One of the best-selling video game franchises of all time, the Grand Theft Auto series continues to be the definitive title in sandbox gaming. The first installment hit shelves back in 1997 and was met with extreme controversy due to its unrestricted violence and unscrupulous characters. But after its most recent release sold a whopping 85 million copies and grossed a record $1 billion in the first three days on shelves, the franchise has proved that no amount of backlash can stop the Grand Theft Auto series from entertaining gamers.
What keeps players coming back for more is undoubtedly the vast world featured within each GTA game. From Liberty City, to Vice City, to San Andreas, there is no shortage of new areas to explore, missions to accomplish, and Easter eggs to stumble upon. So we’re taking a look at some of the most interesting and hardest areas to find throughout the entire series.
Even if you’ve raked up hundreds of hours of gameplay, there’s still a good chance that you have yet to explore all of these areas, or at the very least, you may have overlooked a few details hidden within them.
Here are 20 Hidden Areas You Never Found In Grand Theft Auto.
20 Frozen Alien
Easily one the coolest Easter eggs within all of Grand Theft Auto V can actually be found within the game's prologue mission, which can be replayed at any time through the start menu.
To get to this hidden area, you’ll have to go off-road in your escape vehicle after robbing a bank. However, if you swerve off the road too early you’ll end up failing the mission entirely, making the area seem inaccessible. Wait until the road’s guardrail comes into view before you take a hard right toward the frozen river to ensure that you make it to this location.
There, you’ll be able to get a good look at a frozen alien just underneath the ice, which looks strikingly similar to the xenomorphs in the Alien film franchise. Though you will inevitably still fail the mission, this easter egg is still well worth the trouble.
19 Easter Egg Room… Literally
Located in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, this meta Easter egg can be found if you travel downtown and make your way to the helipad atop the Vice City News Building. You can get to the roof both via helicopter or stairwell, and from there, you’ll have to make a daring jump off the landing pad through the window next door.
Though the window may look closed, the wall isn’t actually solid, and you’ll find yourself located in a small room with a giant brown egg that literally reads “Happy Easter.”
This same room can also be found in Grand Theft Auto: Vice Stories. However, here you’ll find that the egg is still under construction as a result of Vice Stories taking place a couple years before Vice City, revealing that the egg isn’t solid chocolate after all.
18 Underwater Hatch
Few TV mysterious have captivated audiences more than the season one plot point of Lost, which had everyone asking each other “What’s in the hatch?”
Well, this GTA V Easter egg will have you wondering the same thing, as you take a deep dive off the east coast of San Andreas to find this hatch door sticking out of the seabed, which looks strikingly to the one in Lost. There’s even a door window, which lights up whenever the player draws near — but come too close and you’re bound to be crushed by the ocean pressure.
You can even hear something tapping from inside, which some players assumed was a Morse Code message. However, it’s actually the Tap Code, which translates into “Hey, you never called. How’s you fancy going bowling?” which is actually a nod to the character of Roman Bellic from GTA IV.
17 The Heart of Liberty City
One of the joys of any GTA game is seeing just how high up you can explore and taking in vistas that can’t otherwise be enjoyed from the city streets. So when you first got a glimpse of the Statue of Happiness in Grand Theft Auto IV, there was a good chance that you couldn’t wait to venture to the top.
But getting inside the statue is no easy feat, as it involves using a parachute or a helicopter to land on the correct platform. From there, you can enter a non-solid with the sign “No hidden content this way” hanging next to it.
This won’t actually take you to the pinnacle of the statue, but it will lead you to one of the weirder Easter eggs in any GTA game: the living, beating heart of Liberty City.
16 Jolene’s Ghost
You can visit Mount Gordo at any time during the gameplay in GTA V, but with the mountain peak being a good 15-minute drive from the city center, there’s a good chance that you haven’t felt the desire to fully explore this area.
However, if you’re in the mood for a midnight drive, you can take a trip up Mount Gordo and get a look at this eerie Easter egg, which usually appears anytime between 11 PM and 2 AM. The sight is that of Jolene Cranley-Evans, who can be safely viewed through the scope of a sniper rifle since she will vanish upon being approached.
You might even notice the name “Jock” written in blood at her feet, a confirmation that her husband did indeed kill her, despite the fact that he was acquitted of any wrongdoing and is currently running as the conservative candidate for governor of San Andreas.
15 Gant Bridge
With a gameplay that encourages the player to troll everyone from your character’s closest friends to the city police, one might expect the game developers to bait and switch the players in a similar fashion, which is something you may have learned firsthand if you ever stumbled upon this message at the top of Gant Bridge.
The bridge — which is clearly a nod to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge — can be located in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, where it towers over the San Fierro Bay connecting Juniper Hollow and the Palisades.
