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GTA:SA Sticky Candidate 2007.01.16
-1b. 1.01 aka "Cold Coffee"
-1c. 2.0 aka "Second Edition"
2. Modifications and Trainers
-2a. Downgrade Patch
-2b. Hot Coffee and Opened Up
-2c. GTA SA Control Center
3. Trouble Missions
-3a. "Wrong Side of the Tracks"
-3b. "Snail Trail"
-3c. "The Da Nang Thang"
-3e. Video Walkthroughs
4. Game Tips/Help
-4a. Turf Wars (Gang Warfare)
-4b. Drug Dealers (making money)
-4c. Weapons at CJ's House, CJ's Garage, and the Four Dragons Casino
5. In-Game Setup
-5a. User Tracks
-5b. Downgrading Video Settings for Performance Gain
-6a. From Rockstar
-6b. From GameFAQs forum members via Samutz
-6c. Further Reading and other helpful links
-6d. Common problems posted by forum members
--6di. Game won't start
--6dii. Audio glitches
--6diii. Game plays too fast on a dual-core machine
7. What this Sticky Candidate Needs
8. For GameFAQs Mods/Admins (aka the Introduction)
The easiest and most sure-fire way to tell what version of the game you have is to pay attention while installing the game. It'll be noted at the top of the License Agreement. If you've already installed it and do not want to reinstall, put the San Andreas DVD into another computer that hasn't got it, and click through to the License Agreement. Other methods follow in the descriptions below.
The initial release of the game. Most longtime players who got the game early have this. Most mods were written for v1.0.
1b. 1.01 aka "Cold Coffee"
After the game came out, a mod called Hot Coffee was released, which unlocked in-game sex scenes intended for inclusion in the game but removed at the last minute by Rockstar and rendered inaccessible with a Censored=On/Off switch. Hot Coffee flipped the switch, and Rockstar found themselves in a world of hurt from conservative groups the world over. In response, they launched nomorehotcoffee.com with the patch known as 1.01, or "Cold Coffee". 1.01 users will be able to use some mods and trainers, but not all, and certainly not Hot Coffee. If you got the game before Hot Coffee broke out, and you've applied a patch, you probably have 1.01. Also 1.01 will show up on the title screen, under and to the [left or right] of the GTA San Andreas logo.
1.01 also fixed the ability for Pay-and-Spray shops, and driving in the rain, to clean your car. This feature was present in the PS2 version but the PC port broke it somehow. Also, 1.01 fixes some sound bugs reported in the original release. It has additionally been brought to my attention that no 1.01 games were actually shipped and that to have 1.01 you must have applied the "Cold Coffee" patch; therefore, if you have 1.01, you can simply reinstall if you wanted to use Hot Coffee or something else which requires 1.0.
1c. 2.0 aka "Second Edition"
After the original San Andreas was pulled from the shelves, this is what replaced it. If you bought San Andreas after the Hot Coffee scandal, and your box says SECOND EDITION across the bottom, you have 2.0. Also 2.0 will show up on the title screen. 2.0 further prevents use of Hot Coffee by removing all Hot Coffee-related files.
If you have 1.01 or 2.0 and want to use mods, don't worry. There is a solution. Read on...
2. Modifications and Trainers
2a. Downgrade Patch
If you have 1.01 or 2.0 and want to use mods, there are a couple solutions. One is very easy and perfectly legal. It's called the downgrade patch - it basically hacks your GTA_SA.EXE file and "repairs" it, leaving you with 1.0. It'll still require the game disc, so this is by no means a "No-DVD" patch. All it'll do is restore some functionality enjoyed by 1.0 users taken away in later versions, at the cost of the fixes introduced in these newer versions. The downgrade patch can be found here:
Note that this is an UNOFFICIAL patch not made nor supported by Rockstar Games.
Some prefer another way to mod 2.0, but it is more involved. They also claim that in doing this, you can mod 2.0 and still reap the benefits of the fixes included. However it will not allow you to use 1.0 trainers or some mods, as you are still working with a v2.0 game. If you would like to try this, follow this link:
2b. Hot Coffee and Opened Up
If you've heard about one modification for GTA San Andreas - hell, if you've heard about one game modification, it was probably Hot Coffee. To make a long story short, Rockstar originally wrote interactive sex "games" between CJ and his girlfriends into San Andreas, but removed them at the last minute, not by actually taking the code out, but by adding a line of code saying Censored=True. Some curious person found that and changed True to False and found the sex games.
