From basic assaults in the streets to murder and mayhem, most actions will be keenly observed by the boys in blue in GTA: San Andreas. Fail to stop, and your wanted level will increase to the point that your survival will become increasingly more difficult.
We've put together this primer to the police in San Andreas, including the best ways to escape the heat.
With the arrival of the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - Definitive Edition, there's a whole list of trophies and achievements to be earned in GTA: San Andreas across PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Wanted Level: The Basics
The amount of attention you have in San Andreas is based on your Wanted Level. Ranging from one star to six stars, it determines just who will pursue you around the neon-bathed streets of the city.
Punch someone in the street while a policeman is near, for example, will net you a one-star wanted level, enough for that copper to give chase. However, committing more serious crimes (or entering no-go zonees) could see your level rise rapidly, until you face roadblocks, and are pursued by SWAT, the FBI, or even the military and all their might.
Where it gets complicated is that, generally, to escape the police you have to... kill the police. This only serves to increase your wanted level until you end up getting arrested or wasted. However, there's no need to panic, as there are several effective ways to avoid that fate.
Bear in mind that your maximum wanted level is tied to your progress in the story. Initially, you won't be able to rise past four stars. This increases to five once you unlock the second region, and six for the third and final region.
What happens if I'm caught?
If you do happen to be caught, and not killed, it's not game over.
You'll be released from the nearest police station, minus all your weapons and a chunk of cash. You can also say goodbye to body armor, if you had any. However, if you have Barbara Schternvart as a girlfriend, you'll not lose your weapons and body armor.
Any current mission you were on will have failed, so you'll need to head back to the source to start again.
We've put together a guide to getting rich quickly in GTA: San Andreas, so you can buy those weapons, vehicles, properties and more!
How to reduce your Wanted Level
The best way to escape the police is through sheer speed. As such, you'll want a fast car with good handling. The best car in the game is typically the Banshee, but they are rare. Other commonly found sports cars include the Infernus (looks like a Lamborghini), or the Cheetah (looks like a Corvette).
Losing a one-star wanted level is easy. Just drive calmly, avoiding police and crime for a short while.
For 2-3 star wanted levels, just find a quiet alley or other secluded spot to hide in. The wanted level will reduce automatically with the passage of time.
Alternatively, head into one of your hideouts and change clothes. Save your game, too, and you'll see your wanted level removed entirely. Changing clothes also works in clothes stores.
Completing a mission always reduces your current wanted level to zero, whether a scripted police chase related to the mission, or the result of collateral damage during its completion.
Another option is to enter a Pay 'n' Spray with a vehicle other than those of the emergency services (police, ambulance, firefighter, SWAT, etc.). Changing vehicle parts has the same effect.
Flying from an airport to another city will also wipe out your wanted level.
Alternatively, collecting the Police Bribes - they look like rotating police stars -- dotted around the city will reduce your wanted level by one star. However, this will not stop SWAT, the FBI, or the military from pursuing you if they were already spawned. You'll just not have any new vehicles.
Finally, there's always cheat codes...
GTA: San Andreas: Police Bribe Locations
Use the map below to find the police bribes in San Andreas. They'll regenerate after a certain amount of time.
Whether you're looking for cheats for money, weapons, vehicles, or just general mayhem, here are all the cheat codes for GTA: San Andreas on PC, part of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition.
Whether you're looking for cheats for money, weapons, vehicles, or just general mayhem, here are all the cheat codes for GTA: San Andreas on PS4 and PS5, part of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition.
Whether you're looking for cheats for money, weapons, vehicles, or just general mayhem, here are all the cheat codes for GTA: San Andreas on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, part of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition.
Whether you're looking for cheats for money, weapons, vehicles, or just general mayhem, here are all the cheat codes for GTA: San Andreas on Nintendo Switch, part of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition.