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GTA 6: Everything we know so far

Here's Vice City as it was depicted in 2002 for PS2. We can't wait to see what GTA 6's Vice City looks like on PS5 and Xbox Series X. (Image credit: Rockstar Games)

GTA 6 has been revealed, just not in the way that Rockstar Games would have wanted. The official Grand Theft Auto 6 announcement came in February 2022, which saw Rockstar use a GTA 5 Community Update (opens in new tab) to sneak out the news that "active development for the next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series is well underway". At the time, the developer suggested we "stay tuned to the Rockstar Newswire for official details" and that it would share "more as soon as we are ready". Sadly, when it comes to GTA 6 news, the internet had other ideas. 

On September 18, an unprecedented GTA 6 leak saw over 90 videos and screenshots from an early, in-development alpha build of the game surface online. Rockstar has acknowledged and authenticated the hack, and is working to scrub the leaked material from the internet. Naturally, this first look at Grand Theft Auto 6 has revealed some new details about the game – including information on the GTA 6 location, characters, and gameplay. So keep on reading to find everything you need to know about GTA 6 so far.  

GTA 6 announcement: When was GTA 6 confirmed?

GTA 6 was confirmed in 2022, but Rockstar is yet to release any official screenshots or even a logo just yet. (Image credit: Rockstar Games)

The first GTA 6 announcement came in February 2022, when Rockstar Games snuck out the news that GTA 6 is "well underway" as part of a broader GTA 5 and GTA Online Community Update. With word that Grand Theft Auto 6 is in "active development", Rockstar said: "On behalf of our entire team, we thank you all for your support and cannot wait to step into the future with you!"

In August 2022, Rockstar's parent company Take-Two Interactive reaffirmed that GTA 6 development is "well underway" as part of the company's financial results report. Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick made some big promises for what GTA 6 will achieve: "With development of the next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series well underway, the Rockstar Games team is determined to once again set creative benchmarks for the series, our industry, and for all entertainment, just as the label has done with every one of their frontline releases."

GTA 6 leaks: Are the new GTA 6 leaks real?

We aren't linking to the GTA 6 leaks directly, so have a nice screenshot of a lighthouse from GTA 5 instead. (Image credit: Rockstar Games)

There was an unprecedented GTA 6 leak on September 18, 2022, which saw dozens of videos and screenshots from an alleged in-development build of the game spread online. Are you wondering whether the GTA 6 leaks are real? Well, Rockstar has since issued a statement confirming the hack: "We recently suffered a network intrusion in which an unauthorized third party illegally accessed and downloaded confidential information from our systems, including early development footage for the next Grand Theft Auto."

"We are extremely disappointed to have any details of our next game shared with you all in this way," the Rockstar statement continues. "We will update everyone again soon and, of course, will properly introduce you to this next game when it's ready. We want to thank everyone for their ongoing support through this situation." 

In the 48 hours since the GTA 6 leak first appeared, the GTA Forums have worked to scrub all remnants of the illegally obtained screenshots and videos to avoid being "obliterated by Rockstar". The dedicated GTA 6 reddit has also taken all links, pictures, and videos of the leak (opens in new tab) offline, and has committed to staying online with one condition: "We will allow discussions related to the leak without attaching the leaks. We don't allow comments that has [sic] download links to the leak."

Will GTA 6 be delayed? 

GTA 5's depiction of Los Santos is still impressive nine years later, so it's no surprise that GTA 6 is taking a while to develop. (Image credit: Rockstar Games)

In the immediate aftermath of the new GTA 6 leak, there was some concern over how the intrusion would impact ongoing development of the new Grand Theft Auto game. Rockstar has since confirmed in an official statement (opens in new tab) that the hack will not affect GTA 6 production, or the ongoing security of GTA 5 and GTA Online. "At this time, we do not anticipate any disruption to our live game services nor any long-term effect on the development of our ongoing projects [...] Our work on the next Grand Theft Auto game will continue as planned and we remain as committed as ever to delivering an experience to you, our players, that truly exceeds your expectations." 

Why is GTA 6 taking so long?

The unprecedented success of GTA Online, and the development of Red Dead Redemption 2, has kept Rockstar busy over the last decade. (Image credit: Rockstar Games)

A lot of you are wondering why GTA 6 is taking so long to come out. The truth is that, between the success of GTA 5 and GTA Online, not to mention the scope of Red Dead Redemption 2, it's no surprise that Rockstar is taking its time. The studio said as much when it confirmed that GTA 6 was in development. Rockstar went out of its way to cite the "the unprecedented longevity of GTA 5" – which has been updated and re-released multiple times in the last nine years. 

GTA 6 release date: When is GTA 6 coming out?

