GTA RP: How to play on GTA 5 roleplaying servers

four GTA characters standing together
(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

GTA RP (roleplay) is a popular way to enjoy a modded version of Grand Theft Auto Online. On Twitch, GTA Online is regularly one of the most-viewed channels, and most of the top GTA streamers are playing RP. The biggest GTA RP mod, FiveM, reported breaking its record for concurrent players with 269,097 in February of 2023. That's almost twice the amount of people playing unmodded GTA 5.

In GTA RP, players and streamers create a character, personality, and a backstory, and then take jobs in the world of GTA 5, pretending to be everything from cab drivers to paramedics to fishermen to real estate agents. And yes, even cops and crooks. As players interact with each other in the world, on servers that support anywhere from 32 to players to hundreds, they create a communal storytelling experience.

If you need some fun examples, Joe Donnelly once tried to start a fight club on a GTA RP server, got a job as a mob tailor, and became a lawyer for a serial killer. As he put it, working a 9-5 job in GTA RP is the best way to enjoy GTA 5.

If you've watched GTA RP on Twitch, or you've just heard about it and are interested in trying it for yourself, here's how to get started.

What you need

What you need for GTA RP

  • A copy of GTA 5
  • A working mic (almost always, see below)
  • A Discord account
  • FiveM, a GTA 5 mod

GTA RP: What is it?

What is GTA RP?

Despite taking place in the familiar world of GTA 5, playing on a GTA RP server is a wholly different experience. GTA RP isn't the place for shooting first and asking questions later. You typically won't be blowing up cars or mowing down cops or stealing jets. Don't expect to kill other players regularly, or to be killed often yourself. If you commit a crime you're more likely to be arrested and taken to court than you are to get into a fierce gun battle. If you're injured, you may need to visit a hospital and see a doctor.

GTA 5 RP is intended to be a more "realistic" experience, almost like a sim in a lot of ways. You can get a job, rent an apartment, interact with other players, form relationships, and try out your acting and improvisation skills. GTA RP servers still have AI-controlled NPCs just like in GTA 5, and you're basically playing the part of one of those citizens.

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

How to play GTA RP

How to get into GTA RP

1. Own a copy of GTA 5. It sounds obvious, but before you can play GTA RP, the FiveM mod will need to validate your copy of GTA 5.

2. Make sure you have a working microphone. There are some exceptions, but nearly all GTA RP servers rely on voice chat. In some cases, you may even be kicked from an RP server if it doesn't detect that you have your voice settings on when you begin playing. There are a few text-based GTA servers, but in general if you play GTA RP you should expect to do a lot of talking.

3. Have a Discord account. Most servers will require you to link your Discord account to play, and many use it for sharing server news and information, interviewing players, and communicating with each other outside of the game.

4. Download and install FiveM. It's the most popular mod for GTA RP, and allows you to play multiplayer GTA 5 on custom dedicated servers. The mod won't actually alter your copy of GTA 5, so you'll still be able to play GTA Online unmodded without any issues.

5. Find a server. FiveM's server list will let you filter by language and show how many players are on each server, along with a description of what sort of roleplay that server has. Each server will have its own rules and requirements, and sometimes different types of roleplay scenarios. 

Many servers require you to complete an application process and even an interview before you can join. They'll also almost always have a Discord or a link to documentation so you can find the rules for applying and playing on a server. Further down this page we've listed some other popular GTA RP servers.

6. Learn the rules. Remember you're not joining a server to play GTA Online: this is a roleplay experience and there are typically lots of different rules for each server. For an example of some pretty common server rules, have a look at TwitchRP's list of GTA RP rules.

7. Create a character for yourself: not just their looks and clothing but their personality, backstory, and goals. What sort of job do you want? What sort of person is your character? Remember that while you're playing you should always remain in-character: no asking other players how the controls work (that would be immersion-breaking) or passing along information you've learned outside of the game (such as the plans for a bank heist you saw on someone else's stream).

You'll want to find a job, which can vary between all sorts of occupations. Cab or Uber driver, bartender, delivery driver, EMT, and yes, there are criminal jobs like drug dealers or bank robbers, and gangs you may be able to join as well. Most servers also have a police force, and they tend to take their roleplaying very seriously, often interviewing prospects in-character and performing in-game training.

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

GTA RP Servers

NoPixel: Probably the best known thanks to high-profile streamers like Lirik and Summit, but also one of the hardest to get onto due to limited applications and a long wait time.
Eclipse RP: A 200-player server, allowing for a bigger shared world than NoPixel's 32-player servers, though doesn't have quite as many features. Waitlists to be whitelisted may be long.
GTA World: One of the few text-based RP servers, making it a good alternative for those who don't feel comfortable using a microphone.
Mafia City: A good place for beginners to try RP, though it uses the Rage mod instead of FiveM and there are no AI-controlled NPCs in the world.
New Day RP: A pretty serious roleplayer server—they even have political events like elections for governor—which was recently overhauled with new features.

There's no "best" GTA RP server

There's no universally beloved GTA RP server, or a "right" answer for the GTA RP server everyone should play on. It really depends on what you want out of roleplaying and how seriously you want to take it. Some sever rules may seem to strict, and some servers may not enforce them strongly enough for your liking—it all depends on what you're looking for.

The servers listed above are a good place to start, but the best way to find out if a server is right for you is to connect with its community and spend time watching players from those servers on Twitch to make sure it's a good fit for your roleplaying style.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.