GTA V has been out in the PC wilds for a few months now, and we’re finally seeing the things that we’d expect from GTA mods. No longer just a few cheats and trainers, the modding scene is now rife with crazy additions, useful tweaks, and big transformations.
If you’re considering adding a few little non-developer-approved improvements to your game, take your pick from our list of the best available.
A word of caution: many players are getting banned from GTA Online for the use of mods. Head over to the GTA V sub-Reddit to see what we’re talking about. Rockstar Support claim that cosmetic mods are not a bannable offence, but it seems like certain mods - like the FOV mod - can be picked up as a ‘cheat’ by GTA Online, and slam you with the ban hammer. Please be cautious when using mods, and preferably stay campaign-only when using them.
How do I install Grand Theft Auto V mods?
Installing GTA V mods is really simple. You just need to copy the mod files you’ve downloaded into the main GTA V folder. If you’re using the Steam version of the game, this will be probably be:
c:\program files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Grand Theft Auto V
or similar. If you’re not using the Steam version, you’ll need to find the main game folder with the GTAV.exe file in.
Many GTA V mods use Script Hook V as a base, and will require you have it installed for them to work. Simply download Script Hook V, open the .zip folder and find the ‘bin’ folder, and copy and paste the three files into the main Grand Theft Auto V folder.
Remember: modding is not allowed in GTA Online. It’s best to make a backup of your original, clean Grand Theft Auto V folder so you can quickly reset the game back to ‘vanilla’ should you wish to play online. Don’t attempt to play online with mods, as this could result in being temporarily or permanently banned from Rockstar’s Social Club.
GTA Open All Interiors
Grand Theft Auto V’s Los Santos may be huge, but there’s still plenty of areas closed off to you. Frequently you’ll see huge tourist attractions that look like they’ll be explorable, only to walk up and discover their doors permanently locked. This Open All Interiors mod makes plenty of previously locked buildings explorable, just for a little added authenticity.
GTA Gravity Gun
From the moment Valve put the Gravity Gun in Half-Life 2, manipulating objects in zero-G has been a go-to feature for almost every modding community. This is GTA V’s Gravity Gun mod, and it does exactly what you expect it to. Watch out for hurling cars.
GTA Police Mod
Back in the days of GTA III and IV, jumping in a Police Cruiser would let you take on police missions and protect the city. GTA V hasn’t replicated that, but the modding community have made sure policing has stayed on the map. The Police Mod allows you to spawn as a cop, bring a partner along for the ride, tune into the police scanner, and answer callouts.
GTA Basic Needs
Quite honestly, if you’re a PC game and you’re not a survival sim, you’re doing it wrong. At least that’s what the ‘New’ tab on Steam suggests. Make GTA V a survival game by adding some Basic Needs to the game. Having fun is only as important as eating and sleeping, so keep filling your face and taking naps.
GTA Fuel Script V
To add a touch more realism to your urban sandbox, why not make vehicles burn fuel? Before engaging in a wild chase, make sure you’re fuelled up, because running dry with six cops ramming your tail end won’t finish well.
GTA 5 Trucking Missions
One of the PC’s most beloved games is Euro Truck Simulator, proving we somehow adore doing mundane tasks in games for zero pay. Trucking Missions brings the joy of Euro Truck to Los Santos and the surrounding area, which thanks to lax gun laws and the local meth-head population is a far more dangerous/exciting world than the motorways of europe.
The Red House missions and heists
Grand Theft Auto V isn’t exactly short of missions, but you’ll run out eventually. Thankfully modders are here to keep you well stocked, and The Red House adds more than twenty new missions including assassinations and gang clean-outs to the game, plus a new heist.
Everyone else is stuffing zombies in their game, so why not GTA? This mod allows you to fill the streets of Los Santos with crowds of the walking dead for round-based survival. Fend off each successive wave of corpses for bigger and better rewards.
