Grand Theft Auto Online
|Protagonists||GTA Online Protagonist|
Grand Theft Auto series
1997 – Grand Theft Auto
1998 – Liberty City Stories
1999 – Grand Theft Auto 2 (Possible)
2013 – Grand Theft Auto 2 (Possible)
2013 - present – Grand Theft Auto Online
Similar to its predecessor, Grand Theft Auto V features a multiplayer mode, dubbed Grand Theft Auto Online. Grand Theft Auto Online was released on October 1, 2013, 14 days after the actual game. Although it is playable only with a Grand Theft Auto V disc, Grand Theft Auto Online is considered a stand-alone title by Rockstar Games and is treated as such by the developer. The PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC versions feature the Rockstar Editor, a tool allowing advanced movie production in various scenarios across Grand Theft Auto Online.
Grand Theft Auto Online, more commonly known as GTA Online, consists of open world sessions based in the same map as Grand Theft Auto V. Sessions are limited to 16 players on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and expanded to 30 players (with 2 extra spaces for spectators) on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Players can play Online in a number of different session types:
- Solo sessions where Free Mode is entirely PvE.
- Invite Only and Crew Only where the players can pick and choose who they play with.
- Public sessions where random players will be co-existing in an open Free Mode lobby and PvP is more common.
Until the release of the Heists Update, most of the Online content could be played by a single player with no actual multiplayer requirement, however subsequent content updates have included more co-operative jobs that require a minimum of 2 or 4 players and new Free Mode events and features have been limited to Public lobbies only.
Except for PC and PlayStation 3 users, a PlayStation Plus (for PS4 users) or an Xbox Live Gold Subscription is required before playing GTA Online.
Players may travel around and interact with the map at will and can take part in many gameplay activities, including assaults on local gangs, robbing armored trucks, and challenging other players to Impromptu Races. Several of these open world activities are unique to the multiplayer mode of the game, while others are shared with GTA V. Players can also purchase property, vehicles, clothing, aircraft, masks and weapons for their character.
Aside from the free roam aspect, GTA Online also includes several localized, more traditional multiplayer game modes known as Jobs that are played in separate sessions independent from the larger open world; players partaking in these jobs will not be visible to and cannot interact with players occupying the open world, even if they inhabit the same location at the same time. These jobs include deathmatches, races, sports activities and horde-like survival games. Lastly, players can also undertake co-operative missions for various crime boss characters, most of whom also make appearances in GTA V's story. The number of players involved and the size of the area available to them in these game modes varies depending on the activity and mode itself.
As players progress and increase the rank of their character, more items and jobs will be unlocked for them to purchase and play. Also included in GTA Online is the Content Creator, a development tool that allows players to create and publish their own races, deathmatches, and other competitive gamemodes.
Additional rewards are given, such as free weapons and double RP, if the player is connected to Rockstar's Social Club and a special event is hosted or a special offer is redeemed by the player. Special bonuses are also available for players who reach Rank 100 and beyond.
- Adversary Modes
- Contact Missions
- Last Team Standings
- Stunt Races
- Versus Missions
Introduction and Tutorial
When players first select to play GTA Online they are taken through a character creation stage where they can modify their character's appearance and basic characteristics. The game then begins with the player's newly created character arriving at Los Santos International Airport aboard a commercial flight. Upon leaving the airport, the player is met by Lamar Davis, who drives the player into the city.
Lamar serves as a guide through the initial tutorial portion of the game, introducing the player to the basic gameplay mechanics of the Online world. After completing a street race and taking part in a brief mission - disrupting a drug deal - Lamar introduces the player character to Gerald, the first of GTA Online's mission-giving bosses. At this point, players are granted access to the entire San Andreas map, and are immediately tasked by Lamar with purchasing some new clothing, and then holding up a convenience store. With these tasks completed, the player is contacted by Simeon Yetarian, who guides the player through the process of stealing a car and turning it into a personal vehicle (by fitting it with a tracker and purchasing insurance at a Los Santos Customs mod shop, both of which are free on this occasion). Following the completion of these mandatory activities, the player is introduced to one more job, an LTS, after which the tutorial is complete and players are free to explore the Online map as they wish.
