Los Santos (Grand Theft Auto)

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Los Santos
Grand Theft Auto V Los Santos.jpg
The view of Los Santos, featuring one of the three Grand Theft Auto V protagonists Michael De Santa
Grand Theft Auto location
Creator Rockstar North
Genre Video game
Type City
Notable locations Rockford Hills, Vinewood, Union Depository, Idlewood, Mulholland, Las Colinas and El Corona.
Notable characters Michael De Santa, Franklin Clinton, Lester Crest, Carl "CJ" Johnson, Trevor Philips and Frank Tenpenny
First appearance Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Los Santos is a fictional city in the Grand Theft Auto series, developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It is based on the U.S. city of Los Angeles. Like its counterpart, Los Santos comprises several diverse areas, and the urban area of Los Santos holds a population comparable to Los Angeles and its surrounding metropolitan area.

San Andreas, based on Southern California, is not a state in the original Grand Theft Auto, Los Santos has only appeared in two separate titles in the series: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto V. In San Andreas, Los Santos is surrounded by other cities: San Fierro and Las Venturas (respectively based on San Francisco and Las Vegas), separated by remote areas; however, in Grand Theft Auto V, Los Santos appears as a single city, with Blaine County located to the north.[1] In both of these renditions of the city, there are various businesses for the player to purchase, which generate revenue.[2]

The size of the map in Grand Theft Auto V (Los Santos and surrounding countryside) is apparently larger than the maps of San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption combined.[3][4]


The Vinewood sign, a recreation of the Hollywood Sign.[5]

In both San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto V, Los Angeles was used as a model for Los Santos.[6][7] The virtual city is a compressed representation of Los Angeles, including similar landmarks and districts but in different locations and under different names. For example, within the game Hollywood is known as Vinewood.[8]

Los Angeles was extensively researched for Grand Theft Auto V. The team organized field research trips with tour guides and architectural historians and captured around 250,000 photos and hours of video footage during these visits.[9] Since the release of the game, hundreds of in-game buildings have been identified as being based on real-world landmarks.[10]


Los Santos features several interpretations of many of Los Angeles' districts, landmarks, and neighborhoods, including Compton (Ganton/Davis), Willowbrook (Willowfield), Watts (Jefferson), Inglewood (Idlewood/Strawberry), East Los Angeles (East Los Santos), MacArthur Park (Glen Park/Mirror Park), Downtown Los Angeles (Downtown Los Santos), Beverly Hills (Rockford Hills), Mulholland Drive (Mulholland), Santa Monica (Santa Maria Beach/Del Perro), Malibu (Chumash), North Malibu (North Chumash), Venice Beach (Verona Beach/Vespucci Beach), Koreatown (Little Seoul), Hollywood (Vinewood) and its Hollywood Sign (Vinewood Sign).[11]


Following the release of Grand Theft Auto V, the city of Los Santos received high praise from critics. Both Joel Gregory of PlayStation Official Magazine and Hollander Cooper of Gamesradar praised the map of its size and detail, with the former concluding Los Santos is "far more appealing" than Grand Theft Auto IV '​s Liberty City.[12][13] IGN's Keza MacDonald reflected this opinion, and she praised the openness of the world and found exploring it enjoyable.[14] Chris Plante of Polygon noted how believable the world was.[15] Many reviewers praised the scale of the open world, complimenting its realisation of Los Angeles. Both Tom Bramwell of Eurogamer and Jim Sterling of Destructoid praised the game for streamlining the geography of Los Angeles into a diverse and well-designed city space.[16][17] Jeff Gertsmann of Giant Bomb called the city "nicely evocative of Los Angeles."[18] Brandon Jones of GameTrailers noted that the city is an "interest patchwork" of landmarks in Los Angeles.[19]

The New Yorker '​s Sam Sweet notes that, with sales of game reaching thirteen million copies, "there will be more people living in the imaginary state of Los Santos than in the real city on which it was modelled."[8]


  1. ^ GameCentral (3 November 2011). "Los Santos is only city in Grand Theft Auto V". Metro. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Sherwin, Adam (22 September 2013). "Viva Los Santos – a city of guns, cars... and yoga: Grand Theft Auto V also offers some middle-class pursuits amid the mayhem". The Independent. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Hussain, Tamoor (8 November 2012). "GTA V world 'is bigger than Red Dead Redemption, San Andreas and GTA 4 combined'". Computer and Video Games. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Huffington Post UK (16 September 2013). "GTA 5: How Big Is Los Santos Compared To Real Cities? (PICTURE)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Hide, Nick (2 November 2011). "GTA 5 trailer reveals 'Vinewood' West Coast setting". Crave. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  6. ^ Schreier, Jason (2 November 2011). "Grand Theft Auto V Rolls Back to San Andreas". Wired. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Yglesias, Matthew (23 September 2013). "Grand Theft Economics: Why no traffic jams in Los Santos.". Slate. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Sweet, Sam (20 September 2013). "Idling in Los Santos". The New Yorker. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  9. ^ Bernstein, Joseph (13 August 2013). ""Way Beyond Anything We’ve Done Before": Building The World Of "Grand Theft Auto V"". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  10. ^ "Los Santos Landmarks Map". 1 December 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  11. ^ Chaos Energy. "Los Santos Properties GTA: San Andreas". G-Unleashed. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  12. ^ Gregory, Joel (16 September 2013). "GTA 5 PS3 review – Three men and a little LA deed sign the generation off in style". PlayStation Official Magazine. Archived from the original on 23 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  13. ^ Cooper, Hollander. "GTA 5 review". GamesRadar. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  14. ^ MacDonald, Keza (16 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto V Review". IGN. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  15. ^ Plante, Chris (16 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto 5 review: golden years". Polygon. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  16. ^ Bramwell, Tom (16 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto 5 review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  17. ^ Sterling, Jim (16 September 2013). "Review: Grand Theft Auto V". Destructoid. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  18. ^ Gertsmann, Jeff (16 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto V Review". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "Grand Theft Auto V Review". GameTrailers. September 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 

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