- "Show how unique you are by getting a tattoo just like everybody else in San Andreas, because nothing says individuality like a tribal band of Chinese symbol you don't understand out of a catalogue at random."
- — GTA V Manual
Tattoo Parlors are facilities in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto V, where the player can include tattoos on their player character, and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, where the player can only work for the parlors.
GTA San Andreas
- "Tattoos are popular with gang members who like showing that they can write on themselves. It is an important part of the initiation process, I've heard."
- ―GTA San Andreas Website.
In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, much like the haircuts, tattoos increase the player's respect from fellow Grove Street Families members as well as sex appeal from girlfriends. There's four tattoo parlors overall, in the game.
Players can only apply tattoos to their player character's upper body, but have the option of picking any one of its multiple parts, including the upper and lower parts of their arms, the upper and lower parts of their backs, the left and right chest, and the stomach. Players can also remove existing tattoos at the tattoo parlors. Individually, a tattoo can only increase the player's respect or sex appeal by a maximum of 3%, thus requiring the player purchase multiple tattoos in order to witness any significant changes.
The range of available tattoos depends on the city the player in. The Idlewood and El Corona parlors offer the same selections of tattoos, while Hemlock Tattoo and the Redsands East parlor offer different sets of tattoos each. Prices for tattoos range from a low of $25 to a high of $720, while removal of each tattoo costs $400. Unusually, some of Redsands East parlor's tattoos are not priced at a figure that is divisible to 5, unlike the other three parlors, leading to the notion that the parlor is actually overpricing; comparisons at GTA-SanAndreas.com imply its pricing is 20% higher than in the rest of the state.
In the original PlayStation 2 version of GTA San Andreas, Hemlock Tattoo is inaccessible to the player, resulting in the player having no access to the parlor's unique selection of tattoos. This glitch was rectified in subsequent versions of the game, including the Greatest Hits and Platinum Edition versions of the game, as well as the PC versions.
GTA Chinatown Wars
In Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, unlike in GTA San Andreas, the player cannot personally receive tattoos. Instead, they work for the parlors, applying tattoos to others with the Nintendo DS/iOS/Android touchscreen. A rating is given after each tattoo, depending on how closely the player matches the given pattern. The player may continue to give tattoos until the allotted time has expired, or they perform too poorly on the tattoos. Depending of how many tattoos the player can complete before the time expires, a different medal will be awarded, bronze medal for 10 tattoos, silver medal for 15 tattoos and gold medal for 20 tattoos.
Tattoo Parlors reappear in Grand Theft Auto V. They become available after completing the mission Mr. Philips. As with clothing and haircuts, each player character has their own specific set of tattoos to choose from. Tattoos are available for the characters' torso, head, both arms and both legs. Tattoos are also removable (free of charge) by clicking the tattoo the character already has in the menu. All the tattoo parlors in the game have the same tattoo options. Tattoos in GTA V are entirely cosmetic, with no effect on gameplay. Online players have a longer list of tattoo options available, with gender-specific sets introduced in the Beach Bum and The Business Update, whereas the additional tattoos introduced in the I'm Not a Hipster Update were the same for male and female protagonists.
- One of the available tattoo options is the phrase "Orange Grove Families". This was the original name for the Grove Street Families during the development stages of the game, and apparently this error was never noticed by game developers and it carried over into the final version of the game.
- The radio station playing inside the Tattoo Parlors is Radio X.
Grand Theft Auto V
- The radio station that plays inside the tattoo parlors is Channel X.
- A large number of the tattoo options for Michael are Irish-themed. It could indicate that Michael has Irish ancestry.
Grand Theft Auto Online
- A few of the tattoos available at the tattoo parlors can similarly be found on Bike helmets purchasable from the clothing stores. These are the 'Death Behind', 'SA Assault' and "Skeleton Party" tattoos.
- The right leg tattoo "Grub" is also the logo for Tequi-la-la.
- Tattoos Guide at GTA-SanAndreas.com, including images of tattoos.