There’s A Workaround For GTA V’s Username Issue

Look, this seemed like it might have that pathetic fallacy vibe.

Grand Theft Auto V [official site] has unlocked on PC today – but some users have encountered issues installing or playing the game thanks to their usernames.

At launch GTAV for PC supports the 26-letter Roman alphabet (upper and lower case) and the numbers 0-9 – if your username contains anything else there’s a good chance you’ll encounter errors and problems downloading.

Rockstar say they are currently working on a fix but in the meantime there’s a workaround:

“If you don’t want to wait for a fix, you need to create a new Administrator User Account for your Windows system that only includes letters A to Z, a to z or numbers 0-9 from the basic roman alphabet,” they say.

“Please note that simply renaming your current User Account will not correct this issue. Once your new account is created (or if you already have an account that only uses these characters) we recommend you restart your PC and log in with that account before starting or continuing with the installation process.”


  1. amateurviking says:

    Wait this is for your Windows account not your Steam account?

    Wow. That is quite the bug.

    • ShadyGuy says:

      Also, if you’ve changed your default Program Files folder in the windows registry (as many people with small SSDs as their boot drive do) Rockstar Social Club will freak out and say it’s not installed. I had to remove Social Club, edit the default install folder to C:\Program Files (x86) in the registry editor and then reinstall Social Club before I could get it to work.

  2. MerseyMal says:

    Annoying sounding bug but I wish this was the reason why I couldn’t launch the game on my notebook this morning. Created a local administrator account with a non-email address username but the launcher still crashes for me.

    • Splintah says:

      The reason this happens is because there is a bug with Optimus. Basically what you have to do is go to device manager, disable the dedicated GPU, start the launcher, and right as the launcher closes and the game is about to open re-enable the dedicated GPU.

      • sicemma says:

        Ha ha, not for me. I ordered it from GMG and I had SUCH a time getting it to work.

        Their installer is a big piece of poop. It’s a 60gb download that can get confused and a) download the same files continuously in a never-ending loop, b) get confused and ‘finish’ files without actually checking any hash on them to make sure they’re complete, c) sometimes fail to download certain files at all.

        I ended up having to verify my download vs … a torrent of the uncracked game, using ‘force re-check’, then re-download about 10gb of it. It took hours to work this out – all I was getting was

        [2015-04-14 11:05:43.961] [DISPLAY] Game exited with code -1073741819
        [2015-04-14 11:05:43.961] [ ERROR ] Unable to stat out-file!
        [2015-04-14 11:05:43.962] [ ERROR ]

        (I believe mine started with -9 something but I’ve since lost the launcher.log) and a “gta exited unexpectedly” message from the launcher itself (not a windows error), with a prompt to run it in safe mode, which would, inevitably, do the exact same thing.

        This took hours to work out.

        Once I did get it working though .. holy shit. GTA 5 is pretty awesome. They really need to shoot their delivery team out of a cannon though.

  3. oggnogg says:

    I guess complete Unicode support everywhere is still a few decades away :(

    • DanMan says:

      It’s pathetic, isn’t it? What was the other game that came out recently with the same issue? Was it Dark Souls: The Refresh? Or Dragon Ball Z? Some Resident Evil? Can’t remember.

  4. Philopoemen says:

    Why does Rockstar need to know my Windows login, when I’m playing it through Steam? What conceivable reason does a games company have to be requesting that information anyway? I’m genuinely curious – if its an anti-piracy thing so be it, but it seems rather intrusive for entertainment software.

    • yhancik says:

      Stuff (like save games) that go in the user directory, simply? :p

      • Blackcompany says:

        I understand that its often necessary to install things to the AppData folder and its subfolders. But this is another reason why devs need to leave the Documents folder alone. I cant even use my Documents folder to organize documents any longer – I had to move those folders out, as games have – for no reason whatever – taken over that folder.

        I wish more games would store their save and config stuff in the game directory under a profile for each user.

        • yhancik says:

          I remember reading something some day about the fact that it’s actually Microsoft that recommends using this or that folder for games saves. But I forgot the details.

          Either way, yes, “My Documents” is pretty unusable

          • thedosbox says:

            Most of my games created a folder under “My Documents\Saved Games”. This includes obscure titles such as Borderlands, Bioshock Infinite, Dishonored, FTL, Life Is Strange, various Civ games, & Skyrim.

            I guess Rockstar are special little snowflakes.

          • MaXimillion says:

            I believe the Microsoft recommendation is %USERPROFILE%\Saved Games. Of course, that doesn’t stop developers using
            %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games
            %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Saved Games
            %USERPROFILE%\Documents\[Game name]
            and a host of other, less common locations.

