Multiplayer in GTA IV

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An Xbox Live pre-game lobby. Shown here is the game along with the number of players. Located each to next of the player's ID is their current rank. Players which have a headset can be seen as the ones with the transmitter icon next to the rank. In the bottom left corner is the amount of currency held by the player. The boxes with and without check marks denote which player are, and aren't ready as well as the game description in the top right corner. If an invitation is sent by another player a notification will pop-up in the top-right corner of the screen. Also note that the number that appears next to the player at the top is the number of other players in the lobby that voted to "kick" them.

Multiplayer is a new feature in Grand Theft Auto IV that has immensely expanded multiplayer functions that were otherwise absent, or limited in previous GTA games.

Basic information

Multiplayer in GTA IV is hosted on the PlayStation Network (PS3), Xbox Live (Xbox 360), and Games for Windows (PC). The game can support up to sixteen players on Xbox 360 and the PS3, and up to 32 players on the PC. Gameplay features differ slightly to that of standard single player. The player can always sprint and never gets tired, and can change weapons more quickly. Health can also be collected while in a vehicle therefore repairing it. Plus the phone can be accessed at any point during gameplay. Whenever someone is killed whether it be by other players, or enemies within the game a message will appear in the top-left corner reading "<<PSN/XBL name>> Died". Some games require the player to be on a team. The player's online ID display matches the same to that of their respective team. Killing oneself or member of the same team will cost the player (or team) a loss of $100. Death of the player will result in loss of all current weapons. Cheats have also been disabled. Everything else about multiplayer is listed below:

Accessing multiplayer

Multiplayer is available from the beginning of the game despite that Niko actually receives his phone with expanded features in the second mission. To access multiplayer, the player has to bring up his/her cell phone and select "multiplayer". This will bring up a new menu which contains six options:

Games - Brings the player to two options, Quick Match, and Custom Match. Quick match allows the player to jump into a game via the game lobby. And Custom Match allows the player to customize the game type, as well as the private slows (the number of players that require a game invite to join).

Party Mode - An invite-only variant of free mode. The player(s) are free to do as they wish as with free mode. Each one also starts party mode at the Alderney Casino (also marked with a safehouse icon). Default settings are used here. If at least two players are in the game, then they can start any game (see above). When the host leaves, then another player is appointed party leader.

Invites - The third in the menu, game invites are shown here. Selecting one of these will allow the player to join the game in which the player's friend(s) are in. Invites last until the game session is over. If waited to long the player can still join but they will have skipped the game lobby. These can be sent if the player is or isn't already in a game session. Invites sent to someone playing single player will appear just a text message notification does.

Player Model - Selecting this allows the player to customize the look of their multiplayer character. As with each rank the player will unlock more clothing. After ranking up to level 1, the player has a choice of a zombie model. If the player is in the game lobby, and is the host they can change their model before starting. Note that in some games more specifically Turf War, Bomb Da Base II, Hangman's NOOSE, and Deal Breaker the player will assume the appearance of a generic gang member.

Preferences - Options that the player can change. The three options are auto-aim, police, and friendly fire. Each can be set to disallow, don't care, or allow. Players join games based on their preferences, unless they use an invite.

Tutorial - A quick tutorial about multiplayer. Selecting this will transport the player to Charge Island where the game gives beginners instructions about weapons, pickups, games, and teams. To view the tutorial the player cannot have a wanted level.

Phonebook - This contains the other members of the game session which can be called (via headset/microphone), as well as Zit! which is always in the phonebook. Players can also partially communicate with others via the player model. Pressing the L2 button will let the player say things like "hey" or "what's up?"(Players will swear instead when they are near an enemy), and the player is also given to choice to "mute", and "unmute" other players. If one player is muted by all the other players that all started in the lobby then they can't receive calls until they are unmuted. Provided there is at least three players one can kick another player from the game. This can be used if a player is repeatedly causing trouble for other players, or just if the others want to maintain a private match. Kicking can also be used in the game lobby. If someone is kicked from a game, then they can't return to it. Upon using this a message will appear in the top left corner reading "<<PSN/XBL name>> Wants to Kick <<PSN/XBL name>>"

Leave Game - Self explanatory, selecting this will allow the player to leave the current game session.

