The newly opened casino in Grand Theft Auto Online is a popular spot. Players are driving up to the casino constantly right now. Luckily for them, there is a valet working the front of the building. But being a valet in GTA Online is a dangerous job, especially if you are unarmed and out in the open. Since the casino opened, this poor valet has had what you might call a rough existence. Being killed, beaten, burned and trolled regularly.
Earlier this week, GTA Online’s long-awaited casino finally opened and players came rushing through the doors to gamble and chill with friends and strangers. But outside, not having any fun, players encountered a lonely valet. This man, wearing a red vest and black pants, was waiting there to park players’ cars. This feature is currently hard to use because the dude is always dead. It turns out, most players seem to see the man in the red vest as a target.
But even on fire, the valet doesn’t quit working. Players have shared clips showing the valet doing his job, even while fully engulfed in red hot flames. That’s some dedication to your job.
When the valet is not being attacked or burned alive, he is getting trolled. Players will often bring in ridiculous vehicles and then ask the poor man to park it for them. Players have shown up in planes, helicopters, submarines and even a giant dump truck. Come on, folks. He can’t drive this stuff. Besides, where would he even park it?
All this harassment and abuse has had an effect on the poor guy. Some players have noticed him freaking out for no reason or running away suddenly. Can you blame him? Every few minutes he is getting shot at or attacked. I’d start losing it too, under those circumstances.
As time goes on it seems he isn’t going to take all this punishment lying down. He is ready to fight back. Players who start a fistfight with the overworked valet might discover he has a mean hook and is ready to punch anyone who pushes him too much.
Another player discovered what happens when you drive too fast near the valet.
Because the valet is so often dead and nowhere to be found, some players have decided to put on the red vest themselves and jump online to take over the job. The current valet probably deserves a break anyways. Of course, players taking over the role quickly discovered just how deadly it can be to be a valet in Los Santos.
How does the valet keep coming back in GTA Online, day after day and death after death? Well, it seems this casino is cloning the poor guy. Though sometimes the cloning process gets out of control and because of this, players have sometimes pulled up to a casino sporting a dozen or more men in red vests.
One day, if we all keep killing the bastards, they might finally snap and their clone army will destroy the world of GTA Online. So be careful and maybe give that poor guy in the red vest a break the next time you visit the casino to do some gambling. He has a rough life as it is.
Grand Theft Auto Online’s upcoming casino update has a lot of players hoping for expensive cars, new clothing items and lots of other things to buy. Some scammers are taking advantage of players’ excitement using fake online streams claiming to drop in-game money, sometimes in exchange for real money donations.
Money drop streams aren’t a new phenomenon in GTA Online. Since players figured out how to mod the game on console and PC, people have been running streams where one player uses a modded account or game to drop free bags of in-game cash for other players. But most of these streams on sites like YouTube aren’t real and instead are created to fool players. These fake streams become more popular before big updates, as fans grind and save up in-game cash to buy all the new goodies the next update will bring.
With the upcoming casino update, players have gone into overdrive. Details about the update released today show many items that could be costly. Recent in-game events have all been focused on giving players big payouts on missions, races, and businesses, which has stoked players’ fears that they’ll need a lot of money to fully enjoy the casino content. This is the perfect environment for scammers.
These scam streams follow similar setups. They promise players across all platforms in-game money if they follow certain directions. These vary from stream to stream, but generally, players are asked to follow one or more social media accounts, subscribe to one or many YouTube accounts, like the stream, follow a fan page and drop their Gamertag or PSN ID into the chat. Some streams ask viewers to donate real-world money to gain invites to private GTA Online lobbies where they can get in-game money drops. Many of these streamers are trying to get more subscribers and followers, which is why the directions often include warnings that if followers unsubscribe they won’t get the money.
Most of these streams won’t actually reward followers with in-game money. The first red flag is that most of the streams promise to give players across all platforms money. However, GTA Online doesn’t have shared accounts or cross-play, so one lobby can’t possibly payout to players on any platform. Streams that actually give players money instead specify one platform, or they switch lobbies during the stream to other platforms.
Another sign of fake streams is the content of the stream itself. The gameplay is often ripped from other channels or is old footage of players hosting money-dropping events; they aren’t actually live. I saw some gameplay that was clearly from a few weeks ago, because the loading screen mentioned an event from July 3, even though the stream was supposedly happening live on July 15. Other times the gameplay will be GTA V single-player gameplay instead of GTA Online.
