GTA Online's biggest problem is about to be fixed – but not for everyone

(Image credit: Rockstar)

Whether you're a griefer or a legitimate GTA Online gangster, there's one thing all players of Rockstar's crime epic can agree upon – the Grand Theft Auto Online loading times are atrocious.

But for some players of the massively-popular, seven-year-old game, it could be a problem that will soon be fixed with a forthcoming update – and it's all thanks to an intrepid fan.

A programmer that goes by the name 't0st' discovered at the end of February that a piece of code in the PC version of the game was leading to a "single thread CPU bottleneck while starting up GTA Online," which lead to the game performing an unnecessary check on almost 2 billion items before firing up. 

The programmer 't0st' played around with the code and created a fix that reduced loading times by as much as 70 percent, and stated it "shouldn’t take more than a day for a single dev to solve." For some players, it could bring the initial load length down from upwards of six minutes to closer to under two minutes.

After posting the fix publicly on GitHub, Rockstar has since confirmed t0st's efforts were helpful, and that it will be putting out an update based on the discovery.

"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," the company said in a statement. "As a result of these investigations, we have made some changes that will be implemented in a forthcoming title update."

As yet, the update has not been given a roll-out date.

A deserved reward – but what about consoles?

It's all worked out quite nicely for t0st – not only do they get a pat on the back and a faster-loading game, but they've also been rewarded with a $10,000 reward from Rockstar's bug bounty program. It's usually reserved for security fixes, but has been awarded here under exceptional circumstances.

It's great news for PC players, who will be able to jump into the action much more quickly... but what of console players? The loading times may not be quite as dramatically bad on Xbox and PlayStation, but they too drag on interminably long for a game that would benefit from quick-fire play. 

Here's hoping they too get an update before long, but with PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of the game in the works (not to mention the rumored development of GTA 6), we wouldn't hold our breath on any huge improvements to the existing console versions of the game coming any time soon.

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.