GTA Online took a long time to get on its feet, but once it did it became one of the best online multiplayer experiences you can have at the moment. The game, along with GTA V’s single player campaign, finally hit PC after over a year of delays and anticipation, and it was even better than before. Fans celebrated and jumped into the game with great fervor. However, there seems to be some trouble in paradise as GTA Online is seemingly full of hackers on PC. I speak from personal experience, as almost half of the servers that I have joined over the last few days have had hackers on them in one form or another. This isn’t just me getting unlucky though, as multiple threads online point to hackers essentially running rampant throughout GTA Online.
What exactly is happening when a hacker joins a match? Pretty much anything actually. I’ve seen giant Christmas tress and UFOs spawned in midair. 747’s littering downtown, with dozens exploding at once and spraying wreckage across the landscape. Invincible players teleporting around, blowing up anything that they touch. In one instance I watched as my teammate was turned into a shark…or a half-man, half-shark….or a man in a shark costume. We weren’t really sure exactly, but it didn’t go away until he left the server. Sometimes these events are game breaking, such as when a hacker kills everyone who’s not in Passive Mode, but others can actually be enjoyable, like the aforementioned shark/human hybrid.
Hacking is an especially troublesome problem on PC as users have access to the game’s files directly. It also allows for other tools to run in the background, affecting the way the game operates. Consoles have a more closed off environment, though that doesn’t necessarily mean there are no hackers. In fact during the initial months of GTA Online on consoles they were fairly common. How often they appear these days I cannot say, but if they were showing up as often as they are on PC people would be talking about it.
Rockstar is certainly aware that hacking goes on inside of GTA Online, as they have a number of policies and procedures in place. Reporting players who do hack is one method, but it is unknown how quickly or effectively Rockstar takes care of these issues. Some players have reported being banned for hacking, but others have been banned simply for being around when a hacker was on the server and caused them to earn money at a rapid pace.