As many hopeful job creators quickly found out, the Content Creator restricts you from being able to place anything on top of props. Attempting to do so will give you a message stating "Placed items cannot be stacked". This is extremely restrictive, and we can only hope that Rockstar will realize the potential that's being wasted and remove this arbitrary limitation at some point.
Until then, here is a workaround which allows you to stack props, and any other item, on top of other props. This method also allows you to place anything in mid-air.
(Note: Since the in-game phone is disabled inside the Content Creator, I've taken the pictures with an actual phone).
1) Place the prop which you want to stack something on top of.
For ease of stacking, props with a larger top surface work best for the foundation.
These are the two most basic building blocks.
Large Corrugated Cabin: This is the easiest block to work with. It is a symmetrical, uniform block that is highly versatile and provides consistent results. It can be considered the most basic block, as it will generally be the most functional option for foundations and scaffolding.
Float Pile: This block has a lot of utility, managing to fill niches that the LCC cannot. It is useful for situations where a smaller foundation or a smaller sized block are required. It can be climbed directly onto, allowing for the quick creation of climbable staircases.
In regards to height, 5 Float Piles = 4 LCC.
The Float Pile is also the same height as the Large Ramp, which makes it possible to extend the Large Ramp indefinitely.
This is a list of the props which can be used for foundations, sorted by category. The props that are especially good for stacking are highlighted in orange.
- Large Corrugated Cabin
- Small Corrugated Cabin
- Cabin with Windows
Construction (can be used as foundation for the Construction Fence)
- High Med Shuttering
- High Long Shuttering
- Empty Container
- Open Yellow Carriage
- Open Brown Carriage
- Closed Yellow Carriage
- Closed Brown Carriage
Crates and Boxes
- Float Pile
- Med Metal Dumpster
- Large Metal Dumpster
- Large Dumpster
- Electrics Container
- Med Transformer
- Small Ramp
- Medium Ramp
- Water Ramp
- Hotdog Trailer
- Snacks Trailer
- Catering Trailer 2
- Half Wrecked Bus
- Full Wrecked Bus
There are a few more props which can potentially be used as foundation blocks, but were excluded from this list due to having problems that make them impractical for general use. The issues with each of them are explained below.
Diesel Tank: A bar running across the top makes it impossible for most props to be placed on it. Items small enough to fit beside it, such as markers, can still be placed on top.
Large Transformer: Some wires and a bar that are attached to the top make it impossible for most props to be placed on it. Items small enough to fit between these, such as markers, can still be placed on top.
Small Dumpster Ramp/Large Dumpster Ramp: The awkward shape of the top surface makes it impossible for most props to be placed on them. Markers can still be placed on top.
Large Ramp: Every item is either difficult or impossible to place on it, including markers.
Catering Trailer 2 almost ended up here, because a vent on the roof prevents items from being placed in some positions over the back tires. However, the area affected by this is a small fraction of the top surface. In fact, they can even stack on top of each other.
2) If you are in aerial view, switch your camera to ground view.
Press "Back" on Xbox or "Select" on PS3.
If you are creating a Race, be sure to go into first-person view as well, so that you're looking out your car's windshield.
Note: If you are using "Edit" on an item that was already placed somewhere, you can still use aerial view.
3) Place an item on top of the prop.
It might seem like a few steps have been skipped, but it's really this easy. At this point, you only need to meet two conditions to stack an item.
- You must be placing the item as far away from you as possible.
- You must be placing the item on an acceptable surface.
The first one is pretty simple, you just keep your cursor as far away from you as possible. This is what tricks the game into thinking you're placing an item onto the ground, instead of onto another item.
Note: If you are using "Edit" on an item that was already placed somewhere, this distance doesn't matter.
Of course, having your cursor at the maximum distance away from you means that you cannot simply move it towards you. If you want to move it closer to you, you need to walk backwards.
The need to move backwards like this is part of what makes LCC such a good scaffolding material. It's fairly long, so aiming it at your work area will allow you to walk forwards and backwards to position your cursor as needed.
The second point is also straightforward. You can make the game overlook the fact that you're placing an item on top of another item, but it still won't let you place a huge item on top of a very small surface, for example.
How can you be sure if you created an acceptable surface?
If you're trying to determine whether or not a surface is acceptable, there are three main factors to consider:
- Is the surface flat?
- Is it large enough for the item to fit on?
- Is it too steep?
These should be largely self-explanatory, since they're the same things you need to take into account when placing items on normal ground. Of course, the game tells you if any of these things are wrong by making the item you're trying to place turn semi-transparent.
As a point of clarification, "flat" here just means "smooth and straight". It does not mean "perfectly horizontal". You can place items on slanted surfaces, as long as it is not too steep.
Keep in mind that the surface does not need to be continuous. The "Construction Fence" prop, for example, only has 3 points of contact with the ground (the 3 visible posts on it). As long as those 3 points are all touching parallel surfaces, it doesn't matter if they're on 1 continuous object or 3 different objects with space in-between them.
