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GTA 5 has one of the richest and most expansive maps of any video game. It is incredibly immersive and full of fun activities and locations to explore. Some of these locations are off-limits and can bring you a lot of trouble if you enter them, and the Fort Zancudo military base is one of them.
Here is everything you need to know about the army base in GTA 5.
Bottom Line Up Front
The army base in Grand Theft Auto 5 can be found in the northwest part of Los Santos. But be warned, entering it can bring you a lot of trouble; however, it does have some rewards that make it all worth it.
Where Is the Army Base in GTA 5?
The army base can be found in the northwest part of the Grand Theft Auto 5 map by traveling up Lago Zancudo or Pelto Bay towards the mountains. Before reaching the mountains, you will come to the army base Fort Zancudo by veering off to a dirt track to the right of the freeway.
You can also reach the army base by flying an aircraft or helicopter. Upon arriving at the entrance of the base, you will be told to turn around by an army officer. If you are flying to the base, you may also notice military aircraft circling the base’s perimeter.
What Happens if You Enter the Army Base?
The army base is completely off-limits in Grand Theft Auto 5, heavily guarded by military personnel and vehicles. In GTA Online, you are stopped at the entrance by an army officer who will tell you to turn around; however, he is absent from GTA 5. You can also use Mount Josiah which is located just north of the base to jump over the fence. If you enter the base by either walking, driving, or flying, you will receive an instant four-star wanted level.
Military officers will begin shooting at you, SWAT vans arriving, and tanks being deployed to take you out. If you enter the army base, it is just a matter of time before you are taken out. However, one fun thing to do in the army base is using Trevor‘s special ability. This causes him to take a lot less damage and slow time down, which will help you survive the endless onslaught.
If you are playing GTA Online, you can use your phone to contact Lester and pay $5,000 to have law enforcement turn a blind eye for three minutes. This will allow you to enter the base without earning a four-star wanted level. Because of this, you will be able to explore and even steal vehicles without repercussions.
Driving around the base, you will encounter army barracks, hangers, and various towers around the grounds. Some of the hangers will have military aircraft, such as planes, and you can find trucks and tanks driving around the army base, which you can steal and drive out of the base.
Is It Worth Entering the Army Base?
Apart from fighting an endless onslaught of military personnel, there isn’t any reason to enter the army base except for one reason, to steal a military vehicle. Whether in GTA 5 or GTA Online, you can steal the vehicles in the army base.
This is easiest done in GTA Online, as you can pay Lester $5,000 to have law enforcement turn a blind eye to your crimes, but it can be done in either game. Once you steal a tank, truck, or aircraft, they can be driven and stored in any of your owned storage locations, such as garages and hangers.
There are multiple vehicles available to steal at the army base, from planes to tanks. In total, you can choose from seven different vehicles that can be found across the army base in various locations. The list of vehicles includes two planes, one helicopter, one tank, and three trucks.
These vehicles are:
- Barracks Semi
- Buzzard Attack Chopper
- Canis Crusader
- P-996 LAZER
- Rhino Tank
The best vehicle out of these to steal is the Rhino tank. This can also be purchased in-game for $3,000,000 in GTA 5 and $1,500,000 in GTA Online, but free is much better than forking out cash for it. If you play GTA Online and want a Rhino tank, this is the best method to acquire one, as you can steal one easily by paying Lester the $5,000, which will save you a total of $1,495,000.
You can even do this in a closed session so you don’t have to worry about other players destroying the Rhino tank as you drive it between the army base and your vehicle storage location.
How to Escape the 4 Star Wanted Level
There is no reward without risk, and entering the army base is much easier than leaving it. As soon as you enter the base you will earn a 4 star wanted level, which will begin a never-ending onslaught of police and military personnel that are hell-bent on taking you out. Even when you leave the military facility you will still have to deal with the wanted level, so you are in for a fight.
Depending on which vehicle you took from the army base will depend on the strategy you should use to escape. If you steal any of the flying vehicles, such as the P-996 Lazer or Titan, then you will have the easiest time escaping. Flying vehicles are fairly easy to evade law enforcement as it is difficult for them to chase you and you can easily transport the vehicle to a nearby hangar.
If you stole the Rhino Tank then you should immediately drive it to one of your garages found across San Andreas as it is too slow to outrun the military. If you are using Franklin in the story mode, your garage is all the way down south Los Santos at Davis. Michael’s garage, which is located closest to the army base, can be found at West Los Santos.
And finally, Trevor’s is located in the middle of Los Santos at Strawberry/Adam’s Apple BLVD. If you are stealing a tank in story mode you should use Trevor due to him being the best character to face the might of the military due to his special ability. In GTA Online there are 10 different garages to purchase across Los Santos.
Finally, if you are stealing any other vehicle at the army base then you can use your usual method for outrunning the police and getting away. But, there is an easy way and you happen to be right next to it. Just north of the army base are the Chiliard Mountains, which go along the Zancudo River. Once you leave the army base, head north and take the first detour onto the dirt road to head into the heart of the mountains.
The police will only follow the road unless they can see you and then they will chase you across any terrain. But, if you get ahead of them you can easily veer off into the mountains and it will be much more difficult for the police to find you. There is a police helicopter to deal with, but you should still be able to swerve it.
If scaling the mountainous terrain isn’t your thing, you could drive up North Chumash towards Paleto Bay and Blaine County to escape through the wilderness and desert terrain. This will be the more difficult option as there is no fast car in the army base to steal. Stay out of sight for long enough and the wanted level will disappear and you are free to take the vehicle wherever you want.
Can You Avoid the Wanted Level?
Unfortunately, in the GTA 5 story mode, you will always trigger the wanted level upon entering the army base unless you use mods such as the Simple Trainer in order to disable wanted level stars. But, in GTA Online the easiest way that you can avoid the wanted level outside of calling Lester to get the authorities to turn a blind eye. The Smuggler’s Run update added three purchasable hangars to the game that are located at the army base:
- Fort Zancudo Hangar 3497 – $2,085,000
- Fort Zancudo Hangar 3499 – $2,650,000
- Fort Zancudo Hangar A2 – $3,250,000
By purchasing any of these you will be able to enter the army base without triggering the wanted level. However, if you fire a weapon or attempt to steal a vehicle you will receive a 2-star wanted level. But, that is a lot easier to deal with than having the military come after you and you can easily outrun the police.
Question: Is it safe to go to the army base in GTA 5?
Answer: Going to the army base in GTA 5 will earn you an instant four-star wanted level, which is completely off-limits. The only exception is when you pay Lester $5,000 for three minutes of the police turning a blind eye in GTA Online.
Question: Are there any other locations that are off-limits in GTA5?
Answer: A maximum security prison in Sandy Shores can be found close to Trevor’s hangar. During a flying mission, you are warned about flying too close to it, which is also the case outside of missions. Flying over or trying to access it by car will get you a lot of attention from law enforcement.
Question: Where is the best location to check out in GTA 5?
Answer: There are many great locations to check out in GTA 5, but one of my favorites is Downtown Vinewood. This is based on real-life Hollywood and is home to iconic locations such as the Walk of Fame.
The army base is one of the most exciting and rewarding locations in GTA 5. It will give you a guaranteed gunfight to the death but can also be filled with rewards if you manage to steal a tank or plane from it.