Multiplayer is a new feature in Grand Theft Auto IV that has immensely expanded multiplayer functions that were otherwise absent, or limited in previous GTA games.
Multiplayer in GTA IV is hosted on the PlayStation Network (PlayStation), Xbox Live (Xbox), and Games for Windows (PC). The game requires a working internet connection or connected to a Local Area Network (exclusively for PC version) and supports up to 16 players (Xbox and PlayStation), and up to 32 (PC).
Gameplay features differ slightly to that of standard single player. The player can always sprint and never will get tired, and can change weapons more quickly. Pickups are deployed across the map and are labeled with a specific icon. Health pickups now can be collected while in a vehicle, restoring player's health and vehicle's damage. Weapons pickups now will have a larger amount of ammunition when picked up and are labeled differently (Pistols from Shotguns), but aren't specifically defined (An assault rifle will be either the Assault Rifle (AK-47) or the Carbine (M4)). GPS waypoints can still be placed on the radar and are visible to all players, along with the guided route (if enabled through the main options of the game). Players are labeled with a certain color that represents their characters. Like any ally/enemy in missions, they are labeled with a dot on the minimap, along with a name, where the player can identify another player throught the cursor and the screens in-game. The player itself, like the protagonists, is represented with an arrow of the designed color. Some games require the player to be on a team. The player's online ID display matches with that of their respective team.
Players can also partially communicate with others via the player model. While on foot, pressing the L1 button will allow players to partially converse with others (only in GTA IV). During the game session, the players can be viewed by pressing down on the D-pad of the controller.
Differences to Single Player Scenario
In Multiplayer, many changes are made to Liberty City. Weapons and Health/Body Armour are found in specific locations in the selected region of the city, which the player can still leave anyway. Most novelty vehicles appears in special locations. For example, the Heli Tours heliport spawns Annihilators instead of Heli Tour Mavericks, and in The Ballad of Gay Tony multiplayer an APC spawns in the East Holland LCPD Station car lot, as well as Police Mavericks on the station's helipad. Most glitches from single player can also be used in multiplayer, as seen here and many of the inaccessible areas from single player are unlocked in multiplayer.
Multiplayer is available from the beginning of the game (At The Cousins Bellic), though Niko actually receives his real phone in the second mission (It's Your Call). To access multiplayer, the player has to bring up the cell phone and select "multiplayer". This will bring up a new menu which contains six options:
Brings the player to two options: Quick Match, and Custom Match. Quick Match allows the player to jump into a game via the game lobby, while Custom Match allows the player to customize the game type, as well as the private slots (the number of players that require a game invite to join).
- Mafiya Work
- Car Jack City
- Race/GTA Race
- Team Deathmatch
- Team Mafiya Work
- Team Car Jack City
- Cops 'n' Crooks
- Turf War
- Deal Breaker
- Hangman's NOOSE
- Bomb Da Base II
- Free Mode
An invite-only variant of Free Mode. The player(s) are free to do as they wish as with free mode. Each one also starts party mode at the Alderney Casino (also marked with a safehouse icon) with a selected variety of vehicles on the area. Default settings are used here. If at least two players are in the game, then they can start any game (see above). When the host leaves, then another player is appointed party leader.
The third in the menu, game invites are shown here. Selecting one of these will allow the player to join the game in which the player's friend(s) are in. Invites last until the game session is over. If waited too long the player can still join, but they will have skipped the game lobby. These can be sent if the player is or isn't already in a game session. Invites sent to someone playing single player will appear just like a text message notification does.
Selecting this allows the player to customize the look of their multiplayer character. As with each rank, the player will unlock more clothing (highlited when ranking up). Player models are separated between a man and a woman, so the player can customize both genders separately, as well as, after ranking up to level 1, the player can choose of a zombie model.
One can change their character model before starting a match. Note that in some games, more specifically Turf War, Cops 'n' Crooks, Bomb Da Base II, Hangman's NOOSE, and Deal Breaker, the player will assume the appearance of a generic gang member (or a police officer in Cops 'n' Crooks). However, if the player is already joined at a match, they can't change their model until the match expires (or after leaving an infinite Free Mode).
Options that the player can change. The three options are: auto-aim, police, and friendly fire. Each can be set to disallow, don't care (random), or allow. Players join games based on their preferences, unless they use an invite.
Auto-aiming: It only works against people who attack the player, so innocent pedestrians who pose no threat to the player won't be auto targeted. This also has to be enabled through the main options menu. Though, if reticule health is enabled, and the player's weapon target is set ot complex, the current health of an NPC can still be tracked.
