The game consists of open world sessions based on San Andreas. Sessions are limited to 16 players on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and expanded to 30 players on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC (with 2 additional auditoriums). Players can play online in many different types of sessions: The free mode is completely a PvE single-person conference. Invite Only and Crew Only players can choose who to play with. Public sessions and PvP where random players will coexist in an open free-mode lobby are more common. This is the “default” session type.

Before the release of the Heists Update, most online content can be played by one person without actual multiplayer requirements. However, subsequent content updates include more cooperative work mode events that require at least 2 or 4 players and new free games. And functions are limited to public halls. Except for PC and PlayStation 3 users, a PlayStation Plus (for PS4 and PS5 users) or Xbox Live Gold subscription is required before playing GTA Online. Players can shuttle and interact on the map as they like, and can participate in many game activities, including attacking local gangs, looting armored trucks, and challenging other players for impromptu racing. Some of these open world events are unique to GTA Online, while others are from GTA V. Players can also purchase property, vehicles, clothing, masks and weapons for their characters. In addition to the free roaming aspect, GTA Online also includes several localized, more traditional multiplayer game modes, called jobs, which are conducted in separate sessions independent of the larger open world;

Players participating in these jobs will not be able to interact with Occupy Players in the open world can see and cannot interact with them, even if they live in the same place at the same time. These jobs include deathmatches, competitions, sports activities and tribal survival games. Finally, players can also perform cooperative missions for various crime boss characters, most of which will also appear in the GTA V story. In these game modes, the number of players participating and the size of the available area depend on the activity and the mode itself. As players progress and their character levels increase, more items and jobs will be unlocked for them to buy and play.

GTA Online also includes a content creator, a development tool that allows players to create and publish their own races, deathmatches, and other competitive game modes. If the player connects to Rockstar’s social club and holds a special event or the player redeems special offers, additional rewards such as free weapons and double reputation points will be given. Players who reach level 100 and above can also get special rewards.