Grand Theft Auto V has a fantastic story and tons of content to chew on, but the joys of its sandbox are best enjoyed with others. After a long two-week wait GTA Online is ready to unleash its world of fun to the masses.
With a limit of 16-players per dedicated lobby and tons of activities to do with others, along with the usual heavy dose of open-world enjoyment, GTA Online can be overwhelming at first.
See the gallery below for 15 things to do once you arrive in GTA Online:
Design your virtual character
Your first order of business will be making your custom character to use in GTA Online. Before you can choose your skin color, gender, hair, and more, you'll be given options for your character's backstory. Choices include family lineage, personality, and more which will serve as the basis for where your character begins in the game world, what default skills you have, and more.
There is a remarkably long list of options when it comes to the physical customization of your character, so take it as an opportunity to make your character personify the online character you wish to play as. Maybe you want a frightening face tattoo, or you want bright-colored hair to make you easy to spot in a pinch. The choice is yours.
Earn a reputation
Reputation is the basis for progression in GTA Online. You'll earn it by being active in the game world, and it will unlock more missions, new contacts, more powerful weapons, and other important things.
Once you've spent an hour or so in GTA Online you'll notice that reputation coincides with your character's development. As you become more notorious in the game world you'll have more purchasing power. That might mean owning more properties, having more nice cars, or just looking sharp when strolling along the streets of Los Santos.
Develop a persona
You can choose to be silly, serious, or whatever you want to be like in GTA Online. Beyond choosing what your virtual character looks like, you can also customize your heist mask, and choose a personal license plate. Would you like to be the guy who drives around in the ice cream truck with a massive afro? Or would you prefer to be the businessman in the Porsche look-alike with a license plate that reads 'MRAWESOME'? It's your choice what you want to be remembered as when playing GTA Online.
At any time while in the online portion of GTA V you can place a marker on the map to initiate a race. At that point, everyone in the lobby has time to arrive at the start location before the race begins. If you want to race dangerously through city streets, you can do that. Or, if you want to do an off-road race, you can do that, too.
When you think of racing you might immediately imagine traditional cars, but in GTA Online the sky is the limit. You can ride quads, motorcycles, jetskis, fly planes, and more. What kind of race you want to embark on is up to you and the others in your lobby.
Get a job
At launch GTA Online has roughly 500 missions to enjoy. All these involve being a criminal in one way or another, and while some are tailored to be completed alone, many of them are for groups to team up and conquer.
Missions are a critical point in earning reputation to progress your character, so you'll want to regularly take a break from the sandbox to knock out missions if you want to be successful.
If you feel like heading to the green, you can choose to play a round of golf with up to 4-players or enjoy a 1-on-1 tennis session. Or, you can embark on a triathlon to show your friends that you're the best button spammer in the group.
Each of these activities are very polished. You might find yourself to be a golf aficionado in no-time. That might mean you need to head to the local clothing store to pick up some khakis and a driver's cap.
Expand your garage
Few things make a man more happy than waking up in the morning and walking into a garage full of exotic cars. In GTA Online you'll be able to expand your garage and fill it with vehicles of your choosing. Made better, you can mod each vehicle to have an assortment of options such as aftermarket exhaust, a personalized color, and custom grill. You can show off your car collection to your friends, too.
Socialize and join a crew
GTA Online is all about enjoying Los Santos with others, so it's a good idea to socialize one way or another. The game incorporates the Crews system that made its debut in Max Payne 3. It features a full ranking system, leaderboards, and even perks such as bonus XP and group accomplishments.
To complete the more challenging missions, and heists, you'll need to utilize some serious teamwork. Do yourself a favor and meet a couple people who you get along with and get used to using voice or text chat. It'll pay off, literally.
After purchasing a safehouse, you'll be able to enjoy a variety of things in your new home. You can get high, watch TV, an even tune in to Weasel News to see cinematic footage of what others in your lobby are doing. You can even shower to get blood off your clothing.
Players can also visit your safehouse by ringing the doorbell. Don't want them to enter? No problem. Just choose to ignore them. Otherwise, you can have people over and enjoy some cheeba together.
Take to the sky
The County of Los Santos is massive and detailed; there's no better way to take it in than from 4,000 feet in the sky.
You'll be able to fly helictopers, jets, planes, blimps, and more. What's more, you don't have to do it alone. Group up with your friends and fly in formation. Or, have a contest to see who can parachute out and land closer to a given target.
Enjoy a movie or go to a club
If you want to go out but don't feel like putting effort into it, you and your buddies can choose to chill at the theater or strip club. The short films are hilarious and you might even catch some mentions of Rockstar Games' other releases.
Betray or be betrayed
You don't have to be the good guy in GTA Online. After a robbery if you feel you aren't getting a decent cut you can make out with the entire reward. Be careful, though, as players can place a bounty on your head. If you don't deposit your funds before being taken down, you'll lose it all.
Take timeless photos
Using your handy cell-phone you can take photos of the game world and even selfies. These can then be shared on Rockstar's Social Club, so don't hesitate to capture dramatic moments or funny things you witness. Your older self will thank you later.
Have a beach party
While currently the beaches of Los Santos don't offer much extra in the way of enjoyment, when the Beach Bum Pack arrives for free in the future they'll turn into party haven. Special beach vehicles, two new weapons, and new beach clothing will be added.
Make custom deathmatches and races
Arriving shortly after GTA Online's launch is an editor which allows you to make your own deathmatch maps and races. You can place weapons, objects, and much more. If you turn out to be a very creative map maker, your friends might end up requesting your talents on a regular basis.