Grand Theft Auto Online
|Set in||2013, before the events of GTA V|
Southern San Andreas |
City of Davis
Los Santos County
|Links||Multiplayer | Grand Theft Auto V | Missions | Achievements & Trophies | Free Mode | Deathmatch | Race | Heists | Rally | Capture | Survival | Hold | Raid|
Grand Theft Auto Online, more commonly known as GTA Online, is a story-driven online multiplayer action-adventure game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. The game was originally released on October 1, 2013, accessed for free through Grand Theft Auto V. A standalone version of the game was released on March 15th, 2022,  along with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S versions of GTA V and GTA Online. It is the sixteenth and latest instalment in the Grand Theft Auto series and the sixth HD Universe title of the series.
Since its original release in 2013, Grand Theft Auto Online is considered by Rockstar Games as the series' dedicated multiplayer title, set in a continually evolving world designed to grow in size and ambition over time. Unlike its predecessor, the game was never considered as an online component/multiplayer mode for Grand Theft Auto V by the developers. The game is also Rockstar Games' most ambitious project since Grand Theft Auto III, and claimed that the ideas for the online game had been percolating since 2001. 
Grand Theft Auto series
The game is set in Southern San Andreas in the United States and the island of Cayo Perico in the Caribbean region of Colombia. While the game was initially set a few months prior to the events of Grand Theft Auto V in 2013,  the narratives of more recent updates, starting with 2017's Gunrunning update, take place in their respective years of release. 
In GTA Online, players create their own customized characters through the use of a character creation tool. Unlike many other games where players can create their own character, physical appearance is not user-defined, but derived from the pre-set parent and grandparent characters that players choose. With the Collectors Edition of the game, several bonus characters from other Rockstar titles make 'cameo' appearances as possible parents in the character creation tool — Grand Theft Auto IV protagonist Niko Bellic can be selected as a parent, along with Claude and Misty from Grand Theft Auto III. Furthermore, if the player has a Rockstar Games Social Club account, John Marston, the protagonist from Rockstar-made Template:Red Dead, becomes a potential father option.
The enhanced version of GTA Online for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, features a much bigger and in-depth variety of customization options, and players who have transferred their characters from the previous gen (or from the Xbox One/PlayStation 4 in the case of the PC) will have the chance to customize their character again.
Once confirmed, the player's appearance can only be modified at a cost of GTA$100,000 (Enhanced Edition only), although characters can be further customized in-game by purchasing clothing, tattoos, haircuts and masks from shops around Los Santos; such items can be continually changed or removed as many times as the player desires. As well as appearance, players can also select their character's typical daily activities, which will affect his/her initial skills. Players can create two characters (three other character slots were visible on 7th generation consoles but were locked and could not be used) if they so choose, and any money stored in a bank account will be shared across all characters (although money in the character's pocket and RP do not carry over). The player can also select different actions to be performed by their characters, they can be used during Free Roam and before and after any of the competitive matches.
When speaking into a microphone, the player's character's mouth will move. However, they are generally regarded as very taciturn by non-playable characters. For instance, Trevor often refers to the player as, "My favourite mute." Based on a quote from Brucie Kibbutz, it is implied that if the player calls someone then exits the call, they don't say anything, but rather simply breathes heavily into the phone. Similar comments are made about the player from Agent 14 during The Humane Lab Raid and Lester Crest during The Diamond Casino Heist. In one instance, during the cutscene with Ron Jakowski after buying the Hangar, Ron asks the protagonist why they took so long to come, but as soon as they try to speak they are interrupted by Ron.
The game's narrative begins in 2013, several months before Grand Theft Auto V. Players take on the role of a silent protagonist who moves to Los Santos in search for new pursuits. Upon arrival, they meet with Lamar Davis, whom they befriended on Lifeinvader. After a street race against the player, Lamar introduces them to drug dealer Gerald and corrupt Armenian car salesman Simeon Yetarian for work. As the player slowly builds up their reputation, they attract the attention of individuals like meth dealer Trevor Philips, the hacker Lester Crest, and Mexican drug lord Martin Madrazo, who also employ them.
