How do you make one of the biggest games of 2013, Grand Theft Auto 5, last for a decade? Well, if you’re Rockstar, you port it a half-dozen times. But if you’re the players, you get hard at work crafting creative mods that alter the source material into something fun, zany, or simply more accessible.
Below, we explore the best GTA 5 mods that have helped prolong our time in Los Santos, ranging from brand new story content to all new areas of Los Santos to that hallmark of all things modding, zombies.
GTA 5 Mods
10. The Agency
Creator: Dec04 For Those Looking For: Role-Playing
The longevity of Grand Theft Auto 5 has been partly thanks to mods, and The Agency is a fine example of this. Take control of an agent of the titular organization and became Los Santos’ most feared assassin. With The Agency mod installed, players can select from “Beginner,” “Advanced,” and “Pro” contracts, which then tasks them with finding and taking out a target.
Sure, it sounds like something you can role-play without the mod, but The Agency includes features like self-destructing cars, informants, and vehicle cruise control, which is far more useful than it sounds. A few tweaks would absolutely enhance playing as an assassin in Los Santos, but as it stands, The Agency is a lot of fun to dive into if you’re looking to vary your playstyle up a bit.
9. Map Builder
Creator: Omega King Studios For Those Looking For: Building/creating
What if you could piece together your own map of Los Santos? It’s a feature that all future Grand Theft Auto games should have, especially considering how much fun the Map Builder mod is. The Patron-supported mod features many 3D assets that players can use to create their version of Los Santos. For added customization, textures can be adjusted to create walls, floors, windows, terrain, and so much more.
For a series that’s becoming wholly reliant on the online experience, a built-in map builder would definitely gain traction. Guaranteed, if Rockstar skirts this feature (which is likely to happen), another map-building mod will pop up for Grand Theft Auto 6.
8. North Yankton DLC
Creator: Dekurwinator For Those Looking For: A bigger map
You may never have received that promised single-player DLC, but modders have been hard at work filling the void as much as they can. The North Yankton DLC mod may not be a new story-based addition, but the content expands Los Santos to include North Yankton, the state where the game’s prologue and “Bury the Hatchet” mission took place.
The snowy environment is surrounded by a mountain range and contains 50 buildings, including safehouses, churches, garages, police stations, fire stations, an airport, and warehouses. Did we mention you can enter all of them? The mod’s terrain features full collision, which really adds to the overall quality of the experience. While the North Yankton DLC doesn’t add a story, creative players are sure to have some fun with the snowy state.
7. Improved Police Response
Creator: AidenDem For Those Looking For: A harder challenge
Do you feel like the Los Santos Police Department is lacking a little something? Well, so did the creator of Improved Police Response, a mod that focuses solely on the law enforcement presence in Grand Theft Auto 5. The mod intends to create a more realistic experience, which means higher accuracy for Army soldiers and reduced efficiency for security guards and an increased police presence on the street.
The mod also requires crimes to be reported to the police before the Wanted system engages, giving players a chance to give snitches stitches. FIB response is a little more aggressive, and players can enhance the difficulty with optional Recognition and Juggernaut systems. It’s quite the overhaul, so be sure to check the developer notes to ensure this best GTA 5 mod doesn’t alter the game too much for your liking.
6. Real-Time Handling Editor
Creator(s): ikt, Aquaphobic, GreenAid, Wildbrick, fingaweg For Those Looking For: Racing
If in-game vehicle handling is something you like to focus on, then you’ll want to install the Real-Time Handling Editor. As the name implies, you’ll be able to adjust the handling of virtually every vehicle type in real time, so you can instantly see the results and further adjust to match your preferred playstyle.
It’s a simple concept that can really enhance the experience for some players. Grand Theft Auto has a subset of players that focus solely on driving, whether it’s racing or navigating the city streets. Real-Time Handling Editor gives full control of their driving experience as if they were playing a more intensive racing simulator.
