GTA Online is an open-world game featuring action-packed fights, high-stakes robberies, and lots and lots of fast cars. Many fans love the GTA series due to it being an open-world game, while also featuring racing. Of course, it wouldn’t really be an open-world racing game if it didn’t have time trials, would it?

In this article, we’ll be going over how to start time trials in GTA Online. We’ll cover what exactly they are and how often they re-appear on the map. Then we’ll be discussing where you go to start them, before finally ending with some tips and tricks to maximize your time on the track.

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How to Start Time Trials in GTA Online

Without any more delays, let’s get right into the article!

What Are Time Trials?

What Are Time Trials? GTA Online
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Time trials are similar to racing, but aren’t quite the same. In a time trial, your job is to race through the streets with a timer counting up. You’ll need to reach an objective before the timer reaches a certain point, getting the fastest time you possibly can. If the timer goes past a set number, the time trial fails and you’ll have to restart. Completing a trial can earn you over $100K, depending on the type!

There are three different types of time trials in total. Regular time trials can be done with almost any car or motorcycle. RC Bandito time trials can only be completed with the RC Bandito. Third and finally, the Hao’s Special Works time trials, which are exclusive to the Expanded & Enhanced version of GTA V, can only be done with vehicles modified with HSW.

These time trials can be a lot of fun, as long as you know what you are doing. Racing through the streets of Los Santos dodging traffic left and right is intense. Just make sure you’re a good driver before entering into a time trial. Otherwise, you’ll be crashing left and right and you’ll find yourself feeling more frustrated than entertained.

How Do I Start Time Trials in GTA Online?

First, you’re going to want to either take a look at your game’s map or read the Rockstar newswire. There is not a set location for each time trial, and they change regularly. Every Thursday, Rockstar will update the game to feature new locations for all three time trials, meaning you’ll get something different every week.

Look for the purple icons on the map to find them. Regular time trials look like a stopwatch (as shown above). RC Bandito time trials look like a remote controller, and Hao’s Special Works time trials look like a giant H. Once you find the time trial that you want to do, drive over there on the map. You’ll find a big purple dot on the ground. Enter this with the right vehicle and press the interact button to start!

The time trial will start right away! The clock will begin to tick, and your destination will appear on the map as a yellow icon, similar to what you see in missions. There won’t be a yellow GPS path leading you to the destination like there normally is with mission markers, meaning you’re expected to make your own path. If you want a guide, you’ll have to place down a custom waypoint before driving forward.

Tips & Tricks

1) Don’t place a custom waypoint over the yellow icon.

When you first start, you may be tempted to place the waypoint on top of the yellow dot. You shouldn’t do this because it often won’t give you the fastest path to your destination. Instead, take a look at the map and find the easiest road to take, then place a waypoint that’s near your destination but gives you a better GPS route. In the two images above, the first is a bad example, and the second is a good example.

2) Restart the time trial instead of completing it if you fail.

If you reach the destination on the map and haven’t completed the trial in time, you won’t get the big reward. Worst of all, you’ll need to drive all the way back to the starting location to try again! You can press and hold the button to exit your vehicle (F on PC) to restart the trial and go back to the start. Do this instead of finishing it when you know you lost.

3) Complete all three time trials every week.

I’m ashamed to admit that I only recently started doing the time trials, despite playing this game for over six years. I feel that many other players can relate to this. Many people don’t realize that they are a great way to make some decent money. Completing the regular and RC Bandito time trials for the first time that week will earn you $100K each, and completing the HSW’s time trial for the first time each week nets you $250K!

You can consistently earn $450k each and every week with these trials. They can also be completed at any level, making it a good way to make money for new players. And they don’t take that long if you know what you are doing. Considering how fast you can knock these time trials out, it’s a very good side gig to incorporate into your money grind, and it’s one that I regret not getting started on sooner.

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Happy gaming!

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