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The Greatest Cheat Codes In GTA History

While some would argue that the existence of baked-in cheat codes leaves some accomplishments too easy to obtain, many others would suggest in turn that without cheat codes, many difficult or frustrating sections of video game titles would mark unscalable obstacles. For players without enough time or skill to clear trying level design, cheat codes are a blessing sent by the video game gods themselves.

Grand Theft Auto's cheat codes, however, exist on a different plane entirely. They've evolved into one of the series' biggest pulls: "What will developer Rockstar Games do this time?" The franchise is known for having some of the flashiest, strangest, and most entertaining cheat codes imaginable, ranging from invincibility to the ability to control the weather.

With such a rich history behind them, Grand Theft Auto cheat codes have definitely come to establish a certain hierarchy in their implementation. For that reason, we've done the painstaking research to uncover the absolute greatest cheat codes in GTA history.

Spawn jetpack - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Is there a more iconic cheat in Grand Theft Auto history than the one that lets players literally spawn a jetpack? In terms of how cheats impacted the franchise and the way people enjoyed its various iterations, there might not be a better example than the sheer joy the jetpack introduced into Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Spawning a jetpack was achieved by inputting the code "rocketman" on PC (or much less interesting button combinations on consoles), and did exactly what it said it was going to do. The jetpack in GTA: San Andreas was the ultimate freedom, letting players access the tops of buildings, water towers, and more. That might not seem exciting at first, but contextually, the variety offered by the jetpack was unparalleled at the time of San Andreas' release. Starting crime sprees from above and making a last stand on a tall building while police swarm everywhere was a blast.

The jetpack also helped players traverse the gigantic San Andreas map, which had stretches of pretty dull landscape since the focus was more on achieving the biggest world possible rather than having it be constantly filled with stuff. Skipping stretches of desert or water, for instance, was a huge time saver.

Flying cars - Grand Theft Auto 3 and onward

Ever just wanted to live out the oft-imagined dream of taking a car into the skies? If a preteen Ron Weasley during Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets can do it, then it has to be pretty easy. At the very least, Grand Theft Auto has made it easy to simulate ever since the series' third installment.

By inputting the code "CHITTYCHITTYBB" into the PC version of Grand Theft Auto 3, players can be gifted the ability to drive cars into the night sky, creating all kinds of havoc in the process. It also makes some of the more difficult missions within most modern Grand Theft Auto titles much easier, especially ones that require escaping in a vehicle from police or rival gangs. It's especially funny when you drive a car over a barricade as though it's the most normal thing in the world.

Flying cars are one of the staples of the franchise now, and with good reason. It's one of the most fun cheats available in Grand Theft Auto and produces wild, weird moments that wouldn't be possible without them.

Explosive melee attacks - Grand Theft Auto 5

If you've ever wondered what it might feel like to punch someone so hard they literally exploded, Grand Theft Auto 5 has you covered. A cheat code for explosive melee attacks transforms the player character's punches into explosive rounds, resulting in some positively wild situations.

The input code is "HOTHANDS", and it's a nice little nod to what most people are going to be using it for. While the cheat affects all of the melee weapons in the game, and explosive swords are actually pretty cool, most people just want to use the code to punch someone so hard they cease to be.

The cheat code is also one of the more useful ones in terms of gameplay in general, since it doesn't rely on ammo. Obviously getting into close quarters against enemies armed with guns is difficult, so the cheat doesn't always have applications, but when it does it's a quick, spammable attack that will clear out groups of enemies in a hurry.

Also, just try not to make explosion noises yourself while using this one. It's not possible; it's so simple and fun that you just lose yourself in the absurdity.

Destroy nearby cars - Grand Theft Auto 3

If nothing else, Grand Theft Auto cheats excel at making the player character feel like an unstoppable godlike entity. While some of the more "mundane" varieties of these cheats are things like invincibility, though, other flashier versions make for the kinds of stories that fans of the series love to share between each other.

A cheat that lets you destroy nearby cars definitely falls into that latter category, creating situations that look like they were ripped straight out of the most self-indulgent Michael Bay film imaginable. It's unlocked in Grand Theft Auto 3 by punching in "BANGBANGBANG," and it's a little bit to get used to in the beginning: it's not uncommon to accidentally harm the protagonist by setting off a chain reaction of explosions.

