"I am honored to call you my son... By another mother, if you know what I mean?"
Simeon Yetarian to the male online player.

In Grand Theft Auto Online, the protagonist is a player-created character, with highly customizable traits.



Very little is known about the player's background, other than that they met Lamar Davis on Lifeinvader and took a flight to Los Santos. The player does not return to their old home, staying in Los Santos.

Events of GTA Online

The player is first seen in the initial cinematic tutorial of Grand Theft Auto Online, and meets Lamar Davis when he picks the player up after their arrival in Los Santos from the airport. The two had previously met on Lifeinvader and became close friends.

They enter Lamar's Emperor, where he gives the player a Pistol and welcomes them to the city. If the character is female, a different cutscene is shown where Lamar will try to hit on the protagonist but fails. Lamar drives the player to a Vinewood parking lot, where they begin to race, potentially with other players competing.

Regardless of who wins the race, Lamar sees further potential in the character and introduces them to Gerald, a drug runner living in Davis. Gerald immediately employs the character by asking them to ambush a deal between the Ballas and the Vagos and return the product to him. Lamar also introduces the character to Simeon Yetarian, who gifts the player a vehicle to keep in exchange for work.

As the player gains Reputation (or RP), they are introduced to several contacts including Trevor Philips, Lester Crest, and Martin Madrazo, who all offer basic work to the player in the form of Contact Missions.

GTA Online: Heists Update

Main article: Heists Update

Lester Crest will eventually contact the player character if they purchase a high-end Apartment and earn enough RP to reach Rank 12. Lester will introduce the player to various heists that are given by different contacts, such as Trevor Phillips and Agent 14. The player is required to form a team of two or four players for each heist in order to progress through them. The team is hired to perform various tasks, such as staging a prison break or helping finance a drug startup and even robbing one of the biggest banks of USA.

GTA Online: Lowriders

Main article: GTA Online: Lowriders

After gaining enough RP to reach Rank 5, Lamar will introduce the player to Benny and hire them to help him rise to power in southern Los Santos. Lamar employs the player to sabotage rival gangs, for example hiring them to crash a Vagos funeral or having them perform drive-bys on the street. However, continued failures to achieve Lamar's original plans lead him to step down from his attempt to take control of the area.

GTA Online: Executives and Other Criminals

After gaining at least $50,000, the player character is able to create and manage their own Organization. Organizations are run through the SecuroServ network and are created by players in Free Mode. They then have multiple options from which to choose, such as hiring and firing other players as bodyguards. These bodyguards then work for the player and help them to generate an income from the organization, through various tasks including recovering impounded vehicles from the police and retrieving packages across the state.

GTA Online: Further Adventures in Finance and Felony

The player character is eventually directed to purchase an Office, which allows them to permanently access their Organization and introduces them to the Executive Assistant. The player can further expand their criminal empire by buying, storing, and selling coveted contraband including jewelry, counterfeit goods, and medical supplies.

GTA Online: Bikers

Main article: GTA Online: Bikers

Similar to Offices, the player is eventually allowed to purchase a Biker Clubhouse, which allows them to run their own Motorcycle Club as a President. When the player first enters their Clubhouse, they are introduced to Malc, who helps the player set up their Motorcycle Club. The player's Club, similar to Organizations, can create profit by running odd jobs and managing Businesses that create narcotics and counterfeit goods. The player can hire up to seven additional players and promote them across a hierarchy within the Club.

GTA Online: Import/Export

Import/Export expands on Further Adventures in Finance and Felony, continuing the player's business tycoon hosted by SecuroServ. The player is given the opportunity to purchase Vehicle Warehouses that store stolen vehicles; the player is tasked with stealing, modifying, and selling the vehicle themselves, and can choose to have other player Associates assist them. The player is also able to undergo Special Vehicle Work for SecuroServ that involve the player using highly modified, specialized vehicles to perform various missions.

