The Weapon Wheel is a feature in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (PSP and smart-phone versions), Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online. Unlike previous Grand Theft Auto titles, the weapon system has now been revamped. Instead of having to scroll through the player's weapons, the player can now use a wheel, which is similar to that of the Radio Wheel and Character Wheel, to change their weapons. The player can now hold more than one weapon of their class. For example, in GTA IV, the player would be unable to hold a SMG and a Micro SMG at the same time, but it is now possible in GTA V.
There are eight different slots in the Weapon Wheel:
- The top slot holds handguns such as the Stun Gun, AP Pistol, etc.
- The top-right slot holds SMGs and LMGs.
- The right slot holds Assault Rifle such as the Carbine Rifle.
- The bottom-right slot holds sniper rifles such as the Heavy Sniper Rifle.
- The bottom slot is the unarmed/melee weapons slot.
- The bottom-left holds shotguns such as the Pump Action Shotgun and the Musket.
- The left slot holds heavy weapons such as the Grenade Launcher and Minigun.
- Lastly, the top-left slot holds thrown explosives and the Jerry Can.
In the middle of the weapon wheel, there is the weapon's name, the inventory place and total of the weapon type, and the attachments placed on the weapon. At the top right corner, stats are visible and a colored line will represent a certain enhancement (blue means increased and red means decreased). If a parachute is in the player's inventory, it will be shown on the bottom right of the wheel, next to the Sniper Rifle slot. After patch 1.16, the number "2" can be seen if there are 2 parachutes.
When activated, each slot shows the current ammunition of the weapon and a colored line that shows the actual weapon. The selector is represented by a highlighted slot, which when deactivated, the character will take that weapon. Not all weapons are able to share ammunitions, which depends of their technical aspects (i.e. Heavy weapons).
In Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, when the weapon wheel is activated, the game is paused, while in Grand Theft Auto V, the game slows down, being useful during missions or wanted levels. However, unlike in GTA Chinatown Wars, it is only possible to activate the weapon wheel while on foot.
Wheel Tiers (GTA V and GTA Online)
- Top (Handguns) - Pistol, Combat Pistol, AP Pistol, Stun Gun, Pistol .50, SNS Pistol, Heavy Pistol, Vintage Pistol, Flare Gun, Marksman Pistol, Heavy Revolver, Double-Action Revolver, Up-n-Atomizer, Ceramic Pistol, Navy Revolver.
- Top Right (Machine Guns) - Micro SMG, SMG, Assault SMG, Combat PDW, Machine Pistol, MG, Combat MG, Gusenberg Sweeper, Mini SMG, Unholy Hellbringer.
- Right (Assault Rifles) - Assault Rifle, Carbine Rifle, Advanced Rifle, Special Carbine, Bullpup Rifle, Compact Rifle.
- Bottom Right (Sniper Rifles) - Sniper Rifle, Heavy Sniper Rifle, Marksman Rifle
- Bottom (Melee) - Fist, Knife, Nightstick, Hammer, Baseball Bat, Crowbar, Golf Club, Broken Bottle, Antique Cavalry Dagger, Hatchet, Knuckle Dusters, Machete, Flashlight, Switchblade, Pipe Wrench, Pool Cue, Battle Axe, Stone Hatchet.
- Bottom Left (Shotguns) - Shotgun, Sawed-Off Shotgun, Assault Shotgun, Bullpup Shotgun, Musket, Heavy Shotgun, Double Barreled Shotgun, Sweeper Shotgun.
- Left (Heavy) - Grenade Launcher, RPG, Minigun, Firework Launcher, Rail Gun, Homing Launcher, Compact Grenade Launcher, Widowmaker.
- Top Left (Thrown) - Grenade, Sticky Bomb, Proximity Mines, Tear Gas, Molotov Cocktail, Jerry Can, Ball, Snowballs, Pipe Bomb.
- The Weapon Wheel is based on the weapon switching feature in another Rockstar title, Red Dead Redemption, as well as Max Payne 3, but using 4 slots (single hand weapons onto the sides, dual-wielding weapons on the top and two hand weapons on the bottom).
- Strangely, the Musket is placed in the Shotgun slot, despite the Musket not being a shotgun; rather, the Musket is more similar to a rifle.
- Similarly, the Jerry Can is placed in the Throwables slot, despite the Jerry Can not being a throwable weapon. This may mean its slot is actually just a slot for "non-firearm" weapons.