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GTA V Glitches: Exploiting Loopholes and Causing Chaos in Los Santos

Grand Theft Auto V gameplay

GTA V Glitches: Exploiting Loopholes and Causing Chaos in Los Santos

Glitches, the commonly accepted term for exploits derived from errors in a game’s coding, have been a part of the Grand Theft Auto series for as long as it’s existed. Especially since the arrival of Grand Theft Auto III on PlayStation 2, whose open-world sandbox was a technological marvel for its time, every new Grand Theft Auto game features a wide assortment of glitches that can both cause hilariously over-the-top chaos to unfold on screen and give the player significant advantages by exploiting loopholes in the game’s code and structure. Grand Theft Auto V is no different, especially thanks to its hugely ambitious open-world sandbox. The city of Los Santos (and the surrounding area) is the largest open world in a Grand Theft Auto game, which also happens to make it one of the most unstable under certain circumstances. Accordingly, there are a slew of GTA V glitches.

GTA V Glitches Explained

Grand Theft Auto V gameplay

©Grand Theft Auto V gameplay screenshot – Original

Rockstar Games tends to be fairly proactive when it comes to identifying and patching known issues or bugs within its games’ code. But since it’s virtually impossible to track every single instance of error in a game as massive as GTA V, the fact remains that some exploits and hilarious glitches survive the QA process and end up shipping in the full retail release. Even with the addition of the hugely popular Grand Theft Auto Online mode as the multiplayer component of GTA V, which requires round-the-clock monitoring and safeguards in place to protect players and their information, Grand Theft Auto V still has more than its fair share of entertaining and advantageous glitches.

Most of the single-player glitches in GTA V involve exploiting the game’s code concerning pedestrian and vehicle behavior and using those scenarios to create undue chaos in the streets of Los Santos. Additionally, several single-player glitches in GTA V’s main story can grant players a significant advantage in terms of their on-hand cash or vehicles. GTA Online is its own beast entirely in terms of the available glitches, with entire communities and forums dedicated to verifying which known glitches are still active and which ones no longer work as a result of regular patches, hotfixes, and updates.

Single-Player vs GTA Online

Grand Theft Auto Online gameplay

©Grand Theft Auto Online gameplay screenshot – Original

Before putting the building blocks in place to take advantage of some of GTA V‘s known glitches, it’s important to understand the different impacts that they have on the game’s two distinct modes. Grand Theft Auto V includes both the single-player campaign, where players will control three protagonists across one of the most detailed and dense open worlds Rockstar has ever created, and the massively successful GTA Online. While players do not need a continuous internet connection in order to play and enjoy GTA V‘s single-player mode, GTA Online requires persistent online connectivity and data collection from Rockstar. As a result, utilizing glitches in GTA Online carries a calculated risk with regard to account banning.

Since player advancement in GTA Online is tied to both in-game progress and spending real-world money, some of its known glitches could be construed as theft. Indeed, some of the most popular exploits in GTA Online involve getting large sums of money using in-game exploits or duplicating items and cars, which other players have either worked hard to obtain or spent real-world money on GTA Online‘s in-game currency to acquire. As such, Rockstar will not hesitate to ban players who utilize glitches as a way to exploit the progression path in GTA Online. Conversely, GTA V‘s single-player mode and its known glitches carry no such threat.

GTA V Working Glitches

GTA V‘s single-player mode has a wide variety of glitches that will activate under certain conditions, with some being more likely to occur on certain platforms rather than others. Where applicable, the description of the glitch will include the platform where players are most likely to see the glitch successfully activate. The following glitches in Grand Theft Auto V‘s single-player mode are confirmed to still be active at the time of writing:

Cloning

After the “Mrs. Philips” mission becomes available but before accepting it, take control of Trevor and then make sure Ron is standing in Trevor’s garden. Using any vehicle, gently bump into Ron just enough to knock him over, which will trigger him to walk into Trevor’s trailer and a new Ron to spawn in place of the old one. Interestingly, pushing right on the D-Pad to make comments as Trevor to the cloned Ron will see him say nice things instead of his usual tirade of insults.

Cypress Flats River

Players can cause shades and lights to not work properly by moving the camera while in the river at Cypress Flats.

Money

Buying an excessive amount of products (most commonly car customization items or food) will occasionally result in the last price amount remaining on the screen in the top-right corner of the HUD until the player dies or reloads the game.

Throwing Weapons

In the PC version of GTA V, throwing handheld weapons (grenades, Molotovs, sticky bombs, etc.) tends to cause a game crash. This can be avoided by using the “quick throw” function instead of aiming and throwing.

