What we want from GTA 6 Online

GTA 6 trailer
(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Grand Theft Auto 6 has the opportunity to do something incredible: Continue the work Grand Theft Auto Online started way back in 2013 and create one of the most immersive co-op experiences around. For how much we loved sinking hundreds of hours into GTAO's heists, jobs, and goofy race tracks, it can still be a deeply frustrating game a full decade on. The menus suck, hackers regularly disrupt servers, and it's too grindy. 

It's time for a fresh start. Here's everything we want from the next generation of GTA Online, including a few things Grand Theft Auto could learn from its less popular cousin, Red Dead Online.

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Integrated roleplay

More GTA Series


(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

GTA 6: Everything we know
GTA 6 cars: The lineup
GTA 5 cheats: Phone it in
GTA 5 mods: All the best antics
Fastest GTA Online cars: Revved up
Make money in GTA Online: $$$

Morgan Park, Staff Writer: Rockstar accidentally struck gold when modders made GTA Online more interesting for free. GTA's roleplaying community has exploded in recent years, turning a sandbox of mostly isolated missions into a reactive world that players get lost in for hours. It's remarkable how when you give players agency in their virtual life, memorable stories and absurd moments happen as a matter of course. It's a good sign that Rockstar acquired the company that makes the popular GTA Online mod FiveM. I hope that means GTA 6's online mode will be a vehicle for roleplaying right from the start, instead of only a map full of mission markers.

(Image credit: Rockstar)

More customizable player properties

Lauren Morton, Associate Editor: In Red Dead Online I loved having properties that doubled as private hangout space. In both RDO and GTAO though, our options for personalizing those spaces were limited to just choosing a theme from a short list of presets. I'm not asking for a full Sims-like editor, but some way to better make that space mine. Give me ways to display my feats and achievements in my digital home. If we're dumping cash into clothes and cars, let my Vice City pad be a statement piece too.

(Image credit: Rockstar)

Way more heists, of course

Morgan Park, Staff Writer: Heists are the crown jewel of GTA Online. They're essentially Rockstar's version of a tense Destiny raid that requires real preparation, coordination, and experience to pull off without a hitch. My only gripe is how rarely Rockstar adds a new one. I get it—heists are a much bigger production than new cars and side jobs (and they're not monetized either), but Rockstar could definitely keep me around longer if I could count on a new heist a few times a year.

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

More non-heist activities, too

Lauren Morton, Associate Editor: Red Dead Online was great at giving me activities that didn't involve holding a gun. I mean look, I know Rockstar's flagship series both involve lots of pointing guns but like, RDO made sure to keep me entertained with a suite of activities at different intensity levels. Proper roleplay could be one of them, as Morgan says, but I'm hoping we get Vice City's version of side activities. Heists and races are great but I'd like to see things like RDO's photography and hunting. I wouldn't say no to even more sports minigames in GTAO either.

A better Interaction menu

Tom Hatfield, Contributor: It might seem weirdly picky to talk about a specific menu here, but the interaction menu is a major pain point in GTA Online. As new features have been added to the game over the years, it's become the de facto hub for any and all abilities players have. What was once a menu largely reserved for putting on a mask or eating a snack now manages your Motorcycle Club, calls in your helicopter or nuclear submarine, summons various giant trucks and so much more. It's not that putting these things in an easy to access menu is a bad idea, it's certainly better than having to call my mechanic to deliver a car, but the current menu wasn't designed to support as much as it's being made to, and it's creaking under the weight. The next GTA Online needs a new interface, designed from the start to support the range of abilities players will likely have.

(Image credit: Rockstar)

Proximity chat

Morgan Park, Staff Writer: I've yet to play a multiplayer game that wasn't improved by the addition of proximity chat. Prox chat, which is when you can only hear nearby players if they're actually near you, strikes the perfect balance between wanting to socialize with strangers sometimes, but not wanting to sit in an always-on chatroom. Red Dead Online actually does this, sort of: You can only hear players' mics if they're within range on your personal minimap, but voice volume doesn't scale with distance like it does in games like Hunt: Showdown or Lethal Company. Volume attenuation goes a long way to make voice comms immersive, and what is GTA Online if not immersive.

Some persistence

Tom Hatfield, Contributor: One of GTA Online's stranger quirks is that players can start Organisations and Motorcycle Clubs that are temporary, transient things which only last for one playing session (if that). If both you and your friend have Organisations (and you will) and want to launch the activities involved in them, you'll eventually have to disband and restart it to switch owner. If you have several friends you can end up doing this repeatedly over the course of an evening.

Instead organisations should be a permanent thing, like a guild or clan (GTA does actually have a version of this with Crews, but they do almost nothing). You should never have to disband or restart your organisation, and when one of your friends buys, say a Nightclub, everyone in the organisation should have ownership of it. Rockstar have actually experimented with something similar to this in Read Dead Online's roles, where players pick a persistent career, like selling moonshine or hunting bounties. Something like that would work wonders in GTA Online.

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Something, anything to stop cheaters

Lauren Morton, Associate Editor: Cheaters in online games is an arms race that no one ever wins, but they can be pretty damn pervasive in Rockstar games. I've been infinitely dynamited into the air and then teleported to a murder basement more times than I like in RDO and I know GTAO players have many of their own hacker woes.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.