GTA Online guide and info to get started

Rockstar has confirmed that Grand Theft Auto Online will launch at 12.00 p.m. BST today.

The full online companion to Grand Theft Auto V is accessible with all copies of the critically-acclaimed crime opus, and requires a small downloadable Title Update via PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE to get you started.

Once you’ve installed this, you can jump seamlessly into the action by hitting the bottom slot on the GTA V character wheel.

GTA Online takes place a few months before the exploits of Franklin, Michael and Trevor depicted in GTA V’s main campaign.

Of course, treachery, thievery and general mayhem are intrinsically linked to GTA, but Rockstar has taken steps to ensure you avoid such shenanigans if you wish. These come in the shape of house party invitations, which are designed with a friendly, social environment in mind. Here, you and your friends can visit each other’s pads without the worry of them being ransacked by opposing forces. If you are invited to someone’s house, it is considered a friendly visit, hence you won’t be able to pinch their hard-earned motors or shoot up the place.

Much like any large-scale multiplayer component, GTA Online is expected to encounter various teething issues during its infancy. As such, Rockstar has asked that gamers help identify issues to help them tweak the game to ensure it is as fair and balanced as possible.

Rockstar also made a point of highlighting any concerns regarding the GTA$ system. All gamers must rank up using Reputation Points (RP) in order to gain access to the biggest and best items, so going on a mass spending spree won’t give you a major advantage over those who opt not to splash their cash. Simply put, Rockstar says players must “earn your stripes and play to unlock access to the aspirational clothes, guns and other items.”

GTA Online is a long-term investment, so expect heaps of jobs to indulge in over time with fresh content added on a regular basis. Instrumental in elongating the game’s appeal will be the ability to craft your own content, thanks to the custom Race and Deathmatch Jobs via the Content Creator tool. Rockstar says this will be released this fall, so expect it out any time now.

Speaking of customization, the ability to create your own avatar to populate GTA Online’s sprawling open world is just as comprehensive as you’d expect. Players pick a gender, select their parents, and even give one of them generic dominance or leave them evenly matched.

You can determine how your character appears and what starting stats they are equipped with, by tweaking lifestyle variables. Everything from how much partying they do, how much honest/illegal workload they take on, how much sleep they get and more will shape the overall outcome of your GTA Online character.

Are you gearing up for GTA Online today? Or are you skipping out on Rockstar’s efforts to take its crime series to the next level in terms of online gaming? Let us know in the comments section below.