Wow: for once, Take-Two and Rockstar didn’t penalize a fan for a creative idea. Instead, they are officially taking the solution, which would mean that you won’t have enough time to have your dinner while Grand Theft Auto Online loads.
Grand Theft Auto Online’s loading time is terrible. Even if you have a strong NVMe M.2 SSD, a fast CPU and GPU, and tons of RAM in your PC, you still have to wait for minutes to see the game (which is why Grand Theft Auto V didn’t get single-player DLC) boot up. However, a modder, t0st, found a solution that reduced loading times by 70%! The solution wasn’t even that complicated.
Rockstar sent a statement to PCGamer, which says the following: „After a thorough investigation, we can confirm that player t0st did reveal an aspect of the game code related to load times for the PC version of GTA Online that could be improved. As a result of these investigations, we have made some changes that will be implemented in a forthcoming title update.”
His reward for the efforts will be no less than ten thousand dollars as part of the HackerOne program. He explained why Grand Theft Auto Online was slow: „First, the game was reading in a text file of all purchasable items in the game – and after every one of 63,000 items, it counts every character in the 10MB text file afresh. Doing this count once is no big deal, but doing it 63,000 times adds up to a whole lot of wasted CPU time.
Second, to prepare all of the item data that’s been read in, the game records both the data associated with that item (eg its name, price, category, stats) and a hash of that item (essentially a calculated ‘fingerprint’ that uniquely identifies it). Each time the game stores an item from the list – which, remember, happens 63,000 times – it checks the hash value of the item being stored against the hash value of every other item that’s already been stored,” the explanation reads.
How could Rockstar do such an amateur mistake?