San Andreas Modding Guide
What is a "mod"?
A mod is a modification to a game or piece of software. We're talking about San Andreas, but you can get mods for many other games. A typical San Andreas mod could be changing a car, for example changing the Bullet into a McLaren F1, or changing the AT-400 into a Boeing 747. There are many different types of mod, and a wide variety too.
Can I mod my game?
There are several different versions of San Andreas, including console versions and multiple PC versions:
|PC v1:||This is the best platform to mod, and the easiest. V1 is the original version of the game, which was hit by the Hot Coffee fiasco. Most shops will not sell this version anymore.|
|PC v2/v3/v4:||Version 2 or above do not allow for mods that change the main.scm, script.img, gta3.img, or other .img files. It also doesn't allow for memory hacking or real-time memory address altering, so trainers, car spawners, and MTA/SAMP will not work. However, you can still edit the smaller .dat files and presumably audio. It is recommended that you downgrade your game to Version 1.|
|Playstation 2 & Xbox||Modding the PS2/Xbox version of the game is very hard, and not permitted by Rockstar/Sony/Microsoft. In order to do so, you will need a dual-layer DVD burner, a blank dual-layer DVD, DVD/ISO creation software, and a modchip. You must copy the DVD contents to the computer, install the mods like you would on the PC version, make the files into an ISO, and use software to make a bootable dual-layer DVD using the ISO file. You must burn to the DVD, then put it in your console. You must have a modchip or the console will give you a disc read error. We cannot provide support for Playstation/Xbox mods due to copyright/piracy issues|
|Vice City or GTAIII:||You cannot use San Andreas mods in these earlier games, but VC and GTAIII have lots of mods of their own. Be careful because the process to install these mods is slightly different, because the filetypes have changed since. How to install a car mod for Vice City|
|GTA1 or GTA2:||There are a small number of mods around for these games, but you can't alter classics - you'd take out all the classicness.|
|Half Life 2 or other games:||Yes, you can modify most popular games, but most of us don't know how to do it. This is a GTA related forum, you know!|
This guide will mainly focus on PC mods for Grand Theft Auto San Andreas v1.
What are the different types of mods?
You can change (MODify) cars, planes, helicopters, bikes, boats, buildings, landscapes, textures, the weather, missions, pedestrians, clothes, characters, speeds, settings, and almost any other aspect of the game you can imagine. You can download trainers that modify what the game is doing as it's doing it, using memory hacks. With trainers, you can spawn any vehicle out of nowhere, repaint cars wherever you are, put cars in garages, teleport yourself around, change your health/armour, pause/changee the time, and modify the weapons.
Where can I get some mods?
There are loads of mods in our downloads database, and there are more dotted around the internet too.
Who makes mods?
Mods are made by skilled fans, known as modders. Rockstar (who make GTA games) do not make mods for the game. These modders spend months or years learning their trade and making their mods. They all give away their mods for free, although you can buy lots of generic models from other sites that could be put into any game.
Can I make a mod myself?
Probably not straightaway, learning to mod can take quite a while, because you have to use several different pieces of software. It isn't impossible, but making good mods can take years of practice and hard work. By all means, if you have plenty of time on your hands, you should learn - it would be great to have some more modders. Just don't think it is as easy as drawing a car in an application, painting it a certain colour, and installing it in the game. For a start, you must be completely aware of how to install mods into San Andreas and, if you're making cars, be able to change some things on your own (like the handling and carcols). The best place to start would be textures (skins) for buildings, as they don't move or have animations.
I'm afraid that not many people here are modders, and the few that are don't have the time to sit with everybody and show them how to mod step by step. There are quite a few tutorials around the internet, but the best places to start (in my opinion) is by playing around in Sketchup or 3DS Max - and they aren't free either. Your best bet in almost every situation is to download ready built mods. I'm afraid that modders are often too busy to answer every request for a custom car.
Is it dangerous to mod my game?
Installing mods does not damage your game, unless you do something wrong. So long as your follow the instructions, and have a basic idea of what it is you're actually doing, you are unlikely to make a mistake. If you do make a mistake, you could either restore a backup (if you made one) or reinstall your game. Reinstalling your game does not get rid of your saved games, they are stored in 'My Documents'. For this reason, it is best to keep a backup of every file you edit or replace. The only file that is usually too big to backup is gta3.img - you should just backup every .dff or .txd inside gta3.img that you alter.
Script mods can range from just having all islands open at the start to having all-new missions - they change how the game works and what you do in it, rather than just the look and feel of things. However, if you install a script mod - that is a modification to the main.scm file - you will not be able to use existing savegames, and any savegames you make whilst using that edited .scm can not be used on a different/default installation. The main.scm won't function with savegames from other main.scms because it generates different function IDs, which confuses it - thus the instant crash is usually imminent.
There are a number of ways you can install mods. The first is manually (using the dffs and txds), and another is using GGMM (GTA Garage Mod Manager) which is an quicker way to install mods
Manually Installing a car into San Andreas PC v1
This is the most common and popular type of modding, for one of the most popular games of all time.
The basic steps are as follows:
Download and extract the mod, replace the DFF and TXD into gta3.img (If backing up, rename the files you are replacing in gta3.img first, for example, from dumper.dff to dumper_old.dff), replace the lines in handling.cfg, carcols.dat, default.ide, vehicles.ide and carmods.dat (If such replacement files/lines are included in the mod), run the game and test the mod.
1. Extract the mod file(s) to a folder...
2. Open GTA3.IMG with IMG Tool 2, and find the file you want to replace. Rename it for backup.
3. Use the Command/Add option and add the file you extracted in Step 1 to gta3.img.
If the mod has other files such as handling.cfg, carmods.dat, etc...you can simply add those files, but if have previously modified the files then you will need to only replace the required line or your other mods won't work. Open the files in your San Andreas/data folder with Notepad. Replace the lines. If you want to back up the files, copy the one you want to backup to your desktop, rename the one in the data folder (like handlingold.cfg) and move the one on your desktop back to the data folder) Use the regular one for mods.
4. Remember to backup the .dat, .cfg, and .ide files if they need modded.
5. Copy the lines to the files in the data folder.
Using GGMM to install a car mod into SA PC v1
[help needed for this]
Other ways to install mods
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So, can members please reply with any additions and edits you think should be made, thanks