How to Play Grand Theft Auto

By Zach Chouteau

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • A console gaming platform for your television

  • The actual game of Grand Theft Auto

Playing Grand Theft Auto goes well beyond driving fast cars out of control.

If you've ever fantasized about being an over-the-top gangsta--holding up banks, stealing cop cars, and running down pedestrians--without any fear of actual jail time, then Grand Theft Auto is the video game series for you. A massively popular set of games based in various fictitious locales (such as 'San Andreas'), these incredibly detailed adventures offer players (and playas) the opportunity to randomly explore gigantic city and country environments wreaking havoc or to take on more organized challenges.

While the accompanying guides to the Grand Theft Auto games don't provide an immense amount of information, they will explain how the various controls work and typically provide a map to the showcased region that will be absolutely crucial to finding your way around.

While there is an overall goal to the game you can pursue (in San Andreas for example the main character is challenged to 'save his family and take control of the streets') many players simply just enjoy roaming the large and detailed maps causing trouble and fleeing the authorities.

In escaping police pursuit, do your best to stay in your vehicle, be it a car, motorcycle, helicopter or other mode of transportation. I've found that once you're on foot it's just a matter of a few minutes or less before you're shot down and taken in.

The simplest way to quickly build up some money is punching some innocent bystanders (or shooting them once you've acquired a gun) and picking up the bills that fly out of their pockets when they're downed. Don't get greedy, because the police usually arrive on the scene pretty quickly.

Gaining cash is also possible by hijacking cabs, seeking a customer on the street and taking them to their destination for a 'fare.' I personally found this more tedious and less enjoyable than sucker-punching pedestrians, but to each his own.

Once you've built up a decent cash reserve there are both fun, frivolous ways to spend it (including actual bars, tattoo parlors and clothing shops you can enter) and more purposeful outlets--such as gun shops, car mechanics and transportation such as train stations that will quickly get you to another destination. You can even spend money to work out at the gym making yourself stronger, or eat at a restaurant to build up your 'health.'


If you want to simply try exploring the map extensively without having to worry about being aggressively pursued by the police, steal a car in the most discreet manner and then avoid additional trouble while driving about.


This game does contain extreme amounts of violence and other adult themes and is rated Mature 17+ by the ESRB.