The State of San Andreas, also known as the San Andreas Republic is a state located in the southwestern United States of America, featured in Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online. San Andreas is closely based on real-life California. When compared to its 3D Universe predecessor, San Andreas is much more accurate in terms of geography and size.
San Andreas is a large, populous state. Its diverse climate makes it unique, ranging from grassy plains to arid deserts to forests and mountain ranges. The forests of San Andreas are dominated by the mighty Redwood trees, standing tall over the ground. San Andreas is located on the West Coast of the United States, and is the birthplace of several new pop culture trends, including celebrity fallouts. The state sits on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. San Andreas is nicknamed "The Golden State", much like California.
The area of southern San Andreas accessible in Grand Theft Auto V consists of two counties: urban Los Santos County and mostly rural Blaine County. Other locations such as San Fierro and Las Venturas do not appear, but are mentioned numerous times. Red County, Flint County and Bone County were also previously mentioned in Grand Theft Auto IV.
San Andreas is unique in that it is the first setting in the Grand Theft Auto series not to have any part of the map restricted at the start of the game, with the exception of certain specific locations, such as the city airport, the Humane Labs and Research chemical laboratories, the military base, and the state prison. This means that even at the very beginning of the story, players can explore and discover the world to their hearts' content. However, some locations, such as Sandy Shores, do not play a role in the storyline until a certain point in the game.
San Andreas' motto is, "We won't be broken hypocrites forever," as stated in a San Andreas Tourism Board commercial; according to the same advertisement, San Andreas has the most polluted air in the world.
Little is known about the history of San Andreas. Throughout the story, snippets of the state's history are mentioned in dialogue. San Andreas used to be a territory of Mexico in the 1800s, which explains the large Mexican population and some Spanish geographic names. The city of Los Santos, however, was founded in 1781, which was when the Spanish Empire was still in control. Old Mexican bloodlines like Manuel's resided there for over 200 years, and consider themselves more American than Americans themselves. Blaine County was established in 1823.
Judging from the state flag, it is possible that the American settlers came to San Andreas and defeated Mexico, thus establishing the San Andreas Republic. Los Santos County was established in 1889, several years after the founding of Blaine County. In the 20th century, San Andreas became the center of culture in America and gave birth to the famous Vinewood film culture, resulting in classics like Vinewood Zombie. In Grand Theft Auto IV, it is stated that Los Santos experienced riots in the 1990s, just like the Los Angeles riots. In 2021, San Andreas legalized recreational cannabis.
The entire state, like its real-life counterpart, is geographically diverse, with nearly every biome. Unlike its counterpart, the entire state of San Andreas gets covered in snow for a week or two each year. The metropolis of Los Santos is located at the very south of the state, separated from the Grand Senora Desert by the Vinewood Hills, where the famous Vinewood Sign is located. The Alamo Sea, a salty lake based on real-life Salton Sea, along with the aforementioned desert and the towns of Sandy Shores and Grapeseed is in a wide basin surrounded by the massive Mount Chiliad, the highest point of the state, in the north, Mount Josiah to the west, the San Chianski Mountain Range and Mount Gordo to the east, and the Vinewood Hills to the south. Across Mount Chiliad, the town of Paleto Bay and its surrounding forest is connected to the rest of the state by the Great Ocean Highway, Mount Chiliad Tunnel and Braddock Pass between Mount Chiliad and Mount Gordo. The Fort Zancudo U.S. Army Base is located at the foot of Mount Josiah, beside the Zancudo River, one of two natural outlets of the Alamo Sea, the other being Cassidy Creek, which cuts through Raton Canyon. Natural beaches border the west of the island, stretching from the Los Santos district of Vespucci to Paleto Bay, while the east coast has high cliffs and mountains.
The state's flying industry is served by Los Santos International Airport (LSIA), Fort Zancudo for military use, the Sandy Shores Airfield, owned by one of the protagonists Trevor Philips and McKenzie Field in Grapeseed, used for air trafficking operations. The Port of Los Santos is a major seaport where cargo ships can be found.
