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Cunning Stunts And The Future Of GTA Online

GTA Online, from its inception, was all about being over the top. Random street criminals could own military hardware like tanks and attack-helicopters, murder hundreds and lose the cops just by hiding for a few minutes. Deathmatches saw several heavily armed street criminals murdering one another in high-profile areas without law enforcement interference. So called CEOs rack up millions through illegal trade without having to bribe a single IRS agent.

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Let’s face it, GTA hasn’t ever really gotten the whole realism thing down. But hey, it isn’t supposed, it’s a game. When video games try to achieve realism, it is in the graphics department. In gameplay, they want to be grounded in realism while allowing players to do fun things that they can’t in the real world. Unless you’re rich or happen to have zero regard for your own comfort, real life cannot offer the thrills of a fictional world because it’s realistic.

GTA has always been known as a franchise grounded in realism. Sure, it is a satirical alternate-universe USA (sometimes UK) with invented location and company names, but it is supposed to represent our world. It never deviates wildly from reality, only in situations where the gameplay mechanics demand it. I mean, you still get away with assault, murder, theft, arson and worse with a small fine, but it’s not like you have superpowers or something.

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Then the Cunning Stunts update was released which took the whole idea of being grounded in reality, and tossed it off a massive flaming loop suspended thousands of feet in the air. Cunning Stunts features several Stunt Race courses that challenge players with extremely dangerous stunts. These are usually winding around the top floors of Los Santos’ skyscrapers, and involve all kinds of obstacles like spinning bar traps, flame rings, crushing walls and jumps so long that they can only be cleared with booster pads.

This is probably the greatest blatant deviation from reality that ever appeared in a GTA game – but could it be the herald of more such updates to come? Major DLCs in the past year or so seemed to be trend-setters. After Lowriders was released, we were still getting additional cars to be upgraded at Benny’s for a good half year.

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Executives and Other Criminals gained immense praise from the community, leading to the recent follow-up, Further Adventures in Finance and Felony. If these are anything to go by, Cunning Stunts is likely to be succeeded by another over-the-top update.

But what prompted this bold shedding of of the GTA status quo? Online continues to be one of the most popular multiplayer games in the world. Shark Cards are bringing in massive amounts of cash. The game is still moving copies, in spite of having launched back in 2013. If the run-of-the-mill crime-themed updates worked until now, why did Rockstar toss realism off the table?

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Cunning Stunts is certainly one of the most unique and original updates GTA Online has received. It is also among the most loved by the community. Stunt Races have added a new measure of variety to the game, while also satisfying the quiet but numerous core racing-community.

What could the future hold, now that the mundane shackles of realism no longer bind GTA? A wacky air-show DLC with all kinds of planes racing through hovering obstacle courses? Vertical gunfights using jetpacks? Deathmatches with more classic FPS power-ups? Insane weapons?

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Thematic DLCs have been pretty common (though that Biker DLC everyone wants is still missing), so maybe we’ll get to heavily arm our Yachts, drive them freely and act as pirates, broadsiding another “pirate yacht”? The truth is, the possibilities now seem much less limited than before.

Outrageous DLC concepts were all unlikely to happen in the past because some measure of realism was always maintained. The fact that Cunning Stunts exists effectively blew the whole speculation bubble wide open, making completely trippy ideas plausible.

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The Stunt Race Creator is slated for launch on the 2nd of August with at least one more mini update between now and then. We likely won’t hear any news on what the next big DLC might be until a few weeks after the 2nd. Speculation has already begun across the community. Many are still asking for the Biker DLC, while others have delved into new venues of brainstorming.

Either way, hopefully the departure from form that the Cunning Stunts update represents will be a returning theme in upcoming GTA Online updates. There is plenty of semi-serious content that is still grounded in reality already. A bit of Saints Row-esque game design wouldn’t run amiss in this game.

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Now, naturally this doesn’t mean we’ll be battling trans-dimensional rainbow-dragons on lazer-infused gryphons in the skies above Los Santos while our Associates are cleaning out a goblin infestation on the ground with magic swords, but hey, baby steps?

How would you feel about GTA Online getting progressively less realistic content over time?