Another warning sign can be the length of the streams. One stream I found had been live for nearly 48 hours. Another stream posted on Reddit had been live for nearly a week. Even the most dedicated GTA Online player needs to sleep.
Most of these streams don’t have people commentating over the action or communicating with chat. Some scam streams employ chatbots to interact with fans, but the streamers themselves aren’t active in the chat. Some streams have audio that never mentions the chat and seems to be ripped from another stream to appear more realistic.
In the middle of a weekday afternoon, I found 15 different fake streams live on YouTube alone. On weekends and at night, I found 25 or 30 of these streams. Some have only had three or five viewers, while I’ve seen others with up to 700 viewers.
Many viewers in these streams are frustrated, especially those who have donated money or watched for hours without being invited to the private lobbies the stream promised. In one stream I watched, players complained about not getting invites after donating. “None of these money drops ever work,” one viewer complained. “I donated 2 dollars and still haven’t gotten an invite,” wrote another. “You’re not gonna steal from me are you?” they added. Several suspected the streamer wasn’t even reading the comments.
Luckily, most players I’ve seen have only wasted their time watching these streams and haven’t donated much money to them. But for players looking to make some money fast, don’t fall for these streamers who are willing to take real money donations and give out nothing. Your time is better spent playing missions and completing heists or other in-game activities which will actually reward you with GTA money.
If you’ve visited Kotaku over the last few years, you might have seen videos of skilled Grand Theft Auto Online players pulling off impressive stunts. Sometimes they use bikes, sometimes cars, sometimes multiple vehicles are involved. These videos are always entertaining to watch. But have you ever wondered how many attempts it takes to successfully complete these stunts?
Well, a new video uploaded by GTA stunter Plex shows how much work goes into making a stunt and the process is almost more entertaining than the actual stunt.
Plex posted his video on the GTA Online subreddit and it quickly earned over 4k upvotes. The video showcased many of the attempts, mistakes, and failures that occur when trying to create a single stunt in Grand Theft Auto Online.
As Plex explained to me, some of the most impressive and complex stunts can take upwards of 20 hours to actually pull off. The stunt that was shown off in the bloopers video ending up taking Plex and his friend over 18 hours to finally complete. Plex creates stunts for the popular YouTube channel Evolve Stunting. GTA Online stunt creators and videos are a huge subcommunity within the game and on YouTube.
Plex has been doing stunts in GTA Online since the game came out back in 2013. “I’ve put over 5,500 hours in, primarily on the BMX,” said Plex. Even with that much experience and skill, nailing a particular hard stunt takes time and a little bit of luck. That’s because nothing can stop a random lag spike or physics bug from wrecking a perfect attempt. But at least the blooper reel is fun to watch.
If you head down to the casino in Grand Theft Auto Online today, you’ll see that some changes have been made. After nearly six years, it seems the vacant and unused casino is being updated, and, according to data miners, more changes are coming.
When GTA V and GTA Online launched in 2013, players noticed an unused casino just north of Los Santos. On the front of the building was a sign stating the casino was “Coming Soon!” Years passed. This sign became a meme, and the casino became a strange relic.
After a small server-side update to GTA Online earlier today, that sign is gone. Beyond removing the sign, the front entrance is now blocked off by construction props and cones. It seems something is happening. When I visited earlier today, I saw other players investigating the area too.
According to Tezfun, a well-known GTA data miner, this is just the beginning. He has found strings of code within the game that seems to lay out a plan for the casino. Tezfun says that over the next few weeks more construction-related props will appear, with the facade continuing to change for most of June.
What is this all leading to? The speculation in the GTA Online community is that a large update focused on the casino will launch sometime in late June or early July. The timing for these rumors and the updates to the casino are interesting, since last month Rockstar added gambling to Red Dead Online in the form of poker games. Could slot machines and blackjack be coming soon to Los Santos?
Rockstar Games has announced a reward for players who activate two-step verification on their accounts. These players will earn free money in GTA Online and free gold bars in Red Dead Online.
