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How to Play GTA 5 Online for Free

If you want to experience the thrilling open world multiplayer of GTA Online but don‘t want to pay full price, there are ways to access it for free. As a tech geek and avid gamer, I‘ve explored all the best methods – so let me walk you through exactly how to play GTA 5 online without spending a dime!

Use Free Trials of Gaming Services

The easiest way is taking advantage of free trials from Xbox, PlayStation, and more. Here‘s a quick comparison:

Service Free Trial Access
Xbox Game Pass 30 days Full GTA 5 game
PlayStation Now 7 days Full GTA 5 game
Google Stadia Pro 1 month GTA Online only

The key is remembering to cancel before the trial ends to avoid being charged. Set a reminder on your phone so you don‘t forget.

Grab Free Offers When Available

Gaming companies occasionally offer GTA 5 for free for limited periods:

  • Epic Games Store – Gave away full game free for 1 week in 2020. Worth watching for future promotions.
  • PlayStation 5 – GTA Online free for the first 3 months after PS5 launch. Unfortunately that offer ended.
  • Amazon Prime – Occasionally includes free cash and bonuses in GTA Online for Prime members. Keep an eye out!

I highly recommend signing up for promotional emails from Rockstar, PlayStation, and Xbox to get notified right away when special offers are announced. It takes just a minute but is so worth it.

Ask Friends If You Can Borrow

This option depends on your relationships of course, but if you have a good friend you trust that owns GTA 5, try asking politely if they would be willing to let you borrow it for a while.

As long as you use a separate Xbox Live/PSN account, you can access GTA Online on a borrowed copy. Just be considerate and return it in a timely manner.

Rent GTA 5 from Game Rental Services

Believe it or not, video game rental stores are still a thing! Services like GameFly, Redbox, and Family Video let you rent games for around $3-5 for 5-10 days.

That‘s obviously way cheaper than buying GTA 5 outright. The downside is having to return it, but renting can buy you a good chunk of time playing online.

Wait for a Sale

GTA 5 rarely goes on sale, but Rockstar discounts it a few times per year. Here‘s the recent price history:

Sale Date Discount
May 2020 50% off
Nov 2021 40% off
Jan 2022 35% off

Based on that, you can expect to see 30-50% discounts during major sales seasons like holiday sales, so add it to your wishlist!

Use Google Stadia‘s Limited Free Version

Google Stadia allows you to stream GTA 5 instantly without needing to own powerful gaming hardware. While the Pro subscription offers the best experience, there is also a more limited free Stadia tier.

The free version limits you to 1080p resolution and 1 hour play sessions, but it does give you access to GTA Online multiplayer immediately. It‘s one option for dipping your toes in for free!

Participate in Surveys for Gift Cards

This is a slower method, but you can earn free gift cards by participating in survey and rewards programs like Swagbucks and MyPoints in your spare time.

Most gift cards are for a few dollars, but they can add up over time. When you earn enough, use the gift cards to purchase GTA 5 or Xbox/PSN currency!

Is GTA 5 Worth Paying For?

While I love saving money, GTA 5 is such an incredibly rich, detailed, and deep game that I‘d say it‘s worth purchasing at full price if you can afford it.

You‘ll get:

  • A huge open world single player story mode
  • Tons of multiplayer modes and races
  • Constant free content updates
  • No time limits or restrictions

However, if money is tight, the tips in this guide will absolutely help you access GTA Online for zero cost. So give them a try, and have fun wreaking havoc in Los Santos!