was scheduled to be implemented in the beta version.
- In GTA Vice City, If Tommy continues to beat down the street criminal when already killed, the police may ignore the player.
- In GTA Vice City, if Tommy accidentally attacks both the police officer and the criminal which the officer is chasing without gaining a wanted level, a 1-star wanted level will be attained and "Good Citizen Bonus" still spawns. However, the officer will try to attack Tommy after that, not the criminal.
- Police Officers, before GTA IV, and GTA V, unusually attack and even kill Street Criminals with their bare fists, rather than using a baton; which the latter they use in order to arrest the player. They do not arrest criminals, they just attack them.
- In the 3D Universe games, pedestrians that are given ranged weapons through cheat codes will react violently towards firearms being discharged near them. As such, they will begin firing at the original shooter, whether it was the player, gang members, other armed pedestrians, or even police officers. In GTA III, they would react similarly to Claude throwing grenades in a crowded area, regardless of whether or not they had weapons of their own.
- In GTA San Andreas, some pedestrians with the same model are seen driving certain vehicles such as the Journey, Bobcat, Freight, Brown Streak and Walton and no other pedestrians with a different model are driving the aforementioned vehicles, in this case an African-American man with a flat top, goatee, wearing a light blue hoodie and Ivory Pants. This kind of pedestrian can sometimes also be found driving in general vehicles for some reason. Other vehicles of the same type(not counting Law Enforcement or Emergency Vehicles) are driven by various NPC models.
- In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, if the player attacks a pedestrian who will usually fight back if provoked and lures him into hitting another NPC by accident or not, the hit pedestrian will act differently.
- The hit NPC will often fight back or flee depending on the in-game factor. If he/she attempts to fight back, the attacking pedestrian will no longer be hostile to CJ. Instead the latter will attack the former until one of them is killed. If the attacked NPC flees, the attacking pedestrian will chase the fleeing pedestrian, and will leave CJ alone.
- If the one hit is an armed pedestrian, it will pull out its pistol and shoot at the attacking NPC no matter what. The latter will usually flee, but may also pull out a gun and shoot back.
- In GTA Vice City Stories, throwing a punch without hitting anyone near pedestrians, they will either flee, or even attack Vic.
- When the player hits a pedestrian and they fight back, the pedestrian will no longer run away from gunshots or put their hands up when a gun is aimed at them. However, they will run away if they get shot.
- In GTA III, when the player throws a grenade or fires a rocket launcher, there's a chance that a pedestrian will start attacking him.
- In GTA San Andreas, male pedestrians will sometimes follow female pedestrians and either compliment their appearance or flirt with her.
- Female pedestrians sometimes also follow each other. It is most likely a glitch, since they refer to them as males.
- In GTA IV, certain emergency workers such as doctors, nurses, paramedics, and firefighters, will attack the player if provoked. Yet unlike any other pedestrian, the LCPD will simply ignore the assault, and fighting back results in a one-star wanted level. This is unusual as LCPD officers normally arrest pedestrians for fighting, however their status as honest emergency personnel may make them exempt from arrest. However, paramedics and doctors will be attacked by the police If they run over people or other officers. This is most notably seen in firefighters, as police will sometimes open fire at the player or other NPCs (if players dialed in-game 911 for the police)
- In GTA IV, some male pedestrians have female voices that they use for screaming and when in pain. This is somewhat unusual, but most of them won't fight back if attacked. These pedestrian models usually have effeminate mannerisms and styles usually associated with stereotypical homosexuality, so it may be a joke on the part of the developers.
- Similarity, in GTA V, pedestrians have opposite gender voices to quote other than screaming or in pain. For example, male cops use female voices when they quote.
- There have been instances in GTA IV where if there is an injured pedestrian laying on the ground that has been hurt to the point that they can't get up, another pedestrian may shoot them to death. This occurs when having a shootout between the protagonist and gang members outside of missions.
- In GTA IV and V, the pedestrians will drop the objects which they are holding including umbrellas, cellphones, brooms (for cleaners), a clip board, coffee and soda cups, shopping groceries, cigarettes, etc. Whenever they are bumped into and/or shocked/surprised. They will also drop their hats or baseball caps and also their sunglasses will fall off if pushed or ran into.
- In GTA IV, pedestrians no longer produce the sound effects of bodies being crushed while getting run over by vehicles and landing on the ground after falling from heights.
- In GTA IV, if the protagonist attacks a female pedestrian, a male pedestrian will intervene and attack the player. However, in rare instances, a man will help the player to attack the woman. The player will get the same result even if they attack a prostitute.
- In GTA IV, if an attacking pedestrian misses the protagonist and strikes another pedestrian, the attacker will then ignore the protagonist and the two pedestrians will usually begin to fight each other until one of them is injured or arrested.
- In GTA IV, if the player wounds or kills a street criminal, then the police will ignore the criminal, and start chasing the player.
- In GTA V, pedestrians will react to what the player has done; if the player robs or kills someone, they might call the cops, film it or try to finish off the player themselves.
- Sometimes in GTA V, when a pedestrian sees the protagonist or another pedestrian in an expensive looking vehicle, they will say positive responses like "Nice ride, dude" or if they see an expensive looking vehicle parked, a pedestrian may pull out their phone and take a picture of it.
- A rare glitch in GTA V has pedestrians complimenting the player on their vehicle, or even asking for a lift, when the player is actually on foot and nowhere near their last car or bike.
- In GTA V, if any pedestrians are caught in the middle of a gunfight (i.e. when Street Criminals get out of their car and shoot at the cops), they will drive recklessly trying to evade the situation. However, even after they have evaded the situation, the frightened pedestrians will continue to drive recklessly. This can also be experienced if the player shoots at a pedestrian's car near other pedestrians.
- Frightened pedestrians on foot also behave similarly to the ones in cars, for they also will not stop running and screaming even after they have gone far away from the gunfight. However, they will stop running and screaming if the player does not engage in any gunfight activity while following any frightened pedestrians.
- In the HD Universe, if an unarmed pedestrian is made hostile to the protagonist, simply pulling out a weapon will cause them to flee. It is unnecessary to shoot.
- If the pedestrian is holding a melee weapon, they will only flee if the player displays a firearm. If the pedestrian is holding a gun, there is no way to make him/her flee.
- In GTA V, if the player performs a melee attack too close without harming anyone, pedestrians may flee.
- In GTA V, pedestrians hostile to the player will flee if the player has a wanted level and the police show up. Even large numbers of gang members will flee upon the arrival of a single police car. If they are hostile but the player is not wanted, they will attack the police instead of fleeing.
- In GTA V, if any particular pedestrians are killed or injured, the sounds will play in order without randomizing.
- In GTA V, sitting pedestrians will be killed instantly on contact.