The Wanted Level in Grand Theft Auto Online is a measure to determine how much the player is wanted by the Los Santos Police Department, the Los Santos County Sheriff and/or NOOSE. Unlike many previous games in the series and similar to the wanted level system in Grand Theft Auto V, Grand Theft Auto Online features a five-star scale rather than six.

Description

In contrast with police in previous installments and in Grand Theft Auto V, police officers in Grand Theft Auto Online are much more aggressive and persistent when it comes to chasing after the perpetrator. The police AI is noticeably much more intelligent; police officers are more capable of avoiding obstacles. They will also now use a wider range of methods to apprehend the player; examples include the PIT maneuver and attempting to corner and "box in" the player's vehicle. When chasing after the player in a vehicle, police officers tend to ram the back end of the player's car, which may send it spinning out of control. Like in Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto V, any officer will also commandeer civilian vehicles to continue a pursuit if their own police vehicle is destroyed or becomes inaccessible. Also similar to these two games is the ability for police to respond to crimes committed out of their sight, as civilians can call the police on their cell phones to report crimes. Unlike GTA V however, the civilians will never physically pull out their phone and call the police when witnessing a crime committed.

Police search the player in the same style as Grand Theft Auto III. No search radius is deployed; instead, the police will search across the entire map. Each individual officer has a field of view, and will actively pursue the player if he/she enters the field. This makes it notoriously difficult when avoiding officers in Police Maverick helicopters, as their field of view is significantly larger than a four-star search radius in Grand Theft Auto IV.

One noticeably major difference between police in Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online is that the police will never perform an arrest. When a wanted level is gained, the police will only shoot and do not stop until the player dies, calls Lester to remove the wanted level, or evades them for a long enough time.

Wanted Levels

One Star

At a one-star wanted level, the player is considered to have committed a "minor" crime. The police will never attempt to actually arrest the protagonist by means of gunpoint like the previous games when a one-star wanted level is gained; instead, they will immediately shoot to kill.

A one-star wanted level can be acquired by committing the following deeds:

  • Pedestrians
    • Running over or hitting a pedestrian with a vehicle.
    • Killing a pedestrian by means of fists, melee weapons, or guns.
    • Showing any physical aggression (punching, kicking, or shoving) towards a pedestrian while in sight of police (A wanted level will not always be given if the pedestrian is already hostile and attacks the player first; instead, the pedestrian will be arrested if he/she throws the first punch).
      • Other methods of causing injury.
      • Pushing too many pedestrians while on foot (PS3/Xbox 360 only).
      • Pushing a pedestrian against another pedestrian sitting down.
      • Beating up a dead body in sight of an officer, firefighter, or paramedic.
    • Pointing a gun at a pedestrian while in sight of police.
  • Police Officers and Police Vehicles
    • Insulting a police officer.
      • Performing an action in front of an officer.
      • Honking a vehicle's horn numerous times near an officer.
      • Performing a burnout in front of an officer.
      • Walking or bumping into an officer numerous times.
      • Getting in the way of a police vehicle for too long by standing in front of them.
    • Bumping or crashing into an occupied police vehicle.
    • Damaging a non-police vehicle while in sight of an officer, or if reported.
      • Damaging an unoccupied police vehicle in sight of an officer, or if reported.
    • Standing on top of an occupied police vehicle.
    • Injuring or running over a security guard.
    • Standing in front of a moving police car without moving out of the way after a couple of seconds.
  • World
    • If reported by a pedestrian, causing damage to the world with a vehicle.
    • Setting off an explosion, even if no damage is done (Such as firing an RPG or triggering a sticky bomb).
    • Being caught by a security guard while trespassing at the Kortz Center after hours.
  • Vehicles
    • If reported, stealing a vehicle not owned by the player, whether occupied or unoccupied.
      • Driving near an officer with a vehicle's alarm active.
      • Killing the owner of a vehicle with a firearm or melee weapons during or after carjacking.
      • Driving a stolen vehicle in sight of police that has not been resprayed.
    • If reported, performing a near miss at a pedestrian (performing a near miss at an officer or security guard will always result in a wanted level if the player doesn’t leave quickly).
    • Crash-landing an aircraft, but not exploding it.
      • Bailing out of an aircraft and exploding it.
    • Driving a vehicle on fire while in sight of an officer.
    • Being caught drunk driving (drunk driving in an emergency vehicle, such as the Police Maverick and Police Cruiser, will always give the player a wanted level even without witnesses).
    • Knocking down a large number of motorcyclists with a vehicle, or if reported.
    • Colliding and exploding a vehicle with another vehicle.
  • Services
    • Attacking a paramedic, either by fists, melee weapons, or guns.
    • Attacking a firefighter, either by fists, melee weapons, or guns.
  • Other Players
    • Attacking or killing another player while in sight of police.
  • Miscellaneous Crimes
    • Being caught shoplifting items at convenience stores.
    • Being caught stealing money from the cashier in stores (2 Stars will be given if the player holds the cashier at gunpoint during the robbery).
    • Requesting Ballistic Equipment or Ammo Drop with an officer nearby.
    • Rarely, the player may randomly earn a wanted level without any reason despite not committing any of the crimes.

