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GTA Online disables purchases, gives advice on how to get in

Beleaguered developer Rockstar has disabled the purchase of in-game money and has updated its website with advice on how to get playing.

GTA Online hasn't become any easier to use nearly two days after its launch. Beleaguered developer Rockstar has disabled the purchase of in-game money and has updated its website with advice on how to get playing.

A common experience for GTA players (including me) is to successfully download the Online mode, start it up, create a character and watch their intro sequence, then get stuck trying to start the first mission, a race. Others have seen the same animated sequence twice in a row and then become stuck loading. Still others have had problems with other players joining or leaving, or the blue marker that indicates the start of the race hasn't shown up.

If you're having any of these problems, Rockstar advises, you should try deleting the update from Xbox Home or the PS3 XMB (make sure you delete the Game Data Utility, not your saved games) and reinstalling it. This'll give you a fresh run at it, increasing your chances of getting online.

"Others reported having luck by selecting 'Swap Character' from the Online tab within the pause menu, deleting the character that was unable to get into the tutorial, and then creating a new character," Rockstar says on its website. "Some who were experience this issue have been able to get in just by trying again later."

Here's the full list of known bugs, to give you some idea of what Rockstar is dealing with:

  • "Rockstar Cloud Servers Unavailable" error message
  • "Failed to Host a GTA Online Session" error messages
  • Errors saying "Timed out when matchmaking for a compatible GTA Online Session to join"
  • Errors about jobs failing to start or load
  • Misc. network and server-related error messages, disconnections, or cloud server errors
  • Errors saying "Mission Failed" as soon as the mission begins during a session
  • Long matchmaking load screens, eventually timing out after 10-15 minutes
  • Offline (disc-based) and online content mixing on the Jobs list
  • Ending up in a free-roam session with no jobs/markers on the map while playing as a temporary character during a cloud outage

"We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience while we work to resolve this," Rockstar says. It also gives the option to login to its support site to receive emails when updates are released.

GTA Online gives you the option of paying real cash moneys to speed up your progress, letting you buy swanky apartments and fill your garage with shiny new cars. These cash packs start at £1.99 for $100,000, but Rockstar has decided to suspend the option until "things are running smoothly".

The company did warn before launch on Tuesday that it might have trouble getting millions of players into its crim-ulator all at the same time. "We are working around the clock to buy and add more servers, but this increased scale is only going to make the first few days even more temperamental than such things usually are," the company said in a blog post.

It'll be interesting to see if the situation improves over the weekend, with budding crims' playtime more spread out than during the week. Have you managed to play at all? Leave tales of your virtual criminality in the comments, or over on our always-online Facebook page.