When GTA Online Takes Place: Full Timeline of GTA 5 (Updated to 2022)

The Great Confusion

From plot holes to retcons, nobody really quite understands the overall timeline of GTA V and it's evolving GTA Online world. Originally set in early 2013, six months before the singleplayer story-mode, GTA Online has grown and changed with new characters, vehicles, and even buildings joining the mix. The confusion really began during a mission in the Gunrunning update, in which Agent 14 states that "It's 2017" - Four years after the game was supposedly set.

Our Resolution

Looking at clues in the dialogue, I've compiled a list of rough dates and storylines in an order which I believe makes sense for the crime-wave in Los Santos to unfold. (Somewhat abridged)

2013

May: GTA Online begins. Los Santos sees mass amounts of people moving in. Police are alarmed to the amounts of assaults seen on the street. Lots of criminals begin to purchase high-end clothing, apartments and vehicles with illegal counterfeit cash which is soon invalidated, leaving them almost bankrupt. Some leave the city for this reason.

July: San Andreas Flight School opens. The original five online heists take place. After 'Series A Funding' Trevor begins to set up his drug business.

September: GTA V's main Story takes place. Canon ending is Option C.

October: Tao Cheng wakes up from his coma, narrowly surviving an assassination attempt. Same with Agent ULP who luckily survived the museum three-way fight.

city

*Note, all Snapmatic images were taken by me, so credit goes to me

2014 - Early 2015

Los Santos crimewave gets harder as more people come to the city. ULP returns to his FIB job after recovering from his coma.

drive

2015

June: Criminals now practically run the city and start purchasing high-end planes and other vehicles.

October: The Lowriders story / Benny's reopens. A surge of highly customised vehicles are seen around the city. Numerous reports of citizens being injured by malfunctioning hydraulics on the cars.

December: More criminals start collaborating to make more money and purchase extravagant yachts which crowd the shores surrounding the island. Franklin begins his business of helping celebrities, and steals Tanisha from the Doctor she married. They have some children together.

organisations

2016

Summer: The criminal underworld grows towards white collar crime, with product smuggling. Criminals begin purchasing offices and warehouses to smuggle goods. Other people turn to virtual reality racing across Los Santos. Large, wild race tournaments take place.

October: Biker gangs see a rise in Los Santos as a response to all the white collar crime. Drugs are at an all-time high, causing Tao Cheng to drop out of rehab. Ironically, around this time, marijuana is legalised.

December: Criminals start stealing and exporting high-end vehicles to fences and other criminals for below-market prices. The first experimental weaponized vehicles are seen on the streets of Los Santos.

bikers

2017

Summer: Hidden bunkers are uncovered across the state, which are quickly overtaken by gunrunners. Military fanatics purchase illegal military vehicles, or modify their own vehicles to cause chaos across the city. With help from a disgruntled 'Nervous Ron' after he was abandoned by Trevor Phillips, some criminals purchase hangars and take their smuggling businesses to the skies focusing on using planes to source and sell their illegal goods. Word of more high-tech vehicles and weaponry is leaked from Humane Labs.

December: The Doomsday Heist storyline. Los Santos real estate prices drop to an all-time-low due to the crime rates and danger of living in the city. Citizens witness flying cars and jetpack chases across the state. Masses move out, as more criminals come to take advantage of the illegal opportunities. Agent ULP heavily considers retirement, Agent 14 almost loses his job. Thanks to contributing to saving the planet, a large amount of criminals have their crimes pardoned and a lot of their ongoing illegal actions ignored.

doomsday

2018

Summer: In an attempt to bring some life back to the city, entrepreneurs start opening new nightclubs around Los Santos. Of course, criminals take wind of this and purchase nightclubs for themselves, with the help of Liberty City's famous 'Tony Prince', as a way to launder their illegal cash. A few months later, a flying bike is seen around the city. Sightings of these vehicles grow daily.

Winter: As a response to the all-out violence on the streets, the Government approves an "Arena War" online gameshow, in which contestants fight to the death in over-the-top modified vehicles. This is an attempt to control the violence and hopefully take out a few mass murderers. It doesn't work very well due to the low-cash-prize incentive, with highly-priced vehicles being on the line.

nightclub

2019

May: The Cheng family purchase the old "Lady Luck" casino and have it destroyed, work on a new one begins.

July: The new 'Diamond Casino' opens, the storyline takes place. Record amounts of criminals hit the city for each of the following months.

October: Vincent finally gets a new job as a mall cop. Georgina Cheng starts planning her revenge on the Duggans.

December: Criminals begin taking advantage of the Casino's success, and rob it, a lot. A wave of retro arcades are opened as a front for the heist planning. Lester finally gets laid and Jimmy De Santa gets a job.

casino

2020

February: Los Santos Open-Wheel-Racing tournaments take place across San Andreas.

April: Word of a criminal recession, and dark financial times hits the city. Theories of the black market taking a large hit from undercover police surface.

May: Criminals start dressing up as aliens and harassing the citizens of Los Santos, and fighting one another causing a city-wide gang war.

August: An Eastern-Asian money-laundering gang begins raiding yachts off the coast of the island, but is met with swift, hard retaliation. After numerous spats, they are eventually dismantled and wiped out. Solomon's movie studio is robbed, and he tasks local criminals with sourcing and re-stealing his props.

Halloween: Rumours surface of a strange vehicle stored at Fort Zancudo, and budding criminal entrepreneurs investigate in order to maximise their profits.

