Introduced in the Freemode Events Update, the Freemode Events are a feature which include various game competition modes without the need of loading screens or joining jobs.
Freemode Events will occur in most Grand Theft Auto Online sessions. These sessions are Public, Invite only, Crew session, Friends only session. A random event will be choose at the specific time as long as the requirement is met for that lobby session. The requirement to trigger the an event is that there are at least 4 players in the lobby. However, some events will require at least 10 players to be in the lobby. The Freemode Event or Challenge in that is currently in progress will be canceled if players leave the lobby and there are less than 4-10 players left.
At 00:00, 06:00, 12:00 and 18:00 hrs in game (every 12 minutes, real time), an event or challenge will become available. All players in the current session will be notified with a on-screen HUD message that an event will begin soon, and a timer in the bottom right corner will count down until the start of the event. In some instances, a "Prepare for [challenge]" message will appear, for Challenges only. If a player is in passive mode, they will be warned about this preventing them from participating in the event or challenge.
Once the event begins, all players in the session will be notified, regardless if they became part of the event or not.
Every so often, challenges become available for players to compete in. They are much simpler and last less time than standard Events. Challenges vary, and are randomized from different categories, such as combat, vehicles and general gameplay.
Time Trials are another kind of Freemode Event, which are set out as permanently available in-session races. In public lobbies, Time Trials are found marked on the map with a purple timer icon. There are 22 different Time Trials which change weekly as part of Weekly Events. The Time Trial is a point-to-point race with no checkpoints, and the objective is to beat a time set by Rockstar Games themselves.
- Air Checkpoints - Players compete in collecting checkpoints spread around a quarter of San Andreas skies. Players can only use aircraft during this event.
- Business Battles - Added as of GTA Online: After Hours, launched every 15 minutes in public Freemode sessions, players go into head to head battles over large drops of Business goods. Owners of Nightclubs can deliver them to their underground warehouse, or simply drop them off in a location designated in the map for a cash and RP reward. At least 3 players not busy in Freemode Work or in an interior have to be in session for them to happen.
- Checkpoints - Players compete in collecting checkpoints spread around a quarter of San Andreas, on land and at sea. Players can only use land or sea vehicles during this event.
- Criminal Damage - Players compete in causing the most destruction in the time limit.
- Hold the Wheel - A Caddy, BMX, Tri-Cycles Race Bike, Sanchez, Faggio, Lectro or Fieldmaster becomes a target vehicle during Hold the Wheel. Players compete to steal the vehicle and hold it for the longest time.
- Hot Property - A briefcase becomes a hot target to collect and hold for the longest amount of time. On-foot variation of Hold the Wheel.
- Hunt the Beast - The players must track down a random GTA Online player (the Beast), who is faster and stronger than all other players. The beast remains hidden from the radar, and has to visit 10 landmarks. Players must track him/her down and kill them.
- Kill List - Players enter an armed vehicle and destroy Merryweather patrols.
- King of the Castle - A designated area must be captured for the longest time. Players fight to capture the area.
- Penned In - Players fight to remain inside a moving area, gradually becoming smaller.
Removed Freemode Events
As of the GTA Online: After Hours update, the following Freemode Events are no longer triggered:
- Dead Drop - A package becomes a hot target to collect and deliver to a drop-off location. Players complete to gain possession of the package and be the one to deliver it. On-foot variation of Moving Target.
- Kill List Competitive - Players enter armed vehicles and compete to destroy the most Merryweather patrols.
- Moving Target - A vehicle becomes a hot target to steal and deliver to a drop-off location.
The Freemode Events Update remixes some soundtracks from the original release of Grand Theft Auto V and introduces others. Only a selection of Freemode Events have soundtracks that play during them, Hold the Wheel, Hunt the Beast, Penned In, Kill List and Kill List Competitive. All but one of these soundtracks are exclusive to Freemode Events and do not play in any other mission. One soundtrack, named "Univ" is a remix of the original score "Universal" which plays during Kill List and Kill List Competitive. An un-mixed version of the soundtrack played during the Grand Theft Auto Online Official Gameplay Trailer, while this remixed version plays only during the two aforementioned Freemode Events and selected Organization Work missions.
- Between the After Hours and The Diamond Casino & Resort updates, Freemode Events other than Business Battles were temporarily disabled.