Grand Theft Auto V features three playable characters. When you opt to switch characters, a Google Earth-like view appears and the camera zooms in on the character that you selected. You can access any of the three protagonists off-mission with free-roam, but you cannot access them on-mission. Once you are in the mission, you can still switch characters, but only for unique objectives. The main characters of GTA V and NPCs feature thousands of custom animations.
Each character has their own unique story-arch, likeness, distinctive walk, personality and lives when you are not controlling them. So, for example, if you are playing as Michael, Trevor could be leading a separate life off-camera to what you are doing with Michael. Your character also only regenerates up to 50 percent which means that if you want to go to full health, you'll have to buy food or look for health packs.
To switch between the three protagonists players will use the D-Pad where they will select either: left, up, right and down for their multiplayer avatar. You may be prompted sometimes by the game to choose a specific character but you don't have to if you don't want to.
It has also been confirmed that some characters from GTA IV will be returning, however it will not be Niko Bellic or any of the other major characters. The Republican Space Rangers that made an apperance on GTA IV TV will also be making yet another appearance in GTA V TV.
Lamar - Franklin's crazy friend. Kind of ambitious and more of a wild person than Franklin is. Franklin is more serious than Lamar. Lamar owns Chop.
Jimmy - Michael's son who is a lazy, blazed out 20-year-old kid who spends Daddy's money. Doesn't have a really close relationship with his father, Michael.
Ron - Trevor's best friend. He is a conspiracy theorist who lives in a trailer. He's always paranoid and is also afraid to spend time with Trevor.
Amanda - Michael's wife. She is a pretty fiesty character and isn't the girl you'd expect to see in a GTA game. She is bound to her and Michael's past lives to the point where she can't stand him anymore.
Tracy - Michael's daughter. Typical spoilt brat who also spends her father's money. She goes on shopping sprees.
Simeon Yetarian - An unscrupulous Armenian car dealer which Franklin and Lamar work for.
Impotent Rage - A down-in-the-dumps "cape crusader" who gets his own TV show, he will also be out in the streets of Los Santos lecturing about his "acting" career.
Janey Jonas - A narcissistic teen starlet, she says "I'm the voice of a generation" and is very affirmative about her prescence as a wanted actress in Vinewood.
Pamela Drake - A pornstar dropout. She's audaciously bespoken about her times within the Vinewood porn industry and she rambles on about "A Slut in Paris" being written for her.
Jock Cranley - A conservative opponent to Sue Murry who was also a famous stuntman for television and screen.
Sue Murry - A divorced, liberal school teacher who plans to put San Andreas on the up-and-up again with massive increase in government spending and public radio.
Dr. Isiah Friedlander - A therapist in Los Santos and most importantly, he is Michael's therapist.
Another thing to add to the secondary characters is that they will, themselves, go up to people and interact with them; in one of the previews Lamar had interacted with a homeless drunk.