(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Update: The Epic Games Store has now been down for several hours, with it still being inaccessible as of 6:12 pm ET on May 14.

Rockstar’s wildly popular Grand Theft Auto 5 is set to be the next free game on the Epic Games Store, but the online marketplace is currently down as gamers around the world try to secure the hot title for free.

The initial announcement came from a now-deleted Epic Games Store tweet, which claimed that Rockstar’s popular open-world crime game will be free to download on PC until May 21. While the tweet is now gone, the Epic Games Store launcher suggests the game’s arrival is imminent.

Given the “mystery game” countdown on Epic’s site, we expected GTA 5 to come to the Epic Games Store by 8am PT/11am ET today (May 14). However, as of this writing, the Epic Games Store is currently down, likely due to a surge of users coming in to get their free title. 

We are currently experiencing high traffic on the Epic Games Store. We are aware that users may be encountering slow loading times, 500 errors, or launcher crashing at this time and we are actively working to scale. We’ll provide an update as soon as we can.May 14, 2020

Epic Games acknowledged the issues on Twitter and claims that it is “actively working to scale” in response to the high traffic. We will update this story as soon as GTA 5 becomes available to download.

How to get GTA 5 on PC for free

In order to be ready to nab GTA 5 on PC for free, you’ll need to download the Epic Games Store launcher and create an Epic Games account, which you can do at the official Epic Games website (once it’s working, that is). 

From there, simply scroll down to the ‘Free Games’ section of the store. Based on the timer on Epic’s site, GTA 5 should unlock on May 14 at 8am PT/11am ET. You’ll have until May 21 to secure the game for free. The Epic Store is having server issues at the time of this writing, but we expect the game to appear by later today. 

If GTA 5’s Epic Store system requirements are anything like those of the Steam version of the game, you’ll need at least an Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600, 4GB of RAM, an Nvidia 9800GT/AMD 4870 or better and 72GB of storage to run the game. But the recommended spec starts at a Core i5 CPU, a GTX 660 or better and 8GB of RAM.

It’s unclear if GTA 5 on the Epic Games Store will support cross-play with the Steam version of the game, which is worth keeping in mind if you plan on dabbling in the wildly popular and still-updated GTA Online.

The Epic Games Store has been doling out free games every month since late 2018, with previous notable giveaways including The Witness, Overcooked, the Batman Arkham Collection and Rayman Legends. But GTA 5 is by far the biggest freebie the service has secured yet, and could be the perfect antidote to your lockdown boredom. 

Read More