During a one-star wanted level, the LSPD in Los Santos will utilize the Police Cruiser (Interceptor), and the LSCS in Blaine County will utilize the Sheriff Cruiser. The LSPD and the sheriff will operate the Predator if the player swims or drives a boat into the ocean.

Two Stars

Like in the one-star wanted level, police will still try to kill the player. During pursuits, officers actively chase the player and drive much more aggressively, now attempting to ram the player off the road. Pursuits are also far more coordinated; police cars may now wait at the side of the road to "ambush" the player as he/she drives by, or blending into civilian traffic with their lights and sirens deactivated until the player draws near. At two stars, a minimum of 3 police cars will be chasing the player. Officers will also shoot from their police vehicles if shots are fired from the player or if a weapon is pointed in their direction.

A two-star wanted level can be acquired by committing the following crimes:

  • Pedestrians
    • Shooting at or pointing a gun at an officer or security guard.
    • Killing, injuring or attacking a civilian inside the Mission Row Police Station.
    • Killing pedestrians while already at a one-star wanted level.
  • Police
    • Attacking a law enforcement officer with fists, melee weapons, or guns.
    • Running over, but not necessarily killing, an officer or guard with a vehicle.
    • Resisting arrest, either by fighting law enforcement or attempting to run/drive away.
    • Shooting and killing a security guard with a firearm.
      • Threatening a police officer with a firearm.
      • Shooting a gun in sight of police, even if the gun is not aimed at anyone.
    • Stealing a police vehicle near any police station or anywhere else in the game while in sight of police.
    • Physically attacking a police vehicle that is occupied by at least one officer.
    • Killing a prison guard protecting Bolingbroke Penitentiary while outside of the prison's perimeter.
    • Trespassing in the Davis Sheriff's Station's impound lot to retrieve the player's Personal Vehicle without paying the fine.
  • Vehicles
    • Taking down an aircraft occupied by another player.
    • Destroying an unoccupied aircraft (No Wanted Level will be given if said aircraft is owned by the player).
    • Shooting down or crashing an aircraft occupied by at least one civilian.
    • Crashing a vehicle the player is driving at high speed while in sight of police.
  • Services
    • Killing a paramedic (with a firearm only; other methods of killing will only grant one star).
    • Killing a firefighter (with a firearm only; other methods of killing will only grant one star).
      • Attacking a paramedic or firefighter while in sight of police.
  • Miscellaneous Crimes
    • Standing on top of a cable car at Mount Chiliad.
    • Refusing to leave the Los Santos Golf Club after a verbal warning has been given.
    • Flying over the airspace of Fort Zancudo (If the player does not own a Hangar in the base) after a warning is given to leave.
    • Firing an explosive weapon, running over military personnel, or stealing a vehicle inside of Fort Zancudo (If the player owns a Hangar in the base).
    • Holding up a store. (Whilst the act of robbing a store gives only a one-star wanted level, this will increase to two as soon as the player leaves the store. Due to the lack of the Busted mechanic in GTA Online, however, this will simply result in a two-star wanted level instantly.)
    • Stealing any vehicle that was requested by Simeon.

Vehicles: Police CruiserSheriff Cruiser, Police Predator (Water Only).

Three Stars

At three stars, the police widen their range of tactics to stop the player. They will set up roadblocks with their police cars and police transporters, which may also set out a spike strip on the road behind them. All officers that spawn when three or more stars are attained will be wearing bulletproof vests. Officers will run up to the player if they are stationary in a vehicle, drag them out, and instantly kill them with their weapon. A Police Maverick helicopter will be called in to shadow the player and provide air support in the form of NOOSE officers that ride on board. At night, the helicopter will shine a spotlight on the player to highlight their location to ground units. A minimum of four police cars and a police helicopter will be sent after the player at any given time, but when passing a roadblock, officers may get in their vehicles in order to join the chase. The Police helicopter will always stay on station until its fuel runs low, at which point it will return to base; however, it will be replaced by another in short order. 

