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Clumping is a phenomenon or glitch in the 3D Universe and HD Universe games of the Grand Theft Auto franchise. This phenomenon is displayed by both pedestrians and vehicles, and its presence and "severity" vary from game to game.
Pedestrian clumping is a form of clumping, in which many pedestrians with the same model spawn in the same area. This form of the phenomenon is much more common in the 3D Universe games, due to the limited number of pedestrian models available to use in-game. Pedestrians with the same model will act as they would normally, but it can be jarring to see two pedestrians who look identical to each other engaging in conversation, fighting, or carrying out other actions. Due to the vast amount of Pedestrian models in the HD Universe games, and the presence of two or more models for each class of pedestrian, this form of clumping happens far less in those games.
Car clumping is the other main form of the clumping phenomenon, and appears in both the 3D Universe and HD Universe games. Car clumping involves large numbers of the same vehicle being spawned in the same area. This phenomenon seems to happen more often when the player is driving the same vehicle as the ones spawned in large numbers; by using this method, players can acquire rare vehicles (such as the Romero in Grand Theft Auto IV) with relative ease. This phenomenon may cause the game to slow down, however, especially if the player has installed a large amount of modifications that may unintentionally alter a vehicle's spawn rate.
It should be noted that through this method, cars that normally only spawn in a particular area of the map may spawn elsewhere if the player is already driving the car to be replicated. For example, the Sultan RS in GTA IV is normally only found parked near Westdyke, Alderney; However, driving one usually leads to them appearing in traffic as well.
Car clumping does not happen in Multiplayer mode.