Completing virtually any activity in GTA Online rewards players with both money, used for in-game purchases, and Reputation Points (RP). As players gain RP and increase their rank, new items such as weapons, hair styles, clothes and vehicle mods will be unlocked for purchase, while new missions and jobs, such as Parachuting, will become available to play. Some missions may however not reward the player with any money if they are played solo, particularly sport activities in GTA V Online. Many high rank missions offer far greater monetary and RP rewards than low rank missions. At higher ranks additional gameplay abilities will also become available through contacts on the player's mobile phone, such as asking Lester Crest to remove a Wanted Level, set a bounty on other players or calling Merryweather to conduct an airstrike.
When the player dies in GTA Online for the first time, Cris Formage appears in a vision telling the player that he is reviving them. He goes on to explain Passive Mode, and the voyeuristic pleasure he derives from watching people without their knowledge. He appears only once, the first time the player dies.
Jobs in GTA Online can either be accessed from the open world, in the form of a blue circular marker (known as a Corona) that the player simply walks into to activate the corresponding job, or selected through a list in the pause menu. Jobs have a specified number of possible players, often with an option to play it alone for smaller jobs. Players can either host the jobs themselves or elect to join a job already in progress. The player may also receive job invites from NPC characters, or other players via their phone. These invites will eventually close in real-time as players join and the player quota is reached for each invite.
When a job is launched, an invite screen will launch with various options depending on whether the player initiated the job or joined from an invitation. Before almost any job, players can bet on themselves or other players in order to gain bigger payouts at the end of the job. There are options for the radio station to play during the job, purchasing ammo and armor, starting weapon, time of day and difficulty (with corresponding payout) level. At the end of each job, after gaining any points or money from the job, the player has the option to continue playing with the same players, and is given the opportunity to vote on which job to next complete with that team, a random job, or to return to free mode, leaving the current team of players.
Although several activities from GTA V are available Online, such as purchasing clothing and sports, there are numerous differences in the gameplay mechanics involved. For instance, police will never attempt to arrest the player Online, instead shooting to kill even at one star wanted levels. The severity of wanted levels changes depending on the players' actions, with an automatic three star wanted level for killing a police officer, or a four star wanted level for trespassing at Fort Zancudo, where tanks and fighter jets will be scrambled.
Many of the characters featured in GTA V re-appear in Online in the form of mission-giving bosses, with the notable exception of Michael and Franklin (although Trevor does appear in such a role). Several other boss characters are unique to Online, such as Gerald. Chronologically, GTA Online was originally set before the events of the single player game; for example, Martin Madrazo is often found at his house in Vinewood Hills, which is destroyed early in GTA V by Michael, while Trevor is still based solely in Sandy Shores. Additionally, the player character in GTA Online is briefly mentioned by Lester at the start of the mission Casing the Jewel Store in GTA V, although he dismisses them as "too unpredictable". This timeline has moved in the Enhanced editions with the addition of subsequent DLC containing anachronistic elements and dialogue confirming events were taking place in the present day in 2017.
If a player is seen to be creating an excessive negative effect on the Online world they will accumulate Bad Sport points. When enough of these points are either accumulated through a short period of time (or gathered up for longer periods) the offending player will be moved into a separate match-making pool which will prevent the player from playing with non bad-sport players, people in their friend list included. The player will also be forced to wear a dunce hat (which will be taken off inside vehicles or replaced by motorcycle helmets on bikes). These bad sport points are gathered and bound to a character by destroying personal vehicles belonging to other players, quitting jobs/mission early, submitting false reports and being reported. This system has proven to be a controversial mechanic as the system has several flaws to it as to just how these points are gathered as the game does not take into account whether player reports are illegitimate or not, or if the destruction of another player's vehicle was self-defense. As of title update 1.22, players who are innocently disconnected from a job due to a crash or game fault will not have Bad Sport points applied. A fair balance between players are enforced through this system. The first time the player goes into a bad-sport lobby, the time in bad-sport will be 2 days, then 4 days, then 8 days.