A three-star wanted level can be acquired by committing the following crimes:

  • Pedestrians
    • Continuing to kill civilians or other players while already at two stars.
    • Shooting and killing any pedestrians in The Diamond Casino & Resort.
  • Police
    • Running over and killing a law enforcement officer, guard, or soldier.
    • Killing a law enforcement officer or soldier, either by fists, melee weapons, or guns.
    • Trespassing behind the information desk, into the staircase, or on the rooftop of the police station in Mission Row.
      • Standing behind or using the police computer on the police counter inside Mission Row.
    • Shooting a criminal during a police shooting (also known as Vigilantism).
    • Shooting a firearm in near proximity of Bolingbroke Penitentiary.
    • Attacking Fort Zancudo Personnel.
  • Vehicles
    • Destroying a 2nd unoccupied aircraft after 2 stars were given.
    • Simultaneously destroying several vehicles and/or blowing up civilian traffic (at least three stars; the Wanted Level may be raised if excessive destruction occurs).
    • Shooting down any aircraft occupied by an officer or soldier.
    • Colliding into an NPC-controlled aircraft and destroying it.
    • Continuously attacking or ramming into several vehicles while already at 2 stars.
    • Attacking or destroying a Stockade truck (PS3/Xbox 360 only).
    • Failing to return and/or destroying a requested vehicle from Lester.
  • Miscellaneous Crimes
    • Robbing several stores within a certain amount of time without changing glasses or masks.
      • Shooting the cashier during or after robbing a store.

Vehicles: Police Cruiser, Police Transporter, Police Maverick, Sheriff Cruiser, Police Predator (Water Only).

Four Stars

A Police Maverick landing and deploying a NOOSE team to engage the player on the roof of the Los Santos Naval Port

At a four-star wanted level, NOOSE teams will be sent to eliminate the player. They will arrive in FIB Grangers or Sheriff SUVs, depending on whether they are in Los Santos or Blaine County. Each vehicle contains three NOOSE officers - one driving, and other two hanging on the sides as they fire their weapons at the player. NOOSE will also try to gun the player down from Police Mavericks overhead with their Carbine Rifles; up to three Police Mavericks may now become involved, although only two will be typically deployed at any one time. When the officers aboard helicopters cannot get a shot at their target, they may rappel out of the helicopter and engage the player on the ground. On rare occasions, a Police Maverick will also attempt to land if there is enough room to do so, deploying a team of five NOOSE officers directly towards the player. Armored NOOSE riot vans will also be deployed to set up roadblocks. At this wanted level, a minimum of five police ground vehicles and two police helicopters will be sent after the player at any given time, though officers in roadblocks will also get in their cars and chase the player. Unlike a three-star wanted level, police (mainly NOOSE) will now attempt to shoot the player from inside their vehicles, even if no shots are fired from the player first.

A four-star wanted level can be acquired by committing the following crimes:

  • Pedestrians
    • Continuing to murder civilians and players after the 3rd star was given.
  • Police
    • Continuing to retaliate against law enforcement.
    • Destroying a pursuing Police Maverick (Can sometimes take at least two downed units to attain the fourth star).
    • Attacking or killing a prison guard within Bolingbroke Penitentiary.
  • Vehicles
    • Destroying a 4th unoccupied aircraft after 3 stars are given.
    • Continuing to blow up traffic after the 3rd star is given.
  • Miscellaneous Crimes
    • Trespassing in Fort Zancudo (If the player doesn't own a Hangar in the base).
      • Entering the air traffic control tower in Fort Zancudo, even if the player owns a Hangar in the base.
    • Continuing to fly over the airspace of Fort Zancudo (If the player does not own a Hangar in the base) after a two-star wanted level is previously gained.
    • Trespassing in Bolingbroke Penitentiary.
    • Flying low over or landing in Bolingbroke Penitentiary.
    • Killing a prison guard protecting Bolingbroke Penitentiary while inside the prison's perimeter.
    • Robbing at least four stores whilst killing the owner in a row.

Vehicles: Police Cruiser, Police TransporterPolice Maverick, FIB Granger, Sheriff Cruiser, Sheriff SUV, Police Riot, Police Predator (Water Only).