GTA Car Jetpacks
It’s 2015, and we still don’t have flying cars. It’s a problem in the real world, but not in virtual Los Santos, where with a little bit of coding you can stick jetpacks on cars. Ignore traffic queues and get there on time.
With its heavy story, huge world, and massive length, GTA V is almost an RPG. Don’t settle for almost though; swap genres entirely with this GTA RPG mod. It adds a questing system to the game, a character creator, and even branching dialogue trees. Forget about making big bucks, make big XP instead.
GTA Iron Man armour
There’s absolutely no reason to trundle around Los Santos in a car when you could strap on some exoskeleton armour and blast off into the skies. That’s exactly what you can do with this Iron Man armour. It also comes in handy for gang warfare, since it is equipped with repulsor blasters in the palms and chest. If the war escalates, you could always upgrade to the chunky Hulkbuster variant.
GTA IV’s champion mod was Icenhancer, a graphical mod that made Liberty City look genuinely real. If you’re looking for a similar effect in GTA V, R*enhancer Photorealism is the way to go. It’s a lighting overhaul that adjusts atmospheric effects and works wonders on car reflections. The enhanced weather really adds to the feel.
GTA Funny Vehicles
No one wants to drive normal cars. You can do that in real life. Instead, we want to drive a DeLorean DMC-12 time machine, or a Batmobile, or that thing from The Flintstones. Simply copy and paste a few files and you can drive all these cars and more in GTA V.
GTA Better Deformation
Thanks to the fact that no one can drive properly, you spend quite a lot of time involved in car crashes in GTA V. They’re never quite spectacular though; there’s none of those twisted door pillars and engines hanging from torn body work. Better Deformation makes an art form of car destruction, and encourage you to take less good care of your vehicles.
Crime & Police Rebalance and Enhancement
You’ve only got to accidentally clip a cyclist with your wing mirror and suddenly the cops are chasing you down. No one even dialed 911, and you won’t get away with a caution. It’s jail time for you, and you’ll be filled with bullets before the cuffs go on. Some would argue that this is a realistic depiction of US policing, but it certainly isn’t fair gameplay. Crime & Police adjusts the detection system; an NPC has to report your crime first, and you can prevent them from dialing. Enemy accuracy scales with speed, so in a car chase they won’t still hit with pinpoint precision. And silencers are now more effective, allowing you to stealth missions with much more effectiveness. Your wanted level is also more logical; getting a single star won't have the entire LSPD hunting you down.
Drive GTA 5 Train
How do you drive the train in GTA 5? It won't stop. It has no feelings. It is a physics-defying metal snake of sorts. Install this script however and you'll be permitted to hop inside the cabin and take over control of the train. Speed up, slow down. Stop. Go. All of the main train driving options are available to you. Looks a little janky, mind.
GTA 5 Nice Fly
This one lets you fly around like some kind of superb man. You must be wearing a parachute in order for it to work, because safety is paramount.
No Water + Tsunami + Atlantis Mod
The amount of effort Rockstar put into designing Los Santos's seabed is inversely proportional to the effort modders put into naming mods. That said, the "No Water + Tsunami + Atlantis Mod" allows you to edit the game's sea level to either drain the oceans or flood the city, turning it into either Mad Max or Waterworld, respectively.
GTA 5 Pedestrian Riot
Hearkening back to the old days of Grand Theft Auto 3's cheat codes, the Pedestrian Riot mod causes all civilians to be aggressive towards you and one another. It also arms them with random weapons, resulting in all kinds of unpredictable madness to unfold. Try climbing to a safe vantage point and watching as the city tears itself apart.
GTA 5 The Army Spawns At Five Stars
In older Grand Theft Auto games, back when Rockstar took themselves only slightly less seriously, the armed forces would arrive to take you down if your murderous rampage went on too long. Grand Theft Auto V ditched this top-tier wanted level, but this mod puts it back in place. Get a five-star notoriety and you'll be pursued by the nation's finest. The mod's pragmatic title sounds weirdly poetic too.
