GTA V: Here’s How To Fix Freezing Issues on PS3

How to Fix GTA 5 Freezing Issues on PS3 Step by Step Guide

Grand Theft Auto has a ton of dedicated players worldwide, many of whom enjoy playing the game on numerous platforms. However, things can become complicated quite quickly when playing GTA 5 on older consoles, and many fans are eager to find out how to fix the GTA 5 freezing issue on PS3 as a result.

  • Article Breakdown:
  • PlayStation 3 users may experience random freezing while playing GTA 5 or GTA Online, although this issue may be experienced by Xbox users as well.
  • While the exact cause remains unknown, fans speculate it may involve corrupted update or patch files, and the issue can commonly be fixed by activating Safe Mode and performing a Safe Mode clean.

Why Does GTA 5 Freeze on PS3?

GTA 5 has been one of the most iconic and well-loved gaming titles for many years now, being available on multiple gaming platforms, including PC, Xbox, and PlayStation consoles. However, in more recent years, many GTA 5 players have begun experiencing a range of problems regarding older consoles – specifically PlayStation 3 and older Xbox consoles.

Many GTA 5 fans have found that their game will simply freeze for absolutely no reason during their session, and the specifics vary between cases. For some players, each freezing occurrence can last between 5 and 30 minutes, although some have reported much longer time frames.

These freezing occurrences can also take place at just about any moment in time, which makes it far more infuriating for many fans, especially considering that this aspect makes it nearly impossible to avoid. Some players have found that their GTA 5 session will simply freeze after only 5 minutes of playing the game, while others have found that certain activities increase the chances of the game freezing.

In some cases, players may experience more freezing occurrences on their console whenever they are soloing a Survival job or flying an aircraft. It seems that most fans have only started experiencing these freezing issues from update 1.9 through to 1.12, with patches and updates seemingly making the issue even worse, and similar issues are experienced in both GTA 5 Story Mode and GTA Online.

While Rockstar Games has not given any specific reason for this issue, quite a few GTA 5 fans have speculated that it could relate to the very nature of the updates and patches. Since the developers are primarily focused on providing updates and content for next-gen consoles, older consoles are often not considered – including PlayStation 3.

In addition, Rockstar Games has made an endless effort to remove any room for exploits and glitches that allow players to cheat in GTA Online, but these continuous patches and updates can result in more unforeseen issues as a result. This is quite an unfortunate situation for just about every PlayStation 3 owner who enjoys playing GTA 5, as this is not the only issue that older console users experience.

Many fans have found ways to work around numerous problems, among older console issues when playing other gaming titles – although buying a new copy of the game will not work. While it’s certainly not an option for everyone, many fans have simply upgraded to PlayStation 4 to avoid frustration.

How to Fix GTA 5 Freezing Issue on PS3

Fans have found that pulling the plug on their PlayStation 3 console in the middle of a freezing occurrence is generally a bad idea. Instead, players should try doing a hard reset by holding down the PlayStation 3 power button for anywhere between 20 seconds and 30 seconds. This approach is far safer than pulling the plug completely.

Since Rockstar Games has not directly addressed the GTA 5 freezing issue on PlayStation 3 in particular, there has not been any “official” way to resolve the problem – even though this issue has been an ongoing burden for GTA 5 fans over the last couple of years. That being said, fans have seemingly come together to find alternative approaches to the problem.

While these methods are proven to do the trick for every player, they have worked for many known cases. Below are the best ways to fix the GTA 5 freezing issue on PlayStation 3 to get your game running smoothly as quickly as possible.


To find out what’s causing the issue, the best place to start is through troubleshooting approaches. This step will not help fans actually fix the problem, but it can certainly help players narrow down the cause – in some cases, the issue may concern the PlayStation 3 itself, in which case players can try replacing their Blu-Ray or contacting Sony for more tailored advice.

But, many players speculate that the more recent updates cause the freezing issue for GTA 5 on PS3, and many have found that a good approach would be to uninstall all of the updates. Uninstalling the updates and playing offline in Story Mode will at least confirm if the issue is related to the updates or not.

Activate Safe Mode/ Perform a Safe Mode Clean

While this method is not guaranteed to work, it has solved many players’ issues. However, this is only recommended if players are comfortable tampering with their PlayStation 3 console – If you are uncomfortable doing any of the following to your system, contact Sony directly for assistance.

  1. Make sure your game saves are backed up via PlayStation Plus, or back up your game saves on a USB flash drive.
  2. To remove the GTA 5 game data from your PS3, go to Game, then select “Game Data Utility.” Highlight the game data utility file for GTA 5 press the Triangle button, then select “Delete.” Delete the GTA 5 install files in the same folder (the large 8+ GB file). The game will simply re-download this data after the system is cleaned.
  3. Press & hold the power button for about 10 seconds until the system beeps three times and then powers down.
  4. Press & hold the power button again until the system beeps four times.
  5. Players should see an on-screen message – if you don’t, try the previous steps again. From this message, plug in your wireless controller via a USB cable and press the PS button on the controller.
  6. Select Option 3 on the screen to “Restore File System.”
  7. Launch GTA 5 and let it download the appropriate data to your PS3.
  8. If this does not work, redo the previous steps but instead select Option 4 to “Rebuild Database,” as this may delete corrupted data that Option 3 failed to remove.
  9. Rebuilding the Database may take anywhere between 45 minutes to several hours. Do not disturb your system during this process. Then,
  10. Launch GTA 5 and let it download the appropriate files to your PS3.

Since many fans believe a buggy update file causes the issue, this method is commonly used to resolve the freezing issue by means of reformatting and removing corrupted files.

That’s everything there is to know about the GTA 5 freezing issue on PS3. Tackling this error will likely involve trial and error, as the same methods do not work in every case. Still, being aware of various approaches can definitely help you get back into your GTA 5 gaming session as quickly as possible.

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