GTA Online has never been a friendly place for newcomers, and the gap between new players and veterans seems to only be getting wider. Despite being around for a while, GTA Online is still regularly getting influxes of new players, most recently when Epic Games gave Grand Theft Auto 5 away for free and newbies flooded the game’s servers.
GTA Online is an incredibly popular game, but it seems to never be too far from disaster. Rockstar Games has done a good job of keeping the game regularly updated with new content, which keeps fans happy but can also introduce problems. When a casino was recently added to the game, some players quickly found a way to cheat the house, racking up in-game money by using an exploit, and Rockstar responded by wiping their accounts. Hacking and cheating are frequent concerns, but other times it’s glitches that appear to wreak havoc, like the infamous flying car glitch that made its way to GTA Online.
Sometimes it’s not hackers or glitches that ruin the GTA Online experience, but rather player versus player conflict. GTA Online has a lot of built-in opportunities for players to go to war with one another and it can be one of the most satisfying parts of the game, but it can be incredibly hard on players who find themselves in the underdog position. As Polygon reports, the gulf between old and new players is making the game unbearable for some who are just getting on the bandwagon. Several players talked to the site about their experiences being repeatedly hunted down and killed by veteran players they didn’t stand a chance against in a fight.
Any skill-based multiplayer game gives an advantage to players who’ve been around longer, but GTA Online has a different problem as well. Since the most powerful weapons and vehicles can only be bought with in-game currency that can take weeks of playing to afford, newcomers can find themselves completely defenseless against some of GTA Online’s most powerful tools. Without a safehouse or any high-end weapons, GTA Online newbies are left without any way to run, hide, or fight back.
Unfortunately for newcomers, Rockstar doesn’t seem interested in rebalancing the GTA Online economy. Instead, it frequently gives out free cash and introduces new expensive gadgets, leaving it to players to even the score for themselves. For now, the best new players can do is try to climb the ladder as much as possible and hope the inevitable GTA 6 is more forgiving.
GTA Online is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.