If the player equips a jetpack and flies to the northern suspension tower, they will be greeted with the message pictured above — which will either come off as a clever joke or a slap in the face, depending upon how long it took you to reach the top.
14 Sunken UFO Wreckage
To date, Grand Theft Auto V has contained far more alien references than any previous GTA game, including this crashed UFO which can be found of the coast of San Andreas.
To get there, you’ll have to head to the northern shoreline and go for a swim of the coast of Procopio Beach. Here you’ll find one of the game's four UFOs — and the only one you can stumble upon without completing 100% of the gameplay.
Since the craft is around 400 feet below sea level, you’ll need to either equip scuba gear or hop in a submarine before you make the plunge. There, you’ll find that the craft is covered in seaweed and algae, implying that aliens have been visiting earth for some time.
13 Shady Cabin
Located in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the Shady Cabin can be found in the Whetstone area of the map.
This abandoned shack, which is more specifically located in Shady Creeks (a heavily forested area east of Mount Chiliad), has no connection to any of the game’s storylines, and as a result, the cabin has become the subject of plenty of fan theories.
For instance, if you visit at night you will notice a supernatural glow emanating from inside the cabin — a possible nod to the franchise’s fascination with aliens. But more commonly, the cabin has been linked to the myths of other popular horror icons, including Piggsy, Jason Voorhees, Leatherface, Ghostface, and even Bigfoot — after all Sasquatch Creek isn’t located very far away from the Shady Cabin.
12 No Country for Old Men
The GTA franchise is no stranger to referencing popular TV shows and movies. But in their latest installment, you can literally stroll into the middle of a scene from the 2007 Best Picture winner No Country for Old Men.
This random event -- officially titled Deal Gone Wrong -- can be stumbled upon while driving the dirt roads of the Chiliad Mountain State Wilderness. Much like the movie, you’ll find a drug deal that's gone horribly wrong, with plenty of gangsters dead and dying. If you proceed down the nearby slope, you’ll find a wounded man who tried to escape with the money.
You can go ahead and snatch up the $25,000, but be prepared to take down a gang of drug dealers who will inevitably try to recover the money.
11 Mysterious Mass Grave
Since the GTA franchise is overflowing with death and destruction, it’s rare to stumble upon a sight that still has the ability to make you feel on edge. But if you’re looking for such an instance, then you can always venture out to this mysterious mass grave in San Andreas, which is located to the northwest of Area 69.
Here, you’ll find a giant hole dug in the desert with six bodies lying inside. A truck sits backed up to the grave, implying that whoever transported the bodies out here was interrupted during the burial process.
There are plenty of theories surrounding the suspects, involving everyone from Mr. Trenchcoat, to the Sindacco family, to the infamous grave robber. Whoever it may be, stumbling upon to this hidden area unaware will make you feel like you’re about to be added to the pile.
10 The Ring Well
As much as the developers of the GTA games love the crime genre, they also seem to have a fascination with all things horror and have subsequently placed a number of creepy easter eggs throughout their games.
One such gem can be found in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in the town of Montgomery, Red Country. Here you can find a bio-well that is supposedly used for dumping toxic waste — though it also looks eerily similar to the well from the 2002 horror film The Ring.
Some even say that visiting the well at night will result in the appearance of the Ring Girl, who will try to kill the player. But to date, all the claimed appearances of the Ring Girl have either been confirmed as glitches, mods, or fakes. But feel free to find out for yourself…
9 Humane Labs
Though you can enter the Humane Labs and Research during various missions thought the events of GTA V, entering the massive laboratory on your own accord requires a few tricks.
The most common way is to use a wall glitch, which often requires the player to park a large vehicle as close to one of the building's walls and squeeze in between the two, resulting in the player entering the lab. Once inside, the graphics may be a bit wonky at first, but switching to a first-person perspective for a few moments should set things straight.
From there, you have free reign to explore the entire laboratory and excess areas that aren’t available during the missions. If you get good at using the wall glitch, you can even use the Humane Labs to hide out from police.
8 Ghost Town
This location from Grand Theft Auto III may be easily recognizable from the game’s introduction, but rediscovering it through the gameplay proper requires a little more effort.
However, there is one way to reach the Ghost Town without any cheats or mods, which involves flying the Dodo alongside the mountains that border the coast of Shoreside Vale until the abandoned cityscape appears on the horizon. The downside of this method is that, since the town was never fully designed by the game developers, your plane will eventually spiral out of control if you try to land it.
If you ever want to walk around the eerily incomplete and semi-solid city, you’ll need to utilize any number of cheats that often involve building bridges or piloting a military tank.
