Feature Article

Five Tips to Get You Started in GTA Online

Because wanton mayhem is always more fun with friends.

by

If you've been spending time in Los Santos over the past two weeks, you've probably become accustomed to the finer workings of Grand Theft Auto V. Good thing, too. The layout of the gameworld, the relative strengths of each weapon--all of that knowledge will come in handy when Rockstar flips the switch on GTA Online. But if you want to maximize your multiplayer success, there are a few concepts unique to GTA Online that you'll want to keep firmly in mind.

Familiarize yourself with the interaction menu

Because you're sharing the world with 15 other players, hitting the pause button in GTA Online doesn't actually pause anything. So if you pull open the overworld map while doing a buck-twenty down the freeway, you're pretty much asking for a nasty accident. Fortunately, Rockstar has a solution for this in the form of the interaction menu.

Hold select or back, and you'll get a little menu in the upper left that lets you create a quick GPS route toward common destinations such as Ammu-Nation, Los Santos Customs, and convenience stores (a great source for early-game cash). It's a handy system that lets you navigate toward specific locations quickly and easily, without ever giving up control of your vehicle or character. The interaction menu can be used for other things, like managing your inventory, but its most useful trait is quick and painless GPS routing.

Don't carry too much cash

While there is an entire leveling and stat system in GTA Online, let's be honest: cash is where the real progression happens. The more money you earn, the more properties and vehicles you can buy. That's why you may find yourself tempted to keep all that cash on you when you run around, a constant reminder of just how wealthy you've become.

Here's why that's a bad idea: you lose a significant portion of your cash when you get killed. Literally. It falls to the ground, just waiting to get snatched up by the very person responsible for your death. So do yourself a favor and stash your money away in your bank account. The ATM is your friend.

Don't turn your back on an angry shopkeeper

Early into GTA Online, one of the best ways to earn a bit of quick cash is to hold up convenience stores. Walk inside, pull out your gun, and wait for the cashier to empty out the register. Whether you shout vulgarities into your headset to speed him up is entirely your call.

While there is an entire leveling and stat system in GTA Online, let's be honest: cash is where the real progression happens.

But the score's not over when you grab the cash. These cashiers tend to pack heat and a profound sense of vengeance, so if you turn your back on them while running to the door, there's a good chance you'll get yourself killed before you even make it outside. Instead, be sure to keep your gun on the cashier as you grab the money and back out the door without ever taking your eyes off him. You could also just off the cashier the moment he hands over the cash, but that will earn you a three-star wanted level instead of the two stars you'd normally get for holding up one of these stores.

Nice guys don't always finish last

If you're struggling to earn cash early in your GTA Online career, you may find yourself tempted to begin killing other players on sight just so you can loot their dead bodies. But GTA Online will reward you for your good behavior in the form of regular cash payments. It may not earn you as much money as straight-up murdering strangers, but it's at least a consistent form of income. And there's one other benefit, too: you won't earn yourself a "bad sport" reputation. Rockstar has built a matchmaking system that makes sure jerks are matched up with other jerks, effectively banishing the worst offenders to a murderous wasteland of their own creation. Suddenly those good-behavior rewards sound pretty nice.

If you need a break, turn on passive mode

Even with the bad-sport system, you'll still run into violent jerks. It's inevitable. So if you want to spare yourself the headache of dealing with these rotten apples, or just want to sit and enjoy a nice sunset on the pier, pull open the interaction menu and enable passive mode. This feature makes you invincible to enemy gunfire so long as your own gun remains holstered. Start firing retaliation shots, and passive mode will turn itself off. Essentially, it works for as long as you're willing to resist the urge to fight back. It's a nice way to just soak up the world and avoid any confrontation. It's also handy if you need to step away from the controller for a minute. Just make sure you've got enough spare change to afford the $100 price tag required to enable passive mode.

Hopefully these tips will give you a little bit of a leg up when you're first getting started in GTA Online. If you've got any advice of your own, be sure to leave a comment below.

Discussion

706 comments
dpclark
dpclark

This game is just a big clusterfuck.   1999 graphics and a non-immersive world.  Breaking speed limits, driving over center dividers, running red lights, rampaging murder sprees.  What  a joke.  It is a cross between PlayStation Home and the SIMS - except with guns...

BigFeef
BigFeef

Passive mode is a joke as it's very easy for griefers to take you out of it. One example of this: getting into any vehicle disables passive mode until you get out. The thing is, though, is that if another player rams your vehicle or shoots at you; passive mode is now disabled. I don't know if there's a timer on it; but I was killed multiple times by some moron within the first hour of the game because of this and I wasn't able to re-enable it on respawn.

Aside from the few idiots I've ran into; the game is actually fun and most people I've met are helpful and just want to play the game doing stuff with others.

heznave
heznave

Thanks for the tips for a game that is currently unplayable. It's even more frustrating that some people seem to be able to play with no issues but I have had zero success.

mlg273
mlg273

Be patient. I believe once GTA Online gets going, it will be a lot of fun. Plus, it was free to begin with, so how can you complain that much about it? Not a lot of people out there bought this game for the online mode alone......

La8nght
La8nght

FINALLY was able to start the first mission, we will see how rewarding the online is now. Otherwise, I have the BF4 beta.

samus_my_life
samus_my_life

Dah, As long As i have ( Monster Hunter 4 ),


I don't Care " sigh " 


There's Nothing Can TAKE MH4 PLACE !!!!! 

