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Troubleshooting FAQ

Problems? Take a read.

Please note: Make sure you read the whole FAQ thoroughly. If your problems are not solved in our FAQ, try our support forums or click here to contact Take-Two Support.

Supported Operating Systems:

  • Windows 98
  • Windows 98se
  • Windows Millennium
  • Windows 2000 Professional (Workstation)
  • Windows XP (home and Professional)

Operating Systems that are NOT supported:

  • Windows 95
  • Windows NT (Any version)
  • Mac OS
  • Linux
  • BEOS

Minimum Requirements:

  • Pentium III 450MHz or AMD Athlon Processor
  • 96mb RAM
  • Soundcard compatible with DirectX 8.1
  • Videocard with at least 16mb of memory
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse

Recommended Requirements:

  • Pentium III 700MHz+ or AMD Athlon Processor
  • 128mb+ RAM
  • Soundcard compatible with DirectX 8.1
  • Video Card with at least 32mb+ of memory

If you're comp meets those requirements, yet you are still having problems, do the following:

Update DirectX
If you're using an older version of DirectX, you're game may lag or not even run at all. You should update to DirectX 8.1. You can download the latest version of DirectX at

Don't know if you've updated or not? Go to START/RUN and type in DXDIAG. It will tell you of your processor speed, ram, and version of DirectX you have installed.

Update Video-Card Drivers

For those that know what video-card they have, skip to STEP 2. Otherwise, go to START/RUN and type in DXDIAG. Then go to the DISPLAY tab. It should tell you what type of video-card you have. Example of DXDIAG information. As you can see, I use an ATI Radeon 7200. (Actually a 64mb DDR VIVO) according to

Go to your video-card manufacturers website and search their driver downloads archive. According to ATI, the latest driver for my card is the "Recommended Driver -". Damn, I need to update mine, lol. Anyways, download this file. Please note that driver-updates are usually high in file-size, so if you're on a 56k, expect to wait maybe an hour or two.

Install the driver. Just double-click the .exe and it'll update the files accordingly, reboot after installation, and you're up to par.

Video Card Manufacturer Sites:

RAM usage
If you're going to play GTA3, and you're at the bare-bone ammount of 128mb of RAM such as I, it's a safe bet that background applications will slow the game down. Before playing GTA3, you may want to shut-off all programs. Example: ICQ, MSN IM, AOL IM, Browsers, Folders. You may also want to press CTRL/ALT/DEL ONCE and close all applications except EXPLORER and SYSTRAY and any FIREWALL you may wish to keep running and other necessities.

How you run the game...
A common problem is users playing the game at too high of a detail level for their comp to run. For example, I use a PIII 450MHz, 128mb SDRAM, 64mb Video. If I run at 1280x1024x32 with graphics at max, I'll probably get as high as 10fps. Not exactly enjoyable. If I wanted the game to run clean, I would want to play it at 800x600x32 or even 800x600x16 with the other options at max.

Grand Theft Auto III requires Microsoft DirectX 8.1 to run. As a consequence we recommend that the video and sound drivers installed are also DirectX 8.1 compliant. Even better, use a true hardware DirectX 8.0 / DirectX 8.1 card.

Windows XP
We recommend manufacturer distributed drivers for Windows XP (i.e. drivers that expose the user controls for changing settings on the particular piece of hardware), instead of the default drivers installed by Microsoft as part of the machine setup process.

Grand Theft Auto III requires at least 96 MB of memory to run. For optimal performance at least 128 MB is recommended (256 MB preferred).

Running Applications
Grand Theft Auto III has been designed to take best advantage of the available machine it is running upon, therefore we recommend that you close down all applications before running Grand Theft Auto III.

Video Memory
Grand Theft Auto III requires a video card with 16 MB of video memory or greater to run. Grand Theft Auto III will refuse to run if it is launched on a machine with less than 16 MB video memory.