Game Info - Information on the current game. Has the description of the game, as well as the set preferences, and host's options.

Multiplayer - Selecting this let the player start a new game, a party mode, or with the downloaded TLAD, and TBOGT, change the episode.

Friends - Allows the player to send a game invite for friends to join them. Friends can only be invited if they have a IV icon (GTAIV.png) next to their name. If the friend doesn't have one and their name is in black they are online but not playing GTA IV. If the name is in red however they are offline.

Next Game - Selecting this, and selecting another game allows the player to suggest the next game.

Game types

Player match

Player Match puts the player up against other GTA gamers in every possible multiplayer mode. Scores in these matches are not carried over into other matches, and are irrelevant once the time is up. You also cannot earn money or achievements in this mode; it is a casual mode, well-suited to socialising and to getting a feel for the different modes before jumping into Ranked matches.

Ranked match

The player model screen. The player is allowed to put together individual pieces of clothing, or to randomize the look of their online character even changing between a male, or female character, as well as a Zombie player.

Ranked Matches — either on PlayStation Network or Xbox Live — give the player a rank which will gradually increase (to a maximum rank of 10) as they advance and earn money. Advancing in rank unlocks additional clothing for one's multiplayer character. Some money earned in team matches is split up equally (Turf War, Team Car Jack City). Although in others the amount of money the player the player earns depends on how much they have made (Team Deathmatch, Hangman's NOOSE, Deal Breaker, and Bomb Da Base II). Any money received at the end of one of the three co-op games is the same for everyone. Below is a list showing the amount of money needed to get to each rank. Ranked money from regular GTA IV will carry on to TLAD and TBOGT.

Ranking system
  • 0=0
  • 1=1,000
  • 2=10,000
  • 3=50,000
  • 4=100,000
  • 5=250,000
  • 6=500,000
  • 7=750,000
  • 8=1,000,000
  • 9=2,500,000
  • 10=5,000,000

Game options

These are the options in which the host of the game (represented by a crown icon) can alter:


  • Liberty City
  • Alderney
  • Algonquin
  • Bohan
  • Dukes/Broker
  • Acter Industrial
  • Prison
  • Docks
  • Happiness Island
  • Colony Island
  • Charge Island
  • Airport


  • 5 minutes
  • 10 minutes
  • 15 minutes
  • 20 minutes
  • 30 minutes
  • 45 minutes
  • 60 minutes
  • $500
  • $1000
  • $2500
  • $5000
  • $7500
  • $10000


  • Weak
  • Standard
  • Powerful
  • Pistols
  • Shotguns
  • Projectiles
  • Melee
  • SMGs
  • Assault rifles
  • Rocket launchers
  • Sniper rifles
  • All


  • Parked
  • Low
  • Medium
  • High


  • Off
  • Low
  • Medium
  • High


  • None
  • All
  • Near
  • Far
  • Leader

Online ID Display

  • On
  • Off

Reticule Health

  • On
  • Off

Voice Chat

  • On
  • Off

Respawn Distance

  • Near
  • Medium
  • Far

Respawn Time

  • 1 second
  • 5 seconds
  • 10 seconds
  • 15 seconds
  • 20 seconds
  • 25 seconds
  • 30 seconds

Time of Day

  • Random
  • Morning
  • Midday
  • Evening
  • Midnight


  • Variable
  • Clear
  • Overcast
  • Drizzle
  • Rain
  • Foggy


Freeroam modes

Mode Players Objective
Free Mode
2-16 This mode is similar to the single-player game, except played with friends. It is a complete free-for-all, with no rules, objectives, time limit or score. Police can be activated or deactivated, and will not arrest offending players, but attempt to kill them. Like Party Mode, Free Mode does not gain the player game money or achievements.
Party mode
2-8 An invite-only variant of Free Mode. Party Mode throws everyone on the same team and sets everyone to respawn in the exact same location (complete with every single weapon, as well as vehicles, First Aid kits and body armor). There are no police in Party Mode. As the name would suggest, Party Mode is a way of collecting all of your friends before entering other game modes, and does not gain the player game money or achievements.

