GTA Online is still leaving PC players in the dust with baffling console-exclusive updates

Official GTA 5 artwork showing a teen flipping the bird at his sister
(Image credit: Rockstar)

It's not a common feeling as a PC gamer to be excluded from updates on multi-platform games—console exclusives are one thing, but we're otherwise used to life in the fast lane. Unfortunately, GTA Online still has a host of updates ranging from graphical tune-ups to new features that just aren't available to anyone playing the PC version.

As pointed out by Kotaku, the PC port of GTA Online is still missing a trunkload of updates. Bizarrely this includes graphical options like ray-tracing, which arrived on PS5 and the Xbox Series X/S in March last year. Granted, these versions are "Enhanced" editions, technically separate releases that might be harder to sell when your PC can already run the original with a modded facelift.

I can perhaps understand the issue—on both the technical and business side—with updating the PC version to be on par with its next-gen console re-releases. But it seems completely arbitrary as to what is and isn't being withheld. There's a career progress tracker, an entire car club with exclusive vehicles, and even a new career intro system, all of which are absent or confined to the GTA+ membership system.

There were even car upgrades with the Los Santos Tuners update of 2021 which were only available for consoles. When combined with security issues and hackers messing about with players' gameplay—sometimes even their accounts—the state of the game isn't looking great. In a thread on the subject in the PC Gaming subreddit, the atmosphere turned suitably jaded.

"PC has always been third-rate peasants to Rockstar. We only exist for them to double/triple-dip on every major release, because they know we're desperate for it," comments user RdJokr1993.

User softbloop also brings up how the PC version's wonky online structuring scuffs the experience: "Absolutely fucking wild that their entire architecture is built on peer-to-peer. In RDR2, one guy can teleport the entire server to a single spot."

It's looking like GTA Online's PC players aren't a big priority for Rockstar Games. A subscription service for an online addition to a 10-year-old game might be a harder sell, or perhaps they've just not seen a market for porting the enhanced edition's visual upgrades. At least other updates like San Andreas Mercenaries are available for PC gamers, so they've not been completely abandoned.

Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.