Many distributions of Hot Coffee also included a second mod, Opened Up, which removes the restrictions on the player to leave the city, so you can go to Las Venturas, San Fierro, and the other areas without incurring a four-star wanted level. Also it opened up many interiors which were not available at the start of the game - barber shops and gyms, for example. And the Diedler-Sachs clothing store which doesn't open until (near) the end.
However, Hot Coffee introduced problems, as well. It's entirely possible that, after completing the "Cesar Vialpando" mission (where you have to make a lowrider "dance"), you can't do any more missions, and can only free-roam. No one has posted any kind of solution to this; the community consensus has always been "don't use Hot Coffee". Others have stated the problem lies in the 2.0 version of Hot Coffee, which broke the cell phone function, and that there is a more stable version, 2.1. For now you can get Hot Coffee here:
2c. GTA SA Control Center
The GTASACC is a highly advanced cheat console/trainer for San Andreas that many people on this forum recommend for assistance with your game. As you can see if you follow the link, there's not much you can't do with it. You can modify your stats, your vehicle stats, change the vehicles in a given garage, teleport, spawn a vehicle of your choice (and it even has a little database of the vehicles to help you choose), customize the vehicle mods, and many more. If you want to cheat, chances are this is your best bet. Learn more, or get it here:
3. Trouble Missions
3a. "Wrong Side of the Tracks"
"Wrong Side of the Tracks" is a mission started at Big Smoke's house that requires you to drive Big Smoke to Unity Station, then hop on a dirtbike and chase a train while Smoke shoots at four Vagos gang members on the train's engine. First you have to catch up. Then you face an exploding car on the tracks. An oncoming train throws you off. You go through a tunnel, and the other track is closed, so you take a dirt path. Before long, the train crosses a bridge and the mission ends. Most likely Smoke will only have killed one, maybe two Vagos members. This is normal - if your computer is up to the task of playing San Andreas, and you don't run into any glitches, this may be your first "trouble mission".
It is generally accepted here that staying on the outer rail or just to the right of the opposite track will give Smoke the best balance between proximity (the closer he is, the more likely his bullets will hit) and angle (if he's too close, he can't hit them). For the car on the tracks, lean right, go around it - otherwise you'll be knocked off the bike. And for the oncoming train, again go right. Again Smoke won't be able to shoot anyone for a couple seconds, but it's your best bet. All that may not be enough, though.
While forum member Orion_SR offers two videos, one showing CJ getting the bike up on the train itself, and the other showing him getting on the train on foot:
...he goes on to state that: Jumping the bike onto the train is more work than necessary. Drive ahead of the train and around the first corner, cross the road, stay to the left, and work your way up the ramps to the top of the building. Then, either whip out that mini-gun and shoot them as they pass, aim where they are going and strafe a little, or hop on to the train (don't run, just hop) and shoot them with an M4 or SMG. Hurry before the overpass knocks CJ off the train.
Or wait until the little bridge after the tunnel, it's an easy spot to jump onto the train on foot, or with a bike, and there is lots of time to shoot the Vagos before reaching LV.
If you prefer to just stay on the bike and keep the bike on the ground, he suggests: The standard method: ignore the 4th Vago, he gets killed on the first turn. Find the sweet spot not to far ahead, behind, or to either side and watch that Smoke actually hits the Vagos (watch for their taking-hits animation) and not the side of the train. The train slows down if CJ it too far ahead or behind; sometimes it helps to slow down so the train does too before trying to race back to the front of the train. Smoke will "lock on" to the first target he sees, and will stick with it until dead or out of range. To control his targets, I usually race ahead and slow down to work on the lead Vago, then drop back to pick up the 3rd Vago. The 2nd Vago tends to hang from the side of train so I save him for last.
There is another solution, one that is kind of tricky, but fun. You can edit one of the game's data files to give the Tec9's (the gun Smoke is using) the power of the Minigun (the best gun in the game). This will enable Smoke to kill all four Vagos LONG before you even get to the tunnel. Here are my own instructions for doing so (in Windows, not in the game):
Start>Run, type in NOTEPAD, hit Enter. File>Open, browse to My Computer>C>Program Files>Rockstar Games>GTA San Andreas>Data (or wherever you have saved the game). Open WEAPONS.DAT. File>Save As, change WEAPONS to WEAPONSBKP (or whatever, just back it up first).