GTA 5 Discounted On Steam

GTA 5 has once again gotten a temporary price cut to entice the ever dwindling number of gamers who haven’t jumped on the bandwagon to do so. In spite of initial launch having occurred 3 years ago, Rockstar’s open-world juggernaut of a game is still among the most popular being played today.

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GTA Online trumps other high-profile games which are considered to be among the most popular franchises in both sales and playtime. Halo 5, the most recent installment in the insanely popular Microsoft exclusive shooter franchise has only a tiny fraction of GTA Online’s weekly individual player count. Microtransactions in that game are really far from even breaking the $100 million mark in terms of income, while Shark Cards have long since passed the half-billion mark.

Only other ludicrously popular games, which get most of their players from the non-gamer crowd, like Call of Duty or FIFA can rival the success that Rockstar’s game has garnered. Even so, sales are pretty steady. Naturally, they’re nowhere near the numbers of the first year, but still, countless people are buying copies of GTA 5. It is among the top sellers on Steam, several online distributors push marketing for the game due to the demand, console marketplaces feature it continuously. For some reason, people keep buying this thing.

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So if you happen to be following this website in spite of not owning GTA 5, or only have one of the previous-gen versions and are looking for an upgrade to the definitive edition of the game, Steam has a treat for you. While this is hardly the largest discount the game has seen, its a decent price reduction. At this point, the game is on sale so often that buying it full price really isn’t justified, unless you want to support the devs with that much more.

GTA 5 is discounted by 33% on Steam until the 25th of July, placing its current price at $40.19, compared to the full price of $59.99. The base game isn’t the only thing which had its price slashed, as the standalone Shark Cards and Shark Card bundles are also cheaper than usual. This makes this a perfect opportunity for players looking to upgrade to the PC version, as they’ll need some starting capital with which to catch up on content not available on the older consoles.

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The bundles are the best deals in this sale, as they have progressively larger discounts, with the two largest ones being half or more off. For example, the Megalodon Bundle, which normally costs $134.99 is now 57% off, going for $57,92 instead, which is (albeit marginally) cheaper than the full priced game.

These constant sales are part of how GTA 5 has managed to keep its full price all this time after release. Most games, even AAA titles, lose value much quicker, with prices dipping down to half of what they were upon release a year (or sometimes even less) after release. The staggered release schedule, the high demand and frequent sales have enabled Rockstar to keep the game’s full-price at the standard $60 mark.

Will you be taking advantage of this sale?

GTA Online Cunning Stunts Expanded

GTA Online’s status quo was recently upheaved by the massively deviant and, incidentally, popular Cunning Stunts update. The DLC brought two new kinds of race types to the game, with the Stunt Races being in the spotlight. The update pretty much disregarded the fact that GTA has generally remained grounded in reality throughout its existence and put players on massive stunt courses with fire-traps, massive jumps and speed-boosters suspended at skyscraper-height.

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Cunning Stunts probably got the most positive response from the community since Heists as an update and is lauded with restoring racing in GTA Online to its former glory. The newly introduced Premium Races also contributed to this, as it solidified the position of races as end-game content for pro players.

The update also had some of the most raw content to date. With 13 vehicles and 16 official Stunt Race tracks, Cunning Stunts had plenty going for it. More than enough content to tide players over until the 2nd of August, when the Stunt Race Creator will launch, bringing the long promised overhaul to the Content Creator.

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However, Rockstar has decided to expand on Cunning Stunts with a mini-update in the meantime anyway. This new free update was tease back when the large DLC launched and some of the content was discovered by PC data-miners, spoiling the surprise.

Lacking a name of its own, Cunning Stunts 1.5 has brought some new maps and vehicles to the game, because, you know, all GTA Online players are constantly complaining about not having enough cars to fill all that garage space.

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The original 16 stunt maps are being expanded with another 6 to buff out the roster. Bikes are getting the spotlight in this mini-update, with three races in the class. Muscle, sports and super all get one race each.

Afterburner, the first of the bike races, hearkens back to the heyday of stunting, when jumping through a hoop of fire was a thrilling feat. Of course, the GTA equivalent is suspended thousands of feet in the air and has a few more extras beyond the one hoop, but hey – homages, right?

