Grand Theft Auto IV

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Grand Theft Auto IV
Grand Theft Auto IV cover
Rockstar North
Windows Rockstar Toronto
Rockstar Games
Release dates
Windows December 2, 2008
Grand Theft Auto IV guide on StrategyWiki
Grand Theft Auto IV on Wikipedia


For Games for Windows - LIVE on Windows 8 or later, install the latest Games for Windows - LIVE software.
Grand Theft Auto
Grand Theft Auto 1997
Grand Theft Auto 2 1999
Grand Theft Auto III 2002
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 2003
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas 2005
Grand Theft Auto IV 2008
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City 2010
Grand Theft Auto V 2015

Key points

Essentially the same as Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City in terms of its engine and performance.
Extensive modding community, along with Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City. See Downgrading.
Ability to import your music for your own custom radio station.
Rockstar has removed music from the game due to expired licences. Same with Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City. See Restore Removed Music.

General information

Rockstar Support
GTA Modding - A wiki hosting mod information for the GTA series.
GTAForums - Grand Theft Auto IV Discussion
GTA Network - A huge network of fansites all dedicated to the Grand Theft Auto series
Steam Community Discussions



Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Icon overlay.png
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
Requires online activation
Additionally uses SecuROM 7 DRM for disc checking.
Icon overlay.png
Icon overlay.png
Requires online activation
Complete Edition
Icon overlay.png
Icon overlay.png
Requires online activation
Green Man Gaming
Icon overlay.png
Icon overlay.png
Requires online activation
Humble Store
Icon overlay.png
Icon overlay.png
Requires online activation
Icon overlay.png
Icon overlay.png
Requires online activation
Complete Edition also available.
All versions require Games for Windows - LIVE and SecuROM PA DRM.[Note 1] Additionally, all non-retail versions require Steam DRM.
Online features require Rockstar Games Social Club.
Complete Edition includes Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City.

Downloadable content (DLC) and expansions

DLC versions of the episodes are no longer available for purchase due to Games for Windows Live Marketplace being shut down[1][2]
Name Notes
The Ballad of Gay Tony
The Lost and Damned

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]

Apply the GTA IV Intro Patch[citation needed]
Edit loadingscreens_pc.dat[3]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>GTAIV\common\data\
  2. Open loadingscreens_pc.dat with Notepad
  3. Change the value of "duration" for sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 to 0.


Patch 8 updates the game to the latest version. The Steam version is already patched.
Patch 7 is also available (may be required for some mods, as much as Patch 4).
Since Patch 6 Rockstar Social Club is no longer required to run the game.[4]


Greatly reduces loading times
Does not work for versions older than Patch 6
If editing .IMG archives you need to delete colCache.dat and let it get re-created
Requires an ASI Loader.

Restore Removed Music[edit]

Over 50 radio station tracks were removed from the game due to expired licenses in 2018.[6]
Downgrading isn't required to install this mod.
Downgrading the Radio Stations[7]
  1. Download the downgrader.
  2. Unpack to the installation folder.
  3. Run install.bat.


If GTA IV was downgraded to Patch 4, don't extract and replace the "common" folder, as doing so will mess up all text in-game.

Run EFLC as DLCs[edit]

Merges songs from EFLC into the base game.
Does not work with versions older than Patch 6.

Game data[edit]

In-game general settings.
In-game general settings.

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows %LOCALAPPDATA%\Rockstar Games\GTA IV\Settings\SETTINGS.CFG
Linux (Proton) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/12210/pfx/[Note 2]
Configuration files are encrypted. For an alternative, see Command line parameters.

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %LOCALAPPDATA%\Rockstar Games\GTA IV\savegames\<user-id>\
Linux (Proton) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/12210/pfx/[Note 2]
%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\XLive must also be backed up as the save data is bound to the Games for Windows - LIVE profile.

