Can You Play 'Grand Theft Auto Online' Without a PS Plus Subscription? Let's Break It Down

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Jan. 2 2024, Published 12:21 p.m. ET

The Gist:

  • Fans of Grand Theft Auto Online are curious if they can play the ongoing title without a subscription to PlayStation Plus.
  • The game was first launched in October 2013 as part of the release of GTA V.
  • GTA Online has been previously made available for free.
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The release of Grand Theft Auto Online has been a series of highs and lows. The game was first released in October 2013 as the online component of Grand Theft Auto V, a mainline title that came out a month before Online. Though GTA V received critical acclaim and broke several gaming industry sales records at the time, GTA Online was plagued by widespread technical issues and poor reception at launch. As the game's lifespan went on, however, it was eventually able to find its footing.

After a rough launch, GTA Online would go on to become a welcome addition to the franchise in the eyes of fans and critics. Future expansions and improvements made to the game's overall grind enhanced the multiplayer experience to a considerable degree.

Now that GTA Online is available as a standalone title, folks are wondering if a PlayStation Plus subscription is required to play the game. Here's what you should know.

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Can you play 'GTA Online' without a PlayStation Plus subscription?

Since the launch of the subscription-based service in 2013 (to coincide with the launch of the massively successful PlayStation 4), PlayStation Plus has always been required to utilize the online multiplayer functions of any full-fledged game. Barring certain free-to-play titles like Fortnite and Genshin Impact, priced games with multiplayer functions typically require PlayStation Plus in order to work.

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Though it may come as an unfortunate circumstance for many, GTA Online falls under that category as well. A PS Plus subscription is required to play GTA Online. The game was released as a standalone title in March 2022 and can now be played without having to have purchased a mainline GTA title. It's even available for only $19.99 as of this writing.

But because of that price tag, you'll also need to sign up for PS Plus to access the multiplayer.

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There are different tiers for PlayStation Plus subscriptions, depending on what you want out of your membership. Each of them are available for one-month, three-month, or 12-month subscriptions with the option to re-up at every payment period. PS Plus Essential is available for up to $79.99 a year, Extra is priced at up to $134.99 a year, and Premium costs $159.99 a year. Naturally, there are increased benefits for each subscription tier.

Anyone looking to check out GTA Online on PlayStation can get started for as little as $30 at first purchase, taking to both the game and the cheapest one-month PS Plus subscription into account. But if you want to stay in the game, you may have to commit to PS Plus.

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