The seemingly endless loading times of GTA Online will soon become less loathsome, because Rockstar have confirmed they're implementing a fix for an issue found by a player. At the end of February, someone known as "t0st" had a good rummage in GTA's code to figure out why Online loaded so much slower than singleplayer, and came up with a solution that made it 70% faster on their PC. Well, Rockstar say they've investigated, confirmed the issue, and made some changes we'll see in a future patch. Amazing scenes.
Update: It might now be live? Surprise!
t0st wrote a lengthy blog post detailing their reverse-engineering investigations, and how they found loading stalled for ages while the CPU parsed a JSON data file. They thought the method use for this was wildly inefficient, so they wrote their own patch which hooked into the game with a faster method. That made GTAO load 70% faster for them, a number so wild I was a little sceptical. While some player-made fixes for games have performed miracles, others have been less reliable or straight misunderstood issues. Apparently, this one is real.
"After a thorough investigation, we can confirm that player t0st did, in fact, reveal an aspect of the game code related to load times for the PC version of GTA Online that could be improved," Rockstar told cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer. "As a result of these investigations, we have made some changes that will be implemented in a forthcoming title update."
I've never been more thrilled to throw my hands up and declare I was wrong. I was wrong, and oh god how wonderful that I was wrong. It's grim to think that, by now, at least an entire day of my life has been spent needlessly on those stupid load screens.
Rockstar didn't say when the fix would arrive, nor what sort of improvements players could expect. It's one of those issues which could benefit some computers more than others, y'know.Update: A 380MB patch hit today. While Rockstar haven't put out patch notes yet, many players are reporting big boosts to loading speed. I wouldn't say it loaded quickly for me, but I didn't have time to cook a three-course meal either so maybe this is it?
As for t0st, they said yesterday in an update to their post: "Just got awarded $10k through their H1 in-game bounty as an exception :)) (usually only for security issues)". Nice.
t0st did also release a "proof of concept" fix for people to see for themselves, though they warn it might get you banned. Having already been banned once for a mod mix-up myself, yeah, I'll not risk it again. I'm happy to wait for the official fix to an issue which, again, I am incredibly glad to have been proven wrong on.Disclosure: I have some pals who work at Rockstar on, idk, stuff?