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The second Stunt Race for bikes is called, rather intuitively, Forest. It is set, unsurprisingly, in the forested areas up north and has a dirt-bike theme going on. Finally, the third bike race is High Flyer, the concept of which is flying through the city on a private jet, except that jet is a bike and you’re stunting. This map winds its way around and above all of the skyscrapers in Los Santos.

Double Loop is the race for supers, and takes  the concept of loops  to the next logical step: add more of them. Double Loop is characterized by the feature that became its namesake, as it sees players brave not one, but two gravity defying loops right after one another.

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Trench II, geared for the muscle class, features some pretty terrifying death traps. This really isn’t the race for you if you’re claustrophobic to any extent, as the side-walls of the race will be moving in on you, pushing contestants closer to one another. You’ll need to be on your toes to avoid a crash.

Finally we have Zebra for the sports class, set around and over Mt.Chiliad. Built like a roller coaster, Zebra will have you changing altitude faster and more often than NASA’s zero-g training plane. If you’re prone to motion sickness induced by things seen on-screen, you might not want to eat before braving this race.

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Rockstar has also added some new vehicles with which you can enjoy these new races. Specifically, three new vehicles have been added. Seeing as more than three were leaked, it is pretty clear that this isn’t the only pre-August 2nd mini-update that we’re going to get.

The Declasse Drift Tampa is the sports variant of the beloved muscle car, rolling with liveries, spoilers and an exposed engine. The retooled fan favorite is accompanied by a complete newcomer in the form of the Ocelot Lynx, a sleek ride with a more traditional sports-car look. A new two-wheeler has also been added. The Western Cliffhanger is a rugged off-road bike that looks like it could take a few hits before going kaputt.

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Two other vehicles that have been leaked – the contender and rally truck – are still unaccounted for. However, seeing as neither are “regular” vehicles, chances are that when they are eventually released, possibly next week, they’ll be accompanied by other rides that have yet to be leaked.

Players have already tested the vehicles, and while no speed records have been broken, many report that the Drift Tampa actually *drifts* pretty damn well. This pretty much makes it the first dedicated drift car in the game.

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Rockstar has also kicked off yet another weekly event to commemorate this mini-update. Logging into GTA Online this week will net you a silver jumpsuit for free, along with a helmet to match. This event also adds some discounts, because of course it does. Some are returning from last week, such as the 20% price slash on all properties and garages. Fitting, as these updates did add a ton of new vehicles to the game.

Rockstar suggests making use of the second character slot to open up another 50 slots for vehicles, however even the total of 100 vehicle slots simply isn’t enough for avid vehicle collectors. When you have such a massive library of cars on hand, with such variety, you can’t expect people with discerning tastes to settle for just a slice of the collections. True, this may be GTA and not Pokémon, but the mentality of “gotta catch ’em all” still applies.

The other sale going on is discounting all Spoilers, Wheels, Tire Smoke, Skirts, Exhausts and Horns by 20% so you can trick out your all new Lynxes and Tampas for racing, as looks aren’t the only thing these modifications improve upon.

What part of this newest GTA Online mini-update are you most excited about? Is it the new cars, or the additional Stunt Races? We’re guessing it isn’t the discounts.

Why GTA Online Isn’t Getting New Heists

While this may change sometime in the future, as far as we know, there are no new heists on the way for GTA Online. New gameplay mechanics are introduced in updates like Further Adventures in Finance and Felony, but for some reason, the single best received and best GTA Online DLC isn’t getting revisited.

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The Heists update was only released in 2015 in March, in spite of the eponymous heists being kinda the whole point of GTA Online and the main endgame attraction. In spite of there being countless methods to make money in the game, Heists are still the most popular simply due to the massive payouts. While VIP work and CEO work both have an equal if not better money-to-time ratio since the Pacific Standard heist takes upwards of an hour to complete, these options are not as popular.

Which is what brings us to the reason: Rockstar is only giving us alternatives to Heisting which are in the same league as heisting, because given a method to acquire money that is more efficient than heisting, heisting becomes obsolete. However, if new heists are released, then they have to be more potent than the current ones, or the community will be disappointed.

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However, releasing a heist more lucrative than Pacific Standard won’t happen simply because it isn’t worth it for Rockstar. PacStan already yields a good million if you get a generous cut on hard without losing cash from the money-bags. If players are given a reliable way of grinding more significantly more than a million per heist, Shark Cards will immediately look a lot less appealing.

