GTA 5 is vast. There are hundreds of activities to do in the citiy and the arid countryside to the north that are entirely separate from GTA 5's main story. Some are game-changing, like the superpowers you can enable using cheats. Others, like the ability to pratfall in the middle of a jump, are small, but allow for hours of quality NPC trolling. We've rounded up 20 favourites that you might enjoy.
GTA 5's cheats have made it to PC. These modifiers—activated by typing a code into the console summoned by the tilde key—can enable invincibility (PAIN-KILLER), let you spawn miles above the ground (SKYFALL), make your punches explosive (HOTHANDS) and let you aim in slow motion (DEADEYE). Alternatively, raise your wanted level to quickly start a car chase (FUGITIVE) and then activate fast running (CATCH ME) to help your escape.
Activating cheats disables achievements for the session, and they can't be activated in missions, but otherwise you're not punished for going nuts with console commands whenever the urge strikes.
Find a jerrycan or buy one from an Ammu-Nation store for $25, and you can pour the flammable fluid as you please, possibly spelling your name if you’re the creative type. To ignite the fuel, you can shoot it, throw a Molotov at it, or even use the backfire from your car’s exhaust. Why not lay a trail to a petrol pump and blow the station sky-high? Just remember: cool guys don’t look at explosions.
Literally become an animal
Consume a peyote plant and take a hallucinatory trip into the body of an animal. There are 27 to find—to get you started, you can find some at the top of Mount Chiliad by some small red flags, around the back of Los Santos Customs near the airport, and underwater at the end of Del Perro pier. Want to be a bird? You got it. How about a cat? There’s that, too. What about a majestic manatee? All right, you’re being silly now.
Flip people off
Switch to ‘unarmed’ while driving a vehicle, then press fire to flip the bird and deliver drive-by abuse to pedestrians. It’s probably the most GTA thing you can do, in that it’s both morally dubious and hilarious. Although, come to think of it, driving a fire engine on the pavement and wiping out civilians is slightly more GTA.
Fly a blimp
Take the Atomic blimp for a ride at night over Los Santos and enjoy the city in all its neon glory—particularly stunning on PC. Of course, if this gorgeous but slow-moving vehicle isn’t interesting enough for you, you can always jump in a Hydra jet and blow it up to earn both a spectacular explosion and a Wanted rating from the fuzz.
Make everything cinematic
GTA 5's suite of video creation tools are far more advanced than GTA 4's. Playing through the story unlocks characters to play with in Director Mode, which lets you set time of day and use cheats to tailor your scenes. Leave the action replay function on and you can capture mad happenings online and in singleplayer mode. Rockstar commissioned the 8-Bit Bastard YouTube channel to play around with it, and they produced the amazing Running Man.
Jump off a mountain
Head to the top of Mount Chiliad, where you can find a parachute inside the cable car station and motorcycles parked at the summit. Create your own stunts by riding off one of the nearby ramps then deploying your ’chute to glide to the base of the mountain. Of course, you could always use a push bike and fall to your death.
Hear hidden dialogue
For an example of just how extensive GTA 5’s dialogue is, try attacking the property of other characters. For instance, as Trevor, fire an RPG at Michael’s mansion in Rockford Hills and he’ll send you a threatening text: “One more explosion... I am not kidding you.” Injure a member of his family, and they’ll also get in touch. Run over Michael’s son Jimmy and he’ll message you with “Just had a near-death experience LOL. You gotta pay my hospital dollarz.”
Fall over a lot
Pratfalling will change your life—just press R on your keyboard (B for Xbox pads and O for Playstation pads) while jumping to take an epic dive. Sometimes you’ll leave blood on the pavement and cause bystanders to shriek in terror—hilarious. Spill through plate glass at bus stops; leap unexpectedly into the passenger seats of convertibles; perform diving headbutts on old ladies. Sure, it’s sounds fun, but the sheer compulsion to stack it at any given moment means you won’t be able to walk anywhere normally ever again. It’s an addiction.
