Someone has figured out how to reduce GTA Online's load times by almost 70%

GTA Online
(Image credit: Rockstar)

Grand Theft Auto 5's loading times have been the butt of many a joke over the last seven years—even the beefiest of PCs will leave players twiddling their thumbs while that blonde lady throws a peace sign at her phone for the millionth time. The agonising wait has led one savvy player to delve into the game's code, and with some tweaking has managed to reduce the loading times by almost 70%.

GitHub user tostercx has uploaded the fixed code, though they do warn that it's more of a proof of concept and not intended for casual use. They were also kind enough to provide a breakdown of the entire process.

The lengthy loading times—tostercx experienced a six minute wait for GTA Online to boot up—are, in part, attributed to some terribly optimised code and a 10MB JSON file containing 63,000 item entries. Every time an item is found, the check then runs again… and again. tostercx estimated that this leads to around 1,984,531,500 checks.

This, along with the fact the game was only loading from a single core on tostercx's CPU, appear to be the biggest bottlenecks. But after a couple of fixes that optimised the code, tostercx was able to reduce the loading time to a much more digestible one minute and 50 seconds, a 69.4% improvement on the original time. 

It's a huge reduction, which tostercx claims shouldn't take "more than a day for a single dev to solve." They even leave some suggestions for Rockstar, ones which hopefully will be acted on—though it's doubtful given how long players have put up with long load times already.

If you're still diving into Los Santos, why not use those impossibly long loading times to check out some of our GTA Online guides, like how to make money quickly or the speediest cars that deserve a place in your virtual garage?


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Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.