Rockstar announced and subsequently released the new Arena War DLC for Grand Theft Auto Online with little warning.
The new content involves an action-packed arena with nine game modes framed as a TV show that makes a destruction derby pale in comparison. Here are a few useful tips on how to get the most out of Arena War, how to gain AP (Arena Points) the quickest, and more.
The Arena Workshop
First of all, let's look at the Arena Workshop. This is the current equivalent of the Office/Clubhouse/Bunker/whatever new property is introduced by the DLC the purchase of which is necessary to play the content. It costs GTA$ 995,000 - 4,365,000 and unlocks the Career progression. Without buying the Arena workshop you can still access the new game modes, but most of the new content won't be accessible.
By purchasing the Arena Workshop, you can begin to earn and spend AP. Additionally, there are a number of upgrades that can be applied to the Workshop. These include living quarters, which allow you to spawn here, two additional garage levels with 10 slots each, a Weapons Expert which is the same thing as the Weapons station in the MOC and Avenger, a Benny's mechanic which is the same as Benny's custom shop, and finally an Arena Mechanic.
Of these, only the Arena Mechanic is actually necessary. If you already have a MOC or Avenger, the weapons expert is superfluous, and Benny's is nearby. The only reason you'd buy all of these upgrades is if the luxury of having everything in one location is important to you. You can also alter the decoration and design of the workshop. In the corner, you'll find the RC Bandito workshop, which specifically serves as a place to customize and upgrade your RC Bandito vehicle.
The Arena Mechanic, however, allows you to customize the 12 new Arena vehicles. There is no other way to upgrade or customize them. There are 3 cosmetic styles for all Arena Vehicles (Apocalypse, Future Shock and Nightmare) which don't affect performance. Upgrades unlocked with AP do have an effect on the vehicle's stats and abilities, however.
Speaking of vehicles, it's become very clear, very quickly, which Arena vehicle is the top dog - the Deathbike. It's faster than the other vehicles and has a number of odd advantages such as being highly resistant to flamethrower weapons. It isn't clear just how much of the Deathbike's advantages are intentional since vehicles considered OP in the past have turned out to be bugged.
Additionally, 8 special vehicles can be unlocked by climbing the Tier ladder for Arena Sponsorships. Each individual tier rewards you with a random discount on new content, however at specific tiers, the following vehicles are unlocked:
- Tier 25 - Taxi
- Tier 50 - HVY Dozer (this quickly became a fan favorite)
- Tier 75 - Clown Van
- Tier 100 - Trashmaster
- Tier 200 - HVY Barracks Semi
- Tier 300 - HVY Mixer
- Tier 500 - Space Docker
- Tier 1000 - Tractor
Arena Points (AP)
Arena Points work like a new, secondary type of RP which are only earned by playing in the Arena. AP is granted at the end of matches based on performance, with wins rewarding around 100 AP. Curiously enough, the best way to earn AP is by spinning the wheel of fortune, since there are two 150 Bonus AP prizes and one 250 Bonus AP prize which seem to have a higher drop rate than most others. With each spin costing you GTA$5,000, it's easy to funnel some pocket money into the wheel to get extra AP.
Arena War has also added a fun little easter egg that allows you to unlock a new outfit. When you are in your Nightclub, a new feature allows you to "make it rain" (by pressing E on PC) which has your character chuck out some GTA$ that's in your wallet. If you find the patron on the stool near the bathroom and pay him a little under GTA$ 600 this way, you'll unlock a new Epsilon Program outfit.
Arena War was launched with seven game modes played in the Arena, with an additional two added in weekly DLCs after release.
- Carnage - Last Man/Last Team Standing elimination mode where you need to knock out enemy players with your weaponized vehicle.
- Flag War - Standard 1-flag CTF.
- Games Masters - Asymmetrical mode with one team in the Arena, the other in the spectator booth controlling the traps.
- Here Come The Monsters - The Contenders team control small but fast vehicles on the run from The Gladiators team driving massive Sasquatches.
- Hot Bomb - A random player is given the bomb, and must pass it on before it explodes. Played in teams or free for all.
- Tag Team - One player from each team is in the arena, while the others control traps. All enemies must be eliminated.
- Wreck It - Standard race.
- Buzzer Beater - Bike race with an instant-death timer that can be extended with checkpoints, stunts and attacks.
- Bomb Ball - Players must push bombs into the enemy gate.
RC Bandito Races
Though added later than the rest of the content in a separate event, the RC Bandito Races are still technically considered a part of Arena War. These races use the RC Bandito, a vehicle with a very different playstyle than conventional vehicles due to its diminutive size.
Eight RC Bandito Races added during the RC Bandito Week event:
- RC - Air Traffic Control
- RC - All Downhill From Here
- RC - Beach Please
- RC - Docking Around
- RC - Go for 'broke
- RC - Paleto Bae
- RC - Tee'd Off
- RC - Trailer Park Dash
Seven additional RC Bandito Races added during the RC Bandito Races Week event:
- RC - Arena Tour
- RC - Cargo Chaos
- RC - Mirror Image
- RC - Pierless
- RC - Tour of Duty
- RC - Tourist Trail
- RC - Water Pressure