The Wanted Level feature in Grand Theft Auto IV and its expansions is a measure of how much the player is wanted by the Liberty City Police Department (LCPD) or the Alderney State Police (ASP) and the game's other law enforcement agencies (such as NOOSE and the FIB) and therefore how much force will be used in the pursuit of the player. As in previous games, the wanted level feature in Grand Theft Auto IV is measured on a six-star scale, transitioning the non-lethal one star to the extremely aggressive six stars.
Relatively minor crimes committed within sight of the police may attract one star, though certain actions (like firing shots) can get the player a star if an officer is within hearing range but cannot see the player. Committing serious crimes is likely to earn multiple stars outright: for example, killing or wounding an officer with a firearm results in an immediate three-star wanted level, rather than a two-star wanted level like in previous Grand Theft Auto games.
Stars are cumulative because repeatedly committing one-star crimes with the sight of the police may lead to a two-star rating and so on.
Once the player has a wanted level, officers in the precinct will chase the player and will attempt to arrest him. If caught, the player is transported to the nearest police station (off-screen) and released a few hours later, it will cost the player 10% of his current account balance and the confiscation of all weapons and body armor. Being killed is typically cheaper than being busted when there is no hope of getting out of the situation, because while it will still cost the player 10% of his current balance and his body armor, the player will retain all weapons.
The police can arrest the player by holding them at gunpoint, however, if the player is in a vehicle, the officer will open the door and will arrest him: if on foot, the player can resist arrest by running away and/or fighting back. However, this immediately escalates from one to a two-star wanted level (three if the player chooses to retaliate with a firearm) and causes the police to open fire, a risky endeavor at close range.
As the player's wanted level increases, the police spends less energy trying to arrest the player and more trying to kill the player at all costs. As such, it is not likely to become arrested at a wanted level of two stars or higher, although the police will attempt vehicular arrests if the opportunity arises, such as if the player remain stationary in a vehicle (no moving the vehicle) doing drive-bys to the police, one of them will approach the opportunity and make an arrest.
The police are in constant radio contact with other officers, which is reflected in the Search Radius System. When the player attracts a wanted level, a search radius will appear on the map in the form of a flashing red and blue circle centered on the player's position when the police are first alerted to the crime. Within this radius, the player's wanted level does not decrease; the goal is to move outside of this circle without the police making visual contact with the player again — if they do, the circle re-centers itself at the player's current position. The higher the wanted level, the wider the search radius will become, thus making escape more difficult. If the player escapes the circle and avoids the police for several seconds (5-10 seconds), the player's wanted status is entirely removed.
Unlike 3D era games, the wanted levels cannot be lost by picking up Police Bribes, as these no longer exist. Instead, the object is to get out of sight of the police; visibility to the police is indicated by the wanted stars on the HUD. White (light gray in The Ballad of Gay Tony) indicates the player is in sight of the police, dark gray indicates the player is out of sight but their location is known or suspected, and flashing gray indicates the player is out of sight and outside the search radius.
Pay 'N' Spray
Visiting a Pay 'N' Spray location, in addition to repairing all damage to the vehicle, will also clear the player's wanted level. Their use costs $100 and advances the in-game clock three hours.
The Pay 'N' Spray will not fix or respray certain vehicles, primarily first-responder vehicles (police cruisers, ambulances, swat vans) but also civilian vehicles that only come in one color or configuration (armored cars, ice cream trucks, certain airport vehicles), aerial vehicles (Maverick, Annihilator) or anything too large to fit completely into the garage (some tankers, dump trucks, box trucks, garbage trucks, buses, etc).
The Pay 'N' Spray will also refuse to be entered if the player is in sight of the police when trying to enter; the wanted level indicator must show grey stars, not white.
While within the search radius, the player can dump their existing vehicle and steal a new one. This serves several useful purposes:
- The new vehicle makes it more difficult for the police to track the player, as the dispatcher relies on the color, make, and model of the vehicle the player was last seen driving.
