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
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

Shares many similarities with 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.
Ability to import your music for your own custom radio station.
Reports indicate this title is a poor port.[1][2]

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
Steam Users' Forums for game series


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail Requires online activation Requires online activation Requires online activation Complete Edition
Direct2Drive Requires online activation
GameStop Requires online activation Complete Edition only
GamersGate Requires online activation
Green Man Gaming Requires online activation
Humble Store Requires online activation
Steam Requires online activation
All versions require Games for Windows - LIVE and SecuROM.
Online features require Rockstar Games Social Club.
Complete Edition includes Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City.

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]


Apply the GTA IV Intro Patch.


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

Downgrade to[edit]

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

Flash Player[edit]

Flash Player is required to use the Social Club TV features. Flash Player for Internet Explorer is the version that needs to be installed.
Install Flash Player
  1. Download and install the latest version of Flash Player for Internet Explorer.

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

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %LOCALAPPDATA%\Rockstar Games\GTA IV\savegames\<user-id>\
%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 option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Use Ultimate Camera Control.
See Command Line.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Use Windowed Borderless Gaming.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Up to 16 samples.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Can be forced through the NVIDIA Control Panel/AMD Control Center.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
In-game Vsync locks the frame rate to 53-55 FPS.[7]
60 FPS
120+ FPS
No frame rate or refresh rate cap.[8]

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.


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.[9] This is fixable with the Bullet Spread/Recoil Fix mod.

DirectInput Controller support[edit]

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


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

  1. Download the file buttons_360.wtd and frontend_360.wtd located here.
  2. Go to the installation folder.
  3. Go to <path-to-game> and navigate to PC\textures\.
  4. Drag and drop the file you recently downloaded into that folder.

Audio settings[edit]

In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls
SFX & Music.
Surround sound
Up to 5.0 output[13]
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost


Language UI Audio CC Notes


Social Club website stat tracking and leaderboards have been shut down. All other online features are unaffected.[14]

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
Online play

Connection types


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
TriDef 3D
Devices Native Notes
Oculus Rift
See RiftEnabled.

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

Fatal error RMN20 upon attempted launch[edit]

Run game in compatibility mode
  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) and click OK.
If using Windows 7, Vista or XP, update your Windows to the latest available service pack[15]

Stuttering and other performance issues after running the game for a while[edit]

Force maximum available memory[16]
  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 209715200
    • Medium textures (512 MB VRAM): -memrestrict 314572800
    • High textures (1 GB+ VRAM): -memrestrict 629145600
  3. Save the file and launch the game.
Make sure Steam Overlay is enabled[17][citation needed]

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
  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 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].
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.
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.
  1. Download the file waterTex.fxc located here.
  2. Go to the installation folder.
  3. In <path-to-game> 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]

Description[citation needed]

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

  1. Launch GTA 4.
  2. Launch Task Manager and click Details (in Windows 8 and above) or Processes (in Windows XP, Vista or 7).
  3. Right click gtaiv.exe and click Set affinity.
  4. Make sure only Cores 0, 1, 2 and 3 are checked. Uncheck everything else and click OK.


This must be repeated each time the game is started.

Invisible fonts glitch[edit]

An invisible fonts glitch may occur which involves game menu text disappearing.
  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]

Force increase video memory[18]
  1. Open <path-to-game>\commandline.txt (create if it doesn't exist).
  2. Put -availablevidmem 2.0 in a new line (or replace 2.0 with your VRAM).

Other information[edit]


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


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


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


XLiveLess enables modding.
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.[19]

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.
FLAC is not supported. Convert to WMA Lossless to use in-game.
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.
Monaural audio files not supported.

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]

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 Radeon X1900
Nvidia GeForce 7900
256 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
ATI Radeon HD 3870
Nvidia GeForce 8600
512 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.


  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. Tested by Blackbird
  8. New 120Hz Games Report
  10. Currently Supported Controllers for GTA IV PC - Rockstar Support
  13. PC Gaming Surround Sound Round-up
  14. Effect of GameSpy Closure on Past Rockstar Titles – Rockstar Support
  15. GTA IV: Error Code RMN20 - Rockstar Support
  16. How to use -memrestrict to fix stuttering - GTA Forums
  17. How do i get over 60 fps in GTA 4 ?? - Steam Community Discussions
  18. Issues with GTA IV showing video cards with over 2GB as under spec – Rockstar Support
  19. Independence FM (User radio) in GTA IV - Rockstar Support