Many objects work the same way, even if the points of contact aren't visible or obvious. Some objects will also fit on a smaller surface than you would expect, because their points of contact are not right at the edge. As an example, LCC does not need a continuous surface (just the corners and a central point to place it are enough).
When in doubt, try it out. A little experimentation can go a long way.
Can you place props beside each other to create a single surface?
Yes. This is as far as you can misalign LCC normally:
But you're able to misalign it as far as you want to here:
Why are so many props unable to be used as foundation blocks?
A block must be above a certain height to work as a foundation, and it must also be treated as a solid object by the Content Creator when placing other items.
The first one is hard to miss. If the block is not tall enough, then you will be unable to attempt placing your item on top of it. The cursor will select the prop you're trying to place your item on top of, instead of giving you any indication that you're trying to place an item there.
The second one is easy to test for. When you try to move the cursor on top of the prop, it will instead move through the prop. Although quite a few props do this, two props which demonstrate it especially well are the "Small Closed Container" and "Large Closed Container". It will be impossible to put the cursor on top of the prop.
If you are unsure, and wish to test if a prop can be used as a foundation for other props, then you will want to try placing the prop which is the easiest to put down.
Chevron Road Sign: This has the smallest horizontal dimensions of any prop, making it the ideal prop for testing . There is a "Left" and "Right" variant of the sign, but they are functionally identical. They can be placed on almost any prop, except for those which cannot act as a foundation.
Attempting to stack this on another prop will show you whether or not that prop can potentially be used as a foundation. If you only want to place markers on the prop, then you should test by trying to place a marker instead. Just make sure you're aiming high enough to get the cursor above the target prop before deciding that it didn't work.
When an item you're trying to place turns semi-transparent, it means there's something wrong. Attempting to place it will result in an error message. These are the possible errors you can receive.
- "Placed items cannot be stacked": You are too close to the cursor. Back up, or try aiming upwards at a steeper angle. The reason this sometimes works is explained under "Tips & Tricks".
- "The ground must be level": If you know the surface is acceptable (see previous sections), then the item you're placing is not oriented correctly. The most likely reason is that the bottom of the item is not lined up with the surface you're trying to place it on (like if one side is hanging over the edge, for example). Moving your cursor around will allow you to find the correct positioning. When you do, the item you are trying to place will change from semi-transparent to solid, and the "Place" option will appear in the bottom right corner of the screen.
- "The area must be clear": Something is physically preventing the item from being placed. Either you are trying to place it on a prop that does not work as a foundation, or you are positioning the item too closely to something solid, which is preventing the item from being placed. If you are sure the foundation is valid, then adjust the position of your item to move it away from the offending object.
- "Maximum Props placed": You will notice that your cursor has also turned red and is now displaying an exclamation mark. This error indicates that you've used all 50 props that you were allotted. You will need to delete some props before you can place any more.
- There is no error message, but also no "Place" option, only "Edit": Many props which don't work as a foundation will cause this to happen. If you are sure the foundation is valid, then it means you are too close to the cursor. Back up, or try aiming upwards at a steeper angle. The reason this sometimes works is explained under "Tips & Tricks".
4) (Optional) Delete the prop you used for the foundation.
This will not affect any items which were already stacked on top of it, leaving them floating in mid-air.
When a match starts, gravity only affects people and vehicles. Everything else stays where you put it.
Alright, so how do I extend the Large Ramp?
The first thing you'll want to do is place a Large Ramp, then place 6 Float Piles behind it in a 3x2 grid.
I recommend not perfectly centering the grid with the ramp, because your next ramp will have difficulty being centered (since it will be more likely for your cursor to fall into the gap which splits the two rows of Float Piles). This doesn't need to be an exact science, so offsetting the grid a little is fine.
Then, place your next Large Ramp on top of the Float Piles.
To extend the ramp further, follow these steps again. Place another 6 Float Piles behind your current grid.
Then place another 6 Float Piles behind the top ramp.
And place your next Large Ramp on top of the Float Piles.
You can continue this process for as long as you want. Keep in mind that you're free to remove the Float Piles as soon as they're no longer necessary.
With an efficient use of Float Piles, you can connect as many as 44 Large Ramps this way.
Since 4 LCC are the same height as 5 Float Piles, you can place your 6th Large Ramp on top of a single stack of 4 LCC. This stack will need to be 2 blocks wide if you want to place a 3x2 grid of Float Piles on top of it.
Helpful Tips & Tricks
- The easiest way to stack an item is to simply place it on the ground, then highlight it and select "Edit" to move it onto the stack. When you edit a placed item, you can even stack it using aerial view. This means you're never forced to leave aerial view, since you can still place an item normally and then move it onto a stack.