GTA 5 Lingon Trainer
‘Lingon’ is well known in trainer circles for his creations, and his GTA V trainer allows you to do some pretty fun stuff. Chief of your new abilities is super strength, allowing you to hurl cars at enemies as if you were the Man of Steel himself. Cops can’t use their cruisers as cover if it’s flying towards them!
GTA 5 Ragdoll on Demand
Television - that antiquated thing where you passively observe other people doing things - has made a lot of money out of people falling over. Bring the hilarity of candid camera to GTA with the Ragdoll on Demand mod, and you - yes YOU! - can decide the exact moment someone falls over! It even works in cutscenes, meaning you can add a touch of funny to even the most serious gangster-business talks.
The general idea right now is that mods for Online is off the table. Rockstar want nothing changed in order to maintain a level playing field. Yet, here we have the first mod designed for GTA Online: Snow. It covers Los Santos in a coat of fluffy, beautiful snow. If you’re feeling nostalgic for the winter months we’ve left behind, this is the mod for you.
GTA 5 Native Trainer
Another trainer, so technically a cheat more than a mod, but Native delves deep into the source code of GTA V to allow you to turn on and off a variety of interesting settings. Fancy enjoying a little low gravity? Simply hit the on button from an in-game menu and easily bunny-hop down the Vinewood hills with huge jumps and little danger to your health. You can even swap out character models and become a cat for the day.
The trainer is very useful for injecting zombies into the game...
... or dropping whales onto the streets of Los Santos.
North Yankton GTA
An extension for the Native Trainer, this unlocks the Fargo-like area of North Yankton. This is the area where the game's prologue takes place, and is inaccesable from Los Santos. So if you fancied heading back there, unlock the boarders with this mod.
When playing the game in first-person, GTA V’s field of view can feel a little restricted. There is a slider in the camera settings menu that allows you to alter it, but the highest setting is a measly 55 degrees. Modder DrDaxxy has remedied this oversight with a little bit of code that allows you to set your FOV to any value you fancy. You’ll need to edit the fov.txt file to do so, but that little bit of fiddling will mean you can finally see Los Santos with the eyes it was always meant for.
GTA 5 Virtual Reality
If there’s one game world that really needs to be experienced through virtual reality, it’s Los Santos. By using a program called VorpX, the FoV mod above, and the video tutorial below, you can get GTA V running in VR on an Oculus Rift DK 2. It’s a little crude right now, but still allows a functional armchair visit to digital LA.
SweetFX GTA graphics enhancer
Not strictly a custom GTA V mod, SweetFX is a graphics post-processing injector that adds a variety of fancy visual effects to games. It can be used on pretty much anything, but tests on GTA V reveal that it runs pretty much perfectly. The enhanced look removes the washed-out feel the game can sometimes have, providing bolder and deeper colours.
GTA God Mode Trainer
If when you think of mods your brain automatically points in the director of infinite health, ammo, and money, then not only are you a big cheater, but you’ll want to have a look at this trainer mod. Aside from the infinite provisions, you’ll also be able to leave behind the days of walking too slow and reloading guns. And you’ll handily be able to teleport around the map, completely removing the need to drive cars, and thus play half of the game.
GTA OpenIV Tool
If making mods is more your thing, you’ll want to get your hands on OpenIV. It’s the toolset used to access and edit the game files of GTA IV and Max Payne 3, but clever PC gamers have managed to get the program to unpack GTA V. So far the tool only allows you to view the names of textures, audio, animations, and models; no edits can be made right now. But this is probably going to be the key to making major modifications to the game, so if you want to be part of the mod community it’s best you keep an eye on OpenIV.
When applying mods remember: a lot of them fiddle with memory allocations, which may well be identified by Rockstar as cheating when it comes to going online. Best stick to singleplayer when using anything non-official.
Did we miss anything? Did your favourite mod make our list?