Competitive modes

Mode Players Objective
2-16 A complete free for all. Anything goes. Combat is confined to specific areas of Liberty City in order to keep the action focused. Police (including NOOSE and/or FIB) are optionally present, depending on the host's chosen settings, and will not attempt to arrest players, instead attempting to kill them.
Mafiya Work
2-8 Working under the direction of Kenny Petrovic via the cellphone, the player competes against other players in a series of mini-missions. This may involve picking up recruits for the firm, taking out a target, or even finding and disposing of a dozen severed heads.
Car Jack City
4-16 Car Jack City pits the player against everyone else in a race to nab vehicles for Kenny Petrovic. The amount of money gained trumps the amount of cars delivered. If the host has allowed police, they will try to stop players from taking vehicles to drop-off points.

TIP: Destroy other players' cars.

Team modes

Mode Players Objective
Team Deathmatch

(up to 8 teams of two)

Players work as a team to rub out other team(s) for money; the crew with the most cash at the end of the round wins. There are no restrictions. Each player will gain the money they have personally earned by killing opponents. Police are present in this game (including NOOSE/FIB at 4 wanted level stars).
Team Mafiya Work

(up to 8 teams of two)

The player is a member of a crew doing contract work for the Russian Mafia - these are time-limited missions including escorting wanted men, picking up items and stealing cars. Rival crews attempt to accomplish the same task. Interfering with other crews will slow their progress and increase one's chances of earning the money. Each contract completed gives the team cash, and the crew with the most cash at the end of the round wins.
Team Car Jack City
2-8 teams Cars spawn in random places on the map, and teams must steal them and take them to a drop off point. The cash received for dropping off stolen vehicles generally depends on the vehicles' good condition, however there are exceptions: some special bonus cars contain drugs, and give a set amount of cash on delivery no matter how damaged they are. Police will be present if the host permits, and will do whatever they can to stop players from taking vehicles. Whichever crew makes the most money wins.
Cops 'n' Crooks

(two teams only)

A team-based mode in which the Crooks must get their Boss to safety, while the Cops have to take him down. The Boss is marked with a cross hair. This mode has two sub-modes: All for One and One for All.
  • In All for One, one team is made up of Crooks and a Boss, and the other team is made up of Cops. The Cops are trying to hunt down and kill the Boss while the Crooks are trying to protect him. The Cops win by killing the Boss, and the Crooks win by getting the Boss safely to the getaway vehicle and escaping.
    • TIP: Since only the "Boss player" needs to get away, having other players hang back to slow down the cops may be helpful.
  • One for All is similar, but there is no Boss. Here, the Cops win by killing all of the Crooks, or destroying the getaway vehicle; Crooks win by filling up a getaway vehicle with members of their team, or killing all the Cops. Only 4 people can escape in the getaway vehicle. Players cannot respawn in this mode.
Turf War
2 teams only A timed capture-the-base mode. There are a number of bases around the map which can be taken by standing near them for a short period of time. The more players that stand at a base, the faster it can be captured. The more bases a team owns, the faster their cash score increases. If a gang is on or near a base, their rivals won't be able to take control of it. The team with the most cash at the end of the round wins.

Cooperative missions

Mode Players Objective
Deal Breaker
2-4 Under orders of Kenny Petrovic, players must ambush a drug deal between the Angels of Death, and an unspecified Mafia family. The deal is underway at the Acter Industrial Park. The objective here is to eliminate both parties, collect the drugs, and meet back at the rendezvous point. Some of the witnesses may attempt to escape by boat, by bike, or even both. Only 5 respawns on Easy, 4 respawns on Medium, 3 respawns on Hard. are granted,

TIP: There is a helicopter near the mansion a couple of blocks north of the starting point. To speed the mission up, there are RPGs on some of the floors of the building, which can be used to kill the AOD if they escape by boat.

Hangman's NOOSE
2-4 Russian Mafia boss Kenny Petrovic has illegally flown into Francis International Airport, and someone has tipped off the cops. The objective is to escort Petrovic to safety while being pursued by the Liberty City Police Department's NOOSE (SWAT) division. Only 5 respawns on Easy, 4 respawns on Medium, 3 respawns on Hard are granted.

