Although it's still having a few server problems here and there, Grand Theft Auto Online is slowly but surely taking shape, with players and their crews hopping into the world of Los Santos and creating their own legacy, which may or may not put Grand Theft Auto 5's main characters – Michael, Franklin and Trevor – to shame. That really depends on you and what kind of person you're building in the game.
We briefly covered character customization in our Beginner's Guide, but this special takes more of an in-depth look at it, and what you need to do when it comes to making your person.
Quick note: character customization works differently than other games of this type. Rather than just making a general character, you actually produce where they come from as well.
The first thing you'll have to do when you create a character is to put together their heritage. You're going to need to choose four grandparents – two male, two female – for your mother and father. This is a rather painless process, as you select from various facial types set for each character, then tweak their resemblance using a small meter underneath. This changes their facial features a little bit, depending if you want a fuller face or something a little skinnier.
As you choose the grandparents' facial features, you'll see what kind of effect they have in real time on your mother and father, through a small window located just below where the grandparents are set. If you don't like something, you can go back and fix it, and see what kind of effect it has on the parents as a result. It's an interesting system, but it ultimately puts together what your general look will be like.
Keep in mind, though, that this alone will not finalize your character design. You'll have the opportunity to do additional change-ups through the Appearance tab, which we'll get to in a moment.
When it comes to lifestyle, it's important to contour to what you're in the mood for. Are you in the mood to live a criminal life? Perhaps you prefer to just be lazy for several hours and then party the rest? Keep in mind that these each have positive and negative effects on your character overall.
These activities will apply to your stats in several areas. These include Stamina, Shooting, Strength, Stealth, Flying, Driving and Lung Capacity. Each of these are important when it comes to things that happen in the game. For instant, you can't swim for long if your Lung Capacity is stunted, and, well, if you suck at Flying, you might want to stay on the ground until it picks up.
In regards to how these will vary, you'll be given a 24-hour window to fill for each day. It's up to you how to divide these up over a number of categories, including Asleep, Doing Legal Work, Partying, Playing Sports & Working Out, and others. Keep in mind, though, these apply to certain stats.
Here's how each one works if you maximize the hours available…
Asleep: Increase: Stamina, Lung Capacity, Stealth and Strength
Friends & Family: Increases Driving and Stamina, decreases Shooting
Playing Sports & Working Out: Increases Stamina, Strength & Lung Capacity, decreases Shooting
Doing Legal Work: Increases Stamina, Stealth and Flying, decreases Driving
Sitting On the Couch: Increases Flying and Driving, decreases Lung Capcity, Strength and Stamina
Partying: Increases Shooting and Stealth, decreases Stamina, Strength, Flying and Lung Capacity
Doing Illegal Work: Increases Driving and Shooting, decreases Lung Capacity
It just really depends what you want to specialize your character in. Play around with each of these and see how it affects their performance in multiplayer.
If there are small things you want to change on your character before you head into the open world, you can make some adjustments here.
Appearance allows you to change six different things. The first is your Age, whether you prefer a younger character or a more grizzled veteran along the lines of Michael or Trevor; then there's Hair, which lets you choose from various styles; Hair Color, which ranges from bright blonde to silver grey, with plenty of choices in-between; Makeup, in case you feel like dolling yourself up – and yes, you can do this on guys, too; Hat, if you feel like wearing one on top of your head, with various styles available; and Glasses, should the "four-eyes" look be what you're going for.
Obviously, most of the work is done through Heritage, but you can really give your character further definition here before you're done and ready to go. Take the time and get a good look going for yourself – or go nuts and create a weird-looking clown-face dude. It's your call.
Don't forget to get yourself some good clothes as well – our GTA 5 character customization guide (link here) should help with that.