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HELP!: GTA 1 doesn't work every time I open it


JaeDan 101
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Every time I open GTA 1, it says that there was a problem opening GTA 1

What compability do I use? I play on Windows 10

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Depends, which version of GTA 1 are you playing. To my knowledge, there are 2 versions of GTA 1 to play. The GTA 1 Maxย Pack and the official Rockstar version. Alternately, this could also be because of PC specs. For example, I played the GTA 1 Max Pack on my Intel i5 Windows 10 laptop.ย And at it ran just fine, with a small glitch in certain box crates. But that was because I ran it with 3DFX on, there are no issues on High Color mode.ย With the official Rockstar version of GTA 1, I couldn't even install the files. I tried doing a side by side setup again, this time using a higher powered Desktopย Geforce RTX 2060 on a 1080p monitor with 144hz. The Max Pack ran just as smooth as I predicted with no issues on 3DFX. The same goes for the Rockstar version, I even managed to install the files this time, and the game ran just as good.

If you are using the Max Pack version, I would strongly recommend going into the game's folder and going to settings, and set your refresh rate and monitor size. Then load up the EXE and go to settings, then press 4 (or whatever number it's set to) and run it in 3DFX. All of this could fix certain issues if you are running it on 3DFX. If left by default, expect issues to arise. Or, you could just... not play it on 3DFX, just leave it at high color mode. But I would still recommend doing the options above.ย ย ย 

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16 hours ago, ThermalMoon said:

this could also be because of PC specs

GTA 1 was released in 1997, PC's in 1997 has a very poor specs

ย 

I downloaded the game at Rockstar Classics

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Alright, I'll look into it. I will try to install the official Rockstar GTA 1 version again, see if there is anything I can do to make it run.

ย 

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16 hours ago, ThermalMoon said:

Depends, which version of GTA 1 are you playing. To my knowledge, there are 2 versions of GTA 1 to play. The GTA 1 Maxย Pack and the official Rockstar version. Alternately, this could also be because of PC specs. For example, I played the GTA 1 Max Pack on my Intel i5 Windows 10 laptop.ย And at it ran just fine, with a small glitch in certain box crates. But that was because I ran it with 3DFX on, there are no issues on High Color mode.ย With the official Rockstar version of GTA 1, I couldn't even install the files. I tried doing a side by side setup again, this time using a higher powered Desktopย Geforce RTX 2060 on a 1080p monitor with 144hz. The Max Pack ran just as smooth as I predicted with no issues on 3DFX. The same goes for the Rockstar version, I even managed to install the files this time, and the game ran just as good.

If you are using the Max Pack version, I would strongly recommend going into the game's folder and going to settings, and set your refresh rate and monitor size. Then load up the EXE and go to settings, then press 4 (or whatever number it's set to) and run it in 3DFX. All of this could fix certain issues if you are running it on 3DFX. If left by default, expect issues to arise. Or, you could just... not play it on 3DFX, just leave it at high color mode. But I would still recommend doing the options above.ย ย ย 

How do I know if what version did I install?

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Well, the 2 versions I mentioned are the ones available to download. There use to be the Steam version before it got taken down, but I would guess it's just the official Rockstar version that you can download from the website. That should be the version you are playing on, correct?


The Max Pack version can be downloaded on this site, it should be pinned at the top. Otherwise, let's see what I can gather from the official Rockstar version.

Edit 1: Now that I have installed the files, I have ran into an error when booting up the game. "Error 296.473, cannot find the default display mode". Let me see If I can fix that...

Edit 2: Alright, I managed to fix the problem. Run "GTA settings" as administrator, once you have made configurations ofย the game to your liking, you finally run the EXE with no problems (see edit 3).

Edit 3: And here comes another road block. The game is at a terrible resolution with an equally awfulย framerate. I found a way to change it, but whenever I go from 1024x768x16 to 1024x768x32, the game is just goes completely black. I tried to toggle with the frame rater, but the game starts to go too fast. Alright, Let's see how I'm going to fix this one.ย 

Edited by ThermalMoon
Forgot to mention
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Okay, so I searched as far and wide for any solutions to edit 3. And unfortunately, I can't find any way to make the Rockstar official version run any good. The frame rate is too awful to deal with, and taking off the frame limiter just makes it unplayable. If I had to narrow it down, it would have to be hardware performance. I know my Desktop ran this with no issues, but my laptop can't even run this lagfest of aย mess. I tried as best as I could to make it work, and I failed to do. I think your better off just trying to play the Max Pack, even my garbage laptop can handle it. But if you REALLY want to play the official Rockstar version, then you either upgrade your hardware or wait till Rockstar releases a 25th anniversaryย re-release of their old 2D games. Which for all we know, may never happen.

So again, apologies in advance. I tried as best as I could to make the official Rockstar version work.

Edited by ThermalMoon
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On 2/9/2021 at 11:06 PM, ThermalMoon said:

Okay, so I searched as far and wide for any solutions to edit 3. And unfortunately, I can't find any way to make the Rockstar official version run any good. The frame rate is too awful to deal with, and taking off the frame limiter just makes it unplayable. If I had to narrow it down, it would have to be hardware performance. I know my Desktop ran this with no issues, but my laptop can't even run this lagfest of aย mess. I tried as best as I could to make it work, and I failed to do. I think your better off just trying to play the Max Pack, even my garbage laptop can handle it. But if you REALLY want to play the official Rockstar version, then you either upgrade your hardware or wait till Rockstar releases a 25th anniversaryย re-release of their old 2D games. Which for all we know, may never happen.

So again, apologies in advance. I tried as best as I could to make the official Rockstar version work.

Yeah, this is a problem many people have, myself included. For me it was a problem specifically with Windows 10. As soon as I upgraded the exact problem you described happened. But then, I have heard of others who have no problems in Windows 10, so it varies. Still, for those of us who have this problem, we can no longer run GTA 1 or the London expansions natively on our PCs. What you have to do instead is to emulate the DOS versions, which is what the GTA Max Pack does. Alternatively, you could find an older PC. Anything up to and including Windows XP will run the games no problem.

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