Eventually, the player is offered bigger job opportunities by Lester, who recruits them for several bank robberies; a shady government agent known only as Agent 14, who has them break a convicted spy out of prison and raid a government-run lab; and Trevor, who enlists their help with a highly profitable drug deal. Later, Lamar also hires the player for a few jobs, which mostly consist of sabotaging rival gangs to set the stage for his eventual rise to power. However, this only leads to Lamar having a falling out with his own gang, so he attempts to win back their trust, once again with the player's help. During this time, the player slowly builds up their own criminal empire, starting with an initially small Organization, which is subsequently expanded by purchasing an office and several warehouses to aid the player in the theft and sale of various goods. Some time later, the player also starts a Motorcycle Clubs and begins running additional illicit businesses with a shady contact known as "Long John Teabag".
With the 2017's Gunrunning update, the timeline of the events has advanced in real-life timing, and each new update events taking place in their respective release years. By this time, the protagonist continues to expand their empire by purchasing a bunker, from where they conduct a gunrunning operation alongside Agent 14 and a hangar, to help them run a smuggling operation with Trevor's former associate Ron Jakowski.
In the following years living in Southern San Andreas until the early 2020s, the player opens a new nightclub in Los Santos with the help of former Liberty City nightclub entrepreneur Tony Prince and begins using it as a front for their illicit businesses; becomes a top competitor in a demolition derby-like TV series taking place at the city's Maze Bank Arena; becomes a VIP member at the newly opened Diamond Casino & Resort and begins assisting the staff with the various problems they are facing; helps a retired Lester Crest plan a robbery of the casino alongside Georgina Cheng who seeks retribution against Thornton Duggan for tricking her brother Tao into selling him the casino; conducts several new jobs for Gerald, and enters a short-lived conflict with the Kkangpae after they raid their personal yacht, which ends with the player killing the gang's leader; they are hired by Martin Madrazo's son Miguel to steal some incriminating files of his family from the world's most notorious drug dealer and cartel boss, Juan "El Rubio" Strickler, from his private island in the Caribbean region of Colombia; becomes a member of the LS Car Meet, where they are introduced to Kenny "KDJ" Dixon Jr. and Sessanta, who provide the player with several robbery contracts after they purchase an Auto Shop and prove themselves to them; begins working for the former street hustler now multi-millionaire Franklin Clinton, and helps him get a big client for his new business; and is hired by Agent ULP as a sworn-in IAA special agent to investigate a criminal conspiracy involving local petrochemical magnates.
Developed in tandem with Grand Theft Auto V as an unnamed multiplayer mode, Grand Theft Auto Online was conceived as a separate experience to be played in a continually evolving world. Up to 30 players freely roam across the game world and enter lobbies to complete jobs (story-driven competitive and cooperative modes). The Content Creator toolset lets players create their own parameters for custom jobs, like racetracks and deathmatch weapon spawn points. Players may band together in organised player teams called crews to complete jobs together. Rockstar Games Social Club extends crews formed in Max Payne 3's multiplayer mode to those of Grand Theft Auto Online. Players may create their own crews and join up to five total. Crews win multiplayer matches to earn experience points and climb online leaderboards.
Grand Theft Auto Online launched on 1 October 2013, two weeks after Grand Theft Auto V's release. Many players reported connection difficulties and game freezes during load screens. Rockstar released a technical patch on 5 October in an effort to resolve the issues, but problems persisted the second week following launch as some players reported their character progress as having disappeared. Another technical patch was released on 10 October combating the issues, and Rockstar offered a GTA$500,000 (in-game currency) stimulus to the accounts of all players connected to GTA Online since launch as recompense. Because of the widespread technical issues present at launch, many reviewers bemoaned their Grand Theft Auto Online experience but generally recognised its open-ended exploration and dynamic content as strengths.
Post-release content is continually added to Grand Theft Auto Online through free title updates. Some updates add new game modes and features, and others feature themed gameplay content, such as the Independence Day Special update that added patriotic-themed content on 1 July 2014. The widely anticipated Heists Update launched on 10 March 2015 and suffered some initial technical difficulties due to the increased user load. Shortly after the game's PC release, some players reported being banned from Grand Theft Auto Online for using field of view and cosmetic mods in single-player. Rockstar stated in their official blog that nobody had been banned from Online for using single-player mods, but that recent updates to the PC version had the "unintentional effect" of making such mods unplayable. They stated that mods are unauthorised and may cause unforeseen technical problems and instabilities.
The game consists of open world sessions based in San Andreas. Originally, sessions were limited to 16 players on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Sessions were expanded to 30 players (with 2 extra spaces for spectators) on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Players can play Online in a number of different session types:
- Solo sessions where Free Mode is entirely PvE.