Shark Cards are what are keeping GTA Online supported with content. Considering how popular they are, having made as much money as they have, it is no surprise that they are the main source of the budgets for all the free DLC GTA Online is getting.

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Many people openly oppose the use and promotion of Shark Cards, however Rockstar’s system of microtransactions is perfectly moral, especially in light of some other games out there. Currency is the only thing you can buy with real cash, and there are ways (covered in our guide) to acquire said currency with regular play.

There are no overpowered items or vehicles that you can only buy with real money. There are no timed buffs such as decreased damage received or increased damage dealt that you can buy with real money. This mentality puts Rockstar well above many other developers of (mainly free to play) online games.

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The truth is that DLC takes resources and work-hours to make. Ergo, money. Since you’re not required to pay a monthly subscription for GTA Online, that money comes from Shark Cards. These cards are very fairly priced and the revere-sale promotions are so frequent these days that those amounts are pretty much the standard now. However, a new, lucrative heist would decrease Card sales, which would either result in fewer DLC updates, or updates with less content.

Have you bought any Shark Cards in GTA Online?

GTA Online’s PED Spawning Chopper Blades

Yeah, that headline is for real. GTA Online has plenty odd glitches here and there. Some of them are harmless, some of them are beneficial for the players. An ever decreasing number of them are game-breaking, but those are easy to avoid.

Glitches are very different from hacks and mods, as they require no outside files or third-party tampering. Glitches are kinda like bugs in the way that they’re already in the game due to mistakes in the game code. Our policy on glitches changes on a case-by-case basis, as we discourage the use of any glitch giving players an unfair advantage.

This one, however, is entirely harmless, but more than a bit hilarious. Then again, if you learn how to aim the PEDs strategically… but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. This glitch was first discovered by Redditor You_got_fragged, and later recorded on video by Overlord37.

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Now, most glitches “make sense” in the way that they are the result of flags not being set or a few mistyped integers causing some mishaps. This one, however, is insane. Just tracking down what the hell caused this thing would be an interesting exploration of programming.

Either way, all you need to do this glitch is a helicopter on one of the enhanced edition versions of the game (meaning there is a first person mode). Get into the chopper, lift up a few feet from the ground, enter first person mode, bring up the menu, check your friends list, wait for it to load and exit.

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To see what happened, you’d do best to switch to third person. Oh! What’s that corpse doing there? Repeat the glitch and switch to third person quickly to see a PED spawning in between the blades of the chopper rotor and promptly dying due to said blades spinning at high velocity.

Now, all that remains to be done is to perfect your dead-body-launched-by-helicopter-blades aiming skills in order to gain the tactical advantage. Imagine all the possibilities! Someone is trying to shoot you down? Launch a dead body at them and shoot them right back while they’re stunned in amazement.

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Go off the radar, fly over your intended trolling victim and drop a body. They’ll freak the hell out and not know how this happened. If you’re sneaky, you can fly away before they ever think to look up. Repeat this several times to make them think their game is possessed by a demon or something.

Use this to spread fear. Join up with a group of associates rolling with a CEO in a populated GTA Online public lobby. Get the other associates to arm up and act as proper escorts while you fly around seeding your intended route with countless corpses as warning to any trolls or griefers who want to try any funny business. You’re literally tossing dead people out of a helicopter en-masse to decorate your path. Who would mess with you?

What other uses can you come up with for this particular GTA Online glitch?

GTA 5 Gets Stunt Creator Early Thanks To Mods

Way back when Cunning Stunts was first teased alongside Further Adventures in Finance and Felony, the DLC was hyped up to be an overhaul of the GTA Online Content Creator, bringing new props and features. The announcements and trailer following the tease all seemed to back this up. However, when the DLC finally launched, the Content Creator was untouched.

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Rockstar clarified in the Newswire post dedicated to the launch of Cunning Stunts that the Stunt Race Creator update is still coming and will be released on the second of August. The delay has probably something to do with the bug that really kicked this whole thing off.

Creators of fan-made maps in GTA Online really tended to like the method of stacking props on one another to create new buildings or objects in order to make their map truly unique. Stacking props allowed players to introduce pretty innovative mechanics for their maps.