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud

Video settings[edit]

In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.
Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Cutscenes and loading screens are Vert-.[8]
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Use Ultimate Camera Control.
Launch the game with -windowed parameter.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Up to 16 samples.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Use SMAA injector for SMAA.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
Cutscenes may be zoomed in incorrectly; slow handbrake camera; handbrake camera is too fast on high fps (gamepad only)[9]

Input settings[edit]

In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.
In-game keyboard/mouse settings.
In-game keyboard/mouse settings.
In-game gamepad settings.
In-game gamepad settings.

DirectInput Controller support[edit]

Launch the game with -usedirectinput parameter[11]
Added in patch[10]
Option in Controller Settings[citation needed]
  1. In the game, go to Options then Controls then Controller Options and click Enable DirectInput
Added in patch[12]

PS3 Controller Buttons[edit]

If using a PS2/PS3 controller, you might want to change the Xbox 360 buttons to the PS2/PS3 buttons. In order to do so, follow the instructions below.

Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Download the Controller Button Icon Change mod.
  2. Extract buttons_360.wtd and frontend_360.wtd to <path-to-game>\PC\textures\

Audio settings[edit]

In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.
Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
SFX & Music.
Surround sound
Up to 5.0 output[13]
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Commands responsible for audio in the game:
  • -fullspecaudio: forces higher quality audio
  • -minspecaudio: forces lower quality audio - good for low-end CPU's (e.g. radio cannot be heard outside car).
Game uses DirectSound[14] which can be handled by Creative Alchemy (set duration to 10)[15]. Just run LaunchGTAIV.exe as admin in case of game crash.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Fan translation, download.
Fan translation, download.
Brazilian Portuguese
Fan translation, download.
Official localization by «1C-Softclub» retail version, download.
Fan translation by «ENPY Studio»
Fan translation, download.


Social Club website stat tracking and leaderboards have been shut down. All other online features are unaffected.[16]

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
Online play

Connection types


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 53, 80, 3074
UDP 53, 88, 3074
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native GG3D Notes
Nvidia 3D Vision
For better support use Helix Mod: Grand Theft Auto IV
TriDef 3D
Officially supported game, see official vorpx game list.

Issues fixed[edit]

Game uses Games for Windows - LIVE. Make sure you are running latest version and refer to the concerning page if you have further problems.

Release Date Check Failure[edit]

Change Windows Date to any date before 28 June 2015[citation needed]

Error WS10[edit]

Install the updated Games for Windows Marketplace Client[citation needed]

SecuLauncher: failed to start application. [2000] error[edit]

Fatal error WTV190[edit]

Reinstall GFWL client[citation needed]

Fatal error WTV270[edit]

Fatal error RMN20[edit]

Run game in compatibility mode[citation needed]
  1. Go to the installation folder.
  2. Right click on GTAIV.exe and enter its properties screen.
  3. Under the compatibility tab, set the compatibility mode to Windows Vista (Service Pack 2) and click OK.
If using Windows 7, Vista or XP, update your Windows to the latest available service pack[19]

Game stuck at disclaimer screen or Rockstar logo on Windows 10[edit]

Disable fullscreen optimization[20]
  1. Go to the installation folder.
  2. Right click on GTAIV.exe and enter its properties screen.
  3. Under the compatibility tab, tick Disable fullscreen optimizations and click OK.

Texture popping, stuttering and other performance issues after running the game for a while[edit]

Force maximum available memory[22]
  1. Create a file named commandline.txt in your root installation folder.
  2. Depending on your texture quality, enter one of the following codes in to the newly created file:
    • Low textures (256 MB VRAM): -memrestrict 230686720
    • Medium textures (512 MB VRAM): -memrestrict 314572800
    • High textures (1 GB+ VRAM): -memrestrict 681574400
  3. Save the file and launch the game.
-reservedApp 0 is also worth a try for a 64-bit OS.[21]
Keep in mind that the use of High Textures is not recommended for 32-bit Vista/7 or newer.[21]
Forcing available memory with Patch 8 is not recommended as it will make the game unstable.
Make sure Steam Overlay is enabled[23][citation needed]

No recoil/bullet spread[edit]

By default, recoil/bullet spread is only enabled when playing with a controller. This results in 100% shooting accuracy when using a keyboard and mouse.
Install the Bullet Spread/Recoil Fix script[25]
Not recommended to use in Multiplayer.
Requires an ASI Loader.

