Study: The Secret Lives Of GTA V’s Dogs

One of biggest factors in video game immersion is the quality of the artificial intelligence of the non-player characters. In various games, the level of AI needed differs greatly, depending on genre. In shooters, you don’t want enemies charging at the player, rather they should look for cover and try to outflank the protagonist. In stealth games, they should search hiding places intelligently, not randomly. In RPGs, they should use abilities best suited against your weaknesses.

However in GTA, they most just need to jump away from speeding vehicles. Or, you know, not.


These NPCs are commonly referred to as PEDs in GTA V (short for pedestrians), and have barely any role in the game more complex than running in the opposite direction of gunshots or fast moving vehicles. Of course, there are special NPCs, enemies and police forces with different behaviors, but the PEDs don’t really do much more.

While not technically PEDs, the animals of GTA V have also been equipped with their own AI programming. Now, these are little more than mobile set pieces, which do their thing while in close proximity to the player. However once outside the range, they simply despawn and return into the nonexistent virtual ether whence they came.


One particularly bored and curious player decided to follow one such animal, a dog, on its journey, never leaving its side lest it disappear. The player literally followed some virtual dog for several real-world hours. The dog wandered across lands far and wide, its programmed mind driving it to some unknown destination, blissfully oblivious to the observing human. Since the animal wasn’t following a pre-set path, rather picking directions on the fly. Where did this journey take the dog?

It slipped, fell, and died. Yup. That “intelligence” part still needs nailing down in AI.

Any of you have any funny NPC stories from GTA V?

What do you think? Sound off below!

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