Guest Writer: Why I Cheated In GTA Online

This article was written by TSA community member Kitch.

I cheated on GTA V. I created my own server and gave myself a huge cash boost. I reached level 263 by robbing just one store. I’m not ashamed to write this and I’m aware of the backlash this confession could create, but I think Rockstar have shot themselves in the foot by monetising GTA online and ended up hurting the online game.

I was level 65 before I stumbled across the GTA hack on YouTube, having spent many, many hours on GTA Online. But I had done virtually no missions or races up until that point, and most of my time playing GTA V is spent either leaping off buildings, jumping through the Vinewood sign or barrel rolling Titans. I just want to “play” about.

GTAV Opinion 2

The thought of having to take part in a competitive deathmatch, CTF or Race puts me off GTA Online, but doing so is the only way to enjoy my pastime of achieving absolutely nothing. Titans aren’t cheap and the odds are stacked against you when it comes to stealing a Rhino tank, but sometimes you just need to try and land a tank on the wings of a flying Titan cargo plane.

The single player game lets you cheat as much as you like and you can spawn a Rhino, Titan or a number of guns whenever you wish. By doing so you disable the trophy system, turning it into a pure sandbox, but this option isn’t available online. Why can’t I host a game where missions and races are disabled, but planes, cars and guns are only a phone call away?

Instead of monetising the online cash, I feel that Rockstar should have given the option to buy a zero XP and zero cash earning lobby. I would have paid real money for that, but since it wasn’t available, I created my own. I used my hacked character in a friends only lobby and used the cash to buy stuff to break and mess around with.

When you create a boosted server you disable all the missions and races anyway, so the only thing you can do is play around. By doing this, who have I hurt?

I’ve enabled cheats for online use while not earning any trophies or XP. The cash has been used to buy vehicles that are then trashed but no missions or races have been completed. Instead of banning players like me they should be asking why we did what we did. I didn’t hack my character to get ahead or earn trophies, I hacked so I could play the game the way it was intended to be played, the same way the single player can be and the way that GTA IV could be played online.


A Rhino tank costs $750k online, while it costs £11.99 in real money for $1.25m online cash. There’s no possible way I can say a tank is worth a little under £6, and then you still have to deal with the retrieval costs when the wing landing stunt goes wrong.

I understand that Rockstar are a business and need to make money, but surely they could have charged for DLC and not have borrowed and applied methods from free to play games to your continued online play. The Beach Bum DLC could have been around £4, the creator stuff around £5 when it comes out of beta and the heists around the £7 mark.

Rockstar said that by keeping the DLC free they are keeping everyone playing, but by charging for in-game vehicles they are excluding those of us that just want to explore and test the extremes of the game mechanics rather than grind.

I abhor spawn campers and cheaters in games, but by creating a character that I can buy anything with have I really cheated? As I’ve said several time, I don’t play missions or races; I simply play a game the way I think it should be played – in a fun way that has no adverse affect on anyone else with me and to further the shenanigans we’re already enjoying.



  1. I personally enjoy playing GTA without using any exploits or cheats.

    The journey of earning money, saving up for the cool stuff and slowly unlocking new stuff is what I find really enjoyable and then when I have the cool stuff, it’s great to show it off to like minded players.

    I’ve come across a few cheaters, incredibly high bounties, invincible players with bounties on them and in my eyes, that’s no fun.

    I can see your point, and agree to an extent that ‘cheaters lobbies’ with cheats enabled would solve much of this, although I doubt that I personally would join one.

    • I agree about the public lobby people but I can’t work out why they disabled the cheat system for online.

    • What they need to do is simply allow for everything amongst a closed Freemode session (possibly Friends or Crew restricted) because that’s what we wanted. A playground to bugger about with friends. Obviously, any competitive racing/deathmatches/etc. should have suitable restrictions.

      • I’d agree with an all unlocked freeroam, how ever I think a large number of mod/eploit users, get their fun, out of trashing users in reg lobbies, so not sure how effective a deterrent that would be. I’d enjoy & drop in a unlocked lobby occasionally, but it would need to be safeguarded, from exploiting carrying over content into reg lobbies.