Gate

In Los Santos’ Richman neighborhood, several of the homes have gates at the end of their driveways which will open automatically when the player approaches. If driving a vehicle while approaching one of these gates and coming into contact with it during the opening or closing animation, there’s a chance that the player’s vehicle will be launched into the air. The glitch was purportedly patched in the 1.14 update but some players claim to still encounter it.

Duplicate Protagonist

Players can sometimes cause a clone of one of GTA V‘s three protagonists to appear by rapidly switching between them in single-player mode. When the clone of the protagonist appears, they will behave similarly to any other NPC in Los Santos.

Imminent Crash

Switching to Trevor at any point during gameplay will sometimes result in the character spawning inside of a helicopter right as it’s about to crash into a skyscraper. It is possible (though unlikely) for Trevor to survive the crash.

Interiors

Players can enter several interiors of inaccessible buildings (whether because of story progression or the fact that they’re only accessible for certain characters) by standing on the roof of the building and quickly switching back and forth between protagonists. As one character, stand on the roof of the building you wish to enter and then switch to another character before quickly switching back to the original character. There’s a chance that the character may span inside the building instead of on its roof. Note that using this glitch to spawn in some buildings will cause the “Blue Hell” glitch to trigger or cause the player to die instantly.

Disappearing Vehicle

If players quick-save their game while driving, there’s a chance that loading that quick-save will see the character spawn in flying through the air at the same speed the car was driving.

Duplicate Vehicles

After finishing a friend activity, the friend will ask the player to take them back to their destination. While approaching the marker for the destination, speed up so that the vehicle overshoots the location. If done correctly, this will cause a duplicate of the vehicle the player is driving to spawn on the location the friend was getting a ride to. Players can also use this glitch to duplicate vehicles that are exclusive to certain characters and then store them in their garage.

Cloning Glitch 2

Entering Michael’s mansion during the early part of the single-player campaign will sometimes result in his family members standing on the furniture, who can then also clone themselves.

Ponsonby’s

If Michael does not buy a suit in preparation for the game’s first heist mission, the Ponsonby’s icon will remain on the player’s mini-map for the rest of the game.

Sawed-Off Shotgun on a Bus

While driving a bus, players can fire the Sawn-Off Shotgun out of the vehicle’s windows despite not being able to fire it inside any other vehicle. Note that this glitch only works in the original versions of the game on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.

Object

Crashing vehicles through objects like fences or signs and parking the vehicle in the spot where those objects were destroyed will occasionally cause those items to respawn inside the car. Pressing the button to enter the vehicle will dislodge it from the object with the object remaining intact.

Freeze Plane

While flying a plane, players can exit the vehicle and parachute down to the surface, watching the airplane continuing along its flight path until it eventually begins an uncontrolled descent. If the airplane gets far enough away from the player it will freeze and remain stationary in the air until the player approaches it again. This glitch only works on versions of GTA V prior to the 1.08 update.

Falling Beneath the Map (“Blue Hell”)

If the player switches characters while driving across the map at high speeds, there is a strong likelihood that the “Blue Hell” glitch will trigger that sees the character falling into an endless void beneath the map’s geometry.

Gauntlet Mission

The Union Depository Heist mission has a known glitch in which players will fail the mission by trying to purchase the “Gold Heist Preparation” mod for the Gauntlet vehicle inside Los Santos Customs. Choosing to Retry the mission will see the glitch repeat itself, while choosing to Quit the mission has a chance to have both the vehicle and the cost of the mod disappear. To avoid the headache of having to restart the mission, players can ensure they have more than double the cost of the “Gold Heist Preparation” mod ($22,000) before purchasing it.

Unlimited Pistol Ammo

After completing the Merryweather Heist, switching to Michael has a chance to activate a glitch in which the player will receive an ammo counter of 9,000 rounds for the pistol. Equipping the pistol will see this amount drop to 6,000 rounds, which is still a significant number. Note that this glitch has been observed in both the PC and PS4 versions of the game.

Cargobob

Using the Cargobob to lift a Dump Truck may trigger the vehicle to glitch out and start spinning in the air uncontrollably.

Freeze Game in Satellite View

After unlocking all three protagonists but before completing the “Three’s Company” mission, rapidly switching characters while all three are in proximity of one another will cause the game to enter satellite view and freeze there.

Free Vehicle Repair

If one protagonist damages their vehicle, quickly switch to another character and then back to the previous character to instantly repair the vehicle free of charge.

Uncalculated Risk

There is a glitch that causes the “Uncalculated Risk” mission to not appear on the map even after Franklin completes all of the precluding Parachute missions. The most common cause that triggers the mission not showing up is switching characters during a parachute mission and completing one as a different protagonist other than Franklin.