Now scroll down to the three lines of $ TEC9. Immediately after "colt45" and "colt45pro" are two numbers. Change the second column (all 20) to 140. File>Save As, click on WEAPON.DAT, click OK to overwrite. Exit Notepad and start the game. And when you're done, restore the backup by deleting WEAPONS.DAT (the new one) and renaming the backup back to WEAPONS.DAT.
3b. "Snail Trail"
This is the one where you follow a train and then follow a cab without being detected. The first part is easy - the reporter on the train won't detect you no matter how close you get. However, once the reporter disembarks, it can get a little dicey. You can be spotted quite easily, and if you fall too far back (even if you can still see the cab he gets in), you "lose" him and fail the mission. This frustrates some because the first part takes so long and the second part isn't very reliable. Here's what worked for me.
Do the first part however. I've been told you can beat the train, but I'm not sure you can't lose it. What I do is stay close until the last tunnel. The second to last tunnel is the dark one, so as soon as it enters the tunnel after that, pass the train. Go up the steps and hang a left, go around the corner. Now wait. The reporter will come up the steps and eventually climb into a cab. I recommend staying at least 5-6 car lengths behind; I do and never get told I'm getting too close. Cautiously follow until the game tells you it's OK to snipe him and his contact.
If you can't beat the train to the station, it's going to be hard. Stay out of sight, and let the reporter go up the stairs first. Once he's at the sidewalk waiting for a cab, he won't be bothered if you come up, too - but immediately head left. Jack the first car that's not a cab (if you jack his, it's off) and don't do it where he can see you - but don't get so far away that you "lose" him. This isn't as reliable as arriving ahead of the train but is also possible.
3c. "The Da Nang Thang"
TDNT is a basic shooter mission, only you're stripped of your weapons (except the Knife) beforehand. The trick here is simple. Instead of swimming to the ship, swim back to shore. Get weapons where you normally do - the usual drops, and Ammunation. Get armor and bring your health up at a vending machine (only one I know of is at the train station in front of CJ's garage). Once armed, swim back to the ship and climb on board. It's best to take the first guy out using the knife and stealth, but however you kill the second guy, the third guy will see you, so you might as well shoot them both. I'm told that the Silenced pistol (available at Ammunation) is good for this mission, too. As for the guy with the grenade, some recommend rushing him. I backed away and then went after him - I guess he's only got one grenade because he switched to a machine gun (though others have reported he can throw more than one grenade).
"Stowaway" is actually an easy enough mission for most people, but it gets asked about a lot. In this mission, you're required to drive a dirt bike down the air strip and up the cargo ramp of a jumbo jet which is taking off. Men on the ramp are rolling barrels down it that you must avoid.
The first problem is that the bike is not fast enough to reach the ramp, let alone dodge the barrels. The solution is easy enough; tap Up to make CJ lean forward on the bike. This will get you the extra speed you need. pez2k hints that the engine noise will rise in pitch when you're leaning forward the right amount, as the bike gains speed. There's a drastic difference when you lie down, the top speed of your bike increases by a large amount.
As for the barrels, keep to the right. At the right moment, veer left. As soon as the bike's front tire touches the ramp, you're on, and the rest is quite easy. Don't fire a gun, make your way to the front of the plane, kill everyone that gets in your way, place the charges, and jump. The dive is great fun and is actually higher than any dive you could do normally, so enjoy it.
Despite all that, many people (with slower computers) report that the game has too much lag, that they just can't get up there. Aside from an upgrade, Orion_SR suggests turning some settings down. See section 5b for more information on that.
3e. Video Walkthroughs
silentexistence has provided us with a link to a site called StuckGamer, with video walkthroughs. This might help broadband users who can stream video to get through missions by watching others do it right.