- The fresh getaway vehicle will have less damage (or no damage) and so is in less danger of catching fire or stalling.
- It's possible to find a faster vehicle, and/or a more protective one. Speed is often essential to escaping the search radius, as the player must outrun any vehicles in direct pursuit. In addition, a motorcycle or older-model car will throw the driver in any severe collision, causing loss of health and wasting time as the player gets up off the ground.
- A new vehicle in perfect condition can allow the police to be easily baffled, even when they are standing behind the vehicle.
Swapping vehicles while out of sight of police is best done through hijacking or finding an unlocked parked or abandoned vehicle. Since locked vehicles require the windows to be smashed open, the police will immediately zero in on the player when they see a car with a smashed window. By contrast, a vehicle in perfect condition will baffle police even very near to the car as long as they don't see the player's face and the player doesn't collide with them. The player must also be careful to not stay in the area too long and to not encounter a police vehicle, as the police will eventually recognize the player, causing the search radius to refocus to the player's current location.
This tactic does not erase the player's wanted level or gray the player's stars, though it is an opportunity for the player to enter alleyways (where law enforcement vehicles have a harder time spotting the player), where the player may sneak past law enforcement vehicles or even steal a new car to further evade the police.
Accessing the bed (save game) in a safe house will immediately clear any wanted level, even if the game is not actually saved. Be wary of police vehicles replacing own vehicles in the parking space outside.
Starting or completing missions
Starting or completing certain missions clears any active Wanted Level. In addition, delivering a (male) friend back home after an activity will clear the Wanted Level. With female friends, the player is needed to lose the Wanted Level before picking her up and taking her back home.
The player may call COP-555-0100 (267-555-0100) using the in-game cell phone to fully remove any wanted level attained (note: This prevents the "One Man Army" Achievement from being earned, doesn't affect "Trophies" in the PS3 version). If the player previously used the cheat, they can simply access the menu, select "Cheats", and select the option.
Police in Grand Theft Auto IV are well armed, smarter, more determined and more lethal than in previous Grand Theft Auto games; they can even respond to crimes committed out of their sight, as civilians can call the police on their cell phones to report crimes. The police use their available weapons intelligently—an officer with a Pump Action Shotgun will move in closer to the player to compensate for the weapon's short range, while one with an M4A1 will stay back to take advantage of distance. During a chase, officers will coordinate themselves and will attempt to box the player in with several cars, drive faster, use the PIT maneuver and try harder as the player's wanted level increases. Also, the police can commandeer civilian vehicles (parked or occupied) if their vehicles are destroyed, or if a police vehicle is unavailable; they may even commandeer the cars parked in front of the player's safehouses. Inside safehouses, the police will follow pursuit and wound or even kill the player but cannot arrest them.
During the mission "Easy Fare" (or on some platforms, the first time any wanted status is attained even during the game's first mission), the game displays information to briefly explain the Wanted Level System.
The area the Police search is shown by the flashing red and blue zone. Cops are shown by the flashing red and blue icons.
To lose your Wanted Level, escape the flashing zone.
The Cops are less likely to identify you if you swap vehicles or run through alleyways and side streets.
If the wanted stars are grayed out then the Cops have lost sight of you.
Police radio messages return as a feature of this game and are an additional audio indicator of a player having one or more stars. The dispatcher's voice is less muffled and easier to understand than in the 3D Universe. These messages reflect the crimes being committed by the player. For example, firing a pistol will lead to mentions of "firearm discharge" over the radio, killing or wounding a police officer with a firearm is usually described as a "firearm attack on an officer", aiming a gun at an officer may be described as "a suspect taking aim at officer with firearm", attacking an officer unarmed may be described as an "attack on an officer" and hitting an individual with any weapons is described as a "shooting". The Police radio dispatcher also gives an indication on how many officers or other law enforcement agents are being sent to the players location. With each additional star, the number of units dispatched will be increased and upon reaching 3 stars, the variety of law enforcement agents dispatched is also increased. At 6 stars, the player will have LCPD police officers, NOOSE agents, and the FIB team after him.