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Until it was removed, at least. After a particular patch, stacking props caused a bug where players could fall through not only the props themselves, but the bottom layer of GTA Online’s world map, causing them to fall into “blue hell”, the untextured eternal abyss below all video game maps that simply has the same color as the un-textured skybox in the game.

This bug proved to be a difficult one to squash, as Rockstar has been trying to do so ever since its detection. The removal of prop stacking proved to be a functional quick fix, however it wasn’t ever considered to be a permanent solution, simply due to the popularity of maps utilizing it.

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It’s likely that the effort put into fixing this one bug also lead the team to start fixing other things that were wrong with the Creator. Hey, if they’re touching the thing, might as well fix more than one issue right? And if they’re at it, why not add more features? And Props?

That’s pretty much how we picture the thought process that went into coming up with the Cunning Stunts concept. Except, then they realised they won’t be done with it all in time and came up with a regular DLC idea to tide GTA Online players over. Then again – what better way to hype up the Stunt Race Creator than to allow players to race on some maps made using said creator?

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Anyhow, a quick glance at your calendar will tell you that the 2nd of August is still a ways out. However, if you’re itching for some custom Cunning Stunts racing and happen to play GTA 5 on PC, the modding community has you covered. Kind of.

With the props for the Cunning Stunts map being in the game, just not unlocked in the Creator, the PC folks who put together the custom map creation tool have managed to access said props. This means that the fantastical Map Editor mod that we’ve covered in the past can now be used to make custom race-course using parts from Cunning Stunts.

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A few avid map-makers have taken this opportunity to put together their own custom race tracks using bits and pieces introduced with Cunning Stunts. Granted, these maps can only be played in single players, but they’re fun for some solo time-trial style racing.

We’ve collected some of the most promising maps of this nature in order for you to get a taste of what it will be like once the Stunt Race Creator is finally released for GTA Online. If you want to try your hand at it too, feel free to download the newly updated Map Editor mod.

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While currently only featuring the first complete track, Rutger100’s Cunning Stunts Racetracks mod will be updated frequently, adding several more tracks to the lineup. The tracks will presumably get bigger and bigger as the mod is being updated. The track features many of the tube elements that have become so iconic to the recent GTA Online DLC as well as some speed boosters.

Next up is what is more like an amusement park instead of a straight race. A set of thematic stunts a set up for you to experiment with at your leisure in Samkimahri’s Cunning Stunts Stunt Park. The mod is filled with loops, massive jumps, wall rides and more for your to explore. This is a perfect map on which to practise if you’re having a tough time with Stunt Races.

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We also have something of a more straight-faced stunt course with an emphasis on jumps. The McKenzie Stunt Jump map by Flukey_th takes players out to the desert of Blaine County for a thrilling ride through a tube, across a massive loop and more. This one is more of a one-off map, but it’s really well put together, it a bit easy for you veteran stunters out there.

Last but not least we have a map coming from the genius modder Guadmaz, who also happens to be the mastermind behind the Map Editor mod. Incidentally, this mod is designed to work with said Editor. The Maze Bank Ascent mod is supposed to be a copy of the map of the same name from Cunning Stunts with a few slight modifications. Again, this is a great track for some practice runs.

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Have you used the Map Editor to build some custom stunt maps for GTA 5? Feel free to share them for us to enjoy while we wait on the release of the Stunt Race Creator!

One Feature To Revolutionize GTA Online

While a steady stream of content updates are constantly adding new gameplay mechanics to GTA Online, there is a trend in Rockstar’s DLC style that would make calling these “add-ons” more prudent instead. Namely, once something gets added to GTA Online, it is rarely changed – or “updated” really.

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Both Cunning Stunts and Further Adventures in Finance and Felony have added all new layers to gameplay in order to keep the game fresh and the players engaged. Cunning Stunts added all new Stunt Races and Premium Races with an overhaul of the Content Creator on the way. Finance and Felony added the whole new CEO system, including buying and selling missions wherein you need to transport precious cargo to various locations on the map.

However, in spite of these updates, some of the core mechanics of GTA Online haven’t been touched since initial release in 2013. While the game remains one of the most polished, content-rich, entertaining and popular multiplayer experiences in the world, there is always some room for improvement.

