GTA Online packet loss: What is it and how to fix it?

Vlad Constantinescu
by Vlad Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
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  • GTA Online is an awesome game. However, the fact that it's exclusively online (as its very name indicates) puts it against a wall of potential technical issues.
  • In GTA Online, packet loss is no much different than for other online games. It occurs whenever data packets that you send/receive never make it to their destination.
  • If you want to improve your ping, check out our best VPNs for GTA Online.
  • Visit our Gaming Hub to discover more news, reviews, and awesome guides.
Packet loss GTA Online

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GTA Online is a popular game based on GTA 5, developed and released by Rockstar. Recently, Epic Games has run a campaign offering GTA 5 for free and for keeps. Naturally, this campaign boosted GTA Online’s popularity even further.

If you ever played GTA 5, then the online version won’t be totally alien to you. It’s in the same setting, but the gameplay is wildly different. Although you can keep stealing cars and engaging in short-lived rampages, there’s a lot more going on.

For instance, you got world events, which require you to compete with other players in the session. At the end of the event, you receive reputation points (RP) to level your character and money.

Truth be told, the online experience is just too complex to describe in a few paragraphs. If you own GTA 5 and never tried the online version, our suggestion is to just go for it.

Sure, there are griefers and campers everywhere, but you’ll get used to it.

What is packet loss in GTA Online?

Granted, GTA Online is an awesome game. However, the fact that it’s exclusively online (as its very name indicates) puts it against a wall of potential technical issues.

For instance, high ping/latency, jitter, crashes, random disconnections, or the much-dreaded packet loss. In GTA Online, packet loss is no much different than for other online games.

It occurs whenever data packets that you send/receive never make it to their destination. As a result, you might experience high latency, rubberbanding, or even connection timeouts (crashes).

This has the potential to ruin your game experience by beating it to a pulp. Just picture it. You’re having a hard time getting around because you get fragged shortly after you respawn.

You finally get your chance to deliver a decisive blow when the server yanks you around. You miss your shot, only to have a helicopter drop over you. WASTED. You rage-quit and forget about GTA Online for a couple of weeks. Sounds familiar?

How to fix packet loss in GTA Online

1. Use a VPN

  1. Download Private Internet AccessPIA with GTA Online
  2. Install it on your computer
  3. Launch it and log in with your PIA credentials
  4. Connect to a fast server of your choice
  5. Launch GTA Online and check if the problem still persists

Private Internet Access is a reliable, all-round VPN service brought to you by Kape Technologies. It can save you from a lot of hassles such as packet loss, high ping, and geo-restrictions.

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Note that using a VPN will only alleviate the issue if it’s on your ISP’s side. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to invest in a good VPN for its privacy protection features, the ability to secure your connection, and geoblocking bypassing.

2. Troubleshoot your connection manually

  • Run a packet loss test using pathping (rule out you or ISP leaking packets)CMD pathping
  • Check the status of the GTA Online servers
  • Perform a speed & packet loss test with the Speedtest by Ookla Windows 10 app
  • Switch to a wired connection if you’re currently on wireless (Wi-Fi leaks packets more often)
  • Check if you’re not behind a double NAT
  • Open the following ports on UDP: 6672, 61455, 61457, 61456, 61458
  • Perform a router reset
  • Call your ISP if you notice packet leaks on their side
  • Change/repair/replace any faulty component on your home network (including Ethernet cables)
  • Toggle UPnP on or off on your router or system and notice if there’s any improvement
  • Update your router’s firmware
  • Try turning your VPN off and see if there’s any improvement
  • Make sure that no antivirus or firewall is filtering GTA Online traffic

GTA 5 has stopped working? Check out our article and learn how to fix it.

Granted, these are a lot of steps, but you don’t have to perform them all. Sometimes the devil’s in the details and doing something as little as replacing a cable, or switching to a wired connection might improve your GTA Online packet loss dramatically.

Keep in mind that Rockstar doesn’t host any GTA Online servers, as the whole experience is designed around a P2P model.

Rockstar only handles matchmaking and then pairs various players together by making game packets transfer from player to player instead of handling them themselves.

Therefore, the best solution if you experience packet loss might be simply looking for a new session.

GTA Online packet loss crisis averted

If you’re playing GTA Online and notice packet-loss-specific behavior such as rubberbanding or sluggish movement, try finding a new session. Using a trustworthy VPN can surely help, but only if the ISP is throttling your bandwidth.

When everything else fails, try using our suggestions above one at a time, and notice if there’s any improvement.

As opposed to other online games, GTA Online is based on a P2P design, which means that packets are transferred from player to player, instead of being handled by Rockstar-run servers.

FAQ: Learn more about GTA Online packet loss

  • What is the best VPN for GTA Online?

If you want to reduce lag/latency and lift geo-restrictions while playing GTA Online, the safest way to do it would be through a VPN. Check out our best VPNs for GTA Online.

  • Can VPNs improve packet loss?

Yes, if you know for a fact that your ISP throttles your bandwidth, you can try a VPN. Check out our best VPNs to improve packet loss.

  • What is pathping?

Pathping is a reliable Windows tool that can help you trace the route to a specific server, while also performing a ping test for every hop along the way. Read more about pathping in our comprehensive guide.