At a one star Wanted Level, any LCPD Officers will give chase and attempt to arrest the player on sight by gunpoint. Police Officers rarely shoot at one star, primarily if they feel personally threatened (for example, if the player aims a firearm in their direction or drives dangerously close to said Police Officer), or if they see the player in water. They most commonly attempt to arrest the player. In multiplayer mode, officers will simply shoot on sight due to the lack of a Busted mechanic. Police Cars follow the player at moderate speed, trying to corral and box in rather than collide with the player's vehicle, and thus are relatively easy to evade. The Search Radius for one star is approximately two city blocks; travelling in a relatively fast car away from incoming cruisers will quickly get the player out of range. The player is unable to buy any items (weapons, clothes, or food, except from vending machines and street vendors), enter a Taxi as a passenger (except for Roman's Car Service), enter bars or clubs, or partake in activities like TV, Darts, Bowling, etc. while wanted by the Police.
One star is attained by:
- Attacking a Police Officer unarmed or with a melee weapon
- Attacking and/or killing civilians (explosions may result in higher levels)
- Attacking a dead civilian in sight of a Police Officer (by fists or melee weapons, but only without already getting a Wanted Level for killing them).
- Damaging or destroying a vehicle (explosions may result in higher levels)
- Attacking, crashing into, or climbing on top of an occupied Police Vehicle
- Aiming with a melee weapon or fists on a Police Officer
- Shooting a weapon. (Player does not necessarily have to kill anyone. Sometimes the in game dispatch will call this "firearms discharge" or "shots fired"--shooting one near a police officer could result in a two Star Wanted Level)
- Hitting a Pedestrian or a Police Officer with a vehicle (hitting a police officer will always trigger the star; hitting a civilian requires a bystander to "report" the incident unless in sight of an Officer).
- Stealing a car, either by breaking into a parked one, or stealing one that is/was occupied by a civilian and in sight of an Officer.
- Driving a vehicle with its alarm sounding within sight of a Police Officer
- Attacking the same vehicle multiple times in sight of police
- Driving past a toll booth in a civilian vehicle without paying (emergency vehicles are exempt from the toll)
- Being seen by the Police drunk-driving
- Repeatedly running into a Police Officer while walking and/or causing them to fall to the ground.
- Pushing a Police Officer.
- Spraying NPCs with a water cannon while driving a Fire Truck. (If repeated, it can result in a higher level)
- Stealing money from a cash register in any accessible store
- Starting fires or getting caught on fire
- Obstructing Justice when a Police Officer is chasing or arresting an NPC.
- Using the wanted level down cheat after clearing a wanted level already, due to a possible glitch. (267-555-0100)
- Entering a train without any money to pay the travel
- Robbing a store causing the alarm to go off
- If the player parks a vehicle in AutoEroticar or the Grotti Showroom, and then get back in, the police will begin to move on, it is unknown if this is intended or a glitch.
- Punching in sight of a Police Officer. (Not always give a wanted level)
- Some missions and side missions in the Grand Theft Auto IV Series will warrant an automatic one star Wanted Level as part of normal gameplay. This is implied in a random encounter.
Police Officers now shoot to kill more often and they shoot the player with pistols. Police Officers in cars now chase the player, rather than simply following behind, and often try to overtake the player or run them off-road. They will also use their cars to try and box the player in if they crash. The front passengers of Police Cars will now carry Pump Action Shotguns. The player may still be arrested at this stage of Wanted Level if forced out of the car by an Officer.
