GTA Online is the multiplayer component of Grand Theft Auto V, which is also known as Grand Theft Auto 5 or GTA 5. Set in the city of Los Santos, developer Rockstar's open world originally released on the PlayStation 3 in 2013, before being ported to the PS4 in 2014. A next-gen PS5 version is scheduled to release on 11th November, 2021. We awarded the game a 9/10 in our GTA 5 PS4 review, describing it as a "stellar creation".
In this GTA Online guide, we're going to share where to start in this epic online sandbox, including plenty of tips and tricks for beginners. Throughout this page we'll show you How to Make Money and how to spend it with the Best Cars and Vehicles to Buy and Best Weapons. We'll also take you on a tour of First Things to Do in Los Santos.
You'll also find answers to other frequently asked questions, like How to Become a CEO, the Best MC Businesses to Buy, and How to Make Millions with the Cayo Perico Heist. Read on for a full crash course on one of the largest and most varied multiplayer games on the market, including how to build a criminal empire and write your name in Los Santos legend. And if you're looking for more Grand Theft Auto, then check out our GTA Trilogy guide.
GTA Online Guide: Where to Start
GTA Online is a dense and rewarding experience, but it can also be overwhelming. Rockstar has spent years adding new content to Los Santos, and it can be hard to know where to start. The easy answer to this question is to simply experiment and see what takes your fancy, but new players are often looking for a little more guidance than that.
Fortunately, our GTA Online guide can help. In this section of the guide, we're going to introduce you to a couple of pages that will help you figure out where to start once you've arrived at Los Santos International Airport. We'd recommend you complete all of the tutorial missions to get a feel for the basics of the gameplay, and then click through the pages below.
- GTA Online: First Things to Do in Los Santos: This guide acts as tourist information for new GTA Online players. In it you'll find a list of the hottest destinations in Los Santos, which will help to familiarise you with all of the things you can do in the game.
- GTA Online: How to Make Money: If you're looking for a more authored introduction to GTA Online, then this guide will show you how you can go from penniless to penthouse. This guide includes checklists and achievable tasks, which will not only help you to see the wealth of activities that the game has to offer, but will also help you to make lots of money along the way.
GTA Online Guide: Money
Money makes the world go round in Los Santos, and if you want to do anything in GTA Online then you're going to need to know How to Make Money. You'll be using your hard-earned GTA$ to buy and upgrade your Businesses, launch Heists, and even splash out on nice things, like the Best Cars and Vehicles to Buy.
For the next part of our GTA Online guide, we're going to introduce the concepts that will make you a millionaire. Whether you're a long-time player looking to maximise your profits or a newcomer trying to write your very own rags to riches tale in the Land of the Free, we'll have your bank balance bulging in no time.
GTA Online Guide: Businesses
Running an underground business empire is one of the most rewarding things you can do in GTA Online, and it's the answer to one of the game's most common questions: How to Make Money. There are 12 Businesses you can own and manage in Los Santos. They are:
- Document Forgery Offices
- Weed Farms
- Counterfeit Cash Factories
- Methamphetamine Labs
- Cocaine Lockups
- Special Cargo Warehouses
- Vehicle Cargo Warehouses
- Auto Shops
For this next part of our GTA Online guide, we're going to explain how to get rich with all of the Businesses in Los Santos. We're going to introduce the basic concepts of management, explain how to maximise profit with each organisation, and how best to expand and upgrade your criminal industry.
All Business Guides
- GTA Online: Best MC Businesses to Buy
- GTA Online: Best Nightclub to Buy
- GTA Online: How to Get Rich with Warehouse Management at the Nightclub
- GTA Online: Best Office to Buy
- GTA Online: How to Get Rich with Vehicle Cargo and Special Cargo at the Office
- GTA Online: Best Bunker to Buy and How to Get Rich from Gunrunning
- GTA Online: Best Hangar to Buy and How to Get Rich from Smuggling
- GTA Online: Best Arcade to Buy and How to Start the Diamond Casino Heist
- GTA Online: Best Auto Shop to Buy
GTA Online Guide: Heists
Heists are one of the tentpole activities in GTA Online, allowing you to host and complete multi-tiered missions with friends and strangers which conclude in enormous paydays. Rockstar has released four types of Heist in GTA Online to date: Heists, the Doomsday Heist, the Diamond Casino Heist, and the Cayo Perico Heist.
In this part of our GTA Online guide, we're going to introduce some tips, strategies, and general advice for starting the various Heists and succeeding at them. Remember, that while most of the Heists on this list will require multiple players, the Cayo Perico Heist can be completed entirely alone.
