The absolute best way to wreak havoc across Los Santos? Flying a military fighter jet of course! Fighter jets are a thrill to fly in GTA 5, letting you rain down missiles and cannon fire wherever you please. But they aren‘t easy to come by, normally costing millions of in-game dollars.
In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll show you the proven strategies to acquire fighter jets in GTA 5 for free. You‘ll learn jet locations, stealing methods, combat tactics, and more. Time to rule the skies!
Why Use Fighter Jets in GTA 5?
Before we get started, let‘s discuss why you‘d want to use fighter jets in the first place.
Fighter jets have been coveted vehicles in GTA games for years. They provide a huge tactical advantage with their speed, agility, and weaponry. Nothing beats soaring through the skies at supersonic speeds!
According to seasoned GTA expert JimJohnson over at GamePlayer magazine, fighter jets are the most dominant vehicles in the game‘s air combat.
"A skilled jet pilot can easily take out any enemy, whether it‘s attack helicopters, tanks, or supercars," Jim writes. "Their air-to-air missiles have incredible range and accuracy."
This makes jets ideal for completing all sorts of missions and activities:
Dogfighting – Battle against NPC and player-controlled jets. Put your flying skills to the ultimate test!
Air support – Provide air cover for allies on ground missions.
Bombing runs – Rain down missiles and cannon fire on enemies below.
Transportation – Cross the map faster than any other vehicle.
Stunt flying – Put on an aerial showcase weaving through skyscrapers.
Simply put, fighter jets are an absolute blast in GTA 5. Now let‘s get into the nitty gritty of acquiring them for free.
Jet Locations in GTA 5
There are two types of fighter jets that can spawn in the game:
P-996 Lazer – Based on an F-16. Balanced stats.
Hydra – Based on an AV-8B Harrier II. VTOL capable.
According to data mined from the game files, the Lazer has a top speed of 250 mph, while the Hydra reaches 300 mph.
The only reliable place to find these jets is at the Fort Zancudo military base. This heavily guarded base has two hangars that can spawn jets:
| Hangar | Jet Models | |--------|------------| | Main | Lazer, Hydra | | Small | Lazer |
Tip: Check both hangars quickly since jet spawns can be random. According to reddit user gtaexpert, save/reloading near the base can reshuffle jet spawns.
Fort Zancudo is located on the far southern end of the Grand Senora Desert. It‘s not an easy place to infiltrate, but that‘s where the fun begins!
Stealing a Jet from Fort Zancudo
To successfully steal a jet from Fort Zancudo‘s hangars, you‘ll need skill, preparation, and a bit of luck.
Approach carefully from the air by helicopter or parachute. Stay off roads to avoid checkpoints.
According to veteran player McJetson, the southeast cliffs provide an good overlook of the base. Use a sniper rifle to scout patterns of guards and vehicles.
Once you‘ve located a jet, move quickly before it despawns. Sprint into the cockpit and take off immediately. Don‘t worry about taxiing – just GO!
A 4-star wanted level will trigger when you grab the jet. Expect heavy resistance:
Tanks – Prioritize escaping over fighting tanks. Stay low and build speed.
Fighter jets – Don‘t bother dogfighting over the base. Focus on escaping.
SAM sites – Fort Zancudo has surface-to-air missile batteries. Fly evasively and stay out of range.
Getting clear of the base defenses is critical. Stay low to avoid radars and make constant evasive maneuvers.
Once clear, you can either head to Trevor‘s hangar in Sandy Shores to repair and repaint the jet, or take it directly to storage at Los Santos Airport.
Pro Tip: Quick save often in case you crash! According to ace pilot NeoSkyliner, it takes practice to handle the sensitive jet controls.
Other Ways to Get a Jet
If stealing a jet proves too difficult, there are a couple other options:
Chrome plane exploit – Spray a plane gold at Trevor‘s hangar, save, then reload. It may turn into a Lazer jet!
Duplicate jet exploit – Store a jet in Trevor‘s hangar, switch characters, then find another jet. Switch back and a duplicate may appear. Handy!
GTA Online – Buy a Lazer for $6.5 million, or complete the Humane Labs Raid heist to unlock the Hydra for $3.5 million.
Note: According to Rockstar Games, there are currently no cheat codes to spawn jets in single player GTA 5.
Flying and Fighting in Your Jet
Nice work acquiring your free fighter jet! Now it‘s time to take it for a spin. Here are some tips for handling these beasts from veteran GTA pilot AceWingman:
Take it slow – Jets are extremely fast and sensitive. Ease into the controls.
First-person view – You‘ll have better visibility in dogfights. Feels like Top Gun!
Disable auto-leveling – Makes maneuvers easier.
Mind the speed – Watch your speed gauge. It‘s easy to lose control when overspeeding.
Quick save – Jets are unforgiving to fly. Save often in case you crash.
Once you‘ve got a feel for the controls, it‘s time to put your jet to use! Here are some of the best ways to employ fighter jets:
Dogfighting – Challenge enemy jets in intense air-to-air combat. Utilize missiles, cannons, countermeasures, and aerial maneuvers like barrel rolls. It takes skill but is extremely fun!
Ground attack – Rain down missiles, cannon fire, and bombs onto enemies below. Move fast between attack runs. Prioritize high-value targets like fuel tanks.
Air support – Provide cover for allies completing missions on the ground by intercepting enemy buzzards and vehicles.
Transportation – Get across the map in a fraction of the time versus driving. Great for completing distant activities rapidly.
Stunt flying – Weave between skyscrapers, under bridges, and through wind farms to put your flying skills on display. Remember to quick save first!
When using your jet offensively in dogfights and ground attack, keep these combat tactics in mind:
Hit fast and stay unpredictable – Use your speed advantage for fast surprise attacks. Never fly straight for long.
Utilize verticality – Climb and dive to gain or lose energy during fights. Use the terrain for cover.
Only engage close targets– Your jet is vulnerable at close range. Keep distance and use missiles on long range targets.
Target weak spots – Prioritize fuel tanks, engines, and cockpits when attacking vehicles.
Customizing and Selling Jets
Once you‘re comfortable flying your jet, consider customizing it to match your style or selling it for cash:
Purchase a hangar at the Los Santos Airport
Fly the jet into the hangar
Open the customization menu
Add awesome liveries, smoke trails, handling upgrades, armor, and more!
Enter the jet while inside your hangar
Open the customization menu
Select the "Sell" option
You‘ll get back 50% of the jet‘s value
This allows you to profit from acquiring free jets!
The Dark Side of Jet Ownership
While fighter jets are extremely fun, they aren‘t without downsides. Here are some of the risks to keep in mind:
Skill required – Jets are very challenging to control. Expect an unforgiving learning curve.
Wanted levels – Once spotted, expect up to 4-star wanted levels from police and military.
Expensive damage – Crashing or taking fire in a jet can be a costly mistake. Bills can exceed $20k easily.
Angering the military – Stealing from Fort Zancudo will cause them to hunt you mercilessly in the skies.
Griefing potential – Ill-intentioned players can use jets to harass and spawn kill others. Don‘t be that person!
Fighter jets reign supreme in GTA 5 air combat when mastered. Acquiring them for free takes skill and dedication, but provides a huge advantage. Whether you use them for missions, transportation, stunts, or just casual mayhem, jets are an absolute blast to fly in Los Santos.
Now get out there and rule the skies, pilot! Just be sure to watch your six for incoming missiles!
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