Avalanches And Snipers Turned GTA Online Even Wilder


Grand Theft Auto is celebrating its 25-year anniversary today, November 28, 2022. Below, we examine how the tools in Grand Theft Auto Online has expanded the series’ scope and helped players push the boundaries.

One floating platform. Two teams, including six snipers and six stunt car drivers. One team has to shoot drivers out of their seats while the others need to knock the riflemen off the platform with wild jumps. The last team standing wins.

Now Playing: History of Grand Theft Auto

Raucous violence, extreme debauchery, and wild police chases are what made Grand Theft Auto what it is today. But random open-world fun and an over-the-top physics engine can only get you so far in the online world of modern video games. That’s why player-created modes like this one, Snipers vs Stunters has become so popular across Grand Theft Auto Online servers.

“It does not matter how good the base game modes are in a game like GTA/GTAO, the community created content will always be king,” said GTANet Admin uNi. “And [it’s] the main force keeping it alive.”

Grand Theft Auto V has become the best-selling title in the franchise with over 170 million copies sold since its release in 2013. GTA Online, a virtual playground where players have taken their rowdiness online, has been a major motivator in GTA V’s success. The GTA Online Content Creator was a pivotal piece of GTA’s online community. It’s helped change the trajectory of the GTA franchise that turns 25 today.

“There’s something magical about asking GTA players to use the creator in such a restricted way that shoots their creativity up,” uNi said. Grand Theft Auto Online’s Content Creator launched two months after the game’s initial release date in September of 2013. The inclusion of the creator saw Grand Theft Auto V join a trend of games like Halo in giving players the ability to create their own races, deathmatches, and other modes that they could share with others online.

The Content Creator lets players place NPCs and objects within various game modes set anywhere in the in-game world, San Andreas. It doesn’t, however, let players build maps from scratch. Players need to use one of GTA Online’s base modes, including the Last Team Standing mode that Snipers vs Stunters is built on top of.

The lack of freedom has been an asset in some cases, leading to the creation of modes that would have never been possible without the creator.

Another game mode, Avalanche, sees one team shoot objects down a hill while the other team dodges them while climbing. The climbing team wins if they reach the top. The defending team wins if they successfully prevent the other team from ascending.

Modes like these are simple, but provide a necessary alternative to the base gameplay in GTA Online.

One of the primary reasons that GTA Online has flourished in online communities for so long is content creation. Despite being nearly a decade old, YouTube videos and Twitch streams are still dominated by players having wacky and nonsensical fun on the streets of San Andreas. Custom modes and servers helped elevate those streams.

The Grand Theft Auto series has never had an official set of in-game editing tools that let players run wild, but that never stopped PC communities from creating their own tools. Popular modes like FiveM mod let players create their own custom servers, which eventually led to the GTA role-playing craze that still has a huge presence on Twitch.

“For more than a year, I’ve been playing a character called Dominic that I created on NoPixel which is the most popular custom server out there,” said GTA role-play streamer BASTIAS. “NoPixel is a massive server with at any time having over 200 players online including some of the biggest content creators in the industry.”

NoPixel lets players take on the role of NPCs and role-play police officers, lawyers, musicians, and, of course, criminals. FiveM and other PC mods are another reason why GTA has grown so popular over the years and why Grand Theft Auto V has been particularly popular.

Rockstar announced that the next entry of Grand Theft Auto was in active development in February of 2022. The studio shared that its goal was to “significantly move beyond what we have previously delivered.” Players hope that this means an expansion of the Content Creator and a way to officially include some elements that make NoPixel possible without having to rely on mods.

User-generated content has become a focus in the game industry, with level editors coming to all sorts of games, from Fortnite to Totally Accurate Battle Simulator. There is no word on whether the next GTA will include a more in-depth level editor. Red Dead Online didn’t include one, even though it was Rockstar’s flagship project following Grand Theft Auto V.

GTA Online changed what it means to play Grand Theft Auto. Once it blew up in popularity, single-player DLC like Grand Theft Auto IV’s The Ballad of Gay Tony ceased to launch in favor of new content for the online world of San Andreas.

It would make sense for Rockstar to embrace the culture of user-generated content that Grand Theft Auto has spawned, but those communities that thrive off the world’s that Rockstar have built will continue to flourish despite what comes with the next Grand Theft Auto.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors.
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