Car Crash Explosion

If you want to play a game that comes close to a Michael Bay movie, then you should definitely get Grand Theft Auto 5. In the world of Los Santos, everything goes boom -whether you like it or not. Gas stations explode, cars explode, red barrels explode, fuel tanks explode, and whatever does not normally explode can be easily addressed by a pack of sticky C4. There is something absolutely amazing about living in a world that feels like a non-stop action movie, and this is our guide to all the wonderfully crazy mayhem you can get into.

Things Explode in Both Story Mode and Open Play

Action Pose

One of the best ways to play GTA5 is to not “play" it -ignore the story and side missions, and set the in-game mobile phone to “off"; you will be able to fully explore the entirety of Los Santos without anything trying to interrupt your absolute joyride. You can grab any car, arm yourself with whatever weapons you can find (or afford at the nearest Ammu-Nation), and then cause as much merry mayhem as you want. This is a true open-world game experience, and there is no excuse not to try it out.

What You can Do

There are several mundane activities you can do in GTA5: play tennis, watch TV, see a movie, hang out and drink with NPCs, join marathons, etc. Another thing you can do is wreck stuff until they blow up -and there is plenty of stuff that does. Here’s a quick video compilation of the various sorts of trouble you can cause and get into.

The Sorts of Trouble You can Get Into

From cars, to gas stations, to random fuel tanks and red barrels, getting to see things go up in a beautiful combustion of fire and smoke is not that hard. And things will certainly blow up -whether you are in the middle of doing a mission or just randomly driving around town, the possibility of getting some pyrotechnics going is not that rare. The best thing is that things that explode will make other things explode as well. So if you see a small pileup of vehicles on a highway, a single well placed grenade can easily blow them all to bits.

Pouring a Jerrycan of Gas

Gas Pour

The most effective and straightforward way of making stuff explode is by setting them on fire. The good thing is that you can pour a trail of gasoline from one point to another (and getting a full jerry can of fuel is as easy as picking one up from any gas station -it is absolutely free too). Once you have it, simply start pouring and form a trail of highly flammable fuel from a safe location towards your target. Lighting the oil can be done with a single shot from any firearm. For good measure, you can also try blowing up the gas station as well.

Fuel is Combustible Fun

Fuel Tank

There are other ways of making things explode: shooting them enough times, ramming it with a car, or the fastest way, using explosives. Just note that when you ram something with your car, be sure to jump out before the collision in order to avoid getting caught in the blast. Otherwise it will be a quick trip to the nearest hospital for you.

Is That Smoke?

Traffic Boom

Check Your Car for Major Damages

Considering the huge amounts of driving involved in the game, it is absolutely true that you will be driving more than one vehicle in the course of your playthrough. But just because you can grab any car off the road does not mean you will be constantly swapping them around, and when you keep driving around in a single vehicle, chances are it will slowly, but surely take a whole lot of punishment. Basically, crash your car enough times, and it will go boom.

Engine Smoke

Supercars like the Infernus have Engines at the Back

Keep an eye on your car’s engine and stay on the lookout for smoke. Once you see thick columns of smoke coming out the engine area of the vehicle, get ready to bail out (which is the same button for stealing or getting inside a car). The thick smoke is a sign that your car’s engine is about to reach critical condition and if it takes more damage, it will explode. At the same time, you can use this to gauge if other cars around you are close to exploding as well. Do not stay in heavily damaged cars -if you start seeing fire, expect it to explode within seconds.

Remember, nothing is stopping you from leaving your current car and riding a completely new one (or you can have the current car repaired), and if the old one is about to explode, you can crash it into the middle of a busy intersection and catch some beautiful chains of explosions.

Crashes, Spins, and Wipeouts

While these are some of the most dangerous things that real life drivers should be wary of, n GTA V, these happen quite a lot and will barely ruin your day. Your car and your character in the game are pretty tough -and short of slamming your car so hard that it explodes, you can almost always drive away from any crash (or at the very least, walk away from it). You can easily maneuver past spins, and for wipeouts (especially ones that end up flipping your car), getting your car back on its wheels is a simple matter of pushing left or right.

Head On Collision

Crash 01

Slamming hard on another vehicle is almost never fatal -at least for your characters. For the NPCs of Los Santos however, it can be. Slam into a car fast or hard enough and chances are, the driver will be killed by the impact (they often end up slumping on the steering wheel making the horn go off continuously).

You Can’t Drive That Anymore

Broken Car

Most crashes will take off car bumpers, knock out hoods, break lights, and smash the windows. Stronger impacts can potentially dislodge or remove car doors, deform the body of the car, and misalign wheels. Since crashes happen quite often in-game, expect to see you cars getting out of shape pretty fast. Visually, it looks pretty impressive too -the interiors, engine, and chassis of all the in-game vehicles are nicely detailed -so you actually get to see how they look like when the car is subjected to different impacts.

