Grand Theft Auto’s history with modding: Part 1

The Grand Theft Auto series is no stranger to mods. Whether it be new cars; new textures and lighting; or simple gameplay tweaks. But with these mods comes a history.
This series will feature the history of modding in the Grand Theft Auto community and how it became a staple for the series. This first part will be an overview of modding in Grand Theft Auto to give context to the next parts.
First off, mods in Grand Theft Auto can be divided into three categories; graphics, gameplay, and assets


Seemingly, the modding communities’ main focus is graphics related mods. These mods consist of lighting overhauls, increased texture resolution, and even different skyboxes. This is especially true for the older games where Enhanced Natural Beauty (ENB) mods are commonplace. ENB’s make the older games easier on the eyes and modernizes them.

An ENB mod for Grand Theft Auto 4 makes the game look current gen


Gameplay mods come in the form of overhauled driving mechanics; realistic additions like food and water meters; and even alternate storylines that users create. These are the types of mods that turn the game into something new. For example, in Grand Theft Auto 5, there’s a mod that allows you to attend the university in the city. This completely turns the game on its head, as its a video game about committing crimes essentially.

GTA 5 PC Mods - REAL LIFE MOD #1! GTA 5 School & Jobs Roleplay Mod ...
This mod allows your character to attend college in Las Santos


Lastly, we have assets. These mods bring in new vehicles, buildings, weapons, pretty much anything you can dream of. Asset mods are more popular in the older likes as its easier to bring in low resolutions models. It’s also more enjoyable because you can spawn in a ton of that item without the game crashing.

GTA: Gotham City! The Dark Knight Carjacks In 'Grand Theft Auto ...
In Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, you can mod in the Tumbler from The Dark Knight

Overall, the modding community in Grand theft Auto rivals that of Bethesda games and is continuously growing across all games, new and old.
Part 2 will dive deep into the 3D universe of Grand Theft Auto games (3, Vice City, San Andreas)

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