Police: enabled the wanted system works just as it would in single player, except the abscense of the FIB. Also wanted levels are only visible through the player's perspective. Due to this, others can only have a sense of the wanted level of another player based on the quantity of law enforcement groups pursing one another. Police will also attempt to kill players rather than arrest them. None of the police settings apply in a party mode. If a player escapes but is carrying another player, is possible that the other player will be still chased by cops, depending of the wanted level earned by their own.
Friendly-fire: Allows players to be killed by another player directly. When enabled, every player has the chance of kill someone with firearms. When disabled, they can only receive damage by AI or player's vehicles, cops (if enabled), crashing in a wrecked helicopter or simply falling off too high.
A quick tutorial about multiplayer. Selecting this will transport the player to Charge Island, where the game gives beginners instructions about weapons, pickups, games and teams. To view the tutorial, the player cannot have a wanted level.
Inside a match
The phone is a vital tool that can be accessed at any point during gameplay and tells anything about the match. Cheats are obviously disabled in multiplayer, as the player no longer can use the phone's numbers.
When inside a match, these options appears:
This contains the other members of the game session, as well as Zit!, which is always in the phonebook. There are three options for each of them.
The first one is Call, where a player can call other players via headset/microphone and only works if the player has one. The second one is to "mute" and "unmute" other players when desired. If a player is muted by all the other players that all started in the lobby, then they can't receive calls until they are unmuted. Finally, the last one is kick, where the player can select another one to be kicked out of the match. This can be used if a player is repeatedly causing trouble for other players, or just if the others want to maintain a private match. Upon using this, a message will appear in the top left corner reading "<<PSN/XBL name>> Wants to Kick <<PSN/XBL name>>". To kick a player, there will be a majority between the match. Provided there is at least three players, two can kick another player from the game. If someone is kicked from a game, then they can't return to it, and are stated as "<<PSN/XBL name>> left the game".
Kicking can also be used in the game lobby before it starts. It's commonly used when the host takes so long to start.
Self explanatory, selecting this will allow the player to leave the current game session, and return to singleplayer. The player can also leave by accessing options, and selecting leave under the game menu.
Information on the current game. Has the description of the game, as well as the set preferences, and host's options.
Selecting this will let the player start a new game, a party mode, or with the downloaded TLAD and TBOGT, change the episode.
Allows the player to send a game invite for friends to join them. Friends can only be invited if they have a IV icon () next to their name. If the friend doesn't have one and their name is in black, it means they are online, but not playing GTA IV. If the name is grayed out, however, they are offline.
Selecting this, and selecting another game allows the player to suggest the next game. If all players suggest the same game, a time will count down from 8:00 before starting the new game.
Player Match puts the player up against other GTA gamers in every possible multiplayer mode. Scores in these matches are not carried over into other matches, and are irrelevant once the time is up. You also cannot earn money or achievements in this mode; it's a casual mode, well-suited to socialising and to getting a feel for the different modes before jumping into Ranked matches. It is very common for LAN matches for PC version only.
Ranked Matches — either on PlayStation Network or Xbox Live — give the player a rank which will gradually increase (to a maximum rank of 10) as they advance and earn money. Advancing in rank unlocks additional clothing for one's multiplayer character. Some money earned in team matches is split up equally (Turf War, Team Car Jack City). Although in others the amount of money the player the player earns depends on how much they have made (Team Deathmatch, Hangman's NOOSE, Deal Breaker, and Bomb Da Base II). Any money received at the end of one of the three co-op games is the same for everyone. Below is a list showing the amount of money needed to get to each rank. If the player is in a game they may have to spectate before the current game ends and they can join in. Leaving the game will see that no money or network stats are recorded, this is the same if the player is kicked. Killing oneself or member of the same team will cost the player (or team) a loss of $100. The same applies to being killed by an NPC. Ranked money from regular GTA IV will carry on to TLAD and TBOGT.
- Ranking system
These are the options in which the host of the game (represented by a crown icon) can alter. Anything native to a game session is not listed here.
|Blips||Online ID Display||Reticule Health||Voice Chat||Respawn Distance|
|Respawn Time||Time of Day||Weather|
Upon completing a game, a statistics screen will appear on the screen. This will list all the players, along with their rank, and how much money is need to gain a level up. It also shows how much money the player has made, how many kills and how many deaths. It will also show things that are native to the game such as how many turfs were taken over in Turf War, how many cars were delivered in Car Jack City, what place the player was in during a race, or a deathmatch, or how many tasks were carried through in Mafiya Work. Also the player can search stats in the option menu by pressing the start button. These are worldwide stats that track every game except for free mode, and party mode. These can only be viewed in single player.