Cayo Perico Heist
- GTA Online: How to Start the Cayo Perico Heist
- GTA Online: How to Make Millions with the Cayo Perico Heist
Diamond Casino Heist
GTA Online: Buyer's Guide
We've already explained How to Make Money in our GTA Online guide, but with so much content in the game, you're probably going to need help spending it as well. Between the likes of Warstock Cache & Carry and Legendary Motorsports, there are hundreds of items all vying for your hard-earned GTA$, and that's before you even factor in the likes of Southern San Andreas Super Autos and the dreaded Dock Tease.
It's important to remember to have fun, so you shouldn't worry too much about buying things that aren't meta unless you're actively trying to save money. However, in this section of the page we're going to recommend some of the Best Cars and Vehicles to Buy as well as the Best Weapons and much more.
GTA Online Guide: FAQs
GTA Online is a needlessly complicated game, and Rockstar doesn't always do a particularly great job of explaining how certain systems work. As part of our GTA Online guide, then, we're going to answer some FAQs that should hopefully help you to understand some of the title's more head-scratching mechanics.
- GTA Online: How to Avoid Griefers
- GTA Online: How to Mute Players
- GTA Online: How to Become a CEO
- GTA Online: How to Become a Motorcycle Club President
- GTA Online: How to Sell Cars
- GTA Online: How to Customise Your Radio
GTA Online Guide: Miscellaneous
In this part of our GTA Online guide, we're going to include any other miscellaneous information that may help you while you're exploring Los Santos. We've also included a handful of guides to GTA 5's single player in this section.
- GTA 5: All PS5 vs PS4 Differences
- GTA 5 Cheats: All Cheat Codes in Grand Theft Auto 5
- GTA 5 Money: How to Master the Stock Market and Buy Everything in the Game
Los Santos Tuners
- GTA Online: How to Find the LS Car Meet and Become a Member
- GTA Online: All CircoLoco Records USB Sticks Locations
- GTA Online: All Shipwrecks Locations
GTA Online Guide: Tips and Tricks for Beginners
We hope that our GTA Online guide has already introduced some of the game's more complex mechanics and systems to you. However, there are also a number of basics that newcomers should digest and always keep in mind while playing.
Familiarise Yourself with the Interaction Menu
The Interaction Menu is, effectively, Rockstar adding hundreds of additional buttons to your DualSense or DualShock 4 controller. It's not the most elegant solution, but you need to get to grips with it if you plan to do anything in GTA Online. Not only will you need the Interaction Menu to learn How to Become a CEO but it's also where you'll be able to Request Personal Vehicles, see your Daily Objectives, and even set Waypoints. You can access the Interaction Menu by holding down the touchpad, and you should spend some time familiarising yourself with all of its features and functions before you do anything else in GTA Online.
Eat Snacks to Recover
Almost all GTA Online players rue teammates who don't eat Snacks, especially during Heists. But to be fair, Rockstar is to blame here: it doesn't really introduce the concept very well. As you'll probably already know, if you take damage in GTA 5 then you'll only heal back to halfway. In order to fully recover your health, access the Interaction Menu by holding down the touchpad and select Inventory > Snacks. You can purchase Snacks from shops around Los Santos, but some locations like the Office and Auto Shop actually provide you with free supplies.
Don't Get Caught in the Grind
It's all too easy in GTA Online to slip into a routine, like the ones described in our How to Make Money guide, and end up hating the game. While it's fun to earn lots of money in Los Santos, it's always worth reminding yourself why you're doing it: to have fun. So, if you're not having fun running the Cayo Perico Heist over and over or managing your Businesses, find a way to keep things fresh. Sure, not everything you do in Los Santos will pay you the big bucks, but maybe there are activities or goals in the GTA Online Weekly Update that you'd prefer to be doing right now. Time is money, yes, but that doesn't mean every waking moment you spend playing should be focused on inflating your bank balance.
More Fun with Friends
Rockstar appears to have acknowledged that a significant number of GTA Online players are enjoying playing the game solo, and that's great. However, it's worth being social sometimes. The vast majority of the game's content is designed around two or more players, and it can be especially entertaining with friends, especially when you're completing Heists and working towards a common goal from opposite ends of the map. The secret to GTA Online's enduring success is that there's nothing else quite like it, and while it comes with many frustrations, sharing special moments with friends is one of the highlights here.
And that just about concludes our GTA Online guide. We sincerely hope you've found the information within useful, but if you're still struggling to get to grips with Rockstar's social sandbox, be sure to drop any further questions or comments you have below.