Events of GTA V

It is unknown what happened to the character by the time Grand Theft Auto V takes place. Lester still seems to be in touch and is implied to still be working with the character, and even considered them for the jewelry store robbery, but claims that "they're too unpredictable".

GTA Online: Gunrunning

Gunrunning is stated to take place in 2017, which means that GTA Online has advanced to current time.

Gunrunning offers the player an optional business venture in illegal arms trade and manufacturing, which can be utilised under a SecuroServ VIP contract, a SecuroServ CEO organisation or a registered Motorcycle Club; the player is first introduced into the world of gunrunning when the player purchases an underground bunker and/or Mobile Operations Center, Agent 14 makes a return to give the player a personal tour of the bunker to help and guide the player through various Gunrunning-related operations, including research, manufacturing and resupplying. He also hires the player to work for him for various MOC missions, which work in the same way as the Special Vehicle Work that was introduced in Import/Export.

GTA Online: Smuggler's Run

The player is contacted by Ron Jakowski, who introduces the optional business venture of air freighting contraband across San Andreas. The player begins upon purchasing a hangar located at either Los Santos International Airport or Fort Zancudo. The player can purchase a plethora of new aircraft as well.

GTA Online: The Doomsday Heist

Under Construction This article or section is Under Construction.

Lester contacts the player, saying he found opportunities more lucrative than the traditional bank heists. The player begins by purchasing an ex-government facility, where they are met with both Lester and a billionaire named Avon Hertz, who have unfolded a doomsday plot from an unknown foreign entity, the player acts as muscle for both Lester and Avon along with Agent 14, and the International Affairs Agency.



Grand Theft Auto series
protagonists by Universes

2D Universe

3D Universe

HD Universe

The online player, as shown in cutscenes, seems to be very calm and quiet when dealing with their bosses, the latter of which is often noted and even mocked for. They will take on any job as long as they get paid for their services (much like Claude in Grand Theft Auto III). They are known to keep their cool and are almost impossible to intimidate. This is best shown when the player first meets Trevor Philips, who initially comes nose to nose with the Online Player and the Player shows no sign of backing down from him and is clearly not afraid of Trevor, unlike most other people in the game.

As with many other playable characters with in the GTA universe, the Online Player's psychosis is determinant on the player's actions, and is only evident when killing civilians or other players. This is represented in-game by the player's radar blip, which progressively turns from white to red depending on how psychotic the player is. It can be assumed from this that the character's personality is entirely determined by the player.


According to the advanced character customization background and character switch line-up screen, the male protagonist is 6' 0" (1.83 m) and the female protagonist is 5' 9" (1.75 m). The overall physique of the character cannot be altered by player choice.

Originally on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360

The character can be created according to the taste of the player, who is able to choose the character's name, age, gender, physical appearance, nationality and grandparents (who can affect their appearance) as well as alter the character's daily lifestyle choices, such as time spent sleeping and exercising; this creates the initial stats for the character and can slightly change their appearance.

Enhanced version for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC

The general appearance has changed, with the male protagonists possessing more body and facial hair, and the female protagonists having longer and broader hair. The facial appearance has also changed to look much more realistic, with more tones, features and structure.

For $100,000 players are able to change their character's appearance (but not the character gender).

The player can choose their parents during character creation, which will affect the player's initial appearance (a loose composite of both parents, with variable influence). There is also a choice of grandparents for each parent (a composite of both grandparents), which affects their appearance, in turn affecting the protagonist's appearance. In addition to generic people to choose as parents, there is also the choice of well-known characters from other Rockstar Games titles who can be selected as parents.

Character Creator - Heritage



Upon release, GTA Online provided little exposition, giving little to no background or central plot to the protagonist. However, subsequent content updates greatly expanded the storyline of GTA Online, introducing new characters and separate plot lines for players to experience.