First announced on Rockstar’s Newswire blog, this program will reward players with $500k in GTA Online for activating the extra security on their Social Club accounts. Players will also receive 10 gold bars in Red Dead Online. For players who have already activated two-step authentication on their accounts, Rockstar will be rewarding those players too with the same amounts of gold and cash.
For about a week or so, fans of Grand Theft Auto Online were able to park in a hanger and make millions of dollars doing basically nothing. This was all thanks to one in-game character, Lester. As Rockstar tried to fix this exploit, fans rallied behind Lester and mourned the exploit’s eventual demise.
Late last month, players discovered an interesting bug in GTA Online involving Lester. In GTA Online, players can pay a fee to call Lester and request an airplane. If this fails for whatever reason, the money is refunded to the player. Fans figured out that if they did a few things while making this request, they could trigger an exploit that would cause the refund to keep being sent to them for as long as they wanted.
According toGTA data miner Tezfun2, the bug worked by breaking Lester’s scripting. Players would park in a car inside a hangar at the airport located in Southern San Andreas. They would then call Lester while hitting the gas pedal at the same time. Doing this near a plane spawn location, which there is one located in the hanger, caused the game to start giving players $2000 every few seconds. As long as players stayed in the area and didn’t leave that session, the money would keep coming.
This quickly became a popular way to make a lot of cash. Players shared photos of sessions where everyone was hanging out at the hanger, making money and chilling.
Not long after discovering this bug, Rockstar Games patched the exploit. The patch, as Tezfun2 explained to me, fixed this bug by changing how corrupted data works in GTA Online. The game would now clear this data faster, making the money loop impossible. Or so Rockstar thought. Quickly after the patch, players discovered a new way to get the money train rolling again.
Using a Mobile Operations Center, players could block two spawn locations and then call Lester. This would cause the planes to be unable to spawn, thus resulting in a refund and the money exploit was back in action.
What is interesting about this particular bug is that according to Tezfun2, this isn’t a new bug. Technically this bug has been possible in GTA Online for years. It was only recently discovered and shared with the community. He believes that there are other similar bugs waiting to be found in GTA Online.
“This new glitch brought new ideas to the people trying to discover glitches,” said Tezfun2. “To abuse features that refund your money in any way possible.”
So it seems that Rockstar might not be out the woods quite yet.
Photo modes have been around for some time now, appearing in various video games. From Far Cry New Dawn to Spider-Man to Assassin’s Creed Origins, it seems more and more video games have been giving players the ability to become virtual photographers.
Using these tools, some players have created incredible and gorgeous pictures. While photo modes have become all the rage, the selfie has also been popping up in more games lately too.
For some folks, selfies are stupid. The knee-jerk reaction for many is to roll their eyes or laugh at people who take selfies. This anti-selfie attitude permeates throughout much of the internet and by extension, the gaming community.
I too once hated the selfie. I saw it as something dumb or immature. A selfish action. I would think “Hey, just enjoy the world. Stop taking photos of yourself.” In recent years, I’ve had a change of heart. Are there selfish assholes taking selfies all the time? Probably. But many folks take selfies as a way to feel more confident or express themselves. Honestly, selfies don’t hurt anyone and I just moved on. There are better and more worthwhile things to hate in the world.
Freed from my hatred of selfies, I’m happy to see more games adding selfie features. I can’t figure out the very first game to include selfies, but one of the first video game selfies I took was in Grand Theft Auto V. I saw an NPC dressed as a zombie and I snapped a quick selfie with the person.
Since then I always get a small kick out of being able to flip the camera around in a video game to take a selfie. I took selfies in Watch Dogs 2,Dead Rising 4, and Red Dead Redemption 2.
It is an interesting feeling to turn a camera around and closely see your character’s face. In games like Watch Dogs 2, you spend so much time looking at your character from behind or controlling them while they are inside a car. Getting a nice, up close and personal look at your video game avatar is weirdly intimate. It also makes these characters feel more human. It seems like everybody today is taking selfies, even RDR2‘s Arthur Morgan.
Video game characters like D. Va and Cassie Cage are also fans of selfies. In fact, my favorite fatality in all of Mortal Kombat X involves Cassie Cage brutally killing her opponent, then snapping a quick selfie of them while their jaw dangles from their skull. This is easily the most brutal selfie I’ve seen in a video game.
