A Guide to Grand Theft Auto V’s Characters, Setting, Gameplay, Multiplayer and More


Grand Theft Auto V is a huge game to the point where at times it can feel overwhelming. To help you ease into the experience we've put together a guide.


GTA V will be the first in the series to have more than one playable protagonist. The game's been built from the ground up to allow you to switch between the three characters at will. As a result of this design, you can choose to play the majority of the game as your favorite character of the bunch, or switch who you're in control of during a mission. The system offers a ton of flexibility.

The three playable characters are Michael De Santa, Trevor Phillips, and Franklin.

  • Michael is an ex-convict with a very serious tone. At the beginning of the game he decides to come out of retirement to pursue the reward of bank heists and other criminal activities. Being the oldest of the group, he'll try to be a leader only to be challenged by the clashing personalities of the group.
  • Trevor Phillips is the crazy guy. Hailing from a trailer park in Blaine County, he immerses himself regularly in conspiracy theories. At times he'll be the comic relief of the narrative, while other times he'll just weird you out.
  • Franklin is a motivated man who aspires to become a crime lord rather than a petty thief. After growing up in the rough neighborhoods of South Los Santos, he looks to make a name for himself using his ambition and wit.


GTA V is set in the fictional Los Santos County which is based on Los Angeles, California and its surrounding areas. Those who have played Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas will feel right at home.

The world of GTA V is said to be larger than that of GTA: San Andreas, Red Dead Redemption, and GTA IV combined. As revealed by its leaked map, the world has a variety of terrain and landmarks. There's the main city bustling with busy people where both the Los Santos International Airport and Port of South Los Santos are located. There's a large country that surrounds a desert, military base, and a large body of water called the Alamo Sea. There's also a beach where you can go swimming and walk a port.

Since it's an island, the map is walled off by water. Thankfully, you won't get a Game Over screen if you hop in. There will be a variety of ways to interact with its expansive sea.


The County of Los Santos where endless fun awaits you.


Gunplay is a huge part of the GTA V experience. You'll use a variety of familiar and new weapons to dispose of enemies. While many times that means using assault rifles or pistols from behind cover, there are several melee and thrown weapons as well including brass knuckles and tear gas. Weapons include a machete, Desert Eagle, MP5, Mossberg 590, HK416, and M249 SAW just to name a few.

To make combat as enjoyable as possible. Rockstar Games has spent a lot of time polishing ranged and melee interaction. Firing weapons will feel much more like Red Dead Redemption than GTA IV. There will also be a ton of customization available which lets you mod your favorite weapons to have a laser sight, a different scope, suppressor, and more.

One concern players of GTA IV had was with its realistic driving system. That's been tossed away in GTA V, and the fun arcade style driving of GTA 3 and its offspring is back. You'll be able to customize your vehicle to have added flair and special paint before you head to the track and race.

Special Abilities

Each of the three main characters have a special ability that can be used in combat. By remaining in battle a bar will fill up that, when filled, can be spent to activate one of the three abilities depending on which character you're in control of—remember, you can switch characters mid-combat. They are the following:

  • Michael – Slows down time during shooting sequences.
  • Trevor – Goes into a rage, taking less damage while dealing more to opponents.
  • Franklin – Slows down time during driving sequences.

Each of the three abilities allow for some incredible moments. While Franklin can make a perfect pit maneuver on an enemy vehicle, Trevor can turn into the Terminator.


When you aren't busy completing missions, you'll have dozens of activities to engage in. While the typical sandbox fare of running around and toying with the A.I. will be present, fully-designed activities have been implemented to immerse you in the world as much as possible.

Confirmed activities include:

  • Base jumping/Sky Diving
  • Car Customization
  • Car Racing
  • Cycling
  • Dirt Bike Racing
  • Drinking
  • Golf
  • Hunting (think Red Dead Redemption)
  • Jet Skiing
  • Movie Theater
  • Real Estate
  • Rollercoaster
  • Sex
  • Scuba Diving
  • Smoking
  • Shooting Range
  • Stock Market
  • Tennis
  • Triathlon
  • Yoga


Unsurprising, GTA V will have a ton of different vehicles and vehicle types. Past favorites such as the Cheetah and Sentinel XS will be making a return. There are a lot of new additions, though. A Bugatti Veyron look-alike is in the game, called the Adder, as is a Ford GT styled supercar called the Bullet GT. 

Outside of cars, SUVs, trucks, and minivans, you'll be able to ride bicycles and motorcycles, fly planes and helicopters, ride quads, and even take to the sea with a Jetski or boat. There's also a train you can board that travels around town.

Also, if you're worried about the annoying issue in previous GTA titles where you see hundreds of others driving the same car you are, you'll be happy to know that GTA V doesn't use that system. So long are the days of the entire city driving the Banshee!


First and foremost, there will be no local multiplayer in GTA V. However, the online experience is one of the game's greatest assets. 

Called GTA Online, you'll be able to engage with over 10 other players in the sandbox world of Los Santos. When you feel like doing some activities, you can pick up one of hundreds of missions that send you to cooperatively rob a store, race, or kill each other in a deathmatch. While playing you'll earn money, reputation points, and in-turn unlock more content and customization for your online persona.

Beyond that, there will also be a mission editor where you can make your own races and deathmatch levels.

GTA Online will release around two weeks after GTA V comes out, and will be included with a copy of the game or can be purchased standalone.