Ride a rollercoaster
The Del Perro pier, GTA 5’s ringer for the Santa Monica pier, has a rollercoaster you can ride. So do. It’s the sort of detail that makes the city so much fun to explore.
Steal a jet
Fort Zancudo houses the ultra powerful Hydra jet, which is basically a Harrier, armed with both rockets and machine guns. It’s an absolute blast to have in your hangar at the airport—but first you have to get one, and that involves breaking into an army base buried in the map’s West Coast. You can do it in a taxi if you’re mad enough. If you survive the dozens of soldiers and get into the cockpit, you still have to take off without being shot out of the air by AA guns and tanks. Pulling this off is one of the coolest things you’ll do in a game.
Play some sports
For those weary of rampages, try one of the many leisurely pursuits on offer. There’s tennis at Michael’s stately crib (watch out, his wife’s got a mean serve), the chance to hit the fairway at Los Santos Golf Club, providing you pay the $100 entry fee, a button-matching yoga minigame with an obnoxious, ponytailed trainer, and even a 30-minute triathlon including cycling, swimming and running to really make your character sweat. A stamina boost is your reward.
Take a dip
There’s plenty to discover underwater. Enter a dinghy, and on exiting, you’ll be strapped up with an oxygen tank and breathing apparatus. Loot wrecks for briefcases full of cash, but watch out for aquatic dangers including hammerhead sharks and crushing water pressure. If you purchase the Sonar Docks at Paleto Cove, a submersible will spawn, enabling you to hunt for toxic barrels. Each one is worth $23,000, and you’ll get an additional $250,000 once you collect all 30.
Rob a store
Fancy a bit of extra cash? Try robbing a liquor store, petrol station, or 24/7 supermarket. All you need to do is produce your gun and point it at the clerk and they’ll start filling a bag with cold hard dough. Be warned: on leaving you’ll be slapped with a wanted level. If that all sounds a bit too genial you could always just shoot the clerk and rinse the cash register yourself. Expect anywhere from $200 to $1,000 for a robbery.
Birds, boar, deer and coyote are all fair game for Trevor Phillips, who can head into the Chiliad Mountain State Wilderness and meet Cletus between the hours of 5am and 17pm to hunt. Send a picture of your kill to Cletus for cash, or text it to someone else for a puzzled response. Head, neck and heart shots earn more, stay downwind, and oh yeah, watch out for cougars.
Play the stock market
You can earn so much money here that it’s almost gamebreaking, but you won’t be complaining when you’re driving around in a velour speedboat. Events in the game affect share prices: killing corrupt jury members in Franklin’s Redwood trial for example increases the stock of Debonaire. Buy low, sell high and... wait, is the name of that exchange really BAWSAQ?
Take a selfie
It’s the 21st century, and if you’re not constantly taking pictures of yourself you need to take a good hard look at yourself. Preferably through the lens of a smartphone. Using your smartphone in GTA 5 to take selfies with angry gang members. Take selfies next to disgusting old nudists. Take selfies on the tops of burning cars. Take selfies wearing a dress. But remember: it does capture your soul.
Consume copious drugs
Drugs can be hilarious in videogames, as demonstrated by our troubled man Trevor. If you visit the front of his skanky trailer in Blaine County you’ll find some contraband on his table to huff (that’s how drugs work, right? Huffing?). Doing so causes him to take a bad trip, black out, and wake up babbling a stream of consciousness in a strange random location.
In GTA 5’s mammoth, MMO-like online offering, 16 players can go nuts across the entirety of San Andreas. Join a gang and buy matching suits, place a bounty on someone’s head, plop a car in the ocean using the skylift chopper. Buy a penthouse and stare at the world below, laughing, but first read Chris' thoughts on why GTA 5's online mode is so good in our GTA 5 review in progress.
Experiment with vehicles
Forklifts can carry cars, fire trucks spray water, and tow trucks, well, tow things. Pull up next to someone at a red light in a regular motor and beep your horn, and you'll instigate a street race. You can switch between dipped and hi-beam, and in convertibles you can press the D-pad right while stationary to pop the hood.