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The best GTA 5 mods - better graphics, iron man, zombie hordes and so much more

GTA 5 mods
(Image credit: Rockstar)

The best GTA 5 mods can give you a whole new look, style or just add a layer of cray to change up an otherwise familiar game. From hyper realistic graphics to super powers, zombies, and entirely new gameplay angles like new interiors, actually going to prison or playing as a policeman. With the right GTA 5 mods you've basically got a whole new game to play

Obviously in terms of mod there's a lot of things you can try in GTA 5. If you've not done it before, or are just overwhelmed by the possibilities, you might want some help. If that's the case then this GTA 5 mod guide will help guide you to the best ones to try and tell you how to download and install them. These mods will make your experience of Grand Theft Auto 5's open world richer, prettier, crazier, and so much more interesting. 

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How to install GTA 5 mods on PC

How to install GTA 5 mods on PC

(Image credit: Future)

If you're playing GTA 5 on PC and browsing this list but have never installed mods before, you're probably wondering where to start and how to install GTA 5 mods on PC in the first place. When you've downloaded some mods, refer back to this step-by-step guide to install them.

Unfortunately, installing GTA 5 mods on PC isn't as simple as copy and pasting the downloaded files across. There are two tools you need to download first: Script Hook V and GTAV LUA Plugin. We'll start with Script Hook V.

How to install Script Hook V for GTA 5:

  1. Download Script Hook V and open the .zip folder.
  2. Copy ScriptHookV.dll to the parent GTAV folder.
    If you're playing the game through Steam, this can be found in \SteamApps\common\Grand Theft Auto V\.
    Unfortunately, Script Hook V hasn't been updated to support the Epic Games version. If it does, we'll update this guide, but you're stuck with vanilla GTA 5 until then.
  3. Do the same with both dsound.dll (this is the Asi Loader) and NativeTrainer.asi. Asi Loader is essential because it allows you to launch .asi plugins, while Native Trainer is the thing that lets you access cheats like teleportation, super jump, and more.

How to install the GTAV LUA Plugin:

  1. Download the GTAV LUA Plugin and open the .zip folder.
  2. Copy the 'scripts' folder and the LUA.asi file to the same parent folder as before.
  3. Whenever you download a LUA file in future as part of a mod, you'll need to put them inside the 'addins' folder inside the 'scripts' folder.

Now in order to install the mods themselves — make sure you read the specific instructions — but the gist of it should be as simple as copying the mod files to the main GTA 5 folder. Keep reading for our 25 best GTA 5 mods on PC, in no particular order.

1. Put your hands up and give me all of your valuables!

GTA 5 mods: Home Invasions

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Mod: Home Invasion

While you can rob stores with ease, you can't actually burgle someone's house in GTA 5. Until now. The Home Invasion mod allows you to enter certain houses either stealthily or guns blazing, then rob the inhabitants at gunpoint. Some homeowners will fight back and there are seven different house types, including mansions.

2. Welcome to L.A.

GTA 5 mods: Real California Architecture

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Mod: Real California Architecture

Los Santos is wonderful, and while some areas are visibly inspired by real-world locations, there's no avoiding the fact it is an entirely fictional city. The Real California Architecture mod is an add-on that aims to change that, with countless real-world inclusions like the Hollywood Sign, Hollywood Wax Museum, Compton City Hall, two In-N-Out locations, the Beverly Hills Hotel, and more. 

3. Turn Los Santos into a photorealistic gangster’s paradise 

GTA 5 mod NaturalVision

Mod: NaturalVision Remastered

You can’t talk about GTA 5 mods without paying respects to all the coders out there tirelessly attempting to make Los Santos look as breathtakingly beautiful as possible. There’s literally hundreds of graphics enhancement mods available for GTA 5, but NaturalVision Remastered is the current champion when it comes to raw “phwoar” power. 

Offering 4K resolutions and a complete overhaul of Rockstar’s original aesthetic, the mod was designed “to make GTA 5 look visually similar to Southern California in real life.” To be honest, the results look better than real life SoCal ever could. NaturalVision pushes Los Santos out of the realm of uncanny valley and into a level of graphical fidelity that redefines the very definition of what it means to be photorealistic.

4. Become Iron Man 

GTA 5 mod iron man

Mod: Script Hook V / Iron Man Script 2.0

“I am Iron Man” said Iron Man in Iron Man, and you can say it too if you install this forever popular mod on to your GTA 5 save. True to its word, the mod hooks you up with a fully operational Iron Man suit, complete with boost thrusters, repulsor beams, and that oh so satisfying “eeeeeyooooop” blaster sound that any Marvel fan will be familiar with. 