Digital selfies have even popped up in video games that were created before selfies were a thing. There is a popular Doom mod that adds the ability for players to stop killing demons and start taking selfies. Sure, it’s a bit silly, but so is the idea of a lone marine killing hundreds of demons while stationed on Mars.
Selfies aren’t going anywhere. Maybe you hate them, maybe you love them. Regardless, selfies have become a popular way for folks to express themselves while snapping a photo. Video games should represent the culture and society they were created in. So it makes sense that video game selfies are becoming more and more common. Video games should change and evolve overtime. This is a good thing.
Grand Theft Auto Online’s newest game mode isn’t about powerful supercars or big armored tanks. Instead, this new mode focuses on something tiny and fast: remote controlled cars. The RC Bandito is a small RC car that first appeared last month in the Arena War update, which added a whole new deadly game show to GTA Online. Now the little RC car has received its own series of races, and they are a lot of fun.
The new RC car races are set up like standard checkpoint races in GTA Online. Players race around a track, hitting checkpoints along the way, and the first player to finish the set number of laps wins. I was happy to find that the RC cars feel very different from a standard car. They move quickly, can turn on a dime, bounce around more and just generally feel more wild, in a good way.
At first I was hitting walls and spinning out, but once I got the hang of how the RC car handles I had a great time zooming around the eight different tracks Rockstar created. As I got better with the little cars, I found myself almost never braking or slowing down. Instead I started finding the angles on turns that let me keep my speed.
When I did make a mistake, it was disastrous. Even at slower speeds, the RC cars are very bumpy and prone to flipping over or spinning out. If I hit a wall or another car at a high rate of speed, my little RC car would fling off like a pinball. This can become frustrating if it happens multiple times in one race, but luckily everyone else is flying around too. In races with 10 or more players, the track often looks like a bunch of kids left their Hot Wheels cars laying out after playing with them.
I also really enjoy the lobby screen before the race starts. Usually the screen shows players grouped around a car. But in the RC car races, players wearing full racing gear and helmets are grouped around tiny remote controlled cars. It makes me laugh each time the lobby loads.
The whole mode feels funny. I was surprised at how many players I encountered online who were just laughing and having a good time. I usually end up muting most players in GTA Online because all they do is yell or complain constantly, usually using toxic language and slurs. However, I had a much different experience in my RC car races. Players were laughing and talking about how absurd the RC cars were. The mode just has a more playful and fun vibe than previous racing modes.
If you really enjoy driving the RC Bandito in races, you can buy the RC car and take it out around the city and desert of GTA Online. Though it isn’t cheap: The RC car in GTA Online cost over $1.5 million. Once players have shelled over a million bucks to buy the RC car, they can customize it, give it the ability to jump or even add explosives to it. This is GTA Online, so of course you can add a bomb to it. Thankfully, you don’t need to buy the RC car to play the new races, which is nice because these new races are fun, but not $1.5 million dollars worth of fun.
GTA Online has tried in the past to recreate the feeling of RC cars in its Tiny Racers mode, but that mode used a camera angle that made racing difficult and used normal-sized GTA Online cars, using the top down camera to make them look smaller. These new RC car races feel much better, and I had a great time blasting around the tracks. I hope Rockstar adds more RC car tracks in the future. Maybe some RC boat or plane racing too?
Red Dead Online’s opening sequence is a great way to get players into the online wild west. The intro is made up of cutscenes, missions and tutorials. It feels more focused than GTA Online’s introduction, and overall it seems like Rockstar has learned from GTA Online’s introduction. I took a look at both games’ opening hour to see how they compare.
The Story Setup
The biggest difference is the narrative setup. Red Dead Online spends a lot of time in the first hour telling the story of a woman who was wronged and how your character is going to help her get revenge on the bastards. These same bastards also got you thrown in jail. After the woman’s associate saves the player from a paddy wagon, you’re then given a series of missions and tasks that help get you acclimated to Red Dead Online. These missions also help expand and move the narrative forward. It’s a simple but engaging revenge story.