AMD K6/2 and K6/III processors
These AMD processors both play Grand Theft Auto III at too low a speed to be acceptable.

Save Games
Grand Theft Auto III uses the “My Documents” directory of the currently logged in user to store the “GTA3 USER FILES” directory. This is where we store save games. This was chosen to allow each user on Windows 2000 or Windows XP to have their own saves.

Take-Two Support Suggestions

Here is a checklist of general fixes for GTA 3 PC to try first.

  1. For Windows XP users there is a patch that needs to be installed. It replaces a few system files that have been found to make the game work better. (Along with the other fixes below) If you are not sure if you have the patch installed here is an easy way to find out. Click Start -> Run. Erase whatever is in the box and type in DXDIAG. Then click on the DirectX Files tab and look for these two files... (These files are located at the top of the DirectX Files tab so they are easy to find.)

    D3d8.dll ver 5.1.2600.29 <- You have the patch
    Ddraw.dll ver 5.1.2600.29 <- You have the patch

    D3d8.dll ver 5.1.2600 <- You do not have the patch
    Ddraw.dll ver 5.1.2600 <- You do not have the patch

    If you do not have these files or version numbers do not match then you do not have the patch installed. Go to this website;en-us;Q306676 to download the patch and make sure you have DirectX 8.1 video & sound drivers as well.

  2. If you are getting no textures or an incredibly dense fog in the game with an NVIDIA video card, you need to enable Fog Table Emulation.

    Right Click on an empty area of the desktop
    Left Click on Properties
    Click on the Settings Tab
    Click on Advanced Properties
    Click on the GeForce Tab (it will have the same name as you video card)
    Click on the Additional Properties
    Click on the Direct3D Setting Tab
    Place a Check Mark next to Enable For Table Emulation
    Click Apply
    Click OK and keep clicking OK until all those windows are closed. Then try the game again.
    For more information go to their website:

  3. Close your background applications, use CTRL+ALT+DEL. This will bring up close programs. END TASK on each item except for EXPLORER and SYSTRAY. You will need to repeat for each item. Now when you do this give about 8 seconds in-between hitting END TASK and doing CTRL+ALT+DEL. If you do not you will reboot your system and will have to start this task all from the beginning. If a another window pops up just hit END TASK again. After all but EXPLORER and SYSTRAY are left, Then start your program up.

    For XP users:
    To close your background applications, use CTRL+ALT+DEL. This will bring up the Windows Security Box and you need to click on Task Manager. END TASK on each item except for EXPLORER.EXE as that is Windows itself. You will need to repeat the above step for each item. Now when you do this give about 8 seconds in-between hitting END TASK and doing CTRL+ALT+DEL. If you do not you will reboot your system and will have to start this task all from the beginning. If another window pops up just hit END TASK again. After all but EXPLORER.EXE is left, you can then start your program up. Once you reboot the system, all of the items you just removed will be back.

  4. Check your display settings in Windows.
    Go to Start, Settings, then Control Panel.
    Double-click the Display icon.
    Click the Settings Tab.
    For the Color Palette setting, select 16-bit High colors. (Do not use 24 or
    32 bit true color)
    For the Desktop Area, set it to 800x600 or around 1024 x 768 if you wish.
    Click Apply, and restart the system if prompted.

    If you set your resolution to those settings and still get the error message, this usually means that the monitor itself may not be setup correctly.

  5. Check your monitor settings by Right-clicking on the Desktop and choose Properties from the menu. Click the Settings tab, then the Advanced Properties button. Click the Monitor tab (this may say "Unknown, Standard or Default"). Click the Change button, and after Windows builds the driver information database, select the proper monitor type (Plug And Play is usually the correct choice; check with your monitor or system manufacturer if you are unsure). Click Apply, then Ok or Close, and restart the system when prompted. Make sure only one monitor is listed and not two. Remove any other ones listed that are not the true monitor you have connected to your computer now.