You can even customise it with different versions of the suit, including the beefy Hulkbuster armour that swaps agility for raw strength. Tony Stark would be proud. 

5. Return to Vice City

GTA 5 mod vice city

(Image credit: Rockstar/YouTuber Lunchxbles)

Mod: Vice Cry: Remastered

GTA: Vice City holds a fond place in many players' hearts, but even with the updated versions released by Rockstar it's still looking rather dated in 2020. Not so in Vice Cry: Remastered, a port of the popular Vice Cry mod for Vice City, which gives the fictional Miami a beautiful makeover complete with rippling waters and shimmering sunsets.

As well as proper mapped roads, car generators, and working traffic lights, there are new missions dropping which make this so much more than just a cosmetic makeover. It's definitely worth popping on a Hawaiian shirt and heading back to the '80s to check this one out.

6. Pretend you’re playing Blade Runner in a neon-soaked Los Santos 

Mod: Intensity ENB

Blade Runner 2049 has been and gone, and we’re still a ways off from CD Projekt Red’s open world Cyberpunk 2077, but you can at least enjoy Grand Theft Auto 2013 by dressing it up in a neon aesthetic with this visual mod. 

Intensity ENB dials up the contrast between colours to 11, lending this ethereal, miasmic quality to Los Santos that’s drenched in atmosphere, especially when it also happens to be drenched in rainfall. The game’s lighting effects have been intensified too, meaning you’ll often feel like you’re in a J.J. Abrams movie just as much as a cyberpunk flick.

7. Create an underwater megalopolis by triggering a tsunami 

Mod: No Water + Tsunami + Atlantis

All the best cities are underwater. Think about it; Atlantis, Rapture, that one from The Phantom Menace… okay, maybe not all the best cities, but a fair few of them at least. So what’s stopping you from seeing whether Los Santos fares any better once submerged beneath ten thousands tonnes of H2O? 

Seriously, you can try it now with this mod, which brings in a Tsunami to unleash waves of salty sea water upon the town, where only the highest skyscrapers can be seen above the surface. It’s an in-game natural disaster that has to be seen to be believed.  

8. Take realism to a whole new level 

Mod: GTA Realism

If you’re someone who likes to obey every traffic light and speed limit sign as you drive across SoCal, this hyper realism mod will be right up your alley. It adds a host of small but clever details to GTA 5 that are designed to make everything feel that little bit more tactile and naturalistic. 

Pedestrians drop wallets, weapons have to be physically picked up, there’s bleeding effects when you’re shot, cops act more strategically, you can replaced flat tires with spare ones in the trunk, bullets have projectile drops, and tons more. It turns the Grand Theft Auto experience into a full on crime simulation, and it’s rather brilliant. 

9. Become a knock-off Rico Rodriguez with Just Cause 2 gadgets 

Mod: Just Cause 2 Eject + Parachute Thrusters, Just Cause 2 grappling hook mod

While GTA has always been great for causing all sorts of mayhem, it never quite comes close to the sort of sandbox madness you can generate in equally outrageous open world series Just Cause. 

But thanks to this unofficial crossover, you can now enjoy Rico Rodriguez’s grappling hook, parachute thrusters, and more in GTA 5, using these bespoke Just Cause flavoured mods. It even makes cars explode whenever you jump out of them, which is great for dealing with all those pesky roadblocks. 

10. Cross the fence and play GTA from the cops’ perspective 

Mod: LSPD First Response

They say the best way to defeat the enemy is to know the enemy, so why not sign up with the Los Santos Police Department and walk a mile in the shoes of a local cop for the day? 

There are detailed missions, police-themed weapons and vehicles, and customisation options for you to tuck into to get the full LSPD experience. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up preferring it your previous life of crime? 

11. Pay for your crimes the hard way by going to prison 

Mod: Prison Mod

Speaking of police, how come you never get to see what happens between the time you’re busted and the moment you walk out of the hospital or police station as a free man? I know Grand Theft Auto has a loose conception of the notion of justice, but surely some judicial system is in place in Los Santos? 

This prison mod has the answer, incarcerating you whenever you’re caught by the police, whereby you’re able to walk around the jailhouse, interact with NPCs, and even try to break out. Or, you know, you could just serve your time and try to come out a changed man? Nah, that sounds boring; prison break it is! 

12. Use vehicles as bullets for maximum carnage 

Mod: Vehicle Cannon 2.0

I don’t really need to explain this one, do I? It’s a vehicle cannon. A cannon that shoots vehicles. You can fire the cannon at things (other vehicles, if you want to be funny about it), and vehicles come out the other end.

