Staying Alive (And Healthy) In San AndreasWhether you enjoy playing the games many missions, or prefer to just run around the game world causing chaos, youll need to ensure that CJ stays safe and relatively healthy. This chapter is intended to give you a bit of a primer on what to expect and how to prepare for the bad, bad world of San Andreas.
Shooting BasicsIn order to be effective in combat, youll need to learn to use both of the shooting modes; you can flip between automatic and manual as you need to.
Of the two, the automatic mode will be the one you use most often. If an enemy is within range of your chosen weapon, pressing R1 will automatically target them, while the R2 and L2 buttons will cycle between targets. While youre locked on, you can hit either the O button or L1 to fire your weapon. In most fights against multiple enemies, your lock-on will be the easiest way to get targetted; simply hit R1 to get an enemy, fire until he dies (the targeting cursor will go black when this occur), then release the R1 button and hit it again to get another target. Note that you have to be facing your enemy to lock onto them; if theyre off to your side or behind you, youll just wind up manually aiming your weapon at a wall, or locking on to some civilian.
The manual method of firing takes some getting used to, and has more circumscribed applications, but can still be handy in tight quarters. When you hold R1 to enter manual firing mode, you can use the right and left analog sticks to move CJ and aim, and use the L1 button to fire away. The aiming here is a bit too sensitive to easily line up your reticule with enemies beyond close range, and you wont automatically lock onto enemies unless you release the R1 button and hit it again. Still, when you have a weapon that puts a lot of metal in the air, like an M4 or AK47, you can sometimes mow down multiple enemies that are close to each other more easily with manual aiming than with automatic firing. Manual aiming will also let you hit enemies that are outside of lock-on range.
Some weapons can only be used in manual aiming mode, such as the sniper rifle, the minigun, and the rocket launcher.
WeaponsThere are many dozens of weapons in San Andreas. You can find most of these at the various Ammu-Nation stores in each city, but theyre expensive, and youll have to progress through the games missions before each will become unlocked. You can also obtain weapons from slain enemies, or find them in hidden pick-up spots around the game world.
MeleeThere are a huge number of melee weapons in the game, from golf clubs to canes to swords. The most useful will usually be the knife, with which you can get stealth kills, and the katana, which will let you get decapitations and wont prevent you from using your normal hand-to-hand fighting techniques.
Pistols9mm: When you absolutely have to buck down fools, theres nothing quite like a good 9mm handgun at your side. Cops drop these when they die, so if youre looking for a plentiful supply of ammo, find an exterior save spot, get a few stars, then kill all the cops that come to hunt you. Save before you die, and you should have a lot more ammo than when you started. You can dual-wield nines when you hit the Hitman level of skill.
Silenced 9mm: You cant dual-wield a silenced pistol, but they do come in somewhat handy when you have to keep quiet. Theyre also just plain cool.
Desert Eagle: Again, no dual-wielding here, and the rate of fire is drastically lower than a 9mm, but the Desert Eagle packs a lot of stopping power; even if your initial shot doesnt kill your target, it will usually knock them down, letting you get in the killing blow before they get up. The low ROF and small clip makes the Desert Eagle a poor choice for dealing with multiple targets.