  6. Make sure your video card has certified DirectX 8.1 drivers from the manufacturer of the video or sound card. Note that DirectX 8.1 does not load during the install if you do not have it already installed. If you look at the Install CD, you'll see a folder labeled Direct X Runtime. Inside that folder are Direct X installation programs. Choose the appropriate one for your operating system and run it to install Direct X 8.1.

  7. This game requires Direct X 8.1 to run. 3DFX, the company that made Voodoo cards, is no longer in business, so no more official drivers that support newer versions of Direct X will be available. There are third party drivers available (a good place to look at these is the website) but as these are not official drivers, you may find that this game will not run on one of these video cards.

  8. If you are experiencing short, periodic slowdowns while driving, Grand Theft Auto III may be having trouble retrieving data at a fast enough rate from your hard disk. It is recommended that you run your systems Defragmentation utility regularly to allow optimum speed in the game's performance. To begin the process: Click on Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Scandisk or Disk Cleanup then Defrag.

  9. For more flowing gameplay it is recommended that in game you set the game to 800 x 600 16bit & turn off Frame Synch, Frame Limiter & Wide Screen. Regardless of your system specs this is the most optimized for flowing game play.

  10. If you are experiencing odd player controls, such as sluggish reaction from the character, or random and uncontrollable spinning, you may want to check a few things. If you have a force feedback mouse, such as the iFeel mouse, or an infrared optical mouse, you may need to disable all background applications that maybe running including anti-virus software. There may be an icon in your taskbar that you can disable. If this remedy does not work, you may need to simply use a standard non force feedback or non infrared mouse. If you have a joystick that you aren't using during game play, you may want to either unplug the joystick or disable it in the Gaming Options of your Control Panel. Simply click on the device and then click Remove.

  11. If you have a Nvidia video card make sure you have the 28.32 detonator drivers. Should you have the new Nforce motherboard (with the intergrated video & sound card built on the motherboard) then make sure you install the Nforce drivers and not the Detonator drivers.

  12. If you are receiving an error stating that you need to have a 12meg video card, and you have a 16meg video card or higher. First make sure your hardware acceleration is set all the way to 'full'. Also we have found that some video cards that have what is called an Intergrated ramdac are seeing some choppy or delayed framerate during gameplay. (Which shows what kind of ramdac you have in your Dxdiag.)

    To check what ramdac you have, Click Start -> Run. Erase whatever is in the box and type in 'DXDIAG'. Click on the Display tab and on the upper left hand side it should show you either Internal Ramdac or Intergrated Ramdac. If nothing is showing for your Dac Type then the gameplay will be choppy. Reinstalling your drivers or contacting your videocard manufacturer should fix this problem.

If you need further help...

It will also help us if you can send Take-Two any and all screenshots of the error message along with the both DXDIAG & MSINFO text files. These files are not on your system. You will have to make them and the instructions are shown below.

DXDIAG -> Click Start -> Run. Erase whatever is in the box and type in 'DXDIAG'. Click on 'Save All Information' and save the file to a place that you can find it later (the desktop is a good place). Attach it to an email, and send it back to us with MSINFO32 shown below.

MSINFO32 -> Now put the game or program cd into the cd-rom drive then do the following below...

Click Start, and then click Run. In the Open box, type 'MSINFO32' Without the quotes and then click OK. This will bring up the Microsoft System Information window. Click on File then EXPORT. (WARNING: DO NOT USE SAVE) Now where it says 'File name' type in MSINFO32, and on the top where it says Save in make sure it says 'desktop'. Now click on save and then replay back to me with the DXDIAG.txt and MSINFO32.txt file as attachments and the complete problem you are having with the program.

NOTE: Windows 2000 users remember when you first open MSINFO32, you must click first on System Information, then the 'Action' button on the top left menu bar, then click on 'Save as test file'. Contact Take-Two support be clicking here. Remember to send us both files and we will tell you of what we find that may be a recorded or unrecorded issue with the program.

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