Grand Theft Auto V has been out on PC for five days, and as expected – our favourite modders are combing through the files and data structure of the game to see what is, and what isn’t possible. I’ve been following this process whilst it’s been going down, and – a couple of things have become evidently clear.

First and foremost, Rockstar have made it much harder to actually mod the game. Whether or not this is intentional or not is anyones guess, however – there is currently no native way to modify the game, and the structure of the game files differ to that of GTA IV quite a bit. That hasn’t stopped the guys working on OpenIV, a very well known tool within the RAGE Modding community, to get support for opening up the archives that make up Grand Theft Auto V on PC.

Whilst that is something to be happy about, there is still a lot to do. For example, OpenIV currently does not support model importing, which was a massive feature that set OpenIV up as one of the best GTA IV modding tools available. The creators haven’t given an ETA on when that functionality will be available, citing

The PC version of GTA V is used new encryption algorithm, I don’t know what exactly it called so I name it “Rockstar Annoying Encryption Algorithm”. At the current time we can only decrypt data so that is the reason we can’t provide editing features in upcoming update.

Why have Rockstar tried so hard to prevent modding?

Modding GTA IV with the Viva New York mod

“Viva New York” mod, modding parts of Liberty City to give it more of a New York feel.

At the end of the day, Rockstar have developed this game – it is their concept, their design, their hard work and persistence. It is quite obvious that modding just did not sit well with what they wanted Grand Theft Auto V to be. This, I feel – is a mighty shame. It has been proven time and time again that games that allow mods to be enabled have a much longer lasting life-span than those that don’t, and, since Grand Theft Auto V currently makes it very difficult to mod anything – I definitely feel the longevity of the game is at risk.

The biggest and most glaring reason behind us not being able to easily modify the game is simple, Grand Theft Auto: Online. Rockstar clearly pumped a lot of money and a lot of work into this world, and they clearly have a lot of in-development features coming down the line. Heists has so much potential, the casino, additional content updates and the small possibility of importing other GTA worlds such as Liberty City and Vice City – which Rockstar themselves stated was a possibility. Rockstar tried to improve upon the formula of GTA multiplayer and make it better – and if you ask me, they definitely succeeded.

However, GTA:Online is not something everyone will want to play forever. That is quite simply fact.

Can Rockstar rescue the modding community?

Yes, they absolutely can.

I don’t really feel Rockstar have done a very good job with this whole thing at all. A lot of people genuinely believed Rockstar would have made it easier for Modders to work with GTA V, especially since Rockstar embraced many of the brilliant Mods GTA IV has to offer, see IV Zombie Invasion mod, the very well-known iCE Enhancer, the original GTA Map modded into IV and so much more! I don’t feel as if Rockstar, or “cockstar” as many “fans” like to call them, have purposely “fucked us all over”. No, not in the slightest – I just feel they have not fully thought through the whole modding shenanigans.

I am no modder, I am not clever enough for all of that, but what I do know is this whole mess can be quickly fixed by Rockstar if they would simply allow overrides. The guys over at Bethesda noticed how long their big-hitters lasted due to Modders – the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series are probably Bethesda’s biggest games – and for the PC version in each, they have made it VERY EASY to modify the game. Modders have achieved some pretty fantastic stuff, from massive Graphic Overhauls, whole new lands, brand new factions and a hell of a lot more. This is because they invested a little bit of time into aiding the modders, Skyrim comes with a native package loader – essentially, what that means is when you download a mod for Skyrim you can choose whether or not it loads (thus, not touching core files) and remove it very easily. In GTA IV, once you added a model to the game, you edited one of the core files of GTA IV, and any changes you made had the potential to fuck your game up.

I feel Rockstar should incorporate a similar method of modifying Grand Theft Auto V, using this method – they could disable the overrides should a user attempt to join a GTA:Online session with them enabled, to avoid any compatibility problems and avoid cheaters. They could then also run file checks to make sure none of the core game files were modified, if they were – the player would simply be unable to join GTA:Online. That would keep the game fair, allow players to enjoy GTA:Online and also allow people to enjoy modifying the world of Los Santos and make their game even more interesting and enjoyable for themselves.

Another change made possible by modding, the bigger and better explosions mod.

Another Mod available for GTA IV was the better explosions mod

There is no modding… yet

So, I essentially wrote this post up as a request to Rockstar to help the modding community out. They so desperately want to get stuck in with their creativity, to change the gameplay experience and make their experience more enjoyable, but are currently unable to do so.

In an ideal world, it would be awesome to just see a tool similar to the Nexus Mod Manager for Grand Theft Auto V, where players can literally hit Download and have a awesome mod enabled on their game within a few minutes. Regardless, lets not hurl abuse at Rockstar – that gets no-one nowhere. Instead, let us show Rockstar just how much we want modding to be supported in Grand Theft Auto V, and hope they can come up with a way that allows all players to be happy.

We’ve had some glimmers of hope, with the first person FoV mod, and the first few trainers becoming available – but they aren’t native, and they are basic. We’re looking for the next LCPD:FR, or the next elephant character model.

Modding took off for GTA IV PC. What are you doing to support modding for V? Is there anything within the game that supports it?

Since GTA Online has such a massive and vibrant community, our primary focus is making sure that nothing detracts from that experience or has a negative impact on the overall community of players.

Source: GameSpot

PS: No jetpack has been found despite users being able to access game files. Hopefully, modding will allow us to realise the desire for a jetpack!
PPS: Yes, the header image is of GTA IV. See more here

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