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While the relatively recent Freemode Events update did mix things up for the random faffing about aspect of the game, it didn’t revisit the basic mechanics. Finance and Felony accentuated the issue with Hydra griefers, sparking a hate in the community burning almost as hot as the spite felt towards the hackers (though that particular issue has been solved).

Some players have proposed a very simple change that would make the trolling of the griefers much more difficult, would make stealth meaningful, would freshen up PvP and lend random firefights a new sense of freshness – remove player blips from the map.

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That’s it. If you no longer know in advance where other players are, things will immediately become more interesting. You’ll need to pay attention to blending in with the PEDs and being stealthy. You’ll need to actually put effort into hunting your prey. Most importantly, you won’t have a massive target painted on your ass for airborne dickheads.

This change would bring a new level of tactics to GTA Online, forcing players to be more reserved and to play smart. Witless, all-guns-blazing players will be unable to survive in such a world. New services for Lester or VIPs would be added to reveal the locations of specific players, all players, or something more special like revealing all players with wanted levels or bounties.

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Certain actions, like shooting repeated, breaking the speed limit or committing a crime will temporarily flash your blip on the map. Using silencers would mitigate the first penalty and stealthily killing your enemies with melee weapons, for example, would also allow you to remain undetected. This new feature would open up new potential for further features that would mix up freemode gameplay.

Many issues often cited by players (though these issues are usually caused by other players) would be solved with one simple stroke should this change be implemented.

Would the removal of player blips on the map of GTA Online be to your liking? Do you think this would improve the game, or make it worse?

GTA Online Cunning Stunts Vehicles In SP (Mod)

It should come as no surprise that the content that was added to GTA Online with the Cunning Stunts DLC has since made it to single player thanks to the work of modders. The modding community supporting Grand Theft Auto 5 have been pretty vigilant about adapting the content of the Online DLCs to single player, when possible.

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GTA 5 has stayed pretty much the same as it was on launch, barring a few of the early Online DLCs adding content to it too. However, most of the truly beefy content updates the multiplayer portion received over the years stayed out of story mode. As insane as it must sound, there are actually players out there who prefer a solo experience but have already seen everything there is to see in GTA 5.

These are the players to tend to start modding their games, adding new content, game mechanics, missions and items to the experience to extend the playtime. While some have no qualms about going off the hook in the name of fun, playing with mods that add the Iron Man suit, or subject the world to a monarchy ruled by monkeys, others prefer to stick to lore-friendly mods.

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In fact, some are so adamant about being lore-friendly, that they only mod items, missions and vehicles into the game which have already appeared in the GTA franchise as canon. This gave rise to the trend of creating mods that bring Online DLC content to story mode.

Now, obviously some things like Adversary Modes and new job types don’t translate well to single player, so sometimes these mods stuck just to the vehicles. The most recent Online DLC, Cunning Stunts, added a whopping 13 of those and solo players were eager to get their hands on them.

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A modder team comprised of _CP_, mockba.the.borg, sjaak327, WildBrick and robi29 delivered on that and then some. Recent updates to the game messed with vehicle spawning in single player, essentially breaking all older Online vehicle mods. Their newest project, titled “mpstunt in SP” grew into something much larger than the name would imply.

Not only does this new mod offer players a stable and reliable way of spawning modded vehicles while playing single player (any use of this mod or anything similar in GTA Online will ban your cheating ass), but it includes all the vehicles of recent DLCs, including Cunning Stunts, Further Adventures in Finance and Felony, Lowriders Classics and the various one-off vehicle mini-DLCs in between.

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The team is planning on expanding the mod with further DLC vehicles, both in the future and retroactively. The mod is fairly difficult to get running, so if you’re not too tech-savvy, get ready to embarrass yourself in the comments pleading for assistance.

In spite of the constant updates Rockstar is rolling out for GTA Online, there is still no word on any single player DLC ever coming. Hopes for this are dwindling, especially when you take into account that there really isn’t a business case for it in light of Online’s success.

Would you prefer if Rockstar added the Online DLC content to story mode as well?

