Grand Theft Auto 5 is one of the best-selling games of all time and one of the most beloved. The game has sold over 160 million copies making it the second best-selling game of all time only behind Minecraft. It is hard to believe that GTA V was released all the way back in 2013; I still remember the excitement leading to the game’s release and finally getting my copy on the Xbox 360 and playing through this absolute masterpiece of a game.
Although many people might claim GTA: San Andreas is the best game in the GTA series, I have to give the top spot to GTA V. I’ve been playing the series ever since 1999 when I got a copy of Grand Theft Auto 1 on PlayStation for my 9th birthday from my Uncle. However, I’m not condoning letting children play the series.
Today, I play GTA V on PC. Although I have explored everything in Los Santos, including all of the missions, the side quests, and the activities multiple times, I still find myself going back to the game fairly regularly, and mods help with that. As it stands, GTA V is my most played game on Steam and has three times more hours put into it than my second most played game.
Although GTA: Online does exist, mods help extend the game’s life, which is excellent considering GTA 6 is nowhere to be seen. Some of these Grand Theft Auto mods are simple graphics, bringing the game into the modern age. While some completely overhaul the game as we know it with new gameplay mechanics and new areas to explore.
This guide has everything you need to know about the best GTA V mods, including where to get them and the best mods in the game that you need to check out.
Bottom Line Up Front
When it comes to GTA V mods, there are literally tens of thousands of mods that are available to download, from simple vehicle mods to complete gameplay overhauls. This can make navigating the best ones to install very difficult as there are just too many options at your fingertips.
Although this guide is designed to let you know which ones are the best and ones that you need to try, I am also going to give you the best of the very best here.
Here are the top five mods from the list below that I feel are the very best, and if you install no other ones, make sure you at least give these a try.
- Simple Trainer for GTA V – Cheats and GTA go hand in hand; with them being a big part of the classic games, everyone had a list of the cheats in the back of the manuals, I know I did. The Simple Trainer mod allows you to activate all of the cheats you need, including infinite health, weapons and ammo, and many more fun things to play with.
- GTA 5 Redux – When it comes to graphics mods, one stands tall above all of the rest, GTA 5 Redux. This mod overhauls the graphics and remakes the textures in 4K. Overall, improves the quality of the game with a new weather system, better visual effects, improved vehicle handling, and much more. If you’re a PC enthusiast like me and want to squeeze every ounce of power out of your GPU, this mod will help you achieve it.
- LSPDFR – LSPDFR was GTA Role Playing before it was a thing, with the mod allowing us to play a completely different version of the game by becoming law enforcement. It is very likely that the GTA RP creator got their inspiration from mods such as this, with LSPDFR giving us a hint at what would be possible using the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine.
- The Dead Among Us Project – Shows like The Walking Dead were incredibly popular during the time when GTA V was released, with many people, including me, spending our days playing the game and then sitting back to watch the latest adventures of Rick and his group of survivors in AMC’s hit show. The Dead Among Us helps to bridge the gap by bringing a zombie apocalypse to Los Santos. It is one of the earlier overhaul mods to come to the game but has remained an incredibly popular choice, and it is worth playing.
- REAL VR – Virtual Reality has grown in popularity every year. It has greatly enhanced many games, such as Resident Evil 7. This mod allows you to experience GTA V VR in the best way possible, and it is a great proof of concept to prove that the series could work in VR, although I doubt we will see VR in GTA 6.
History Of GTA Modding
Modding has been part of the Grand Theft Auto series since it began back in 1997, and they have only gone from strength to strength as the years went on. Most mods in GTA 1 are simple graphics changes such as adding new vehicles, and modders have continued to get more ambitious.
Today, many of the top GTA V mods completely overhaul the game as we know it. Some of these mods introduce new gameplay mechanics, new storylines, and incredible-looking graphics that continue to bring the game into the modern age.
Essential Software For GTA V Modding
To get started with installing GTA V mods, there are a few pieces of essential software that you will need; otherwise, most mods won’t work.
- Script Hook V + Native Trainer – Script Hook V allows you to use custom .asi plugins to install and use mods in the game. Mods in GTA V won’t work without this software and are required to mod the game. The software also comes with a Trainer, allowing you to activate cheats, spawn vehicles and weapons, remove wanted levels, and other fun features.
- OpenIV – OpenIV perfectly compliments Script Hook V and is a multi-purpose editor and archive manager for GTA V, GTA IV, and Max Payne 3. Like Script Hook, this is an essential piece of software that you will need to use most mods in GTA V.
