Watch GTA Online’s Troll Clone Nightmare

Hacking is a terrible thing which can ruin multiplayer games for everyone. Hacking can also, on occasion, turn multiplayer games into a creepy fever dream and deliver the kind of anecdotes that you want to tell all your friends about. That’s the case with what happened to Idle Thumbs‘ Nick Breckon in GTA Online [official site] when he found himself i) spontaneously wealthy ii) the owner of every gun in the game and then iii) with a green-haired clone of himself attached to his back. There’s a YouTube video below with Breckon telling the story, cut together with some footage of it happening.

I’m posting this simply because it entertained me.

A good story well told.

Developers Rockstar have been struggling to curtail modding and hacking of GTA Online since the game launched on PC, while trying not to anger or limit users who only use mods in the game’s singleplayer mode. The struggle to maintain the sanctity of the online mode flared up again this past week when Rockstar banned three of the creators of a mod called FiveM, which enabled players to host their own GTA servers for unrestricted multiplayer mayhem. Although the mod apparently only changed the game’s singleplayer, it may have assisted piracy and so was considered against Rockstar’s terms of use.

I’m not sure what collection of hacks befell Breckon in the video above, although the ability to explode players, give players money, and attach yourself to the backs of players are all features I’ve seen before. While it was funny and strange in this instance: don’t go doing it to others. You’ll ruin the game for other players and quickly end up banned.

If the name Nick Breckon sounds familiar but you don’t listen to Idle Thumbs, then it might be because he also writes for Telltale’s Walking Dead: Season Two.


  1. Myrdinn says:

    You -might- be banned if someone reports you. After 2 weeks you get unbanned, repeat. I’ve played enough GTA Online not to regret it but the game at this state is no fun at all in public sessions. There’s a BUNCH of cheaters in literately EVERY session.

    I’ve played 500+ hours and managed to avoid picking up any ‘illegal’ moneybags until a few weeks ago when some ahole in my heist started raining down moneybags while I was in the lobby screen. Thanks for f*cking up my stats. Haven’t played since.

    • dontnormally says:

      That sounds terrible! I’ll have to go check to see if anyone would accidentally drop moneybags on me. For science.

    • ulix says:

      It happened tome a couple of days ago. I accidentaly picked up around 200k spawned by some cheater, and immediatly reported him. Didn’t get an answer until now.

      It’s really annoying. I’m guessing Rockstar have maybe three interns sitting in an office, having to deal with ten-thousand hacking reports a day.

      Step your game up, Rockstar!

      Apart from a couple of other quibbles (the shitty matchmaking being the biggest) this is what’s sucking the fun out of GTA Online the most for me.

    • NihlusGreen says:

      The cheating is everywhere unfortunately, I went back after a break and if there weren’t cheaters it was disconnections from players during heists and set ups, awful MP

  2. Kitsunin says:

    Banning a mod because it may assist piracy makes very little sense. If it’s really doing that, banning it won’t make it cease to exist, so all you’re really doing is making it into something only illegal players can use.

    • yoggesothothe says:

      I think the “piracy” in question is actually something along the lines of being able to play what is essentially a client-side version of GTA Online without logging in to Rockstar’s servers. At least, this is the impression I got from reading a description of FiveM.

      I guess it’s “piracy” in the sense of running clone servers of WoW, that type of thing. Something like that?

      • GernauMorat says:

        As I undestand it, the issue seems to be that people are able to run a microtransaction free version of GTA online.

        • Kitsunin says:

          If it’s piracy in the sense of legal copies getting around microtransactions, this would make a fair amount of sense. I suppose banning the mod would stop that. Still doesn’t seem great, because less restrictions is pretty much always good for having fun (excepting restrictions which prevent modifying the public server experience).

        • yoggesothothe says:

          @GernauMorat Yes that’s the impression I got too. Gotta sell those shark cards.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        It’s “piracy” because it lets you play multiplayer without checking in with Rockstar’s servers, so you can use a pirated copy of the game.

        Fuck Rockstar anyway, of course.