Once you get the hang of it, though, this cheat is a total blast (literally). Almost everything, including just wandering the street, becomes an epic experience that rocks the entire city. Is it impractical to cause a chain reaction of fire and destruction everywhere you go? Sure. Is it awesome? Absolutely, and this is a cheat well worth enacting a few different times just to see what happens.

Spawn tank - Grand Theft Auto 3 and onward

Almost anyone who has input a cheat code for Grand Theft Auto is familiar with this one. The "Spawn Tank" cheat is a critical piece of the franchise, and is easily one of the most popular Rockstar has ever implemented.

To spawn a tank in Grand Theft Auto 3, the player simply needs to type in "GIVEUSATANK," a succinct and accurate way to summarize the way people tend to feel about driving around in the iconic army vehicle. Tanks are suitably powerful in Grand Theft Auto, and there's almost nothing that can stop them short of the entire police force raining down bullets, explosives, and more on the player.

Driving tanks around is also just one of the more fun ways to pass time in a Grand Theft Auto game after deciding to take a break from the main narrative. That it has pretty much always been possible, and has led to some of the more entertaining videos made by fans, are why fans look at this cheat code as one of the best the franchise has ever produced.

Drunk mode - Grand Theft Auto 5

While playing Grand Theft Auto drunk IRL is fun in its own right thanks to the many cheat codes that allow the series to go off the rails, Rockstar has also included the ability to simulate that feeling within Grand Theft Auto 5.

"Drunk Mode" immediately turns the player into a bumbling fool with a penchant for falling over themselves. That might not sound fun, but it's quite the addition for fans looking to make Grand Theft Auto 5 harder to play. Simulating inebriation certainly makes things like navigating the world map, opening fire on enemies, and completing escort missions significantly more difficult.

All players need to do is dial 1-999-LIQUOR on their cellphone in-game to open up a world of new possibilities. Drunk mode even enables some interesting, if a little depressing, roleplaying opportunities for people interested in that kind of gameplay. Truly a cheat code that offers something to everyone.

Slow-motion aim - Grand Theft Auto 5

Rockstar isn't just known for the Grand Theft Auto series. The developer has found success with many other IPs as well, including the extremely popular Red Dead Redemption franchise. Luckily, Rockstar was gracious enough to grace fans of that series with a nod to it within Grand Theft Auto 5's cheat code lineup, simultaneously spawning one of the most exciting new cheats in the series.

Slow-motion aim is a pseudo-simulation of the Dead Eye system from Red Dead Redemption. Activating it will cause time to come close to a stand-still whenever the player aims, meaning that the game suddenly becomes much easier. It's a nice system for players who struggle with the aiming system in Grand Theft Auto games, and it's also a fun break from the monotony that comes with completing mission after mission in a similar manner. Being able to slow things down and really appreciate the carnage can be relaxing in a bizarre way.

To activate slow-motion aim, players need to call a familiar sounding number in 1-999-DEADEYE. If the connection to Red Dead Redemption wasn't obvious already, Rockstar certainly wanted to make sure fans knew the studio was shouting out one of its other games.

Explosive ammo - Grand Theft Auto 5

Grand Theft Auto 5 is kind of the motherload of sweet cheat codes when it comes to the Grand Theft Auto series. It maintained the traditions that fans had come to expect but managed to add on some truly off-the-wall additions on top.

Explosive ammo is one such addition that makes the world of Grand Theft Auto 5 turn on its head. Fans who are in a particularly destructive state of mind will want to enable this one for some cathartic and chaotic experiences, and pairing the cheat code with a semi-automatic weapon results in a fireworks show. Keep in mind that, like most of these explosive-related cheats, there's some amount of danger to the player here. Don't fire a weapon too close to yourself and you should be fine, provided there aren't flaming cars hurtling in the air toward you after you use the cheat for a few seconds.

To enable explosive ammo, players need only dial 1-999-HIGHEX on their cellphone. It's not exactly a subtle or clever reference to what the cheat does, but they can't all be winners, and the cheat itself is already appealing enough without a witty reference.

Cars drive on water - Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and onward

A lot of the better cheats in Grand Theft Auto predictably have something to do with, you know, the auto part of the series' name. A big portion Grand Theft Auto involves using vehicles to achieve mission objectives, avoid law enforcement, or provide a little flair in the way of customization options and hydraulics.

