Are you playing GTA, but when you try to go to Online mode, you see an error message while joining a session? Does the game kick you back onto single-player mode? Don’t fret; this article will explain why you encounter the error and how you can fix it with easy troubleshooting steps.

Since the launch of GTA Online in 2017, it has been one of the most popular MMOs. While players wait for GTA 6 to play it in a modern Vice city, Rockstar constantly releases updates and patches for GTA V’s Online counterpart. However, the game still has persistent errors, and “error joining session” is one of them.
When heading to GTA’s online mode or in mid-gameplay, many players report that they see an Alert message that displays “There has been an error joining a session; please return to GTA V.” Unfortunately, there isn’t one particular fix for the issue. Instead, you can try different things to resolve the error until Rockstar finds a permanent fix.

Why can’t I join GTA V online sessions?

Why can't I join GTA V online sessions?

If you can not join an online session while playing GTA, it could be due to any of the following reasons.

  • Rockstar gaming servers are down.
  • A temporary bug in your PC, console, or game is causing the error to pop up on your screen.
  • You are using an outdated version of GTA V or GTA Online.
  • Your home network is experiencing slow internet speed or WiFi signal issues.
  • Windows firewall or antivirus is blocking GTA V from going into online mode.
  • Your Windows operating system or console is running on an older software version.

How do you fix GTA Online there has been an error joining a session error?

How do you fix GTA Online there has been an error joining a session error?


If you are playing GTA Online and want to join other players, but you see an error joining session message, disable Windows firewall and your antivirus to see if this makes any difference. If the session error persists, try the following troubleshooting steps to get back to GTA online mode.

Restart the game and device

A temporary glitch in a device’s software can cause a gaming error to pop up on your screen. A quick way to troubleshoot the error is to restart your game, PC, or gaming console. To relaunch GTA Online on your PC, exit and open the gaming client (Rockstar, Steam, or Epic Games) and see if this fixes the error.

If you use an Xbox console, press the Xbox button to view the home menu screen. Next,  highlight GTA V or GTA Online in the main window. Now press the Menu button, choose the “Quit” option, and relaunch Grand Theft Auto.

To do this on PS4, press the PS button on the controller to bring up your Home menu. Now press the Options button and choose Close Application (Select GTA Online). Finally, start the GTA Online game and verify the fix.

Take a break from the game

Heavy load on the Rockstar gaming servers can trigger complicated errors. Therefore, it’s a good idea to take a break from GTA Online until there is less load on the servers. Sometimes, an interval of one or two days is enough to fix the error joining session bug.

Update your device

Updating your device software can resolve many errors in its apps. PC users can update Windows by navigating to the Windows Update page under the Control Panel and clicking on the “Check for updates” option.

To update your Xbox One, ensure that the console is connected to the Internet. Next, press the Xbox button and navigate to Profile & system –> Select System –> Updates & downloads –> Update console.

If you use PS4 to play GTA Online, press the PS button on the controller and select Settings. Next, choose the “System Software Update” option and select “Update Now.”

If an update is available for your PC or gaming console, your system will look for it, download it, and install it on its own. Afterward, launch GTA Online on your updated device and verify that the error is fixed.

Update GTA V

GTA developers regularly release patches to fix the error in the game. Therefore, make sure that you are running the latest version of GTA Online. To do this on Rockstar, Steam, or Epic Games PC client:

  • Head to the library section and select GTA Online. Next, go to the game Properties and verify the integrity of the files under the Local Files tab.

PS users can update GTA Online by hovering over the game and choosing the “Check for update” option.

Xbox users need to go to Settings –> Updates & downloads and check both console and game update boxes to let Xbox automatically keep your game and device updated.

Check Rockstar servers

The most common reason for GTA Online error joining session message to show up on your screen is the Rockstar servers outage. The servers could be going under regular maintenance or suffering from player overload.

Therefore, first, confirm  GTA servers are down and wait for the devs to fix the issue at their end.

How do I make an invite-only session?

How do I make an invite only session?

Many GTA V users fixed the error by initiating an “invite-only session”. To do this:

  • Launch the GTA Online game and in the middle of the game, press the menu button to head over to Online.
  • Now select the “Choose Character” option and wait to be in Online mode.
  • Next, again press the Menu button while in the game and select Online.
  • This time, choose “Leave GTA Online” and press OK.
  • Press the Menu button one more time from the GTA game screen.
  • Select the Online option and choose “Play GTA Online.”
  • Finally, select the “Invite Only Session” option and verify the fix.


Hopefully, this guide helped you fix the GTA error while joining an online session. Suppose none of the troubleshooting steps fixed the error. In that case, we recommend that you make some additional efforts by resolving home network issues, selecting online play before trying out single-player mode and clearing the GTA Online cache.