Two stars are attained by:
- Discharging a firearm in the direction of a Police Officer, or detonating an explosive device in their vicinity (killing or wounding a Police Officer automatically leads to three stars)
- Aiming a firearm at a Police Officer
- Repeatedly punching a Police Officer
- Destroying many vehicles at once
- Killing many people in a short space of time
- Discharging a weapon in front of a Police Officer
- Destroying a fuel pump at a Gas Station
- Resisting arrest while at one star
- Flying over restricted airspace in a helicopter (FIA Runway, Civilization Committee, unless in a Police Maverick)
- Stealing certain cars for Brucie's Exotic Exports.
- Being chased for extended period of time at one star.
- Destroying a Gruppe 6 Securicar.
- Some missions and side missions in the Grand Theft Auto IV Series will warrant an automatic two star Wanted Level as part of normal gameplay. Examples include Easy Fare and Smackdown.
At a three-star Wanted Level, the player loses the ability to board the subway; and Police Vehicles become more aggressive in their pursuit, attempting to pin the player's vehicle against buildings and run them off the road. NOOSE now begin to assist the LCPD by setting up roadblocks on main roads and bridges; also sending NOOSE Cruisers and NOOSE Patriots to pursue the player. The NOOSE Patriots will attempt to ram the player from the front, putting the player and Police Officers inside at risk of a windshield ejection from their vehicle. Strong and fast vehicles are recommended. Motorcycles are not suggested due to the aggressive driving of the Police. They now also use Shotguns and Carbine rifles.
A Police Maverick is now called in, it can be heard on the radio as "Dispatch Air Unit from _______.". The Police Maverick will shine a spotlight on the player at night and open fire if the Police Officers on board get a clear shot. The Police Maverick, however, periodically breaks off from pursuit and retreats if the player goes underground, stays inside a large structure for a long time, or kills both riflemen on board. In The Ballad of Gay Tony, Police Mavericks' riflemen are equipped with Advanced Machine Guns instead of Carbine Rifles. Police Predators are dispatched if the player is in or near water. Like the Police Maverick, the Police Predator has two riflemen armed with M4 Carbine Rifles on board. Evading a three-or-higher star wanted level in a helicopter is impossible as the centre of the search radius will stay fixed on the player when flying.
Three stars are attained by:
- Killing or wounding a Police Officer with a firearm
- Entering the Alderney State Correctional Facility (only in The Lost And Damned and in The Ballad Of Gay Tony)
- During the mission "Corner Kids" and "No. 3" in The Ballad of Gay Tony
- Reaching street level in Little Italy after leaving the subway system during the mission "Three Leaf Clover" (down from five stars).
- Continuing to cause collateral damage (killing civilians/destroying vehicles)
- Continuing to retaliate against the Police.
At four stars, the FIB and the NOOSE Tactical Response Unit join the fray and the player is confronted by Enforcers and FIB Buffaloes in addition to the previously mentioned forces. Tactical Response Unit Officers and FIB Agents come four to a vehicle and are armed with Carbine Rifles, although some of them carry SMGs and Pump Action Shotguns, and wear body armor for protection. The LCPD Pilot and the LCPD riflemen in the Police Maverick will leave to allow NOOSE Tactical Response Unit Pilot and NOOSE Tactical Response Unit riflemen. The search area is approximately the size of the Bohan borough. In The Ballad of Gay Tony, all Law Enforcement Officers start firing upon the player while in pursuit at this level, and NOOSE Tactical Response Unit Officers and FIB Agents use Assault SMGs and Automatic Shotguns as well as the aforementioned weapons against the player.
