GTA Online Day 3: Still Not Really Working

GTA Online Day 3: Still Not Really Working

Two days have passed since the online version of Los Santos opened up for millions of players all over the world. It’s not been smooth sailing for the debut of Grand Theft Auto Online, as it’s been plagued with technical issues and server problems. But there are signs that some things are getting better. And weirder. Like characters spawning with no arms.

GTA Online Day 3: Still Not Really Working

Various Kotaku writers have been playing — or trying to play — GTA Online since it launched and we’re pulling together our experiences to form a snapshot of where things stand right now. You could barely even enter Rockstar’s connected world in its first 24 hours. We made at least 8 attempts to go online today — two of them worked — but the majority of times, we were met with some kind of time-out message like the one seen above. But now, overall, it seems like we’ve been able to get onto GTA Online more consistently than on day one.

GTA Online Day 3: Still Not Really Working

Still, trying to engage in the game’s activities with other players is proving problematic. One instance of a disappearing character seems to have been an isolated bug and everything was fine when we came back. Well, besides the armless and wearing-different-clothes situation seen above. Just when you think you’re about to get into a race or a deathmatch, the game will freeze or hang, occasionally leaving you unable to even back out. Sometimes, you’ll need to head all the way back to the console dashboard.

GTA Online Day 3: Still Not Really Working

For example, we’ve been able to join other players’ Jobs in progress with relatively little drama but trying to host our own has led to stalled games. Another time, we tried to start an arm wrestling instance and it hung on loading for a while, then froze. We’ve gotten that more than a few times, that the game will fail to load or time-out or something, then it’ll freeze mid transition in the clouds. Time-outs, foreboding error messages and a vague, frustrating inability to connect all add to GTAO‘s frustration.

When it does work, GTA Online adds a nice dose of extra randomness to the already authored chaos of Rockstar’s open-world. People honking at you to hop into their cars or shooting at you just because you’re there. Launching races seems to work pretty consistently as does teaming with other players in the Jobs generated by AI quest-givers. Nevertheless, people should be learning about all GTAO‘s various systems right now but the experience is still too spotty to be able to do that. We’ll have more to say about what it’s like in GTA Online tomorrow.

Rockstar said that they’d be issuing another status update “soon” when contacted by Kotaku, but said that players should be keeping an eye on the official support page.

How about you? Have you been able to consistently connect to Grand Theft Auto Online? Anything weird or interesting happen once you get in?


  • I haven’t been able to do the first race. It just sits loading. Forever. I left it for 40 minutes and it did nothing but play terrible music at me. So now I’ll give it a week before having a go.

    • Same. Also tried to load up Solo/Invite Only instances as recommended by some guys on here, but still no joy.

      • Just quit and reload the game if it takes more that a few minutes. Its a bit of a pain but eventually you will get in. it took me quite a few tries but Im glad I kept at it cause GTA online is fun……until some random guy shoots you in the back of the head while you’re on the internet………though it is also fun hunting that same guy down and destroying his face with your shotgun or stealing his getaway car while he is busy robbing a shop.

    • I have found that if you just delete your character and start again, it seems to work. This is after being stuck with not being able to start the first race for a couple of days. Starting again got me in first go.

      • Yeah, @f4ction – this worked for me when I woke up this morning. Tried to play an existing character (the 10th I’d created) from yesterday, failed. Creating a new one worked. Was able to dick around for a while in the game. Jobs all failed, though. Stupid connection errors.

    • Delete your update, then clear your cache. I did and it works now every ttimefor me oddly.

    • I had the same problem. I found by deleting the character and starting a new one fixed everything

  • It’s been working pretty well for me after I got past the first race. That seems to be the big problem.

    It’s pretty damn fun otherwise though.

  • Yeah, this may be the worst game launch since Diablo 3, though at least GTAV still lets you play single player offline.

    I’m probably going to give it a week or two. Hopefully things will have quietened down by then.

  • Yeah the freeze after the first race = typical

    I want to know where the mute all option is – once I finally got into a game I was greeting with the typical:
    * motherfucker fuck you fucken die
    * die you motherfucking cunt
    * fuck fuck fuck you all
    * you’re all pussies, fuck you
    * I am going to hunt you down DansDans and fuck you up (and I just *JUST* spawned into the game)

    And this was on the PS3 too… *sigh*

    No one wanted to co-operate, and one asshole found a point near the first clothes store and was sniping everyone who went there to complete that mission – really annoying

    However, once my friend joined me, we got a car, robbed a few stores, shared the cash, got some cars, tricked them up in the garage and then raced them around the city

    Its fun when youre with people you know who want to achieve the same goals, but horrible with everyone else

    Lets hope most of the morons head over to CoD once Ghosts comes out and then just decent players are left within GTAO

  • I got in fine last night – got past the tutorial and hosted a crew only session.

