Los Santos Tuners, Grand Theft Auto Online’s latest big update, has given Rockstar’s MMO-lite a Fast and Furious vibe. But now that the tire smoke has cleared, many are frustrated by the amount of grinding needed to unlock everything. And some are resorting to rubber bands, batteries, and other tricks and tools to level up while going AFK for hours and hours, filling lobbies with mindless players walking in circles.
GTA Online’s Tuners update was well-received by players who have been doing unofficial car meets and races for years now. Tuners’ new Tuner Reputation system, however, hasn’t been nearly as celebrated given how long it takes to earn its rewards and make progress.
Becoming a car meet member earns you “Tuner XP” that levels up your rep meter, unlocking new items like car parts. But to get some things, you’ll need to level up a lot. The tuner rep system maxes out at rank 1000, though most of the unlocks players care about are unlocked at around 100. But even reaching that level will take a lot of time as the only way to increase it involves testing out new cars, taking part in tuner races, or hanging out at the car meet. Many have latched on to that last part, after realizing it could be exploited for experience.
Players were soon thinking about ways to get their in-game character walking without direct human input, perhaps allowing you to move around while sleeping or working. Theoretically, you could grind some of that pesky Tuner XP for days at a time. This is the practice of AFKing and it’s not a new thing in GTA Online. Many players, myself included, have been doing it for years across various games. But the Tuners update has lobbies filled with AFKing so players can unlock some of the higher-level car parts.
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As spotted by popular GTA Online player Dirty_Worka, many public car meets are filled with random players doing endless circles. I noticed this a few days ago while running through a car meet quickly for some other reason, though at the time I didn’t think anything of it.
Over on Reddit and on YouTube, you can find various methods and strats for AFKing for the Tuners update. Depending on the platform, you can use rubber bands on analog sticks, flip your controller over and use the weight of it to hold sticks and buttons down, or perhaps the most clever and bizarre method: Placing a single battery on your keyboard.
What’s interesting is that with this new Tuners update developers Rockstar Games actually seems to be clamping down on some AFK methods. Players are reporting that they now get kicked when going AFK while watching TV in their apartments or businesses. Even if that old method worked, it wouldn’t matter. Players wanting to reach rank level 100, 500, or more can only earn XP at the car meet or while racing in the newly added streetcars. So AFK players are filling car meet lobbies, sometimes doing circles, or sometimes using a handy trick that lets you hang out in a menu after exiting the car meet’s test track. Both methods work, but they will take a long time. Based on some calculations it could take you days to reach the higher levels using these AFK methods. Players have reported that after level 100, the amount of XP you need to level up makes these methods far less useful.
Of course, if you are busy going to school or working at your job, it’s nice to potentially earn a few ranks while you live your life. But I would also point out that I don’t think Rockstar intended for anyone to spend this much time and effort trying to figure out ways to NOT play GTA Online.
However, I don’t think leaving your console running for hours or even days at a time just to unlock some in-game paint jobs and rims is worth it. It’s probably best to just play when you can and don’t worry about getting everything as fast as possible.