- GTA V Mod Manager – GTA V Mod Manager is a great tool to keep all of your mods in one place. These allow you to activate and deactivate them as needed without deleting or moving them out of the folder each time you want to change which mods you’re using. The Mod Manager automatically deletes all of the mods placed in the game’s directory upon loading GTA: Online to stop you from getting banned, so make sure to place them in the correct folders.
Modding GTA V can be incredibly fun to do, with it helping to extend the life of the game and giving players a reason to come back to the game and explore it in new ways.
Since mods can only be used in single-player and can get you banned from GTA: Online. I recommend having two game installations in different directories.
For example, you could name one as “Grand Theft Auto V Backup” so your launcher doesn’t try and load the game from it as it won’t search in that directory. This can be the installation that has the mods-enabled.
When you want to use mods, change this directory to its original name and the clean install to “Grand Theft Auto V Backup,” Then, keep switching them as and when you want mods in the game.
The Best GTA V Mods
The Simple Trainer is one of the most popular mods in GTA V, and it is an essential one that you need to download. Simple Trainer is essentially a cheat engine that allows you to activate various cheats, including infinite health, all weapons and ammo, removing wanted levels, and much more.
It also allows you to spawn in vehicles and do other fun stuff. Like other mods, Simple Trainer only works in single-player to prevent GTA: Online players from cheating.
LSPDFR transforms GTA V into a police simulator, putting you on the other side of the law rather than the criminal. The mod is one of the oldest and most popular in the game, with a similar mod being released previously for GTA IV.
You can take part in high-speed pursuits and takedown criminals or let them go free as you have the ultimate level of freedom to enforce the law as you see fit.
The Dead Among Us Project is another incredibly popular GTA V mod. This mod puts Los Santos right in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. The city is overrun by the undead and abandoned.
The mod features various maps, each with its own scenario and unique features. This overhaul mod is one of the best I’ve seen in a game and does zombie games better than some actual zombie games.
GTA V RPG transforms the game into a Role Playing Game, complete with skill trees, a new character-driven storyline, a leveling system, questing, looting, etc. This is an exciting take on GTA V that is worth trying.
GTA V’s story is incredibly expansive. When you reach 100% completion in the game, you still haven’t finished everything it has to offer. So, can you imagine adding even more missions and heists to the game?
That is exactly what The Red House mod does, with the mod adding over 20 new missions and a brand new heist to complete. The missions on offer include Assassination Contracts where you take down a target. Mob Cleaning has you kill everyone in sight after a deal goes sideways. Protection sends you to a hotel to take out all the men trying to kill an important asset you need to protect.
Big Score Heist is a three-stage bank heist that nets you $5 million. Finally, Deal Breaker has you save a drug shipment from NOOSE, which is trying to stop the shipment from reaching Vice City. There are plans to bring more missions to the game in the future.
Trucking simulator games are incredibly popular. They let the player simulate long-haul trucking, which can be very relaxing from the comfort of your couch or gaming chair.
Trucking Missions adds the experience to GTA V, with you completing various contracts from the likes of Simeon and the US Government. These missions are similar to other cargo missions in the game, going from point A to B in a certain amount of time.
North Yankton is where the game starts in, with Trevor, Michael, and their crew escaping the police following a bank heist. You also return there later in the game when Trevor discovers the fate of Brad. This mod allows you to freely explore North Yankton outside of the context of a mission.
Despite being a location that is only seen briefly in the game, it is surprisingly fleshed out. There are no missions to complete in the game, and it isn’t a mod that you will spend a considerable amount of time playing, but it is fun to go back and check out the full location.
The REAL VR mod lets you experience GTA V in virtual reality if you own a headset. GTA V has a first-person mod by default, which works incredibly well. You need to use a controller to move, but your head movements control the camera, which means you can explore Los Santos in a brand new way. If you’ve got a steering wheel, you can use it to drive around to give yourself a really immersive experience.
Check out the REAL VR mod in action and the steps needed to set it up.
GTA 5 Redux is one of the best graphics mods for the game, but it really is so much more than that. In addition to the overhauled graphics, which remakes the textures in stunning 4K, it includes so much more content to completely change the game’s appearance.
The mod includes a new weather system and better visual effects, such as leaves falling from trees more consistently. Many game enhancements come with the mod, too, including improved vehicle handling, especially when it comes to tire traction, depending on the weather and service.
