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GTA Online update (18th March): Release time, connection issues, patch notes, what’s new this week

This latest GTA update has caused a few issues...

gta online
Published: Thursday, 18th March 2021 at 11:30 am

Another week has passed and that means it is already time for another update to the still hugely popular GTA Online, although there is a good chance that you may have run into some problems with it this week.


The updates continue alongside work on a complete remaster coming for the Xbox Series X and the PS5 which follows a previous remaster for the game on the PS4 and the Xbox One - we can't quite get our heads around the fact this game has been around since the PS3 and Xbox 360 days either.

Read more on Grand Theft Auto:

But while we wait for the smallest of details on GTA 6 (seriously, just give us something Rockstar), we do have more updates for GTA Online and while these weekly updates are a good thing, it hasn't been the smoothest of processes this time around.

For all that is new this week, and why you may not see it straight away if you are an Xbox user, read on for all you need to know!

What is in the new GTA Online update?

lucky wheel prize gta

The biggest update this week surrounds loading times. Fans of GTA 5 and its online game mode are all too familiar with how long it takes to load the game up and while this has improved since launch, this is the biggest fix for the problem to date.

Whereas before we could send some messages or go make a coffee while the game was loading up, the 1.54 update has reduced the time it takes on PC by 70% which is a huge change and one that is sure to be a welcome one to everyone who has long been tired of waiting for what felt like an age.

A GTA Reddit thread has the difference in loading time noted and, based on their specs, it has come down considerably from what it was and that 70% seems to be an accurate figure.

Also in the update are 4 new podium vehicles - Kanjo, V-STR, RE-7B and Itali RSX and the Winky Trade price has also been fixed!

And here is everything else that is new in today's update - including some great discounts and bonus in-game money!

  • Double GTA$, RP & Arena Points across all Arena War Series modes
  • Double GTA$ & RP in Rhino Hunt and Special Vehicle Work
  • A free Brute Heavy-Duty Tee for logging in
  • The Pfister Comet SR sports car is this week’s top prize at the Lucky Wheel
  • Free Arena Vehicle Vertical Jump ability for Arena Workshop owners
  • Arena War Discounts: 40% off the Arena Workshop and its Upgrades & Modifications, plus 30% off all styles of the Arena HVY Scarab, Arena Bravado Sasquatch, Arena Vapid Slamvan, Arena Annis ZR380, Arena Western Deathbike, and Arena Declasse Impaler, as well as Arena Vehicle Weapons, Arena Vehicle Armor Plating, Arena Boosts, and Arena Bodyworks (Blades, Spikes & Rollcages)
  • Vehicle Discounts: 40% off the Declasse Tulip, Benefactor Schlagen GT, Schyster Deviant, Weaponized Dinghy, and Mammoth Squaddie
  • Prime Gaming Bonuses: Players who connect their Social Club account with Prime Gaming will get the Kosatka Submarine’s Sonar Station for free, alongside a GTA$200K bonus for playing any time this week
  • Prime Gaming Discounts: 80% off the Seabreeze plane, plus 35% off the Sparrow helicopter and the Kraken Avisa submersible

What time is the weekly GTA Online update?

Now! Marking a change from the usual cadence of updates dropping on Fridays, this one arrived earlier in the week. The update has already rolled out and you can, in some cases, take advantages of the fixes and changes straight away. Read on, though, because there have been many issues reported this time and Xbox users may have to wait a little longer.

GTA Online Update 18th March: Full patch notes

We are still waiting on the full patch notes for this latest update and given the issues that have been discovered with it, which we'll get to in a moment, we could be waiting longer than usual until we find out what they all are.

All we know so far is what is mentioned above, and that the loading time fix actually came from a fan-made patch that Rockstar has gone ahead with. But when we hear more official details from Rockstar as to the full ins and outs of the patch notes we will let you know!

Issues with the latest GTA Online update 18th March

As mentioned, the update this time has not gone as smoothly as it normally does with GTA Online.

The biggest problems come on the Xbox where a lot of players on the One and Series X consoles have reported that they can no longer play the game at all since the update came along. Such a big problem was the update on the Xbox that it has since been rolled back to the previous version and, at the time of writing, we are still waiting to hear when a new patch will be deployed that won't render the game unplayable - at least we can log back in and play now though!

There have also been some issues reported for PlayStation users, although not to the same degree. PS players have noted that many are struggling to get the update to install at all and we imagine a patch is also being worked on to fix that too.

We'll bring you more as we hear it and knowing Rockstar, we doubt it will be too long before the issues are fixed and the update works as it should.

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