4. Game Tips/Help
4a. Turf Wars (Gang Warfare)
When you're about 80% done with the Los Santos part of San Andreas, you'll be put on a mission to take over a park held by the Ballas. Before this mission, killing rival gang members didn't do anything for you. I don't even think you gained any respect. But now, if you attack three rival gang members in enemy territory, you can now fight for the land. If you like running and gunning, you'll have a lot of fun with this. But there are a few areas that will prove to be a challenge. These areas are small, and gang members are scarce.
Therefore, we recommend exploiting a small glitch (feature?) in the game. When you start a gang war, it doesn't matter who you shoot or where they fall, it only matters where CJ stands. That means if you are in Grove or neutral territory and kill five Ballas in Ballas territory, a turf war does not start, but if CJ stands in Ballas territory and shoots two Vagos in Vagos territory and one or two Ballas in Ballas territory, a turf war will commence where CJ stands. This will greatly help you acquire the smaller territories, which I'll describe to the best of my ability.
In the northwest part of Los Santos, along that major east-west boulevard, there is an apartment building on the north side of the road. It's its own territory. Just the front yard and maybe the sidewalk. That part of the road and what's across the street is another territory, so while the Ballas hold both, you may want to stand with your back to the apartment building and snipe off Ballas across the street.
On the same road to the east is a motel - the Jefferson Motel. Its territory consists of the motel, the road to the east, the fenced-in backyard to the south, and the parking lot. The Ballas control the territories to the west, south, and east, and the Vagos control the territory to the north. Occasionally you'll find some in-territory Ballas on the road to the east, but unless you have the surrounding territories, getting the Jefferson Motel isn't hard.
Next we have a VERY small area. I don't know exactly where it is, but it's in the vincinity of the stadium, and it's part of an overpass and the stairs leading down to the street below. This and the surrounding areas are Vagos territory - if you know the area, stand clearly in it and snipe some Vagos across the street. Hopefully the small area will come under dispute and you can get it out of the way.
The fourth one is the dance club. You almost never see Ballas there, but they hold the surrounding territories. You know what to do.
There are two rewards for taking over territories. First and most immediately, the more territories you hold, the faster money builds up outside CJ's house. This isn't the best way to make money by far, but every little bit helps and you can never have too much. Second, once you take over all the Vagos territories, the Vagos disappear from Los Santos - same goes for the Ballas. But this isn't worth it the first time around as, before you know it, you'll be in the Badlands and the Ballas and Vagos take over everything. When you come back to Los Santos at the end, however, go to town.
4b. Drug Dealers
The fastest and easiest way to make money in San Andreas, right at the beginning, is to go cleaning the hood killing drug dealers. Each one drops a 9mm pistol and $2000-$2100. Later, gambling can make you more money, faster, but with gang members, you really can't lose anything.
By now you've probably realized that there are two kinds of NPCs in San Andreas: Random and Not. Random pedestrians come in a variety of clothes and colors, and don't have any bearing on anything whatsoever. You'll get a wanted level for killing them, but other than that, they really don't affect you. Non-Random NPCs include storyline characters (Sweet, Tenpenny, etc.), emergency personnel (cops, EMTs, etc.), and gang members; these the game will introduce you to. However there is a fourth class of non-random NPCs the game won't tell you about: Drug dealers.
Drug dealers are easy to spot once you know what to look for. They come in two flavors - white and black. The white ones wear jeans and a white (some say it's grey) hoodie pulled up. The black ones wear a black fishnet A-shirt ("wife-beater") and jeans. They both rarely move - they stand in one place. And they fold their arms in front of their crotch, making an X. (I don't know why, but it looks like the "crotch-chops" WWE's tag-team Degeneration-X do.) If you approach them with a weapon out, they will immediately draw a pistol (9mm) and attack you. If you approach them without a weapon, they'll ask you if you want to buy any drugs - this is the best way to identify them if you're not sure.
To take them out, best thing to do is circle around behind them, pull a pistol, and take a couple shots. I haven't tried the stealth kill with the knife, but that probably works as well. If you attack from the front, they'll take out a 9mm and fire back, but they never do much damage, not if you can kill them quickly enough. They're much easier than a single Ballas or Vargos member in a gang war, that's for sure. Now, you might get a wanted level killing them, but it's just one star - hop a fence and duck, get yourself something to drink (in real life), come back and it's gone. No sweat.
