A brief history of the Vagos in GTA San Andreas

The Vagos are extremely dangerous in GTA San Andreas (Image via Rockstar Games)
The Vagos are extremely dangerous in GTA San Andreas (Image via Rockstar Games)
Danny Sahbegovic

The Vagos in GTA San Andreas are a powerful gang that players should watch out for, especially on the east side.

GTA San Andreas mainly focuses on the Grove Street Families (GSF) versus the Ballas, yet the Vagos aren’t far behind. They are the third largest gang in Los Santos. Defined by their yellow color scheme, they run the east side of the city and are rivals to the Varrios Los Aztecas, led by Cesar Vialpando.

Like most enemy gangs in the game, the Vagos aren’t fully developed as characters. However, they do serve an important role in the story. They increased their gang influence by taking part in the drug trade and GTA San Andreas players have to put a stop to their operations.

A history of the Vagos gang in GTA San Andreas


The Vagos are the biggest Latino gang in Los Santos. They are recognizable by their bright yellow bandanas and orange spray tags. Extremely violent, their rap sheets are as long as the east side they control.

While not as noteworthy as the Ballas, GTA San Andreas players will likely remember the Vagos. They tend to ride Hermes, Tornado, and Oceanic vehicles. In terms of traffic, they are the most commonly seen gang.

Early history


Vagos are mostly shrouded in mystery. According to the main website for GTA San Andreas, they are sworn rivals to the Varrios Los Aztecas. While the Vagos lack firepower, they make up for it in numbers. They are especially dangerous in confined spaces, such as alleyways.

At some point, they controlled East Los Santos. When CJ returns after a five-year absence, he assumes it's Vagos territory. However, Ballas took over most of the map while Vagos are mainly left with the east and northeastern areas.

By the start of GTA San Andreas, the Vagos were the second most prominent gang. The only named gang members are Freddy and Big Poppa. The former is an ex-convict, while the latter is the leader.

Ongoing conflicts with rival gangs


GTA San Andreas takes place in 1992, with the Vagos at the height of their power. They appear in several early missions, and for the most part, they are trying to steal weapons or deal with drugs. However, the GSF is always one step ahead.

Whether he is setting houses on fire or chasing a train, CJ always ruins their operations. Several members were killed in action, including minor gang member Freddy, who also met his end early on. Unfortunately for the GSF, the tides were about to turn.

Not one to let opportunity slip through their fingers, the Vagos made powerful connections. They have aligned themselves with the Loco Syndicate in San Fierro. As a result, they became major distributors of crack and cocaine in Los Santos. They also gained intel from C.R.A.S.H., a corrupt police unit.

Their unexpected rise in the ranks


Due to the strict anti-drug stance of GSF, several members turned their backs on the gang. The GSF were nearly dealt a death blow after Big Smoke betrayed them. After the events of The Green Sabre, most of the GSF either defected (Ryder), were arrested (Sweet), or went into hiding (CJ).

The Vagos struck while the iron was hot. They attacked the Aztecas and took over their territories. Little Mexico, Unity Station, and El Corona were now under Vagos control. This meant they no longer had to deal with major threats. However, they failed to finish off Cesar as he fled the county.

WIth GSF out of the picture, Big Smoke ran a profitable drug empire. He managed to hire the Vagos for protection and distribution of his product. This is the only time in GTA San Andreas where the Vagos willingly team up with the Ballas. Money is a great motivator, regardless of moral conviction.


Big Poppa also bought Madd Dogg's mansion at his career low point. Due to the rapper's drug addiction, it was an easy sell. The Vagos gang leader used it as the base of his operations. However, the good times didn't last forever.

How the Vagos ultimately fell


While in exile, CJ and Cesar built themselves up in San Fierro. Through their efforts, major damage is done to Big Smoke's distribution. In the final act of GTA San Andreas, players make their return to Los Santos.

With the help of the Triads, CJ clears out Madd Dogg's mansion, and after a massive shootout, he personally kills Big Poppa. The Vagos are now without a leader. CJ and Cesar also took the time to reclaim Azteca territories.

By the end of GTA San Andreas, Big Smoke's empire finally crumbles. As the dust settled, the Vagos were left severely weakened. GTA San Andreas players can optionally take over the remaining territories from them. By doing so, the Vagos are wiped out for good.

Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.

Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul


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