Unused police character models are added back into the game, and the wanted system is re-configured. And the physics is improved to give a more realistic look to the game. If you want to improve the graphics and bring them more into the modern age, this is a great mod that pushes the game to its limits.
Despite being a massive game with a bustling landscape, you end up hearing and seeing the same things in the exact locations after a while. World Of Variety sets to change that by adding the more updated GTA: Online content into the main story mode, including NPCs, locations, vehicles, and other assets.
Although GTA: Online is still based in Los Santos, a lot has changed on that map, so this mod is a great way to blend the two together.
Complex Control is a major overhaul mod that turns GTA V into a roguelike game. You play as a special unit called the Avatars as you play to survive with a permanent progression system and custom-crafted systems. This is a very interesting take on GTA, and it shakes up the game as we know it.
Gangs were a big part of the classic PS2-era trilogy of games, especially San Andreas. Still, they are noticeably absent from GTA V. This mod adds them into the game with a turf system, allowing you to take control of a gang that you can name and make your own and then fight to control zones across San Andreas.
This mod adds a fuel gauge to the vehicles in GTA V, with the engine stopping if they run out of fuel. Because they rely on fuel, a new mechanic has been added to the game to allow you to refill your gas tank.
Realistic fuel scripts are commonly used in GTA Roleplaying. If you want a more lifelike GTA experience in the story mode, this is a great mod.
Los Santos is a huge map, but one of the game’s main criticisms is that most buildings are just filler and can’t be entered. This mod changes that by opening up the interior of most buildings in the game, including interiors that were cut from the game.
Over 60 buildings can now be explored, including the hospital, the LifeInvader offices, Lazlow’s Stadium, Solomon’s office, and even many apartments and penthouses from GTA: Online.
It is no secret that Los Santos is based on various parts of Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. This mod changes the names and designs of many real-world locations, such as the iconic Hollywood sign.
Have you ever wanted to travel across Los Santos as Tony Stark in his Iron Man armor? If you have, then now is your chance to do so, and if you haven’t, you will soon. This is a fun mod to mess with as it allows you to freely fly and even includes his repulsor weapon.
The vehicle damage in GTA V can get very predictable, with most vehicles being destroyed in similar ways as damage is inflicted. The Better Car Destruction mod aims to make it more realistic and reflect the car’s impact. When combined with many other mods on this list, the overall experience is much more realistic and in line with what we can expect to see in future titles.
GTA Role Playing
GTA Role-Playing could be for you if you’re into conversion mods. GTA Role-Playing puts hundreds and even thousands of players onto the same server to role-play being a regular NPC in the game. You have a job, which can be anything you want, from a person that drives a tow truck to a lawyer, a police officer, or even a store assistant.
You spend your time living the life of that character. The servers have generally been heavily modified, with many buildings being accessible with brand new areas that fans have created. I even played on a server that recreated part of London, and it really felt like I was playing a game set in the UK they did a fantastic job.
In order to play GTA Role Playing, you will need to download either the FiveM or Rage MP clients; there are many servers that you can join, with each of them having its own requirements. Here are some of the more popular ones, but these can have long waitlists to become accepted.
Question: Can you use mods in GTA: Online?
Answer: Most mods will automatically disable when GTA: Online is accessed. However, not all will, and some will remain active. You shouldn’t use mods when playing online, as you will likely be banned quickly.
Question: Will using mods get you banned?
Answer: If used in single-player mode, mods won’t get your account banned, and you can play them without fear of losing your game. However, if you use mods in GTA: Online, you will likely be banned quickly, so make sure to have two installs of the game or remove the mods from your files when you want to jump online.
Question: Can mods be used on console versions of the game?
Answer: Mods can only be used on the PC version of the game. When it comes to the PC launcher, mods can be used on all of them to purchase the game on your favorite, with GTA V being available on Steam, Epic Games Store, and Rockstar Games Launcher.
GTA V is one of the most expensive games today, with dozens of missions to complete and hundreds of side quests and activities to do. This game has plenty to offer and will give you hundreds of hours of fun as you explore Los Santos with Michael, Trevor, and Franklin. Many of these can mods enhance the experience even further.
Some overhaul the game entirely and bring the graphics into the Modern Age. Even though the game was only released in 2013, a lot has changed since then. Mods can help bridge the gap between now and the release of GTA 6, whenever that will be.