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GTA Online Protagonist

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

The GTA Online Protagonist is the player-created playable character and protagonist of Grand Theft Auto Online.

The GTA Online Protagonist can be created according to the taste of the player to customize (gender, age and appearance). The player can choose a gender, parents, and grandparents of the character to affect their appearance. Then, the player can 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.



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, presumably just to take part in a street race in Vinewood organized by Lamar. The player does not return to their old home, and stays 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 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.

As the character gains more and more reputation in Los Santos, they are noticed and employed by powerful people in the criminal underworld such as Martin Madrazo and Lester Crest, and are given increasingly difficult and expensive jobs. They are hired to steal aircraft, wipe out rival crews, and even infiltrate a chemical research facility. The player goes from a small-time two-bit gangster to a powerful figure in organized crime.

GTA Online: Heists Update

Lester Crest will eventually contact the player character if they purchase a high-end Apartment. 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 breaking a prisoner out of jail or helping finance a drug startup.

GTA Online: Lowriders

After gaining enough reputation, 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 performing 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.

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".



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. 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 you first meet 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.


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 Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto IV, and the protagonist of Red Dead Redemption, to be used as parents.



  • Misty (Grand Theft Auto III)


Grand Theft Auto Online



  • At the beginning of GTA 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 Online 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 the GTA Online patch. 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 GTA V protagonists' light bar colours on the PS4 controller pertain to each of their own themes, the GTA Online Protagonist's light bar can be any random colour, from pink to blue.
      • On the PS4, if the GTA Online Protagonist is in a crew, the controller's light bar colour mimics the active crew's colour.
  • 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 Grand Theft Auto 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.
  • 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, they will occasionally scream or yell and run away.
  • 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 black person's head 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.
  • In the PlayStation 4/Xbox One/PC versions of the game, the character creators system is improved for a more customizable character with options such as eyes, nose, mouth Etc.
    • The general appearance has also 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.
  • According to the advanced character customization background, the protagonist is 6' 0" (1.83 m).
  • 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.
  • 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 (tested on PS4/Xbox One)


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