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OutOfTimer's Guide To GTA IV Mods

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OutOfTimer
  • OutOfTimer

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#1

Posted 13 March 2009 - 04:43 PM Edited by OutOfTimer, 10 August 2010 - 04:44 PM.

Grand Theft Auto IV and Episodes from Liberty City Modding Guide


Table of Contents
  • Liberty City Wizard
  • Modding in 4 Steps
  • Selection of Mods
  • Multiplayer Modding
  • Advice for Novice Players

I. Liberty City Wizard

Grand Theft Auto IV is arguably one of the most imaginative games ever created. One of the highlights of its PC version is the ability to mod, which opens before us unlimited possibilities of altering the in-game world. After reading this guide, you will be a wizard in Liberty City. Want to learn how to do magic? Let me take you on the journey...


II. Modding in 4 Steps

We start with a clean installation of the original retail game. You don't have to reinstall your game to modify it but we have to assume that all the game files were left intact. During the installation process you are forced to install Rockstar Social Club and Games For Windows LIVE. Both of these applications are obligatory for joining multiplayer but may be disabled using XLiveLess. Remember that it is forbidden to join multiplayer with modified files and most ASI mods don't support on-line use, so you will have to restore all the original files to be able to play with your friends. After completing installation you're prompted to activate the game on-line. It's a necessary inconvinience and has to be done.

There are 3 distinct modding scenarios we have to consider now. You either have GTA IV with TLAD and/or TBoGT downloaded from LIVE as DLCs, or two game folders - one for GTA IV and the second for EFLC. You always copy your mods to the game's main folder. If you have the DLCs, GTA IV is still the base (the DLC specific files are hidden in the LIVE directory). The main problem here is that you need to make sure your mods are compatible with the game you want to play. If an .ASI mod is designed to run only with TBoGT, it will not run with the original game. GTA IV, TLAD and TBoGT are in effect 3 separate games. It's also quite difficult to move some of the assets from one game to another. The cars introduced in the DLCs are easily moved to vanilla, but making weapons work properly is very difficult even for an experienced modder. Apart from the DLC hassle, both GTA IV and EFLC are modded in exactly the same way, so everything you learned so far still applies here.


1) Official GTA IV Patch 7 and EFLC Patch 2 (link)

The game should preferably be updated to the latest version. Every patch includes all previous fixes so there is no need to install any other updates. The patch will be applied automatically by LIVE after signing-in or you can do it yourself by downloading the installer from the official site (good for making backups and quick re-installations). This is a very important step since the retail version has a number of modding restrictions. You're no longer required to make automatic backups of the game files and therefore there is no need for a separate program that would do that (in the past it was done by the Magic Patcher). In addition, there's also no need to use Aru's modified "filelist.pak" file. However, I strongly recommend you backup every file you modify for two reasons. Firstly, your game is likely to crash time and again if you mod it heavily (an issue we have to struggle with on a daily basis). Secondly, you may simply be unhappy with the changes you made. This will be particularly important in case of file editing.

Due to the fact there are significant differences between the fully patched GTA IV and its unpatched version, some people prefer not to apply the latest patch. Bear in mind that Patches 4-7 all had EFLC compatibility in mind, so the best choice is to stick to Patch 3 (game version 1.0.3.0) in case you don't like the changes introduced by the newer updates. However, this only applies to users who bought the EFLC DVD and don't care about multiplayer. If you downloaded TLAD and TBoGT from LIVE, you won't be able to access them after disabling the service, which is a necessary step to prevent it from patching the game automatically.