November: Construction once again begins at The Diamond Casino and Resort, but workers are under strict NDA - to the point even investors and stakeholders don't know what is going on. Unrecognised bodies wash up on the southern shores of Los Santos, and the FIB link them to an ongoing investigation - Noting them in their "El Rubio Dossier"

December: The Diamond Casino and Resort announces a new project! The Music Locker underground nightclub releases mid-month, bringing new talent to the Los Santos scene. Martin Madrazo's son commissions criminals from this very nightclub to assault a private island in the Caribbean belonging to his gang's drug supplier, who claims to have evidence on them. Upon stealing the evidence, he discovers it's actually lewd pictures of his mother, Patricia, having a sexual affair with Trevor Phillips. The criminals continue robbing the island for it's riches. Two new radio stations launch, one hosting an array of musical genres, and the other a home-pirate radio project based in mirror park. Dr Dre realises his phone has been stolen, and begins to look for it.

gta online cayo wetsuit

2021

July: A variety of new auto shops open across Los Santos, offering high end modifications. At the same time, more tuner vehicles are seen racing around the streets and meeting up in the industrial area. A new spree of crime starts as criminals find more contracts to take on. Trains are robbed, banks are hit in a chain of heists, the military is stolen from and more. There's even rumblings about a planned raid on the Union Depository. Rumours of the famous Detroit DJ "Moodyman" joining the crime spree circle.

August: More crimes are committed across Los Santos, including assaults on the Lost MC. Chef branches his drug business to be more independent from TPI. Rumours circulate of the infamous El Rubio beefing up his juggernaut's armour after numerous raids on his island.

October: Numerous sightings of strange hovering vehicles have been reported around the island, particularly in the later hours. On the approach to Halloween, there has also been an increased number of brutal homicides from apparent serial killers and "Slashers" recorded at LSPD headquarters. Whisperings are even circulating about a possessed, seemingly indestructible car emerging from hell to stalk down and harass Los Santos' most notorious criminals. Halloween sees the city under siege from an invading army of UFOs, which vehicles can't approach due to an electromagnetic field. Strangely, no harm is done and the UFOs retreat the following day - Experts believe the aliens were playing a Halloween "Trick" on humanity. Lamar starts his legal Marijuana company, 'LD Organics'

December: Franklin Clinton contacts his new Associate to work with him in assisting celebrities with mostly illegal activities. This eventually puts them into contact with Dr Dre, Franklin, Lamar, Imani and their silent associates hunt down three clones of the phone to find the original, stolen by a disgruntled Johnny Guns - A celebrity with an ongoing beef with Dre. Upon completing the security contract, Franklin, Lamar and associates are invited to chill with Dre as he records music. As their associates are "out of commission", Lamar invites Franklin to help him promote and spread the word of LD Organics. After a brand deal gone wrong with the Epsilon Project, Lamar crashes his flaming van made purely out of cannabis into Tequi-La-La, causing all nearby pedestrians to get high sending the brand viral. Gas prices start to rise, and the Duggans begin their plan to capitalise on this using recently discovered pieces of the Cliffford AI.

gta online ufo

2022

March: Local mechanic Hao discovers special engine technology allowing more impressive tuning upgrades for vehicles, which cause cars to reach all new speeds and acceleration rates. Hipster artists also discover special paint technology, revealing unique new paint jobs that they dub as "Chameleon".

July: It's the hottest summer on record, and gas prices are at an all-time high. Citizens of Los Santos are confined to the island due to the prices of jet fuel. Best-selling author, and oldest man alive on record, Jack Marston dies at age 127. Famous for writing the hit novel / memoir series, "Red Dead". Some criminals team up with the IAA in order to uncover a conspiracy put in place by the Duggan family. In the following conflicts across the state, Mason Duggan is killed by a group of criminals contracted by the IAA. The last remnants of the Cliffford AI used by the Duggan family are seized by the IAA - Likely to be put to use for their own agenda. Rumours of an approaching tropical storm circle, finally bringing some cooler weather to the island. Meanwhile, numerous criminals begin expanding their nefarious businesses with new, better paid and more talented employees who provide more helpful services. A variety of biker dive bars open up to the public, selling drinks and bike modification services. Renovation work begins on the Luxury Autos dealership.

August: The new Luxury Autos Showroom reopens across from Record A Studios, with rumours suggesting it is trying to catch the eye of Dr. Dre for a special brand deal, or to be a reoccurring customer. Simeon's Premium Deluxe Motorsport also goes under a slight rework after Simeon finally fully recovers from his injuries in 2013, and has some spare currency after being helped by more up-and-coming criminals with some repo and espionage work. He offers new, rare cars with exotic paintjobs for purchase, and even loans them out for test rides. The extra capital even allows him to offer lots of free snacks!

September: The Sprunk Corporation runs a new promotion event between it's two hottest contending products - Sprunk and eCola! Calling citizens of Los Santos and Southern San Andreas to don the merch of their favourite fizzy beverage and chug as many cans as humanly possible in order to determine which would win. After a few weeks, and increased cases of type-two diabetes within the State, eCola was crowned king.

 

 

What do you think of this order? Do you think GTA Online is a different universe entirely? Feel free to lay out your theory, and perhaps we can discuss it!

 

Say something here...
characters left.
Log in with
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Don't like Ads? VIP Members don't see Ads

The website takes a lot of work and time, so that’s why we have to rely on ads. In alternative, we created a VIP Membership that allows you to browse the site without ads and get some extra features, for a small price.

By becoming a VIP Member, you support our work and allow us to create even more amazing features and content for you.

Work With Us - Join The Team!

We're looking for new staff members with passion for GTA and Rockstar Games, and willingness to contribute in any of the website areas. If you're interested, feel free to contact us!

Top