Grand Theft Auto IV

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Grand Theft Auto IV
Release dates
December 2, 2008
Grand Theft Auto IV at WineHQ
Grand Theft Auto IV at Steam Charts
Grand Theft Auto IV at SteamDB
 Grand Theft Auto IV at Wikipedia
Grand Theft Auto
Grand Theft Auto 1997
London 1969
London 1961
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

Information Shares many similarities with Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City in terms of its engine and performance.
Advantage Extensive modding community, along with Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City.
Disadvantage Reports indicate this title is a poor port.[1][2]

General information

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


Source DRM Notes Keys
Retail Availability Table Icons - GFWL.svgRequires online activation Availability Table Icons - Steam.svgAvailability Table Icons - GFWL.svgRequires online activation Availability Table Icons - Steam.svgAvailability Table Icons - GFWL.svgRequires online activation Complete Edition
Direct2Drive Availability Table Icons - Steam.svgAvailability Table Icons - GFWL.svgRequires online activation
GameStop Availability Table Icons - Steam.svgAvailability Table Icons - GFWL.svgRequires online activation "Complete Edition" only
GamersGate Availability Table Icons - Steam.svgAvailability Table Icons - GFWL.svgRequires online activation Steam key.
Green Man Gaming Availability Table Icons - Steam.svgAvailability Table Icons - GFWL.svgRequires online activation
Steam Availability Table Icons - Steam.svgAvailability Table Icons - GFWL.svgRequires online activation
Information All versions require Games for Windows - LIVE and SecuROM.
Information Online features require Rockstar Games Social Club.

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]

Fix Instructions

  1. Download this executable file here
  2. Apply the patch by running the executable and navigating to your GTAIV.exe executable file.


Advantage Since patch Rockstar Social Club is no longer required to run the game.[3]

Downgrade to[edit]

Information Some mods work only with this version. This version is also claimed to improve game performance[4][5]
Disadvantage Multiplayer won't work with older versions

Fix Apply old patch[6]

  1. Download the original update and install it
  2. Rename the folder where you have installed the game (usually "Grand Theft Auto IV" or "GTA IV")
  3. Download Rockstar Games Social Club and install it
  4. Merge back the content of your renamed folder to the GTA IV folder this latest installer will have created

Game data[edit]

In-game general settings.

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

Disadvantage Configuration files are encrypted. For an alternative, see Command Line.

Save game data location[edit]

Windows %LOCALAPPDATA%\Rockstar Games\GTA IV
Information %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 Impossible
GameSave Manager Native

Video settings[edit]

In-game video settings.
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution Native WSGF WS Gold.svg
Multi-monitor Native WSGF MM Silver.svg
Field of view (FOV) Hackable Use Ultimate Camera Control.
Windowed Hackable See Command Line.
Borderless fullscreen windowed Hackable Use Windowed Borderless Gaming.
Anisotropic filtering (AF) Native Up to 16 samples.
Anti-aliasing (AA) Hackable Can be forced through the NVIDIA Control Panel/AMD Control Center.
Vertical sync (Vsync) Native
High frame rate Native No frame rate or refresh rate cap.[7]

Input settings[edit]

In-game key map settings.
In-game keyboard/mouse settings.
In-game gamepad settings.
Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Remapping Native
Mouse acceleration Impossible
Mouse input in menus Native
Mouse Y-axis inversion Native
Controller support Native See DirectInput Controller support
Full controller support Native
Controller remapping Impossible Can only switch between pre-set layouts.
Controller Y-axis inversion Native


Disadvantage Recoil seems to be inexistant with the mouse whereas it works properly with a gamepad. This makes the game much easier and shooting less realistic with a mouse over a gamepad.[8] This is fixable with the Bullet Spread/Recoil Fix mod.

DirectInput Controller support[edit]

There are two ways of enabling it

Fix Launch the game with -usedirectinput parameter[9]

Fix Option in Controller Settings

  1. In the game go to Options>Controls>Controller Options>Enable DirectInput


Information The command line argument has been added in patch[10] and the Enable DirectInput option has been added in patch[11]

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.

