How to Change Weapons in GTA San Andreas: A Comprehensive Guide

GTA San Andreas, developed by Rockstar Games, is an action-packed open-world game that offers players a wide range of weapons to choose from.

The ability to change weapons quickly and effectively is crucial for survival and success in the game’s intense missions and combat situations.

If you’re wondering how to change weapons in GTA San Andreas, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the process step-by-step, ensuring you have the knowledge and skills to adapt to any situation in the game.


In GTA San Andreas, having the right weapon at the right time can mean the difference between success and failure. Whether you need a powerful firearm for combat, a melee weapon for close quarters, or a specialized tool for a specific task, knowing how to change weapons efficiently is essential.

This guide will cover various methods and controls for changing weapons, ensuring you’re well-equipped for any situation in the game.

Understanding Weapon Slots

Before diving into the mechanics of changing weapons, it’s important to understand the concept of weapon slots. In GTA San Andreas, weapons are organized into different slots, each assigned to a specific category. These slots include:

  1. Melee: Melee weapons such as knives, bats, or chainsaws.
  2. Handguns: Pistols, revolvers, and other small firearms.
  3. Shotguns: Pump-action shotguns and other short-range firearms.
  4. Submachine Guns: Compact automatic weapons for close to mid-range combat.
  5. Assault Rifles: Fully automatic rifles for medium to long-range combat.
  6. Heavy Weapons: Powerful weapons like rocket launchers or miniguns.
  7. Thrown Weapons: Grenades, Molotov cocktails, and other throwable items.
  8. Special Weapons: Unique or mission-specific weapons.

Each weapon slot has a designated button or control that allows you to switch between weapons within that category.

Using the Mouse/Keyboard Controls

If you’re playing GTA San Andreas on a computer using a mouse and keyboard, changing weapons can be done through the following controls:

  1. Scroll Wheel: Use the scroll wheel on your mouse to cycle through the available weapons. Scrolling up or down will switch between the weapons within the currently selected weapon slot.
  2. Number Keys: Each weapon slot is assigned a specific number key on the keyboard. Press the corresponding number key to quickly switch to the weapon in that slot. For example, pressing “1” will equip the weapon in the first slot (melee), “2” for the second slot (handguns), and so on.
  3. “TAB” Key: Pressing the “TAB” key on your keyboard will cycle through all the available weapons, moving from one slot to the next in sequential order.

Using Controller Buttons

If you’re playing GTA San Andreas on a gaming console or using a gamepad/controller on the PC, changing weapons can be done using the following buttons:

  1. D-Pad: The directional pad (D-Pad) on your controller is often used to switch between weapon slots. Press the corresponding direction on the D-Pad to select the desired slot. For example, pressing up or down on the D-Pad will cycle between the melee and handgun slots.
  2. Shoulder Buttons: The shoulder buttons on your controller are typically used to switch between weapons within a specific slot. Each shoulder button corresponds to a different weapon slot. Pressing the left shoulder button will cycle through the weapons in the previous slot, while the right shoulder button will cycle through the weapons in the next slot.
  3. Button Combinations: Some controllers may have additional buttons or button combinations specifically assigned for weapon switching. Refer to the controller’s manual or the game’s control settings to determine if any alternate controls are available.

Accessing the Weapon Wheel

GTA San Andreas also introduces the weapon wheel feature, which provides a visual representation of your available weapons and allows for quick and intuitive selection. To access the weapon wheel, follow these steps:

  1. Pause the Game: Press the pause button on your controller or the designated key on your keyboard to pause the game.
  2. Navigate to Weapons: In the pause menu, navigate to the “Weapons” option using the directional pad or mouse/keyboard controls.
  3. Open the Weapon Wheel: Select the “Weapons” option to open the weapon wheel. This will display all your available weapons in a circular menu.
  4. Select a Weapon: Use the analog stick or mouse to highlight the weapon you want to equip, then press the corresponding button or click to select it.

The weapon wheel provides a convenient way to visualize and select your desired weapon quickly, especially when facing intense combat situations.

