GTA Online Dataminers Find And Play Secret UFO Mission

Earlier this month, Grand Theft Auto Online received the big Summer Special update, which added a bunch of new cars, co-op missions, and other small quality-of-life changes. But buried in this update was a new secret mission involving a massive UFO and the theft of spaceship parts. While nobody yet knows how to actually activate it, a group of dataminers used tools to force the mission to start, giving us a look at how it works.

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Well-known dataminers and modders The Game File Gurus were among the first to find a new and large UFO model hidden in the files of GTA Online after the summer update. This new UFO is visually identical to an older UFO model that has been in GTA V and GTA Online’s files for years. But this new model is much, much bigger and so the Guru team began digging and searching for why this new, big UFO was added. Was it a silly easter egg or something more?

After a few days of sifting through the files and scripts, the team found a secret business battle mission in GTA Online that used this new UFO model. Business battles are online missions that can appear in the open world of GTA Online in which any player can participate. They involve taking supplies from various locations and groups and bringing those supplies back to your nightclub warehouse, should you own one. Doing so will earn you experience and in-game cash and help you build up supplies that you can sell later.

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Using tools and a lot of trial and error, the group was finally able to force GTA Online into activating the mission, allowing them to capture footage of it.

A similar situation happened back in 2017 with a secret mission involving an alien egg and crashed ship. It was brute-force activated by team Guru using different variables before players later found out how to trigger the mission legitimately. A member of The Game File Gurus explained to Kotaku that this time around the mission was much harder to activate because of how Rockstar now handles hidden missions. Before, for the egg mission, only one variable in the game’s programming needed to be changed. Now over 40 different online and local scripts had to be changed to get the new UFO mission to trigger. The team believes Rockstar is trying harder to hide these missions from dataminers.

Some of the code connected to this new secret mission.
Some of the code connected to this new secret mission.
Screenshot: The Game File Gurus

This new, secret GTA Online business battle involves players entering Fort Zancudo, the military base found outside Los Santos, and then fighting their way into a large aircraft hangar. Inside this hangar is the new, massive UFO model that The Game File Gurus found. Also inside are spaceship parts. Players need to steal and collect these parts and then bring them to Omega, a character who has appeared in GTA V before and who is obsessed with UFOs and aliens.

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For players who aren’t able to modify GTA Online and want to try this mission legitimately, nobody is yet sure how to trigger it. In fact, TGFGurus aren’t even sure if the mission is actually active in-game yet, or buried deep in the code and waiting for Rockstar to eventually activate it. The last alien secret mission forced players to complete 600 gunrunning supply missions before they could access the alien egg event. So I expect this mission will also come with similarly tough prerequisites. 600+ completed business battles, maybe?

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Team Guru, along with other players and dataminers, are continuing to dig around GTA Online and hope to figure out how this secret mission activates, and also what reward players will receive once they jump through the correct hoops to access and complete it.

Maybe, finally, players will get their very own UFO to fly around in? Unlikely, but not impossible. GTA Online is a weird game these days and I could definitely see Rockstar adding an actual UFO to the list of drivable aircraft.

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I want to believe.

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Kotaku Weekend Editor | Zack Zwiezen is a writer living in Kansas. He has written for GameCritics, USgamer, Kill Screen & Entertainment Fuse.

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DISCUSSION

very dumb question, but can you play GTAV:O solo?

I have no interest in grinding or working with other people, but there sure seems to be a lot of content and I really enjoyed the single player.