GTA 5’s Best Pokémon Mods

With Pokémon Go taking the world by storm, countless players have found that either their old fandom for Pokémon has been rekindled, or that they are now interested in what this fad about pocket monsters is all about. Considering the massive popularity of both GTA 5 and the Pokémon franchise as a whole, it is no surprise that the audience of the two overlap.

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We’ve seen what overlapping fans bases can do in the past. With the massive modding community backing GTA 5 being filled with all kinds of talented (or absolutely insane) people, it was only a matter of time before we started seeing Pokémon themed mods popping up.

Granted, these all pre-date Pokémon Go, but that makes sense. All of the Pokémon fans are busy playing Go, after all. However, if you happen to be living in one of the many countries where the app hasn’t been released yet and don’t want to risk the viruses which come hand-in-hand with .apks downloaded from file sharing sites, you’ll be looking for something to tide you over.

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That’s where Pokémon themed GTA 5 mods come into the picture. Various modders have created several files that add a bit of Kanto to Los Santos. While no one has gone to the lengths to create a total conversion mod for the game, populating the whole map with randomly appearing Pokémon you can battle and capture, a few neat little mods have sprung up.

Many of these mods are pretty simple and don’t really add much in terms of gameplay. Rather, they change textures and such to make the world of GTA 5 feel a tad more like that of Pokémon.

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First up, we have what has become a symbol for the franchise. The Pokéball, a small red and white sphere with a button along its equator is pretty central to the whole thing. These devices somehow manage to convert living Pokémon into some form of energy, and store them within without harming them in any way. The Pokémon retain consciousness, as evidenced by some of them managing to break free from the Pokéballs if strong enough.

Once a trainer captures a Pokémon with such a ball, said creature will follow the trainer with unparalleled loyalty – in most cases, at least. Luckily for trainers, Pokémon don’t tend to get jealous, hence the tagline “gotta catch ’em all”. Imagine the catastrophe if your magikarp got pissed because you captured that new zubat…

RUNitsAlpha, an experienced modder whose work we’ve featured before, has brought the Pokéball to GTA 5 as a retexture of the baseball already present in the game. Granted, functionality-wise, it will still be just a baseball, so no energy-conversion-magic going on here. However, if throwing Pokéball lookalikes at police or gang members just for the heck of it brings you joy, power to you! It’s certainly a nice way to smuggle a bit of Pokémon into the game.

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Next up we have a mod that was used in the creation of one of Merfish’s nightmare fuelling videos. His recreation of the Pokémon anime’s intro in GTA 5 using the Rockstar Editor and a healthy dose of mods is still one of his most terrifying, disturbing and hilarious creations yet. Following the publication of the video, he released a texture pack that contained all the character mods he used in the video.

In Merfish’s vision, Trevor jumps in as Ash, Franklin replaces Brock and Pikachu is played by… Michael. That’s just the start of all the weirdness, though. Lester jumps in as Mew, Floyd plays Caterpie and Simeon replaces Zubat. In total, 35 characters across the game have had their textures changed to resemble some character or creature from the Pokémon franchise.

These textures try to be as true to the source material as they can be without actually being new models. While succeeding to some extent, humor was also a goal here, resulting in some of them being… terrifying. There is plenty of satire going on here, so if you want more of a serious homage to Pokémon in your game, this may not be the way to go. However, this mod is perfect for a few laughs.

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Next we have a pretty… deviant mod. We’re not quite sure what combination of drugs was required to put the author in a state where he came up with this, but it must have been one hell of a trip. RUNitsAlpha returns with a simple yet pretty far out mod which replaces the textures of the whales with the skin if Pikachu. Really.

Of course, unless you’re using some kind of spawning mod, encountering whales in GTA 5 isn’t something you’re going to do every 5 minutes. Spawning in the Pikachu whales might be great fun, however it is probably even better to install the mod, but refrain from hunting down the whales all together. Leave the mod on, and weeks later once you’ve already forgotten about it, you might encounter a Pikachu whale and be absolutely dumbfounded by your discovery.

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Or, you know, just spawn hundreds of them mid-air and watch as the pika-whale-ocalypse devastates Los Santos. That’s cool too.

Last up we have what is the most functional of the four mods we’re showcasing today. This mod acts as a sort of add-on for JulioNIB’s Iron Man mod, which is among the best made and most popular mods out there for GTA 5. RX1StrideR’s mod re-skins the Iron Man armor to look like a freaking Gyrarados.