Regular camera movement and handbrake camera are too slow[edit]

This bug occurs if the frame rate is very high.

Cutscenes are too zoomed in[edit]

This bug occurs if the frame rate is very high.

Game minimizes after clicking start[edit]

If the game minimizes after selecting between GTA IV base and EFLC and can not be made full screen again it may be a problem with PunkBuster. It can be fixed by stopping it from running.
Stop PunkBuster[citation needed]
  1. Press Ctrl+ Shift+Esc.
  2. Click PnkBstrA.exe in Processes.
  3. Click End task to stop it from running.

Game will load with minimal graphic settings and won't let you change them[edit]

For video cards that have more than 2 GB or VRAM the game will run but won't let you change the graphics settings to anything better. In order to force the game to allow the changes, load the .exe with the extra parameter: -norestrictions.
Bypass graphics restrictions on Steam version[citation needed]
  1. Open your Steam library.
  2. Right-click on Grand Theft Auto IV and select Properties.
  3. Press the Set Launch Options... button.
  4. Enter -norestrictions into the text field, press OK.
  5. Start the game.
Bypass graphics restrictions on other versions[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>.
  2. Create a new text file in this folder and name it commandline.txt.
  3. Open it and add the string -norestrictions to it.
  4. Save the file.
  5. Start the game.

Infinite loading loop[edit]

Launch the game with -availablevidmem 0.9 -percentvidmem 100 parameter[28][29]

AMD/ATI Radeon Water Fix[edit]

There is a problem where the water loses its features and details after a while. To fix this issue do this:
Replace the water shaders[citation needed]
  1. Download the fixed waterTex shader file.
  2. Go to <path-to-game>\GTAIV
  3. Go to common\shaders\win32_30_atidx10\
  4. Place your downloaded waterTex.fxc shader file and replace the original.
  5. Go to common\shaders\win32_30_low_ati\
  6. Place your downloaded waterTex.fxc shader file and replace the original.
  7. Play!


Don't forget to backup original files.

Invisible fonts glitch[edit]

An invisible fonts glitch may occur which involves game menu text disappearing.
Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Download the files fonts.dat and fonts_r.dat located here.
  2. Go to the installation folder.
  3. Drag and drop the files into common\data\ in <path-to-game>.

2GB+ VRAM is wrongly recognized[edit]

This is fixed in Patch
Force increase video memory[30]
  1. Open <path-to-game>\commandline.txt (create if it doesn't exist).
  2. Put -availablevidmem 2 in a new line (or replace 2 with other number, it's a multiplier of already detected Vram by GTA IV engine).

Multiplayer: Login to Social Club failed[edit]

This was fixed with Patch 8.
Override paul.dll[31]
  1. Rename <path-to-game>/paul.dll to paul.dll_old.
  2. Restart the game. It should load up directly.
  • You must have completed GFWL setup first, then you can take this shortcut.

Frame rate drops after a short time in game (e.g. smooth 60fps to a choppy 45fps)[edit]

Launch game via LaunchGTAIV.exe

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9
Shader Model support 3
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Middleware Notes
Physics Bullet Physics Library, Euphoria
Interface Flash
Cutscenes Bink Video 1.9r
Used for ingame television
Multiplayer Games for Windows - LIVE, Rockstar Games Social Club


Many mods for GTA IV won't work with the latest version
The most supported versions for modding are Patch 4 and Patch 7
Multiplayer will no longer work when downgraded
Currently Steam version users can encounter problems with disabling auto update feature. It can be done by setting time of update: 12 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  1. Extract and run the installer
  2. Download the font fixes
  3. Place fonts.dat and fonts_r.dat into <path-to-game>\common\data\
  4. Download and install XLiveLess