    Really dissappointed though at the logistics of it.
    Even though I am in a XBL Party with a Crew member and hosting a crew only session we have to stuff about with hosting and joining every job (doesn’t just link the two of us as playing together). When we do get into a job (I am hosting) we are on different teams with randoms (for races etc)
    Biggest disappointment is that on finishing the job and voting for a return to freeplay we are on different sessions again and have to join/invite etc… really messy and not a lot of non-adversial content apart from races which will likely get old fast… where is the co-op content that we can do without randoms?

    • Npcs will send you co-op story missions on your phone. Accept these to progress in the story.

      as for the paring after missions, yes it is a little messy at the moment but this will be fixed after the main problems are ironed out for users that still cant get in. At least we are able to access and play the game now. Give it some time : )

      • so you have to level up in the other “missions” for these to appear I assume?
        Looks like I may just do some solo racing in the meantime…

    • You have to gain “JP” AND “RP” to unlock new missions. Its actually fairly easy yo navigate the menus for the right kind of job (co-op) once you understand the stupid way they set it out.

      • there is also the issue with calling a Last Man Standing job as a mission on the overlay map to navigate – not really a co-op activity

  • Working fine for me on 360. Although I did get through the tutorial in the first hour if the servers being up, so that helps.

    Ill be on in an hour or so repping the Kotaku Australia crew if anyone wants to join!

  • Last night the servers started working and I could finally start playing the jobs. Had some fun doing co-op missions where all other players immediately drained our lives and left me alone against 50 enemies, had some fun dogfighting in jets, chasing bounties.

    But what I want to know is, why am I still playing with people from UK or Sweden!? Selling the biggest game in history and they still can’t figure out that people don’t live in US!?

    • If it’s the PS3, Australians get lumped into the ‘Europe’ category. As far as Sony is concerned, there are three regions in the world. US, Japan, and Europe. Everyone else has to go fit into one of those.

      • At least that’s better then what Microsoft thinks. There’s only one category, ‘America’.

  • Its been pretty flawless for me since yesterday around 6 pm on both consoles. If you are still trying, try creating another character in the other slot. I was able to seamlessly create one character on each console yesterday and play the game as it was supposed to play out. Its pretty incredible and addictive once you get in. Definitely worth the wait.

    • Same here. I don’t think we had a single glitch yesterday. Grabbed my first garage, made a little bit of cash and now I’ll probably go and do more missions.

  • Managed to get online a little bit last night. Much lag though. A friend and I tried to do a rally, which was hilarious with a 10 second delay from me giving him directions and him receiving them.

  • Creating an invite only session is the best option. Me and 2 friends played last night with very few problems this way, it was definitely our best night since launch.

    I’ve got a garage an Elegy, and a Bati RR now >:D

    Strange that the post titles are getting more negative as the service gets better. I still can’t believe you guys posted that ridiculous ‘superb second impression’ article a couple days ago.

    • Yeah it was virtually flawless for us last night too. We did heaps of races. Fighter jet dogfights, missions, free roaming mayhem, etc. Worked really well and it reinvigorated my will to play this!

      I’m now running around naked, with a pig mask while driving a hot rod!

      • Wow, that’s scarily similar to my guy Mike! Exact same ‘outfit’ (minus the pig mask) and I looked at masks last night as well ha. Waiting for the black skull though. And I thought I was being original!

        How did you get to dogfights? One of my mates is obsessed with jets, if I tell him it’ll be great!

        Oh also, I guess you have the collectors edition. How is the Khamelion? I’ve been keen to find out, since I have standard ed.

        • Haha, great minds think alike! 😀

          Dogfights were awesome. Without sounding self-conceited, I kicked some serious ass. There’s a pure dog-fighting mode and then there’s a mode where half the people are trying to escape on motorbikes while the other half are hunting them down in planes.

          The Khamelion looks pretty sweet. especially in hot pink! It’s pretty fast too. The hot rod is more fun though due to the flames it spits out of the engine.

          Are you on PS3 or 360?

    • I think the invite-only session thing is bugged, because whenever I’ve tried to create invite-only or friend-only/crew-only sessions (starting from the single-player game then going to the Online tab in the pause menu), I’ve still had a dozen other random players scooting around in there.

