Has anyone else noticed that 2016 has been a fantastic year in gaming? With updates to games from last year as well as brand new titles, it’s hard to have a bad time, but some users are still having the majority of fun with the instantly-classic Grand Theft Auto V, which is available to download for your Windows PC (as well as every other gaming platform out there.) Even though the game has technically been popular ever since it first released on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, next generation updates for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the Windows PC versions of the game have kept it wholly relevant and a ton of fun.
If you’ve never played a Grand Theft Auto game before, you’re in for a treat. Not only are the most recent games in the series a blast to explore and play, but they also boast a pulpy, exciting story that will guide you through the core of the gameplay. You’ll be getting into gunfights, car chases, getaways, robberies, heists, and just about everything else under the sun that’s illegal or illicit in the fictional region of San Andreas. Grand Theft Auto V is open-world gaming at its finest, and the added online features that are new to this entry in the series have cranked up the replayability in a massive way.
After all, people are still playing the ever-loving hell out of a game that’s several years old!
Though the single-player campaign is fantastic, the multiplayer component of Grand Theft Auto V is so well-developed and expansive that it’s sometimes referred to as an entirely different title: Grand Theft Auto Online. Apt but it’s nevertheless built upon the core mechanics of Grand Theft Auto V and comes bundled right along with any purchase of the game.
If you’ve arrived at this article, get ready for an entire walkthrough that will get you set up and ready to roll in the game. We’ll even provide you with some helpful tips to get started; rules that can be applied whether you’re just starting out in the single-player campaign or dipping your toes into the game’s stellar multiplayer modes.
Grand Theft Auto V for Windows PC
Obviously, the first thing that you’re going to have to do is get your hands on a copy of Grand Theft Auto V, and since it’s still a very popular game, in spite of not being the newest title on the block, it’s still going to cost a pretty penny. That said, you can frequently catch it on sale, and we’ll give you a whole host of places to look where you can purchase it.
Before you do anything, you’ll want to make sure that your Windows PC meets the required specifications for the game. While a gaming console is guaranteed to be able to play anything that’s released on it, PC gaming is a tricky thing in that it’s highly customizable. Here are the minimum system requirements you’ll need to meet if you want to play Grand Theft Auto V:
- Windows 7, 8.1, or 10
- Intel Core 2 CPU clocking at 2.4 GHz or higher
- 4 GB of RAM
- Nvidia or Radeon dedicated GPU with 1GB or higher available memory
- 65 GB of available hard drive space
Keep in mind that these are the minimum requirements that you’ll need to meet in order to run the game. If you only meet (or barely exceed) these requirements, then you’re only going to be able to play the game with dialed down graphics and settings. If you want the maximum enjoyment from Grand Theft Auto V, you’ll have to meet the recommended system requirements:
- Windows 8.1 or 10
- Intel Core i5 CPU clocking at 3.4 GHz or higher
- 8 GB of RAM
- Nvidia GTX 660 or Radeon HD 7870 with 2 GB or higher available memory
- 65 GB of available hard drive space
Provided that you’re able to meet the recommended requirements, you’ll likely be able to play and enjoy the game at its highest graphical fidelity.
I’ll also take a single moment to advance a bit of caution: don’t download the game illegally. If ever you encounter a gaming portal that promises free access to a game that you’d regularly pay up to $40 for, there’s a good chance that you’re going to end up on the wrong side of the copyright violation law, which is a bad place to be.
Of course, you can always rely on Amazon to provide you with a version of the game at a reasonable price, where you’ll be able to either order a physical copy of the game or just download it. Alternatively, you can head over to the Rockstar online store and purchase the game directly from those who developed it!
Your other option (and likely the most reliable one) is to purchase the game through Valve’s massive gaming portal, Steam. Here, you’ll probably find the most consistent sales for downloadable games, and once you’ve purchased them, they’ll all be available for you to download and install from a single source.
Getting Started in Grand Theft Auto V
Once you’ve found your favored way of getting Grand Theft Auto V onto your Windows PC (seriously, I recommend Steam), then you’re all set to get rolling with both of the game’s lengthy modes: the single-player campaign and online multiplayer! You can also delve into the wild world of mods, but be aware that your modified game is only going to affect single-player experiences. Still, it can be a blast, and it’s yet another way to add replayability to an already deep game.
In the single-player campaign, you’ll find a narrative that tells the story of three major protagonists, whom you’ll switch between controlling as the story plays out. If you’ve played a Grand Theft Auto game before, there will be a lot of familiar elements:
- The police will be after you if you get caught committing a crime.
- Your enemies will hunt you down.
- Stealing cars is illegal (and often necessary, in the game.)
- Success is money, and money is success. Make it, but don’t lose it!
- Exploration is your best friend in Grand Theft Auto.
The region of San Andreas (and the fictional city of Los Santos) are your ripe oyster to explore and exploit in Grand Theft Auto V, and you should never hesitate to explore them to satisfy the full extent of your curiosity. Rockstar Games has truly created a massive, immersive landscape for you to engage with, and even though the single-player campaign plays out in a linear way, don’t be afraid to diverge from it to complete additional jobs or pull off insane stunts.
Even though the multiplayer component of Grand Theft Auto V is based on the world and mechanics of the core game, there’s a lot that you’ll find different once you start engaging with other players.
Rather than your progress being solely based upon the money in your pocket, you’ll be dependant upon “Reputation Points” (RP) in order to gain access to new weapons, new cars, and other customizable assets for your multiplayer experience. Undertaking and finishing missions with other players are the primary way to earn RP, but you can also gain it through races and deathmatches, depending on the type of gameplay that you’re most interested in jumping into.
The fun that you have online is going to largely depend upon how much time you invest into it, but here are a few tips to get you started, that will give you a nice boost right from the beginning:
- Steal a good car! You’re going to be stuck with the first car that you steal in Grand Theft Auto Online, and you won’t get a different one until you earn enough to buy it. Therefore, don’t steal a clunker; steal something you want to drive for a while.
- Better weapons, as soon as you can! Going up against the law, the criminal element and other players are going to be hard when you’re constantly outgunned, and the only way to level that playing field is to get access to better weapons. Make it your primary endeavor to get better guns and other weapons if you want to keep up with your opponents and teammates.
- Shop smart! You should always be spending your RP and cash to improve your arsenal and attire, and likewise, you should rarely be caught carrying around an excess of cash in your pocket. Other players can steal that! Instead, use the online banking system available through your character’s phone to make sure that your unspent money stays safe at all times.
Play Grand Theft Auto V even for a short while and you’ll see why it’s received so much popularity, as well as a mountain of positive critical praise. It’s a great game, and even as new titles have released all around it, people are still discovering this game for the first time (or continuing to play it, years later).
The above guide should have you ready to go, from downloading GTA V for your Windows PC to engaging in its deep single-player campaign and engrossing multiplayer. If we missed anything, or if you just want to share your Grand Theft Auto stories, speak up in the comments below!