San Andreas Mercenaries update lands in GTA Online amid major vehicular changes

GTA Online’s aerial-focused San Andreas Mercenaries update has officially landed on all platforms, delivering a host of gameplay and content changes; let’s check out the important bits!

Project Overthrow & LSA Operations

  • A new story with one goal in mind; embarrass Merryweather with a ladle of their our medicine
  • 6 story missions and 3 contract jobs
  • You’re team leader of the Los Santos Angels – a rough, ready, and experienced flight crew made up of Charlie Reed, Rooster McCraw, and Colonel Parnell Moss

First and foremost, before you can participate in this private military stand-off you will need to own a Mammoth Avenger and purchase an Operations Terminal for the interior, so it could set you back a few million if you’ve not dabbled before, but luckily it’s no longer locked to Facility owners – you’ll find it on Warstock and weaponry upgrades are available if you own a hangar with a workshop.

Smuggler’s Run overhaul

The aforementioned Rooster McCraw has taken up residence in your hangar, providing a new way to passively source air freight cargo (just like Lupe in your special cargo warehouse) for a fee of GTA$25k. There’s also 4 new source and 3 new sell missions that’ll allow you to conduct business over land rather than with wings; useful for unsteady pilots!

New & returning vehicles

  • Grotti Itali GTO Stinger TT
  • Maibatsu MonstroCiti
  • Vapid Ratel
  • Vapid Clique Wagon
  • Declasse Walton L35
  • Mammoth Streamer216
  • F-160 Raiju
  • Previously limited Issi Rally, Panthere, Everon, & Eudora now part of the in-game catalogue

New weapon and misc. improvements

  • Tactical SMG – available to use in Project Overthrow + buy your own at the Gun Van
  • Hundreds of new clothing pieces and accessories + 3 new hairstyles (2m/1f)
  • RC Bandito time trials now rotate (and reward you) daily + there’s 5 new courses
  • Career menu for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S – track your progress across all major updates, earn new rewards as you complete 1-4 Tiers of checklists that increase in difficulty – some achievements are retroactively completed while others require additional work and discipline!
  • Streamlined functions such as Buy All Body Armor button, Claim All returns to Mors Mutual Insurance, Register as a Boss menu picker, and Hold To Sprint option
  • A plethora of adjustments, bug fixes, and tweaks have also been applied across platforms as previously announced; you can check out the formal list of these on the official Rockstar Support Patch Notes

Major vehicle access changes

As you’ve undoubtedly noticed amongst the community, there’s quite a bit of upset that Rockstar have removed a number of vehicles from in-game dealership websites. This change was announced last week as a move to improve the “browsing experience” due to the ever-growing catalogue, with a suggestion that “lesser-used” vehicles would be the target. The extent of the removed content is what is raising eyebrows, however, with the list clocking in close to 200 cars and motorcycles, featuring not only what you would assume were statistically gathering dust but also several unexpected evergreen favourites. Sunsetting content is rarely a fun topic and this could perhaps be highlighted as one of the most controversial moves we’ve seen out of GTA Online, but a decision has been made, so let’s dissect things a little.

Just to clarify, this change doesn’t remove any vehicles you already own, and you’re still able to use them. Rockstar assures that the now-hidden vehicles will be brought back via events (i.e. the weekly rotations of the Lucky Wheel, Simeon’s Premium Motorsport, Luxury Autos, etc), and there’s also a high percentage that can still be stolen off the streets.

The concern amongst the community is the length of time that it could take to re-gain access to all these vehicles given the limited number of places they could re-appear. I’m personally of the impression that it may not necessarily take as long as we might imagine, as long as there is variety each week with the opportunity to expand the scope of how they are made available as well, such as new showrooms or events (as well as storage) – existing vehicles are already cycled in and out of dealership showrooms after all. Additional food for thought: “FOMO” vehicles arrived in December and are now regular fixtures as of this Update, plus the same change happened to Jobs some time ago and this did not affect players in the grand scheme of things.

The idea circulating that all of these vehicles will be reserved for paywalled access via GTA+ is a little fabricated as it stands; it’s true the Stirling GT is in the GTA+ showroom this month, but the Landstalker XL is at Simeon’s, and the Progen GP1/Bravado Verlierer are on the LSCM Test Track, so while it can be easy to assume the worst, there’s lots at play here and paywalling may not actually be what’s in the pipeline for the removed inventory. At the end of the day, it’s understandable players are going to object to losing access to content, but there’s a chance disruption can be minimized once Rockstar works to digest the community response by gathering feedback and continuing to experiment.

A tease of upcoming content!

Summer will bring even more new vehicles including the Bravado Buffalo EVX, as well as the return of Grand Theft Auto staple activities such as Armored Van Robberies, and a “large-scale battle” across the isle of Cayo Perico is on the horizon…

Got something to say about all the changes? Head on over to our San Andreas Mercenaries discussion hub on GTAForums and let us know

The usual weekly event bonuses are active until 21st June – find our separate article from Mr Bonuses himself Spider-Vice here, alongside a rundown of this month’s GTA+ event here