In GTA Online, players create their own customized characters through the use of a character creation tool. Unlike many other games where players can create their own character, physical appearance is not user-defined, but derived from the pre-set parent and grandparent characters that players choose. With the Collectors Edition of the game, several bonus characters from other Rockstar titles make 'cameo' appearances as possible parents in the character creation tool — Grand Theft Auto IV protagonist Niko Bellic can be selected as a parent, along with Claude and Misty from Grand Theft Auto III. Furthermore, if the player has a Rockstar Games Social Club account, John Marston, the protagonist from Rockstar-made Red Dead Redemption, becomes a potential father option.
The enhanced version of GTA Online for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, features a much bigger and in-depth variety of customization options, and players who have transferred their characters from the previous gen (or from the Xbox One/PlayStation 4 in the case of the PC) will have the chance to customize their character again.
Once confirmed, the player's appearance cannot be modified, although characters can be further customized in-game by purchasing clothing, tattoos, haircuts and masks from shops around Los Santos; such items can be continually changed or removed as many times as the player desires. As well as appearance, players can also select their character's typical daily activities, which will affect his/her initial skills. Players can currently create two characters (three other character slots are locked and cannot be accessed at this time) if they so choose, and any money stored in a bank account will be shared across all characters (although money in the character's pocket and RP do not carry over). The player can also selected different actions to be performed by their characters, they can be used during Free Roam and before and after any of the competitive matches.
When speaking into a microphone, the player's character's mouth will move. However, they are generally regarded as mute by non-playable characters. For instance, Trevor often refers to the player as, "My favourite mute." Based on a quote from Brucie Kibbutz, it is implied that if the player calls someone then exits the call, he/she doesn't say anything, but rather simply breathes heavily into the phone. Similar comments are made about the player from Agent 14 during The Humane Lab Raid.
Money and Lifestyle
- See also: Safehouses in GTA Online
Money along with RP is the core basis for the GTA Online economy. Players can purchase almost any item in game including apartments, garages, clothes, cars, aircraft and more. With regular updates to Online these options will continue to change and evolve over time. Money is also required to launch jobs.
Money is earned through most activities in the game: Performing missions, convenience store robberies, selling cars, surviving/killing bounties, completing heists, and more. Rockstar also offers players the option to purchase in game cash using real life money in the form of Shark Cards.
Using their cash players can purchase garages and apartments that allows players to store purchased vehicles. These cars known as personal vehicles can then be used in Free Mode, race modes and in missions. Although the player is able to steal cars and turn them into personal vehicles, high end vehicles must be purchased through Legendary Motorsport website.
Properties come in four classes - Garages, ranging from $25k-$100k+, Low-end apartments, ranging from $80k-$120k, Mid-range apartments, varying from $125,000-$150,000, and High-end apartments, ranging from $205k-$400k. High-end apartments include a 10-car garage, the most expensive apartment is the Eclipse Towers Apartment 3 at $500,000, although it is worth noting that all $205k+ apartments have the same interior, and it is the view and location that add the most value. Rockstar has since added $400,000-$500,000 apartments, all of which have a redesigned interior. Since The High Life Update, players are able to own up to two properties, and since the Festive Surprise players can now own a third property. GTA Online: Lowriders features a fourth property slot, but exclusive to the enhanced version players. GTA Online: Executives and Other Criminals allows players to customize high-end apartments and mansions and yachts are available for purchase, albeit for the enhanced version players only.
