The Wheel is divided into four quarters, each one for Michael, Trevor, Franklin, and the Online Player. Below each character is a number indicating how many missions are presently available for that individual. In free roam of Story Mode, the player can switch between characters at any given time, and when doing so, the player will occasionally find the chosen character in sometimes comical situations, including discovering the character inebriated or with a wanted level and being chased by police. When switching to the GTA Online character, the player will either find the character in his or her apartment or last known location. The player can change this in the Settings menu.
In many missions in Story Mode, the slot of a character other than that being controlled by the player will sometimes flash white or red. If the slot flashes white, the player is required to switch to that character to progress the mission, is already at a meeting point, or just to simply show that the highlighted character is available to play as. If it flashes red, that character is in danger and the player must either switch to that character and wipe out the source of the threat or use another character to help him.
- Michael De Santa
- Franklin Clinton
- Trevor Philips
- Online Player
- Chop (only during the missions Chop and Predator)
- Chop takes Michael's slot in two missions in GTA V, Predator & Chop. This allows the player to switch to Chop and see from his point of view. However, they can't control him.
- You cannot switch characters during a wanted level.
- The numbers in each character slot represent the number of missions available for that character.
- At one point in the storyline Steve Haines will show up and ask Franklin to kill Trevor and at another point, Devin Weston will show up and ask him to kill Michael. Choosing any of these options will make the player end up losing Michael or Trevor as a playable character. If the player tries to switch to the character he killed their slot will be faded out and they cannot be played with anymore.
- If you switch from a character to another and soon after switch back, you'll find the original character in a situation that logically follows from the state in which he was left. For example, if you switch from a character driving on a freeway, you'll return to him still driving a little further down the road. If you fly a plane into a building and switch away right before the crash, switching back takes the character to the hospital.
- If you switch while the character is just standing normally, they will just keep standing in the same position for about a minute, check their phone, and proceed to walk away.
- If all three characters meet in the same area, one of them may turn invisible until switched to. They may also teleport to a different location in some cases.
- Once your vehicle is destroyed while driving; If you switch to any character and return to your using character, the vehicle will be fixed in right condition (For Main Vehicles Tailgater, Buffalo, Bodhi)