2) ASI Loader
  • XLiveLess (xlive.dll) by Listener (link)
  • YAASIL (dsound.dll) by HazardX (link)
  • ASI Loader (dsound.dll) by Alexander Blade (link)
There are 3 ASI Loaders you can use and each of them is a single .dll file which loads .asi files when the game starts. All the ASI Loaders have different adventages and their own unique drawbacks, so I would recommend you use each one according to the need of the moment. Of course you cannot use all of them at once so you'll have to exchange the .dll files manually. You simply put one .dll file into the game's main directory, which is "C:\Program Files\Rockstar Games\Grand Theft Auto IV" or "C:\Program Files\Rockstar Games\Episodes from Liberty City" by default. The main difference between the ASI Loaders is that XLiveLess (xlive.dll) disables Games For Windows LIVE and Rockstar Social Club, whereas YAASIL (dsound.dll) and Alexander Blade's ASI Loader (also dsound.dll) do not. Disabling LIVE is sometimes very convenient and should also make your game load and run a little faster since no unnecessary programs run in the background. It's worth mentioning that there were many reports of Alexander Blade's ASI Loader malfunctioning on Windows Vista and since YAASIL is generally more reliable, please be cautious when using the former.


3) ScriptHook.dll by Aru (link)

ScriptHook.dll by Aru is required to run most mods. In order to deal with the fact that every new patch requires all the mods to be updated, Aru prepared a dynamic link library (.dll file) that serves as a link between the mod files and the game's .exe file. When the next patch is released, you will only have to download an updated ScriptHook.dll from Aru's official thread to run all the mods. In the past each mod had to be updated separately with new memory adresses after a patch release. ScriptHook.dll is included in some mod releases (e.g.: Simple Trainer by sjaak327), so it's not always necessary to download it separately. The .dll must be put into the game's main directory along with all other files.


4) Choosing a Mod

The last thing you need to do is to choose the right mod for yourself. It's very important to choose wisely since poorly designed mods may cause your game to be unstable and crash frequently. Remember to always check out README files, which should be included with every mod. Furthermore, you may want to remember that some mods may not work together, so always be ready to exchange them manually. Depending on the type of mod, you will have to put its files in a specific directory. In case of .asi files it's always the main directory. However, mods based on editing original game files may have varying locations. As an example, one of the most famous mods available for the game, "Simple Trainer for GTA IV" by sjaak327, consists of two files (Trainer.asi and Trainer.ini). Both of these files must be put into the game's main directory. The latter file can be edited using NotePad in order to customise its functions. After placing your mod in the right directory you're ready to launch the game and enjoy new possibilities. The next section of this guide is designed to help you choose the right mod. It's a selection of most famous mods with my personal favourites among them. I'm sure there will be something new for everybody to try.


III. Selection of Mods


1) Simple Trainer by sjaak327 (link)

I encourage you to take a look at arguably the best mod ever created for this game. Sjaak327's Simple Trainer is actually a very advanced piece of software. It features almost every function you can think of and makes you a true wizard in Liberty City. It allows you to fly, spawn cars and custom objects, change player skin, synchronise in-game time with your system clock, freeze weather and time, turn on God Mode, teleport (including teleport to waypoint), turn gravity off, spawn custom bodyguards, drivers and attackers, set pedestrians on fire, blow up cars, sit on benches, talk, force Independence FM in every car and much more. It also includes teleport locations to Pigeons, Stunt Jumps, Random Characters and Liberty City Landmarks (a sightseeing tour with 100 locations). In addition, it features a Mission Help Menu which basically completes missions for you.

The official download includes 2 versions of Aru's Scripthook (one for the latest patch and one for the old GTA IV patches I discussed above) and 3 pairs of core files (.asi and .ini) for use with any of the 3 games. If you have the DLCs, you put all of the files in your GTA IV directory. If you have EFLC, you put the correspoding files in your EFLC directory. When in doubt, always check the README.


2) Snow Mod by jumbo0 (link)

This mod covers Liberty City in snow and looks absolutely stunning. Unfortunately, its size is over 4 GB, which causes major hosting problems. Remember you have to backup the whole GTA IV game folder to be able to revert the changes.