- Invite Only and Crew Only where the players can pick and choose who they play with.
- Public sessions where random players will be co-existing in an open Free Mode lobby and PvP is more common. This is the 'default' session type.
Until the release of the Heists Update, most of the Online content could be played by a single player with no actual multiplayer requirement, however, subsequent content updates have included more co-operative jobs that require a minimum of 2 or 4 players and new Free Mode events and features have been limited to Public lobbies only. This was later changed with the 2020 The Cayo Perico Heist update, which introduced the first Heist that could be played solo. The subsequent updates introduced a "Single-Player Element"  to the game, where all of the new content can be played on Private lobbies by a solo player.
Except for PC and PlayStation 3 users, a PlayStation Plus (for PS4 and PS5 users) or an Xbox Live Gold Subscription is required before playing GTA Online.
Players may travel around and interact with the map at will and can take part in many gameplay activities, including assaults on local gangs, robbing armored trucks, and challenging other players to Impromptu Races. Several of these open world activities are unique to the GTA Online, while others were originally from GTA V. Players can also purchase property, vehicles, clothing, masks and weapons for their character.
Aside from the free roam aspect, GTA Online also includes several localized, more traditional multiplayer game modes known as Jobs that are played in separate sessions independent from the larger open world; players partaking in these jobs will not be visible to and cannot interact with players occupying the open world, even if they inhabit the same location at the same time. These jobs include deathmatches, races, sports activities and horde-like survival games. Lastly, players can also undertake co-operative missions for various crime boss characters, most of whom also make appearances in GTA V's story. The number of players involved and the size of the area available to them in these game modes varies depending on the activity and mode itself.
As players progress and increase the rank of their character, more items and jobs will be unlocked for them to purchase and play. Also included in GTA Online is the Content Creator, a development tool that allows players to create and publish their own races, deathmatches, and other competitive gamemodes.
Additional rewards are given, such as free weapons and double RP, if the player is connected to Rockstar's Social Club and a special event is hosted or a special offer is redeemed by the player. Special bonuses are also available for players who reach Rank 100 and beyond.
Introduction and Tutorial
When players first select to play GTA Online they are taken through a character creation stage where they can modify their character's appearance and basic characteristics. The game then begins with the player's newly created character arriving at Los Santos International Airport aboard a commercial flight. Upon leaving the airport, the player is met by Lamar Davis, who drives the player into the city.
Lamar serves as a guide through the initial tutorial portion of the game, introducing the player to the basic gameplay mechanics of the Online world. After completing a street race and taking part in a brief mission - disrupting a drug deal - Lamar introduces the player character to Gerald, the first of GTA Online's mission-giving bosses. At this point, players are granted access to the entire San Andreas map, and are immediately tasked by Lamar with purchasing some new clothing, and then holding up a convenience store. With these tasks completed, the player is contacted by Simeon Yetarian, who guides the player through the process of stealing a car and turning it into a personal vehicle (by fitting it with a tracker and purchasing insurance at a Los Santos Customs mod shop, both of which are free on this occasion). Following the completion of these mandatory activities, the player is introduced to one more job, an LTS, after which the tutorial is complete and players are free to explore the Online map as they wish.
The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S versions feature the Career Builder, designed to give new players — or anyone who wants to reset their character and get a fresh start — a helpful leg-up in the criminal world of Southern San Andreas, giving them a business property, a vehicle, and a weapon — with room to add useful upgrades and a little extra GTA$ to begin.
Completing virtually any activity in GTA Online rewards players with both money, used for in-game purchases, and Reputation Points (RP). As players gain RP and increase their rank, new items such as weapons, hair styles, clothes and vehicle mods will be unlocked for purchase, while new missions and jobs, such as Parachuting, will become available to play. Some missions may however not reward the player with any money if they are played solo, particularly sport activities in GTA Online. Many high rank missions offer far greater monetary and RP rewards than low rank missions. At higher ranks additional gameplay abilities will also become available through contacts on the player's mobile phone, such as asking Lester Crest to remove a Wanted Level, set a bounty on other players or calling Merryweather to conduct an airstrike.
When the player dies in GTA Online for the first time in Free Mode, Cris Formage appears in a vision telling the player that he is reviving them. He goes on to explain Passive Mode, and the voyeuristic pleasure he derives from watching people without their knowledge. He appears only once, the first time the player dies.
