A meaty GTA Online update is set to add a suite of fan-demanded features and quality of life touches, including as ray-tracing.
Assuming Microsoft’s own claims are accurate, fans won’t be playing Grand Theft Auto 6 until at least 2024. That means Rockstar Games will likely keep supporting Grand Theft Auto Online with updates for another two years.
It’s unclear whether GTA Online will continue to exist in its current state alongside GTA 6 or be shut down in favour of a new online experience, but clearly that’s not going to be answered for a while yet.
For the time being, Rockstar isn’t slowing down its support as its final update of 2022 is set to be a big one and bring in new features specifically requested by players.
Perhaps the most notable is ray-tracing for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, something that was already available for Grand Theft Auto 5’s release on current gen consoles.
This update means reflections will be rendered in real-time across certain surfaces, like glass and water, and will be available via the game’s fidelity mode graphics setting.
Although Rockstar hasn’t confirmed release platforms for GTA 6 yet, it’s safe to assume that it’ll come to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S too, and will boast ray-tracing either at launch or with a post-launch update.
PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S owners will also be able to access Hao’s Special Works (where you can upgrade certain vehicles and take part in special races) without needing to complete his introductory race. Something that sounds more useful for brand new players than long-time ones, that have likely already completed said race.
If you’re worried that the update will only benefit those playing on the newer consoles, don’t be. The rest of it applies to every version of the game, including PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
The December update primarily focuses on providing quality of life features in response to player feedback. For example, new vehicle purchases will arrive in your garage faster than before and Agatha’s casino story missions can be played solo, whereas before you needed at least two players.
Rockstar has also increased the value of its shark cards – the game’s take on microtransactions. As of today, they’ve been boosted by 20 to 25%, so purchasing them nets you more of the in-game currency than before.
However, this only applies if you’re buying them directly in GTA Online or via the platform stores.
The full list of updates can be found below:
- Get to your favourite iFruit contacts faster — select which contacts to display or hide via the interaction menu
- The Benefactor Terrorbyte can be used to launch Business Sell Missions in all session types, including invite-only sessions
- Take on Agatha’s casino story missions as a solo operator by visiting the management office of The Diamond Casino & Resort (these missions previously required at least two players)
- PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will add ray-traced reflections — rendering real-time reflections on many surfaces — via the fidelity mode graphics setting
- New vehicle purchases will arrive in your garage faster than before
- Select custom weaponised vehicles can now be used in races, where appropriate — weapons will be disabled outside of GTA races
- Bicycles will be added to the list of vehicles that can be requested from your personal garage when calling the mechanic
- Players on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S can enjoy full access to Hao’s Special Works without needing to complete Hao’s introductory race
- Completing Vehicle Cargo Sell Missions in public sessions will award a High Demand Bonus, bringing this in line with all other business activities, while payouts on Smuggler’s Sell Missions will be permanently tripled
- Get more of what you want faster with an across-the-board increase in the GTA$ value of all shark cards. Starting today, all shark card denominations have been boosted by 20 to 25% when purchased directly in GTA Online or via any of the platform stores. For special GTA+ Member shark cards, this is on top of the current 15% bonus GTA$
All players will also be able to acquire a new vehicle – the retro-styled Declasse Tahoma Coupe – for a limited time once the update goes live.
Rockstar hasn’t provided an exact date for the update, but it should drop before the end of December.
You can expect even more in 2023, as Rockstar still wants players to provide feedback on what else can be improved.
What’s more, the December update is the first of a multi-part update ‘taking you all across the expanse of Southern San Andreas, featuring some familiar faces and a new troupe of entrepreneurial misfits on a mission to expand the minds of the citizens of Los Santos, one trip at a time.’
Grand Theft Auto Online is available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC.
Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
To submit Inbox letters and Reader’s Features more easily, without the need to send an email, just use our Submit Stuff page here.
For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.