Five Stars

A continued pursuit with four stars will eventually give the player a five-star wanted level, the highest wanted level in the game. The streets will now be filled with police personnel and feature very little, if any, civilian traffic. Numerous police cars and NOOSE vehicles will hunt for the player and set up multiple roadblocks. At five stars, an indefinite number of police vehicles, as well as up to three Police Mavericks, will be chasing the player, although usually only two will be deployed at any one time. A significantly higher proportion of NOOSE units will be involved when compared to four stars. Unlike police from Grand Theft Auto IV, normal police officers will not perform drive-by shootings during a chase; only NOOSE officers will attempt to shoot the player while driving, firing ceaselessly from their Grangers.

A five-star wanted level can be acquired by committing the following crimes:

  • Pedestrians
    • Continuing to murder civilians after the 3rd and 4th stars were given.
  • Police
    • Continuing to retaliate against law enforcement.
    • Killing a large number of police personnel.
  • Vehicles
    • Destroying a large number of cars, boats, bikes, helicopters, or other vehicles.
  • Miscellaneous Crimes
    • Firing a missile in a Buzzard or P-996 Lazer within the runways at Los Santos International Airport.
    • Robbing all 24/7 stores whilst killing the owner, without getting wasted.

Vehicles: Police Cruiser, Police Transporter, Police Maverick, FIB Granger, Sheriff Cruiser, Sheriff SUV, Police Riot, Police Predator (Water Only).

In Missions

All wanted levels will be triggered by a unique crime in certain missions listed below.

Non-Organization/MC Club Freemode Activity

  • Distract Cops - Entering the distraction zone begins a one-star wanted level and increases by one star every 2 minutes to reach five stars (PS3/Xbox 360).

VIP/CEO Works/Challenges

  • Asset Recovery - Stealing a target vehicle at the beginning of the VIP work triggers three stars when driving a motorcycle or four stars when driving a car. The level will decrease to two stars when arriving near the destination.
  • Hostile Takeover - (All wanted level status will remain until the player successfully delivers the briefcase)
    • Altruist Cult - Stealing the briefcase from Altruists triggers a three-star wanted level.
    • LSIA - Entering near the hangar of LSIA will trigger a four-star wanted level.
    • Merryweather Base - Stealing the briefcase from Merryweather will trigger a three-star wanted level.
    • Fort Zancudo - Entering the base and aiming triggers a five-star wanted level.
  • Headhunter - Wanted levels will trigger based on the player's actions if the bodyguards and the target were provoked.
    • Assassinating a second target gives every organization member a one-star wanted level. Two stars if a third target was assassinated. The wanted level status will be cleared once all targets are assassinated.
      • However, after finishing a mission, a one-star wanted level will be given if the player remains in the scene for too long while being spotted by bodyguards.
    • Attacking and/or destroying a moving target vehicle gives the player 1 to 2 stars. Destroying two target vehicles and/or killing a target by the same player with 2 stars gives them a three-star wanted level.
    • Provoking a target or bodyguards near the area will trigger a one-star wanted level.
  • Most Wanted - A VIP Challenge, initiated by the VIP/CEO, in which all players must survive a five-star wanted level for 10 minutes.
  • Courier Service - Collecting the bag of cash triggers a three-star wanted level until the player successfully delivers it to the destination.
  • Cashing Out - Sometimes a wanted level will trigger randomly between 1 to 3 stars if the player hacks an ATM.
  • Buy Special Cargo - Wanted levels between 1 to 3 stars will trigger based on the difficulty chosen. For example, buying one crate with a police mission triggers one star, two crates triggers two stars, and three crates three stars. The following missions involving wanted level:
    • Police Compound - Triggers upon entry to the police impound lot.
    • Ambush - Triggers when entering a special cargo vehicle waiting for the opportunity to trigger a chase, or by killing them.
    • Police Seizure - Triggers if shooting a Police Transporter containing special cargo.
    • Personnel Issue - Triggers if all targets and nearby NPCs get spooked.
    • Crash Site - Triggers if a player enters the crash site.
  • Vehicle Cargo - Like the special cargo missions, all missions that give wanted levels are based on the value of the vehicle. For example, sourcing a standard range vehicle involving a wanted level triggers one star, two stars if sourcing a mid range vehicle, and three stars if sourcing a top range vehicle. The following missions involve a wanted level:
    • Amateur Thief - Shooting and disrupting the police chase or vehicle cargo will always trigger a three-star wanted level regardless of its value.
    • Detective Work - Has a chance to trigger once the vehicle is reportedly stolen.
    • Mobile Vehicles - Has a chance to trigger once the vehicle is reportedly stolen, even if the owner of the vehicle is killed.
    • Heist Crew - Shooting any military personnel triggers a wanted level when trying to steal a Cargobob.
    • Movie Stunt - Triggers if security guards see a player killing one of them or being spotted stealing.
    • Traffic Stop - Triggers if arriving too close to their proximity of the driver and officers issuing a ticket.
    • Crime Scene - Triggers if the player enters the crime scene, even if the cops despawn.