Fix Instructions

  1. Download the file buttons_360.wtd and frontend_360.wtd located here.
  2. Go to the installation folder.
  3. From your root GTA IV folder navigate to PC\textures\.
  4. Drag and drop the file you recently downloaded into that folder.

Audio settings[edit]

In-game audio settings.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls Native SFX & Music.
Surround sound Native Up to 5.0 output[12]
Subtitles Native
Closed captions Impossible
Mute on focus lost Native


Language UI Audio CC Notes
English Native Native Native
French Native Impossible Native
German Native Impossible Native
Italian Native Impossible Native
Spanish Native Impossible Native
Russian Native Impossible Native


Information Social Club website stat tracking and leaderboards have been shut down. All other online features are unaffected.[13]

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play Native 32
Online play Native 32

Connection types

Type Native Notes
Matchmaking Native
Peer-to-peer Native
Dedicated Impossible
Self-hosting Native
Direct IP Impossible


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP (outbound) 53, 80, 3074
UDP (outbound) 53, 88, 3074

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native GG3D Notes
Nvidia 3D Vision Native GG3D bronze.svg
TriDef 3D Native GG3D silver.svg
iZ3D Native GG3D bronze.svg
Devices Native Notes
Oculus Rift Hackable See RiftEnabled.

Issues fixed[edit]

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

Fatal error RMN20 upon attempted launch[edit]

Fix Fatal error RMN20 upon attempted launch

  1. Go to the installation folder.
  2. Right click on GTAIV.exe and enter its properties screen
  3. Under the compatibilty tab, set the compatibility mode to Windows Vista (Service Pack 2). This should fix the issue.

Fix Update your Windows to the latest available service pack[14]


Fix Force maximum available memory[15]

If you encounter stutter and other performance issues after running the game for a while consider trying one of these in your commandline.txt file, depending on the texture quality you have selected in the game settings:

  • Low textures (256 MB VRAM): -memrestrict 209715200
  • Medium textures (512 MB VRAM): -memrestrict 314572800
  • High textures (1 GB+ VRAM): -memrestrict 629145600

Fix Make sure Steam Overlay is enabled[16][citation needed]

Game minimizes after clicking start[edit]

Fix Minimizing After Start

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.

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  2. Find PnkBstrA.exe in Processes.
  3. Stop PnkBstrA.exe from running.

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

Information For some video cards 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. If running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, run the game in compatibility mode for Windows Vista (SP2)[citation needed].

Fix Bypass graphics restrictions on Steam version

  1. Open up 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.

Fix Bypass graphics restrictions on other versions

  1. Go to <path-to-game>.
  2. Create a new text file in this directory and name it commandline.txt.
  3. Open it and add the string -norestrictions to it.
  4. Save the file.
  5. Start the game.

AMD Radeon water fix[edit]

There is a problem where the water loses its features and details after a while. Follow the instructions below to resolve this.

Fix Instructions

  1. Download the file waterTex.fxc located here.
  2. Go to the installation folder.
  3. From your root GTA IV folder navigate to common\shaders\win32_30_atidx10\ and rename your original waterTex.fxc file.
  4. Drag and drop the file you recently downloaded into that folder.
  5. After the previous step has been completed navigate out of that folder and now to common\shaders\win32_30_low_ati\ and rename your original waterTex.fxc file.
  6. Drag and drop the file you recently downloaded into that folder.

Algonquin Bridge lag issue[edit]

Fix Description

If you're experiencing significant FPS drops only on the Algonquin Bridge with an Intel i7 processor.

  1. Open it.
  2. Launch GTA 4.
  3. Alt-tab out.
  4. Right click then set the affinity of gtaiv.exe to "Avoid Non-Physical Cores", as well as setting the "Priority Class" to High.

Invisible fonts glitch[edit]

Information An invisible fonts glitch may occur which involves game menu text disappearing, follow the instructions below to resolve it.