The city of Los Santos is very diverse in population, from the large African-American community in South Los Santos, the Hispanics in East Los Santos and the celebrity millionaires in Rockford Hills and Richman. Rednecks inhabit Sandy Shores, while Grapeseed is the state's center of agriculture. It is also said that hipsters can be found in Chumash and the LS district of Mirror Park. The Chiliad Mountain State Wilderness is a common hunting ground and the home of the Altruist Camp.
San Andreas has five known counties: Los Santos County, Blaine County, Red County, Flint County and Bone County. However, the latter three do not appear in the game.
Los Santos County
Los Santos County is the southernmost county in the state, and is also the most developed. It consists of the cities of Los Santos and Davis, along with a large variety of highlands, beaches, and interconnected highways. The town of Chumash is located in the western side of the county along with a large beach. It is bordered by Blaine County to the north by Route 68. Los Santos County is the urban area of Southern San Andreas.
Blaine County is the second-southernmost county of the state and the northernmost featured. Blaine County is mostly known for its wildlife, including a large desert, highlands, a sea, and forests. There are three towns in the county: Sandy Shores, Grapeseed, and Paleto Bay. One of the most visited landmarks in the county is Mount Chiliad. Blaine County is the rural area of Southern San Andreas.
Other Mentioned Counties
Throughout the series, some names of counties are mentioned and referenced, but other than that, they never physically appear in the HD Universe of the series.
Red County is mentioned in Grand Theft Auto IV and V.
Flint County is mentioned on homecremation.com in Grand Theft Auto IV, and during the mission Short Trip - Fire It Up in Grand Theft Auto Online.
The city of Los Santos is the main setting of the events of Grand Theft Auto V and initial home of two of the protagonists.
Other Mentioned Cities
It is implied that Las Venturas is based on Las Vegas, Nevada. While Las Venturas was in the State of San Andreas (which is based on California and partially on Nevada) in its previous rendition, it has not been specified if it is still within San Andreas state.
The state features four known towns:
Sandy Shores is the most notable due to this being the home of one of the protagonists, Trevor Philips. The town is located in the center of the Grand Senora Desert, bordering the Alamo Sea to the north.
Chumash is a town mostly based on Malibu, California. It is supposedly populated by hipsters, as stated by Dave Norton. There are many beachfront homes and some docks. It is bordered by the Great Ocean Highway.
Paleto Bay is the northernmost town in southern San Andreas. Paleto Bay is known for being a visited landmark for people who like BASE-jumping from Mount Chiliad. Paleto Bay is a good rest stop for truckers on the Great Ocean Highway due to it holding various services such as a bank and a gas station.
Grapeseed is a town located at the northeast end of the Alamo Sea. The town is primarily an agricultural one and contains several farms. It is the second smallest town in the state, just ahead of Sandy Shores.
This is a list of communities that usually have no local government or services and are generally unrecognized as official territories.
San Andreas has a rich and diverse variety of ecosystems ranging from mountains to canyons. These include locations throughout San Andreas that are typically unsettled by humans and populated by different animals.
- Alamo Sea
- Banham Canyon
- Braddock Pass
- Chiliad Mountain State Wilderness
- Great Chaparral
- Grand Senora Desert
- Lago Zancudo
- Mount Chiliad
- Mount Gordo
- Mount Josiah
- North Chumash
- Paleto Forest
- Palomino Highlands
- Raton Canyon
- San Chianski Mountain Range
- Tataviam Mountains
- Tongva Valley
- Different species of fish
- Monkeys (Non-Indigenous)
- Bigfoot (A human in a costume) (Only "seen" in the Last One mission) (Also seen by using a special Peyote plant)
San Andreas has a complex highway system that contains many elaborate routes, interstates, and freeways. The system reaches all throughout the state and is the most developed highway system in the Grand Theft Auto series to date.
Grand Theft Auto IV
There are numerous references to San Andreas in GTA IV and its episodes. These include characters mentioning locations, TV shows, and radio; however, they refer to the GTA: SA rendition of San Andreas instead of GTA V; in particular, the TV broadcast for Venturas Poker Challenge uses images of Las Venturas from GTA:SA.