TIP: While some players lay waste to the NOOSE agents, get one player to sneak away, and drive around the airport to the opposite end of the airstrip. You should find 2 Annihilators, which are easily jacked. Swing around to grab your crew, and fly to the safe zone. Only 5 respawns on Easy, 4 respawns on Medium, 3 respawns on Hard. are granted, making sustained survival a priority.

Bomb Da Base II
2-4 Bomb Da Base II (its name referring to a mission from GTA III) requires a gang of players to work in unison and sabotage the Platypus, a ship being used by the Albanians for exporting cars. Only 5 respawns on Easy, 4 respawns on Medium, 3 respawns on Hard. Unlike the other two, survival isn't needed as you will still receive money for completing the mission.

TIP: When you get to the boat, there are some good sniper spot on the surrounding buildings and crane towers. Get your best marksman to take a point and pick off the thugs on the boat. Also to help beat the target score have one player fly to the tower at the west end of the ship. From there they can quickly plant the bomb, while the other players, exploit a glitch to gain easy access to the hull.

Race modes

Mode Players Objective
2-16 Race to the finish through each checkpoint in order. If the player takes a wrong turn or otherwise messes up, they can respawn at the last checkpoint passed. There is a large selection of races for cars, boats, and helicopters - players can choose laps and vehicle class/type. There are two types of races: Free Race and Cannonball Run.
  • Free Races are point-to-point races, where the first one to the finish wins.
  • Cannonball Runs are races where participants must traverse several checkpoints in any way possible.
GTA Race
2-16 Similar to the orthodox Race, but with the added element of combat. This is a checkpoint race where participants can also pick up weapons spawned en route to help take out opponents. The vehicle can be exited during this type of race.

TIP: Even if you don't complete the race, you'll still get money for every kill you make. So if you're lagging behind and know you're not going to get 1st place, trying setting up choke points by blocking the track with parked cars, and use RPGs to kill other players.

Achievements/Trophies in multiplayer

Main article: Achievements in GTA IV.
Achievement Means of acquirement
Teamplayer Kill 5 opposing team members.
Cut Your Teeth Earn a rank promotion.
Join the Midnight Club Achieve first place in a race with damage enabled, but minimal damage to your vehicle.
Fly The Co-Op Complete Deal Breaker in under 7:04
Hangman's Noose in under 2:32 seconds
Bomb Da Base II in under 5:56 seconds.
Taking it For The Team Have your team win in all ranked Multiplayer games.
Top The Midnight Club Have your team win in all ranked Multiplayer games.
Auf Wiedersehen Petrovic Win in all variations of multiplayer as well as each side in Cops n Crooks.
Top of the Food Chain Kill twenty players with a pistol in deathmatch.
Let Sleeping Rockstars Lie Kill a Rockstar developer, or another player who has this achievement in any multiplayer game.


  • Despite whatever weapon class is on the player can still receive weapons from other sources. Some of these are pump shotguns, carbine rifles, rocket launchers, and pistols. RPGs can be obtained from entering a parked Annihilator, and the other weapons are standard issue for NOOSE, and LCPD.
  • Any interiors that are otherwise inaccessible, will be accessible during multiplayer.


  • With reticule health the player can see that there are 8 bars inside the reticule. One headshot takes away seven, so two headshots will kill an opponent. This does not apply to NPC pedestrians where just one headshot would kill one.
  • Reloading after every kill helps so the player won't run out of ammunition, it also helps to always have full health, and full armor.
  • If someone is using a dumpster or similar object for cover, aiming for their feet can inflict damage.
  • Auto-aiming can also help. Keeping the auto-aim reticule on someone while they are moving, allows the player to track their every movement.
  • Using the in-game map can help the player track what other weapons players have picked up.
  • Crouching with a weapon can minimize the recoil given off by it and increases accuracy. Though doing this the player can expose themselves.
  • If someone else is coming towards the player they can either roll, or move out of the path of the other, and have a better chance for a kill.
  • In a deathmatch with only sniper rifles, instead of using it the conventional way, using the cover system can be a better way.
  • If a deathmatch is set in the airport most players will either use the Annihilators, or use the blue hell glitch to enter "one-way" buildings.
  • Don't hide at the edge of your cover, as this can give opposing players more of a target to hit.

See also

External link

  • - Multiplayer: Gametypes, Modes, Online