Cars driving on water is a cheat that has existed within the franchise for some time now, first appearing in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Its first iteration was enabled by typing "SEAWAYS" into the game. Cars were then able to go out onto water and drive as though they were handling on roads, although they also bounced a little and behaved kind of like a boat in that sense.

The cheat code opens up a number of possibilities in Grand Theft Auto games, but it's also just convenient. Driving a fast car and then having to give it up to cross water can be an annoyance, and with this cheat code, it's no longer a problem. Just drive that sports car clear across the lake and carry on with your totally innocent, definitely crime-free endeavors.

Riot - Grand Theft Auto 3, Vice City, and San Andreas

Grand Theft Auto is actually a remarkably tame simulation, if you really think about it. The city is rife with crime, gangsters run the streets, and car-jacking in broad daylight is an epidemic. Yet the people of the city carry on with their daily lives without any indication they even feel a little unsafe, let alone angry at the way they're being treated by both criminals and the police.

The rioting cheat changes all that and provides one of the most exciting variants of Grand Theft Auto available. First making an appearance in Grand Theft Auto 3 by typing in "ITSALLGOINGMAAAD," the cheat sends pedestrians into a wild frenzy. Random passers-by on the street will now assault anyone near them as well as the player.

Ultimately, rioting is not particularly useful, but it's not really there for that purpose. It's about as close as we've gotten to a zombie apocalypse-style cheat code, and it can make for a pseudo-survival simulator if players enable it while within larger crowds.

Yakuza theme - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Another cheat code concerned with modifying the way pedestrians behave, the Yakuza theme cheat from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a sweet one because it makes the game feel like a different genre. Turning San Andreas into a Japanese gangster flick makes for a trippy experience.

This cheat is enabled in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas by punching in "NINJATOWN." The result is that all pedestrians will be morphed into members of the Yakuza, and they will all be wielding katanas in public as a show of strength. The vehicles that populate the map will also be transformed into the ones that are associated with the Yakuza in San Andreas.

Once again, these pedestrian modification cheat codes aren't necessarily the most practical. Still, the Yakuza theme really changes the way the player moves throughout San Andreas, and there's something about seeing a bunch of katanas waiting for you as you move toward the next objective that makes everything feel a tad more epic.

Moon gravity - Grand Theft Auto 5

Not even gravity can hold down the ridiculousness of the greatest Grand Theft Auto cheat codes in series history. While most of the cheats on this list alter one specific part of the game's physics engine, introducing Moon gravity completely changes the way the player moves.

Moon gravity, which made its debut in Grand Theft Auto 5, can be activated by punching in 1-999-FLOATER into the game's cell phone. To get the code to fully kick in, players then need to enter a vehicle, which will then trigger the game's physics to roughly simulate what it would be like to try to build a criminal empire on the Moon.

As it turns out, life on the Moon would be pretty difficult. Driving a car is all kinds of weird, and sometimes when you jump you kind of fail to come back down. For a bright-eyed young street criminal, these kinds of limitations would surely hurt more than help; but for us players, it's yet another fun way to burn a few hours in a game series that sometimes feels as though it has endless replayability, partially thanks to its well-designed, entertaining cheat codes.

Skyfall - Grand Theft Auto 5

Grand Theft Auto is all about player freedom. Whether it's the ability to go on a rampage through a city or roleplaying a law-abiding citizen for some relaxation, the game typically caters to all comers. It's difficult to sit down with a Grand Theft Auto title and feel as though there's nothing left to do, long after the main story campaign has been wrapped up.

That's why cheats like Skyfall exist. Skyfall made its debut in Grand Theft Auto 5 and can be activated by spelling out SKYFALL on the in-game cellphone. Skyfall will then immediately transport players far above the city, a situation that could easily spell their doom.

So why do it? Well, Skyfall is something of a slice-of-life cheat. It doesn't have any in-game benefit, and if a player isn't careful, it can outright kill them. It's also the easiest way to start a parachute dive, though, and it can simulate some of the cooler moments from movies like the James Bond or Mission: Impossible franchises. Like we said, Grand Theft Auto loves to give its players some freedom — and what's more liberating than careening headfirst into a bustling city from thousands of feet in the air?

