GTAIV PC problems spark gamer outcry

Complaints of experience-ruining frame rates, small draw distances, crashes, and more plague Rockstar's port of top-rated action adventure.

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When it launched in April, Grand Theft Auto IV on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 was greeted with a chorus of approval from gamers and critics alike. With the PC edition of the game arriving in stores earlier this week, the reaction has been notably different.

"Maybe after the patch... things will be different."

Forum threads on GameSpot, Steam, and elsewhere online are lighting up with complaints from gamers about a host of performance issues. Poor frame rates even on powerful rigs, short draw distances, crashes, and missing textures are among a slew of stated issues gamers have with the title.

Not content to vent on forums, disgruntled GTAIV PC gamers have taken to Amazon.com and panned the port with negative user reviews. In addition to complaining about the game's performance, the Amazon reviewers have taken exception to its use of SecuROM DRM technology. Of the 56 reviews on the retail site as of this writing, 46 of them have issued a 1-star-out-of-5 rating, with the customer average now sitting at 1.5 stars.

The technical support section of Rockstar's official site acknowledges a host of known issues. For instance, Rockstar tells gamers with Nvidia 7900 series cards that a driver issue is causing the game to not render anything in the distance, leading to functionally unplayable performance. According to Rockstar, "NVidia is working on releasing a new driver as soon as possible."

The Rockstar tech support site also suggests that missing texture issues could be caused by driver tuning programs, and includes a list of dozens of possible error codes players may have encountered. Additionally, ATI card owners are advised to set the game's "MipMap Detail Level" slider to "quality" or they will see blacked-out textures, while the ATI 1900 series specifically has problems with flickering shadows. A patch for the shadow issue is underway, according to the developer.

As for performance issues on high-end rigs, Rockstar's tech support documentation contained the following explanation: "Most users using current PC hardware as of December 2008 are advised to use medium graphics settings. Higher settings are provided for future generations of PCs with higher specifications than are currently widely available."

Discussion

852 comments
Echo-417
Echo-417

Dude, i run this game with: Intel Xeon @ 3.2 ghz Nvidia Quadro fx 4500 4 gigs of ram Windows xp Service Pack 3 I run the game on 1024 by 768 with 20 fps and it looks and performs very well, especially for my rig. Crysis is much, much easier to run than this!

zohaib
zohaib

@below it looks u have the pirated version....Use razor crack...it will fix the problem

me_zain
me_zain

why my gta 4 screen starts floating when playing please tell me the problem what i have to do ?why my gta 4 screen starts floating when playing please tell me the problem what i have to do ?why my gta 4 screen starts floating when playing please tell me the problem what i have to do ?why my gta 4 screen starts floating when playing please tell me the problem what i have to do ?why my gta 4 screen starts floating when playing please tell me the problem what i have to do /?why my gta 4 screen starts floating when playing please tell me the problem what i have to do

Joe_akshay
Joe_akshay

I used all medium & some high settings in the other games......................... But in GTA IV all of it is low............& to top it all...................the game hangs up when I exit the game...................does anyone have the same problem ???? PLZ HELP

Joe_akshay
Joe_akshay

I have 8600GT 512 DDR2..................& I get a pathetic 20fps ???? I run heavy games like crysis, crysis warhead,Assassins creed,etc..................& they run like butter............... But GTA IV gives me just 20fps................DAMN !!!!!

mscott121279
mscott121279

I was thinkin' if Rockstar Games were a real person, who would they be? I want to hear from you guys your responses... P.S. I would say GG Allin...lol

attila_9
attila_9

So, to play this game we have to get all technical and do stuff to our, rather, high end machines? Hardware that run "Crysis" or "Far Cry 2" with no or very little problems? Lets face it GTA PC fans... We waited for a year (and more!) and we got screwed.

dragontech22
dragontech22

Also, I OC'd my processor only to 3.35ghz and got a 5fps increase, wow, cpu intensive as well. Apparently people are also seeing abnormally large increases in fps from just lowering there memory timings a little or OC Ram just a little. (Don't touch bios settings unless you know what your doing!!!).