Four stars are attained by:
- Continuing to retaliate against Law Enforcement
- Continuing to cause collateral damage
- Entering the runway area at Francis International Airport
- Entering the grounds of the Civilization Committee in Algonquin
- During the missions "High Dive", "Caught With Your Pants Down" and "Not So Fast" in The Ballad of Gay Tony
At five wanted stars, the Police Mavericks will leave and be replaced by two NOOSE Annihilators. In the main game and The Lost And Damned, all Law Enforcement Officers fire upon the player while in pursuit (In The Ballad of Gay Tony they will do this at four stars), making getaways difficult. The NOOSE Tactical Response Unit Officers and the FIB Agents are particularly perilous to engage because their weapons are likely to make short work of the player's getaway vehicle. Due to the increased risk of being shot to death, use of a motorcycle as a getaway vehicle is especially not recommended. All Law Enforcement Officers employ more advanced driving techniques, such as the PIT Maneuver, as they try to make the player spin out of control and crash. FIB and NOOSE Tactical Response Unit cooperation is more apparent at this level, both forces spawning and pursuing the player in equal numbers. NOOSE Cruisers and NOOSE Patriots will now disappear and make room for more Enforcers, FIB Buffaloes, Police Patrols and Police Cruisers. Also, some Police Officers armed with PSG-1s Sniper Rifles will spawn on the roof of some buildings and will aim at the player.
Five stars are attained by:
- Continuing to retaliate against Law Enforcement
- Continuing to cause collateral damage
- Visiting "www.LittleLacySurprisePageant.com" on the in-game Internet
- During the mission "Three Leaf Clover" as a result of the bank's alarm being triggered.
- During the mission "For the Man Who Has Everything" in The Ballad of Gay Tony
At six stars, the search area is approximately the size of the Broker-Dukes island in Liberty City. The number of Police Patrols and Police Cruisers reduces so more FIB Buffaloes and NOOSE Enforcers can join the chase/shootout. Surviving and escaping is more difficult, and a very fast and/or durable vehicle is recommended. All Law Enforcement Vehicles fire upon and ram the player relentlessly with very little regard for collateral damage. On foot, the player must move and/or retaliate quickly to avoid being cut down by gunfire. Unlike previous GTA games, the Military is not deployed. The LCPD Officers armed with PSG-1 Sniper Rifles will continue to spawn.
Six stars are attained by:
- Continuing to retaliate against Law Enforcements
- Continuing to cause collateral damage
- Crossing Police Barricades or flying/swimming/walking (via tracks or Pedestrian Walkways) into areas of Liberty City that the player has not yet unlocked (only in the original GTA IV, all areas are unlocked in the start of the episodes)
- Attacking Police Officers guarding the barriers to the locked islands
The player can earn two Achievements/Trophies associated with the Wanted Level, however the use of specific Cheat Codes blocks the rewards. The GTA IV Tips can give help on obtaining these Achievements/Trophies.
- Walk Free - Successfully evade a four-star Wanted Level. (50G/Bronze Trophy)
- One Man Army - Survive a six-star Wanted Level for five minutes. (40G/Silver Trophy)
- With a Wanted Level, any nearby helicopter will chase the player, including the Helitours Mavericks, other civilian Mavericks, or even an Annihilator. Fortunately the civilian Mavericks have no riflemen on-board to fire upon the player, but the pilots will shout the same warnings and threats usually heard from the Police Mavericks. This is strange because normally when helicopters fly and the player has a wanted level, they ignore the player.
- If the player buys food or drinks, the police will temporarily cease fire while the player is drinking; they will, however, resume attacking immediately afterwards.
- If the protagonist is drunk and on foot with a one star Wanted Level, the Police Officers will follow him around, pointing their guns at him until he sobers up. However player will most likely get two stars if the Police Officers follow the player for too long.
- If a Police Officer commandeers a vehicle in the player's parking space and the player uses the "wanted down" cheat code, stealing the car back from the police officer doesn't earn the player a wanted rating. Likewise, if the police are arresting a person and commandeers one of the player's vehicles, they can take it back as if the police officer had stolen the car.
- If the player spawns an FIB Buffalo via the Cheat Code 227-555-0100, it increases the likelihood of FIB Agents appearing.
- If the player shoots down a Police Maverick or an Annihilator and the wanted level is dropped, sometimes the burnt out wreck of helicopter remains with a police officer slumped over the controls inside, and upon ramming the wreck with a vehicle, the player weirdly attains one star, typically normal if a player rams into a police car, though this glitch happens very rarely.