In GTA Online, the narrative reasons your character is in Los Santos are almost non-existent. Lamar, a character from the main story of GTA V, is friends with the player character in GTA Online and finally invites them to Los Santos. You jump in his car, he hands you a pistol and then you start doing crime. Over the course of multiple updates and expansions, GTA Online added more interesting and fun stories, but the basic setup at the very start is so barebones it might as well not exist. That said, I love Lamar, so any chance to get more Lamar is fine with me. While some players might prefer being dumped into the action right away, I appreciate the time Rockstar took with Red Dead Online to build a story to support the online mayhem.
The First Mission
GTA Online and Red Dead Online go in very different directions when giving players their first mission. RDO tasks players with taking out a bandit camp, which can spawn in a few different areas. After taking down the bandits, the player is given a treasure map and told to track down the treasure chest to earn a reward. The mission is a simple and effective way of teaching the player how to shoot, ride a horse, deal with enemies and track things down. It also has players decide between killing or sparing a bandit in a tent, showing players how moral choices in the game will work. The entire mission is also single-player only, which allows players more time to get comfortable with the game before being dumped into an active lobby.
GTA Online’s first mission is an online multiplayer race that also includes Lamar. It’s not a great way to introduce the world of GTA Online. RDO allows players to explore as they head towards the bandit camp and attack it how they wish, and they can find the chest at their own pace too. GTA Online instead immediately throws the player into a car, surrounded by other players, and points at a finish line. Right after the race, players take their new car and head towards an alley underneath a bridge, where they attack some gang members and grab some drugs. This second mission might have made a better first mission since it doesn’t force players to instantly interact with random players. It gives players the chance to explore the world at their own pace, the way RDO does.
Meeting Other Players
Red Dead Online guides players through the first mission right into the second mission, which is a co-op mission where players work alongside others to steal some horses. It’s a fairly simple mission, but it’s a good way to get players together without them being able to quickly kill each other. Since the first time you interact with other players in Red Dead Online is during a co-op mission that forces everyone to work together, it feels like Rockstar is trying to guide players towards being cooperative.
GTA Online is a very different experience. After dropping off the drugs you stole, the game puts you in a lobby with other players. At this point you are now able to be killed by the fine residents of GTA Online. That’s what happened to me: After Lamar suggested I buy some new clothes, I headed towards a clothing shop. On my way there another player in a jetbike shot and killed me. I’ve played GTA Online for years, so I know how deadly and annoying public lobbies can be, but I wondered how a totally new player might feel. My guess is they wouldn’t be very happy and would probably feel frustrated. It might also make them less trustworthy of random players, which might make them more trigger happy.
A lot of the missions and events in GTA Online don’t take place in the lobby, so new players won’t have to constantly deal with random jerks. Still, RDO feels like a much better way to handle bringing players together.
What Do I Do Now?
After finishing the first few missions and tasks in Red Dead Online the game opens up more, puts you into a populated lobby and also gives you three missions to complete. You can ignore these and do some PVP or racing, or rush to complete them and then go hunting. The missions can also be done in any order. It’s a great way to set up the world of Red Dead Online and give players freedom to explore and go at their own pace, while making sure they don’t get lost or overwhelmed.
GTA Online does a terrible job of handling what players do after the first few missions. Part of the problem is that GTA Online has a ton of content that wasn’t around when it first launched. Booting up GTA Online now as a new player means jumping into a world that has been updated and expanded on for years. All of that stuff pops up on your phone and HUD. Within the first two hours I had seen so many popup messages telling me about new guns, radio stations, missions, events and more that even as a veteran player I felt a bit overwhelmed. I imagine it would be much worse for a totally new player.
Frustratingly, you can’t ignore these messages, because sprinkled between the popups about new arena war events and new cars are actual tutorial messages. Some of these explain how different game systems work or how different menus are accessed.
Unlike RDO, which presents players with three missions to try out, GTA Online instead calls the player at various times to tell them about new side activities or missions. You have to drive around, dodging other players, waiting for Lamar or Simeon to call you and tell you what to do next. The entire experience feels incredibly messy when compared to Red Dead Online’s more streamlined, focused and well-paced introduction.
Grand Theft Auto Online was Rockstar’s first real attempt at making a complete online experience, and it was a huge success for them. But looking back, it’s surprising how rough the opening of GTA Online feels today. Where GTA Online’s intro is a fast crash into the world, Red Dead Online takes more time to ease the player into the story, the game and the community. As a result, RDO feels easier to start and ends up making a better first impression.