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 at StrategyWiki
Grand Theft Auto IV at Wikipedia
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.

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

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]

Edit loadingscreens_pc.dat[1]
  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 (see Patch notes for changes). The Steam version is already patched. The previous version, Patch, is also available (may be required for some mods).
Since patch Rockstar Social Club is no longer required to run the game.[2]

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 (Windows 7 and earlier)[citation needed]

Download and install the latest version of Flash Player for Internet Explorer (Windows 8 and later include this).


Greatly reduces loading times
If editing .IMG archives you need to delete colCache.dat and let it get re-created
Requires an ASI Loader.

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 parameters.

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
Cutscenes and loading screens are Vert-.[4]
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)
FXAA can be forced through the Nvidia Control Panel/AMD Control Center.
For SMAA download the SMAA injector and put contents of the d3d9 folder into <path-to-game>
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS
A problem might happen at above 50 FPS.
120+ FPS
No frame rate or refresh rate cap.[5]

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.
Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
See DirectInput Controller support
Simultaneous mouse and controller input available.
Full controller support
Controller remapping
Can only switch between pre-set layouts.
Controller sensitivity
Called Aim Sensitivity.
Controller Y-axis inversion
Additional information
Button prompts
For DualShock prompts see PS3 Controller Buttons
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Simultaneous controller+KB/M

DirectInput Controller support[edit]

Launch the game with -usedirectinput parameter[7]
Added in patch[6]
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[8]

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 options Native Notes
Separate volume controls
SFX & Music.
Surround sound
Up to 5.0 output[9]
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Fan translation, download.
Fan translation, download.
Brazilian Portuguese
Fan translation, download.
Fan translation, download.


Social Club website stat tracking and leaderboards have been shut down. All other online features are unaffected.[10]

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
Native 3D
Nvidia 3D Vision
For better support use Helix Mod: Grand Theft Auto IV
TriDef 3D

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]
  1. Uninstall Microsoft Games for Windows – LIVE Redistributable.
  2. Uninstall Microsoft Games for Windows Marketplace.
  3. Install the updated Games for Windows Marketplace Client.

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[12]

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

Disable fullscreen optimization[13]
  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.

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

Force maximum available memory[15]
  1. Remember your current Resource Usage number from graphics settings.
  2. Create a file named commandline.txt in your root installation folder.
  3. Multiply the Resource Usage number by 1024 twice and enter the resulting number with the -memrestrict parameter in to the newly created file
    (e.g. 500 x 1024 x 1024 = 524288000, -memrestrict 524288000)
  4. Save the file and launch the game.
Don't use a Resource Usage number more than 500 for this method with a 32-bit OS as it will make the game unstable.[citation needed]
Keep in mind that the use of High Textures is not recommended for 32-bit Vista/7 or newer.[14]
Forcing available memory with Patch 8 is not recommended as it will make the game unstable.
Make sure Steam Overlay is enabled[16][citation needed]

Zoomed-in/out cutscenes, jerky animations when cutscene camera moves[edit]

"Accelerated" behavior[edit]

Might be only on Patch 7. Most likely to happen when starting the game right after restarting Windows or at other high loads; visible signs of this are R* startup logos ending up (slightly) earlier than the background music and overall gameplay accelerations like Niko moving and shooting (a bit) faster than normal.
Restart the game[citation needed]

No recoil/bullet spread[edit]

By default, recoil/bullet spread is only enabled when playing with a controller. This results in 100% accuracy when using a keyboard and mouse.
Not recommended to use in Multiplayer
Install the Bullet Spread/Recoil Fix script[17]
Requires an ASI Loader.
Requires Visual C++ Redistributable Packages for Visual Studio 2013 x86.

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 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[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[18][19]

AMD Radeon water fix[edit]

There is a problem where the water loses its features and details after a while.
Instructions[citation needed]
  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.

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[20]
  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).

Textures/Models not loading[edit]

Instructions[citation needed]
  1. ALT-Tab out and back into the game.

Multiplayer: Login to Social Club failed[edit]

This was fixed with Patch 8.
Override paul.dll[21]
  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.

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 1.8L; 1.9r since Patch 6
Multiplayer Games for Windows - LIVE, Rockstar Games Social Club

Downgrade to[edit]

Some mods work only with this version. This version is also claimed to improve game performance.[22][23]
Multiplayer won't work with older versions.
Apply old patch[24]
  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.


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.

Custom Music[edit]

Grand Theft Auto IV allows users to play their own music on a custom radio station, Independence FM.[25]

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.

Command line parameters[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.
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, Vista SP1
Processor (CPU) AMD Athlon X2 64 2.4 GHz
Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz
AMD Phenom X3 2.1 GHz
Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4 GHz
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.


  1. Remove/Skip annoying intro sequence! - /r/GTA - last accessed on
  3. ColAccel - reduce loading time by 50%* - Scripts & Plugins - GTAForums
  4. Grand Theft Auto 4 21:9 Gameplay (2560x1080) (60fps) (Ultrawide) - YouTube
  5. New 120Hz Games Report
  6. Title Update v. - Help & Support - GTAForums
  7. Currently Supported Controllers for GTA IV PC - Rockstar Support
  8. Title Update Version - Help & Support - GTAForums
  9. PC Gaming Surround Sound Round-up
  10. Effect of GameSpy Closure on Past Rockstar Titles – Rockstar Support
  11. SecuROM™ Support Website - Grand Theft Auto IV
  12. GTA IV: Error Code RMN20 - Rockstar Support
  14. Extreme Texture Pop-in - GTAForums
  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. Archived Requests, need ideas? - GTA III, VC & SA - GTAForums
  18. READ THIS if your GTA 4 gets stuck on loading screen after pressing play! Easy Fix. :: Steam Community Discussions
  19. Need help running GTA IV (Steam) on Windows 8.1, page 1 - Forum
  20. Issues with GTA IV showing video cards with over 2GB as under spec – Rockstar Support
  21. Login to social Club - Failed - Rockstar Support
  22. Patch vs Patch - GTA Forums
  23. [REL|III|VC|SA|IV] Project 2dfx - GTAForums
  24. [HowTo]Downgrade of the steamversion of GTAIV to - GTAGaming Forums
  25. Independence FM (User radio) in GTA IV - Rockstar Support