The game implements the Rockstar Games Social Club's crew system with two types of crews. Private crews are mainly aimed at a group of friends or associates to play online together and can hold as many as 1,000 people. Public crews are much larger and can have unlimited members. The use of crews and teamwork is heavily encouraged by Rockstar, as the player receives more money in races depending on how many players are in the game, also, the player receives a 10% bonus to RP for playing with friends and 20% for playing with crew members. On top of this, many missions (particularly from Lester and Martin) involve the use of teamwork to succeed. The crew system in GTA Online also encourages customization and personalization, with the addition of crew emblems that can be placed on vehicles and crew colors.
There are approximately 500 jobs in GTA Online and even more are added as part of DLCs. Jobs can be encountered in many ways, including stumbling on them on the map, calling or receiving a phone call from an NPC, or choosing one of the menu. Races can be entered with modded personal vehicles. Players can also create their own race tracks and deathmatches using the Content Creator.
Missions are received from various characters most of which are present in GTA V. Trevor Philips is the only of the three central characters to appear in GTA Online, however Lester, Martin Madrazo, Lamar Davis and Ron also make appearances.
In mission lobbies the player can scroll through a list of players in the current lobby, or invite friends to join. While scrolling, a menu shows up showcasing the highlighted players Driving, Shooting, Flying, Sneaking, and Stamina skills.
Many new things can be done with vehicles in GTA Online. As stated before, cars can be locked to prevent them being stolen, and the player can also buy car insurance just in case their car is stolen during free roam, destroyed, or lost. Once a player has insurance, the car can get destroyed an infinite number of times without ever needing to renew the insurance. However, high-end vehicles which have a retail value over $100,000 can be stolen and driven in-game but cannot be made into Personal Vehicles, nor can they be sold or modified at Los Santos Customs (they must be bought legitimately).
- If the player remains idle for fifteen minutes they will be kicked from the online session. An on-screen message after two minutes of inactivity will warn players of this. The timer will beep for the final 10 seconds before the player is kicked out.
- However, the time will be reduced to a minute and 30 seconds if they idle with their dashboard opened.
- Grand Theft Auto Online introduced a new feature called Passive Mode, which allows the player to roam around on foot without being killed by another player. Players in Passive Mode cannot be targeted by another player, though the Passive player cannot use their own weapons. If a player is killed whilst they are in Passive Mode, the other player has to pay the Passive player's hospital bills. On PS3 and Xbox 360, Passive Mode is deactivated once the player enters a vehicle. Enhanced passive mode was introduced in PC, Xbox One, and PS4 where players will be ghosted to other players.
- The Heists Update introduced the Daily Objectives, a feature that is presented in the form of 3 different objectives that must be completed each day (in real life). The player is rewarded with Cash and RP points. Completing this objectives periodically allows the player to obtain bigger rewards.
- Awards are challenges that once completed can reward the player with in-game items, such as T-Shirts, tattoos and chrome wheels.
- The Text Chat and the Team Chat are features in GTA Online, exclusive for the PC Version. They are accessible by Pressing T (for Global Text Chat) and Y (for Team Chat) by default.
Social ClubLike in Max Payne 3, players can form Crews using the Rockstar Games Social Club. As a reward for signing up to the Social Club, a free Sawed-off Shotgun will be available to acquire from Ammu-Nation, as well as the Elegy RH8 from the Legendary Motorsport website.
Players can be in up to 5 crews at one time and perform Heists and other activities together. When players form Crews in GTA Online they can be identified via the crew colour, which would cover half of the outside of their white marker, there is a new Hierarchy system to set ranks amongst players.
Downloadable Content (DLC)
Rockstar operates a continual update program for Grand Theft Auto Online, periodically releasing free content updates that introduce new features, vehicles, weapons and game modes into the game. Several of these updates, particularly themed updates based around a particular holiday or significant date, have been time-limited updates that are automatically rendered unavailable again after the update period has expired.
Events are periodic occasions in which discounts and bonuses are typically offered in Grand Theft Auto Online.
Events first appeared after the release of the Ill-Gotten Gains Part 2 update and soon became a fundamental part of GTA Online in the enhanced release of the game, particularly when content updates for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game were discontinued.
