Have you toyed with the idea of playing GTA5 with mods but felt nervous with how complex it seemed to be? Well, look no further because this is the ultimate guide to GTA5 mods by showing you how to install everything the correct way.
When modding took off in the GTA5 community, the information and how-to’s were so overwhelming. However, if you want to properly install all the plugins and script managers and even learn how to install LSPDFR for a wonderful roleplaying experience, keep reading for all the details.
Create Backups of the Game Data
The most important thing when modding games: back up your game data! It’s much easier to fix the files when you can simply copy and paste them over. This is especially important if you have already beaten the main game and finished a lot of achievements; the last thing you want is to lose all your progress.
If you are on an internet package with data caps, it’s even more important so you don’t have to waste data downloading everything over again. Even the most careful mod installs can corrupt your game files.
The easiest way to do this is to simply locate your game folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Grand Theft Auto V. Simply copy the Grand Theft Auto V folder and then paste it somewhere safe and out of the way. You can even make backups on your secondary hard drive. However, if that’s not possible for you, the desktop is more than acceptable.
When you copy it over, depending on your hard drive, you may be waiting for a handful of minutes for it to copy over. This is normal; longer times are also fine, especially for older drives or slower ones.
Download Mod Manager
A mod manager isn’t required, but having a place that allows you to view all your mods in one location can be a major plus. The download and use of the GTA5 mod manager isn’t super beginner-friendly, but the creator has uploaded two tutorials on YouTube to assist. You can find those here and here.
The mod manager allows you to turn most mods on and off with a simple check of a box. Keep in mind that occasionally, there will be something it can’t handle.
If you already have modded RPF’s files manually placed in your game directory and then download mod manager, the moment you hit online, it will clean out all the mods. To avoid deletion, simply move those modded files to the mods folder.
Unfortunately, if you have the Epic Game Store version, you can’t use the mod manager. Even though Script Hook has been updated for EGS versions, the mod manager is still incompatible. There are no workarounds for this either. So, EGS games will need manual installs.
Many modders find it easier to install and manage mods without the manager. It’s a pretty complex program that many have struggled with, and the learning curve is big. Almost every mod will have instructions on a manual install, so you will be just fine if you forgo the manager. Disabling mods has some extra steps, but nothing too crazy.
Install Script Hook V
Script hook, as its name implies, allows your game to run mods that are scripts. There are tons of script-only mods, which makes this a vital and absolutely necessary download. Unlike the mod manager, Script Hook is a straightforward download.
Once you download and extract it, there will be one folder inside. Open it, and you’ll find three files inside:
All you have to do is move these three into your game directory. Nothing else needs to be done. It’s that easy!
If you do not know where your game directory is, this will be where the game’s EXE is. This is Steam’s default pathway: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Grand Theft Auto V
Install Community Script Hook V .NET
This one isn’t required, but a few incredibly awesome mods need both Script Hook and the Community Script Hook. These mods use the .NET framework, so as you can see, it’s different than the ASI from the other Script Hook. So, while you may not need to download it, it comes highly recommended!
You will need to make sure you have the latest .Net Framework download. You can go here to find that. The last update was in 2019, so you will most likely already have it. If you are on Windows 10, you do not need to worry about this particular step.
You’ll also need the Microsoft Visual C++, and that can be found here. You will go down to the section that says “Visual Studio 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2022” and, once there, you will click on the x64, and it downloads!
Once that’s downloaded, extract the ZIP file. Inside this file, there will be quite a few loose files. You want to focus on three:
Just like with Script Hook, you simply drag and drop into your games directory folder. Once those are dropped in, you are good to go for this one.
While not all mods will use the LUA plugin, it’s still good to have when you inevitably come across one that needs it. The download and installation process is also straightforward.
You’ll download the ZIP file and extract it. Inside of this extracted folder will be another folder labeled as “scripts.” There is also a loose file labeled as LUA.asi. Like the previous downloads, you will simply put them in the game directory folder.
Tip: inside of the script folder you just put into the game directory is another folder called “addins.” When you download mods, if you are manually doing it instead of using a mod manager, you will put all the LUA plugin mods into the addins folder.
Please make sure you read a mod’s description before dropping them in random places. That can cause issues with your game and files. Almost every mod should have at least basic instructions on how to install them. Not all mods are LUA mods that can be placed into the addins folder.
