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Heat is a way that the game shows you how much of an effort the law enforcement is putting into stopping the criminal activities of the controlled character (Rico), in the Just Cause game series.

Just CauseEdit

There are two different kinds of heat. One for the San Esperito Police Department, San Esperito Military, and Black Hand and the other for the Montano Cartel. Both have 5 progressively more difficult levels. Level 5 is unlocked as of later missions.

The first level is harmless, with a minimal amount of Montano gangsters, or police after you, but level 5 is very dangerous, with multiple heavy attack helicopters and even fighter jets showing up.

The later levels of Montano heat are about the same as the early ones, with the only difference being the number of soldiers they send. They do have several different attack helicopters, but those can normally only appear in missions and Liberations. If the player manages to get maximum Montano heat while in a helicopter, it can cause Montano helicopters to appear. However, that is not easy, because any shootout is likely to get military attention.

Hopefully you are in a very armored vehicle or a very fast vehicle if you manage to reach heat level 5 in both types, because if you are far enough in the game, Black Hand Delta MAH-15 Chimaeras and Montano Cartel Hurst Buckaroos will become very common. Having that many Vehicle mounted weapons shooting/launching/firing at Rico is quite unhealthy for him.

Just Cause 2Edit

"All units! We have reports of violence, lah! Report to location immediately!" - One of the possible radio transmissions when Rico gets Heat. See the Panau Military article for a full list of quotes.

Heat has 5 levels. At the beginning of the game, you will only be able to obtain Heat Level 2. You will unlock the higher levels as you earn Chaos points:

  • 100000 Chaos points in total unlock level 3
  • 200000 Chaos points in total unlock level 4
  • 300000 Chaos points in total unlock level 5

Heat can be gained in many ways, such as:

  • Killing Civilians.
  • Standing too close to a grunt or an elite (Although walking too close to a military vehicle with or without a soldier in doesn't get you heat. Ever.)
  • Killing soldiers.
  • Shooting while near soldiers. Also applies to on-board weapons on vehicles.
  • Destroying Military objects.
  • Destroying Baby Panay Statues.
  • Driving military vehicles. Only exceptions are vehicles that turn your cursor green when aiming at them.
  • Going too close to and entering Military bases.
  • Getting seen together with Faction members.
  • Driving into occupied military vehicles.
  • Getting too close to Propaganda Trailers.
  • Stunt jumping onto military vehicles.
  • Getting too close to battles with faction members.
  • Using the Happy Bubble Blaster close to military personnel.
  • Faction members attacking Propaganda Trailers.

Every time your heat level increases, more military units are dispatched. Unless you are in a helicopter at heat level 1, helicopters will start to be dispatched at heat level 3. As the heat increases, certain units and vehicles will get different upgrades. For example, at Heat level 4 and 5, the standard Wilforce jeeps will be replaced with Chepachet PVDs and MV type vehicles.

No matter how little (if any) Chaos you'll cause, some Military bases in Panau call for air support after you complete it to whichever completion percentage is given by all the collectable items there. This is not related to heat at all, but if you cause lots of chaos and get high heat, they will naturally call for support.

Heat levelsEdit

The heat levels are affected by the game's difficulty settings.


"Pre-heat" occurs always before heat. In pre-heat, the Panau Military are aware of your illegal activities (or if you are nearby), and are searching for you. If you are detected, pre-heat goes over into "main" heat. If you remain hidden, pre-heat will stay and soon the heat will decrease. But be careful, as the military can be easily find you if you choose bad hiding places. If you are hidden from the military heat will rapidly decrease.

This is marked by a yellow triangle at the top of the screen.

You can hear the game music if you are in pre-heat or "main" heat. The pre-heat music is tense and stealthy, aside from the usual combat music. There are four pre-heat tunes in the game soundtrack.

Level 1Edit

Soldiers: Some normal soldiers and a few elites.

Weapons: Pistol, Revolver, Sawed-Off Shotgun, Submachine Gun, Assault Rifle, Machine Gun, and Shotgun with Fragmentation Grenades.

Vehicles: Wilforce Range X, Wilforce Trek II, Wilforce Trekstar, Hamaya GSY650, YP-107 Phoenix.

Level 2Edit

Soldiers: A few more soldiers and elites.

Weapons: Pistol, Revolver, Sawed-Off Shotgun, Submachine Gun, Assault Rifle, Machine Gun, and Shotgun with Fragmentation Grenades.

