first_imgToday is the day that Rockstar flips the switch, turns all the servers on, and allows GTA V players to start enjoying Grand Theft Auto Online. But how exactly do you gain access to the online world?Rockstar says that access to GTA Online will be decided based on where you are in the world. But for simplicity, GTA Online became available to play at 7am EST this morning, so if you are in the US and reading this, it’s already available. Logging in, however, requires you first download and install a software update (about 60MB).Both PS3 and Xbox 360 owners should see this software update appear for download. Once installed, GTA Online will appear as a menu option in GTA V. Selecting that, and then selecting the bottom slot on your GTA V character wheel, will connect you to the online world.Of course, how successful you are at managing to connect depends on how well Rockstar’s servers are coping with demand. The developer has already warned players they expect teething problems initially as they have never done this before. So if your connection fails, or the game is unplayable due to lag, it’s going to be best if you log out and try again later. Frustrating, yes, but there’s not much you can do about it.As for what to expect once you are playing the game, we’ll start with the story. It’s actually set a few months before the storyline followed in the core GTA V single player experience. So there won’t be any overlap, at least initially. Content updates may change that in the future.Rockstar has also come up with solutions on how to manage millions of potential players and all that violence in a finite-sized world. For example, you may end up owning the exact same property as another player. But that’s a planned feature. You will just see a different instance of the property and it will remain just yours.GTA Online is also aimed at up to 16 players working together, so it seems likely you will want to invite friends over to your house. In order to avoid any possessions being stolen or violence happening, accepting an invite to visit a property blocks any stealing or violence while you are there. So all parties know they and their possessions are safe.A big area of concern for players is the use of real money in the game. Rockstar announced last week that you will be able to purchase cash cards containing GTA$ using real-world money in stores. However, Rockstar has limited the usefulness of such quick cash by ensuring access to goods goes hand-in-hand with Reputation Points. If you have a low reputation, you will only be able to purchase a small subset of the available products the game offers. And to up your reputation you need to play the game, not spend a lot of cash. You can’t cheat the system if you’re rich.Finally, there’s jobs. The gameplay and fun comes from carrying out jobs, and therefore Rockstar has included a lot of them to keep you busy. However, it has also been revealed that they intend to add the ability for content creation by players, meaning in the near future you will be able to create your own jobs. For example, custom races and deathmatches.As this is day one, the main tasks for players are going to be installing the software update, managing to connect to Rockstar’s servers, and creating your character. If you get that far then I think you’re doing well, and hopefully by the weekend millions of players will be keeping the servers humming and teaming up to carry out jobs.last_img

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