      • It does though. To the average Joe who put in the time to get a fancy car or high-rise apartment, to see someone get the same by cheating will leave a sour taste.

      • Ah, matey… that’s splitting hairs. One of my friends is a multi-millionaire but I’m not jealous of his money. His earnings are his own (as well as the wealth he was born into). I can’t live my life being overly envious of things like that or it’d piss me off. He’s also not making my life a misery by showing off in front of me.

        Look at me with Don’t Starve. I twisted the hell out of it with mods so it was more enjoyable. It doesn’t diminish the game you, Tony, Brendan had. I hope it didn’t! You had nothing to do with my game. Equally, GTA V users have nothing to do with the closed session we enjoy(ed).

        People only know about Kitch’s situation because of this article. He never went online (in open sessions) showing off or pissing people around.

  2. “I hacked so I could play the game the way it was intended to be played, the same way the single player can be and the way that GTA IV could be played online.”

    No you hacked it to play the way YOU wanted to play.

    If you take microtransactions out of the equation, you basically just cheated to get better things quicker online. Whilst I understand your points, you still distort and diminish the efforts of those that don’t hack.

    If you want to “explore and test the extremes of the game mechanics rather than grind” by all means do so – offline.

    • But how is that possible with like minded individuals? I wasn’t alone in not doing any missions. If the missions offered any variety then possibly I would’ve stuck at it. How many times do you need to steal a bag of drugs/tanker to earn a slightly better car?

    • ” The way it was intended to be played.” That’s a double negative, if ever there was one. The way it was intended to be played, is the way it was released & slogged at for years. Blood, sweat, tears, divorces(hopefully not) & a huge budget.

    • Davs – only thing I can disagree on is this.

      “Whilst I understand your points, you still distort and diminish the efforts of those that don’t hack.”

      It didn’t diminish anything as Kitch was with us in the Crew sessions where we had enormous fun. No races or deathmatches. Just us lot tooling around. Genuinely a freemode/playground for us to enjoy.

  3. I can see why people cheat/hack – the RP (since being nerfed) is a joke. Co-op missions (which can be hard and take up to 20 minutes) reward less RP than a 4-minute solo race. It’s so frustrating as I’d love to play missions to get me to level 100 but when I can do it quicker by doing races, it makes sense to mix it up. However, if I wanted to play Deathmatches or Races, I’d play The Last of Us or Gran Turismo – not a jack-of-all-trades GTA. In GTA, I want to play fun, well scripted missions, co-op, which I assume was the whole idea of GTA Online. It’s not turned out to be the game I wanted in that respect, particularly as the Heist missions are “missing” at the moment.

    Also, once a few people use money and levelling cheats (to access Tanks and Mini-Guns), it’s no wonder other’s have done the same to keep a more even playing field.

    • I’m genuinely not interested in the missions and races. It’s a huge and excellent sandbox map that is great fun with a bunch of mates.
      Is there any difference between a level 100 mission and a level 10 mission?

      • Increase of Cash, RP & difficulty.

  4. I completely disagree with the micro transactions in a game people have paid full price for.

    For that reason, I applaud anyone who finds a way around it. Had I bought GTA (or actually liked the game) I’d probably been cheating there too.

    • I think if R* listened to the hackers more they’d realise this and properly address the XP problems. They are really good at engagement with players normally.

      • “I think if R* listened to the hackers more they’d realise this and properly address the XP problems”

        You talk like ‘hackers’ are of some sort of superior intelligence. If the hackers have such great ideas why not get together and make your own game.

        Hackers and cheaters have ruined my gaming experience for years. You say that you personally didn’t do anything wrong and did nothing to cause adverse effects to other gamers but other hackers did. You can’t have the best of both worlds, there is no ‘good’ hacker or ‘bad’ hacker. You are all hackers and each and everyone of you played a part in ruining peoples fun and wasting peoples time.

    • Technically you didn’t pay full price for it, you didn’t pay anything for it. You paid for GTA V, GTA online was just a free-to-play game that you can only access after buying GTA V. Rockstar was pretty clear that the games are seperate entities.

      • Technically he did pay for it. Its not free to play.

      • That claim was pure PR BS, probably to try and take the sting out of the backlash they knew was coming when GTAO went live. Until you can download the multiplayer separately, it’s not free to play.