Motorcycle Club Work/Missions/Challenges

  • By The Pound - Two stars will be given when the player meets up with an undercover drug dealer holding the product in Rogers Salvage & Scrap.
  • Jailbreak - Stealing the Prison Bus gives the player three stars, although the police difficulty has been reduced.
  • Nine Tenths of the Law - Stealing the motorcycles from La Mesa Police Station triggers a two-star wanted level, though a member that drives away from the station will clear the wanted level status for all MC members.
  • P.O.W. - Triggers two stars when arriving at one of the locations given.
    • Mission Row Police Station
    • LSIA Subway
  • Criminal Mischief - Biker Meleeing an occupied police vehicle on the map triggers a two-star wanted level.
  • On The Run - Triggers five stars when initiated by the Sergeant-at-Arms. In the mission, players must survive the police for 10 minutes on their motorcycles.

Gunrunning

  • Supplies/Steal Missions
    • Rhino Tank - Entering the training area while stealing a Rhino Tank triggers a four-star wanted level with the difficulty of cop presence reduced. The wanted level status will be cleared once the tank arrives near the bunker.
    • Youga Classic - Has a chance of triggering a one-star wanted level right after stealing the vehicle with supplies.
    • Distract Police - The Wanted level will cap up to four stars when at least one member of the organization distract all nearby cops. A wanted level will trigger if the distracting member drives too close to the supplies, failing to cooperate by stealing the vehicle without having a member gain 4 stars, or if the distracting member dies during a distraction.
    • Ballistic Equipment - A three-star wanted level will trigger when arriving too close to military personnel guarding the Ballistic Equipment.
  • Supplies/Sell Missions
    • Phantom Wedge - Upon entering the vehicle, a three-star wanted level will be given to all organization or MC members. The Wanted level status will be cleared once the Phantom arrives closer to the drop-off (A one-star wanted level will be gained, though, due to a glitch).
    • Insurgent Pick-Up Custom - Sometimes, an organization or MC will receive a wanted level upon delivering to the drop-off.

Restricted Areas

There are several restricted areas in GTA Online that are off-limits to the protagonists and will automatically grant the player a wanted level should they trespass within. While inside any of these areas, the Lower Wanted Level cheat will not function, and the player will be unable to lose their heat unless they leave the area. Restricted areas include:

  • Fort Zancudo - Entering the base will give the player a four-star wanted level. Flying over it will give only two stars, although this will quickly escalate to four if the player does not move away quickly. However, as a part of Smuggler's Run update, it is unrestricted if the player owns a hangar at Fort Zancudo.
  • Bolingbroke Penitentiary - Entering the prison or flying low over it will give the player a four-star wanted level.
  • Kortz Center - Entering the Center after hours and being caught by a security guard will earn the player a one-star wanted level.

Military

While the military will never be called in to pursue the player, military personnel may become involved in the chase if it occurs near Fort Zancudo. Typically this involves soldiers in Crusaders, who will give chase to the player and attempt to arrest them in GTA Online, although they will shoot the player if they resist arrest. On the base itself, military personnel will shoot to kill. Any patrolling Rhino tanks will also become involved and may exit the base to join the pursuit if the player stays too close for too long, using their cannons to try and kill the player.

In-game instruction

In the mission Los Santos Customs during the introduction, when the player gets a wanted level for the first time, the following instructions will appear:

  • If the Cops spot you in a stolen vehicle you will gain a Wanted Level. You can respray your vehicle at Los Santos Customs.

Escaping a Wanted Level

To escape a wanted level, the player must stay out of sight of the police pursuers (in the "cone search mode") for a period of time (the length of time depends on the severity of the wanted level). When the wanted stars in the corner of the screen are flashing, it means the player is out of sight. The slower they are flashing, the closer the player is to escaping. If a police pursuer spots the player and the chase reverts to active mode, the escape timer will reset.

The player is able to call Lester Crest after achieving rank 21 to immediately remove the wanted level for a fee of $200 per star. If the player completes The Doomsday Heist, Lester will remove the player's wanted level for free, if called.

