GTA San Andreas is not only one of the most beloved entries in the series but one of the most highly regarded games of all time. The game holds a 95/100 score on Metacritic, and with good reason.
First released in 2004, GTA San Andreas was the third and final game in the classic PS2-era trilogy of games that included GTA 3 and Vice City, released on PC, PS2, and Xbox. Despite being released nearly two decades ago, and with many mainline and spin-off entries in the series released since, San Andreas remains a favorite of many GTA fans and one that players return to repeatedly.
If you’re like me and you’re a massive fan of the GTA series, you have likely spent a lot of time with the game and have explored everything that the game has to offer. Mods can be a great way to extend the life of a game, and San Andreas has plenty to choose from.
These mods can range from simple weapon changes to replacing CJ with various superheroes. While some completely overhaul the game as we know it and add many new features and mechanics to the game.
Here are all the best mods for GTA San Andreas that you should install and check out if you’re a fan of the series.
Bottom Line Up Front
As long as GTA San Andreas has been released, dedicated fans have worked hard creating mods for the game. Some of these bring minor changes to the game, such as new weapons or vehicles, while some overhaul the graphics and even add new gameplay mechanics and missions.
This guide has many fantastic mods that I highly recommend you check out. They will add a lot of replayability to the game and enhance the overall gameplay experience for you. But, if you only want to install a couple of mods, here are my favorite ones that I highly recommend you try.
This mod overhauls the textures in the game to help bring them closer to modern standards. After all, San Andreas was released in 2004, and graphics have improved drastically since then. V Graphics is inspired by GTA V and tries to make the visuals match the game.
Due to the engine’s limitations, it isn’t identical to GTA V. Still, the modders did an excellent job with what they had to work with and enhanced the game.
The weapons HUD in GTA V is near perfect. It makes it easy to switch weapons very quickly, which is a considerable improvement over the mechanic in GTA San Andreas and the other classic PS2-era games. If you’re used to playing GTA V, it can be challenging to return to a lesser mechanic. Thankfully, this mod means you don’t need to.
GTA San Andreas is a huge game, with it easily providing you with 50-100 hours of fun on your first playthrough. But, eventually, the fun must end as you complete everything there is to do in the game.
Things To Do In San Andreas aims to extend the life of San Andreas by adding hundreds of new pieces of content and fixes to the game. If you can’t get enough of San Andreas, install this mod, and you will again find yourself addicted to the game.
Cheats and GTA seem to go hand in hand, and many of us had cheat sheets in the games’ manuals and printed out from the internet. Since we are now in 2022, mods exist to implement these cheats instead of needing to use a code. This is an essential mod that every GTA player should have installed.
GTA San Andreas was first released in 2004, which means that modern hardware can encounter issues getting the game to work. The Grand Theft Auto San Andreas Fixer Pack mod aims to fix many problems players can discover. This allows for a smooth experience, making it a key mod to have installed at all times if you experience some compatibility issues.
Essential Software To Mod GTA San Andreas
While modding some games is as simple as putting a file into the game’s directory and booting it, San Andreas isn’t one of those games.
However, the good news is that San Andreas isn’t a challenging game to get started with modding. You can be up and running in a matter of minutes once you have downloaded all of the necessary pieces of software and the mods you want to use.
To get started, you need to download and install the following piece of software:
This ASI Plugin for GTA San Andreas allows you to easily install and uninstall mods in a matter of minutes. The San Andreas Modloader doesn’t replace any original files, meaning that the game can be reverted to stock very quickly.
You can also house all of your mods in the Modloader and quickly select the ones you want, and there are no limits on how many mods you can use simultaneously. The software will merge the files together and make them work perfectly fine.
Rockstar Games disabled most of the modding capabilities in all game versions beyond the 1.0 release due to the Hot Coffee controversy that saw cut content still in the in-game files that could be modded into the game. To get many mods working, you will need to downgrade your game back to the 1.0 version. Here is an incredibly detailed guide on Steam to downgrade San Andreas to allow most mods to be used.
