Rockstar Support

I keep getting slow, choppy game performance in GTA:VC

Question: I keep getting slow, choppy game performance. What can I do to improve this?

Answer: Make sure your system exceeds all not just most of the recommended requirements. If you have an Intel Celeron or an AMD Duron you will not see high-end frame rates. Due to the reduced cache on those processors you will have some sluggish frame rates in game.

For Better Game Performance:

We recommend that you make sure you have set your video card to VSYNC ON in your video card advanced options (from Control Panel/Display Properties).

Lower selected RESOLUTION


  • DEFRAGMENT game after it has been run once
  • Turn off ANTI-ALIASING in the video card drivers
  • Shutdown all background applications (inside Win9X close everything except 'Explorer' and 'Systray'; inside Windows2000 and XP close everything except 'Explorer')
  • Make sure you are using the latest motherboard / chipset / IDE / AGP drivers appropriate to your system
  • Make sure all your Hard disks and CD drives have DMA mode enabled
  • Use the latest graphic card drivers
  • Use the latest sound card drivers.

Any usb mice force feedback or usb intellimouse will produce sluggish game play. Use a non-USB mouse to help increase frame rate in the game.

Integrated Ramdac or No Ramdac listed video cards tend to run slower on XP then Internal Ramdac video cards.

Check for background programs running during game play (You should have at least 85% system resources free).

Set desktop display to 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768 & 16 Bit high color mode. (Do not use 24 or 32 true color mode, game play will be choppy)

Add more memory, use a fixed swap file, and make sure the hard disk that the game is played from is on a different IDE channel to the CD drive that the games audio disc is played from.

A video card that is not listed in the read me file (in the game directory) as a fully compliant card, the game will run sluggish. (IE: all voodoo 3, 4 & 5 video cards do not official support DirectX 9.0 which the game requires).


If you are running Windows XP, ensure the latest service pack is installed.  You can access the download from:

Using old, beta or 3rd party drivers instead of official drivers for your cards may cause sluggish game play.

Monitor set should be set to plug & play. (If your monitor is listed as default, standard or unknown, they will have slow refresh rates).

Remove any joysticks or game pads that are connected to the computer that you are not using in GTA Vice City.

Scan disk & defragment your hard drive before you install GTA Vice City. When GTA VC is run for the first time, a Texture Dictionary is created that is appropriate to your video card. This file can be between 100 to 300 megabytes in size. Performance is helped by this file being non-fragmented, so if you are going to defragment your hard drive to help GTA performance, then it is suggested to do this after running GTA VC at least once so the Texture Dictionary can be defragmented also.

Sound Provider:
The sound API selected inside Grand Theft Auto III options can effect game performance - try alternative sound providers to achieve better results. Try Direct Sound Hardware, Direct Sound Software.

Screen Resolution:
Selecting lower Screen Resolutions in Grand Theft Auto III display setup will allow faster game play on lower end machines. Also using 16-bit color, instead of 32-bit color, will help in these circumstances.

Please note that the use of any cheat codes, 3rd party mods, editors, no-cd patches or trainers are not supported by tech support and can effect the way the game plays normally. You should uninstall any of these 3rd party programs and reinstall the game. If you saved a game with any of these mods installed they will need to be deleted as well.

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