  3. thetruegentleman says:

    How disconnected from PC gaming do you have to be to assume that being given every weapon and loads of cash is a bug? Being curious, or morbidly fascinating would be understandable…but a bug?

    Isn’t Nick a developer? He should know that bugs don’t really work like that.

    • nmarebfly says:

      Aren’t bugs, by their very nature, incredibly unpredictable?

    • Sin Vega says:

      It’s hardly an unreasonable thought. I’ve seen stranger bugs, and there was a bug in XCOM Apocalypse where you could suddenly get a tonne (tens of thousands) of expensive items, which could be sold for effectively infinite cash.

    • Yglorba says:

      Lots of bugs can do things like that. The Relm Sketch Bug in FF3/6 used to give you huge amounts of random stuff, say (assuming it didn’t crash your game and corrupt your save.) The first time I played, I hit the bug and didn’t realize it had added a bunch of stuff to my inventory for a long time.

      What’s the deal with all this swagger and bluster about how people are “disconnected from PC gaming”, though? I mean, seriously? Putting aside the fact that you were wrong, PC gaming is, well, huge. People within it can have very different experiences and focus on different aspects of it! As we can see from the fact that you were completely ignorant of how glitches that gives you huge amounts of stuff are in fact a reality in many games.

  4. MrCrun says:

    IIRC from reddit, the modders put a Rockstar social club hook in so you HAD to have a legit copy. (link to )

    They’ve also been banned from Max Payne 3 which seems like a massive overstep. No warning either, which is odd because cheaters only get a two week ban.
    So 1) it’s not about piracy because of the R* Social Club hook
    2) It’s not about cheating because the ban is permanent and RSC wide.
    3) It’s not about messing with GTO because it only messes with singleplayer code.
    Which means R* might think that a multiplayer mode without microtransaction and unlimited ability to use cars and guns is piracy of their “Shark Card” doodads.
    I am tired so none of this may make sense and I might be paranoid but it’s here anyway.

  5. Sam says:

    Unfortunately you soon learn the repertoire of tricks in the popular “menus” that scripters use in GTA:Online. Mostly spawn ugly cars, be immortal, explode other players. But one caught me by surprise:

    I walked into my garage to pick which of my collection of absurdly expensive vehicles I would crash into walls today, and instead found it entirely empty except for a single cow. There aren’t even any cows in GTA:Online. A potent combination of amusement and mild panic that my precious trophies representing hours of grinding imaginary money had vanished. Top notch griefing, and possibly a nod towards Cow Clicker.

  6. Nucas says:

    i was heisting pretty regularly for a couple weeks in this but my group of friends blew to the winds. the game is unplayable with pubbies, simply due to the hacking being more out of control than anything i’ve seen online in like 15 years. ended up uninstalling it.

  7. Xzi says:

    A lot of complaints about how this type of thing made people stop playing GTA Online, but it kinda makes me want to play it again after having not touched it in a long time. The singleplayer has enough heisting and “srs criminal business” on its own, so having the online mode become more lighthearted fun and less a grind for virtual dollars sounds pretty good.

    • MultiVaC says:

      This video isn’t really an accurate representation of what you can expect to encounter on a regular basis. Most of the time it’s neither lighthearted nor fun, and you’re more likely to be stopped from doing much of anything at all because of cheaters than seeing anything interesting. Every so often there is something clever or cool, like someone crashing one of those huge jetliners that you can’t normally use or finding a forklift in the corner of your garage and being not quite sure if it was a hack or if it had always been there and you just never noticed. But most of the time it’s just someone out to ruin other people’s fun with the same tired bag of tricks; randomly blowing people up repeatedly, killing everyone on the server with the deaths attributed to an innocent player to try to get them kicked, taking away all weapons, crashing the game or otherwise making it unplayable, etc.

  8. Skeletor68 says:

    Any fellow Thumbs listeners here?

    For more Breckon fun on YouTube look up ‘Far Cry 2 Ambush’ and Nick’s Sims story.
    link to