As for where they appear - that's the tricky part. One person said CJ's cul-de-sac between 2000 and 2400. It doesn't work for me, but others agreed that was a good place to start. I started a save game that started around 0900, and I found one dealer on the street behind CJ's house, and then when I returned to the cul-de-sac, there was one there as well. They're pretty random, but first, they won't appear in an area you spawn in. So you'll have to go to another area and look, spend some time there, and then return if you spawned in an area they can spawn in. Second, they tend to stick close to the hoods, the ghettos. I don't think they spend a lot of time downtown, on the beach, up around TransFender, places like that.
4c. Weapons at CJ's House, CJ's Garage, and the Four Dragons Casino
Many, myself included, find many of the game's missions easier if you have four weapons which always spawn at these places. Respraying all 100 tags in Los Santos makes the weapons appear in CJ's kitchen. (Also, there's a pistol behind the houses across from CJ's, and a machine gun on Sweet's roof.) Finding all 50 photo ops in San Fierro makes the weapons appear just south of CJ's garage. (Also, there's a Desert Eagle just south of Zero's shop.) And finding all 50 horseshoes in Las Venturas makes the weapons appear outside the Four Dragons casino.
The fastest way to find the tags, photo ops, and horseshoes is to use the SAMA (San Andreas Mission Analyzer). This will analyze your running game and point out, on its map, all the things you're missing. (Though after you find one or more, you have to have it analyze again to update, it doesn't automatically take them off as you find them.)
You can download SAMA here: http://www.gtaforums.com/index.php?showtopic=220426
5. In-Game Setup
5a. User Tracks
As with previous installments of the GTA series, you can create a playlist of your own songs to be played in-game. There is some confusion as to how this works, so we'll cover it here.
First of all, user tracks are stored in My Documents>GTA San Andreas User Files>User Tracks. Second, you don't need to copy songs over - you can just make a shortcut to save disk space. To make a shortcut, drag the song over with the RIGHT mouse button. When you release, a small menu will pop up. Choose Create Shortcut Here. You can do this with one file or a multitude of files.
Within the game, go into Audio Setup, click User Tracks, and choose "Scan User Tracks" to make sure everything checks out. We know Mp3 and OGG files work for sure. I do not know what other formats work as well, but I assume it depends on your system codecs. If you use Windows Media Player and a portable device other than an iPod, you may have WMA (Windows Media) files. These may or may not work, but Windows Media Player can be configured to "rip" to Mp3, and there are numerous programs that can convert a WMA file to an Mp3 file. (If it's a protected WMA file, like one you got from Napster, Urge, or another store, you can forget about converting it.)
Under Play Mode, Random plays your tracks in random order; Sequential plays them in some order (alphabetical, by creation date - I don't know). Radio inserts ads every so often. If you hear nothing but ads (a common problem) scan the user tracks again, and/or change the play mode.
As a footnote, if you like any of the radio stations in San Andreas, there is a nice little tool which can extract all the radio stations. It's a simple program, and it doesn't let you choose just one radio station, or rearrange the songs, but you can do all that later. You can find it here:
5b. Lowering Video Settings for Performance Gain
This was originally (AFAIK) suggested by glenster1 for the "Stowaway" mission, in which many users complained of lag resulting from using a computer that is "just good enough" to run San Andreas. But following these tips can help with any mission in which you face lag.
Under Display Mode, go to Advanced. Then lower the draw distance all the way, and turn off the frame limiter. Visual FX Quality to Low, Mip mapping off. Anti-aliasing off, and set the resolution to the lowest setting.
This should give your computer the most bang for your buck and give you an extra edge in missions like "Stowaway" where lag holds you back.
It should also be noted that upgrading your computer wouldn't hurt, either. If it's a big-name computer (Dell, eMachines, HP/Compaq, Gateway) perhaps the easiest thing to do is add more RAM (memory). If you have 512MB of RAM you should be fine anyway, but going to 1024MB will help. If you have 256MB of RAM, bring it up to 512MB. If you have 128MB, what are you thinking? At the very least get up to 256, if not 512. If it's homemade, upgrading the video card or processor would be a big help, but that's outside the jurisdiction of this FAQ. Go sign up at MaximumPC.com's forums if you want to talk about computer upgrading. I built my first (and current) PC with the help of that mag - it's worth twice its weight in gold.