An older version of ScriptHook is required for modding on Patch 4, found here
This version is claimed to improve game performance[32][33]
Some mods work only with Patch 4, while other mods, such as ColAccel, won't work with Patch 4 at all
  1. Extract the files anywhere on your computer
  2. Run UpdateTitle.exe and install it
  3. Download and install XLiveLess


Patch 7 has updated visuals, secondary keybindings, bug fixes, etc.
Many have reported a performance decrease in comparison to Patch 4
To get rid of the Social Club login screen, remove or rename "paul.dll" in the game's installation folder


It is strongly recommended to make a backup of any files modifications may replace or amend in the event of corruption.


Built-in ASI loader
Removes Games for Windows - LIVE service.
Save game data location changes to %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Rockstar Games\GTA IV\savegames\
Save games made using XLiveLess are not compatible with native save games.
Disables access to the multiplayer to prevent cheating.

First person mod[edit]

Compatible with VR.

Excellent ENB[edit]

Graphical modification that drastically improves performance and visuals [citation needed].
Includes multiple presets suitable for low-end and high-end hardware.
Compatible with all patches.
Contains optional ASI loader.
Contains optional trainer.
Contains optional textures for roads and trees.
Minor graphical bug on street lights when night shadows are enabled on patch 6 or later.

Road Textures by DKT70[edit]

Graphical improvement that includes HD textures for roads.
Combine with an ENB modification for best results.

CG4 Radar/Map Mod[edit]

Adds additional details and information on the world map while improving its look.

GTA IV: San Andreas[edit]

Total conversion mod for Grand Theft Auto IV and The Episodes from Liberty City, which will bring back the good old San Andreas map.

Custom music[edit]

Grand Theft Auto IV allows users to play their own music on a custom radio station, Independence FM.[35]

Simply place any audio files/folders or create shortcuts in the %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Rockstar Games\GTA IV\User Music\ folder, and tune into the station in-game.
Supported formats are MP3, WMA, M4A. Other formats and extensions are not recognized.
QuickTime or iTunes needs to be installed for M4A support.
Use shortcuts to audio files/folders to save disk space and improve performance.
Supports High-resolution audio files. Up to 96 kHz / 24 bit.
Supports Surround audio files. Up to 6 channels.
FLAC is not supported. Convert to WMA Lossless to use in-game.
Monaural audio files not supported.

Launch Options[edit]

By creating a file called commandline.txt and saving it to your root installation folder you can alter the way your game runs. Below is a list of all the parameters.
Parameter Description
-help Lists the available commands
-adapter Use the specified screen adapter
-autoconfig Automatically adjust quality setting to maintain desired frame rate (15-120)
-availablevidmem Set amount of physical Video Memory
-benchmark Launches the game in Benchmark mode and then quits it
-detailquality Set the detail quality of the game (0-99)
-disableimposters Turn off imposter rendering for vehicles
-forcehighqualitymirrors Enable 64 bit mirrors
-forcer2vb Force Render to Vertex Buffer
-frameLimit Limits your FPS to your refresh rate
-framelockinwindow Force framelock to work even in a window
-fullscreen Force fullscreen mode
-fullspecaudio Force high-end CPU audio footprint
-gpucount Lets you manually set the GPU count if query fails
-height Sets the vertical resolution
-managed Use D3D runtime managed resources
-memrestrict Set the restriction the amount of available memory for the game
-minspecaudio Force low-end CPU audio footprint
-no_3GB Disable 32-bit OS with /3GB
-noBlockOnLostFocus Don't block the window update when it loses focus.
-noprecache Disable precache of resources
-nomemrestrict Disable memory restrictions
-nominimize Disables the ability to restore the game from minimize and changing resolutions (Reduces System Memory Footprint)
-norestrictions Do not limit graphics settings
-noswapdelay Disable sleep delay before Present (Disable fix for hard Present stalls)
-notimefix Disable Time Fix
-novblank Disables V-Sync
-percentvidmem Percentage of Video memory to make available for the game
-refreshrate Set the refresh rate (Must be supported by your monitor)
-reserve Amount of memory to set aside for other applications
-reservedApp Amount of memory to leave available within application space
-renderquality Set the render quality of the game (0-4)
-safemode Sets graphics setting to lowest setting
-shadowdensity Set the number of lights that cast shadows (0-16)
-shadowquality Set the shadow quality (0-4)
-stereo Set game to support stereo rendering mode
-texturequality Set the texture quality of the game (0-2)
-unmanaged Use application managed resources
-usedirectinput Allow DirectInput alongside XInput support.
-viewdistance Set the view distance of the game (0-99)
-windowed Force windowed mode
-width Sets the horizontal resolution

