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GTA IV Modding Tutorials

Before installing any mod, you must first make your game moddable and get your files out of read-only mode.

How to make your game moddable

Unfortunately, the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV is not moddable right out of the box. A file checker makes sure that you are using the original files before loading the game. Thus, it is required that you install a modding ability patch before installing any mods to your game. Currently, there are several patches available: In this tutorial, I will use the GTA IV Magic Patcher.
  1. Make sure that you have a FRESH INSTALL of Grand Theft Auto IV. The patch will not work if you have already modified any of your files!
  2. Run MagicIV.exe, which you got from the Magic Patcher download page.
  3. Click Validate Files so that the program can confirm you have all the original files. If this step fails, you will either need to replace your modified files with back-ups or, if you did not keep back-ups, completely re-install the game.
  4. Click Apply Patch. This will create back-ups of all your game files (and name them <file-name>.magic) and trick GTA IV into checking these files for validity, rather than checking your modified files.
  5. Click Verify to make sure that your game will actually run. If this works, then you will be good to go!
  6. Your game should work now with modded files, but there is one more step to take: get your files out of read-only mode. To do this, browse to your \Rockstar Games\ folder (or wherever you installed GTA IV). Right click the folder in which GTA IV is installed, and click Properties. Find a checkbox labeled "Read-Only" and uncheck it. Click Apply, and if it asks what to apply it to, choose "this folder, all subfolders." This will make every file editable.

Installing data file mods

A lot of the information in Grand Theft Auto games is stored in text files. Some of the most popularly modded text files are:
  • carcols.dat: determines the colors that each vehicle can spawn with.
  • cargrp.dat: creates classifications of cars and which pedestrians will drive them (for example: police peds only drive police vehicles).
  • handling.dat: values of the mass, drag, and other handling-related information for each vehicle.
  • timecyc.dat: information regarding the different weather conditions seen in-game.
  • vehicles.ide: the frequency, among other values, at which a car will appear.
  • visualsettings.dat: values for many of the games effects, including rain.
  • WeaponInfo.xml: almost all information regarding weapons, including clip size, accuracy, and model names.
Many of the downloads in our Miscellaneous Mods section are data file mods, and they are all installed the same way - by replacing the old file with the one provided in your download.

For this tutorial, I will go through the steps of installing the Grenade Launcher mod. This mod replaces your RPG with an M4 that fires grenades which will explode on impact.
  1. Make sure that your game is moddable.
  2. Download and extract the mod, you'll see that the data file it edits is WeaponInfo.xml.
  3. Navigate to your computer's GTA IV folder and then go to the \common\data folder.
  4. Move the downloaded WeaponInfo.xml file into your GTA IV \common\data folder and replace the old one.
That's it! Following these steps, you will have successfully installed a data file mod.

Installing texture mods

All of the skins and visuals you see in-game are textures. The most common texture mods are those that edit player skins and clothing, but they can be used to edit any visual in the game.

Texture mods are released in a couple of different formats. Some are released as .wtd and .wdr files, which are the formats that GTA IV uses to pack several models or textures into one archive. Others are simply released as PNG files, which is the format that the images inside texture archives use. In this tutorial, I'll go through how to install either of these types of mods.

First, to install either type of mod, you will need a tool that allows you to open and edit GTA IV archives. In this tutorial, I'll use aru's SparkIV, but another called OpenIV is also available.

To start, I will go through how to install the Johnny Klebitz mod, which is released as several .wtd and .wdr files.
  1. Download and extract the mod. You'll see several files such as hair_002_u.wdr and hair_diff_002_a_uni.wtd. These are models and texture archives, which contain the modded images inside them.
  2. Open up SparkIV, and click Open. Browse to GTA IV\pc\models\cdimages\playerped.rpf and open the file.
  3. SparkIV will now display a long list of various .wdr and .wtd files. These are all the textures used to give Niko his skin and clothes.
  4. To install the Johnny Klebitz mod, simply press Import on the top menu and select all of the files that came with the Johnny Klebitz download.
  5. Once everything is imported, the edited files will turn blue inside SparkIV. You can double-click one of the blue files, like head_diff_000_a_whi.wtd to confirm that the mod was installed - you should see an image that resembles Johnny rather than Niko.
  6. Click Save in the SparkIV menu and close the program.
After taking those steps, the mod will have been installed and you can start up GTA IV to play as Johnny Klebitz!

Next, I will go through the steps to install the Joker mod, which is released as several PNG files.
  1. Download and extract the mod. You will see three PNG files, which are the textures for turning Niko into The Joker.
  2. Open up SparkIV, and click Open. Browse to GTA IV\pc\models\cdimages\playerped.rpf and open the file.
  3. SparkIV will now display a long list of various .wdr and .wtd files. These are all the textures used to give Niko his skin and clothes.
  4. To install the Joker mod, you will need to replace the images inside these texture archives. First, let's install the Joker's hair...
  5. Find and click hair_diff_000_a_uni.wtd inside SparkIV. Next, press Edit in the program's menu. This will open up another window where you should see an image of Niko's hair (or something that looks like it). Next, press Import Texture from the top menu, and select the hair_diff_000_a_uni.png file that you downloaded with the Joker mod. When you see the new hair image appear in SparkIV, click Save and Close in the top right hand corner of the menu.
  6. Installing the face textures is a similar process - find head_diff_000_a_whi.wtd inside SparkIV and select Edit. Select Import Texture and browse to the Joker mod's head_diff_000_a_whi.png. When the new image appears, press Save and Close.
  7. And finally, repeat the process one more time for the Joker's suit - find uppr_diff_012_a_uni.wtd, edit it, and import the uppr_diff_012_a_uni.png texture then save and close.
  8. Once you've installed all the new textures, click Save in the SparkIV menu and close the program.
The Joker mod is now installed! When you load your game you should notice a change in Niko's face. To get the suit, you will have to go to Perseus and buy the outfit.
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