Tips For Modding GTA San Andreas
When modding most games, especially more recent GTA games, you often have to jump through a lot of hoops by installing the right software and loading files and code that you don’t understand a single thing about and hope that your PC doesn’t break.
With GTA San Andreas, that isn’t the case, apart from installing the easy-to-use San Andreas Modloader that I mentioned in the previous section.
I researched online to find some issues that other gamers may have experienced while trying to set up the San Andreas Modloader. The main problem is that the game sometimes isn’t detected. If this happens, verifying the game files can often fix the issue.
The Best GTA San Andreas Mods
There are hundreds of GTA San Andreas mods to choose from. They all add something different to the game, from graphic overhauls, new characters, weapons, vehicles, mechanics, and so much more.
Although they’re not all great, plenty is worth your time to mess about with for a while to add some fun new gameplay elements. And some of them are almost essential and must-haves today. Such as bringing the graphics more in line with modern games as much as the engine will allow, and some just making the gameplay an overall better experience.
But, rather than just telling you how good some of the mods can be, here is a list of all of the GTA San Andreas mods I think you should be installing.
PCs and technology were very different back when GTA San Andreas was first released in 2004. The latest OS was Windows XP. Although the more recent game releases have been patched to make them work on modern hardware, some users still experience issues.
The Fixer Pack aims to provide that by providing many common fixes in one easy-to-install file. If you’re having trouble getting San Andreas to run on your PC, this is a great place to start, and I highly recommend it.
Cheat Menu – Cheats were a key part of older GTA games. Many gamers, including myself, wrote down lists of cheats in the back of the manuals and on various scraps of paper over the years. The Cheat Menu mod eliminates the need for writing down cheats as it houses them in one easy-to-use menu that can activate them at will. Trust me, you will have a lot of fun with this.
First-person was finally introduced to the GTA series with GTA V. It completely changes how you play the game after spending over a decade as a third-person game.
The First Person Mod takes what was introduced in GTA V and brings it to San Andreas, shaking up the game and allowing you to experience it in a brand new way. As San Andreas wasn’t designed to be first-person, the mod isn’t perfect, but it is still a lot of fun and worth trying at least once.
GTA San Andreas is hailed as one of the greatest games of all time, and for a good reason. The gameplay and story still hold up well today. Still, graphic capabilities have improved drastically since 2004, and this makes San Andreas look very outdated.
V Graphics aims to fix this by recreating the textures in the game to be more in line with GTA V. Although the mod does make the game look fantastic, especially for a 2004 game, the game’s engine still has its limitations so it isn’t perfect. But, if you’re looking to make San Andreas look the best it can do, then I don’t think there’s a better mod out there than V Graphics.
Like V Graphics, GTA SA IV Los Santos is a graphic overhaul mod, but this time it aims to give the game a similar feel to GTA IV. Each city in the GTA series has its own feel and charm, with them aiming to replicate the look of real-world cities.
Liberty City is based on New York City, Vice City is based on Miami, and Los Santos is based on Los Angeles. GTA IV is set in Liberty City so this mod gives San Andreas a New York City feel rather than LA. I would say that V Graphics looks better but is also much newer.
Still, it will come down to whether you want the game to look more like GTA IV or GTA V. Both mods are fantastic, and it is worth jumping between the two to see which one you prefer.
The engine used in GTA San Andreas certainly has its limitations, but I can’t fault it too much as the game is almost two decades old. The Memory512 mod helps to eliminate some of the engine’s limitations, such as increasing the draw distance so you can see things further away than you can on the stock version of the game.
Zombie Outbreak is a gameplay conversion mod that brings a zombie apocalypse to the city of San Andreas. Unfortunately, the modders only completed Mission 1, and no new mods have been released since. But, if you want to take out hordes of the undead in GTA, this is a fun mod to try.
