It may be cracking on for a decade old now (yes, really), but Gran Turismo 5 still has a few secrets left to give.
You’ll have recently seen some of these secrets, as players were able to dig out almost every track ever used in a Gran Turismo game from GT5‘s files. Their functionality is highly variable, with some fully drivable and others a little on the glitchy side, but they’re there.
Of course the players never stop digging, and they’ve been able to dig out a bit of a gem: Gran Turismo 5 has a hidden LAN mode.
If you’re not familiar with LAN, it’s short for Local Area Network. It’s a way of connecting devices together without connecting to the wider internet. Both Gran Turismo 3 and Gran Turismo 4 featured LAN mode — initially the iLink system in GT3, but a regular ethernet connection from GT4. That allowed players to gather together for gaming parties, allowing head-to-head (and expletive-to-expletive) racing rather than the solitary activity Gran Turismo had been before then.
While players of more recent games have had to connect to the internet to participate in online racing, a LAN mode has still existed underneath it all. LAN is how Polyphony Digital operates public events, even GT Sport‘s World Tour, so the whole system is self-contained and not reliant on an external internet connection.
Players adapted, by networking consoles behind the same router, but it still required an internet connection to play this way. At the end of Gran Turismo 5‘s life, Polyphony Digital sent out an update which essentially severed the game’s online functionality. This meant that if players wanted to drive some of GT5‘s cars and tracks in an online race — or use the much-missed Shuffle mode — it was no longer possible.
With the discovery of the secret LAN mode, it’s all available again… but there’s a bit of a catch. In order to get access to the LAN mode you’ll need a PlayStation 3 console modified with custom firmware, in order to run a slightly tweaked version of the game itself.
For those who find that a rabbit hole they’re not confident to go down, you can enjoy the LAN mode vicariously through this video posted by GTPlanet member j0nny0093:
Featured image courtesy of elston87.