As seen by character dialogues and Internet sites, the city names Los Santos (including Vinewood), Red County, Flint County, San Fierro, and Las Venturas are still used, confirming that these locations exist in the HD Universe, but are not located in the southern portion of the state seen in Grand Theft Auto V.
Grand Theft Auto IV
- Many characters are born in either Los Santos, San Fierro, or Las Venturas.
- In multiplayer, female face #2 says "This isn't San Andreas! DRIVE, hippy!" during races.
- The clothing line Enema is based in Los Santos.
In Grand Theft Auto IV, the stats can say "miles traveled from Liberty City to Los Santos." In The Ballad of Gay Tony, it says "miles traveled from Liberty City to Las Venturas." Also, when you hear other pedestrians on the sidewalk or the street talking on the phone, you may hear them mention San Andreas.
Episodes From Liberty City
- At the end of the mission Shifting Weight, Malc jokes that he and Johnny should get a room at the Jefferson Motel, a motel in Los Santos.
- During gang wars against the Angels of Death, Johnny will sometimes yell, "Go back to San Fierro!"
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
- So far, San Andreas is the largest setting ever featured in the Grand Theft Auto series, with a total area of 49 square miles.
- Throughout GTA V, San Andreas is often accused of stereotypes that mirror California. For example, the people of San Andreas are described as "illegal immigrants," "hipsters," and "fake plastic people."
- In-game maps of the U.S. seem to show a realistic-looking America, with the exception of a state in place of the real California. This altered state has the same general shape as the real-life California, except that the southern part of the state is missing; presumably, this is where the in-game San Andreas is located.
- San Andreas is the first map in the Grand Theft Auto series to consist of one solid landmass that remains unrestricted to the player (with exception of a few locations). Previous entries have consisted of several islands connected to each other that remained restricted to the player until a certain point in the story was reached. In the GTA V storyline there is only one location that becomes permanently unrestricted after reaching a certain point in the game, Backlot City; another restricted area, the runway and tarmac of Los Santos International Airport, becomes unrestricted for Michael De Santa and Franklin Clinton after hangars are optionally purchased. Some areas, most notably the Fort Zancudo military base and Bolingbroke Penitentiary, remain off-limits permanently in single-player (though a glitch in the optional side mission Fair Game temporarily allows unhindered exploration, though only for Trevor Philips) and will trigger high wanted levels if entered.
- It was confirmed through Rockstar that the area the player can explore in GTA V is not the whole state of San Andreas, but just the southern island portion of it. Trevor Philips refers to the map as "southern San Andreas" in the mission I Fought the Law...
- Judging by the overall terrain along the coast of San Andreas, it would be assumed that the northeast coast (specifically around Mount Gordo) would have consisted of mostly desert and eventually Las Venturas (had water not been used as a free-roam natural barrier). Part of this theory is supported by how the west coast consists almost entirely of natural beaches; whereas the east coast consists entirely of ridges and rock formations. To further back this theory, it is possible that the east coast would also serve as part of a river as the wreckage of a river steamboat can be found in the southeast section of the state as well as Lester mentioning in The Paleto Score that the body of water north of Paleto Bay is actually a river. The presence of Cape Catfish on the eastern coast of San Andreas, as well as islands and coves would not make sense if the east coast is supposed to be desert. The area south of the Palomino Highlands would most likely not be water as depicted, but would instead be the rest of Southern San Andreas, including the GTA equivalent of San Diego.
- San Andreas is the first fictional state in the GTA series to be featured with its own state flag. The flag resembles California's flag except that the red stripe and star is now blue and the bear is replaced by a beaver. The animals are also facing different directions.
- California and its locations are mentioned several times in the radio. There is also a California license plate on a wrecked car in the Grand Senora Desert.
- Despite its size, the map for San Andreas is not infinite. Straying too far from shore will result in the player's vehicle breaking down, shark attacks are likely for those stranded at sea.