Grand Theft Auto Online Is a Little Rough Right Now, but Then Rockstar Said It Would Be

Downside? You can't play GTA Online yet. Upside? Meet "Sharknado."

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I’d like to regale you with tales of online capers and illicit shenanigans, the operative words here being “like” and “to.” Did I say Grand Theft Auto Online was a little rough right now? “A little rough,” you know, “mostly unplayable” — what’s the difference?

I’ve been trying to get into a live GTA Online session all afternoon, but I keep running up against the message “Alert: Failed to host a GTA Online session. Please return to Grand Theft Auto V and try again later.” The only option after this message is to tap “X” to continue, prompting the game to pull up above the clouds, zoom sideways over Los Santos Person of Interest-style, then zoom back down to the last Grand Theft Auto V character I was playing. There’s no way to skip that sequence, which is probably Rockstar’s way of saying “Sorry, bub. No hammering the servers, capisce?”

If I try to drop into a solo session, an option that’ll let you play GTA Online alone with no one else allowed to join and your available activities curtailed, I’ve been able to see the introductory cutscene, but as soon as my character walks across a parking lot to cue the starter racing mission, the game displays “Alert: Failed to join Job or Activity. Return to GTA Online,” followed by “Alert: There has been an error joining a session. Please return to Grand Theft Auto V,” followed by that “is-it-mocking-me?” continue button.

So in short, I can’t play. I’ve been able to roll a character outside the game, but joining at this point’s a bust. I’ll of course keep trying.

Rockstar warned things could be rough last week, reiterating in its GTA Online update last night that “you should expect that there will be some technical teething issues in the early days of a new online experience especially one as massive as GTA Online.” The company’s maintaining a status update page here that runs through some of the error messages, though that’s all it is at this point — an error repository. There’s no advice on what to do, doubtless because there’s nothing you can do until Rockstar tweaks its servers and the play request tsunami settles down.

There may (and I repeat may) be an upside to all this congestion: I have no idea if character names are global (one instance only for all) or local (infinite instances), but if they’re the former, I just scored big with “Sharknado.” How is that not winning?

(Not Really the Review) Score: 5 out of 5 Disconnects (in 10 minutes)