While this is used less often in the GTA5 modding scene, some mods require it. Simply go to the website and download it. They have instructions on how to download and use it.
Back up your game files! If you are going to use OpenIV, you need to back up your files. OpenIV edits actual game files. If something goes wrong, it can corrupt the file that it edited.
If you already know what mods you want to add to your GTA game, look through and see if any of them require OpenIV. If they do not, then you can go ahead and skip this download altogether.
Many people in the modding community only recommend using OpenIV for changing different models inside your game.
If you love mods that add new areas to the map, this is an absolute necessity! When you find mods that alter the maps, they will not work without the map editor. You can also create and edit your own map areas with it.
The download page has a list of controls and how to use them. It’s a little complex, but a lot of fun. The learning curve isn’t so drastic that a new person couldn’t learn how to use it; just spend a little bit of time going over it, and you’ll be a pro in no time. It may help to practice it a bit by yourself before you start showing off to your friends.
The install process is mostly the same as the other ones, but just in case, these are the steps:
- ScriptHook needs to be installed first.
- Download and install Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015 x64, x86, Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2013 x64, x86.
- Install the Community Script Hook
- Download NativeUI. We haven’t covered this so far, but go to the website and download it. If you need additional assistance, scroll down and go through the pages. It’s on a forum, so there is plenty of help out there!
- Put everything inside of the scripts directory inside your game directory. If you do not see one there, simply create a new folder and name it scripts.
You can also spawn in more items with the expanded objects list. Go here to get the Object Spawn Unlocker. Follow the instructions for installation on the page. It’s still relatively easy but read carefully just in case.
So, as you know, GTA5 is an online and single-player game. Rockstar has no issues with people making mods for single-player. However, when it comes to online, they don’t like it. If you aren’t careful, modding could get your online account permanently banned. So, download and use with caution.
That’s why the modded launcher is a fantastic tool for GTA5 people who absolutely love adding mods into their worlds. It gives you two separate launchers. One is the modded launcher for single-player games. The other is the vanilla launcher, made for online.
It’s important to note that some mods may bypass this. Before playing online, make sure all the mods are, in fact, disabled to prevent any headaches.
The creators have recently added the option to let you launch with RAGE Hook. We’ll go over it down below, in-depth. Note that one of the biggest roleplaying mods, LSPDFR, uses RAGE so, if that’s what you’re into, then having the ability to launch with RAGE is a huge plus!
One of the biggest, LSPDFR, is a mod pack that is packed full of custom content. They have a massive supporting community. These mods allow you to be a full-blown cop in-game. These mods work well with the roleplaying servers you can find out there.
Installing this requires the use of another plugin called RAGE. Basically, it acts as an interface between custom content and code, and the game itself. First, we’ll cover how to install LSPDFR and then RAGE. This is because LSPDFR needs to be extracted first so the RAGE Hook can overwrite the one that comes in the mod pack since it may be out of date.
The install process is as follows:
- Download LSPDFR.
- Download the last RAGE plugin.
- Extract the LSPDFR ZIP file into your game directory.
- Extract RAGE into the game directory. If it asks for an overwrite of files, say yes.
Verify the install process:
- Look for an LSPDFR folder in the game directory. Inside should be 3 folders:
- Look in the plugin folder for a loose file titled LSPD First Response.dll.
- In the game directory, look for RAGEPluginHook.exe
If all of those are in there, then you have installed it correctly. Now, in order to launch the game, you will not use the game’s EXE file, but instead, use the RAGEPluginHook.EXE. Once you do this and are inside the game, you’ll know it’s working because the police departments will be marked on your in-game map.
GTA5 has a massive modding community, but unlike a lot of other heavily-modded games, it was not designed for modders. That’s why you run into some complexities when installing mods. The community has rallied for years and found ways to implement some of the coolest mods in any game, many of which did not even have time to mention!
Remember, be careful with switching to online when using mods. You can have your account banned. But, there are servers with modding, such as the roleplaying ones. There are cheat trainers out there as well, and those are also for single-player only.
If you need help with installs, there are so many places to go for help, like the GTA mod websites, forums, and even Reddit. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people because the modding community is incredibly helpful.