7 Abandoned Mine Shaft
There are a couple of abandoned mine shafts in GTA V. The one located near Sandy Shores — known as the Senora Desert Structure — is of little significance to the player, as it cannot be opened and contains no apparent Easter eggs.
However, a second more camouflaged mind shaft can be found halfway down a dirt path on one of the mountains in Great Chaparral. If you happen to be playing the next-gen version of the game in single player mode, you can blast open the wooden door with a minigun or any other kind of explosive device and take a stroll through the winding tunnels.
Here, you’ll find a number of Easter eggs, including the dead body of a 1940s-style gangster and a few clues that could help you unravel the murder mystery and the original purpose of the mine shaft.
6 InterGlobal Studios
InterGlobal Studios isn’t exactly a hidden location in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, as it can be purchased by the player for $60,000. However, there are still a few Easter eggs and interesting GTA myths to be found inside the lot.
Instead of getting caught up with director Steve Scott (a crude parody of Steven Spielberg), you should pay a visit to the studio’s Stage B. Here, you’ll find a set of the 1969 moon landing — confirming the controversial conspiracy that the entire Apollo 13 landing was indeed staged, at least in the world of GTA.
Meanwhile, just outside of Stage B you can find a small blue UFO, though it is unknown if this is an actual alien craft or simply another film prop.
5 Ant-Zombie Fortress (Mod)
These types of areas aren’t technically something you’d ever have the chance to stumble upon in the standard storyline. But this one is still worth mentioning since an uncountable number of zombie-themed mods have popped up since — which are worth checking out if you’re in the mood for some post-apocalyptic gameplay.
With The Walking Dead reaching peak popularity around the same time that Grand Theft Auto V was hitting shelves, it was only a matter of time before one player decided to add a zombie-themed mod to the gameplay.
This particular anti-zombie fortress could be found tucked away inside the densely wooded forest near the Sandy Shores airport, and once you jump the red and white barriers that enclose the entire area, you’ll find a fortress decked out with an impressive array of survival gear and quirky inhabitants.
4 Flying UFO Locations
As we’ve already mentioned, there are a total of four UFOs that you can stumble upon in GTA V, the first being the sunken UFO wreckage found off the northern coast of San Andreas. If you want to get a glimpse at the other three you’ll first need to complete the game to 100%.
One can be located in the air directly above the Beam Me Up sculpture, one can be seen at the top of Mount Chiliad during a storm, and the third can be found hovering above Fort Zancudo.
Of course, you’re going to want to get a closer look via aircraft and possibly even try to board these crafts. But beware, flying too close to any of these UFOs will result in an electromagnetic pulse disabling your aircraft, and parachuting to the top will only jettison the player in the opposite direction.
3 Mini-Golf Course
Even from the beginning of the franchise, Grand Theft Auto wasn’t above giving self-referential nods to its earlier games or other Rockstar franchises. That trend has certainly continued in the fifth installment: in Funland — the defunct amusement park located on Firefly Island in Grand Theft Auto IV.
Since the park is shut down and devoid of patrons, you probably didn’t think the area was worth exploring. But if you take a trip to the mini-golf course, you’ll be sure to spot a number of landmarks from previous games. These include the lighthouse from Liberty City, the Watts Towers from Los Santos, the Ocean View Hotel from Vice City, and — last but not least — the giant chicken from San Andreas.
2 Underground Lab at Fort Zancudo (Mod)
GTA V gamers have long speculated that there is more to Fort Zancudo than meets the eye, with many believing that the jetpack or alien artifacts might reside within a secret lab located underneath the fort.
These theories aren’t totally unfounded, as we’ve already mentioned the UFO that can be seen hovering above the fort upon 100% completion, not to mention that in one of the fort’s elevators there’s a floor labeled “-1”.
Unfortunately, you can’t actually operate the elevator and ride it down. But if you felt so inclined, you could install a player-made mod of the theorized area and check out a version of the underground lab for yourself, which is filled with bombs, mysterious blueprints, and some top secret soldiers that you may have to fend off.
1 Mount Chiliad Mysteries
Anyone that plays GTA V beyond the standard gameplay has almost certainly heard of the Mount Chiliad Mystery, which is the magnum opus of any video game Easter egg hunt to date. In fact, many of the secret locations featured above — including the UFOs and underwater hatch — were originally located as a result of this puzzle.
There are plenty of other hidden areas that can be found it you decide to dive headfirst into the community of Easter egg hunters that have become obsessed with unraveling this mystery over the last four years. But if you’re looking for somewhere to start, we’d recommend studying the bizarre map located at the mountain's summit.
The purpose of the underground Mount Chiliad Tunnel and the doors labeled T01 and T02 remain the subject of much speculation as well, as they have yet to be opened without the use of mods.
So what’s your favorite hidden area in the GTA franchise? Did we miss any? Let us know!