Bolo (quality icon).PNG
This article has been evaluated to be at quality level 6.
Bolo finds this pleasing, but she would like more.
Quality Level: Quality Level 6

The vast majority of vehicles that the player (as Rico) can control in the Just Cause game series have to be stolen. This article is about vehicle hi-jacking techniques.

To hijack a helicopter in JC2 (in this case a UH-10 Chippewa), Rico has to first Grapple to it and then shoot off the soldier in the passenger seat. Picture taken above the Rajang river.


In order to hi-jack an occupied vehicle, Rico has to eject the unfortunate driver. If this action is noticed by the police, or the military, Heat will be gained. The level of heat depends on whether it's a civilian, or military vehicle.

Hi-jacking a vehicle can get you to your next destination; out of an inconvenient situation; or to the completion of a mission objective.

Quote from the Just Cause manual:

A number of different vehicles have been stolen over the last few months indicating a sharp rise in hijacking related crimes.
A police spokesperson said "It's very difficult for the people of San Esperito to protect themselves from these crimes, as the perpetrators often carry weapons."
Eye witness accounts claim that the thieves simply step up to the vehicles they wish to steal, press E and then get in and drive off.
The simplicity of this was cited as the main reason for the sharp increase in the number of cases as well as the need of young people for thrill seeking adventure.
Extra police have been put on patrol to try and combat these crimes.

"Don't take no passengers!" - Rico Rodriguez, while tossing a civilian driver out of their moving car in Just Cause 2. "Open sesame." - Rico when blowing a locked door open on an armored vehicle in Just Cause 3. "Good day for a swim." - Rico, when hijacking a boat and throwing the owner overboard in JC3.

Just Cause

Hi-jacking moving vehicles is a little easier in Just Cause (1). Note that when you enter a car from the passenger side and don't touch the controls, you can have a ride as a passenger. Also, a car door is usually ripped off the vehicle when it gets hijacked.

Very unrealistically, when you steal a military vehicle when all of its occupants exit, assuming you don't have heat, they will leave you alone.

There's a few vehicles in missions that can not be hijacked and have to be destroyed as a mission objective.

Default buttons for entering a vehicle

  • PC - "E"
  • PS2 - PS3 Triangle.png
  • Xbox - "Y"
  • Xbox360 - "Y"

Method 1: Cars and boats

Stand on the road and wait until the car door is next to Rico. Make sure you don't stand in front of the car, or you will be killed. When the car door is close enough to Rico, you can enter the car, no matter how fast it's driving.

Promotional art. Hijacking a Cutler-Randall Conquistador by jumping from a Wallys GP.

In JC1 it's possible to have a civilian drive Rico around, if the vehicle is entered from the right and if you don't touch the controls to hijack the vehicle. Here Rico is driven around Nuevo Estocolmo by a Civilian woman in a Rossi 866 Corral.

This method can also be used to obtain a boat, if Rico is swimming. Boats don't want to hit Rico, so they usually turn away, but it can be done.

If you encounter any Ballard series armored vehicles, or Harland series armoured vehicles during a Liberation sidemission, stay away from them! Make sure that you're never in the area where the turret is pointing and stay far away from the vehicles front end. They will intentionally run you over, killing Rico. The only safe way to approach them is from the side.

Method 2: Cars, helicopters and boats

This method works by first entering the target vehicles Stunt position and then entering it from there. There will be instructions on the edge of the screen to tell you which button to use and when you can do it. There's multiple ways to get to the target vehicles stunt position.

  • Shoot the Protec Grappler G3 at the vehicle. Rico will automatically begin to parasail behind it. Reel yourself to the vehicle and go to the stunt position.
  • Helicopters that are moving (instead of hovering) are extremely difficult to hijack by Grappler. One way to catch one is to drive any vehicle at high speed and open the Parachute from its stunt position. Then use the speed to glide up to the helicopter (assuming there happens to be one in the area) and get to its stunt position.
  • If you already have one vehicle of the same type (land vehicle for a land vehicle, or boat for a boat), it's possible to drive your vehicle near to the target vehicle and jump to your vehicles stunt position. If you aimed your vehicle well, you'll be able to roll/drift/glide near to the target vehicle. Once near enough, you can jump straight to the other vehicles stunt position. The game statistics (in the PDA) count this as a "roof to roof stunt".