- While editing an item, it is possible to place it in otherwise impossible locations, even places where it overlaps with other items. The first step is to position your cursor near an edge (like on top of another prop, or on a building, anywhere that's higher than your target surface). Then you just need to move the cursor off the edge so it lands on your target surface. This will sometimes make "Place" available for an instant, which means it will be possible to place it there. The time to press "Place" is very short, so it may be necessary to move the prop back and forth from the ledge to the surface repeatedly, spamming "Place", to do it successfully.
- If you're trying to stack an item, but are too close to the cursor, try aiming upwards at a steeper angle. This will count as maximum distance since there is nothing between you and the place you're aiming at. Your cursor will still be on the ground, directly below the point where it should have been in the air. The cursor cannot float, it will always drop straight down until it stops on something.
- Using the same idea, you can easily place an LCC next to one you're already standing on. Simply aim straight out over the side, and the cursor will be down on the ground, directly below the point where your cursor should have been in the air.
- Taking the same method another step further, it is possible to create a perfect stack of any height. Simply go to the desired height, and aim out past the edge of whatever you're standing on, so that your cursor will be positioned on the target location. You are then free to spam "Place", which will create a perfect stack from the ground up.
- You will need to make small adjustments to the direction you're looking when trying to stack an item. Go to Settings > Controls > Look-Around Sensitivity, and turn it down all the way.
- "Rotate" does not rotate the item you're placing, it rotates the cursor itself. Otherwise, the cursor will always face the same compass direction, along with any items being placed. You should avoid using "rotate" whenever possible, as your items will stay perfectly aligned, regardless of which way you're facing. This is extremely useful when stacking items.
- You can switch your camera to aerial, move the cursor, and then switch back to ground view to teleport to the cursor's location. This makes it possible to cover large vertical distances instantly, so you can immediately teleport on top of a stack, or any other obstacle, no matter how high it is. This is useful to remember when scaffolding, especially if you fall off while stacking items.
- When you're trying to stack an item that seems tough, keep an eye on the bottom right corner of the screen. The "Place" option will only show up when your item will be successfully placed, making it a reliable visual indicator, even when you're unable to see your cursor.
- When laying a foundation on the ground, aligning multiple blocks will sometimes be easier if you switch your camera to aerial view and look straight down.
- When placing an item on the ground, making slight movements is easier when you're positioned as close as possible to it.
- If your cursor will not go on top of a prop, make sure you're aiming high enough before trying anything else.
- If you set the time of day to "Noon", the shadows created by items can help you line them up before placing them.
- If you get too close to a foundation while trying to stack an item on top of it, your cursor can end up on the opposite side. If you think you stacked an item but can't find it, check the other side of the foundation to see if it's there.
- When you edit an item that was already placed, it will continue to face the same direction that it was already facing. However, if you have placed all 50 props first, then editing an item will automatically rotate it to match the direction of your cursor. This rotation can be undone by canceling the edit.
- If you're unable to switch to ground view for some reason (such as the surface being too steep), then you can switch to ground view elsewhere, pause, and use the map to warp to the target location. Even when in ground view, warping on the map will always work.
- You will need to make small movements to adjust your cursor's location. Use stealth mode.
- It is sometimes necessary to move somewhere manually. Back out of the menu to regain your ability to sprint and climb.
- When trying to switch your camera from aerial to ground, more space is required in Race than in Deathmatch. If you're using LCC for scaffolding, it must be at least 2 blocks wide for you to teleport on top of it.
- You can turn your vehicle without changing your location by steering sideways while holding Brake and Accelerate simultaneously. This can also help if your vehicle gets stuck somewhere.
- It is possible to place checkpoints on top of props while in ground view. Create a surface that is large enough to teleport onto when switching from aerial view, and teleport on top of it. Park near the edge of the surface, so that the arrow on your checkpoint is aimed over the side, and you should be able to place the checkpoint.
- Placing checkpoints on top of props can be somewhat touchy. If you are unable to place a checkpoint regardless of your position, you can try rotating the checkpoint. If there are any valid directions at your position, the checkpoint will change from red to yellow for a moment while it is rotating. It is possible to place a checkpoint when this happens by simply pressing "Place" when the color changes.
- When placing a checkpoint, if the checkpoint turns purple and shows the name of a prop, back up in the menu to select "Checkpoints" again. Make sure your cursor is not targeting a prop when you select this.
- Checkpoints that are placed on top of props will extend downward to the ground, meaning any player that moves between the prop and the ground will receive credit for the checkpoint. To prevent this, you can block off the area below the checkpoint. This area can be covered by 4 adjacent LCCs.
- After a checkpoint has been placed on top of props, the props cannot be removed. Removing the props underneath a checkpoint will render it invalid, causing it to be deleted when you test the map.
- When switching from ground view to aerial view, keep the button pressed until you're in aerial view. Otherwise, your camera view for driving will be changed the next time you switch to ground view.
tl;dr: It's basically Minecraft, except you can only place blocks on top of other blocks, and only at the maximum reach distance.
Hopefully we'll be getting some interesting maps out of this Enjoy!