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GTA Online player fixes the game’s terrible load times, gets $10K

A big bounty for a bug hunt

a black man playing an arcade racing game while two friends look on in Grand Theft Auto Online’s Diamond Casino Heist update Image: Rockstar Games
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Today’s GTA Online update is short, sweet, and contains a “thank you” to a player named t0st. Rockstar is also awarding t0st with $10,000. The reason for this reward? After logging in to try the newest heists, t0st became so frustrated by the load times that he proceeded to hunt down a solution to one of the game’s most enduring problems.

The full patch notes can be found on Rockstar’s support site, along with past updates.

[March 16, 2021] – General / Miscellaneous (PS4 / Xbox / PC)

General network connectivity improvements

General / Miscellaneous (PC)

Improvements to PC loading times *Thanks to t0st for his contributions around this part of today’s title update

This fix may look small, but it is a huge improvement to the GTA Online experience. The loading times for Los Santos were infamously long. When you’re primed and ready to crime, sitting and watching the loading screen for six full minutes really takes the wind out of your sails.

T0st’s update proved to cut loading times by 70% on his test rig, and he released his findings to the public. Rockstar confirmed the fix was legitimate to PC Gamer, and further stated: “After a thorough investigation, we can confirm that player t0st did, in fact, reveal an aspect of the game code related to load times for the PC version of GTA Online that could be improved.”

The $10,000 reward comes from a Bug Bounty program, which offers rewards to players who discover privacy or security issues in Rockstar’s games. The is the first time the Bug Bounty has paid out for someone discovering a technical issue.

The next level of puzzles.

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