Gang Wars is a large part of San Andreas, with them playing a crucial role throughout the story. This mod expands on the Gang Wars by creating zones across San Andreas rather than just in Los Santos and adding the Mafia and Russians to the game.
Switching weapons in older GTA games was very clunky, but it was the only option we had back in the day. I think GTA V completely changed that by adding the weapon wheel, which is the perfect way to switch weapons. The wheel is very clean and easy to navigate, and it is something I hope carries over into GTA 6 unless Rockstar Games can somehow improve upon it further.
This mod brings the GTA V-style weapon wheel to San Andreas, making swapping weapons much more manageable. If it has been a while since you’ve played San Andreas, and you’ve been racking up hundreds of hours in GTA V as I have, then this is a must-have mod.
Driving is a massive part of the GTA franchise, and it is no different with San Andreas. You will spend a lot of your time playing the game in a vehicle, which stays fun due to GTA having some of the best driving mechanics in gaming. The First Car Pack takes many vehicles in the game and replaces them with their real-life counterparts, giving the game a much more realistic look and feel.
San Andreas is a huge game. You can easily spend 50-100 hours exploring everything that the game has to offer. But, what do you do once you’ve completed everything in San Andreas? Install the Things To Do In San Andreas mod and have even more content to complete.
This mod not only improves the overall look and feel of the game with some changes, including improvements to pedestrians and traffic, but it also adds a lot of new content.
Some new features include side missions such as pizza delivery and other money-making opportunities. Rampages have been added to the game from GTA V. New Safe Houses and Ammu-Nation buildings have been added, as well as hundreds of improvements to the game. There is far too much content to list here, but click the link and read everything in the mod, and you will see how much this mod brings to the table.
This is a straightforward mod that allows you to autosave your game by pressing a button on your keyboard and automatically saving your game after each mission. This makes sure that you never forget to save and lose progress. It isn’t the most exciting mod, but it certainly comes in handy.
Have you ever wanted to play as Iron Man in GTA San Andreas? If the answer is yes, then you are in luck. If the answer is no, then you didn’t know you needed to until now. This mod does exactly what it says on the tin. It adds Tony Stark to GTA San Andreas, complete with his weapons and suit abilities. This is an entertaining mod to have fun exploring Los Santos and cause havoc and destruction.
Like the previous mod, this mod replaces CJ with Superman, allowing you to fly across the map as the DC icon. Although I think the Iron Man mod has more features and is more fun to use, I couldn’t exclude DC from this list.
Finally is the Gravity Gun a weapon that allows you to grab objects and throw them in the air, which can provide some very entertaining moments. This is a simple mod that you could always leave on because you never know when it will come in handy.
Question: Which other GTA games are set in San Andreas?
Answer: San Andreas is home to two different GTA games. These are GTA San Andreas, and GTA V, with the latter taking place in Los Santos, which San Andreas is part of.
Question: Do GTA San Andreas mods work on the Definitive Edition?
Answer: No, mods for the original GTA San Andreas game released in 2004 won’t work on GTA: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition. Both games have their own mods, but some mods will overlap in what they bring to the game.
Question: Which version of GTA San Andreas should I play?
Answer: This one really comes down to personal preference. The Definitive Edition received mixed reviews from critics and a lot of negative backlash from the GTA community due to mods of the original version doing a better job enhancing the game. If I had to choose which version of the game I would play and mod, it would be the original as it has a more extensive selection of mods available. The graphics mods improve the visuals more than the Definitive Edition did.
GTA San Andreas has long been hailed as the pinnacle of the series by many fans, and it is still remembered for a good reason. With the game being released back in 2004, there is a good chance that you have played and finished the game before, so mods can provide a good reason to go back to the game again.
Plenty of mods on offer can really overhaul the game and provide countless hours of fun and entertainment. And when you’re done with GTA San Andreas mods, I highly recommend going back and playing some other entries in the series such as GTA IV and GTA V as both games have dozens of incredible mods to check out. GTA 6 isn’t going to be released any time soon, so this is a perfect opportunity to dive back into the series again.