Jobs in GTA Online can either be accessed from the open world, in the form of a blue circular marker (known as a corona) that the player simply walks into to activate the corresponding job, or selected through a list in the pause menu. Jobs have a specified number of possible players, often with an option to play it alone for smaller jobs. Players can either host the jobs themselves or elect to join a job already in progress. The player may also receive job invites from NPC characters, or other players via their phone. These invites will eventually close in real-time as players join and the player quota is reached for each invite.
When a job is launched, an invite screen will launch with various options depending on whether the player initiated the job or joined from an invitation. Before almost any job, players can bet on themselves or other players in order to gain bigger payouts at the end of the job. There are options for the radio station to play during the job, purchasing ammo and armor, starting weapon, time of day and difficulty (with corresponding payout) level. At the end of each job, after gaining any points or money from the job, the player has the option to continue playing with the same players, and is given the opportunity to vote on which job to next complete with that team, a random job, or to return to free mode, leaving the current team of players.
Although several activities from GTA V are available in GTA Online, such as purchasing clothing and sports, there are numerous differences in the gameplay mechanics involved. For instance, police will never attempt to arrest the player in GTA Online, instead shooting to kill even at one star wanted levels. The severity of wanted levels changes depending on the players' actions, with an automatic three star wanted level for killing a police officer, or a four star wanted level for trespassing at Fort Zancudo, where tanks and fighter jets will be scrambled.
Many of the characters featured in GTA V re-appear in GTA Online in the form of mission-giving bosses, with the notable exception of Michael (although Trevor and Franklin do appear in such a role). Several other boss characters are unique to GTA Online, such as Gerald, although he was first mentioned in GTA V. Chronologically, GTA Online was originally set before the events of GTA V; for example, Martin Madrazo is often found at his house in Vinewood Hills which is destroyed early in GTA V by Michael, while Trevor, aside from the events in the Series A heist, is still based solely in Sandy Shores. Additionally, the player character in GTA Online is briefly mentioned by Lester at the start of the mission Casing the Jewel Store in GTA V, although he dismisses them as "too unpredictable". This timeline has moved in the Enhanced editions with the addition of subsequent DLC containing anachronistic elements and dialogue confirming events were taking place in the present day.
If a player is seen to be creating an excessive negative effect on the Online world, they will accumulate Bad Sport points. When enough of these points are either accumulated through a short period of time (or gathered up for longer periods) the offending player will be moved into a separate match-making pool which will prevent the player from playing with non bad-sport players, people in their friend list included. The player will also be forced to wear a dunce hat (which will be taken off inside vehicles or replaced by motorcycle helmets on bikes). These bad sport points are gathered and bound to a character by destroying personal vehicles belonging to other players, quitting jobs/mission early, submitting false reports and being reported. This system has proven to be a controversial mechanic as the system has several flaws to it as to just how these points are gathered as the game does not take into account whether player reports are illegitimate or not, or if the destruction of another player's vehicle was self-defense. As of title update 1.22, players who are innocently disconnected from a job due to a crash or game fault will not have Bad Sport points applied. A fair balance between players are enforced through this system. The first time the player goes into a bad-sport lobby, the time in bad-sport will be 2 days, then 4 days, then 8 days.
Money and Lifestyle
- See also: Safehouses in GTA Online
Money. along with RP, is the core basis for the GTA Online economy. Players can purchase almost any item in game including apartments, garages, clothes, cars, aircraft and more. With regular updates to GTA Online these options will continue to change and evolve over time. Money is also required to launch jobs.
Money is earned through most activities in the game: Performing missions, convenience store robberies, selling cars, surviving/killing bounties, completing heists, and more. Rockstar also offers players the option to purchase in game cash using real life money in the form of Shark Cards.
Using their cash players can purchase garages and apartments that allows players to store purchased vehicles. These cars known as personal vehicles can then be used in Free Mode, race modes and in missions. Although the player is able to steal cars and turn them into personal vehicles, high-end vehicles must be purchased through the Legendary Motorsport website.
