For more, check out Prima’s free GTA 5 guide.
We hope you finished Grand Theft Auto 5, because Rockstar Games plans to release the online portion tomorrow, October 1st. Grand Theft Auto Online draws inspiration from its single-player counterpart in terms of being able to explore a huge virtual world, but now you can do this with up to 15 players, or alone if you prefer. Either way, you’ll discover a wealth of features after creating your character.
First, there’s Reputation, which shares similarities to experience points you often see in role-playing games. You gain Reputation for literally everything you do in Grand Theft Auto Online. Not only does it help you rank up, but having Reputation lets you unlock new pieces to the experience, namely weapons and criminal contacts. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to play Grand Theft Auto Online as much as possible. Not that we had to remind you, of course. In all likelihood, you have plans to call out of work and spend the day piloting fighter jets and knocking over liquor stores with some buddies.
Speaking of robberies, GTA Online will present opportunities for earning dough, similar to GTA 5, whether this involves stealing from convenience store employees or turning on your friends following a heist, where you slaughter everyone and grab the money instead of doing the sensible thing and divvying up the cash; we’ve heard yelling into a microphone makes robberies go faster.
From there, you can throw this newfound wealth around, buying customizable cars, weapons, clothing and even property, as you’ll see in the trailer. It seems everyone has a chance to own an apartment high above Los Santos. You can even invite friends over to admire the view, watch TV, smoke pot or from a strategy standpoint, plan the next activity and/or heist. Being a safe house, it should give you a break from the anarchy happening on the ground, or in the air, for that matter.
Since GTA Online is free-to-play, providing you own a copy of GTA 5, Rockstar took a page from mobile gaming with the option to make in-app purchases. That said, we expect various denominations of the game’s virtual currency, which the studio simply refers to as GTA$. Unlike many iOS and Android games, however, Rockstar says players don’t have to spend real cash to enjoy everything this experience has to offer. Of course, it will probably take a bit longer to earn everything, and we suggest depositing money into an ATM at all times to limit the amount others may rob from you.
You also have the ability to join private or public Crews. In addition to having a sense of camaraderie, being in a Crew lets you compete in Deathmatch and Gang Wars game types with the goal of gaining experience.
This is more than a simple gang, though. Sure, you can create or join a bunch of lawless thugs, but there’s actually a Crew hierarchy. Rockstar explained each tier, so now you can figure out which is the best fit. Keep in mind you’ll need to join Rockstar’s Social Club to access Crews.
The Crew hierarchy includes:
Commissioners: The Crew’s most trusted member(s) – that essential right-hand man or woman that the Leader relies on for Vice Presidential advisement and executive action. Commissioners have the power to manage and administrate all aspects of the Crew on behalf of the Leader, including the ability to promote members internally or invite new members in.
Lieutenants: Made members with specific privileges to keep the Crew in check and hand out promotions or demotions amongst sub-ordinate ranks. Crew Representatives and the mob of Muscle would be wise to keep their Lieutenants (and above) sweet.
Representatives: A tier of Crew members who have shown and proved their commitment to the clique – whether with ace performance in competitive modes, or just by rocking their Crew’s emblem faithfully since day one. Crew Leaders can assign these special players as Representatives who will have basic permissions to aid recruitment efforts.
Muscle: The rank-and-file mob of Crewmembers who are happy to play their position of causing some havoc Online, doing their Crew’s emblem justice and fighting for its good name. Muscle-level members may not have nor want any administrative power but they’re often the heart and soul of what makes your Crew fearsome. Ambitious Muscle who are looking to prove themselves to the Crew Leader and rise up the ranks may even prove a threat to their Crew superiors, if any are deemed to be slacking on their responsibilities or performance.
Beyond that, what’s especially intriguing about GTA Online is the sheer wealth of activities. Not everything involves shooting people and causing incredible amounts of damage. You can in fact grab a BMX bike and explore at your own pace. You can even watch an in-game movie.
In addition, various racing options are available. Race boats, cars, ATVs and planes. If you enjoy co-op, take part in Rally races where both you and a co-pilot attempt to make it through challenging terrain, and that scratches the surface of the different sporting activities, with golf, base jumping and tennis within reach; get a head start with these golf and tennis tips.
Perhaps the best thing about GTA Online is the fact that it will continue to evolve over the next few months and perhaps years. Rockstar already revealed four content packs set to debut in the near future. Among them, a Content Creator that allows users to create and share their own competitions (be it racing or deathmatches); a Beach Bum Pack with four vehicles, two new weapons and over 300 items; Capture the Flag, which also works with the Content Creator; and finally, Competitive Heist Missions.
Taking this into account, Grand Theft Auto Online may become a favorite that lasts well into 2014 and beyond. With this in mind, we’ll have plenty of in-depth strategies and video right here at Prima Games.