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Grand Theft Auto Online: What we know

Grand Theft Auto Online will launch tomorrow, Oct. 1, bringing what developer Rockstar Games calls a "persistent online world" to Grand Theft Auto 5. To prepare you for the game's upcoming expansion, here's everything we know.

Rockstar revealed details about Grand Theft Auto Online back in mid-August, alongside the multiplayer component's reveal trailer, which you can watch below.

GTA Online will arrive free to those who own Grand Theft Auto 5, allowing up to 16 players to simultaneously explore Los Santos, San Andreas. Eventually, players will be able to customize and rank up their characters, purchase property, participate in heists and play through more standard multiplayer offerings like team deathmatch. They'll also be able to roam free in the online open world, play rounds of golf and create their own content.

Rockstar plans to expand Grand Theft Auto Online with updates, but you can start earning Reputation, the currency you'll use to level up as well as access and purchase new features and items, at launch. Here's what you can expect when it rolls out:

  • Explore. You'll be able to roam the open world environment with friends, doing things like watching movies, hitting the shooting ranges and, if you want to explore the other side of legality, rob armored trucks or rob convenience stores to earn more Reputation.
  • Work jobs. Accept missions and jobs alone or team up with others.
  • Race. Take Grand Theft Auto 5's vehicles for a spin in the air, on land and at sea. A new Rally race type will allow players to co-pilot vehicles.
  • Play sports. Play some tennis, shoot a round of golf or go base jumping to earn Reputation.

Earlier this month, Rockstar detailed GTA Online's currency. Players will be able to purchase GTA cash though an in-game marketplace and use that to purchase cars, weapons and more. You'll also be able to earn in-game cash by playing multiplayer missions, though GTA Online is "balanced for the vast majority of players who will not buy extra cash," Rockstar said.

Polygon spoke with Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser recently, who explained the why the developer is investing heavily into online multiplayer, beyond the lengthy single player campaign's offerings.

"Because I think we feel passionately about open world games," he said. "What we like about open world games is that a lot of the qualities of it are not unique to single player."

Be sure to read our entire interview with Houser to learn more about Rockstar's plans and the unique opportunities he that he believes video game developers have that storytellers in other mediums don't.

Grand Theft Auto 5 was released Sept. 17 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. For more on the game's single player component, be sure to read and watch Polygon's Grand Theft Auto 5 review.