Properties come in four classes - Garages, ranging from $25k-$100k+, Low-end apartments, ranging from $80k-$120k, Mid-range apartments, varying from $125,000-$150,000, and High-end apartments, ranging from $205k-$400k. High-end apartments include a 10-car garage, the most expensive apartment is the Eclipse Towers Apartment 3 at $500,000, although it is worth noting that all $205k+ apartments have the same interior, and it is the view and location that add the most value. Rockstar has since added $400,000-$500,000 apartments, all of which have a redesigned interior. Since The High Life Update, players are able to own up to two properties, and since the Festive Surprise players can now own a third property. The Lowriders update implemented a fourth property slot, but exclusive to the enhanced version players. The Executives and Other Criminals update allowed players to customize high-end apartments and mansions and yachts are available for purchase, albeit for the enhanced version players only.
The game implements the Rockstar Games Social Club's crew system with two types of crews. Private crews are mainly aimed at a group of friends or associates to play online together and can hold as many as 1,000 people. Public crews are much larger and can have unlimited members. The use of crews and teamwork is heavily encouraged by Rockstar, as the player receives more money in races depending on how many players are in the game, also, the player receives a 10% bonus to RP for playing with friends and 20% for playing with crew members. On top of this, many missions (particularly from Lester and Martin) involve the use of teamwork to succeed. The crew system in GTA Online also encourages customization and personalization, with the addition of crew emblems that can be placed on vehicles and crew colors.
There are approximately 500 jobs in GTA Online and even more are added as part of DLCs. Jobs can be encountered in many ways, including stumbling on them on the map, calling or receiving a phone call from an NPC, or choosing one of the menu. Races can be entered with modded personal vehicles. Players can also create their own race tracks and deathmatches using the Content Creator.
Missions are received from various characters most of which are present in GTA V. Trevor Philips and Franklin Clinton are the only two of the three central characters to appear in GTA Online, however Lester, Martin Madrazo, Lamar Davis and Ron also make appearances.
In mission lobbies, the player can scroll through a list of players in the current lobby, or invite friends to join. While scrolling, a menu shows up showcasing the highlighted players Driving, Shooting, Flying, Sneaking, and Stamina skills.
- Adversary Modes
- Contact Missions
- Last Team Standings
- Stunt Races
- Versus Missions
Many new things can be done with vehicles in GTA Online. As stated before, cars can be locked to prevent them being stolen, and the player can also buy car insurance just in case their car is stolen during free roam, destroyed, or lost. Once a player has insurance, the car can get destroyed an infinite number of times without ever needing to renew the insurance. However, high-end vehicles (which have a retail value over $100,000) can be stolen and driven in-game, but cannot be made into Personal Vehicles, nor can they be sold or modified at Los Santos Customs (they must be bought legitimately).
- If the player remains idle for fifteen minutes they will be kicked from the online session. An on-screen message after two minutes of inactivity will warn players of this. The timer will beep for the final 10 seconds before the player is kicked out.
- However, the time will be reduced to a minute and 30 seconds if they idle with their dashboard opened.
- Grand Theft Auto Online introduced a new feature called Passive Mode, which allows the player to roam around on foot without being killed by another player. Players in Passive Mode cannot be targeted by another player, though the Passive player cannot use their own weapons. If a player is killed whilst they are in Passive Mode, the other player has to pay the Passive player's hospital bills. On PS3 and Xbox 360, Passive Mode is deactivated once the player enters a vehicle. Enhanced passive mode was introduced in PC, Xbox One, and PS4 where players will be ghosted to other players.
- The Heists Update introduced the Daily Objectives, a feature that is presented in the form of 3 different objectives that must be completed each day (in real life). The player is rewarded with Cash and RP points. Completing these objectives periodically allows the player to obtain bigger rewards.
- Awards are challenges that once completed can reward the player with in-game items, such as T-Shirts, tattoos and chrome wheels.
- The Text Chat and the Team Chat are features in GTA Online, exclusive for the PC Version. They are accessible by Pressing T (for Global Text Chat) and Y (for Team Chat) by default.
Like in Max Payne 3, players can form Crews using the Rockstar Games Social Club. As a reward for signing up to the Social Club, a free Sawed-Off Shotgun will be available to acquire from Ammu-Nation, as well as the Elegy RH8 from the Legendary Motorsport website.
Players can be in up to 5 crews at one time and perform Heists and other activities together. When players form Crews in GTA Online they can be identified via the crew colour, which would cover half of the outside of their white marker, there is a new Hierarchy system to set ranks amongst players.