Whenever someone is killed by the AI (mostly cops) or other players, a message will appear in the top-left corner reading "<<PSN/XBL name>> Died" or "<<PSN/XBL name>> killed <<PSN/XBL name>>". This message used to describe the killing differs between anything the player can do onto another (weapons or vehicles). The multiplayer killfeed uses a variety of messages to indicate the death of players in gameplay, which follow a basic "Player1" "<term>" "Player2" format, where the first is the attacker and the second, the victim.
|Cause(s) of death||Term(s)|
|Falling, shot by cop, killed by NPC, killed by own explosives, crashed in wrecked helicopter||Died|
|Fist/Baseball Bat||battered / beat down / bludgeoned / brained / broke / crack / hammered / hommored / pummeled / smashed|
|Knife||butchered / cut up / diced / eviscerated / filleted / slashed / spiked / stabbed / stuck it to / striped|
|Glock/Desert Eagle||2nd amendmented / capped / clipped / clocked / deaded / pistoled / popped / shot / smoked / whacked|
|Shotgun/Combat Shotgun||12 bored / blew away / double barreled / farmed / opened up / perforated / pumped / put a load in / shelled / shottied|
|Micro Uzi/MP5||cancelled / crossed out / cut down / massacred / peppered / plugged / riddled / SMGed / sprayed / ventilated|
|AK-47/M4/Annihilator Miniguns||3rd worlded / annihilated / armied / decommissioned / drilled / ended / killed / machined / punctuated / terminated|
|Sniper Rifles||assassinated / brought down / caught out / high-calibered / lightning bolted / nailed / picked off / sniped / struck down / surprised|
|Molotov cocktails||barbecued / blazed / burnt / charred / cindered / cooked / flame grilled / ignited / roasted / torched|
|Rocket Launcher, Grenade, Helicopter Blades||atomized / blasted / blew up / blitzed / detonated / fucked up / pulverized / shocked & awed / totaled / vaporized|
|Vehicles||accidented / flattened / gouranga'd / hit and runned / manslaughtered / plowed / ran-over / shocked / splattered / steamrollered|
Death of the player will result in loss of all current weapons, but upon respawning, the player is granted a few seconds of invincibility.
|2-4||Under orders of Kenny Petrovic, players must ambush a drug deal between the Angels of Death, and an unspecified Mafia family. The deal is underway at the Acter Industrial Park. The objective here is to eliminate both parties, collect the drugs, and meet back at the rendezvous point. Some of the witnesses may attempt to escape by boat, by bike, or even both. Only 5 respawns on Easy, 4 respawns on Medium, 3 respawns on Hard. are granted.TIP: There is a helicopter near the mansion a couple of blocks north of the starting point. To speed the mission up, there are RPGs on some of the floors of the building, which can be used to kill the AOD if they escape by boat.|
|2-4||Russian Mafia boss Kenny Petrovic has illegally flown into Francis International Airport, and someone has tipped off the cops. The objective is to escort Petrovic to safety while being pursued by the Liberty City Police Department's NOOSE (SWAT) division. Only 5 respawns on Easy, 4 respawns on Medium, 3 respawns on Hard are granted.TIP: While some players lay waste to the NOOSE agents, get one player to sneak away, and drive around the airport to the opposite end of the airstrip. You should find 2 Annihilators, which are easily jacked. Swing around to grab your crew, and fly to the safe zone. Only 5 respawns on Easy, 4 respawns on Medium, 3 respawns on Hard. are granted, making sustained survival a priority.|
Bomb Da Base II
|2-4||Bomb Da Base II (its name referring to a mission from GTA III) requires a gang of players to work in unison and sabotage the Platypus, a ship being used by the Albanians for exporting cars. Only 5 respawns on Easy, 4 respawns on Medium, 3 respawns on Hard. Unlike the other two, survival isn't needed as you will still receive money for completing the mission.TIP: When you get to the boat, there are some good sniper spot on the surrounding buildings and crane towers. Get your best marksman to take a point and pick off the thugs on the boat. Also to help beat the target score have one player fly to the tower at the west end of the ship. From there they can quickly plant the bomb, while the other players, exploit a glitch to gain easy access to the hull.|
Achievements/Trophies in multiplayer
- Main article: Achievements in GTA IV.