dragontech22
dragontech22

Wow, its overwhelming the amount of hate for the optimization here. I feel like the reply that only 1 percent are having any problems is also BS if the message boards are to say anything. I have experienced the texture pop in, crashes, out of memory error code when I was only using half of video and system memory (had rivatuner monitoring). Funny to run out of memory right when I hit pause getting in to a cab...or maybe just another glitch. Come on, the xbox360 runs on a modified version of directX 9 doesn't it?!? Why couldn't they just port the straight game and fix up a few textures with hight res ver? Sorry to complain... My machine is an E8400 @Stock w/ 4GBram, GTX260@Stock, 500GB WD HD and plenty of cooling (temps were never high). Strangely, I saw how memory intensive this game was, so I relaxed my memory timings even though they were at default and have spreaders, and it seems to have helped with stability a lot, though hasn't fixed the flashing decals and texures even when not going anywhere. I hope the next patch fixes more than it breaks after whats happened with the recent one. I can't recomend people play the game more, just maybe should play it on a game system until they fix some issues and stop forcing extra software onto people just to play single player and save, wtf.... and the multiplayer issues with physics and etc....god I could go on and on. If the game wasn't so damn fun to play I'd be really pissed and want my money back(not that its possible this day and age to get refund on open software... thanks pirates).

mosee_chosee
mosee_chosee

this is great game if we dont attention that they dont test the game... .now the qustion is how we can play this great game that we cant control it.

stephen_1979
stephen_1979

If you turn off the video recording option the game will run a few FPS quicker.

stephen_1979
stephen_1979

To keatman Yes the figure at the bottom of the vidio options screen is the GPU memory usage. If your graphics card is only 256MB but it's showing 512MB available it is will be GTA's fault for not recognising it correctly (hopefully Rockstar will patch this problem soon). I've heard of poeple with 1024MB graphics cards being limited to 512MB because of this same fault. If you keep the graphics memory usage to the limit of you cards memory the textures in game load very quickly but when you go over this limit the game loads the excess textures from your normal RAM which is much slower which causes a long delay (sometimes several seconds) for some of the textures to change from the low detail texture to the medium/high detail textures. This is what causes some of the textures to 'pop up'.

ztrain
ztrain

Biggest failure of the year. Nice one rockstar. If you think the graphics are from the future, trying playing crysis or far cry 2, which run with 40+ fps on my system, unlike your ~20fps %* port.

keatman
keatman

SOMEONE PLEASE REPLY ME! In the GRAPHICS adjusting section in the game, what is that figure displayed at the bottom of the screen? I'm guessing it's the GPU's RAM. Because mine is like 279/215 mb and it's displaying a warning. Anyway my GPU is 8600gt 256mb. The game runs horribly.

ChaoSXDemon
ChaoSXDemon

The patch is released! SIGNIFICANT Memory usage improvement. Alot of visual bugs/glitch are fixed. However the game is still not optimized to a point where a PROFESSIONAL software should be.

shaunZMilner
shaunZMilner

i think ill wait for the patch before i go and buy GTA4 with all these tech issues

synaamwas
synaamwas

Can't believe i even bought the game...

interpolation7
interpolation7

I can't beleive I wasted $50 CAD on this game. They rushed its release to get christmas profits at the expense of the entire gaming community. 2 Nights just to get it running and even on my new gaming rig the FPS is entirely substandard to the graphics quality being displayed. Your telling me they can code it for the horrible-to-code-for ps3 and come up this short for PC? Graphics APIs are just choking on this &^#$%. You could throw a 8 core, 4 card skulltrail system at this game and still get 20FPS. Looks like they took the x86 xbox 360 version and chucked it on a DVD+R with an emulator.

interpolation7
interpolation7

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Chronikas
Chronikas

I'm rocking $6,000 worth of current high-end hardware. You're telling me that constant lockups and SLI incompatibility will all be solved if I just buy a new computer later? That is laughable. No one has any accountability anymore. Just admit you dropped the ball, and fix it...cowards.

ali-5000
ali-5000

dame after this wating we get nothing .should i buy a new pc to get higher sitting f**k . with my own pc that i got now i run crysis, far cry 2, fallout 3 ,nfs under cover, pure, & prince of persia btw high or very high rock star game 've failed to make a good game & didn't want to confess

kalogias
kalogias

As a game its pretty cool (though devs could add thousand more things to it but its ok) but the engine sucks....I can play it in super low settings and sometimes loses frames..... They just wanted it released before X-mas for the sales..... I think they should work out the patch wuickly because I want to burn them down for this,....