- If a Police Officer arrests a Pedestrian, the police will guide them to the closest Law Enforcement Car. If the player was inside a law enforcement car, the arrested pedestrian and the police officer will enter the car in the back seat. After a few seconds, the player will get a one star wanted level and the pedestrian will jack the player out.
- If a police officer steals a Taxi and the wanted level is dropped, he will "take" the place of the taxi driver, for example, he can drive the player to an area like a normal taxi driver can. However, the police officer will chase the player if he has a one star Wanted level or will try to kill the player if his wanted level is higher.
- If the player has a two star Wanted Level and passes through the toll booths on either the East Borough Bridge or the Dukes Bay Bridge (without paying), sometimes his Wanted Level will strangely automatically go down to one star as if no Wanted Level was obtained before he passed through the toll booth (just as it occurs when the player avoids playing the toll).
- If the player has not yet unlocked the island of Alderney (but has unlocked Algonquin), and travels down an alley way on Union Drive West, between the building with a Sprunk sign on it and Ray Boccino's lock up (there's a sign above that says Cogs and Hogs Auto Electric), jumps over the ledge overlooking Booth Tunnel on to an old railway, and then jumps down onto the roadway of Booth Tunnel (which is supposed to be blocked off), he will not obtain a six star wanted level rating (typically normal if a player attempts to access a locked island). Instead, the barricades that should be blocking Alderney now block the island of Algonquin and the police officers face Booth Tunnel. When the player attempts to return to the island of Algonquin by passing the barricades, he will obtain an automatic six star Wanted Level as if he was attempting to access an island that has not yet been unlocked. Effectively, the only way to continue the game without getting in trouble is to hail a Taxi in Booth Tunnel an have the driver take the player to another location (Note: It is recommended to skip to the destination as the driver will repeatedly crash into the barricades and the player will not get anywhere). Adventurous players and those who like to be troublemakers could simply pass through the barricades and incur the six star Wanted Level.
- If the player throws a passenger out of a Taxi and is in sight of a Police Officer, he will not obtain a Wanted Level rating as he does when he hijacks someone from a regular vehicle in sight of a police officer.
- If AI helpers armed with firearms are following the player and a one-star wanted level is obtained, the Police will shoot at the player and the AI even if just standing there, after shooting you a couple of times, they will try to make an arrest on the player.
- Sometimes, if the player shoots a firearm near a police officer and gains a two-star Wanted Level, the police dispatch will say "we have a firearm attack on an officer." This is a glitch, however, since this would normally warrant a three-star Wanted Level.
- At lower Wanted Levels, prioritize escaping from Police Officers armed with Pump Action Shotguns or prioritize killing Police Officers with Pump Action Shotguns because they can kill a player with 1-2 shots at close range.
- At higher levels, the best way to escape is to shoot down the Police Helicopters, and sneak into a Pay 'n' Spray before they respawn.
- Using the the Subway System is another good tactic. Enter by foot or with a vehicle (preferably a motorbike) and follow the underground routes until out of the Search Radius. However, the player must be careful not to get lost in the system or getting hit by the oncoming Subway Trains.
- Any player planning their escape by use of the Subway system should also be on the lookout for Cops spawning in the stairwells leading to a train station (if entering from street level) and be ready to gun them down before they have a chance to finish the player off. Even if a higher wanted level is obtained by doing so, it should be able to escape it since the player will be using the Subway system anyway.
- It is generally not recommended to use Dukes/Broker/Bohan Subway tracks as a means of escape when the Wanted Level is three stars or higher as these train tracks are not underground. This makes it harder to escape if there is a Police Maverick chasing down and also makes the player more suspected to damage.
- At low levels, head for docks or the Higgins Helitours. It is easier to escape via air and sea than land. However, at 3 stars and above, the player is always visible if in a helicopter and Police Predators will follow alongside if on the water, making it harder to escape.
