Grand Theft Auto Online (2016-present)

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Grand Theft Auto Online
"And people say I'm a disgrace to society?"
Franklin Clinton
Genre(s): Action-adventure
Platform(s): PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 5
Xbox Series X/S
Release date: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
October 1, 2013
PlayStation 4, Xbox One
November 18, 2014
Microsoft Windows
April 14, 2015
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
March 2022
Engine: RAGE
Developer(s): Rockstar North
Publisher(s): Rockstar Games
Made in: United Kingdom
Franchise: Grand Theft Auto

Grand Theft Auto Online (commonly referred as GTA Online) is an online action-adventure game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It is the online component of a 2013 game Grand Theft Auto V set within the fictional state of San Andreas.

Bad Qualities

  1. The mode is infested with microtransactions known as "Shark Cards", despite being a (formerly) full-priced game.
    • The Shark Cards are overpriced and not worth it, examples:
      • Red Shark Card ($3): one of the cheapest of them and grants just $100,000; most of the weapons including attachments are very expensive. The Special Carbine costs $14,750 and all of its upgrades costs $119,850, meaning all of this cost $134,600 just for one weapon, making this Shark Card completely useless.
      • Tiger Shark Card ($5): worth $200,000, and similar to the Red Shark Card, nearly everything in this game is overpriced, so again, it's useless.
      • Bull Shark Card ($10): worth $500,000, that would be the same price of a single Turismo R, a car that is not even in the top half fastest supercars.
      • Great White Shark Card ($20): worth $1,250,000. This one can get you something, but only for anything that's cheap.
      • Whale Shark Card ($50): worth $3,500,000, and while it is the second most valuable Shark Card in the game, if you buy two of them, it grants only $7,000,000, and even worse, it costs $100 to buy two of them.
      • Megalodon Shark Card ($100): the most expensive Shark Card of the game, granting $8,000,000; this Shark Card is an infamous cash-grab due the overpriced content in the game. Adding insult to injury, you can only buy a Oppressor and a Oppressor Mk II or a Oppressor Mk II with a Deluxo plus a Bull Shark Card and a Tiger Shark Card, that would cost $112, on a mode that was intended to be played only on a (formerly) full-priced $60 game.
      • The fact that you have to conform to society and spend money to acquire items in Grand Theft Auto, a game that is all about defying the system and robbing/killing your way to the top is simply baffling.
      • The worst part about this is that you can literally go to a site like Eneba (Basically a gaming Marketplace like G2A, albeit much safer to use), and you can literally get the Megalodon Shark Card for at least 30€ (PC), saving you a whopping 70€. That means there is no reason to buy them from Rockstar's store at all!
  2. It ruined any possible chances of single-player DLC, as Rockstar only cares about this mode and added no new single-player content for years.
    • This was even more insulting because content from this mode was being added to single-player until the Lowriders update.
    • Further insult to injury, Rockstar had promised single-player content in the Heists announcement, despite the fact that there isn't any new content.
    • Because of this, most of the cars returning from GTA IV are completely Online exclusive.
  3. The enemy AI is really difficult and broken compared to the base single-player game, as they are insanely overpowered, have extreme amounts of health (forcing you to go for Headshots exclusively), laser-perfect accuracy, and can kill you in just a few shots.
    • A Reddit video clip[1] showed that the enemy's AI can kill you from miles away in less than 2 seconds.
    • Unlike in Story Mode, where the player can be busted by cops and only start being fired upon at a two-star wanted level, you immediately come under fire from cops on being wanted in Online, since the Busting mechanic is actually absent. Also, nearly half of all cops in the game that spawn in cars wield pump-action shotguns.
  4. Many weapons and vehicles copy Saints Row[2], even though futuristic elements have no place in the GTA universe, and past games made this work much better to boot. Even the official Saints Row Twitter account noticed this! [3]
    • The Doomsday Heist update in particular was very guilty of forcing futuristic elements in. While the return of the jet pack from San Andreas is acceptable for most players. The inclusion of the infamous Deluxo (a flying DeLorean DMC-12 that shoots missiles), and a plot that involves saving the world from an evil Elon Musk, his super A.I. and an army of clones and stealth cyborgs is simply too outlandish for game that is supposed to be about being a street criminal.
  5. Speaking of the vehicles, some of them are extremely overpowered and abused by tryhards and griefers, most notably the Hydra/P-996 LAZER, the Deluxo the Oppressor and its infamous Mk II version.
  6. The pop-in messages can be annoying at times, as the characters constantly calling you for no reason.
  7. Many missions can be broken, such as the Diamond Casino Heist. Regardless of the approach you take, after you exit from the building, there is a chance that the game will soft-lock with an infinite loading screen, preventing you from progressing.
  8. Being a CEO, VIP or MC President, while profitable, is a pain on public servers. Players are rewarded for destroying or hijacking shipments. This is not helped by the large number of tryhards and griefers in the community.
  9. New players will constantly get phone calls and notifications begging them to buy properties or service vehicles even if they can't afford them.
  10. There are tons of generic missions like Racing (excluding some variations of it) and Deathmatch, that almost nobody plays due to low payouts.
  11. The AI-controlled armed aircraft are obvious examples of artificial difficulty; they can fire their aircraft machineguns or miniguns in any direction without having to point their guns at you, which can be annoying if an AI Savage uses its explosive minigun and can hit even if a player is directly behind it. This is not possible with player-controllable Savages.
  12. If you start selling products (regardless if you're a CEO, VIP or MC President) on Public Lobbies, there will be a high risk that your Cargo or Product will be destroyed by toxic cargo griefers, that mostly are often flying on an Oppressor MK II (unless if you have a friend to be a VIP and work with you in selling the Cargo). And if they destroy your Cargo or Product successfully, they will only get $2,000 and that's it.