Just Cause 2

Stealing moving vehicles, especially the military vehicles, has been made much more difficult in Just Cause 2. But the Grappler has also been upgraded, to counter those difficulties.

Default buttons for entering a vehicle

  • PC - "E"
  • PS3 - PS3 Triangle.png
  • Xbox360 - "Y"

Method 1: Civilian vehicles

Civilian vehicles can be taken the same way as Just Cause (1) vehicles. Simply by being close enough to the vehicle and pressing the right button at the right time.

How you get close enough to the vehicle, is entirely up to you.

  • Parachute.
  • Running, swimming and flying next to the vehicle.
  • While already on the roof (Stunt position) of another vehicle.
  • By using the Grappler to hang above the target.
  • Shoot the Grappler at the target vehicle and enter it after landing on the vehicle (stunt position).
  • Stand in front of a moving vehicle (with caution) to make it stop.

Performing a stunt jump to the roof (stunt position) of any vehicle, puts you in position to take control of the vehicle.

When grappling or stunt jumping to a motorcycle, you will land in the seat of the moving vehicle and immediately displace the driver in an instant hi-jack, no matter if it's a soldier or Civilian.

On most vehicles, if you press the hijack/enter button while standing in front of the passenger side, you will get in through the passenger door and sit in the seat. After a few seconds, the driver will stop the vehicle and run away.

Civilian airplanes (seen flying) can be hijacked by flying another plane close by, then performing a stunt jump and grapling to the plane. Then just press the enter button. There is no quick time event when hijacking a civilian plane. This really isn't necessary because doing this would require a plane itself thus defeating the purpose, unless you are hijacking a faster plane. This however could be more challenging as your plane would have to keep up with the faster one.

Method 2: Military vehicles

When the occupant of the vehicle is a soldier, attempting to hijack the vehicle will trigger a "Quicktime event" requiring you to hit a sequence of three keys/buttons before the timer runs out. Hitting the wrong button more than once will result in Rico getting punched/kicked. This will reduce Ricos health a little, but you can try again. If you don't try again, or if you have too few health, it's possible to get killed. Successfully completing the sequence will cause Rico to eject the soldier and enter the vehicle.

  • Note that attempting to hijack a military vehicle automatically gains Heat and that all passengers must be killed or removed from the vehicle before Rico can attempt to hijack it.
  • If the vehicle is a military motorcycle, being driven by a soldier, there is no quicktime event, the soldier is thrown from the bike and Rico automatically takes control of the vehicle with no problems at all. It is also easier to use the stunt button to enter all motorcycles as it acts the same as entering the bike and has a much larger radius in which you can press the button, this makes it quicker too.
  • Another way to hijack a military helicopter is by shooting the passenger, then before entering the helicopter, shoot the driver into his head and quickly enter the helicopter. You can't shoot at the driver, while hanging below the helicopter. You have to be in front of it. On some occasions though, a player can fire their weapon through the actual glass without leaving any scratches.
  • The G9 Eclipse is the only plane that requires a "quick time" event to hijack.

Just Cause 3

Just Cause 3 has again upgraded the Grappler, but for the purposes of hijacking it works the same.

In this game stealing vehicles is the easiest, because the quick-time event has been removed. Now stealing military vehicles is again as easy as stealing a civilian vehicle. Just grapple yourself onto the vehicle (into the Stunt position) and from there press the correct button to enter the vehicle.

Parked military vehicles and a parked Stadt-Tresor ST 8530 may have their doors locked, so Rico will plant a small explosive on the lock to blow the door open. These explosives never run out and the player has no control over them. (Instead the player is given the GE-64 explosives.) If a military vehicle has already been hijacked and Rico has exited the vehicle, he may still have to blow the door open to re-enter it, but this will only have to be done once.

Just Cause 4

Everything works the same as in JC3, except that there are no more locked vehicles.

This means that in order to enter any vehicle, regardless of weather it is occupied, Rico just has to stand close enough to the door, or be on its roof (stunt position).

Hijacking a moving vehicle is the easiest by grappling ones self to the vehicle and then entering from the roof.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.