If there's one thing that's consistent in Grand Theft Auto games, it's that the cops are pretty aware of when you're doing something stupid. Run over a few civilians and they'll be all over you. Get into a gun battle with a few gang members and a squad will likely show up to spoil your fun. End up in too much trouble and your Wanted meter will go up, turning you into America's Most Wanted almost instantly.

Of course, part of the fun is being able to lose these cops in a pinch. Grand Theft Auto V is no different, as each member of your team – Franklin, Michael and Trevor – are bound to get into trouble with everything they're doing. That said, we've got a few tips that will help you get out of a jam, though you're still responsible for your driving skills. We can't help you if you keep running into buildings or causing enough damage to make your car explode.

Good luck, and if you do get caught, don't look at us to bail you out of jail.

Wanted Dead or Alive

As with previous Grand Theft Auto games, each character in the game has a "wanted" meter that ranges from one to five stars. Depending on your actions in the game, this can build gradually or ramp up rather quickly. For instance, if you run over a few citizens, one star will automatically pop up. Keep going on your driving spree or go manic on the cops that are pursuing you and it'll continue to rise. By the time you reach five stars, you become the target of a local manhunt, with everything from aggressive cop cars to helicopters pursuing you.

The one star rating is obviously the easiest by which to lose cops. Simply speed out of their range and keep an eye on your map to see where others are stationed until your meter manages to go down. If you stay in the clear long enough, you can go back along on your merry way. If not, you'll need to repeat the process until the cops lose sight of you – which you'll be able to tell judging by their frustrated radio chatter.

If your "wanted" level goes to two or above, cops are a bit tougher to lose, as they become more relentless with their pursuit. In this case, the safest place to be is your house. Here, you can drop off a "wanted" rating – no matter how high it gets – and keep things cool for a little while. Getting there, though, may be half the battle, especially if the cops are prepared to spring a roadblock on you – or worse. The five star rating is a devastating place to be – though some gamers are used to that.

Drive it Like You Stole it

Again, tactics from previous games will play a big part in Grand Theft Auto V. The key here is the traffic that surrounds you. If you're smart enough, you'll be able to bob and weave through cars and leave the cops angry that they can't get around as smoothly as you. As a result, they may call upon a fellow squad cars to chase you down, or eventually give up the pursuit. Remain unpredictable, but at the same time safe – if you wreck, chances are it won't be long before the police bust you.

Another skill to keep in mind is Franklin's slo-mo ability, since you'll be playing as him through a variety of missions in the beginning of the game. Simply click the L3 and R3 buttons – the analog sticks – when your special meter is full, and he'll activate a slo-mo drive. This gives him all the stability and handling of a vehicle in real time while the rest of the world goes slowly around him. This is really convenient when it comes to getting through heavy bouts of traffic, which in turn will tie up the cops for a  bit and allow you to escape.

Know Your Routes

Grand Theft Auto V's Los Santos is a big place, but it helps to know your way around, so you don't end up going into a dead-end neighborhood where the cops can easily corner you. If you're a Los Angeles resident, you'll recognize a few of these routes already. It's best to stick to open roads with lots of traffic, as you can coast at a high speed while performing your dodging techniques to gain a slight advantage over the bewildered law enforcement. Just don't get stuck, and if you see the opportunity to take a tight turn to throw them off, take it. You might need to call upon the emergency brake to get it done, but it's a simple technique to master.

While you're at it, keep an eye open for opportunities to go airborne. While a bit risky – particularly if you're jumping into a traffic jam – it's a good way to gain an advantage – and maybe even land on a higher road where the cops will easily lose you. Take some time to cruise around and learn the terrain. It'll pay off in the long run.

The Bigger the Vehicle, The More Trouble You're In

Finally, when it comes to evading the police, the smaller vehicles always win. Not only will you have a speed advantage, but there's less of a car to knock down or pull over.

We learned that lesson the hard way the first time we piled into a tow truck. While it was interesting at first to knock a few cop cars out of the way, the fact is that they caught right back up again, eventually ambushing us when we weren't able to outrun them. When it comes to faster sports cars, this is hardly a problem.

If you must, switch vehicles in the midst of a mission and find something smaller to steal and use to lose the cops. Once you do, return back to your objective and try to finish the mission. If you have to restart, go for it – you'll have more than enough chances to do so.

We've also included an evasion video below to give you an idea how these and other tactics work.

Good luck!

 

Grand Theft Auto V is available now for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Be sure to check out our other GTA V coverage as well, including our Achievements & Trophies Checklist