Despite the fact that it was released more than seven years ago, GTA 5 has maintained its popularity to this day. Rockstar is partly to blame for this because GTA Online has grown into a huge community that will probably stay popular until GTA 6 comes out, which could be in 2024. People are still enjoying their single-player GTA 5 campaigns.
The three-character storyline is one new feature that sets the fifth GTA installment apart from the others. You take on the roles of Michael, a middle-aged gangster going through a mid-life crisis, Franklin, a street gang member looking to advance in life, and Trevor, who… Well, you’ll have to play the game to find out.
The majority of GTA 5 allows you to switch between these three characters, and in some cases, even during missions. Let’s take a closer look at GTA 5 character switching across platforms.
Changing Characters in GTA 5
To begin with, yes, you can switch between the three characters while in free-roam mode. It’s as simple as holding a button and choosing one of the other two characters (more on that later). When you switch to a different character, the camera moves to where that character is currently located.
These switches have been made interesting and immersive as well. Switching to Trevor, for example, may cut in on the moment he appears to be attempting to flush a dead body down the toilet. He could also be chasing a woman and apologizing for indecent exposure, or he could even throw a man into the water from the boardwalk. Other characters have interesting switches, but none as interesting as Trevor.
The switching mechanic will be introduced to you during the first mission. You won’t be able to use this feature until you’ve connected with the other two characters (after the Prologue, you play with Franklin for a few missions). After a while, you’ll be able to switch between the three characters at almost every point in the game.
Some missions may prevent you from switching characters or limit the switch to two. Even while free-roaming, you will be unable to select another character at times. This is determined by the plot.
But first, let’s look at how to switch characters in GTA 5, from platform to platform.
Switching Characters in GTA 5 on PC
PC gamers had to wait a long time after the game’s console release (as is customary with Rockstar), but they still received the same game as console players. Naturally, character switching was as important on PC as it was on consoles. On your computer, here’s how to switch between GTA 5 characters.
- After finishing the game, hold down the Alt key.
- Highlight the character you want to switch to with the directional keys or the mouse, then press and release the Alt key.
It’s as simple as that to switch between GTA 5 characters.
Switching Characters in GTA 5 on PS4
The same principle that we explained for the PC version also applies to consoles, including the PS4. The only distinction is that the keys are different.
- Press and hold the D-Down Pad’s Button.
- Using the Right Analog Stick, select the character you want to switch to.
- To switch, release the Down Button.
How to Change Characters in GTA 5 on PlayStation 3
Although the PS3 seems like a long time ago (the PS5 has been out for months now), GTA 5 was released during the PS3’s reign as the next-generation console. The PlayStation 4 was released a few months after GTA 5. As a result, the game is unquestionably playable on PS3 consoles. Here’s how to change characters on the older console.
- Press and hold the D-Down Pad’s Button.
- Select the character you want to switch to using the Right Analog stick.
- To make the switch, let go of the Down Button.
Switching Characters in GTA 5 on Xbox
The principle and key sequence are the same whether you play the game on Xbox 360 or Xbox One. Here’s how to change characters in GTA 5 on either console.
- Tap and hold the Down Button on the D-Pad.
- Using the Right Analog stick, select the desired character.
- Press and hold the Down Button to choose the highlighted character.
Switching Characters in GTA 5 Online
GTA Online allows each player to create and use two different characters at their leisure. The player can, of course, switch between the two. However, character switches in the game’s Online mode are not as simple as they are in the single-player version. Here’s how to switch between your two GTA 5 Online characters.
- Select the Online tab from the game’s pause menu while playing with one of the two characters.
- Select Swap Character.
- Confirm your intention to end the session.
- Using the directional keys, select the character you want to switch to.
Switching Character Slots in GTA 5
When you hold Alt (PC) or the Down Button on the D-Pad (consoles), a small character menu appears in the lower-right corner of the screen. Michael (blue) is on the left, Franklin (green) is higher up, and Trevor (orange) is on the right. You might want to switch these character slots, but GTA 5 doesn’t allow you to do so. The three characters are always confined to their respective roles.
Similarly, on the GTA 5 Online character selection screen, the characters are locked into their positions and cannot be switched.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions
Depending on your playing style, you may prefer different targeting modes in GTA 5. Fortunately, the option to switch between targeting modes is available.
However, some players have reported that the Targeting Mode option is grayed out in Online mode. Although GTA 5 and GTA Online are considered separate games, the settings from the single-player mode are carried over to the online version.
So, select a single-player character (Michael, Franklin, or Trever), go to the menu, navigate to the Settings tab, select Controls, and select your preferred Targeting Mode. The changes will also affect the multiplayer game mode.
You can switch between first- and third-person views in GTA 5 regardless of which platform you’re playing on.
To switch on the PS4, press the touchpad.
The Select button on the Xbox One does the same thing.
On the PC, pressing the V key toggles between first- and third-person perspectives.
While some players prefer first-person to third-person mode, they may struggle with driving in first-person. Fortunately, the game allows you to play in first-person while walking and in third-person while driving (or vice-versa).
To do so, navigate to the Settings menu, then to Display, and turn on the Allow Independent Camera Modes option.
In addition, if you go into the Controls menu, you can make the first-third-person switch happen as you walk into the cover. This can also help you play more efficiently.
You may be unable to switch between GTA 5 characters for two reasons. The first possibility is that you are on a mission that does not permit character switching. Another possibility is that you are too close to a mission. If you’re too close to a mission point, the menu that normally displays the character screen may instead display the radio station screen. Drive away from the mission point for about 10 seconds and try again.
If neither of the two reasons apply, contact Rockstar tech support for assistance in resolving this issue.
You may be unable to play as Franklin at some points during the game’s story mode. This is, for the most part, on a run of a few missions with Trevor. Even in free-roam mode, you won’t be able to switch to Franklin or Michael. Just keep playing the story missions to advance the game, and the switch option will reappear. We do recommend that you immerse yourself in the Trevor missions; they are fantastic.
Switching Characters in GTA 5
For the majority of GTA 5, you can switch between the three available characters regardless of platform. Hold down the character menu button (Alt on PC, Down Button on D-pad on consoles) and select the character you want to switch to.
We hope this guide has helped you learn how to switch between characters in GTA 5 and solve any problems you may have had. If you have any additional comments or questions, please leave them in the comments section below.