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Stop being slave to GTA Online's missions: deathmatch is where it's at

Deathmatches provides some of GTA Online's most thrilling moments of drama. Don't miss out.


Deathmatch is where it's at in GTA Online, and it's time for you to stop sticking to missions and races. The new versions of GTA 5 have increased draw distances and added new control features - such as touchpad grenades on PS4 - meaning the competitive shooting modes are now at their best.

GTA Online is all about shooting, and deathmatch is where you get to prove your point. Settings allow for either owned or forced weapons, meaning fair play no matter the height of your opponents' levels, and you're now able to fix cameras to third- or first-person. Deathmatch can be an intimidating in any online game, but don't let nerves stop you trying it out in GTA Online. Yes, there are some great players, but the general chaos provides drama and quirky kills. You'll have a good time.

GTA Online's deathmatch is so enjoyable, in fact, that it's a little confusing as to why so many GTA players avoid it like the clap. Common behaviour in the after-job voting screen is to refresh the options until a ground-based, co-op mission pops up. Bizarrely, players have a tendency to ignore most of the game. It doesn't make sense. Winning a deathmatch can net you as much as a decent mission (usually about $10,000 and over 4,000 RP), and there's real drama in a decent fight. The clock ticks down. The kills are equal. What do you do? Survive? Try for the glory of a round-winning headshot? GTA Online's matches can turn on a knife-edge.

We're hosting a public GTA Online session this Wednesday, and you'll be playing a couple of Team Deathmatches if you get involved. Do yourself a favour and start practicing.

So stop being slave to the Mission. You can always make your own, but here are three of our favourite maps, Social Club links included, to get you started.

Chasing Shots


This deathmatch is centred on the Vanilla Unicorn stripclub, and has to be one of the best team maps in the game (it's the second most-liked Rockstar-created map on the Social Club). A radial of feeder roads leads down into the area around the club's door, and the walls and dumpsters are thoughtfully placed for cover. You're able to get higher by climbing on the roof of the club itself. A sheltered sniping window offers shots on approaches to the door, but grenades can easily deal with persistent campers. A balanced level that provides plenty of fun.

El Burro Heights


A notorious map for proper scrapping. This neighbourhood level features a central road with houses up each side, and if you change the weapons settings to Owned + Pickups you're going to see plenty of rockets and grenade-spamming. There's a nice weight of ranges in El Burro Heights, with close-up, house-to-house fighting counterbalanced with distances more suitable to assault weapons (the Assault Rifle is the forced gun). A personal favourite.

Derelict Motel


This is a classic GTA map, the setting of which will be familiar to any dedicated player. The hotel itself is double-tiered and surrounded by open spaces, so approach is always hot if you're playing in a full game. Stairwells and balconies play host to furious exchanges as matches mature, with canny players keeping themselves close to internal doorways so they'll able to pop curious opponents from the interior. As the name suggests, this map is all about the building: if you get bogged down in external firefights you're going to be easy meat for balcony snipers. A perennial pick from the voting screen.

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