3) File Editing
  • SparkIV by Aru (link)
  • OpenIV by OpenIV Team (link)
Editing game files allows you to change almost any aspect of Liberty City. Depending on what files you want to edit, you either have to open them with one of the programs listed above (e.g.: exchanging textures and extracting audio from the game) or simply use NotePad (e.g.: handling.dat and weaponsinfo.xml). Remember to backup your files or you may end up reinstalling the game. If you use NotePad to open carcols.dat and then locate "police" and "police 2" (types of police cars), you can change the values to "113,74,113, 74,113,113," so that some police cars in the game will appear blue. If you use SparkIV to open "pc/data/maps/interiors/generic/public_2.img" and then locate "plyrflr_frames.wdr," you will be able to replace pictures from Playboy X's Apartment with any other of your choice. If you decide to add or replace cars, check out this thread. I also encourage you to take a look at my Rocket UZI mod.


IV. Multiplayer Modding

In compliance with the official policy, this guide only discusses single player modding. However, you have to be aware that sooner or later you will meet modders on-line. Some of them may engage in disruptive behaviour ranging from using God Mode in ranked matches or blocking race tracks with ramps to crushing servers by spawning tug boats. There's a difference between (1) modding the game to do something not originally intended by the developer of the game within its imaginary setting and with its imaginary characters and (2) cheating real people sitting in front of their computers when playing a ranked deathmatch by pretending not to have an unfair advantage over them. The latter is simply immoral. Do not use mods in ranked player-to-player combat because you destroy the very reason for playing. It is supposed to be a tournament of skill, not a modding contest. You join multiplayer in order to compete with other players within the world of the game. If a person cheats in player-to-player combat, the only reason you joined the game for in the first place is no more. It's as if we had a kung fu fight in which one of the contestants used a gun... the very reason for the match would be lost.


V. Advice for Novice Players

As I tell people on-line time and again, one cannot use mods all the time and expect to become an expert on the game. For that reason, I recommend that you use them wisely and do everything you can to complete the Single Player story without them. If some parts of the game are too hard or too boring for you, try using the "in-game cheats" available on your mobile phone. Otherwise you will possibly ruin the whole experience for yourself. If you complete the main story and want to have some additional fun - now that's a different thing. Finally, remember that using mods efficiently requires quite a bit of practice and nothing can substitute lack of skill.

nerner
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#2

Posted 13 March 2009 - 05:01 PM

Nice guide, but GTA IV isn't the only game that can be modded you know.

DHoff
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#3

Posted 13 March 2009 - 05:07 PM

Great Guide, But you should of posted in the proper section: http://www.gtaforums...hp?showforum=89

McLovin2404
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#4

Posted 18 March 2009 - 07:42 PM

ey buddy. i just did a fresh install of GTAIV. Copied the necessary files and now GTA wont start up...wat have a done?

I read the Native Trainer 2.9 post but it didnt say where to copy the files to. Unless I missed something...

I copied the Trainer files into the main folder.

Asi loader (chosed YASSIL) copied to main folder

Backed up and pasted filelist.pak to pc/data

Anything else?

thales100
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#5

Posted 18 March 2009 - 08:04 PM

Nice one. icon14.gif

bananajuice
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#6

Posted 19 March 2009 - 12:10 AM

!@#$ mods, they ruin the online community. All people who play this game with mods online in TDM and DM games are losers and cant keep up those that dont. I am sick of hearing about mods, big deal I created a faster car or I can spawn a boat during a race

asses

zBobG
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#7

Posted 19 March 2009 - 09:38 AM Edited by zBobG, 19 March 2009 - 10:31 AM.

QUOTE (McLovin2404 @ Mar 18 2009, 19:42)
Asi loader (chosed YASSIL) copied to main folder

Backed up and pasted filelist.pak to pc/data

Try the Alexander Blade Asi loader instead, I couldn't get YAASIL to work either.

Changing the filelist.pak file is not necessary when using GTA4 v1.0.2.0 patch, restore the original (v1.0.2.0) filelist.pak file.

OutOfTimer
  • OutOfTimer

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#8

Posted 19 March 2009 - 01:11 PM Edited by OutOfTimer, 31 May 2009 - 02:53 AM.

@ zBobG: You are wrong about the filelist.pak. The modified version is still necessary to mod the game. The only difference is that making back-up copies of the original files is not required in version 1.0.2.0. Therefore, no need for additional software like Magic Patcher. I also recommend trying Alexander Blade's ASI Loader but from my own experience it's better to start with YAASIL. It is generally more reliable and works better especially on Vista.