Vehicles: Wilforce Range X, Wilforce Trek II, Wilforce Trekstar, Hamaya GSY650, YP-107 Phoenix.

Level 3Edit

Unlocked upon reaching 100,000 Chaos points.

Soldiers: Many soldiers and more elites.

Weapons: Pistol, Revolver, Sawed-Off Shotgun, Submachine Gun, Assault Rifle, Machine Gun, and Shotgun with Fragmentation Grenades.

Vehicles: Wilforce Range X, Wilforce Trek II, Wilforce Trekstar, Hamaya GSY650, YP-107 Phoenix, Shimuzu PI Service, UH-10 Chippewa.

Special: A UH-10 Chippewa has a 33% chance of spawning with rocket pods.

Level 4Edit

Unlocked upon reaching 200,000 Chaos points.

Soldiers: A lot of soldiers and elites.

Weapons: Pistol, Revolver, Sawed-Off Shotgun, Submachine Gun, Assault Rifle, Machine Gun, and Shotgun with Fragmentation Grenades.

Vehicles: MV Command, MV Quartermaster, MV V880, Shimuzu PI Service, UH-10 Chippewa, Winstons Amen 69.

Special: The UH-10 Chippewa has a 66% chance of spawning with rocket pods.

Level 5Edit

Unlocked upon reaching 300,000 Chaos points.

Soldiers: A large amount of soldiers and elites.

Weapons: Pistol, Revolver, Sawed-Off Shotgun, Submachine Gun, Assault Rifle, Machine Gun, and Shotgun with Fragmentation Grenades.

Vehicles: Chepachet PVD, MV Command, MV Quartermaster, MV V880, Shimuzu PI Service, UH-10 Chippewa, Winstons Amen 69.

Special: The UH-10 Chippewa will now have rocket pods for sure. No UH-10 Chippewas will spawn with miniguns only.

How to get rid of HeatEdit

The heat is shown in upper-left corner around your map as a red line. It also shows heat level with some markers, which will slowly increase as you perform illegal actions. To get rid of it you have to be out of range from the Panauan Military for a period of time. The red bar will then turn orange and start to drop slowly, decreasing your heat. When it hits the bottom, the symbol next to the bar will either disappear or, if you're in a restricted area such as a military base or driving a military vehicle, a yellow warning sign will appear, which means the military is on the lookout for you (see pre-heat).

Just Cause 3Edit

"All units! We have reports of violence!" - The heat announcer for Just Cause 3. See the Medici Military article for a full list of quotes.

Heat Announcements JC3

Logo seen during their radio announcements.

As in the previous games, Just Cause 3 also features five levels of heat. Unlike in the previous games, 5 levels of heat are unlocked from the beginning of the game. In this installment, the Di Ravello Militia (D.R.M.) and Medici Military put the heat on Rico. Heat levels are displayed and measured with star icons (rather than bars seen in previous games).

The heat system is slightly different from the previous games. Before then, pursuers were dispatched upon obtaining a heat level. Now, D.R.M. or Medici Military personnel now need to request for reinforcements in order to dispatch more forces. In addition, shooting or destroying any object whilst not in the sight of enemies will not necessarily result in a heat level, unless Rico is in the line of sight of enemies (as shown by "In view of authorities" warning on the screen).

Government-controlled settlements and facilities can now cause a "Restricted Area", or "Combat Zone" badge to appear on screen to inform the player that you're likely to get heat there and to inform of political instability. These appear to work the same way as approaching a military base in the previous game and obtaining pre-heat outside the base. Once you're inside the base (obtaining heat anyway), the "restricted area" can change to "combat zone", just like pre-heat turning into real heat.

Level 1Edit

At heat level 1, the D.R.M. will engage the player on sight. Reinforcements will also be called, although if the player can kill the soldier (or militia) making the call in time, the call will be cancelled. If the call is successful, vehicular reinforcements ranging from Weimaraner W3s and DRM Stria Facoceros will be sent to engage the player. Once the player has left their line of sight, the DRM will start searching for the player for approximately 15 seconds.

Level 2Edit

If the player retaliates enough against the DRM and/or military, the heat level will increase. Slightly more advanced vehicles such as the Urga Szturm 63A will be sent to attack the player, although Weimaraner W3s are still quite common. Enemies are slightly more aggressive, with military elites joining the battle. These soldiers are generally more bullet resistant, and consequently harder to take out. The military will also search across a larger area for a longer period of time, approximating 30 seconds.