Customizing Your Weapon Inventory

In GTA San Andreas, you have the ability to customize your weapon inventory to suit your preferred playstyle. As you progress through the game, you can acquire new weapons, store them in safe houses, and even purchase weapon upgrades. To customize your weapon inventory, follow these steps:

  1. Visit Ammu-Nation Stores: Ammu-Nation stores are scattered throughout San Andreas. Visit these stores to purchase new weapons, ammunition, and upgrades.
  2. Explore Safe Houses: Some safe houses allow you to store weapons for later use. By accessing a safe house, you can store unused weapons and retrieve them at any time.
  3. Upgrade Weapons: Ammu-Nation stores also offer weapon upgrades, such as increased ammunition capacity or improved accuracy. Purchase these upgrades to enhance the performance of your weapons.

Dual-Wielding Weapons

In GTA San Andreas, players have the option to dual-wield certain weapons, allowing for increased firepower and versatility in combat. To dual-wield weapons, follow these steps:

  1. Obtain Compatible Weapons: Not all weapons can be dual-wielded. Look for weapons that are specifically marked as “dual” or “paired” in their descriptions or at Ammu-Nation stores.
  2. Equip the First Weapon: Select and equip the first weapon you want to dual-wield using the methods mentioned earlier.
  3. Equip the Second Weapon: With the first weapon equipped, find and pick up the second compatible weapon. It will automatically pair with the first weapon.
  4. Activate Dual-Wielding: Press the corresponding button or use the assigned control to activate the dual-wielding mode. This will allow you to simultaneously use both weapons in combat.

Dual-wielding provides a significant advantage in firepower, making it a valuable technique to master in GTA San Andreas.

Ammunition and Weapon Upgrades

To ensure you have an ample supply of ammunition for your weapons, visit Ammu-Nation stores or pick up ammunition dropped by defeated enemies. Additionally, consider purchasing weapon upgrades from Ammu-Nation to improve your weapon’s performance and increase your chances of success in combat.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Here are a few additional tips and tricks to help you effectively change weapons in GTA San Andreas:

  1. Plan Ahead: Before embarking on a mission or engaging in combat, make sure you have the appropriate weapons equipped and ready. Anticipate the challenges you might face and equip yourself accordingly.
  2. Experiment with Different Weapons: GTA San Andreas offers a wide variety of weapons, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Experiment with different weapons to find the ones that suit your playstyle and objectives best.
  3. Take Cover: In intense combat situations, take advantage of cover to minimize damage and safely switch between weapons as needed.
  4. Practice Weapon Switching: To become proficient at changing weapons quickly, practice switching between different weapons in various scenarios. This will help you develop muscle memory and improve your reflexes.

FAQs – How to Change Weapons in GTA San Andreas

Can I carry an unlimited number of weapons in GTA San Andreas?

No, there is a limit to the number of weapons you can carry. Each weapon slot can hold one weapon at a time. If you want to carry additional weapons, consider storing them in safe houses.

Can I drop or discard unwanted weapons?

No, there is no built-in feature in GTA San Andreas to drop or discard unwanted weapons. However, you can replace them with new weapons or store them in safe houses.

Can I use weapons from vehicles in GTA San Andreas?

Yes, certain vehicles in the game, such as police cars or military vehicles, may come equipped with fixed weapons. Press the attack button while in the vehicle to use these weapons.

Are there any cheat codes to instantly obtain weapons in GTA San Andreas?

Yes, there are cheat codes available that grant you access to various weapons instantly. However, using cheat codes may disable certain achievements or impact the overall gameplay experience.

Can I customize the controls for weapon switching in GTA San Andreas?

Yes, the game allows you to customize the controls to your preference. Check the game’s control settings or options menu to modify the controls related to weapon switching.


Mastering the art of changing weapons efficiently is essential in GTA San Andreas, as it enables you to adapt to different situations, maximize your combat effectiveness, and navigate the open-world environment with ease. By familiarizing yourself with the controls and techniques outlined in this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to face any challenge the game throws your way.

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