Mainland Marauder
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#9

Posted 19 March 2009 - 01:53 PM

Moving this topic to the modding sections where it belongs. icon14.gif

zBobG
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#10

Posted 20 March 2009 - 01:06 AM

QUOTE (OutOfTimer @ Mar 19 2009, 13:11)
filelist.pak. The modified version is still necessary for modding the game.

That MAY be true. However, the v2.4...v2.9 Simple Native Trainer runs properly whether or not the filelist.pak is patched. Therefore it may be best that the filelist.pak be left unmodified if you're only running the SNT.

I thought that GTA4 v1.0.2.0 no longer does a file check. If that's true then the contents of the filelist.pak file does not matter, there just has to be a file there by that name. The 'patched' filelist.pak is in fact empty.

Modding the game which requires changing one of the game's data files may REQUIRE an empty filelist.pak but the SNT is not a 'proper' MOD since it does not change or modify any standard game file.

OutOfTimer
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#11

Posted 23 May 2009 - 09:42 PM Edited by OutOfTimer, 20 June 2009 - 01:45 AM.

I have updated my guide to support Patch 1.0.4.0. colgate.gif However, in compliance with gtaforums.com policy, it does not cover multiplayer modding. I hope the guide will be helpful and wish you good modding! wink.gif

d3a7h
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#12

Posted 13 June 2009 - 09:56 PM Edited by d3a7h, 13 June 2009 - 09:59 PM.

Hi, i've done all that you have said but i still can't use any mods online.

Here's what i did :
i put the asi loader in
the trainer and filecheckfix
and scripthook .

I've tried the 2 asi loaders yas and alex's but it still wont work.

When i press f3 to bring the menu up in mp nothing happens :S, theres no errors in the logs either.

Edit : They are all in my gtaiv root folder (bough through steam if any more info)

turbohans
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#13

Posted 23 June 2009 - 09:50 PM

Reinstalling the game is totally unnessary to update for the new patch.

The only file i had to replace after the patch is Filecheckfix.
(and only three files are needed for a great trainer)

Do your homework and quit misleading people into information you know better yourself about, not to mention bashing peoples nationalitys....




"go drink some tea"

EAMONXXX
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#14

Posted 09 July 2009 - 08:21 AM

Playing with realistic driving and flying doesn't ruin the game though smile.gif

CKY_86
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#15

Posted 23 July 2009 - 01:45 PM

Ive done everything that's been said but the dat files are not showing.

Do I need to do something else to get them to be visable?

OutOfTimer
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#16

Posted 10 August 2010 - 01:53 AM

I don't think we will see any more patches for the PC version of GTA IV so I've decided to update my Modding Guide to reflect that. Incorporating 3 different modding scenarios into it makes it rather hard to understand but I don't see any simple way to explain all the problems a user may encounter while modding this game. It becomes more and more complex with every layer R* adds to it. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to comment.

jebsen
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#17

Posted 09 July 2011 - 09:06 PM Edited by Girish, 10 July 2011 - 01:48 PM.

Hello, before i start i should say : i bought gta iv on xbox when it was released, and on pc when it was released, now i have lost my activation code. so i downloaded from thepiratebay : **removed** .......... works fine smile.gif .. it contained a patch 1.0.3.0, so is it possible to mod this `? .. all i want is a speedometer tounge.gif

kmlwin.1996
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#18

Posted 10 July 2011 - 11:35 AM Edited by kmlwin.1996, 10 July 2011 - 11:46 AM.

Great, you had bumped the old topic. mad.gif

IV Era Modding Forum

Choose the suitable place and open topic for questions.

jebsen
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#19

Posted 10 July 2011 - 11:46 AM

?

patrickcrowely
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#20

Posted 09 July 2012 - 09:15 PM

wAS LOOKING ALL OVER FOR SOMETHING LIKE THIS. vERY HELPFUL POST. tHANK YOU SO MUCH!




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