Level 3Edit

This heat level is easier to obtain if the player retaliates with heavy force against an outpost, such as a tank assault or aerial attack or minigun assault. If the reinforcements call is successful, a Urga Postolka will be sent to attack the player. More elites will be dispatched to eliminate Rico, although a Urga Szturm 63A can be dispatched with just normal grunts. On rare occasions, a Urga Bkolos 2100 might be deployed. Once the player has left their line of sight, the search area will be much larger and will go on for longer. The search time is approximately 45 seconds, although there are several cases where this might be prolonged if the player attacks any of the three CentCom bases or large bases in general.

Attacking a military base or oil rig in Insula Fonte will automatically trigger heat level 3.

Level 4Edit

Continued retaliation against the military/entering a restricted area with a jet and firing will be justification for a CS Navajo (or several) to attack the player. Urga Bkolos 2100s and CS Odjurs will also be deployed now, with Military Corvettes starting to patrol the seas and/or lakes. The soldiers start to become very accurate at aiming at this heat level. Rather than normally missing, almost all of their bullets will hit the player, as if the bullets home in on Rico. Military shotgun soldiers, as well as some snipers will be deployed to stun the player. The increased search area and prolonged search time will make it harder to escape than previous heat levels. Urga Szturm 63As will now have elites as passengers and Weimaraner W3s become rare.

Attacking a military base or oil rig in Insula Dracon will automatically trigger heat level 4.

Level 5Edit

At heat level 5, the military will use all their might. CS Navajos will start appearing in the skies, and the seas will still be occupied with Military Corvettes. In a land pursuit, the military will now have very little regards to anything that will impede its objective to take the player from the road. Pursuing vehicles will have no regards for anything but ramming the player. Urga Bkolos 2100s and CS Odjurs will completely dominate/populate the ground and roads, meaning a fast or durable vehicle, such as another tank, is suggested. Urga Szturm 63As with commandos, machine gunners, and shotgunners will begin to appear en masse, although (oddly) biker soldiers on Pavouk U-15s will also start to appear more often. Although slightly easy to escape, a direct combat move with the military can be considered suicide, as all soldiers on foot are essentially sniper elites (very accurate aiming and lots of health), and can cause much more damage than normal DRM combatants. The search will last for approximately 1:30 minutes, and the military's search area will be roughly the size of a whole province.

Attacking a military base or oil rig in Insula Striate or upon completion of any of the three CentComs will automatically trigger heat level 5.

Clearing the HeatEdit

Unlike in the previous games, players now have several ways of losing Rico's heat, regardless of the heat level. The player can do one of the followings to clear the heat:

  • Take sanctuary inside an unlocked monastery.
  • Stay out of sight of pursuing D.R.M. and Medici Military personnel for a short period of time (when they begin the search, the circular bar around the binocular icon determines the time it takes to clear the heat).
  • Eliminate all pursuing personnel. However, one has to make sure that none of them successfully call for reinforcements - otherwise the reinforcements also need to be eliminated in order to clear the heat.
  • Continuously cause chaos or kill military personnel in a militia-controlled police station until the "Wreak Havoc" progress is fulfilled.
  • Liberate a settlement or base.

Combat ZoneEdit

Combat zones are located throughout militia-controlled police stations and military bases. The player will be informed with a "COMBAT ZONE" warning if Rico is within one. Military personnel will attack him on sight, thus automatically giving Rico heat. While Rico is within a combat zone, the heat can only be cleared by performing one of the last two of the above methods of clearing the heat.

In combat zones, reinforcements are scripted, depending on the type of settlement. For example, destroying a certain amount of military properties in a military base featuring docks will trigger Medici Military calling naval reinforcements, while in a military base featuring big structures will trigger them calling aerial reinforcements. In some cases, it can be a combination of land, naval, and aerial assault.

Nevertheless, killing military personnel and destroying military properties whilst in a combat zone will still accumulate Rico's heat. Although the heat is not shown on the screen, it will appear when you step out of the combat zone. Stepping out of the combat zone on accident in some cases can prove fatal, as if enough chaos is caused, it could equate to an instant heat level 4 or 5, resulting in CS Navajos and/or CS Odjurs being deployed to complicate matters.