Ilovealyssa8413
Ilovealyssa8413

1 Good tip. DO NOT BUY THIS BULLSHIT GAME IF YOU WANT TO GO ONLINE.

djnightforce9
djnightforce9

"Don't turn your back on an angry shopkeeper"

I'll have to remember that as I did not do so during the tutorial robbery but fortunately the shop keeper did not shoot back and let me run out of the store safely. What's REALLY weird is that you also trigger the hold-up even by "punching the air".

Chaftix
Chaftix

One thing i dont understand.. I was in Passive mode when inside a car, and this dude came up and shot me in the head, and poff=dead.. Is the passive mode totally disabled when in a car or what? :s

Gamerhomer
Gamerhomer

Hopes tomorrow will be a brighter day in GTAO. It does get better by the day so I have a feeling tomoz will be quite playable. Hopes!

Have a feeling it's been smooth for some people for a day and some catching up is in order.

CincoToes
CincoToes

So just do stuff to get a bunch of money, turn on passive mode, go safely to the bank. Weak sauce.

travo0159
travo0159

ive been enjoying the launching session screen for some time now, need moar functionality.

raheel134
raheel134

Match making system is the best thing they have done, all jerks face other jerks

thezenhu
thezenhu

IMO, This GTA is not as good as it could have been.  Man for five-year development, i was expecting more.  Kinda feels the same in a way as the rest. missions are restrictive and the side-missions are very childish.  I always believed Watch dogs would be y number one IP for 2013 and I believe it will.  IMO, it will crush GTA and i do not mean in sales, i mean in immersion, gameplay, mature-content over view and MP.

DeathProofDelta
DeathProofDelta

Thanks for the heads up, I'll be taking my first steps online this weekend.

elbauto
elbauto

Still asking why am I paying for Xbox Live when PSN is free...

tiduspvz
tiduspvz

ahhhh if you bought the game on playstation store can you still play online?

Dredcrumb9
Dredcrumb9

Did they release a patch for the campaign yet? id like the kill indicators to be optional like they were in Red Dead and Max Payne 3. The strobe light that flashes over the screen to notify you for each kill gave my friend a seizure and it ruins immersion for me. The X is bad enough, but I wouldn't even mind that if they took away the flash..

LADIES_MAN_2013
LADIES_MAN_2013

People are still playing GTA V? That game is like... 2 whole weeks old now. *yawn* 

Adnan Ahmed
Adnan Ahmed

LOL I was going to write the same thing

erickydullboy
erickydullboy

Any tips to get pass the "waiting for other players" curse, Shaun? 

OhWell4992
OhWell4992

Got up this morning, tried getting in and it worked but then reality hit: I have to go to work!!!

dpclark
dpclark

@BigFeef 

Griefing is more fun. GTA5 is a griefers paradise.  I'd camp on a rooftop with a sniper rifle and take out everything in sight...

pulamata
pulamata

@heznave ive been playing for two days....and let me tell you, its a BLAST!! and ive only tried a few modes.


jimbothef
jimbothef

@mlg273 Free?  You paid for it when you got GTA V.  Yeah, Rockstar claims it's a separate game, but it's GTA V's multiplayer.

Skull-Fire
Skull-Fire

@Chaftix Yeah, it's automatically disabled when you're in a vehicle. I can't remember if it comes back on when you get out though

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

@Chaftix You might have had a gun equipped or something.

When in the car you can switch between weapons with the Square button (or X on the 360) to disarm yourself.

TheRisingSon
TheRisingSon

@CincoToes Wrong, you can still die while in Passive mode if someone strikes you with a car.  So you can't just "safely go to the bank" as easily as you make it sound.

TheRisingSon
TheRisingSon

@thezenhu You're deluded.  There's nothing comparable in scope and execution to GTA V out right now.

RickPhoenix
RickPhoenix

@thezenhu It is a current gen technical triumph, and is miles ahead of anything else released this year overall. Watch Dogs will probably be good, if not great- but all other car sandbox games are just pretenders. And this is coming from a person that truly hated GTA 4 and loves Ubisoft.

Dredcrumb9
Dredcrumb9

@LADIES_MAN_2013  I'm still playing the campaign of Goldeneye on N64....12 years later and I still haven't beat Aztec on 00 agent!

LADIES_MAN_2013
LADIES_MAN_2013

@Crystal_Knee It's either November 22 or December 05 if any of the 'leaks' are to be believed.

Otherwise a 2014 release is imminent anyway.

SS4_Trunks
SS4_Trunks

@RickPhoenix @thezenhu The main reason I will take Watch Dogs over GTAV is because that kind of gameplay is not what I would want to have even the slightest bit of influence. I may get around to playing GTAV one day, but especially not around my kids. I have a darkside, but I think my heroism triumphs over all. I won't be shooting at innocent people, but I'll gun down a mofo if you come at me crazy. Especially in the name of my family. #FOE

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

@AggrandizedUser @RickPhoenix I didn't really like it because there wasn't really much to do in the game and I consider it a downgrade from gta:sa the only thing that was an upgrade was the graphics

Dasim64
Dasim64

@AggrandizedUser @RickPhoenix Not true at all. Many people, including myself loved GTA IV for what it did for the series. Improved game engine, more mature story, vastly improved car physics, incredibly detailed game world. Even things like people calling you up, which annoyed many people, were at least unique and added a feel of life to the game. The main issue people had with GTA IV was that it was such a huge departure from what they did in GTA SA and all the fans of the series wanting more of the same were disappointed. I for one was glad to see them head off in another direction and refrain from rehashing the same material just to milk the series. I also loved the Niko character and his story. And the 2 DLC's for that game were incredibly good. Overall they did a fantastic job with GTA IV.