10 Big Improvements GTA 6 Needs to Reinvigorate the Franchise

How can Rockstar top their best selling game of all time?

Yusuf stares at his muse

After almost a decade of playing Grand Theft Auto 5 and its many re-releases, the hype for the next entry is at a fever pitch. When GTA VI releases the game will likely become one of the biggest entertainment launches in history, just like previous entries. However, if Rockstar intends to impress gamers once again, they’ll need to make these 10 big improvements to avoid letting down gamers the same way that recent triple-A titles have.

Focus the Narrative Again

Image Source: Rockstar Games

Grand Theft Auto 5 broke new ground for the series by crafting a narrative featuring the three playable characters; Micheal, Trevor, and Franklin. Each character felt distinct and interesting in their way. However, the story is told from three perspectives making the game’s overall themes seem convoluted to a certain extent.

In Red Dead Redemption 2 it’s arguably easier to understand the motivations of Arthur Morgan along with the direction that the writers took the story. Meanwhile, many missions and plot points in GTA 5 felt like simple excuses for major set pieces. Hopefully Rockstar can give players the same the level of immersion and connection that many players felt with Arthur Morgan.

Improve the Gunplay

Image Source: Rockstar Games

Rockstar is the same company that developed and published Max Payne 3 which has some of the smoothest gunplay in any third-person shooter even after 10 years of being on the market. So for this reason, it’s baffling that most Rockstar titles are objectively less fun to play in comparison to other shooters.

There are two possible explanations for this strange phenomenon. One reason may be that Rockstar values realism and immersion above anything else and all of their playable characters have to move in realistic ways unlike the common protagonist of a Call of Duty game. Another reason is that Rockstar wants to compensate for their realistic movement by giving casual players the chance to effectively take out enemies with ease. With the next entry it would be nice to experience smoother gunplay that challenges the player.

Give Meaning to Money

The pursuit of money is something that’s a driving force for the narratives of most GTA games. For this reason, it’s somewhat ironic that halfway through most titles money becomes irrelevant for most players. Whether a player steals the cars they want or buys all the weapons they need, money eventually becomes a random number in the top right of the corner for most players. The next entry has the chance to make the player truly value every dollar they earn through illicit means.

Maybe have a permanent health upgrade associated with money or have a system in place that makes it imperative that you learn how to manage your money for the overall benefit of your character. Of course, players shouldn’t have to become accountants to succeed at the game, but it would be interesting to see if Rockstar can shake things up.

Increase Player Interaction

Image Source: Rockstar Games

A minor and major feature of Red Dead Redemption 2 was the dialogue system that let players talk to every NPC in the game. Of course, players couldn’t have Mass Effect-style conversations with every NPC but players got the chance to express themselves and learn more about the characters of RDR 2. If Rockstar could build off of this system they have the opportunity to potentially make GTA 6 one of the most immersive games ever released. Not only that but Rockstar could also go the extra mile and allow players to enter even more buildings within whatever city they decide to visit in the next release.

Make GTA: Online Accessible

Image Source: Rockstar Games

Have you tried playing Grand Theft Auto: Online in 2023? Whether new or old, players are bombarded by tons of content that’s either confusing to navigate to or requires tons of grinding just to experience. And while having tons of content updates is what keeps GTA: Online around, Rockstar can do a better job of updating certain systems within the game.

For example, most players are aggressively pushed to buy microtransactions and the game preys on players with limited time who want to experience the latest updates. This is a far cry from the days of the multiplayer of Grand Theft Auto 4 where players simply had the entirety of Liberty City at their fingertips.

Now players have to treat the online portion as a second job to feel a sense of satisfaction. Of course, Rockstar will probably continue down this path due to its success but hopefully, the next iteration of GTA: Online can focus on providing a fun experience instead of an overly grindy one.

Post-Launch Expansions

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Do you realize the last time we got an expansion was GTA IV, a year after its release? GTA V didn’t get a single expansion. If you want to experience any kind of new GTA content, you have to play GTA Online, and that means dealing with the game’s exhausting grind.

No, what we need is something akin to Red Dead Redemption’s Undead Nightmare and GTA IV: The Lost and Damned. It’d be a great opportunity to explore characters further, new content, another campaign, and add some longevity to the main game overall. Not every fan wants to play GTA Online, you know? And go wild with the content, too, like the Undead Nightmare expansion did with zombies!

Customizable Player Houses

Image Source: Rockstar Games

At some point in Grand Theft Auto, you have so much money you don’t even know what to do with it. With millions in the bank, you’ll have plenty for stocking up on ammo, cars, and player housing. Aside from weapons and vehicles, what’s the point of buying other houses? It’s nothing more than a money sink.

This can be easily rectified in GTA VI if we could furnish our house or, at the very least, be able to purchase different themes. Customization is a tad basic in GTA V, so it’d be a breath of fresh air if we could alter more than just our character and car.

More Immersive NPC AI

Image Source: Rockstar Games

While the NPCs in Starfield don’t react to you letting off a few rounds in town, the ones in GTA V certainly do. They might take off in fear or even pull out a gun themselves, but let’s be honest, a lot of the time NPCs can be downright dumb. Their driving is a particular blind spot, especially the cops, which you can so easily exploit. What GTA VI needs are more reactive NPCs and variation.

For example, why not implement citizen’s arrest? If you’re terrorizing a bunch of folks, maybe someone decides to take matters into their own hands and you get busted. I’d also like to see police use more aggressive driving techniques, too. Watching cops ramp the back in an effort to throw me off balance is a good start, but it’s still easy to outrun and outmaneuver the police with even basic driving skills.

Local Multiplayer

Image Source: Rockstar Games

Whatever happened to local multiplayer? It was such a fun feature in GTA: San Andreas, but was never revisited again. It wouldn’t even have to be split-screen or necessarily fleshed out. I just want to be able to wreak havoc on people with a buddy without resorting to GTA Online or taking turns. Maybe throw in a few side missions that are split-screen only. Please, Rockstar?

Bring Back Turf War Mechanics

Image Source: Rockstar Games

Speaking of San Andreas, one of the best features that entry had was turf warfare. If you drove around town, you’ll quickly notice there are multiple roving gangs, denoted by their matching colors. On your map, you could see which gang owned which sections and, if you were feeling bold, you could overthrow them with your own gang. It was an awesome mechanic that wasn’t just fun, but it played into the whole theme of San Andreas.

We could seriously use something similar in GTA VI. It wouldn’t have to be gangs specifically—let that be unique to San Andreas. However, there’s no doubt we’re doing illegal stuff in the next installment, so why not bring that feature back in a different light? Perhaps you’re expanding a criminal organization and, in an effort to give a purpose, maybe certain missions and side missions are only available once you’ve seized enough land.

Can you think of anymore improvements for GTA 6? Tell us down below!

About the author

Brady Klinger-Meyers

Brady is a Freelance Writer at Twinfinite. Though he's been at the site for only a year, Brady has been covering video games, and the industry itself, for the past three years. He focuses on new releases, Diablo 4, Roblox, and every RPG he can get his hands on. When Brady isn't focused on gaming, he's toiling away on another short story.