  • Just Cause:
    • Heat is much more dangerous in the first game as it is in the second or even third game, as there is usually an enemy helicopter in the air at all times and in JC2 and JC3, they never send anything that fires 4 missiles in a single shot after you.
    • Entering government vehicles does not always give the player Heat. Sometimes, if you encounter an engagement involving the San Esperito Police Department, San Esperito Military, or Montano Cartel, you can get into their vehicles and drive off without gaining Heat, as long as you do it while their respective NPCs aren't in the vehicle themselves.
    • Even though the Guerrillas and Rioja Cartel are friendly, shooting at them enough will make them attack you on sight, as if you just gained a nonexistent Guerrilla or Rioja Heat Level 1. The Rioja Cartel are more easily provoked, while the Guerrillas may take a few kills to start attacking.
    • It is possible to save a Heat level by saving the game while you have it. Every time you load the game after, you'll start with that heat level. However the lack of enemies upon loading the game may result in you losing the heat almost immediately.
  • Just Cause 2:
    • If you keep hitting a Propaganda Trailer with your Grappling Hook, or shooting it with low arms fire, you will gain maximum heat in a matter of seconds. You can also shoot trailers with guns. While they won't damage it, they certainly make heat go up with each shot. With a quick firing weapon like the Submachine Gun it will near instantaneously go to maximum heat.
    • If you want to get rid of it fast, try to find either an Ular Boys or a Reapers faction vehicle driving on the road with a man in the turret. Then kill the man in the turret and jump in yourself, the faction member who is driving will start driving around with you. The military will chase you in vehicles but only the cars or bikes that were there when you entered the turret. Shoot them and the heat will decrease even if a Military vehicle drives right beside you. An alternate and even quicker way is to stop a faction vehicle and use them to distract the military as you grapple away.
    • You can also lose heat by diving into the nearest lake/river/sea. Once you reach deep enough, they will lose sight of you.
    • You can gain heat if the military spot you in a Hot air balloon.
    • Heat might be gained if a soldier can identify you as Rico Rodriguez. The Panau Military sometimes yells "It's him!" when you get heat.
    • Oddly enough, you can't gain heat from destroying Transformers. However you would gain heat normally if you destroyed any other Sabotage Destructable Objects. Note that shooting near the military will still cause heat.
    • You will lose all heat when you start a mission, but not when you start a Race.
    • It's not known if this is a glitch or not, but sometimes up to 10 vehicles can be chasing you during heat level 5 in addition to a UH-10 Chippewa with rocket pods.
    • When the heat level increases, the music becomes increasingly tense.
    • The helicopters chasing you can sometimes crash into other things in Panau City and some Military bases in Panau.
    • The AI of the heat levels never seems to change, in fact, their vehicles can even follow you off the edge of a bridge, but these are really rare cases.
  • Just Cause 3:
    • Starting a mission or activity, ending an activity, conquering a base or liberating a town will instantly cause you to lose heat. In some cases you can literally see the enemy soldiers and vehicles disappear.
    • In most military bases, The Rebellion will assist Rico once he destroys a large number of military properties.
    • Military reinforcements will stop being dispatched if Rico is in a combat zone. They will start being dispatched again if he exits it.
    • When completing police stations, soldiers will not despawn once the heat is lost. Instead they ignore Rico completely (assuming they weren't fighting him) and start fighting the rebels in the stations.
    • It is interesting to note that despite the D.R.M. work alongside the military, they only appear at heat level 1.
    • Urga Szturm 63As become very common at heat level 5, but ones carrying soldiers wielding Urga Vdova 89s and U-96 Kladivos are relatively rare.
    • The tank roadblock (see gallery below) was once thought to be Cut game content from Just Cause 3. As it turns out, it is actually a very rare roadblock to come upon. There is a chance one might not ever see it even.
    • Minor elements of the heat system have been updated since release. This affects not only which vehicles can come after Rico, but bases have also been affected by such changes.
      • The Urga Bkolos 2100 did not used to show up until level 3, but there are reports of it sometimes appearing at lower levels.
      • The rate at which Urga Bkolos 2100 and CS Odjur spawn at heat seems to have been increased.
      • In a patch the D.R.M. can sometimes respond in police Stria Joias.
  • Attaching grapplers to chaos objects won't trigger heat in view of enemies, only when reeled in. This allows to destroy chaos objects without triggering heat by attaching in view but reeling in out of view.


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