How to Get the Submarine on "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas"

By Daniel Alden

Updated September 22, 2017

By exploiting a game glitch or downloading mods, a submarine can be used in
i submarine illustration image by michele goglio from

“Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” follows Carl Johnson on his quest to save his family and take back his hometown. You have access to a variety of land, sea and air transportation throughout the game. While the Xbox, PlayStation 2 and PC versions of the game feature a glitch where you can ride “The Vortex” hovercraft underwater, there is a mod for the PC version that adds a true-blue submarine to Carl's available vehicles.

The Vortex Underwater Glitch

Locate "The Vortex" hovercraft on the beach of the Bayside Marina.

Drive "The Vortex" toward El Quebrados. Between El Quebrados and the airfield, you'll see a ramp. Speed up and drive over the ramp.

Continue forward towards the reservoir, even after your vehicle leaves the screen. You'll hit the side of the dam. The camera angle will shift, and "The Vortex" will be suspended underwater.

Steer "The Vortex," now submerged underwater, to your desired destination.

Submarine Mods

Download the "Submarine Dinghy," a user-made vehicle mod, from GTAGaming (see Resources for link). This will add a submarine to the PC version of “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.”

Back up your “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” game saves.

Switch files in the "Grand Theft Auto" program folder to “non-read only” by right-clicking it. Uncheck the box labeled “Read Only.”

Use the “Img Edit” included with the "Submarine Dinghy" download to open your gta3.img file.

Delete "dinghy.dff" and "dinghy.txd," and add in the new "dinghy.dff" and "dinghy.txd."

Click rebuild archive," and close the file.

Open and review the “Read Me” text file included with the mod download.

Right-click on the "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" “handling.cfg file,” and open it in Notepad.

Replace the first "dinghy" line of data with the string of code in the "Read Me" file, and save and close the file.


Read the "Submarine Dinghy" user's manual (included with the download) for details on the mod's features.


Adding mods to a game can corrupt game files. Don't forget to back up save files before installing new mods.