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We Finally Know Why GTA Online's Startup Is So Slow

Tired of waiting forever for GTA Online to load? One player dug into this issue and thanks to their perseverance and mad coding skills, it's now possible to get loading times down by nearly 70%.

In a detailed post, a player who goes by T0ST broke down two problems that contribute to average player wait times upwards of six minutes. They were originally floored that no improvements had seemingly been made to the slow loading screen in the past seven years and counting, though other GTA 5 fans may not be shocked given some of Rockstar's other questionable decisions that have been made for the game.


To put it in terms even the least tech-savvy gamers will understand, the first problem is what T0ST describes as a "CPU bottleneck," which was apparently caused by the game running through every single purchasable item in the game to check for duplicates. Patching this problem alone brought the loading time down to 4:30.

The second problem is the result of a weak JSON parser that can't quite handle a 10MB JSON file as quickly as it should be able to. By using a JSON parser patch fix alone, T0ST takes the wait time down to just under three minutes. When both patches are enabled, the load time slims down to less than two minutes.

T0ST posted an update at the end of their post stating their gratitude for how their post has "spread like wildfire," along with a donation button and a request for players to refrain from flagging this problem to Rockstar's support team so players with other issues can still get the support they need.


So, will Rockstar take action based on these fan recommendations? T0ST is hoping so. They wrote, "If this somehow reaches Rockstar: the problems shouldn't take more than a day for a single dev to solve. Please do something about it[.]" 

Not so tech-savvy? No worries. If you want an easier fix, Dexerto cited a Redditor-discovered technique discovered back in July 2020: simply disconnect from your Wi-Fi right as the game starts loading and then reconnect right away. It's truly as easy as the classic catch-all tech fix: turn it off, then back on again.

On the other hand, TheGamer speculates that even if Rockstar is aware of this issue, the company may leave the load times the way they are. That's because these load screens also feature ads and hints for the players, which means that gamers currently have ample time to read them.

Whether Rockstar ends up fixing the load times or not, GTA fans are used to waiting and will likely roll with the punches, as they've been eagerly anticipating GTA 6 for quite some time now.