6a. From Rockstar
The Take 2 toll-free phone number for support:
6b. From GameFAQs forum members via Samutz
If you need help completing a mission, or if you just want something done (like all gold medals in driving school) we have a service which allows you to upload your save game and post the link. A posted save game can be downloaded to any of the 8 slots (regardless of where the original originated), done with what the owner wants, and then reposted for the original owner to download and play from.
The catch is that you both have to be running the same version and either the same version of the same mods or no mods for either of you. Otherwise the save game won't load. Most of us are using 1.0 with no mods, so if you're using 1.01 or 2.0, say so, and someone may be able to help you. Best thing to do though, is to use the downgrader (link above, in 2a) and start your next game on 1.0 so that we may help you.
When I first envisioned this FAQ I asked people what they would and would not do for others. No one even answered, and I've seen people ask for help on some pretty easy missions - and get it. So here, I'll say that you can ask for help on anything and see if it's challenged. The most common requests are for completion of the flying missions, so if that's what you need, don't feel bad. You're not the first and you won't be the last. Follow the following link to upload your save.
Oh yeah, your save is in C>Documents and Settings>[Your Windows Login Name]>My Documents>GTA San Andreas User Files. It's the GTASAsf_.b file. The number where the _ is, is the slot number. So, you could change that number to anything 1-8 and it would change the slot number. No biggie, but useful information for if you have a couple or few save games and want to "organize" them better.
6c. Further Reading and other helpful links
Due to the nature of GameFAQs, non-sticky topics aren't guaranteed to stick around unless "bumped". However I would like to drop a few links with further reading to add to the completeness of this "Sticky Candidate".
GTA:SA Forum FAQ Sticky Release Candidate 2007.01.03
The thread that lead directly to this one, with most of this text before I edited it today.
Pedestrial viewer. Lets you look at all the character models included in your San Andreas installation. Some aren't used in the game, so this can be fun.
Draw distance mod. Doubles or quadruples the draw distance for those with much better PCs than San Andreas needs. I use the 4x, but the author recommends the 2x for most people.
If you need help finding the tags, photo ops, and horseshoes, billhitman recommends a site with in-depth help finding one.
Photo ops: http://www.g-unleashed.com/index.php?cat=16&pid=228&page=photo_ops
6d. Common problems posted by forum members:
6di. Game Won't Start (Thanks Orion_SR)
The game's hardware configuration data for your computer is saved in gta_sa.set. Deleting, renaming, or moving this file from \My Documents\GTA San Andreas User Files\ will force a hardware rescan the next time you start the game. This frequently clears up problems when:
The game never worked after a 1st time install - Maybe it got it wrong, try again.
The game used to work, but now it doesn't - Sometimes gta_sa.set becomes corrupted.
The user folder was copied to another computer - Don't port the hardware file.
The hardware in the computer has changed - Time for a hardware rescan.
The hardware drivers have changed - Maybe, it's worth a shot.
User configured settings are saved in gta_sa.set. Deleting this file will require reconfiguring custom controls and a few other preferences. I recommend backing this file up occasionally, perhaps in a zipped archive with your current saves, just in case.
You may also want to check the video intro files in C:\Program Files\Rockstar Games\GTA San Andreas\movies to make sure they can be viewed with Windows Media Player. If the codecs are messed up in Windows, they won't play in any application.
6dii. Audio Glitches (Thanks again Orion_SR)
Sometimes updated driver's from Microsoft or the manufacturer will solve audio problems, but not often. The v1.01 patch for the original San Andreas was supposed to help some sound problems, but few people reported much improvement. Sometimes changing the speaker configuration in Windows to stereo or headphones will reduce minor audio problems. However, often people are forced to use the work-around (it's not really a fix) listed below.
Try turning down the hardware acceleration to basic in DirectX. If basic works, then try the next higher setting. If not, then no acceleration might work better. This will also change the audio in other games and programs, so be sure to set it back when you aren't playing.
Start | Run | DxDiag.exe | Sound tab | <move slider to basic>
6diii. Game plays too fast on a dual-core machine (Thanks silentexistence)
Set the game process to use only one processor core. Launch the game, Alt+Tab out, and open the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc. Find gta_sa.exe under the Processes tab, right click on it, and set the affinity to one of the cores (uncheck one of the CPUs).