Arete_
Arete_

Couldn't there have been a more efficient game engine for the PC version? I feel as though the code written for the PC is a major problem and should be noted for future reference. I suspect that this game utilizes hardware poorly not that the hardware is lacking in power.

weaselciuy
weaselciuy

Powerfull Game, but with no control. More and more devs dont test games before they release, look at gothic 3. The memory leak is a pain in the ass. So badly optimized. tsk tsk

mscott121279
mscott121279

its pretty sad to find that some of us with high-end rigs can't play GTA IV smoothly when higher-detailed games such as Fallout 3 run like a dream. Whats worse, its poor performance does not justify the delaying of its release. I don't want to sound like a complainer but merely dissatisfied in having paid full price for a half-running game. It obviously is an appealing game, feature wise, but does not make me a happy customer if I can hardly stand to play it. P.S. I originally was going to keep my mouth shut but I jus HAD to say something for others who are feeling the same.

bigboss33
bigboss33

and my problem is : "Poor frame rates even on powerful rigs" WTF....can anyone tell me wat to do ?!!! low quality or high....it doesnt matter,game still runs slow ?

crepair
crepair

"Higher settings are provided for future generations of PCs with higher specifications than are currently widely available." How about compare with Crysis? Performance / Graphics

viniterra
viniterra

"Higher settings are provided for future generations of PCs with higher specifications than are currently widely available." I just wanna know in wich PCs they develop and test it...

d_originaldappa
d_originaldappa

Hey, if gamespot gives it 9.0 the who cares? It's someone's "opinion' we are not all unimind here. It's high end so of course you'll get choppy playback if you're close to or below minimum specs. Not all PC's with 8800 card will get maximum playback. Once again who cares? We should worry about the bugs and draw distances rather than problems an update or upgrade could fix.

trodeback
trodeback

My advice to problems: buy new parts. Running a game that just came out isn't going to run well on a 3 year old video card/processor. Don't expect smooth gaming when you don't have the parts to back it up.

teddyrob
teddyrob

Brilliant game. You'll need a Quad core CPU though to run this without a hitch. CPU is even more important than than the GPU in this game. My 8800GT manages it nicely but it is the Quad that is the power house of this game. Quad core gaming has arrived folks. Don't be overly concerned with the GPU that isn't the problem here it is your dual cores and your athlons X2 which are the problem of your low frame rates. I told you all this a 1000's times 4 core is better than 2.

rockatanski
rockatanski

Sum it up, get the lastest drivers (after FIRST removing older ones). All settings to medium, including draw distance. AA off completely, no matter what system you have - this option should be banned anyway coz it's frigen pointless.. Run the resolution that your monitor can provide at MAXIMUM. For example if your 16x9 monitor can do 1920x1080 then set the monitor to that res. NOT LOWER. I've got Duo Core 6300. 3gigRam, Vista and a 8800GT nvidia. I'm getting about 40 to 50 frames depending on the action on screen. Lowest I saw was about 35. Hope this helps (at least until a patch comes out). I've played the PS3 version and the PC one looks a LOT better even on medium settings.

trentboy22
trentboy22

@ Threesixtyci Really sorry to hear you've had problems with them both, not a great year for you atm is it bud? Both games run without fault on my system which is nothing overly special, GTA4 will always run but is noticeably lacking in build quality compared with other high end games. My advice? Go buy Left 4 Dead ^,...,^

Ultra911
Ultra911

With GameSpot giving GTAIV a 9.0, I can no longer trust their editor choice picks. You might as well cancel my membership. I will be looking elsewhere for honest reviews.

Threesixtyci
Threesixtyci

@kittupathak60 & trentboy22 yeah I own them.... and I have these problems with them.... Get protection fault errors on Mass Effect on newer Nivida drivers. Had to go back to the 169.21 (WinXP) to get the game somewhat stable, although it still does random black screens: http://masseffect.bioware.com/forums/viewtopic.html?topic=631450&forum=127 Fallout 3, is crash happy on my system. I get random crashes to desktop, as if I pressed Ctrl F4... no error messages, just exit's itself. Crashes happen more often on the southern side, than the northern. http://www.bethsoft.com/bgsforums/index.php?showforum=36 I'm lucky to get more than an hour of gameplay before a crash... I have yet to exit either of these games willingly. Zero word of a patch for Mass Effect ever being released, Dev's don't even bother posting anything on their forum, anymore. Very small hint that Fallout 3 is being patched, but no real word from Beth.

amber_jade
amber_jade

Gamespot gave it a 9?? It's certainly not recommendable due to the framerate dips...

xlrmegatron
xlrmegatron

The problem with the setings where you can't change the higher res is general . I have an AMD 6000+X2 @3Gigs, 4Gigs of ram, and temporarly an ATI Radeon 4670 512Mb DDR3. On this system the maximum setup on texture setings id medium. I can only go to low but i guess is because of the system (slow video card) . I know that you'll say that the ati card is low(low mainstream) but i run Far Cry 2 on win vista 64bit with all setings at maxium and 1280x960 res with 25 fps max wich is good ! But i did something last night that realy worked a bit. Someone here sayd that he turned off the realtime recording, doing this the fps got a bit higher , also the Rock dudes sad to set the game on medium details , well it worked . Now where i had 18 frames a have now 25. The problem is that i want realtime recording on. This issue is the real problem of the game, it's just like you'd run a game with fraps on , it's a high resource eater. Now my question is, in the consoles am quite slower than th pc's how the heck thid they do it :)? I heard that only in a few places the game slows down , but even on a high rig with low details has issues.