Fix Instructions

  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\ from your GTA IV root folder.

2GB+ VRAM is wrongly recognized[edit]

Fix Force increase video memory[17]

  1. Open <path-to-game>\commandline.txt (create if necessary)
  2. Put -availablevidmem 2.0 in a new line

Other information[edit]


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


Information XLiveLess enables modding.
Information XLiveLess disables all multiplayer functionality to prevent cheating.

Custom music[edit]

Grand Theft Auto IV allows users to play their own music on a custom radio station, Independence FM. Simply place any MP3, WMA, or M4A (audio file) in the %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Rockstar Games\GTA IV\User Music folder, and tune into the station in-game. If the music library is on an external HDD, a shortcut placed in the %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Rockstar Games\GTA IV\User Music folder will work too!

Command Line[edit]

By creating a file called commandline.txt and saving it to your root installation folder you can alter the way your game runs. If you are using Steam; go to the game in your library, right-click and click Properties, select Set Launch Options... and enter the commands separated by spaces.

The table below describes the majority of commands usable in the command line file.

Command Line Definition Example Usage
width sets the horizontal resolution -width 1280
height sets the vertical resolution -height 720
texturequality changes texture quality low/med/high (0-2) -texturequality 1
shadowdensity adjusts shadows thrown up by car lights (0-16) -shadowdensity 3
renderquality adjusts the render quality of the game (0- 4) -renderquality 3
viewdistance adjusts the view distance (0-99) -viewdistance 25
detailquality adjusts the detail distance (0-99) -detailquality 30
norestrictions removes memory restrictions on graphic settings -norestrictions
novblank removes good ole v-sync -novblank
safemode runs GTA 4 with everything set to as low as you can go -safemode
fullscreen runs GTA 4 fullscreen -fullscreen
windowed runs GTA 4 windowed -windowed
availablevidmem allocates some system ram as additional vram -availablevidmem 1.5
percentvidmem how much vram of your gpu GTA 4 can use, 1.0 will be all of it and 0.5 will be half -percentvidmem 0.5
frameLimit limits your frame rate to the refresh rate -frameLimit 1
refreshrate adjusts the refresh rate (oddly enough) be careful do not set a refresh rate your monitor can't do -refreshrate 60
fullspecaudio enable high-end cpu audio -fullspecaudio
minspecaudio enable low-end cpu audio -minspecaudio
noprecache turns precache off -noprecache
nomemrestrict turns all memory restrictions off -nomemrestrict
benchmark starts the in game benchmark and then quits the game -benchmark
help lists the commands and usage but doesn't look as snazzy as this -help

Performance improvement[edit]

Fix Launch the game with -norestrictions -nomemrestrict parameters[citation needed]

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS)
XP SP3, Vista SP1
Processor (CPU) AMD Athlon X2 64 2.4 GHz
Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz
AMD Phenom X3 2.1GHz
Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4GHz
System memory (RAM) 1.5 GB 2.5 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 16 GB 18 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI X1900
GeForce 7900
256 MB of VRAM
ATI 3870
GeForce 8600
512 MB of VRAM
Information Online play requires log-in to Games for Windows - LIVE.


  4. Patch vs Patch - GTA Forums
  5. [REL|III|VC|SA|IV] Project 2dfx - GTAForums
  6. [HowTo]Downgrade of the steamversion of GTAIV to - GTAGaming Forums
  7. New 120Hz Games Report
  9. Currently Supported Controllers for GTA IV PC - Rockstar Support
  12. PC Gaming Surround Sound Round-up
  13. Effect of GameSpy Closure on Past Rockstar Titles – Rockstar Support
  14. GTA IV: Error Code RMN20 - Rockstar Support
  15. How to use -memrestrict to fix stuttering - GTA Forums
  16. How do i get over 60 fps in GTA 4 ?? - Steam Community Discussions
  17. Issues with GTA IV showing video cards with over 2GB as under spec – Rockstar Support