When you join GTA Online from GTA V, you will enter a Public Session by default. A Public Session might already have other players in it, and new players can join it as well.
However, there are five other types of sessions that allow you to control who can join:
Invite Only Session: Other players cannot join the session without an invitation sent from you or anyone already in the session.
Closed Crew Session: Only players in your Crew on Social Club can join the session. They can join without an invitation. Anyone who is not in your Crew cannot join the session.
Crew Session (with customizable number of Crews): Should work like a Closed Crew Session but is able to contain players from more than one Crew. Because I don’t start this type of session very often, I’m sorry for not being able to provide a precise description on how it works exactly.
Closed Friend Session: Only players who are your Friend on Social Club can join the session. They can join without an invitation. You cannot invite anyone who is not your Friend to the session. I’m not sure about whether your Friend’s Friend can join such a session if your Friend is already in it with you.
Solo Session: You are the only player in the session. Neither your Friends nor your Crew members can join it. You cannot invite any other player to the session.
If you have not joined a Crew on Social Club, then the options related to Crews might not be available to you.
Many business management activities must be done in a Public Session. These missions include but are not limited to:
- Buying and selling Special Cargo
- Sourcing and selling Vehicle Cargo
- Sourcing and selling Air Freight Cargo
- Accessing the laptop in MC Businesses to purchase/steal Supplies, sell Stock, or buy Upgrades
- Accessing the laptop in your Bunker to purchase/steal Supplies, sell Weapons, view your research progress, manage Staff, or buy Upgrades
- Selling Goods from your Nightclub Warehouse
- Completing Prep Missions of The Doomsday Heists
In Solo Sessions, you cannot do multiplayer activities such as:
- Registering as a VIP, CEO, or MC President
- Starting Jobs requiring more than one player, like Heists and Deathmatches
You want to explore the map without disturbance from strangers, but still wish or need to use weapons or weaponized vehicles.
You want to play with your friends only and need a private session that other people can’t join, and you don’t plan to do any activities that would require a Public Session.
You are planning to do Cayo Perico Heist Prep Missions or Casino Heist Prep Missions, which do not require a Public Session but still needs you to register as a VIP, CEO, or MC President.
From the Pause Menu in Story Mode, under the “Online” tab, select “Play GTA Online”, and choose the type of session you want to start.
If you choose the first option “Go”, then you will be matched into a Public Session. Choose other options for sessions with limited access.
On the top of player list, you can view the type of current session.