kittupathak60
kittupathak60

@Threesixtyci really, did you play these on the pc, they are so nicely optimized for it, that they really beat their console counterparts. especially mass effect, it was released on the pc much after the consoles but it was so much better than those, clear from the gamespot rating..as for fallout, i don't think i have sen a better rpg than this on pc.. but gta4, i dunno it is really buggy to install, and play, i myself experienced the texture problems, thankfully a few tweaks solved that. but compared to crysis, this just doesnot have enough of a graphic edge to justify its requirement, i only get about 40fps with a 2x8800 gtx and a quad core running at 3.2GHz with 4 gb of RAM. ofcourse the story and gameplay is great but it would be better to turn to the ps3 for playing this game...

imprezawrx500
imprezawrx500

I don't see what the big deal is the nvida beta driver runs it pretty nice on my 8800gt, sure its not max but who cares the console version is basically low settings so it still looks better

Wotan_210
Wotan_210

How much RAM you guys use to run this? I think 4gb is the minimum to get decent performance. Quad core helps as well

keatman
keatman

The game is extremely buggy with my 8600gt & AMD5200. Plus, I'm having difficulty setting my resolution, it seem to stay 800x600 whenever I try to set it higher. And (I donno if this happens to all of you) the screen to shake like as if a drunken person's vision after 3 - 4 minutes after I started the game. To those console mofu's, if you got something negative to say about PC platform, please, not here. Bark elsewhere. When GTAIV was released in console, we (PC gamers) just stood aside watching you enjoying yourselves. Cant you guys (consoles) show a little respect to us since we have waited this long? I said this before and I will say it again. Have something relevent to say or just bring your annoying barks elsewhere. Seriously, you guys gotta grow up.

trentboy22
trentboy22

@Threesixtyci '...just like Fallout 3 and Mass Effect.' What was wrong with them? Or did I miss the; 'Mass Effect/Fallout 3 PC problems spark gamer outcry' articles that Gamestop must have forgotten to post?

Lord_Bafford
Lord_Bafford

I was just surprised the first time I launched. If I can play Crysis on high with a decent framerate, why does this game play like sh*t. Can only hope the patch works wonders. :/

Threesixtyci
Threesixtyci

...just like Fallout 3 and Mass Effect. Developers don't know how to make PC games, anymore.

xlrmegatron
xlrmegatron

They say : "Most users using current PC hardware as of December 2008 are advised to use medium graphics settings. Higher settings are provided for future generations of PCs with higher specifications than are currently widely available." I say : Thats the stupidest answer i ever heard regarding technical issues in a game. Well why just didn't they tell us that this is a game for, and only for, our children's children ?!? Come on dudes not everyone has a Intel I7 with 3 or 4 video cars and with who knows how much ram in it ?!? There are other games on the market with better graphics and they are running smoothly . The frames issue is theirs problem not ours , i run the game in 800x600 with low details at 22 fps same as if set the game in 1600X1200 with highest details so is not the rig , it's just not good enough in any res or set.The game is NOT properly optimised for the PC's . Porting a game is not always a simple thing to do, but they had already the game completed(Xbox version) plus a year to make in work . The time was enough too bad the skill wasn't. I'm not hopping for a patch to solve the issues, instead i wish that they should make 2 dvisions pc and consoles . May the next one to outrun it's predecessors as this one does (excepting the issues).

stephen_1979
stephen_1979

To kalogias Yes I got a few extra FPS by turning of the video recorder.

stephen_1979
stephen_1979

I'm one of the lucky few pwople who have been able to run GTA IV with no problems. Wait for the patches then give it another go - I think it's the best GTA yet. It looks and plays better than on the consoles.

Kaelken
Kaelken

Rockstar had problems with their engine. It's the same reason why they couldn't provide character customization, they did try, they just couldn't do it. It is the same reason why they cut all the vehicles - remember how everything was delayed right down to "the next chapter" on xbox? I also think it is funny hearing Rockstar speak of the future. I think GTA IV is the prime example of the stagnation of gaming. You could ask gamer and he come up with a million good ideas for GTA, how he always wanted it. But they added nothing. Far worse, they cut back on weapons and cars, and made the music worse. - But I do get a cellphone lmao I expected total pioneering on this game