When I'm shooting I notice that when I first aim I will typically lock onto a target. Locking onto consecutive targets after that (keeping aim pressed) is intermittent, sometimes it will hop to the next person, other times it will drift into thin air and I will have to manually aim.

I looked in the options and noticed three settings: Auto, Manual and Traditional (I think). I'm using the default (Traditional) but having only ever played previous GTA's on the PC (always manual) I don't really know what Traditional means. Auto-aim appears obvious, and I'd like to avoid using that if I can, but I'd like to know the techniques for using Traditional.

3 Answers 3


There are now three aiming modes to toy with: assisted aiming, traditional GTA, and free aim. "Assisted aiming gives players a larger targeting area as well as a little more help analyzing targets to try and pick the largest threat," Hooker described to Game Informer. "Traditional GTA is the closest to previous GTA's soft lock option. It shares all the characteristics of assisted aiming, with the additional ability to flick left and right between targets using the right stick."



I'm pretty sure (but I haven't played V yet) that each time you press the trigger to aim it attempts to lock onto the closest target to your crosshair. If you want another lock (as in other Rockstar titles like Red Dead/Max Payne 3/GTA IV and numerous other games) release the trigger and re-press it.

They probably do this to allow some sort of manual control over aiming once you've locked on whilst maintaining the feeling of control you get from free-aiming.

Auto-aim I'd imagine is just auto-lock on, fire and forget (if you are letting your 3 year old play GTA V this is the one for you - just keep them out of the strip bars!)

  • You're correct that when you release the trigger and re-press it will lock onto the next one, I usually use this. However, at times ([spoiler alert] mainly during Trevor's rampages) I seem to be able to hold the trigger, turn with the analogue stick and it will jump/lock to the next person. This is definitely faster than releasing and pressing again so if I can get this method working consistently I'd be much happier. I wondered if it was some kind of kill-streak type, eg it'll keep locking until you next miss.
    – Chris
    Sep 26, 2013 at 15:50
  • Any chance you might be releasing the left trigger slightly? Maybe there's a tolerance (since they are analogue) so that you can half-depress for free-aim but hold it fully for lock-on.
    – Charleh
    Sep 26, 2013 at 15:57
  • That's a possibility, I'll experiment some more tonight and report back.
    – Chris
    Sep 26, 2013 at 16:11
  • Unfortunately I'm not especially good at playing, but I tried as best I could to make sure I held down the left trigger - all the way - for the whole time, and it still did it. I was also playing as Franklin so not a character/event specific thing. As I say though, I'm not great with a controller so it's still possible I could have got that wrong.
    – Chris
    Sep 30, 2013 at 7:40
  • To be honest I play free aim because I don't like the loss of control and I like a challenge (Max Payne 3 on Old School mode!). I've not got GTAV yet but I'm thinking about getting it so if I notice anything when I'm playing I'll post back! (might be in a few weeks though :))
    – Charleh
    Sep 30, 2013 at 9:12

What is happening is if you tap r stick quickly either left or right, it will lock onto the next target, so I'm sure you're quickly pressing the r stick in a direction to make this happen.

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