Downloadable Content (DLC)
Rockstar operates a continual update program for Grand Theft Auto Online, periodically releasing free content updates that introduce new features, vehicles, weapons and game modes into the game. Several of these updates, particularly themed updates based around a particular holiday or significant date, have been time-limited updates that are automatically rendered unavailable again after the update period has expired.
Events are periodic occasions in which discounts and bonuses are typically offered in Grand Theft Auto Online.
Events first appeared after the release of the Ill-Gotten Gains Part 2 update and soon became a fundamental part of GTA Online in the enhanced release of the game, particularly when content updates for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game were discontinued.
During events, prices of existing content, new and old, are often cut, usually by 25%. As well as this, Double GTA$ and RP is usually awarded on certain game modes. As well as weekly occurrences, events are also prominent in re-releasing exclusive content, mainly during national holidays. Occasionally, major special events are hosted to celebrate the upcoming release of an update, or a major part of GTA Online, or even real-world history. Template:GTAonline Events
Available exclusively on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S versions of Grand Theft Auto Online, on March 29, 2022, Rockstar Games launched GTA+, a paid subscription service which promised subscribers with extra monthly benefits for membership, including a monthly deposit of GTA$500,000, free vehicles and properties, as well as discounts across the board.
Grand Theft Auto Online received mixed-to-positive critical reception. The original console release has a 77/100 score on Metacritic, based on seven reviews, and 76-78/100 on GameRankings based on four reviews.  Most critics so far have praised the game for its potential, but criticized its technical problems and limited early content.
GRYOnline.pl awarded GTA Online with a positive 7.5/10, declaring that "the fun is tremendous", but saying that the game's potential is "not fully realized". GameSpot's Carolyn Petit gave GTA Online a 7/10, praising the freedom, but criticizing the game's technical problems, concluding "the unpredictable human element is both an asset and a liability, and the technical problems that have plagued it are far too significant to be ignored. But when it clicks, as it often does, there's nothing quite like GTA Online". Destructoid's Chris Carter also gave the game a 7/10, calling it "one most fun online games [he has] ever played", while criticizing the game's messy launch and glitches. Carter concluded that "one day GTA Online will reach its true potential with a massive map creation tool and more playable content than pretty much every genre outside of MMOs — of this [he has] no doubt, given how deep Rockstar's coffers are. But for now, it's best to tread lightly until all of the kinks are worked out."
As of 2017, reviews for Grand Theft Auto Online have generally improved greatly since its initial release, with IGN claiming that "Launching on five platforms certainly helps" but the major reason GTA Online has since improved is because "Over the past four years GTA Online has grown from a straightforward assortment of missions, races, and activities reminiscent of GTA V’s acclaimed and effective single-player, to a bulging criminal empire sim that takes inspiration from everywhere – from the likes of Micro Machines to Fast & Furious 6, and everything in between." IGN also referenced videos of all the latest DLC trailers, including the Smuggler's Run trailer, Cunning Stunts trailer and Heists Update trailer.. Despite critics on initial release, GTA Online was rated "Best Multiplayer Game" with the Template:WP.
If a player is reported by enough players or is discovered to be using identifiable cheats (such as a mod menu) by Rockstar's automated anti-cheat system, there is a chance that they may be banned from GTA Online. With each ban, the player's characters are completely reset back to Level 0, deleting all progress they had in the game. All vehicles, properties, businesses and stats are also reset. All money is also reset, minus any Shark Cards (they are deposited into the player's bank).
The first time a player is banned, the banning period is 30 days. The second ban is permanent.
Before October 2016, a player could receive a first ban of 14 days, the second one of 30 days, and the third one being permanent. Players did not lose all their progress, only losing their illegitimate funds.
This feature is arguably one of the more controversial features of GTA Online, since some players claimed to be banned innocently for using programs that hook an overlay (for example, Skype). This also includes hackers being able to easily evade bans whereas other, non-hacking players, were banned with viable evidence often being turned down.
Grand Theft Auto Online has three distinct editions; the former original edition, for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, which was shut down on December 16th, 2021; the "enhanced" edition, for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC and Expanded & Enhanced version for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X which includes a standalone version that no longer requires Grand Theft Auto V to access.
Free access to the original versions of Grand Theft Auto Online was first granted to Grand Theft Auto V players on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 with patch 1.01.
As of December 16, 2021, the original versions of the game for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are no longer available.
GTA Online was made available for everyone to purchase as a standalone game for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S in March 2022. As a result, GTA V Story Mode is now considered a separate game - GTA V - covering the stories of Franklin, Michael, and Trevor.
