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GTA Online Problems and Black Screens Plague Launch



GTA Online arrived early this morning as a free update to the GTA 5 game that players bought in the middle of September, but the first day of gaming may not involve much gaming.

This morning the GTA 5 update arrived before most of the east coast went in to work, and the path downloaded fast enough, but then the trouble started.

GTA Online is activated by picking the bottom character in the character selection wheel, just like switching between characters in the story mode.

When we tried to activate GTA Online this morning the Xbox went to a black screen as soon as we selected the online component, and the screen stayed black until we quit GTA 5 and started over. Repeating the process to play GTA Online resulted in the same black screen which lasted for 10 minutes before we gave up.

GTA Online problems, like this one telling gamers "The Rockstar cloud servers are unavailable right now." are hampering the GTA Online release.

GTA Online problems, like this one telling gamers “The Rockstar cloud servers are unavailable right now.” are hampering the GTA Online release.

We’re not alone as gamers are turning to Twitter to complain about server outages, bugs and other GTA Online problems.

Rockstar support is working on the issue and is updating gamers on various GTA Online issues on Twitter and on a support page. Here are the known GTA Online issues, the GTA Online black screen is not on this list.

  • Occasional “Rockstar Cloud Servers Unavailable” error message
  • Freezing sometimes while loading into first race in GTAO with “waiting for other players” on the screen
  • Intermittent “Failed to Host a GTA Online Session” error messages
  • Race Corona (start area, marker) occasionally not showing up for first race
  • Errors saying “Timed out when matchmaking for a compatible GTA Online Session to join”
  • General issues with the Social Club site and Social Club features (slow loading, failed logins, emails not arriving, etc). For more information on Social Club status, please see:

It’s good to see that Rockstar is on the issue and is constantly updating and responding to gamers on Twitter. Rockstar predicted issues with GTA Online as millions of gamers who bought GTA 5 attempted to connect in a short period of time.

Some gamers report success by skipping the character selection wheel and picking the online tab from the pause menu. When we tried this we got an error that Rockstar cloud servers were offline, and only disc content would be usable.

Hopefully Rockstar can optimize the servers during the day, so that gamers can play when they get home from work and school later tonight, but if we’ve learned anything in the last year of online gaming it’s that things take time to fix.

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  1. Nathaniel Louis Kitt

    10/01/2013 at 7:34 am

    On my PS3, when I put the disc in and got the update screen, it just turned black. I read that you gotta sign in while in the game, pause and go to the online tab, then sign in and update. It downloaded for me. First time, I needed to power it off, which scared me since I lost data like that a couple years ago.

  2. Colton

    10/01/2013 at 9:25 am

    They had how long to prepare for this? How long? Ok, if there are some hiccups or small bumps, that’s understandable, but not a total Online server failure from the get go. Its not like they just had 2 weeks to prepare for this. The online mode was much anticipated before the regular launch, they knew that there would be a huge sworm of people getting on. I bought this game more for the online experience, sadly, Rockstar, you have failed on your end. Am I being impatient and wrong for calling them out only hours after release? No, not in the present day 21st century world. In this day, you better have your sh*t together, especially if you sell it to millions of people world wide. 10/10, your online mode sucks, add that to your list of perfect scores ;)

  3. Gregorygayden

    10/01/2013 at 1:53 pm

    Mines still not working it pops up with the same alert screen this is very bad

  4. Tim Wilson

    10/01/2013 at 2:34 pm

    Yo this has got to be the biggest disappointment AND LET DOWN in GTA/Rockstar history, WTF!!!!

  5. Straain

    10/02/2013 at 1:51 am

    Just leave rockstar alone! MILLIONS of people bought the game, of course there would be trouble with the severs. Give it a couple of days.

    • Tim Wilson

      10/03/2013 at 5:31 pm

      Yea so as big as the anticipation was they should have prepared for this

  6. Clement Yeung

    10/04/2013 at 2:33 am

    For people trying to update the game at the beginning, wait until the intro sounds have finished playing in the background and only then, select to update. This worked for me and various others.

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