        Also, something to ponder; if you cheat in a game and it somehow stops the game being fun for you, was there really any enjoyment to be had to begin with?

  5. I think, regarding GTA online, it should be treated as a standalone free to play title. I bought GTA V for the single player, what it’s known for, and I think its £39.99 well spent for the fun, bug free time I had with it. Only tried online once and didn’t feel like going back.

    Yet still, I do think they should offer a mode where you can just do what the hell you want in a private game with friends, etc…

    • The scary thing is I can see this happening on PS4/XboxOne. Free with PS+ GTA online. It works on games like Warframe but I don’t think it’s right for games like gta. All they need to do is gimp the XP/cash earning a little more and it becomes a cash cow. Sure it’s playable but it stops being fun. It becomes a grind and that isn’t what GTA is about.

      • Yes, if game economies were more balanced rather than skewed in favour of people paying significant extra amounts, I’m sure we wouldn’t even be debating here about it being a problem.

        When I said it should be treated as a separate game, I meant it because there is huge effort gone into the single player, and I just found out it cost me £34.99, not bad when they aren’t asking you to pay that every year or even every two (e.g. cod, most EA games in last 2 years).

  6. Fair enough, not everyone has the time or money to level up. Totally agree with your reasoning.

    I made a similar comment the other day that R* themselves unbalanced the game by allowing pay to win.

  7. If you just want to play around, what differerence does your $ & RP make.
    How boring it would be, being able to spawn a tank, or adder, with zero grind. R*s formula hasn’t hurt the game/franchise, it’s gamers like you & I use the term gamers loosely here, that are a plague to legitimate gamers.

    Go programme your own game, instead of harming developers & gamers invested money & time.

    • So why can you do all of the above in single player?

      • You didn’t actually answer his question. Because he’s right.

    • I havnt scrached SP, due to 1.08 corrupting my save data. So I can’t comment.

  8. Keep those antics for the pc imo.

    • Actually no… I’d be a tad #@#$, bumping into your fully equiped fresh spawn on day z & the like. Not everyone on pc wants to opt out of a little grind. Grinding has been around in games since space invaders;)

    • So when the PC version comes out its fair they won’t have to pay for extra ingame cash?

  9. You wouldn’t “bump into me” I only ever played with friends on a invite only server.

    • Ironically Day Z started out as a mod lol, so not all bad.
      ftr. Its the action of modding in public servers, which inevitability spills over from private, that i find tastes of un-gamesmanship. Its the action i find distasteful, not the individual. ( i’m sure your a top bloke:)

      • Indeed I am. And thanks.

      • A plague a tad harsh, just a rad:) The problem is for every mod user like yourself, i always cross paths with 10 others who dont care if their in a non consenting public lobby, or not.

        Again sorry for my prev exaggerated comments, i’ve unfortunately been burnt alot by the selfish few, who give considerate users like yourself, a bad initial rep. (In the case of gtao however, it the stockmarket ever goes live, economy manipulation would be affected even in a priv lobby one would assume.)

      • Kitch/GTOWN is one of the kindest most enjoyably gamers to spend time with. Generous with his time, actions and words.

        I appreciate you, e8_BALL_, have backtracked on your comments but again and again, Kitch has said how this was for us all to bugger around together in a closed session. The idea of us being in a free session with others was something we simply never, EVER wanted to do (and continue to feel that way). The racist, profanity, blasphemous-laden smack talk is an utter disgrace let alone people simply wanting to kill you so regularly. There’s no way to enjoy half of the antics that a closed session can provide.

        It’s just that a closed session should then allow great freedom as it impacts no one except invited friends/crew members which already know what they’re getting into because we all communicate properly.

      • I got sidetracked & got lost in the bigger picture, as oppose to Kitchs’ own personal experience. Coincidentally, I too have had hrs of fun alonside Gtown in GTAO, a good team player.

      • Sure, he might be hilariously shit behind the wheel of a GTA car but he’s a great friend to have in any game.

        Human shield that he is. :-)

  10. I haven’t played any GTA5 online but if it’s anything like single player, cheating would be the only way to make it any fun.

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