  13. The game is a huge grindfest. Many missions give very little money, even with the multiplied rewards that change every week. Further aggravating this issue are the multitude of paywalls present in the game, to unlock overpowered vehicles such as the Oppressor MK II for instance, you have to buy the Bunker or Nightclub, Mobile Operations Center or Terrorbyte, and purchase the Vehicle Workbench (both of which can set you back millions of dollars) and do research, which can take up to five hours just to complete one project. And to make matter worse, you can't even choose what to research, because it is based around RNG (Random Number Generator)!
    • For some reason, even content available in single player costs much more to purchase online. For instance, buying a suppressor for your Micro Uzi SMG costs $1,937 in single player, yet in online it costs $12,150.
    • To make matters worse, you can't do CEO/MC missions on Invite Only, Solo, Friends, or Crew sessions; any and all sales that involve sales of Cargo, Nightclub, any MC businesses, Gunrunning and Aircraft sales has to be done in Public sessions only, which can then make you a target for griefers because the developers don't want their players earning profit the safe way. Ever. Unless you can do so on PC, you can't do so on next-gen consoles and its mostly reliant on luck.
  14. Properties and various vehicles are insanely overpriced. Every property (such as Hangars, Facilities, Night Clubs, etc) and vehicles, such as the Oppressors, Deluxo, Scramjet and Avenger added in each new update can cost up to millions of dollars in-game, forcing you to either grind for days or simply buy Shark Cards.
    • There's also the idea that the player has to pay bills like utilities, which is outright nonsensical. Why do I have to pay bills in a video game about robbery and car theft? While the prices in the beginning may be tolerable, once you've acquired a decent number of properties it becomes outright ludicrous. To the point where you'll be charged more than $40,000 every 48 minutes (one in-game day).
    • Some of the vehicle prices make absolutely no sense. For example, the Beater Dukes (1969 Dodge Charger R/T) costs $378,000, while the standard Dukes costs $62,000. Isn't the whole purpose of a "beater" car to be cheaper than the "clean" model?
  15. The Diamond Casino & Resort update was a complete disaster (excluding The Diamond Casino Heist), as it added a literal gambling system that you could spend chips on, with the ability to get more chips with real money. This led to the update being blocked in more than 50 countries[4] and is held as one of the worst offenders of predatory monetization tactics by AAA companies, alongside with the other atrocity that done this, the atrocity said being NBA 2K20 and 2K21.
  16. Many things available in Story Mode, like the ability to buy and sell stock from BAWSAQ, are unavailable online.
  17. Some of the new updates don't fit in or outright contradict the continuity of the series and they even ruined the HD Universe's canon. That's because apparently, Rockstar decided to make GTA Online not only take place before the Story Mode (note that the Story Mode is set in 2013), but also take place after it. A good example of the first update to take place after the Story is the Gunrunning update, which is slated to take place in 2017 (at the time of the update's release).
    • That's also the reason why post-2013 songs on the radio exist for certain updates (like iFruit Radio).
    • Despite being the mode set in present day with each update, the game still feels like it's set in 2013 due to Rockstar being too lazy to change the map. The Mile High Club building in Downtown Los Santos, for instance, is still left in its unfinished state.
    • In the Diamond Casino & Resort update, Trevor and Michael are revealed to be still alive (basically Option C), rendering Option A and B in the Story Mode completely pointless. This is also proven by Tao Cheng's line at the end of the third Casino mission where the player drops Tao Cheng on the Pacific Bluffs Country Club, where he recalls how Franklin killed Wei Cheng in a shootout.
  18. Businesses like Gunrunning and Motorcycle Clubs only generate products if you are in Freeroam. Playing a Job or having the game switched off prevents generating products, which is made worse by Freeroaming being mandatory for it.
  19. Rockstar discontinued content updates for the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of GTA Online less than two years after launch.
    • This was due to technical limitations of these consoles, as Rockstar had admitted the game was pushing the aging hardware to their limits and was running out of available system memory on both consoles to handle additional DLC updates. While the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions still received periodic bug fixes, these versions of GTA Online will be permanently shut down on December 16, 2021 (more information down below about in the WIS pointer 25), as the Xbox 360 was discontinued in April 2016 worldwide and the PS3 was discontinued by March 2016 in PAL regions (Europe and Australia), October 2016 in North America, and May 2017 in Japan.
    • Coincidentally, the end of content updates for the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions was also the end of official content updates for single-player, since all subsequent content updates would be Online exclusive.
  20. The "Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack" DLC is a complete joke. You only get three weapons (Marksman Rifle, Compact Rifle, Compact Grenade Launcher, all of which are impractical), ten vehicles that aren't even armored, or have weapons (with the only one being the Dune FAV, which is generally unpopular and useless since a second play is needed onboard to fire the weapons), properties that have little upgrades, and a measly $1,000,000.
    • The only useful stuff you get from the pack are the Organization office and the Clubhouse with the Counterfeit Cash business, but you still need to get other businesses to get a decent amount of money.
  21. This whole problem and its messes are later carried over to the company's next Multiplayer mode of Red Dead Online from Red Dead Redemption 2, for an example like where even their "Beta" (Early access) version looks ugly unfinished and even more disastrous.