|Achievement||Means of acquirement|
|Teamplayer||Kill 5 opposing team members.|
|Cut Your Teeth||Earn a rank promotion.|
|Join the Midnight Club||Achieve first place in a race with damage enabled, but minimal damage to your vehicle.|
|Fly The Co-Op|| Complete Deal Breaker in under 7:04|
Hangman's Noose in under 2:32 seconds
Bomb Da Base II in under 5:56 seconds.
|Taking it For The Team||Have your team win in all ranked Multiplayer games.|
|Top The Midnight Club||Win 20 races. All on different tracks.|
|Auf Wiedersehen Petrovic||Win in all variations of multiplayer as well as each side in Cops n Crooks.|
|Top of the Food Chain||Kill twenty players with a pistol in deathmatch.|
|Let Sleeping Rockstars Lie||Kill a Rockstar developer, or another player who has this achievement in any multiplayer game.|
|Wanted||Reach level 10 in multiplayer.|
- Despite whatever weapon class is on, the player can still receive weapons from other sources. Some of these are pump shotguns, carbine rifles, rocket launchers, and pistols. RPGs can be obtained from entering a parked helicopter, and the other weapons are standard issue for NOOSE and LCPD.
- Some interiors that are otherwise inaccessible will be accessible during multiplayer.
- Glitches that work in single player also work in multiplayer, such as gaining entrance to Blue Hell as seen here
- In most deathmatches set at Francis International Airport, players will most likely use the combat helicopters.
- In the games audio files, Police Scanner files for Multiplayer Robberies still exist. Robberies could be taken place in a specific pawn shop, for example. Robberies must have been originally intended for multiplayer.
- If set on fire, entering the game menu makes your character immunne to fire damage, but can still be killed by other players by other meanings.
- In deathmatches, headshots are crucial. Usually, a single headshot will take away almost all the health (seven out of eight bars in the reticle), and the second one will kill the player. This does not apply to NPC pedestrians where just one headshot would kill one.
- Reloading after every kill helps, so the player won't run out of ammunition. It also helps to always have full health, and full armor. Be careful though, people might surprisingly approach you while you are reloading and there is a chance of a player spawning near you. This is especially important if you are using a gun that takes a long time to reload. Another tip for reloading is to simply switch your weapon back and forth without taking time to manually reload, it will instantly reload the weapon.
- If someone is using a cover, look for a weak spot, like having their feet exposed. This might help at shooting from a distance, or avoiding going for the target player.
- Auto-aiming can also help. Keeping the auto-aim reticule on someone while they are moving, allows the player to track their every movement. This also works on some fragile barriers, such those ones on the airport.
- Using the in-game map can help the player track what other weapons players have picked up and what they can pick up.
- Crouching with a weapon can minimize the recoil given off by it and increases accuracy. Though doing this, the player can expose themselves. Using the firing trigger in console, if you press it slighty, the reticle becomes smaller than usual, giving it accurate shots. It only works on pistols, SMGs and Assault Rifles.
- If someone else is coming towards the player in a vehicle, they can either roll, or move out of the path of the other, and have a better chance for a kill.
- If a deathmatch is set in the airport, most players will either use the combat helicopters or use the blue hell glitch to enter the terminal, the hangars and other buildings. In such an event, hide out until the round is over, so the opponents don't get money for glitching.
- Don't hide at the edge of your cover, as this can give opposing players more of a target to hit.
- While playing disallow a good strategy is to wall shoot, A good way to practice this is in Colony Island where you line up the reticule with the edge of a wall and shoot at a friend and make sure to the friend you were not visible.
- When you hear an incoming rocket missile, quickly run, turn your camera to see where the rocket came from, avoid getting near obstacles, and jump if the rocket is near to you to have better chance of surviving from instant death.
- Be careful with hacked matches, especially in Free Mode. Sometimes, the game will crash due to the faulty frames they can make at generating unexpected circunstances (spawning odd things, teleports, weapons cheat, etc.). If you find a sight of a hacked match, leave it inmediately or proceed at your own risk.
- Multiplayer Clothing in GTA IV - List of clothing available in multiplayer.
- Multiplayer Vehicles in GTA IV - List of vehicles attainable in multiplayer.
- Mafia Work Tasks in GTA IV - List of tasks in Mafiya Work.
- Race Tracks - Maps of races in GTAIV multiplayer.
- Multiplayer Taunts in GTA 4 - Taunts, and partial conversation in multiplayer.
- Multiplayer in The Lost and Damned - The Lost and Damned multiplayer.
- GTA4.net - Multiplayer: gametypes, modes, online.
- GTASeries - Detailed guide of multiplayer clothing.