Heat: Action and Consequences

5-Star Car Chase

Trouble on Your Tail

Half the fun of all Grand Theft Auto games comes from the fact that you are free to make any actions possible in-game, but that also means you are responsible for whatever consequences that may arise. In the case of any general form of lawbreaking: cops will start to come after you. Getting chased around the city by cops is one of the most exciting things that will happen in game. Helicopters will try to keep track of your movements, Police SUVs will try to block your path, police cruisers will attempt to use the PIT maneuver on your car, and yes, you will be constantly shot at. Best part of it all, you can trigger a police chase at nearly any point in the game.

5-Star Car Chase

Cop Cruisers and Vans

So what do you in GTA5 when the entire might of the Los Santos Police Department is hot on your tail? Well, there’s a ton of ways to handle it, depending on how well you can drive, what vehicle you currently have, and most importantly, what kind of wanted rating you managed to acquire. There’s also the distinct difference of whether you are aiming to escape the cops and lose the heat (get the star rating to go down), or if you are aiming to get as many stars as possible without dying.

1-2 Stars: Getting in Trouble

5-Star Car Chase

That’s Certainly Illegal

Steal a car, injure a pedestrian, get seen firing a gun (but not hitting anyone), or things of similar scale will get police attention if NPCs report you or if you are seen by authorities. At this point, cops will try to chase you with cars with the intention of making you surrender. It is pretty easy to lose them at this point -once you are out of range of their sight, simply drive quickly into those narrow side-streets and keep a low profile (try hiding your car in enclosed parking spaces) and chances are, the police will simply pass you by.

3-4 Stars: Bigger Problems


Nothing Escalates Faster Than Explosions

Blow stuff up, kill several civilians or kill a single cop, trigger an alarm in store -and that will get you a much bigger attention from the law. At 3 stars, you will start getting tracked by helicopters. At 4 stars, they start deploying SWAT vans and all the cops will shoot at you on sight. At this point, they will no longer try to arrest you, they are out to kill you. Expect the cops to be significantly more aggressive when chasing you: they will set up road blocks (usually by lining up a few police cruisers) as well as try to ram you. Since helicopters have huge visual range, you will have to rely on driving under bridges or in closed locations to keep out of sight.

5 Stars: What Did You Do?

5-Star Car Chase

Killing Cops Will Get You in Trouble

If you raise your wanted level up to 5 stars, it only means one thing: you have constantly engaged in hostilities with the law enough times to increase the rating. Unlike other GTA games however, this highest wanted rating does not warrant the arrival of military forces -it just makes the cops much more aggressive to deal with. The police will start attacking you in huge waves, and escaping them becomes a matter of running off to the most remote locations to stay out of sight (which is hard since there will be several helicopters gunning for you).

Train Ride

Grab a Ride

The most effective tactic of losing a 5 star rating is to grab a ride on the train and once you are inside a long tunnel, jump off and wait for the wanted rating to drop. You can also drive along the tracks to do this, but you also risk running into the train. The point of getting inside the tunnels is losing the helicopters -and almost no cop car will actually drive on the train tracks to follow you.

For those wondering about the deployment of military units -this will only happen if you get a wanted rating near Fort Zancudo. The game will deploy the closest law enforcement vehicles to your location -so if you are near a military base, expect to see Tanks instead of police cruisers.

Car Troubles

It is easy to see exactly how much armor and life Franklin, Mike, and Trevor has: there are solid life bars right under the radar that will tell you as much. For your car however, the only way to know how beat up it is, is by visually inspecting it. On the superficial side of things, the easiest things to break in any vehicle are the windows, the lights, and the hood. These can break easily from small collisions. Bullet holes will appear on your car frame if you get shot at, but these are also superficial. The actual effects of bullets on your car are mostly unseen. The car doors are harder to take off when they are closed -open car doors, on the other hand, can be easily torn off by other vehicles.

Rim Sparks

It Looks Cool, But It Handles Like Shit

Hitting obstacles hard or landing your car from a bit of height could potentially damage your wheels -they can get misaligned and make steering harder. At worst, a wheel could stop sponning -and eventually, the tire pops and you are forced to drive with one of the rims grinding on the floor. Having your tires get shot out in a firefight can result in this as well (to avoid this, you can mod the car to have bulletproof tires). Aside from having steering problems, another visual cue that your tire has been blown out is when you see sparks across the floor (which means your rims are hitting the asphalt).

Wind Shield Throw

This Actually Hurts as Bad as it Looks

Lastly, extremely high speed crashes may trigger two things: first, you can get thrown off the vehicle through the windshield (this can damage your character by a lot -potentially even kill you). Another is that the engine could explode (which will instantly kill you). An explosion is a certainty if you launch a car high up into the air and land engine-first to the ground.


Instant Fix

Before a car explodes, you can bring it to any of the customization shops and have it fully repaired. Expect high-end vehicles to have more expensive repair costs than common cars. Repairs will bring your car back to full health and even restore it back to looking brand new. We are certain you can do this even if there is a lot of thick smoke piling out of the engine and all four tires have been busted out, as long as the engine still runs when your ride it. However, we do not recommend waiting until your car gets on fire.