- "GTAV and GTA Online Coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S March 2022" - Rockstar Newswire, Sept 9, 2021
...We want it to be known as a different entity, a separate thing, and it'll grow on its own. It'll be GTA Online; It's not part of GTA V. Obviously it's set in the GTA V engine, but it's going to grow and evolve into its own thing.
Ok, here's your headline: You can't play Grand Theft Auto V online at launch. In fact, GTAV doesn't have a multiplayer mode at all. What GTAV does have, is your invitation to GTA Online - and that's what leads us to Rockstar North for a 50 minute demo of, arguably, the most exciting development in GTA history.
GTA Online is something different. Something bigger. Something that changes the way we play GTA forever. The clue is in the wording: GTA Online. GTAV is the launching point, but this is no regular multiplayer mode. GTA Online is an entirely new product - a service, even - and the biggest shake up in the series since GTA III.
"First look: Rockstar's persistent online world is its most ambitious project in years" - CVG Exclusive, 2013 (Archived)
- "GTA Online ambition 'to create an entire GTA world,' says (Rockstar) North boss" - CVG Exclusive, 2013 (Archived)
- "GTA Online Details: Game Day Access Info and More" - Rockstar Newswire, September 30, 2013
- From the game's launch until the Import/Export update, several characters from Grand Theft Auto V are still alive during the events of Grand Theft Auto Online, including Dom Beasley as a contact, and Jay Norris and Molly Schultz as unseen Vehicle Cargo buyers.
A few dialogues from Grand Theft Auto V will also refer to the events of Grand Theft Auto Online that happened in 2013:
I've been working with someone but they're too unpredictable.
Lester Crest mentioning the GTA Online Protagonist and their crew during the mission Casing the Jewel Store in GTA V.
You? Know these streets? Man, all you know is dime bag hustling, credit card stealing. Boosting gas tankers, homie, come on man.
Mr. Madrazo... Mr. Madrazo is a legitimate businessman. He was wrongfully accused of... running a Mexican-American gang and a narcotic ring, but the charges were dropped because of the witnesses came up... missing.
We're mole hunting. One of our agents has been turned by a rival state. Yeah, it's 2017, I can't believe it either. He's using our own facilities to down the network and cover his escape.
- In-game character dialogues and other factors from post-Gunrunning updates will refer to the game's current timeline setting, such as:
- 2017 - Ron Jakowski's monologue about time passing, a meta-reference about the timeline advancing in GTA Online, on Blaine County Radio Community Hour. (Smuggler's Run update)
- 2017 - Lester referring to the GTA IV events being set "almost a decade ago" in Setup: Rescue ULP. (The Doomsday Heist update)
- 2019 - Tom Connors' idle dialogue: Six years in the making and worth every minute, don't you think?. (The Diamond Casino & Resort update) noicon
- 2020 - This 2020 graffiti texture in Cayo Perico. (The Cayo Perico Heist)
- 2021 - DJ Pooh referring to Dr. Dre's stolen phone last year while heading to Cayo Perico. (The Contract update; story via Rockstar Newswire post)
The timeline of GTA Online now is pretty much present day, and that kicked in somewhere back around the Gunrunning update that we did. We have initally launched GTA Online, it was set in a slightly different earlier time (2013) [...] but if we were to stay in that whole timeline we wouldn't be able to release modern vehicles, weapons and things... so it was a logistical choice as much it was a creative.
Rockstar's Head of Development Rob Nelson on IGN, December 14th 2021
- INTERVIEW: ROCKSTAR NORTH PRESIDENT LESLIE BENZIES ON GTA ONLINE
- First look: Rockstar takes GTA Online
- 'GTA Online' review (Xbox 360): Full of untapped potential
- Using Single-Player Mods In Grand Theft Auto 5 Could Get You Banned From GTA Online
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- Games Radar: http://www.gamesradar.com/golden-joysticks-all-winners-year/
- Wikipedia: Golden Joystick Wards: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Joystick_Awards#cite_ref-Golden_Joystick_2015_38-11
- Digtal Spy: http://www.digitalspy.com/gaming/golden-joystick-awards/news/a665921/golden-joystick-awards-2015-voting-now-open-to-the-public/
- GTA Online for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 Will Shut Down on December 16, 2021 - Rockstar Newswire