      I’m starting to think the only thing that does is flag you as ‘anti-social bastard who doesn’t want to play with others’, then puts everyone who feels that way in the same session where we were all free to completely ignore each other and not fuck up each others’ shit.

      Which is basically what we did in the hours I played. Well. Some people did. At some point someone appeared to be following me in their car, but I simply gunned it at an insane speed on the wrong side of the road on a freeway, then pulled some really idiotic/radical jumps through gaps in the barrier wall, and I lost my pursuer. I like to think after that particularly hairy jump, the message I saw on my screen about a player dying was my pursuer who I suddenly lost, but that could just be wishful thinking.

      • I’ve been having trouble with the invite only sessions too. But some of my friends from the UK and Norway can invite me to their private sessions easily.

        • That badass beetle-looking off-road 2-seater with the giant wheels that you find out in the boondocks. It has amazing turn of speed, sharp handling, ultra-tight grip on the road, and doesn’t spin out like an ADHD kid on red cordial when you leave asphalt. It can take some punishment, too.

          Also, burning down the freeway on the wrong side of the road barely missing cars beeping at you is apparently a decent way to increase your driving skill. Was at practically nil initially, got to the 20 mark after the jump.

    • Can you tell me where you initiated the friends only session? I couldn’t find a way to launch it from the Online menu.

  • Been too busy to look into Online. However, it sounds like I’m not missing out on much at the moment!

    • Nah dude, it’s awesome! It worked pretty much flawlessly for us last night (5 in a party). Join us!

      • Sounds like a plan. I’m on a PS3, however.

        BTW – Man, I’ve been so busy I’ve hardly even had a chance to play much of the story mode. I’m only 25% in! The shame….

  • To be fair, the characters spawning with parts missing happens in single player from time to time too.

  • In Australia, for xbox, GTA Online is working pretty well. Issues early of course but they have been restoring pretty much everything day to day. Day 1 – Only multiplayer free roam, Day 2 – 1 race and 1 mission, Day 3 – All missions races etc. A few joining issues but a workaround is to invite through xbox live. Still have hick ups every now and again but no serious issues as of Thursday 3rd.

    • I wouldn’t say for Australia on Xbox it’s fine, as plenty of people I know, myself included have had no luck.

      • And I was in the same boat until yesterday. and know plenty of others who still haven’t managed to get into that first race.

  • Can’t get the first race to load. Got my kotaku crew tee on and everything haha. I’ll tty again after work.

  • I managed to connect last night, my dude walked up to the car then it was waiting for other players for about 10 minutes before I gave up.

    • Bah!

      Try the following:

      1) Start a different character
      2) Start the game from single player and pick the solo game option
      3) Clear your system cache

    • @miketarno’s right, I did see the official Rockstar support page/twitter saying that a fix for characters created during ‘the bad times’ was to delete them and start fresh.

      • Remind me again if you’re on PS3 or 360. I have a BAD memory, so sorry if I asked before. Like a day ago or less. 😛

        (Or worse, if I added you to Live already!)

        • Nah, I’m playing it on PS3. Haven’t added any TAYbies yet though, I need to get TAYnames and a bluetooth mic together and do this.

  • There was a workaround which worked for me on PS3.

    First you go to game data and delete the small online update, then start up the game reinstall the update. Then during the loading screen, it gives you the option to load into online. I did that and I have been enjoying bug free GTA:O for the past few days. everything working fine.

  • I’m having pretty good results so far on the PS3. After some initial woes with that damn tutorial race, I tried again after two days, and have had a ripper of a time with my friends. The initial loading time getting into the game is ridiculous, but after that, everything comes at a reasonable speed. I also find that I’m frequently grouped with Australian players who aren’t complete dicks. Besides a few unexpected crashes when trying to make playlists, its all working reasonably well.

  • And if this was an MMO, the internet would be screaming for blood.

    Not suggesting they should be for GTAO, it’s just interesting the different standards some gamers have. An MMO has a rough launch few days (seemingly all of them) and people are beside themselves. But with GTAO, myself and almost everyone I know are all pretty cool about it. ‘Meh, just give it a few more days.’

    • Well, I got my money’s worth out of the single player, having spent 70 odd hours so far and probably another 20 more to come. So online was just a bonus in my eyes, therefore I’m not too fussed about the issues.

      • yeah, what mike said. with an mmo you’re at the mercy of servers for everything, if i can’t get into a session i can just chill with the other three guys.

    • Basically what Mike said. If the online component of an MMO doesn’t work, you have no game. At least we have single player to fall back on.

