Sooner or later your actions will make you confront the police, who will try to pacify you quickly. Chase will end on one of three ways:
- Arrest. You begin the game from the police station, you lose all weapons and some money.
- Death. You weak up in the hospital, where you lose money for being healed. Paradoxically, it's way better than being arrest, if you have a lot of precious weapons, because in spite of more expensive "treatment" (depending on your cash, but max is 5 thousands $), you'll keep all your weapons. So when you consider the runaway futile, let them kill you instead of getting arrested.
- Runaway. When you lose cops, you'll be Wanted for several more minutes. If the police don't find you, they will stop the chase and you can return to the normal game.
Wanted Level, presented as stars, determines the amount of police forces used against you. It works like that:
One Star - the basic criminal act which begins the chase. It's activated for example after firing at pedestrians or stealing the car. If there is a police car nearby, the chase begins immediately. Otherwise, the citizens have to call the police first. You can neutralize the caller, so the crime won't be reported. At this stage, one police car will try to stop by asking you to drive aside. Police won't fire at you, but if you don't surrender quickly, it gets quickly into Two Stars.
Two Stars - when you don't get arrested on the previous level at once or if you start fire next to the policemen (or at them). At this stage police will fire at you and more police car joins the chase. They are more aggressive and will try, probably, to ram you.
Three Stars - when you kill a policeman, you get Three Stars. Chase will be bigger and a police helicopter, Maverick with two shooters on board, joins the action. There will be also blockades on the road. You get also Three Stars automatically when you sneak in some crucial locations, like Los Santos airport (only if you don't have a hangar) or port.
Four Stars - more madness brings Four Stars. Here, you will have to stand against FIB equipped in, among others, tear gas. Policemen have rifles and bulletproof vests. You meet heavy SUVs on the road, and antiterrorists will jump down from helicopters. Four Stars you get also when you break into the Zancudo Fort.
Five Stars - the highest level is connected with National Office Of Security Enforcement (NOOSE), who joins the chase. Many helicopters appear on the sky and all units will continue firing (even during the driving) to destroy your vehicle.
Running away from the police
To get away from the police, you have to disappear from their view range and then wait until they stop the chase. As long, as you are seen by at least one policeman, the radar will flash blue-red, and more and more units will come to get you. While running away, you should change your direction very often, using faults, to get into a main channel of Los Santos or out of the city. In general, you should avoid main streets and use, for example, track ways or, if you're playing as a Franklin and have a fast car, drive upstream with his Special activated. Trevor may use his Special to survive a big fall and try to lost the chasers. Situation is more complicated when you have a helicopter on your back. The easiest thing to do is to destroy it or kill the pilot, if you don't have heavy weapons in hand. But if you can't, you have to move quickly and change direction very often and immediately. In center of the city, use the narrow alleys to get lost it. In the countryside, you may use environment, like get the helicopter into pillars or even an air turbine and make it crash.
When you lose the police, you have to hide until the chase ceases. At this stage, Stars in the upper right corner will flash white-grey. Nearby police will be visible on the radar with a small aura around them, marking their field of vision. If you get into it, you'll be spotted and the chase resumes. So you just have to avoid them. In theory, you can change vehicles or even clothing to speed up the whole process and lose the police. Practically, it's not necessary. Being in the policeman range doesn't affect you when you're covered. Notice, that on the screen above, the character is within the sight range of the policeman, but the chase doesn't resume. So you just need to get onto the back of a building, hide in a side alley or even crouch behind a small wall and wait. Game is made in a way, that you can even get into thick brushes next to the road, and police cars won't notice you. Good place is also Ammu-Nation - at its back, it has often a room which isn't seen through the main window. Get there and police at the entrance won't pay an attention on you. If you're next to the bigger water, you can jump in and swim from the shore a bit, to get out of the sight. But don't jump into any motorboat or not swim too far away to not attract boats of LSPD. Remember also, that beginning of a mission ends the chase. As in the previous game, you can repaint your car in the workshop to eliminate Wanted Level at once.