During events, prices of existing content, new and old, are often cut, usually by 25%. As well as this, Double GTA$ and RP is usually awarded on certain game modes. As well as weekly occurrences, events are also prominent in re-releasing exclusive content, mainly during national holidays. Occasionally, major special events are hosted to celebrate the upcoming release of an update, or a major part of GTA Online, or even real-world history.
Grand Theft Auto Online received mixed-to-positive critical reception. The game currently holds 77/100 on Metacritic, based on seven reviews, and 76-78/100 on GameRankings based on four reviews as well.  Most critics so far have praised the game for its potential, but criticized its technical problems and limited early content.
GRYOnline.pl awarded Online with a positive 7.5/10, declaring that "the fun is tremendous", but saying that the game's potential is "not fully realized". GameSpot's Carolyn Petit gave Online a 7/10, praising the freedom, but criticizing the game's technical problems, concluding "the unpredictable human element is both an asset and a liability, and the technical problems that have plagued it are far too significant to be ignored. But when it clicks, as it often does, there's nothing quite like GTA Online". Destructoid's Chris Carter also gave the game a 7/10, calling it "one most fun online games [he has] ever played", while criticizing the game's messy launch and glitches. Carter concluded that "one day GTA Online will reach its true potential with a massive map creation tool and more playable content than pretty much every genre outside of MMOs -- of this [he has] no doubt, given how deep Rockstar's coffers are. But for now, it's best to tread lightly until all of the kinks are worked out."
As of 2017, reviews for Grand Theft Auto Online have generally improved greatly since its initial release, with IGN claiming that "Launching on five platforms certainly helps" but the major reason GTA Online has since improved is because "Over the past four years GTA Online has grown from a straightforward assortment of missions, races, and activities reminiscent of GTA V’s acclaimed and effective single-player, to a bulging criminal empire sim that takes inspiration from everywhere – from the likes of Micro Machines to Fast & Furious 6, and everything in between." IGN also referenced videos of all the latest DLC trailers, including the Smuggler's Run trailer, Cunning Stunts trailer and Heists Update trailer.. Despite critics on initial release, GTA Online was rated "Best Multiplayer Game" with the Golden Joystick Awards.
The multiplayer killfeed uses a variety of messages to indicate the death of players in gameplay, which follow a basic "Player1 <term> Player2" format.
|Cause(s) of death||Term(s)|
|Killed by NPC, environmental hazard, smoking, car crash, drowning||died|
|Falling, killed by own explosives, in a vehicle when it explodes from hard impact||committed suicide|
|"Kill yourself" option in Interaction Menu||took the easy way out|
|Vehicle-mounted weapons, other deaths||killed|
|Sharp melee weapons||knifed / stabbed / eviscerated|
|Blunt melee weapons, Fist, gun melee attack||melee killed / whacked / executed / beat down / murdered / battered|
|Assault Rifles||ended / rifled / shot down / floored|
|SMGs||riddled / drilled / machine gunned / submachine gunned / ruined|
|Sticky Bomb, Grenade, Proximity Mines, Pipe Bomb||bombed / detonated / blew up|
|RPG, Grenade Launcher, Homing Launcher, exploding barrels/jet cannons/tanks/vehicles||killed/ exploded / obliterated / destroyed / erased / annihilated/ blew up|
|Minigun||owned / ripped apart / torn apart / wiped out / shredded|
|Shotguns||devastated / pulverized / shotgunned|
|Sniper Rifles||sniped / picked off / scoped|
|Pistols||pistoled / blasted / plugged / bust a cap in|
|MG, Combat MG, Combat MG Mk II||machine gunned / sprayed|
|Vehicle hit-and-run||flattened / ran over / ran down|
|Helicopter or plane blades||mowed down / chopped up|
If a player is reported by enough players or is discovered to be using a mod menu by Rockstar's anti-cheat systems, there is a chance that they may be banned from GTA Online. With each ban, the player's characters are completely reset back to Level 0, deleting all progress they had in the game. All vehicles, properties, businesses and stats are also reset. All money is also reset, minus any Shark Cards (they are deposited into the player's bank).