It sounds ridiculous. It is ridiculous. But it certainly gives you the upper hand in a firefight, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t huge amounts of fun.

13. Unleash carmageddon 

Mod: Mayhem/Carmageddon mod

Everyone loves GTA 5’s perfectly portrayed explosions, quite possibly the best video game “booms” next to, well, GTA 4. But, frankly, they don’t come frequently enough when you’re driving down the highway, cruising along to your favourite radio station. This mod means that any car within a reasonable distance to you will explode on cue, hence the ‘carmageddon’ namesake. You’ll be at a five star wanted rating in no time, but that’s no bother; the police cars will explode as soon as they get near you.

14. Take a walk on the interior side 

Mod: Open All Interiors

Only a select few buildings in Los Santos are open to the public, apparently, as everything apart from the gun stores, strip clubs, and car dealerships are bolted shut with no conceivable entry points. I’ll give you three guesses to figure out what the “Open All Interiors” mod does... 

While there’s no amazing secrets hidden within any of the newly available buildings, they do make Los Santos feel that little bit more immersive, and are perfect for hideouts when on the run from the cops. 

15. Survive the Los Santos zombie apocalypse 

Mod: Simple Zombies

The last time Rockstar gave us a zombie game was all the way back in 2010 with Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, which has given us plenty of time to work up an appetite for more undead bedlam. 

Simple Zombies turns GTA 5 into a mini survival sim, where players must survive an infested Los Santos by building shelters, managing their health and hunger, and recruiting fellow survivors littered throughout the zombie-filled landscape. It’s a fairly comprehensive game mode, and can be proper terrifying at times, but anyone who’s seen Fear The Walking Dead will have a decent grasp of how to thrive the SoCal apocalypse.

16. Amp up the ragdoll physics 

Mod: Euphoria Ragdoll Overhaul

If one minor quibble is to be made about GTA 5, it’s that the ragdoll physics engine were never quite up to par next to other Rockstar titles like Red Dead Redemption, Max Payne 3, and GTA 4. 

The Euphoria Ragdoll Overhaul goes back to the drawing board and tries to bring the physics closer in line with those games, throwing more realistic animations, reactions, and visual touches into the mix. Firefights and car chases will unfold in new ways, while the slapstick comedy is never better here, so it’s definitely a must add mod for your collection. 

17. Hulk smash 

Mod: Hulk script mod

Video games can be a great outlet for stress, and what better metaphor is there for unleashing anger than Bruce Banner turning into a giant green rage monster and wrecking havoc across the city? 

This Hulk mod lets you leap miles into the sky as Hulk, picking up cars and throwing them at your leisure, and generally having a great time terrorising the people of Los Santos with reckless abandon. Make sure you wait till the military arrives, too, as that’s where things get really fun.

18. Live large in a luxury safehouse 

Mod: Marlowe Valley Safehouse/Airport

Materialism is the name of the game for Michael, Franklin, and… well, maybe not Trevor, but the more unnecessary ‘stuff’ you can have in Grand Theft Auto 5, the better. Sure, that luxury apartment of yours is nice, but what about a country safehouse, complete with car parks, helicopter pads, and airplane runways? 

There’s even a working bar where you can host Great Gatsby-esque parties. Just make sure none of your guests have access to that military fighter jet tucked away in the garage. 

19. Become SUPERHOT 

Mod: SUPERHOT Mod

Superhot’s central concept - that time only moves when you do - is so clever and brilliant that someone simply had to see what happens when you translate that to GTA 5. Suffice to say, the results are pretty spectacular. It’s like the Matrix, except you’re not an enlightened revolutionary but an angry Trevor, and you’re not shooting Agent Smiths but innocent policemen. Ok, it’s not exactly The Matrix, but it still pretty fun to enjoy Mad Max style bullet time in the freed expanses of Rockstar’s urban jungle.  

20. Whistle while you wreak havoc with the mobile radio 

Mod: Mobile Radio

It’s a tiny, tiny change, but it really does make all the difference. Picture this; you’re in your car, driving along to a banging tune, but are forced to leave the vehicle because, oh I don’t know, said car is now hurtling down a cliff and seconds away from exploding.

The tune’s gone, and so is your groove. Mobile radio changes this by ensuring your songs stay with you at all times, whether you’re walking, swimming, or having a punch up. Most of us listen to music as we walk nowadays anyway, so why shouldn’t the same apply for GTA?

Alex Avard

I'm GamesRadar's Features Writer, which makes me responsible for gracing the internet with as many of my words as possible, including reviews, previews, interviews, and more. Lucky internet!