- Stunt jumping gives the player considerable distance from the Police but may not guarantee total escape, as certain factors, such as the size of the Search Radius, environment of the stunt jump, "projectile" motion concept of physics, and the position of other Police Units, come into play.
- The player can listen to the Police Radio while being chased ; it will indicate which Police Vehicles the Police are sending after the protagonist. The "dispatched from [location]" gives the general spawning point for Police Vehicles. Some are : "Dispatch X (number of Police Units, usually 2-6) Units from __.", "Dispatch Air Unit from __", "Dispatch NOOSE Team from __." and "Dispatch FIB Team from __.".
- Run through alleys and narrow streets when on 1-2 stars wanted level to give the Cops the slip.
- Search for the locations of Police Stations and other places Police Officers on foot are often found (there are usually many Police Officers on foot in certain neighborhoods of Algonquin such as Star Junction and The Triangle). There are also usually always Police Officers on foot on either side of the endpoints of the bridge (Quartz Street) that runs over Middle Park.
- There are several places in the city to avoid when having a Wanted Level of any number of stars, such as anywhere near the Civilization Committee, The Alderney State Correctional Facility, and The Francis International Airport as these are all environments with high security and there will certainly be Police Officers on foot as well as in Police Patrol Cars. In addition, a player may inadvertently enter one of these facilities, which would trigger a higher Wanted Level if the Wanted Level is already low. Doing so would just make it harder to escape and make a player more susceptible to being killed by Law Enforcement.
- Refrain from going near bridges or entrance points that lead to islands not yet unlocked when having a Wanted Level on any number of stars, as passing the barricades accidentally would obtain an unwanted six-star Wanted Level.
- If a Police Officer jacks a civilian car or breaks into one, he will still give orders over a megaphone while pursuing the player as if he were in a regular Police Patrol car.
- When a Police Officer is driving a civilian vehicle, the radar will not display their position. However if they drive the police cars that is exclusive in multiplayer (spawned via trainer or in Free Mode with "Police" on), they will show.
- If a Police Officer commandeers a Mr. Tasty, they will sound the van's chimes as if they were the siren.
- If a Police Officer dies via shooting to death at the same time the police vehicle he commandeers gets close to the player, the police megaphone will still function.
- If the wanted level is 3 stars or higher, spawning Law Enforcement Vehicles will always have more tire grip than normal, it has the purpose of making the pursuit harder for the player, to compensate the poor driving AI. One can easily notice the high level of grip if he/she manages to steal an FIB Buffalo, lose the cops (Cheat is faster), drive it for a while, and then spawn a normal FIB Buffalo with the 227-555-0100 cheat.
- It possible to crash the police officer out the car by crashing head-on at high speed. There is a better chance of doing this if the player has a large vehicle, such as a truck.
- If an officer was to arrest the player while in two-star wanted level or higher, other officers already in the pursuit (and in a police car) will try to block the player's way.
- The lower wanted level cheats will not work if the player enters an island that has yet to be unlocked in the storyline or trespasses in the tarmac of the Francis International Airport. It shares this trait with GTA Vice City if the player trespasses in the Washington Beach Police Station (unless if Tommy Vercetti is wearing the police uniform), GTA San Andreas if the player enters San Fierro or Las Venturas if either city has yet to be unlocked (though GTA San Andreas has a cheat code for not earning wanted levels) and GTA V if the player trespasses in the Humane Labs and Research, Fort Zancudo and the Los Santos International Airport (Michael and Franklin will not earn a wanted level when they buy a hangar in LSIA, but Trevor will always earn a wanted level when he enters the airport since he can't buy a hangar there).
- If the police scanner does not recognize the vehicle's manufacturer and name, only color and type (2-door, van, etc.) is heard instead. An exception is the NRG 900 (Possibly because it is the only sports bike).
- If a police officer is killed by hitting him with a car or bike without being wanted, the player may only gain a single star wanted level.
- When a player has a wanted level and the one looks closely, Niko moves his eyes from left to right and his expression shows, that he is either scared or is looking out for cops.