Grand Theft Auto V for PC: three things you must know

Today is the first day Grand Theft Auto V is available for the PC. It's been available for gaming consoles for months, and today is a grand day in which the game is finally brought to a platform where it can shine brightest. But before you jump in and check out what all the hubbub is about, you're going to need to know three very important things. The first – do NOT begin streaming the game before you minimize your registration key window. Whatever you do, do NOT begin streaming when the game FIRST boots up.

1. Boot Screen Woes

When you first start the game up, Grand Theft Auto V shows you a registration key. This happens in more than one place, actually – through Steam, for starters. You'll see your registration key appear in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.

In fact, if you've never signed up for "Rockstar Games Social Club", there's a screen in which you'll have that little splash sitting right up over an "OK" button you'll need to be pressing to advance, so you'll probably want to minimize it as fast as possible.

The registration key appears at least twice before you begin playing the game – make certain you've taken it OFF your screen before you begin streaming on any network.

2. If you can get in, that is to say

Many – MANY – users are reporting force-closes and the inability to start the game in the first place. This is due to an error with login names which Rockstar is working furiously on a fix for now. If you have a username that doesn't work with 1-9 and A-Z, you're going to be out of luck, for now.

"We have identified an issue where players with Windows usernames that include characters not found in the table at the bottom of this page* will likely run into difficulties when attempting to download, install, or play GTAV," said Rockstar. "We are currently working on a fix for this issue."

*Supported Characters At Launch for Windows Usernames for GTAV PC:


a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

This is your WINDOWS username. The only fix – for now – is to log out and log back in with a username that uses only those standard characters. Or you can wait for Rockstar to pass down the fix. And twiddle your thumbs in the meantime.

3. Keeping your cars

If you've been playing the game online on PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 and you'd like to transfer your bits and pieces to the PC edition, you MUST follow the following instructions from Rockstar. Without following these instructions – if you've not logged in for an extended period of time, that is – you may lose everything.

• Enter GTA Online on your PS3 or Xbox 360. If you have not played in a long time, you will be prompted to accept a Title Update.

Pause the game

• Scroll to the "Online" tab

• Select the "Leave GTA Online" option

• The game will not save on the latest Title Update, and your vehicles will now transfer properly to PC.

Easy peasy. Hopefully you've still got your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 handy. If not – tough!

Stay tuned as we continue to roll with the punches here while Grand Theft Auto V loads for PC users around the world.