Why GTA 6 should feature a smaller map

Not much is known about GTA 6 (Unofficial image via boop.pl)
Not much is known about GTA 6 (Unofficial image via boop.pl)

A return to a smaller map could do wonders for GTA 6.

Many gamers as of late have been obsessed with large open worlds to explore whilst overlooking the benefits of a smaller map.

While it is an impressive technological feat to have such a massive map that players can explore, these types of games also tend to lack much purpose in the vast majority of these areas. Even games like GTA 5 can have some locations that feel ultimately useless.

A smaller map would not only be less expensive to make for Rockstar Games, but it would also allow them to fully commit to the entire map as opposed to just a few sections. Of course, there are arguments on both sides of the discussion worth discussing in this article.

Why a smaller map would be good for GTA 6


There are many benefits to both bigger maps and smaller maps in video games. When done perfectly, the former is the better option overall. However, the latter can serve as a safer one, while also being impressive.

A smaller map in GTA 6 wouldn't mean a map as tiny as Vice City. It would just mean a map smaller than GTA 5 currently is. As it stands now, GTA 5 is the largest GTA map ever, but there are pros and cons to that statement.

Why some gamers love big maps

There is a lot to do in GTA 5 (Image via Throneful)
There is a lot to do in GTA 5 (Image via Throneful)

A bigger map is a world that gamers can explore more of. It's fairly self-intuitive, but it also allows developers to insert various activities in several parts of the world. Many game critics also tend to praise games that execute this well, so it can also work as an excellent marketing point.

There's also the matter of bigger maps wowing the players more. In a game like what GTA 6 would be, this would mean that players could jam to their favorite radio stations a little bit longer than if they were on a smaller map.

If a map is too big for players to explore in GTA 6, Rockstar could also add a quicker way to travel than taxis in its current state.

Many other AAA titles make it easier to get around compared to GTA 5, so it would be important for Rockstar Games to modernize GTA 6 similarly.

Why some gamers love small maps

A small map like Vice City is easy to explore (Image via Gamesload)
A small map like Vice City is easy to explore (Image via Gamesload)

Of course, not all gamers love gigantic maps to explore. Sadly, not every big map is utilized well in video games, and there's always the possibility of it happening in GTA 6.

In GTA 5 and GTA Online, there was so much countryside that served little purpose other than to separate Sandy Shores from the rest of the world.

Smaller maps save time for both the developer and the gamer. The former won't have to spend as much money developing the world, which also allows them to allocate resources to other parts of the project.

The latter is self-explanatory, but it is also worth noting that some gamers have busy lives as well.

Of course, there is also the matter of smaller maps being able to have more features when compared to larger maps on a proportional basis. Many video games pad out the size of the world to make it seem more awe-inspiring, but if there is nothing to do in most parts of the world, then it's a waste of time for everybody involved.

How should GTA 6 go about it?

Another fan-render of GTA 6's cover (Image via 知乎专栏)
Another fan-render of GTA 6's cover (Image via 知乎专栏)

Realistically speaking, GTA 6 will likely have an impressive map size. If something should be reduced from the previous entry in the series, it should be how massive the countryside is.

Unless Rockstar adds more features to entice players to explore the area, it would likely just be more empty space a player doesn't visit often.

Even just making the map a smidgen smaller could make it feel more cohesive and exciting to explore. Plus, a smaller map would just mean the game is smaller in terms of the x and y-axis. It could still be bigger in its z-axis, which would make the game feel unique in feeling bigger vertically.

Any location can work

Whatever the world is, Rockstar better make it exciting (Image via Rockstar Games)
Whatever the world is, Rockstar better make it exciting (Image via Rockstar Games)

GTA 6 doesn't have to be set in a smaller location like Vice City for something like that to work. Any new or returning location can have a more functional map that utilizes more aspects about it than another big, empty one. In a way, it's the argument of quality versus quantity.

It would be nice if GTA 6 had a massive world full of features in every corner, but that's not realistically going to happen. A bigger map in GTA 6 is realistic, but it would be more similar to GTA 5 in terms of how they handled world design than what most fans would hope for.

Although nothing is known about GTA 6's official story or gameplay, it is worth noting that the game world does have a significant impact on both aspects for a game like this one. An optimized map size would go a long way in making the game feel better.

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