Restricted Zone

During the “Fair Game” mission, there’s a point after Trevor kills the male elk that Cletus will split up to continue the hunt alone. If players leave the area while controlling Trevor, they become able to enter restricted zones like Bolingbroke Penitentiary, Human Labs and Research, and Fort Zancudo without triggering a 5-star Wanted Level. This glitch also causes all traffic to disappear.

Altruist Cult

The “Altruist Cult” area is a part of Mount Chiliad where players cannot earn a Wanted Level above two stars without using cheats. Players can even call 911 to have law enforcement show up to the area and commit crimes right in front of them without repercussions.

Voice Swap

Running over Jimmy De Santa while playing as Trevor has a chance to trigger him speaking using Michael’s voice.

Helmet Swap

In the Xbox 360 version of the game, taking off Michael’s bicycle helmet while inside his house will sometimes result in a glitch where he removes one helmet to reveal a motorcycle helmet underneath.

Heist Crew Member Cloning

During “The Bureau Raid”, killing either Packie or Gustavo Mota by destroying the Fire Truck will result in one of the crew members being cloned.

Bus as Fire Truck

“The Bureau Raid” mission sees players choosing between a Bus or a Fire Truck as part of planning the heist, and a glitch exists where choosing the Fire Truck approach results in the game registering a Bus as a Fire Truck. Note that when the mission begins, the Fire Truck will still show up.

Taxi Ride

Hailing a cab with a passenger already inside may result in one of the protagonists straightening out their back and flailing their arms to hilarious effect.

Respawn Bus Driver

After hijacking a Bus, exiting the vehicle, and turning a protagonist toward it, will see a new driver spawn in the seat and begin to drive the Bus away.

Ghost Train

Players may sometimes spot anywhere between three and five train cars rolling down railroad tracks without a locomotive, and if the player observes the cars coming to a full stop the next train will clip right through them as if they don’t exist.

Hat Change During Clothing Change

Any outfit that includes a hat can have the hat removed by entering the Interactions Menu, with some outfits having characters’ hair glitching through the clothing model.

Floating Scissors in Barber Shops

Killing a pedestrian and then quickly entering Herr Kutz Barber and sitting in the chair right as the player earns a Wanted Level will see the character model for the barber disappear, resulting in a pair of floating scissors.

Radio Stations

The PlayStation 4 version of Grand Theft Auto V has a known glitch in which the Los Santos Rock Radio, Radio Los Santos, and Channel X stations will sometimes play songs from the others’ playlists.

Michael at Trevor’s Trailer

After completing the “Meltdown” mission, Michael can appear sitting in a lawn chair outside Trevor’s trailer.

Clipboard/Object Dupe

Switching characters to Michael will sometimes spawn the protagonist outside the movie theater where a person with a clipboard will be talking to him. If players take out the sniper rifle and aim it at the pedestrian he’ll scream and drop his clipboard, which will then spawn infinitely dropping clipboards.

Monkey Business

In the PC and Xbox (all generations) versions of GTA V, there is a known glitch with the “Monkey Business” mission where trying to begin it will result in the player receiving the message “The mission has been disrupted, please return later”. The only way to resolve the glitch is to leave the area until the mission icon disappears and then try to initiate it again.

Collisions from North Yankton

Starting the “Prologue” mission and closing out the game without finishing it will result in any of the collisions from the mission remaining in the game’s geometry despite North Yankton being invisible.

GTA Online Working Glitches

There are dozens if not hundreds of working glitches for GTA Online, but it’s important to note that most require players to participate in multiplayer activities with friends they trust. Of course, because of the risk inherent in using exploits in an always-online multiplayer game, this means that any players caught using exploits or glitches each run the risk of their account getting banned. Additionally, Rockstar is continually working to patch and update GTA Online as a means to render known glitches unusable. However, there are plenty of glitches that still work on older-generation hardware or are possible to use with the aid of a VPN or mid-game router shut-off. As an example, here’s one of the more popular glitches as well as instructions on how to facilitate it:

5,000 RP Each Every 30 Seconds

RP, or Reputation, is the currency that players need to level up in GTA Online. One of the most popular glitches for the game (and one that players can complete with a friend) is an exploit that allows the player to earn 5,000 RP roughly every 30 seconds. To utilize the glitch, complete the following steps:

  • Start the Wreck It I, II, or III activity (Start > Online > Activity > Play Activity > Arena War > Wreck It)
  • Set the laps as high as it can possibly go and invite a friend to join the session
  • Launch the race using any car
  • Complete the first lap in an amount of time that it’s possible to beat on every subsequent lap. This time will become the “World Record” for the race.
  • Finish the next lap with a time close to the time of the first lap, beating the record. This should result in earning 5,000 RP every lap that the player bests the original “World Record”.
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