A central theme of an aspiring criminal rising the ranks of the underworld is present, similar to those in previous GTA titles. One key inspiration for the story of GTA Online is the Fast & Furious film franchise; both franchises feature characters starting as small-time street gangsters, rising the ranks of a criminal hierarchy, and eventually being employed by government entities to undergo heist-like tasks. Content updates including Heists, Gunrunning, and The Doomsday Heist feature the protagonist becoming employed by government members to handle several operations, while GTA Online: Import/Export features direct ports of vehicles from the Fast & Furious franchise.


Grand Theft Auto Online



  • Despite claiming otherwise, if the player changes their appearance for $100,000, the game will not charge the player if no changes have been made, stating that “No money was taken.”


Clean up This article or section needs to be cleaned up to meet the standards of the GTA Wiki.
Integration of much of this into article (e.g. Physical description)
  • At the beginning of Grand Theft Auto Online, the player will always spawn in front of a hotel (unless the spawn location is altered) until they have managed to buy a property.
  • The player's signature color is dark blue as seen in the HUD and UI, similar to Michael's signature color, although it was originally meant to be yellow as seen in the gameplay trailer and the color of the screen flashes when switching to the Online Player. This could also be seen if the player highlights the Online Player in the Character Wheel before a GTA Online patch that changed the color. After the patch, it was changed to dark blue. This also inexplicably changed the colors in the credits sequence during Prologue and Franklin and Lamar.
    • While the Grand Theft Auto V protagonists' light bar colors on the PlayStation 4 controller pertain to each of their own themes, the GTA Online protagonist's light bar can be any random color, from pink to blue.
      • On the PS4, if the GTA Online protagonist is in a crew, the controller's light bar color mimics the active crew's color.
  • The Online Player has some similarities to Claude, the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto III, as they both never (canonically) speak in any of their appearances. In addition, if the player bought the collector's edition of GTA V, Claude is usable as a parent of the Player.
    • The Online Player only makes sound by coughing after using a bong or smoking cigarettes, rarely making injury sounds, breathing heavily during the data extraction cutscene in The Humane Labs Raid Heist and using a rebreather underwater.
    • In Director Mode, if the player selects their online protagonist and gets damaged, he/she will grunt clearly but will no longer make any noise after it until selected again.
    • The aforementioned pain grunts are the same grunts used for other generic NPCs in the game. This is because the GTA Online actor falls in the same class as the other generic NPCs in the mode (thus why they cannot use parachutes in Director Mode, unlike the story mode protagonists).
  • When a player is disconnected suddenly from an online session, their online character will become a normal pedestrian and will walk towards the nearest pedestrian pathway. If the AI controlled character is approached violently without a firearm, they will either scream or yell and run away, or fight back with their fists, but will invariably run away when a firearm is presented.
  • In the early weeks of release, there was a glitch in which the character's gender can be swapped out, resulting in a character having a male's head/facial features on a female body, or vice versa.
    • This glitch could also affect the character's race. When showering, the character's original head could disappear and be replaced with a head from someone of another race on their original body.
  • Despite the player being known to use Lifeinvader, they cannot access the Lifeinvader website in-game.
  • The online protagonist uses a mix of animations from Michael De Santa, Franklin Clinton, and Trevor Philips. What animation sets are used depends on the activity the player is participating in.
  • While in a vehicle with a radio station selected, the player's mood can be seen changing, depending on the song playing. For instance, if a radio advert was playing at the time that the player was staring at their character, the online protagonist can be seen "bored", flicking dust/dirt off their clothes, and glancing around. If a song is playing, the player gradually starts to be become happy and "into" the song; they will start to nod their head at the beginning/end of a song, or when the beat slows down, but rhythmically dance when the song picks up a pace/beat. This feature seems to be synchronized with the song's volume and/or pace. This feature can be seen clearer when turning the hood-camera around to face the player inside their vehicle.
  • The artwork for GTA Online: Executives and Other Criminals, GTA Online: Further Adventures in Finance and Felony and GTA Online: Import/Export all feature the same representation of the GTA Online Protagonist. A man with short hair, notable for the scar across his nose bridge and cheek. However, it is not possible to recreate him accurately in the game, as his hair is not an available option and scars aren't permanent.