  22. Rockstar is working on yet another version of GTA V for the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, slated to be released in March of 2022, with content updates for the PS4 and Xbox One versions of GTA Online eventually coming to a close. This is highly frustrating to fans waiting for a new installment in the GTA series.
  23. Many people got their accounts reset due to the Property Trade-In Abuse[5], and while there were people who got their account reset fairly, there were also people who got reset for no absolute reason at all. This was very poorly received by the playerbase.[6][7]
  24. Modders, with their number one purpose on online being to ruin everyone else's game. They're responsible for getting lots of fair players accounts banned or reset through various exploits. They're everywhere on the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of Online and are now slowly starting to pop up in the PS4 and Xbox One versions.
    • The security of the game got worse as the years passed on; hackers can steal your personal information, ban you with no effort at all, and even reveal your Rockstar ID. This gets even worse, as they can also find where you live, including your city, country, ISP, latitude/longitude coordinates, mobile data, proxy, region and zip code.
      • Worse yet, Rockstar almost never takes action against these hackers. Even if they're banned, they can very easily resurface by buying the same game with a different ID and continue on with their hacking endeavors, thus making Rockstar's pathetic efforts at permanently banning them all the more useless.
    • Rockstar is not concerned about this issue, unless it affects the in-game economy and their ability to make real world money from Shark Cards. Yes, they will go as far as sacrificing the privacy of players, solely for money's sake.
      • Rockstar's support is even worse since they often don't really respond to any and all issues involving players using mod menus, and no, you cannot report these kinds of players because not only can their menu detect on who are they reporting, but they can remove/block reports sent against them and even either crash the other players' game off of the session, or even kick them back off to single player.
  25. The 7th generation console servers of the game (for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) will be shutting down officially on December 16, 2021; the ability to purchase Shark Cards on these platforms ended on September 16, three months before the server sunset date. When the online servers are shut down, you will no longer available access GTA Online on these platforms, resources such as Online characters (stats via website also included) will be lost forever, the Leaderboards will be deactivated, even community-made races and DMs will be gone, by after, you can't anymore view the stat tracking page of the last-gen version, not just a sad ending to veterans or people that only play on these respective consoles, due the unbalanced content in newer versions of the game (Oppressor Mk. II and Orbital Cannon), but a freakout to achievement/trophy hunters, when the online trophies are mandatory requirements to get the platinum trophy, worse yet after Rockstar disabled the Run Like The Wind trophy, to prevent players trying to get the platinum trophy (thankfully it's possible to get by asking hackers to put a bounty on you and survive 24 in-game hours, despite having some reports of people recently getting the trophy after the patch), making impossible to get because that, the online servers of L.A. Noire and Max Payne 3 are also getting shut down.[8]
  26. As you may have gathered from reading this article the game is a griefer/troll's dream come true. As fun as the concept is, the most 'adult' game of all time has half the servers littered with racist ten year olds, try-hards who only care about their kill/death ratio, toxic mayhem players who just want to watch the world burn, players who actively try and ruin the experience for others, fake missions with the promise of millions in rewards turning out to be a deathmatch trap, purposely failing or leaving missions, if their is a way to make the game not enjoyable there's a committed fan base just waiting, eager, to do it. Even the threat of a ban or being moved to troll servers doesn't work, as they simply do not care and in the case of playing with other trolls this usually acts as briar patching, they want to be on the bad sport servers and grief the main game to get there.
  27. The PC version is an obvious cesspool of hackers and griefers alike running rampant in every server, and it makes it even worse whenever you're in an empty public session then all of a sudden, ten players pop up all at once with no intention of leaving, which then becomes a total warzone. Worse, despite that Grand Theft Auto Online is rife with hackers and Rockstar's lazy peer-to-peer nature of sessions (even by yourself) is a major lag-fest, even on the best PCs. Even though they have obviously earned billions, they simply have no intention in ever fixing their servers whatsoever.
  28. Due to their desire to defend their precious cash cow, Take Tow Interactive has even tried to interfere with the single player modding community. Such as their (thankfully failed due to massive community backlash) attempt to discontinue the OpenIV modding software, as well as when they sent private investigators to the developers of FiveM (a GTA V multiplayer service that provides custom lobbies which allows all to use mods, roleplay or take part in custom scenarios) and try to intimidate them into abandoning the project.
  29. It also doesn't help the fact that this game has "Very Positive" reviews in the Grand Theft Auto V storefront page (as seen here), and people still defend this game despite the endless, grindy nature along with Online-only content that's morbidly expensive, which presents the hostile community within Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online, which goes to show how far they're willing to go in fueling Rockstar's (and Take-Two Interactive's) greed even further.
  30. Some vehicles added in the game troughout DLC has wrong manufacturing most notably the Kuruma (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X) being manufactured by Karin (Toyota) instead of Maibatsu (Mitsubishi), both the Jester Classic (Toyota Supra JZA80) and the Jester RR (Toyota Supra JZA90) are manufactured by Dinka (Honda) instead of Karin (Toyota) and the Revolter (Cadillac Escala) being manufactured by Übermacht (BMW) instead of Albany (Cadillac).

