Grand Theft Auto Online

Grand Theft Auto Online featured image

The Grand Theft Auto franchise dives into the online multiplayer experience. Grand Theft Auto Online, better known as GTA Online, is an online multiplayer story-driven action-adventure game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It is the sixteenth overall entry to the Grand Theft Auto series.

GTA Online was released on October 1, 2013 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, November 18, 2014 to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, April 14, 2015 to Windows, March 15, 2022 to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series Released on X/S.

The game and events in GTA Online connects to the gameplay of Grand Theft Auto V. Set in the fictional state of San Andreas based on Southern California, Grand Theft Auto Online allows up to 30 players to explore an open world and engage in cooperative or competitive gameplay.

Plot and location

The game is set in the southern San Andreas of the United States and the island of Cayo Perico in the Caribbean region of Colombia.

Originally, GTA Online was set months before the events of 2013's Grand Theft Auto V. However, the narrative of recent updates, starting with the Gunrunning update in 2017, takes place in their respective release years. Thus, the Los Santos Drug Wars update in December 2022 sets the timeline in the GTA Online in-game world as taking place in the same date.


Arriving in Los Santos by plane, the player is picked up by Lamar Davis, who provides the player’s first gun and a car. A one-hour tutorial introduces the player to various game modes, driving, combat, and other basic game progression mechanics.


Although not originally intended, the game was developed to coincide with Grand Theft Auto V.

Grand Theft Auto Online was designed as a standalone experience to play in an ever-evolving world set in the fictional San Andreas. In Grand Theft Auto Online, players create new characters with the character creation tools.

Unlike many other games that allow players to create their own characters, their physical appearance is not user-defined. Instead, it is based on preset parent and grandparent characters in the GTA universe selected by the player. After the initial character creation, players may later customize their character’s appearance with clothes, tattoos, haircuts, and other cosmetic changes.

In addition to appearance, players can also choose their character's typical daily activities. This affects the character’s starting abilities, which can also be changed and improved as the player gains experience.

Similar to the single-player mode, players can improve their character's attributes such as driving and stamina. A system exclusive to GTA Online is that of gaining experience, usually by successfully completing activities.

As you gain enough experience to level up, you unlock weapons, clothing, vehicle customization, and more advanced activities such as skydiving and flying. Once unlocked, items can be purchased using in-game currency. The in-game currency can be earned through the course of play or bought with real money.

Players can bypass activity level requirements by joining the game with other players of sufficient rank. There are options to play alone or with friends, as well as a Passive Mode that prevents the player from being affected by other players.

Originally, multiplayer sessions on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 were limited to 16 players. The session player limit was expanded to 30 players on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Players can play online in different session types.

  • A solo session where freemode is purely PvE.
  • Invite only and Crew only sessions where players can choose who they play with.
  • Public sessions with random players coexisting in open Free Mode lobbies and PvP combat is more common. This is the "default" session type.

Until the release of the Heists update, most online content allowed him to play single player without the need for real multiplayer.

However, subsequent content updates have included more cooperative jobs that require at least two to four players and new Free Mode events and features that are limited to public lobbies. This was later changed with the 2020 The Cayo Perico Heist update, which introduced the first Heist playable solo.

Mission Lobbies allow players to scroll through the list of players in the current lobby and invite friends. Player skills like Driving, Shooting, Flying, Sneaking, and Stamina can be seen as you scroll through the lobby on the menu screen.

Visuals and other features

In the Collector's Edition of the game, several bonus characters from other Rockstar titles appear as possible parents for use with the character creation tools. Grand Theft Auto IV's protagonist Nico Bellic can be selected as a parent along with Claude and Misty from Grand Theft Auto III.

GTA Online has around 500 jobs, with more to be added as part of the DLC. Jobs can be encountered in a variety of ways, such as by roaming around the map, making or receiving calls from NPCs, or through choosing them from the menu.

Players can also create their own racetracks and deathmatches using the Content Creator tools. Missions are taken by various characters, most of which are present in GTA V. Trevor Phillips and Franklin Clinton are only two of the three central characters to appear in GTA Online, but Lester, Martin Madrazo, Lamar Davis, and Ron can also be found in the game.

Release Date

Oct 01, 2013


Play Time

45 hours 15 minutes



System Requirements


  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs) / AMD Phenom 9850 Quad-Core Processor (4 CPUs) @ 2.5GHz
  • GPU: NVIDIA 9800 GT 1GB / AMD HD 4870 1GB (DX 10, 10.1, 11)
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • HDD: 72 GB


  • CPU: Intel Core i5 3470 @ 3.2GHz (4 CPUs) / AMD X8 FX-8350 @ 4GHz (8 CPUs)
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 660 2GB / AMD HD 7870 2GB
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • HDD: 72 GB

Interesting Facts

  • Grand Theft Auto Online launched on 1 October 2013, two weeks after Grand Theft Auto V’s release.
  • If the player has a Rockstar Games Social Club account, John Marston, from Red Dead Redemption (another Rockstar Games title), can be chosen as the parent during character creation.
  • The protagonist of GTA Online is the first female protagonist in the HD Universe era of the Grand Theft Auto series. This is also the first overall to inherit some sort of personality to her character compared to the female protagonists from earlier GTA titles.
  • The GTA Online female protagonist is also the seventh female protagonist to appear throughout the Grand Theft Auto series.
  • As the player arrives in Los Santos by plane during the GTA Online intro, other players’ characters can also be seen as passengers on the plane.
  • In the GTA Online enhanced version, attempting to steal a DLC-related vehicle found in traffic will automatically kick the player out, locking the vehicle in the process and making it inaccessible.
    • This was later patched in the Southern San Andreas Super Sport Series update, allowing the player to drive DLC-related vehicles that appear in traffic, but they still cannot be modified.
  • The enhanced version of GTA Online for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC features a much bigger and in-depth variety of customization options. Players who have transferred their characters from the previous gen (or from the Xbox One/PlayStation 4 in the case of the PC) can customize their character again.
  • As of this time, Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online are the only games in the series that take place in two different decades. Events in GTA V were set in the 2000s to 2010s. Meanwhile, GTA Online is set in the 2010s to the 2020s.

Mod Support




Game Engine


Protagonist sex


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