Grand Theft Auto V’s mod scene is bigger than ever, with hundreds of mods that range from adding new vehicles and characters into the game, to complete visual overhauls and whole new game modes.
The extent of the modding community is particularly impressive when you consider that, unlike Skyrim, Grand Theft Auto V wasn’t designed to cater for modders. There are no official tools for creating mods, nor is there an official way to add existing mods to your game.
More GTA 5 and GTA Online
Instead, Grand Theft Auto V’s modding relies on a bunch of third party programs which have a somewhat idiosyncratic installation process. To make that process easier for you, here’s a quickfire guide to getting mods up and running in Grand Theft Auto V.
First, a warning!
Rockstar has stated you won’t ever be banned for modifying your single-player game, but it doesn’t want mods being used in GTA Online. So if you have mods installed it is extremely important that you either play offline, or ensure that all mods are switched off before heading Online. Many mods have the ability to be switched off built-in, but not all of them. So be careful which mods you install if you’re planning to play GTA Online alongside the single-player.
Script Hook V
Most of the current mods are scripts, and to get them working you’ll need the latest version of Script Hook, created by Alexander Blade.
Here is the link Blade provides to download ScriptHook. Just be sure to use the download link inside the table on the bottom-right: there are advertisements on that page that also say they are downloads.
In the zip file, there’s a folder called ‘bin’ with three files in it.
- dinput8.dll: This is the latest ASI loader, which allows you to load libraries with the .asi extension.
- ScriptHookV.dll: It allows custom scripts to be used in GTA 5.
- NativeTrainer.asi: You don’t need this trainer, but it’s there if you want it. It allows for all sorts of cheats in single-player, like changing your skin, changing the time of day, teleportation, invincibility, and more.
Take dinput8.dll and ScriptHookV.dll (and the trainer, if you want it) and put them in your GTA 5 game directory, wherever GTA5.exe is located. On Steam, it’s ‘Steam\steamapps\common\Grand Theft Auto V’.
That’s pretty much it! Most script mods you download will have a single .asi file that you drop into the same folder, though some may have a few extra files. Always check the installation instructions of the mods you download.
Community Script Hook V .NET
A version of Script Hook that allows scripts written in .NET language. Certain script mods (like the Simple Passenger script) require both Alexander Blade’s Script Hook and this Community Script Hook V .NET.
Make sure you have Microsoft .NET Framework 4.8 installed (skip this step if you have Windows 10).
Make sure you have Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Package for Visual Studio 2019 (x64) installed.
Download and install Alexander Blade’s Scripthook (follow instructions above).
Download the Community Script Hook here.
Copy the ScriptHookVDotNet.asi, ScriptHookVDotNet2.dll, and ScriptHookVDotNet3.dll into your game directory.
Some mods, in addition to ScriptHook, require the LUA plugin, like the Enhanced Train Driver and Ragdoll on Demand scripts. Here’s the download link. In the zip file you’ll find:
- A folder called ‘scripts’
- A file called LUA_SDK.asi
Grab them both and put them in your GTA 5 game directory, same spot as with ScriptHook. Inside the scripts folder, there’s a folder called ‘addins.’ There are already a handful of .lua files in there, such as an example GUI script. You can delete them all if you don’t want them.
The ‘addins’ folder is where you’ll be dropping .lua files for mods that use them. Again, refer to each mod’s installation instructions.
If you ever used mods with GTA 4, you probably used OpenIV to do it. It’s a powerful utility that allows for the editing and saving of GTA game files, and it’s now being developed for GTA 5.
Different mods use OpenIV in different ways, so we can’t really give you a general list of instructions: read the directions on each given mod’s page. Keep in mind, OpenIV makes actual changes to game files, so we suggest making backup copies of any game files you change.
You can download the latest version of OpenIV from the official site.
The Map Editor is required for mods that add new areas, like islands and buildings, to the Los Santos map. You can also use it to spawn and place objects, navigate with a freecam, and save changes you make to your own map.
Configuration and Mod Manager
Most mods have their own activation keys and controls. Some are customizable, some aren’t. If you plan to use a lot of mods (as I did this week) your keyboard is going to fill up fast with all the mods vying for space. Advice: if you try a mod out and plan never to use it again, delete the file before you forget about it, or eventually you’re going to get some overlap as different mods try to use the same keys.
The alternative way to handle this is to download a mod-manager. There are quite a few to choose from now, but arguably the most popular is the functionally titled “GTAV Mod Manager”. Developed by Bilago, this is a comprehensive mod managing tool that lets you corral all your mods into one place, and enable, disable them as you like.
Getting GTA V Mod Manager up and running requires a bit of effort. There’s an extensive Youtube tutorial uploaded by Bilago himself, although be warned that it is several years old, and doesn’t cover setting up the mod with certain versions of the game, such as the Epic Store version. There’s also an FAQ covering some of the more common errors users encounter.