Superjump - Grand Theft Auto 5

Sometimes playing Grand Theft Auto feels like you've picked up a supervillain simulator instead. The protagonists have an uncanny ability to absorb bullets, and they're able to carry something like ten or twelve weapons on their person despite being decked out in a floral pattern shirt and some cargo shorts. Unless those pants have deep, deep pockets, it seems our protagonists can bend the laws of space and time to their will. So, obviously, they became low-tier criminals.

Still, feeling like a superhuman in Grand Theft Auto is one of the draws to the series, and cheats only enhance that. Superjump, which made its most ambitious appearance in Grand Theft Auto 5, is one such exploit. Simply dialing HOPTOIT into the in-game cellphone will enable the cheat, which then allows the player to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Holding down the jump button can also increase the height of the jump, meaning players can customize how the ability works.

Superjump is a lot of fun because it makes accessing small, weird areas in Grand Theft Auto 5 much easier. It's difficult to land a helicopter or jet on top of a smaller apartment building on a crowded street, and parachuting onto it takes a lot of time. Superjump lets players do what they want when they want to, and for that reason, it's a wonderful addition to the Grand Theft Auto cheat family.

Spawn Stunt Plane

Flying and Grand Theft Auto have a unique relationship. When the mechanic was first introduced, it was more of a novelty than a staple of the game's main campaign. Later, it would more frequently appear in storyline missions, creating some of the most challenging and frustrating encounters in the franchise's history. The infamous "Supply Lines" mission from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas will go down in history as one of the most annoying debacles in any Rockstar-developed game, and it made fans leery about flying heading into future releases. 

Luckily, flying in Grand Theft Auto 5 is much better, even if it is still a lot easier to crash an aircraft than it is a car. Grand Theft Auto 5 also allows players to spawn a stunt plane by dialing BARNSTORM into their cellphone. For those who want to traverse the game's massive world without having to worry about red lights and pedestrians, the stunt plane is an incredible addition. It's slower than other aircraft, but it also handles much easier, meaning it is fairly stress-free to land wherever a player needs.

The "Spawn Stunt Plane" cheat is one of the better cheat codes for traversing Grand Theft Auto 5, but it's not the only one. There are other more aggressive options for those who are comfortable in the air, and they can lead to a lot more mayhem.

Spawn Buzzard

For those who want a little more out of their aerial experiences in Grand Theft Auto 5, look no further than the Buzzard attack helicopter. Whereas the stunt plane is the early morning Sunday drive of the game's aircraft, the Buzzard is the desperate charge toward an event you'll miss if you're even one minute late. 

To spawn a Buzzard, players need to enter the cheat code "BUZZOFF" into their phones. The Buzzard is a smaller helicopter, which means it handles extremely well for its class and can fly at impressive speeds. It also comes equipped with machine guns and rocket launchers, making it a potent vehicle for any combat-heavy missions. The flexibility of getting from one place to another quickly while also fending off any trouble that occurs along the way makes the Buzzard one of the most versatile vehicles in all of Grand Theft Auto 5

If you've got an outdoor mission that's giving you trouble or just want to burn a few hours by creating havoc from above, the "Spawn Buzzard" cheat is well worth your time. Just be sure to watch where you aim those rockets: they'll clip powerlines pretty easily and nobody wants to end their epic helicopter adventure by shooting themselves out of the sky.

Slidey Cars - Grand Theft Auto 5

Sometimes you just want a little bit of variety in your life. Grand Theft Auto has such a long roster of cheat codes that drastically alter the game that it can be nice to use one that makes a more minor change. Sure, jumping so high you clear an apartment building or simulating what it's like to be on the moon can be fun, but so can making driving just a little bit more difficult.

"Slidey Cars" is the perfect cheat code for someone who wants to make the driving in Grand Theft Auto 5 feel a bit more like drifting. It also makes a great simulator for anyone wishing to learn how to drive on Canadian roads during the winter. Simply punch in "SNOWDAY" into the in-game cellphone and then enter a car; it will handle as though the surface it's driving on is slippery, and it will be much more difficult to take corners or complete driving missions.

It seems silly, but for Grand Theft Auto veterans, there's the hidden appeal of making the game just a bit harder at times. The "Slidey Cars" cheat code is also a testament to just how deep the customization of Grand Theft Auto 5 goes with its cheats. There really is something for everyone hidden in that title's code just waiting to be entered into a criminal mastermind's cellphone.