        • Sam says:

          This is a perennial topic in RPS comment threads.
          It’s generally a bad idea to store user data in the program’s install directory: write permission issues, cross-user contamination, and a violation of the separation of program and user data. A big game that puts user data in the install directory is World of Warcraft, and back when I played it was common to have raids delayed because someone’s settings had been lost after needing to reinstall. There’s no need for that user data to have been stuffed in the same place as the game files.

          /Users/Name/My Documents/Publisher Name/Game/ is nasty. As you say My Documents should be for the user to be in control of and making a mess of directories in there is just ugly.
          /Users/Name/AppData/Roaming/ (aka %appdata%) is good, although by default it’s a hidden directory and can feel like it’s tucked away in the bowels of the file system rather than easily reachable like My Documents.
          /Users/Name/Saved Games/ is surely ideal but amusingly underused.

        • Derppy says:

          The user folder is the correct location for all user data in the application, while hierarchy inside it varies. Developers need to assume each computer is used with multiple accounts which all have unique data and preferences, while the actual binaries and assets can be shared between accounts.

          I believe the only bad practice here is storing/referencing absolute paths, instead of %USERPROFILE%, but this is a fairly common bug that has appeared in many games before GTAV and should be fixed soon enough.

          • DanMan says:

            It should have never happened more than once though, don’t you agree?

      • DrMcCoy says:

        Even then, there’s been a wide-string version of GetEnvironmentVariable for…15? 20? years now.

        That reminds me though, I probably don’t do that correctly in my own FLOSS project…

    • amateurviking says:

      Yeah I imagine it’s to do with the path for AppData and/or Documents. Still slightly agape that it’s a thing.

    • joa says:

      They aren’t requesting the information — it is freely available to them. You just need to list the directories under “C:\Users” to get a list of usernames after all. If you run software on your computer you’re giving it free reign.

  5. vaalir says:

    What a weird issue. and even weirder; my irl name is Loke, so is my username in windows. like, c’mon! tried making a new user also, but still no dice.

    oh well.. back to elite i guess!

  6. Shadow says:

    On my previous Windows installation, my username and therefore my user folder had an accented character, which occasionally brought upon issues like these with certain games. On my current installation, I made sure to make my username strictly alphanumeric, no “special” (read, common non-English) characters, explicitly to avoid this kind of problems.

    Still, it’s a shame it’s 2015 and some of the latest games still have 1995 problems.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    Phew, good thing I didn’t my real name Glörg Ålbärk as login name…

  8. Barberetti says:

    My username is Administrator so no worries here.

    • Premium User Badge

      Qazinsky says:

      Funnily enough, the only difference between the english word administrator and the swedish translation is one of those special letters (administratör), so that doesn’t help my countrymen that uses their native language.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      My user name is “password”.

  9. luke_osullivan says:

    Unfortunately this isn’t the only issue. My username doesn’t fall foul of this bug but the launcher still quits on me as soon as I try to load up the steam version of the game. This is pretty pathetic.

    • gmillar says:

      Is the launcher actually installed? This was my problem – Steam never installed the launcher, so I got the Windows error when I tried to run it. Downloading the launcher and installing manually from Rockstar’s site worked, although it’s ridiculous that I’d have to do that.

  10. Danny252 says:

    Coupled with the revelation that they’re sending around passwords in plaintext, they don’t seem to be having a very good time with their PC launch.

    • joa says:

      That’s not plaintext — notice the ‘https’ at the start of the URL, the parameters are encrypted. If someone’s looking over your shoulder you’ve got a problem though

  11. DanMan says:

    Oh boy… with errors like this, one can only imagine what other crap they do in their code that we will never see. “If it works”… amiright?

  12. SilentDawn says:

    Ah, i remember this bug from “Mercenaries 2” back in the day. i’ve been using normal account names ever since.

  13. GameOverMan says:

    Roman found a way to bug you in GTA V.

  14. racccoon says:

    This is not a worker around, matter of fact its a bloody stupid idea to have create a new account just play the game! the best option is to delete files in user documents rockshittygames gtav folder then delete program files rockstarshitty games folder gtav <–this one only if you haven't begun downloading. if you have, then copy the crappy files elsewhere and delete the whole friggin folder. After that use the launcher again once loaded and it starts its crappy download and stops and starts and stops to halt at retry! you have the following nightmare to carry through your days trying find the tme to monitor it to get the dam files in messed up launcher called social club. The whole thing is a mess! Rockstar has no favours to the PC player as well as being an OUCAST they bring us nothing but SHAME to word downloading & patching. As you can never download in an orderly fashion without constant hourly monitoring. good luck

  15. Vanderdecken says:

    How prehistoric. So UTF-8 never happened, eh? What a joke.