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GTA4 modding guide

1401 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  B!0HaZard
Due to the recent spike in GTA4 related threads (due to Steam summer sales), I thought it would be appropriate to do a short guide. Before starting, YES, Steam users can mod their games.

First, let's find our game folders. Retail users will find their game in .../Rockstar Games/Grand Theft Auto IV
(can someone confirm this?)
Steam users will find their game in .../Steam/steamapps/common/grand theft auto iv
In these folders you can find the GTAIV folder. This is the only folder we'll be adding content to.

Next, there are 2 patches used: and
The first is easier to mod, but lacks some features from, like AF. is the most recent and has worse mod support. It looks better at stock, but rain is for some reason gone in this version. This is what Steam versions come with.

Depending which you choose, you'll have to use different mods. For now, I'll focus on, maybe we can add a guide later.

Making it moddable

To make your game moddable you'll first need to install Microsoft Visual C+ redist and .NET 4. You might already have those, but just try installing to be sure.

Next you'll need an ASI loader, Script Hook.dll files and a moddable filelist.pak.

For an ASI loader, I'd get YAASIL, which you can get here.
Then get the Script Hook files

Just download the files and put them all (including any folders) in your GTAIV directory (.../GTAIV).

The modified filelist you just have to extract to .../GTAIV/pc/data.

Actually modding


Let's start by applying a nice graphics overhaul. I personally use the new iCEnhancer 1.2.5. iCEnhancer 1.2.5 is the first iCEnhancer version to support patch, although it lacks some of the effects from the version.

iCEnhancer can be downloaded here.

When you've downloaded the mod, open it and go to "beta version for EFLC - 1070". Choose everything in there and drag it to your .../GTAIV folder. Let it replace all files.

Congratulations, you just applied a huge graphics mod. Try entering your game to ensure it works before proceeding.

If the game doesn't even reach the menu before crashing, something might be conflicting with d3d9.dll. Disable any programs with overlays. For me, Xfire prevented me from playing. Others say that Afterburner caused problems (mine doesn't, so maybe it's only the AB OSD).

You can tweak the graphics further by applying any of the included .rar files with various DOFs and light effects or by editing the iceconfig.ini, which contains A LOT of extra graphics options. Be careful with the iceconfig's AA though, it's SSAA.

Texture mods

Texture mods are significantly more complicated than iCEnhancer was. First, get SparkIV or OpenIV. I've only used SparkIV, so can't say which is best.

With SparkIV you need GTAIV installed to open it. Just to make it clear in case you're trying to get some mods ready before getting the game.
You don't have to place these programs anywhere in particular, they don't affect the game directly, only indirectly through the files you create with them.

Before starting a texture mod, it's advisable to backup the files you're changing in case it turns out bad. For vehicle mods, that'd be vehicles.img (in .../GTAIV/pc/models/cdimages) and carcols.dat, handling.dat and vehicles.ide (in .../GTAIV/common/data), but there are literally 100's of texture files that can be changed, so I won't list all files you should backup. Just, use common sense, backup all files you intend to edit.

Now, it might all sound complicated, but most mods will include a readme to tell you what to do. Basically, get SparkIV, open it, press browse or open and select your file. Browse will open the GTAIV folder and show you it's content, while open will allow you to select your own file no matter where it is on your PC.
When you've opened the .img file, you can either import a complete texture/model (.wtd being textures and .wft being models) which will replace a car/building/whatever completely or you can edit a .wtd file by pressing edit and changing individual textures.
Almost all vehicle mods will just include a .wft + .wtd file that you import, but modding building and signs and stuff will require that you use the edit function. As I said, it should be in each mod's readme what to do.

A rule in these .img is that you can't add things, only replace with files with the same names. So, to get a new car, you remove the default model. Remember to rename any vehicle mods to replace the car you want replaced.


Besides new models, it's possible to change a car's performance and colors.

There are three main files: vehicles.ide, carcols.dat and handling.dat. All can be opened with Wordpad.

In vehicles.ide, you can change which models, textures, handling the different cars use. When you download a vehicle model, it should say in the readme what to replace in this file. If not, just don't change anything.

In carcols.dat, you can choose which colors the cars spawn in. Most readmes should have these too if needed.

In handling.dat you can edit how cars handle. It's pretty complex with things like weight and acceleration and stuff. You should watch out with this as some vehicles come with some crazy handling. I'd say, if you think realism is important, you can find some good handling settings out there. If a mod comes with bad handling there'll often be comments about what to change.
IMO, if you're replacing a high performance car with a high performance car or a low perf car with a low perf car, you can just leave it at default if you're worried.

Recommended mods

iCEnhancer 1.2.5, of course.

Also, better city textures. It's a 7 GB download (but only adds 3 GB to your installation) and is very RAM heavy. You probably need 6 GB system RAM and a 1.5 GB graphics card to run this smoothly. I tried it and I got some bad stuttering when my HDD couldn't keep up.
You can find lots of similar texture mods if you want to.

More Liberty v3 adds more cars and pedestrians if you feel lonely.

Viva New York changes the city to look like NYC.

EPM, Extra Parts Movement, allows car mods to have cool things like airbrakes and pop-up headlights.


Known bugs

Taxi bug

When you replace vehicle models and textures, you get what's called the "taxi bug". The game has a limitation and when you add new cars, it often only loads 3 or 4 car models, often taxis and police. This means that you'll end up with a lot of the same cars. I have a trick below to help this, but it can't be countered on
To hide the taxi bug, I found that it helped to replace some of the taxis. I used 2 models to replace "taxi2" and "cabby". You can use any 4 doors vehicle and just rename the files to taxi2 and cabby. You still have taxis roaming the city, you just don't have all that many. If you use this, I advise you to change carcols.dat and add a bunch of different colors for taxi2 and cabby.

Red sky

Sometimes the iCEnhancer makes the sky go red in
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Very nice guide, I like it when all the things you need to make a game better are all in one place it works well, I'll try a few of these. Keep it up.

Also maybe get some vids up to show how each mod works/looks
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