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

The GTA 6 release date is yet to be confirmed by Rockstar Games. That hasn't stopped internet sleuths from making some educated guesses. Multiple sources have corroborated a rumor that GTA 6 will release in 2025, which was part of a larger info drop which suggested that Grand Theft Auto 6 would be set in a modern-day Vice City. It's always wise to approach this sort of speculation with caution, but with the new GTA 6 leaks appearing to confirm a modernized Vice City setting, perhaps a release sometime in 2025 is right on the money. 

GTA 6 location: Is the GTA 6 setting Vice City?

The infamous Ocean View Hotel, as seen in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition  (Image credit: Rockstar Games)

The GTA 6 location has long been speculated, but it looks like we are indeed heading back to Vice City. Rockstar has confirmed that the leaked GTA 6 gameplay footage is real, which means we have a better sense of the city and the setting. For starters, one screen shows an underground rail system with the words "Vice City Metro" printed on the side, while eagle eyed viewers may have even spotted familiar spots from GTA 3: Vice City like the Malibu Club, Ocean View Hotel, Little Haiti, and Vice Beach. 

Naturally, the city looks different compared to when you last visited it. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was set in 1986, and all signs point to the GTA 6 setting being modern day The appearance of NPCs wielding smartphones and modern clothing is evidence enough that Grand Theft Auto 6 is set in a present day pastiche of Miami, Florida, but if that weren't enough eagle eyed social media users believe a character references the death of LifeInvader CEO, who is killed by Michael De Santa – so it would appear that GTA 6 is set after the events of GTA 5. 

GTA 6 characters: Will there be a GTA 6 female protagonist? 

Two characters attacking a fixed location in GTA Online (Image credit: Rockstar Games)

It has been rumored for months now that Rockstar was working on the first GTA 6 female protagonist – at least, a first for the series in the 3D era. A Bloomberg report from earlier this year, which explored the changing company culture within Rockstar North, first reported the news – and it has since been corroborated by the GTA 6 leak. In the early development footage, we're able to see two new playable GTA 6 characters. 

The in-development names for the characters are Jason and Lucia, and it would appear that the character switching system from GTA 5 is returning in some capacity. One leaked clip showed the pair robbing a diner together, with the player in control of one of the characters while the other was piloted by AI. In another clip, we see character swapping – although it is near instantaneous, rather than the slow perspective shift as seen in GTA 5.  

GTA 6 map

A screenshot of Vice City from the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition  (Image credit: Rockstar Games)

While the final GTA 6 map is yet to be shown, there are some indicators from the leaked video and screens that indicate a play space that stretches beyond the confines of Vice City. Much in the same way Rockstar expanded upon Los Santos between Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and GTA 5, a few of the leaked screenshots appear to show all-new areas of Vice City. As you may know, Vice City itself is loosely based on Miami, and there's now speculation that GTA 6 will push further south toward the Everglades (a wetland) and the Florida Keys (a string of tropical islands). Now, the "Gator Keys" were referenced in the original GTA: Vice City as part of a radio broadcast, but the location was never shown in-game. If the screenshots suggest what we think they are, expect the GTA 6 map to contain a mixture of environment types. 

GTA 6 gameplay

GTA 5 had impressive city life, and so we can't wait to see how Rockstar improves this element of the open world for GTA 6. (Image credit: Rockstar)

As Rockstar is yet to release a GTA 6 trailer, it's difficult for us to say with certainty how this new game will play and how it will innovate on Grand Theft Auto 5. However, it's clear from the early development footage which leaked out that Rockstar is at least investigating and playtesting some new mechanics. For example, it appears that a new series of stealth mechanics are being introduced – with footage depicting characters crawling while prone, and even carrying bodies. 

Additionally, the weapon wheel – which was overhauled for GTA 5 – is returning in some capacity, and the leaked footage suggests that Rockstar is introducing new health buff items such as painkillers. We can also see that the Five Star 'Wanted' system is returning, and that the VCPD have improved AI routines for tracking Jason and Lucia after you get on their radar. 

While we wait for GTA 6, why not jump into one of the best Rockstar games of all time or one of these great games like GTA. Failing that, create some chaos with these handy GTA 5 cheats

UK Managing Editor, GamesRadar+

Josh West is the UK Managing Editor of GamesRadar+. He has over 10 years experience in online and print journalism, and holds a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Feature Writing. Prior to starting his current position, Josh has served as GR+'s Features Editor and Deputy Editor of games™ magazine, and has freelanced for numerous publications including 3D Artist, Edge magazine, iCreate, Metal Hammer, Play, Retro Games, and SFX. Additionally, he has appeared on the BBC and ITV to provide expert comment, written for Scholastic books, edited a book for Hachette, and worked as the Assistant Producer of the Future Games Show. In his spare time, Josh likes to play bass guitar and video games. Years ago, he was in a few movies and TV shows that you've definitely seen but will never be able to spot him in.