GTA 6 needs to borrow this unique system from Red Dead Online

Rockstar should take a hint from its cowboy title.

Originally Published: 
Cover art for Grand Theft Auto with a man driving a boat

Grand Theft Auto 5 will make it into its third console generation when the Enhanced Edition of the game is released for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S in 2021. The long-lasting success of the Rockstar Games open-world title can be chalked up to GTA Online's customizable characters, endless mini games, and its invested community of modders.

Now that GTA 6 is reportedly in early development, Rockstar could take the franchise's multiplayer experience to new heights if it borrows a single feature from Read Dead Redemption 2.

Rockstar's acclaimed 2018 Western has an online mode where players can wander the wilderness as their own custom-created avatars, instead of Arthur Morgan and John Marston. Just like in GTA Online, gamers can tweak almost every aspect of their character, down to the position of their eyebrows. The biggest difference is that Red Dead adds another layer to character creation with its Ability Cards.

'Red Dead 2 Online' lets players customize their character's stats with Ability Cards.

Rockstar Games

Each of these cards provide a passive boost to a character's stats or abilities, like increased health, improved horseback riding speed, or a slight damage boost to a certain type of gun. Once players reach Rank 40 they have four empty card slots they can use to mix and match card combinations to complement their preferred playstyle or try a completely unorthodox combo.

Seasoned Red Dead Online players have developed builds that fit nearly every style of play and even combinations that make specific tasks, like hunting animals. GTA Online lets players select the "lifestyle" of their character at the creation menu, this influences stats like stamina and driving speed but once selected there's no going back.

Ability Cards in 'GTA 6' could make co-op heists even more interesting.

Rockstar Games

Adding an ability card to GTA Online would require a balancing effort by Rockstar to make sure certain cards aren't game-breaking powerful but it could made GTA 6's online mode more dynamic than GTA 5. A Red Dead-inspired ability card system could also fit into GTA 6's rumored plot.

Unconfirmed GTA 6 details have claimed the game will put players in the shoes of an up-and-coming drug smuggler as they expand their narcotics empire in Vice City and parts of Latin America. This theme could be translated into a host of exciting co-op missions for GTA 6 Online, like running drugs from one city to another or raiding a rival drug lord's headquarters.

Each player could be required to fill a certain role — like getaway driver, gunner, or airplane pilot — which they can build into with Ability Cards. This could give GTA 6 more role-playing elements that players can switch in and out of, which could make GTA 6's eventual online mode even more replayable than GTA 5's.

GTA 6 is reportedly in early development.

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