With the free release of Grand Theft Auto V’s PC version through the Epic Games Store, more people than ever are flocking to the sunny shores of Los Santos. No matter how you feel about Rockstar’s cynical, nihilistic crime saga, it’s impossible to deny its popularity, and between the free rerelease and the fact that everybody’s still cooped up at home during the pandemic, GTA V is back in the conversation in a major way. And since the best thing about the PC version is the ability to mess around and recreate the game as you see fit, what better time could there be to run through the best mods out there? All of these mods will make a noticeable change to the version of Los Santos installed on your PC, from improving the visuals to creating entire new mechanics for you to play. Whether you’re new to GTA V on the PC or an old pro looking to get out again after one last big score, here are the best mods to update and upgrade your game.
GTA 5 Redux
If you only download one GTA V mod, you might want to make it this one. GTA 5 Redux offers a comprehensive suite of changes and upgrades, including graphical improvements, enhanced colors and textures, an updated weather system, tweaked handling for every vehicle, more realistic weapons handling, and more. It basically polishes the entire game into the best possible version of itself—or at least a better version.
Want to make Los Santos gleam like the rain-slicked streets of some cliched cyberpunk joint? Intensity ENB tweaks the game’s colors and lighting to make the whole game look like a bright, vibrant, futuristic take on old Vegas. If you’re tired of GTA’s stabs at photorealism, here’s a way to make it a bit more stylish.
LSPD First Response
If you’re tired of working on the wrong side of the law, LSPD First Response lets you sign up for the force and try to keep the streets of Los Santos clean. Go on patrol, bust some perps, hit up the donut shop—all the things real cops do are now available for you in GTA V. You can even probably murder somebody for no good reason—which would be a first for a GTA game! (Note: It would absolutely not be a first. Unjustified homicide is the very reason this game exists.)
The soundtrack is always the best thing about a GTA game. That’s just a simple truth. Unfortunately you have to be in a car to listen to the radio. You can’t even put a pair of earbuds in your character’s head and let ‘em jam out to some tunes in private. Fortunately Mobile Radio changes that, and lets the music keep on spinning whenever and wherever you might be.
Natural Vision Evolved
The best of the many graphics mods out there will make Los Santos come alive on your computer. Natural Vision Evolved turns the game into a picture perfect postcard of sunny California, just in time for you to basically destroy it all. Because if you’re going to go hog wild in fake California, the least it could do is look like the real thing.
Open All Interiors
For a game that recreates so much of daily life in excruciating detail, GTA V still disappoints by having too many buildings that can’t be entered. A city isn’t just its streets and a few select buildings, and Open All Interiors realizes that. This mod does exactly what it says—it lets you enter any building in the game, making it all feel a bit more lifelike.
Sometimes you just want to watch things fall apart. Even with the terrible world we’re living in today, there can be something therapeutic and cathartic about watching chaos engulf a virtual world. Pedestrian Riot arms everybody in Los Santos and makes them all permanently pissed off, resulting in a city ruled by selfish violence. It’s a startling look into what our own future could look like—say, in a week, or two.
At its heart GTA is basically a tricked out version of Cops and Robbers, and yet the game doesn’t really let you see what prison is like. Prison Mod takes GTA’s cartoonish examination of the criminal justice system a little bit further, actually throwing you behind bars whenever the cops pick you up. You can even get bailed out. It’s the perfect mod for when you feel guilty about all the bad stuff you’ve done in Los Santos.
Ever wanted to hop behind the wheel of a big rig and thunder over the highways and byways of Los Santos? Trucking Missions has one thing to say to you: 10-4, good buddy. This mod makes all your 16-wheeler dreams possible. If you ever wanted to feel like Jerry Reed in Smokey and the Bandit (you know, the most popular and enduring Silver Screen hero of all time), now’s your chance. Only in a videogame, and not real life. We’ll let you know when real life gets mods, too.
Vice Cry Remastered
Beat it back to the ‘80s with this recreation of one of the most beloved GTA cities of yore. Vice Cry Remastered brings back the bright, neon-flecked cocaine wonderland of Vice City, letting you revisit those hours and hours you pored into the PlayStation 2 back in the day. Get wrecked by nostalgia once again, in your endless, aimless search for the comforts and consolations of the Before Times. It’s 2020, and 2002’s version of 1984 is waiting for you once more in a game from 2013.
World of Variety
World of Variety does exactly what it says: introduces a ton of variety into the game by adding new vehicles, pedestrians, weapons and more. GTA’s simulation of real life crumbles when you see the exact same images over and over, and World of Variety helps offset that.