That’s right. With this mod, you can be Gyrarados. Sure, you don’t get any of the beastly Pokémon’s abilities, but you get to look like it and swim like it. Well, you can also walk and fly, but those will cause clipping and immersion breaking issues, respectively so we caution against it. Either way, you get to be freaking Gyrarados. What more do you want?

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Keep in mind that this mod is a tad buggy. Switching to first person mode while you’re Gyrarados will crash your game – because no one is cool enough to look through Gyrarados’ eyes. As we said before, there are some clipping issues as well, but that is to be expected with a model of this size.

These mods might not quite turn GTA 5 into a fully blown 3D open-world Pokémon experience, but they do bring some of the series’ magic to the world of Los Santos. For fans stuck in regions where Pokémon Go has yet to be released, playing around with these should distract you long enough while getting you your Pokémon fix while you’re waiting on the newest AR sensation to launch.

Which of the Pokémon themed GTA 5 mods is your favorite?

GTA Online Upcoming Vehicles

GTA Online received its latest major DLC update yesterday in the form of Cunning Stunts, an all new take on racing.

Cunning Stunts pits players against one another in reality-defying races above the Los Santos skyline. The new stunt tracks are made up of insane jumps, loops, wallrides and all kinds of industrious traps that could knock you right out of the competition.

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Of course, when you have an update that’s all about racing, you can’t go about it without some new rides to show for it – 13 new rides, to be exact. That list includes supers, sports cars, bikes, muscle cars and more, making the wishes of the car enthusiasts for more garage space even more valid.

Rockstar also added 16 of their own stunt race maps to tide you over until the 2nd of August, as the promised Content Creator overhaul won’t be released before that. GTA Online players were a tad bummed about that, but it isn’t too big of a tragedy with all the content that was added anyway.

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Plus, in case somehow all this new stuff wouldn’t last you till the release of the Stunt Race Creator, there are always Premium Races for you to sink your teeth (and money) into. These have limited availability and are recommended only for the most skilled of racers out there. Why?

Simple. Only 1st place gets a money reward, however it is one hell of a reward. Then again, if you have cash to spare but are hurting for some RP, go for it as all participants will receive triple the regular RP of races.

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Rockstar isn’t taking any chances though, so if even that isn’t enough, don’t fret as more content will be released between now and the 2nd. This includes new race tracks and, most importantly, new vehicles!

Back to the title of this article though…

The PC community being the industrious bunch of people that it is, has uncovered the fact that some of the aforementioned vehicles are technically already in GTA Online, but are locked. However, with a bit of virtual elbow grease, they have managed to dig up their names and even load up the models into the game engine for a sneak peek of what to expect.

In total, five new vehicles have been revealed so far including two sports cars, a truck, a bike and a large pickup truck. All of these have been since loaded up to show off their in-game looks and liveries. One vehicle is a variant of a returning ride, while the others are originals.

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Kicking things off with the returning player, the Drift Tampa is a variant of the loved muscle car tricked out for racing and stunting, with a spoiler, engine exhaust coming out of the hood and some body mods differentiating it from the basic model.

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Next up is the Lynx, seemingly based on an Aston Martin which will also be added to the sports class. The Cliffhanger is the new two wheeler to be added to the game and looks pretty bulky and tough, like a bike that can take a few hard falls and keep going.

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The Contender is the new pickup, presumably a 4×4. In spite of Cunning Stunts’ theme, this doesn’t look like something you’d take out for a race. There is an optional bed cover for this ride as well as a mean looking frontal cage.

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Finally, the most unique of the bunch is the Rally Truck, which looks like someone cut the Brickade in half and painted it hot red. We’re not sure what kind of functionality this thing will have, but hopefully it will be as useful as its real life counterpart.

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We have no info on their stats, specs or price, nor is it clear when they will be unlocked, but you can be sure to see them speeding around in GTA Online before the 2nd of August comes around.

Chances are some of these will be released alongside some new Stunt Race maps to buff out the current roster of 16. While these were the only rides revealed by snooping in the files, it is possible that ever more are on the way that haven’t been uncovered by the players yet.

Which of the new GTA Online rides are you looking forward to?