Unlocking the Past: Cheat Codes of the Grand Theft Auto Legacy

avatar-user Ethan Blackstone 2024-04-04
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The Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series, developed by Rockstar Games, has been a colossal force in the gaming industry, evolving from its top-down perspective in the late '90s to the immersive 3D worlds we explore today. From its inception, the series has been synonymous with freedom, allowing players to explore vast open worlds filled with endless possibilities. One of the most cherished aspects of these games, especially for those who experienced them during their original release, is the use of cheat codes. These codes not only provided a way to bypass the game's challenges but also offered a unique form of entertainment that has since become a nostalgic aspect of gaming culture. Let's take a trip down memory lane and revisit the cheat codes for the first games of the GTA series: GTA 1, GTA 2, and GTA 3.

Grand Theft Auto (GTA 1)

GTA 1 logo

GTA 1, released in 1997, laid the foundation for the series, offering a fresh and exciting perspective on open-world gaming. It introduced players to a life of virtual crime, navigating through various cities to complete missions for different crime syndicates. While the game tested your skills and patience, cheat codes were there to give you a helping hand or just simply to spice things up. Here are some notable codes:

  • itsgallus - Unlocks all cities and missions, giving players the freedom to explore any area of the game without restrictions.
  • iamthelaw - Makes you immune to police attention. With this code, players can commit any crime without the fear of attracting police attention.
  • suckmyrocket - Arms you with all weapons, armor, and a 'Get Out of Jail Free' card. This code is perfect for when you want to go on a rampage or need to defend yourself against rival gangs.
  • itcouldbeyou - Grants 999,999,999 points, effectively giving you an unbeatable high score and bragging rights among your friends.
  • iamgarypenn - Enables extra offensive language, which was quite the feature back in the day, adding a layer of edginess to the game.
  • porkcharsui - Debug mode. This code provides various debugging options, allowing players to peek behind the curtain of the game's development.

These codes were entered at the name selection screen, acting as a pre-game ritual for many players looking to tailor their gameplay experience.

Grand Theft Auto 2 (GTA 2)

Grand Theft Auto 2 logo

The sequel, GTA 2, released in 1999, retained the core gameplay of its predecessor while introducing new features, including a more complex wanted system, factions, and a futuristic setting. Cheat codes in GTA 2 became more nuanced, allowing players to manipulate the game world and their standing within it to an even greater degree. Some memorable cheat codes include:

  • GOURANGA - This code grants you invincibility, all weapons, and a cash boost. It's like the ultimate cheat to get you started with everything you need.
  • ITSALLUP - This unlocks all levels, giving you the freedom to explore any area of the game without having to progress through the missions in order.
  • BIGSCORE - Adds 10 million points to your score. Great for when you want to boast about your "achievements."
  • NOFRILLS - Debug mode. This is more of a technical cheat that shows some of the game's basic scripts, which might be interesting for those curious about the game's inner workings.
  • GODOFGTA - All weapons are added to your arsenal. This is perfect for when you want to cause maximum chaos without the hassle of finding weapons.
  • EATSOUP - Free shopping. This allows you to get any item without spending a dime, making your survival and dominance in the game much easier.
  • UKGAMER - Unlocks all cities. Similar to ITSALLUP, but specifically for accessing different cities without completing certain missions.
  • TUMYFROG - Grants you all bonus levels. This is great for players who want to experience every aspect of the game without having to unlock each bonus level through gameplay.
  • MUCHCASH or IAMPLAYA - Gives you a lot of money (the exact amount can vary). Because in the world of GTA, who doesn't need more money?
  • LOSEFEDS - No police. It removes your wanted level, making it easier to navigate around without the constant hassle from law enforcement.

To activate these cheats, players had to type them in during gameplay, adding a layer of accessibility and immediacy to the process.

Grand Theft Auto III (GTA 3)

GTA 3 Logo

GTA 3 was a groundbreaking release in 2001, transitioning the series into a 3D world and setting a new standard for open-world games. With Liberty City as its playground, players could truly lose themselves in the game's immersive environment. Cheat codes in GTA 3 allowed for even more creative freedom, enabling players to alter the game's physics, spawn vehicles, and much more. Here's a glimpse at some of the game-changing codes:

  • GUNSGUNSGUNS - Provides all weapons.
  • GESUNDHEIT - Restores your health to full.
  • GIVEUSATANK - Spawns a Rhino tank.
  • BANGBANGBANG - Destroys all cars around you.
  • CHITTYCHITTYBB - Lowers gravity, making cars float away when hit.
  • ILIKEDRESSINGUP - Changes your character's outfit.
  • ITSALLGOINGMAAAD - Makes pedestrians go crazy.
  • NOBODYLIKESME - Makes pedestrians attack you.
  • WEAPONSFORALL - Gives all pedestrians weapons.
  • TURTOISE (or TORTOISE in newer versions) - Increases your armor to full.
  • SKINCANCERFORME - Changes the weather to clear.
  • ILIKESCOTLAND - Changes the weather to foggy.
  • ILOVESCOTLAND - Changes the weather to rain.
  • PEASOUP - Changes the weather to a thick fog.
  • ANICESETOFWHEELS - Makes cars invisible, showing only their wheels.
  • TIMEFLIESWHENYOU - Speeds up gameplay.
  • NASTYLIMBSCHEAT - Increases the gore in-game.

In GTA 3, cheat codes were entered through the in-game phone or by typing them while playing, making it easy for players to experiment with the game's mechanics on the fly.


Cheat codes in the early GTA games were more than just shortcuts or ways to make the game easier. They were a gateway to unbounded fun, allowing players to experiment and play the game in ways the developers never intended. While modern games have shifted away from traditional cheat codes, favoring achievements and in-game purchases for additional content, the legacy of these codes lives on. They remind us of a time when games were less about competition or completion and more about sheer enjoyment and exploration. As we look back at these codes, we're reminded of the simplicity and creativity of early gaming culture—a culture that GTA played a huge role in shaping. While the games themselves have evolved, the spirit of freedom and the joy of discovery that these cheat codes represented continue to be at the heart of why we play GTA, and indeed, why we play games at all.

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