GTA Online just got a whole new island

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Rockstar has released the latest major update to Grand Theft Auto Online, which adds new vehicles, missions and a whole new island to the game’s uber-successful multiplayer component.

The Cayo Perico Heist introduces players to (you guessed it) an eponymous heist on the sprawling island of Cayo Perico, and adds a suitably-extravagant arsenal of new gear – including a giant, soviet-era submarine, no less.

Despite seven years of continuous updates since its release back in 2013, GTA 5 has never seen the addition of an entirely new land mass in either its singleplayer or multiplayer components. 

Beyond updates bringing new areas to explore – like the casino or giant yachts – players have been limited (though “limited” seems the wrong word) to the city and suburbs of Los Santos.

Now, The Cayo Perico Heist update brings access to a brand-new region, filled with new flora, fauna and areas to explore. According to Rockstar’s patch notes, the island itself is only accessible during the new heist missions, but the “beach” can be revisited at a later date. It’s as yet unclear whether the island will remain open for exploration in its entirety once players beat the heist. 

The heist itself sees players complete the customary prep missions in Los Santos before infiltrating and robbing a private island fortress. Rockstar has continued its commitment to recognising those who prefer to run things solo by allowing players to complete the heist unaccompanied, but bear in mind the loot rewards will be limited. 

The never-ending GTA

Rockstar has timed the update – which it describes as its “biggest ever” – to whet the appetite of players excited by GTA 5’s upcoming arrival on next-generation consoles. When the game arrives on PS5 and Xbox Series X in late 2021, it will have survived – and thrived – across three separate console generations. 

Seven years, 130 million copies and hundreds of updates later, GTA 5 looks likely to continue its remarkable popularity by taking advantage of the improvements in scope and performance made possible by the industry’s new hardware. 

According to the first trailer, the game will (once again) be “expanded and enhanced” for next-gen consoles, which likely means instantaneous matchmaking and loading, greater graphical fidelity and the ability to finally run at 60fps on consoles. 

It’s clear something big is coming for GTA 5, but we’ll have to wait for more details as to what exactly that is. In any case, with Rockstar’s latest Cayo Perico update, something big is already here. A first step towards GTA 6, perhaps?

Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.