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GTAV Fan Fixes GTA Online's Super Lengthy Load Times

GTA Online
(Image credit: IGN)

GTA Online might be one of the most popular and longest-lasting games to date, but it isn't without its flaws. More specifically, GTA Online has an insane loading time of up to six minutes on most PC hardware (possibly more on slower PCs), which is absurd given how old the game is. A fix might be in the works, or at least, a fan of GTAV has figured out the problem and fixed it with a simple solution. Well, 'fixed' might be too strong a word, but the situation has improved at least.

Before all this, the GTAV fan "T0ST" was super annoyed at the absurdly long wait times he was getting in GTA Online. His load times were a whopping six minutes just to get into the game. To start troubleshooting, he started running Task Manager to see what was taking up so many resources during that 6-minute time frame.

He found out that the game was only loading two CPU cores consistently, for the entire duration of the load time. Nothing else was being utilized, so storage, graphics, and network bandwidth didn't appear to be the bottleneck. This is unusual behavior, as a game should be loading stuff from storage into system memory and talking with the server, which could have at least partially explained the long wait times.

So T0ST delved deeper, into the game code itself, and eventually found the problem. It turns out the game is basically doing a ton of extra work for no reason at all. The game is basically looking at 10MB JSON file with a bunch of in-game store items, repeatedly, as it works to load the game. This is something the game can completely skip and do later. It also repeats scanning of the 10MB JSON every few bytes, further exacerbating the problem.

T0ST fixed this by creating his own DLL with optimized code and installing it into the game files. That cut load times down to a far more pallatable 1 minute and 50 seconds. That's still pretty awful for a game that came out so long ago, but it's one-third the time as before. Hopefully, this will encourage Rockstar to finally take a look this portion of the game code, and using data from T0ST it should be able to implement the fix in a future patch.

  • Master Djoza
    I dont think they will ever change this.
    I mean the game has been out for almost 8 years, the problem has been following it since then.
    If they didnt fix it in the first 7 years, i dont seem them bothering to fix this now that we should be close to getting GTA VI.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    I hate rockstar and they’re stupid games and do stupid things for no reason at all. They’re not interested in fixing any bugs either just making money
    Reply
  • kyzarvs
    Not sure what potato the guy is running it on, but my laptop just did 2.45 getting into online with all my other work apps open - I'd wager my desktop would be significantly faster. Six minutes - I wouldn't bother to ever play at that.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    it takes forever on an old Xbox One, that's for sure. It's one of the reasons I don't play it anymore. Too sick and tired of waiting to play. Red Dead 2 used to have super long load times, and, at times it still does. R-Star aggravates me to no end. They have made literally billions on GTA-V and STILL this nonsense. They are giving everyone the big fat middle finger
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    kyzarvs said:
    Not sure what potato the guy is running it on, but my laptop just did 2.45 getting into online with all my other work apps open - I'd wager my desktop would be significantly faster. Six minutes - I wouldn't bother to ever play at that.
    That's the whole point though!
    This game was made for potatoes, it's freaking 7 years old, when this game came out his CPU was way overqualified.
    And he did reduce loading times from 6 to less than 2 minutes so the problem isn't with the potato PC it's with the code not running properly.
    Reply
  • blader15sk8
    kyzarvs said:
    Not sure what potato the guy is running it on, but my laptop just did 2.45 getting into online with all my other work apps open - I'd wager my desktop would be significantly faster. Six minutes - I wouldn't bother to ever play at that.

    The source article states he is running it on an AMD FX-8350 with a cheap 120GB SATA SSD. The source article also referenced a poll where it shows he is actually about average for load time, and there are other players that far exceed 6 minutes. That seems absurd!

    I never really played the online mode, but I do recall the few times I did load it up (or even single player) it was probably the longest load time of any game in my steam library.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    Let me tell you how the decisions are made there. Someone submits a bug and they look at it and say does this stop people from buying gold or game money? And if it doesn’t they do nothing. And that’s rockstar in a nutshell
    Reply
  • gggplaya
    They should do multiplayer like APB Reloaded does it, where all the people are on the map at the same time, but only players active in a match can hurt or kill each other. Others can watch and potentially grief the match, but that's what makes it so GRAND. It all takes place instantly, and there is no load times other than when first loading onto the map.
    Reply
  • JonDol
    This long load time seems to be bad programming and the Rockstar Game Launcher keeps it consistent with this: at every launch one gets the annoying "Installing Rockstar Games Social Club" (while it is, of course, already installed) which seems to follow a complete installation process, instead of a more appropriate "Updating..." or "Checking for updates...".

    Just imagine that at every Windows boot up one gets a message "Installing Windows" and then a full/partial installation proceeds...
    Reply
  • Mandark
    First of all they were forced into supporting online play so I think they did this from the beginning to be jackholes. There were some legal mumbo-jumbo where they had to provide online play back in the day and I’m convinced they do things like this just to give people the middle finger even though this has made them billions of dollars
    Reply