Can you believe it’s been almost three years since Rockstar Games began supporting Grand Theft Auto Online , Grand Theft Auto V’ s online multiplayer experience? Since November 19, 2013, it’s been rolling out updates that add new modes, outfits, weapons, vehicles, and gameplay elements. It’s been quite a run, and they aren’t done! The much requested biker update is on its way, bringing with it the ability to form eight player motorcycle clubs, clubhouses, new motorcycles, and additional business ventures. It’s going to be huge.
So, while we prepare for that, why don’t we celebrate everything we’ve been able to enjoy in GTA Online this far? Lots of amazing updates have enhanced and improved this portion of the game, and it seems only right to honor some of the best additions.
Let’s start from the very beginning, which is known to be a very good place to start. Beach Bum kicked off GTA Online ‘s updates when it launched on November 19, 2013. It wasn’t the fanciest update. It added over 30 beach jobs around San Andreas, offered beachwear for men and women, brought the broken bottle and SNS pistol into the game, and let us ride around in BF Biftas, Bravado Paradises, Canis Kalaharis, and Pegassi Speeders. It also added automatic cloud saves after purchasing vehicles and vehicle mods and adjusted GTA$ and RP rewards for completing jobs and multiplayer matches. It didn’t make the biggest splash, but it opened us up to so many new things.
Where Beach Bums was the beginning, Ill-Gotten Gains was the end. Ill-Gotten Gains Part 2 was the last GTA Online update for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, cutting off development for the last generation’s consoles in July 2015. It was also rather poetic, in a way. The updates ended on those systems as they began, with two weapons, the Knuckledusters and Marksman Pistol, six vehicles, and more clothing. While it didn’t add any major game modes or special features, it let things come to a close in a way that paralleled the updates’ start. I’m sure PS3 and Xbox 360 owners will remember it fondly.
You have to suspend reality a bit when playing GTA Online . You’re able to do things you’d never be able to do in real life. That includes some rather impressive driving feats. The Cunning Stunts update released earlier this year is all about that. It brings stunt races to the series, letting you go around 22 unexpected tracks that defy gravity, involve fire, and basically remind you of your Hot Wheels adventures as a kid. Racing outfits, specifically motocross gear, and 15 new cars were also added to the game. It let you go a little wild, which is always fun.
Capture the Flag is a critical multiplayer game mode. Games like Team Fortress 2 , Halo, Call of Duty, TimeSplitters, Quake, and Unreal Tournament all offer this team-based activity where each side has a flag, the other side wants their opponent’s flag, and you do your best to protect your own while hunting down your opponent’s. GTA Online’ s Capture brought it to the game in December 2013, letting up to 16 people fight for control of packages on the map. You can go on foot or use vehicles in your quest for glory, which really sets this version of a competitive classic apart.
The Festive Surprise is great because each year, Rockstar Games does something to impress us. Every year gives us something fun. In 2013, we ended up getting snow, more clothes, and sales. The 2014 Festive Surprise added snow, more weapons, vehicles, clothing, and the ability to get a third property. The 2015 Festive Surprise added a Beast vs. Slasher Adversary mode, more cars, Christmas trees, snow, and clothing. One can only hope this year will bring with it more multiplayer modes, weapons, vehicles, accessories, and special features too! Oh, and snow.
Further Advances in Finance and Felony
There are all different kinds of criminals in the world. With GTA Online’ s Further Advances in Finance and Felony, we got to go corporate. Rockstar enhanced our criminal organization’s CEO capabilities. Suddenly, we could be working with a (virtual) assistant to organize our affairs, buying offices and warehouses to trade in and stock our contraband products and other items, and essentially running an empire. It also added the team-switching Trading Places and deathmatch-with-power-ups Power Play Adversary Modes, as well as 14 mostly luxury cars. Way to go white collar, GTA Online !
Executives and Other Criminals
I know, it’s hard to decide if Executives and Other Criminals or Further Adventures in Finance and Felony is the best corporate GTA Online update. I think Executives and Other Criminals has the edge, since it did it first. This update introduced us to the idea that we didn’t have to be petty criminals with small-time gangs feuding over small areas. We could be big shot executives, making our own organizations as a CEO while hiring other players to act as our underlings and bodyguards. It was an empowering feeling for all of us who’d accumulated over $1,000,000 in the game. This led to new game modes, letting us work with our minions to go through modes like Hostile Takeovers, Asset Recoveries, Executive Searches, and Piracy Preventions. It also added new challenges, more clothing, two new weapons, and 25 luxury vehicles. This was a huge update that did so much for people who wanted to be their own bosses.
Freemode Events were huge for GTA Online . You could be anywhere in the game and suddenly opt into a new adventure without having to join a job or deal with loading. Random events, like challenges and time trials, can pop up and suddenly give you the opportunity to try and do some Criminal Damage, Hold the Wheel and keep a vehicle, Hunt the Beast, or whittle down a Merryweather Security Kill List. Those are only a few examples of some activities, of course. It also added Cross the Line territory defense and Hunting Pack Speed -style Adversary Modes and gave PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners the Rockstar Editor. It really opened up your world and gave you more things to do in the game.
Give a man a GTA Online update, and he plays for probably a week or so. Give the man a Content Creator, and he plays GTA Online forever. One of the game’s first updates way back in 2013 was Content Creator. This new feature allowed us to customize our GTA Online experience. We could make our own maps for various modes, then share them via the Rockstar Games Social Club. With each ensuing update, the Content Creator has grown, allowing us to put together new maps for different Capture, Deathmatch, Last Team Standing, and Race jobs. When Cunning Stunts came to the game, we received a Stunt Race Creator. This update offered us a wonderful opportunity to do our own thing and provide for ourselves while waiting for Rockstar to bring us new things.
People ask Rockstar for things. It’s hard not to, when the company has shown a commitment to adding to GTA Online . You can’t help but want specific items and features. Before they were added to the game in 2015, Heists were one of those fan requested features. This update let two to four players come together to organize a heists online. You’d pick a job, decide on your role, then go through multiple missions that lead up to the robbery. The most rudimentary heist, the Fleeca Job, only requires two players and begins with scoping out the Fleeca Bank and making a delivery to the leader’s garage, stealing a getaway car, then heading in to steal bonds. More complicated affairs can have up to five preliminary missions before you go in for the score. It really did a great job of building a community and making you feel more involved in elaborate affairs. As an added bonus, we also received a flare gun, more clothing that may or may not require heist completion to unlock, and lots of new cars.