If the player is flying an Akula while having a wanted level of 3 or more stars, activating its stealth mode will reduce the wanted level to 2 stars, thus making it easier for the player to lose the remaining stars.

The player can reduce their wanted level by one star by changing their appearance - this can be done by putting on or taking off a mask or sunglasses while the search is in "search cone" mode. This will mean they have less time to wait out the search.

Failure to escape will result in the player either being arrested or killed. If the player is within a block radius of their Personal Vehicle, their vehicle will be impounded.

Using the railway system is perhaps the easiest way to escape because the police have a hard time following the player on rail. They will not drive on the tracks and will only follow on foot into railway tunnels (where they can be sniped before they trigger detection).

For each star that the player successfully evades (not removes), they will receive 100 RP, so evading five stars rewards 500 RP.

Achievements/Trophies

Grand Theft Auto Online shares achievements and trophies related to Wanted Level with Grand Theft Auto V.

Soundtracks

Many different scores can play during wanted levels, most of them originally from Grand Theft Auto V, with growing intensity as wanted stars are gained. These soundtracks will begin to play shortly after obtaining at least 3 wanted stars, and will play when on foot or in a vehicle without the radio on. These soundtracks only play when Music Volume is active. Some soundtracks are specific to area; wanted soundtracks in Blaine County differ from those in Los Santos County.

The soundtracks have several phases, including the cooldown zone, and each soundtrack has special stems which play when the player is hidden or losing their wanted level. A special sound effect also plays when the player loses their wanted level.

Wanted level soundtracks overrule the flying soundtrack, which plays while in an aircraft, but do not overrule mission soundtracks.

The wanted level soundtracks, like regular mission soundtracks or radio music, do not play in the Rockstar Editor. Wanted level tracks do not play in Director Mode.

Trivia

  • If the player is in a vehicle and being chased by the police, civilians may occasionally help the police by either attempting to ram the player's vehicle off the road, or by blocking the player's path.
    • Similarly, if one disables a police vehicle but does not kill the police officers, the officers may commandeer a civilian car to continue the pursuit.
  • The cone shapes on the radar during a wanted level are comparable to Manhunt' hiding system and the police search mechanic first seen in the Wanted Level system in Bully, both Rockstar games.
  • It is possible to lose the cops by hiding in bushes, around trees and entering the tram (if in a bush, be wary that helicopters will still shoot at the player even if they are out of sight of the police).
  • NOOSE teams and Security Guards do not attempt to arrest the player, but security guards will shoot at them even if they have a one-star wanted level. Unlike Grand Theft Auto IV, NOOSE teams could arrest the player.
  • The player can hide in their apartment or garage to lose their wanted level; however, similar to the Los Santos Customs, the player can only enter if they are out of sight of the police. Police will occasionally spawn near the player's apartment if they have a high wanted level. However some properties (e.g. Biker Business or Bunker) can be accessed even if the police can see the player.
  • The LSSD (Los Santos County Sheriff's Department) will have no differences with the LSPD in driving and gunfight tactics (despite Lester claiming that the LSPD officers receive better training in Paleto Score Setup).
  • The San Andreas Highway Patrol will pursue the player using Police Bikes and shoot players with their pistol even if having only one star. Notice that they do not appear normally during pursuits, and only chase the player if roaming near a spawn point (such as near a highway). [citation/verification needed]
  • If the player is on the road with a wanted level, police vehicles will sometimes spawn ahead on the road either slowly driving or remaining stationary, with their sirens off. This replicates a normal patrolling vehicle that is not aware of the player's approach but has the side-effect of causing players to confuse the police vehicles with other civilian vehicles in the traffic.
  • It is possible for the player to escape the police in locations that would appear to be easily accessible to the pursuers. For example, the police will very rarely chase a player into the subway construction tunnel leading off the Del Perro Freeway under the Alta Street overpass.
  • There are several places where the search cone mode seems to ignore the vertical axis and police above ground can "see" players hiding in underground tunnels with no direct line of sight to the player.
  • Should the player be in a stationary vehicle whilst out of sight of the police, the protagonist inside can be seen looking around anxiously until the police spot the player or give up.
  • In the enhanced version, the police will always drive-by shoot at the player if they acquires four stars or more.
  • If the player looks at another player who has a wanted level, a star can be seen next to the wanted player's name, containing a number (from 1 to 5) reflecting the severity of the wanted level they have.
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