How to Mod GTA V

Learn how to install GTA V mods and go wild

When a certain subset of fans found themselves unsatisfied with everything Grand Theft Auto V offered, they decided to use mods to mold the world to fit their own image. Mods allow users to change everything about the game up to and including the character models. Here's how to mod GTA V, including where to get them and how to install them.

Mods are only available on PC, but some intrepid users have found ways to mod the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. However, doing so breaks the terms of service and multiple sections of the EULA.

Grand Theft Auto V has amazing mods.
 Rockstar Games

What Can Mods Do?

The minds behind the various Grand Theft Auto V mods are as esoteric and off-the-wall as the mods themselves. The best way to explain what mods are capable of is to simply explain a few of them. One of the most popular mods, for example, turns you into Iron Man. Rather than taking on the role of whatever character you choose, you instead don the Iron Man armor and fly your way through Los Santos and bombard anyone that gets in your way.

Another mod turns your character into Nintendo mascot Mario, complete with the sound effects of the original NES game. Bounce and jump your way through the city and beat up random pedestrians if it suits your fancy, or hunt down Goombas and find whatever nefarious plot Bowser is up to. 

The modding community in Grand Theft Auto V is alive and well, and mods range from creatively silly to nothing short of impressive. They can expand the in-game landmass, provide new missions and areas to explore, and add new vehicles in the game that even the creative minds at Rockstar never thought of. 

Grand Theft Auto V mods let you change almost every aspect of the game to give yourself a completely different experience. However, the majority are only available in single-player modes. Any mods used online might give players an unfair advantage, so developer Rockstar Games has taken a firm stance against anything that might be used as an exploit. 

Before Your Download and Install GTA V Mods

There are a lot of different places to find Grand Theft Auto V mods, but before you begin searching for them, there are a few steps you need to take beforehand. 

First, create a folder to store your mods. This can be on your desktop or in a documents folder. Its location doesn't matter as long as you know where to find it. Name it something like "Grand Theft Auto Mods."

After this, you want to find a website you trust for downloading mods. Here are a few popular sites:

Keep in mind that any file downloaded from the Internet carries an inherent risk of malware or spyware. Keep your antivirus program updated and make regular backups of important information. Exercise best practices for cybersecurity when downloading any file, even from websites you trust. 

How to Download and Install a GTA V Mod

Some mods may require additional downloads that have nothing to do with modding the game itself but enable the mod to work properly or load specific textures or file packs.

Two of these files are Script Hook V and the GTAV LUA Plugin. Script Hook V allows mods to "hook" into GTA V's single-player code, while the LUA Plugin lets the game utilize LUA, a common programming language used in mod creation. Download and follow the installation instructions for both of these before you start.

This is a step-by-step guide on how to install a specific mod to GTA V. The process for downloading mods is different for each one, so there's no way to guarantee how each one will work, but this illustrates the basic concept of installing mods and should help you navigate the process on your own.

  1. Download the mod file to the "GTA V Mods" folder you created earlier. For example, a mod allowing you to heal by leaning against a wall. You can download it here.

    This is a very simple mod to install. Others might be more complicated, but almost every one has a ReadMe file included with detailed, easy-to-follow instructions.

  2. Make a second folder with a similar name. You want to extract the files you just downloaded into this new folder.

  3. Move the file "HealByLeaningOnWall.dll" to the C:\program files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\GrandTheftAutoV\scripts\addins folder.

    The folder varies depending on how you installed the game, but an easy trick is to make sure you see two files: GTAV.exe and bink2w64.dll.

  4. Launch GTA V and test out the mod. If you extracted it to the correct folder, you should be able to restore your HP to full just by leaning against a wall.

    Keep the "\scripts\addins" folder in mind, as it's the main destination for the majority of the mods you install.

Is Modding Illegal?

You might find discussions online about the legality of modding. In truth, it's a bit of a grey area.

Using mods in online video game modes isn't illegal, but it breaks the terms of service for the game and can result in an account ban from Rockstar Games. Meanwhile, selling mods is illegal, as it uses copyrighted and trademarked content for unlicensed commerce.

However, modding for fun is perfectly fine. Changing the in-game files so you can drive around a rocket-powered Thomas the Tank Engine won't land you in prison. Keep your modding restricted to the single-player mode and you have nothing to worry about.