  • Last night was my first real success, although most people i was playing with seemed to be Russian…. Wish you could specify region, not like there is a lack of Aussie players

  • Despite being unavailable to my on its launch day, i’ve been getting in fine ever since. No glitches either, though i have actually experienced the “no arms and weird clothes” glitch in single player. Only problem is that i can’t find players. The most people i’ve shared a map with is 3 or 4.

    • My experience has been the exact opposite (apart from launch day). Been having trouble getting in every day, never experienced the no arms/weird clothes glitch (though I did lost my hair at one point), tried to go friends-only instance, and ended up in a session flooded with players everywhere, can’t start any jobs after the tutorial ones, they all error out and fail – but I can rob stores. So that’s what I do now. I rob.

  • I would have said my experience has got a lot better but then the contents of my garage was deleted and I lost 50 grand worth of vehicles

    • Damn.

      Did you buy them or steal them? You probably know already, but you can go and sell vehicles at LS Custom. Only once every few game hours and they can’t be supercars.

      • I lost a 9 grand bike I bought and the free Elergy gt-r type vehicle which had 40 grand of upgrades. My character was fine tho. I had to dashboard after a match because the loading screen locked up which is when my garage was emptied but it had saved how much ammo I had used in that last game, so I’m not sure if it was just one of the server problems or something more unique

  • Guys, you need to delete the update file only (not the install file) and let the game update again, I had to do it twice. When the game loads up press x or a to load online mode, not story mode.

    I had all these problems, I did this on day two and it’s been working great ever since.
    There are some guides YouTube,with testimonies that it works

  • For those that are still having an issue playing: try now. Another update has just been released – for PS3 at least.

  • Ive played this a good 10 hours now and Ive never had connection issues. The first day or 2 I couldnt “download instances” like races and missions but never have I not been able to get into the game itself. Now thats fixed and its a joy to behold.

  • Maybe is Rockstar had immediate plans to monetise single player they would be more focused on fixing the corrupt save issue. This is getting to be a joke, Online is a mess and lots of us can’t even play single player anymore.

    • I’m sure you’re aware that patches don’t just go up as soon as they’re ready. They need to go through a review process (particularly on the Xbox 360). This is an issue that has only been known about since the patch came in and online launched on the 1st of October (2nd of October for us). It’s now a few days later, and a new patch to fix this issue is already live for PS3 players, and Rockstar is pushing towards having the 360 patch up in the next 24 hours. That’s pretty damn good for possibly the biggest and most ambitious online mode for a console game so far, and Rockstar has been pretty up-front about how much it was likely to be a clusterfuck for the first few weeks.

      • No no, they don’t get to use that tired old “we couldn’t have forseen this” excuse. They are a multi billion dollar company who have spent millions on advertising alone. Let’s not forget the bugs the game shipped with 2 weeks before Online was even released. Connectivity has made them, and their peers, complacent when it comes to QA.
        I bought the game, I received a faulty product which turned into a completely unplayable game for 3 days. I don’t have to like it, and I damned sure don’t have to thank them for fixing their mess.
        (Apologies for the rant, I’m just sick to death of paying to be a glorified beta tester.)

        • You’ll find that not once has Rockstar stated that they “couldn’t have foreseen this”. On the contrary, they’ve been extremely forward about how a million people knocking on their online door at once was likely to cause some major issues day one, and have been extremely quick to patch the issues that have occurred (you’ll find the latest patch is now up on Xbox Live, less than a week after online launched and the issues were discovered). You’re also talking about an extremely ambitious and large game that no amount of QA is going to catch every single issue that it could possibly have before launch. It just isn’t possible, no matter how much you would like it to be. You’re more than welcome to not like it, but if you’re sick of being a ‘glorified beta tester’, as you put it, I’d suggest either waiting on these games until there’s been time to patch issues that have been discovered post-release, or not play them at all.

  • I’m not having any trouble Lvl. 13 Hustler, but just realised dying costs me $1500 or so every time a another player kills me in “medical expenses and bail”, and I usually only get $100 in loot from a player kill unless it’s just after a job and their pockets are loaded.

    So the risk Vs. reward really discourages player Vs. player in freemode, no wonder I can’t afford an apartment yet.

    Also after another player kills me they sometimes troll me by shooting out every tire on my car which means a very slow painful ride to the auto repair shop and more expenses, or I have to write it off with extreme prejudice and pay the insurance premium and travel all the way to the compound to collect a new one.

  • CAREFUL when GTA says “your garage is full” – you can overwrite the vehicle you are just trying to park.
    Lost 130k$ that way on a upgraded elegy with turbocharger :(((

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