The first time a player is banned, the banning period is 30 days. The second ban is permanent.
Before October 2016, a player could receive a first ban of 14 days, the second one of 30 days, and the third one being permanent. Players did not lose all their progress, only losing their illegitimate funds.
This feature is arguably one of the more controversial features of GTA Online, since some players claimed to be banned innocently for using programs that hook an overlay (for example, Skype). This also includes hackers being able to easily evade bans whereas other, non-hacking players, were banned with viable evidence often being turned down.
- When the player is on the plane arriving in Los Santos during the introduction, other players' characters can be seen in the plane as well.
- No animals physically appear in GTA Online, but animals such as birds and dogs can be heard in the background.
- Although GTA Online takes place before the events of Grand Theft Auto V, some Internet pages mention events that happen during the story, and the Fame or Shame finale can be seen on TV. The Meltdown film also be viewed in some theaters as well. This is likely either a developer oversight or an attempt to increase the amount of content in GTA Online.
- In the mission Mole Hunt, Agent 14 says "Yeah, it's 2017, I can't believe it either." This indicates that GTA Online's setting continues to the present day.
- This creates many anachronisms if GTA Online extends to 2017 as Jay Norris and Molly Schultz are still alive in GTA Online: Import/Export, and Merryweather is still operating in 2017 although in 2013 Merryweather loses clearance to operate on American soil and is forced to shut down several operations.
- Also, the O'Neil farm is still standing despite being destroyed during Crystal Maze in the main game.
- In the mission Mole Hunt, Agent 14 says "Yeah, it's 2017, I can't believe it either." This indicates that GTA Online's setting continues to the present day.
- Grand Theft Auto Online serves as a prequel to Grand Theft Auto V due to the fact the game came out after the story mode and takes place before it as well. Prominent examples showing Online is a prequel mainly occur in the Heists Update, as Trevor doesn't seem to know who the O'Neil Brothers are, the Protagonist has to help Chef set up his meth lab in the shop, Trevor starts his rivalry with the Lost MC by having the Protagonist steal their supply, the Vagos are still situated in Sandy Shores and Simeon is still running his business in Los Santos.
- Although as mentioned earlier, this would create several continuity errors if the events of GTA Online continue to the present day and these missions could be done anytime. This is true as it was officially revealed in the mission Mole Hunt.
- The majority of Contact Missions (such as Docks to Stock II, American Exports, Pickup Sticks, ATV Steal, Truck Together, A Boat in the Bay and Chemical Extraction) were removed for next-gen for unexplained reasons.
- Originally, "Online" in the Grand Theft Auto Online used the Pricedown font, as opposed to the custom font used in the final verison.
- In the enhanced version, attempting to steal any DLC-related vehicle found in traffic will automatically kick the player out, locking the vehicle in the process to prevent the player from gaining access to it. However, certain vehicles such as the Pigalle, the Dukes and the Panto can still be driven, but cannot be kept or modified at all.
- ↑ http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/grand-theft-auto-online/critic-reviews
- ↑ http://www.gamerankings.com/xbox360/733724-grand-theft-auto-online/index.html
- ↑ http://www.gry-online.pl/S020.asp?ID=9297
- ↑ http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/grand-theft-auto-online-review/1900-6415473/
- ↑ http://www.destructoid.com/review-grand-theft-auto-online-262832.phtml
- ↑ http://uk.ign.com/articles/2017/10/23/gta-online-from-near-failure-to-grand-success
- ↑ Games Radar: http://www.gamesradar.com/golden-joysticks-all-winners-year/
- ↑ Wikipedia: Golden Joystick Wards: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Joystick_Awards#cite_ref-Golden_Joystick_2015_38-11
- ↑ Digtal Spy: http://www.digitalspy.com/gaming/golden-joystick-awards/news/a665921/golden-joystick-awards-2015-voting-now-open-to-the-public/