Good Qualities

  1. The core gameplay and Jobs can be fun at times.
    • Speaking about Jobs, the game offers over 500 of them, which is quite a lot.
  2. Rockstar occasionally gives out free money for players that log into the game, or give offers that can be helpful.
    • For example, they made an offer where linking your Amazon account that has an active Prime Gaming membership with your Social Club account will give you a million GTA$. What's even better though is that by just playing the game every month, you'll also gain another million GTA$, which can be helpful in the future if you save enough.
  3. As already mentioned, you can be a CEO, VIP or MC President to help cut back on grinding. If you have enough friends, that works too.
  4. Many of the characters from Grand Theft Auto IV appear here, such as "Gay" Tony Prince and Brucie Kibbutz. Claude and Niko can also be parent characters if you have the premium version of V. Certain characters from V's story mode are also present, such as Jimmy De Santa and Lazlow.
  5. The Arcade games are awesome; some are from the previously mentioned Degenetron from Vice City.
  6. You can very easily mod the PC version of GTA V to spawn cars and weapons from GTA Online in the single player mode.
  7. The DLC updates are free.
  8. Finally, after 7 years, Rockstar made an update known as The Cayo Perico Heist, where players can now leave the main map to explore a new island and do an all new Heist. Best of all, the ability to play it Solo is available - If you could get all the necessary preps done and proceed to the heist well without any issues, it only takes a few hours to rack up several million. And yes. All of this without being plagued by trolls.
  9. Finally, thanks to GitHub user t0st for deciding to (successfully) find a way to resolve the long loading times, Rockstar has officially added the fix in the game, decreasing the times up to 70%!


At the time of the mode's release, just like its main single player component, Grand Theft Auto Online was initially met with positive reviews at release, however, it was also polarizing due to technical issues it suffered at launch, with it being criticized for having repetitive missions and the inability to play them. While the free updates that the game received start to improve the experience, it was offset by the issues mentioned above.

While Grand Theft Auto Online has the critical scores of 83/100 and 80/100 for PlayStation 3 [9] and Xbox 360[10] respectively, user reviews were much more mixed, with 5.9 and 5.8 respectively, with its 8th generation release having a slightly lower user score of 5.5 for the PlayStation 4[11] and 5.7 for the Xbox One.[12]



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