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP SP3
Processor (CPU) AMD Athlon X2 64 2.4 GHz
Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz
System memory (RAM) 1.5 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 16 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI Radeon X1900
Nvidia GeForce 7900
256 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
Sound (audio device) 5.1 Channel Audio Card
Online play requires log-in to Games for Windows - LIVE.


  1. Games for Windows - LIVE DRM features: Legacy activation, supports local profiles.
  2. 2.0 2.1 File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/12210/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (12210) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.


  1. Games for Windows Marketplace to close next week - PC Gamer - last accessed on 2019-01-07
  2. GTA IV PC - - last accessed on 2019-01-07
  3. Remove/Skip annoying intro sequence! - /r/GTA - last accessed on
  5. ColAccel - reduce loading time by 50%* - Scripts & Plugins - GTAForums
  6. Grand Theft Auto IV Music Cut Patch - Rock Paper Shotgun
  7. IV/EFLC Radio "downgrader" - GTA Forums
  8. Grand Theft Auto 4 21:9 Gameplay (2560x1080) (60fps) (Ultrawide) - YouTube
  9. Handbrake camera is too fast on high fps (gamepad only) · Issue #21 · GTAmodding/GTAIV-Issues-List
  10. Title Update v. - Help & Support - GTAForums
  11. Currently Supported Controllers for GTA IV PC - Rockstar Support
  12. Title Update Version - Help & Support - GTAForums
  13. PC Gaming Surround Sound Round-up
  16. Effect of GameSpy Closure on Past Rockstar Titles – Rockstar Support
  17. 17.0 17.1 SecuROM™ Support Website - Grand Theft Auto IV
  18. “Release Date Check Failed” or "SecuROM Launcher has stopped working” Error on GTAIV or Episodes From Liberty City for PC - Rockstar Support
  19. GTA IV: Error Code RMN20 - Rockstar Support
  21. 21.0 21.1 Extreme Texture Pop-in - GTAForums
  22. How to use -memrestrict to fix stuttering - GTA Forums
  23. How do i get over 60 fps in GTA 4 ?? - Steam Community Discussions
  24. Recoil behaves differently between gamepad and kb/mouse · Issue #6 · GTAmodding/GTAIV-Issues-List
  25. Archived Requests, need ideas? - GTA III, VC & SA - GTAForums
  26. Handbrake camera is too slow · Issue #10 · GTAmodding/GTAIV-Issues-List
  27. Zoomed in cutscenes · Issue #1 · GTAmodding/GTAIV-Issues-List
  28. READ THIS if your GTA 4 gets stuck on loading screen after pressing play! Easy Fix. :: Steam Community Discussions
  29. Need help running GTA IV (Steam) on Windows 8.1, page 1 - Forum
  30. Issues with GTA IV showing video cards with over 2GB as under spec – Rockstar Support
  31. Login to social Club - Failed - Rockstar Support
  32. Patch vs Patch - GTA Forums
  33. [REL|III|VC|SA|IV] Project 2dfx - GTAForums
  34. [HowTo]Downgrade of the steamversion of GTAIV to - GTAGaming Forums
  35. Independence FM (User radio) in GTA IV - Rockstar Support