5. The GU Mod
Creator: GoroUnreal For Those Looking For: Mayhem
It’s rare for anyone to take GTA 5 seriously at this point, so the GU Mod that lets you have a ton of fun with a Native Trainer dedicated to creating a ridiculous experience for players is perfect for some silly fun. Want to run in slow motion and create Michael Bay-esque action sequences? There’s a time adjustment option for that. Think the game’s ragdoll effects are a little too silly? Turn them off with GU Mod. Too many people in your way? Clear the streets and enjoy the completely empty roadways of Los Santos for some high-speed fun.
GU Mod really just wants players to have fun in Los Santos, which should reduce the pain of waiting for Grand Theft Auto 6 news. Adjustments like near-zero gravity, teleportation, and wall clipping give you access to areas of Los Santos previously blocked. It’s a fun way to explore the city and havoc on those days you don’t want to take things too seriously.
4. Simple Zombies
Creator: sollaholla For Those Looking For: Zombies
Everything is better with zombies, right? Simple Zombies for GTA 5 is a fleshed-out mod that infects much of Los Santos with a deadly virus, turning them into shambling undead. Despite remaining in Los Santos, this isn’t your typical GTA 5 playthrough. Not only will the former civilians aggressively attack at first sight of you, but they’ll also be attracted to noise and swarm toward gunshots.
The mod adds elements of survival games, including a hunger and sleep indicator. Picture DayZ or State of Decay in Los Santos, and you have the Simple Zombies mod. Along with the undead threat, you’ll come across survivors that can be micro-managed to prevent stray gunfire or the unnecessary waste of resources. That also means you’ll run into survivor groups, who may or may not be friendly. Proceed with caution, ration supplies, and you may just survive one of the best GTA 5 mods and a Grand Theft Apocalypse.
3. Grand Theft Auto 5.5
Creator: Ichibu For Those Looking For: A newer game
Why wait for Grand Theft Auto 6 when you can mod GTA 5 into sequel territory? The Grand Theft Auto 5.5 mod is an extensive collection of different mods intended to reduce bugs, enhance realism, and increase the entertainment factor. Along with some very noticeable visual changes, including added reflections and improved rendering, the mod alters handling for 85% of the vehicle library, improves police response and performance, and makes some changes to how gangs interact with the city.
Grand Theft Auto 5.5 is pretty close to being the ultimate GTA 5 mod. All it’s really missing is added story elements, which players have been asking for since months after the game’s original launch. Still, if you want GTA 5 to feel less like a game from a decade ago, this is the best mod you can get.
2. Script Hook V + Native Trainer
Creator: rappo For Those Looking For: Easier customisation
Want a fully customized GTA 5 experience? Script Hook V + Native Trainer puts many backend options under your control. With the trainer active, you can change the skin of your character, increase or decrease stats, and flush yourself with cash with the press of a button. But that’s just barely scratching the surface of what Script Hook V + Native Trainer puts at your disposal.
You’ll be able to adjust your wanted level, turn on invincibility, swim faster, jump higher, and traverse Los Santos quicker. Want explosive ammo? It’s at your disposal. Have a sadistic need to turn off seatbelts? The trainer makes it easy. This mod lets you create your own GTA 5 experience, making it great for content creators looking to liven up their videos. There’s seemingly no limit to what you can do. But it’s still missing that one element that would make it the best GTA 5 mod.
1. Heists DLC – Story Mode Expansion Pack
Creator: Coffee Man For Those Looking For: Single-player DLC
Now this is how you land at the top of a best GTA 5 mods list. One thing the fanbase has been begging for over the past decade is more offline content, and the Heists DLC mod is about as close as we’ll get. Pulling from the popular Heists mode of GTA Online, this DLC converts them into story mode missions to feel more like an expansion pack on the original single-player experience.
The GTA 5 DLC pack includes 49 missions, ranging from prison breaks to bank heists. In 2022, when the mod first dropped, new missions were being added. The last update was in December, so it’s likely that Version 6 is where Heists DLC will die. However, there is plenty there to extend your playtime quite a bit and hold you over until Grand Theft Auto 6 is launched.
Struggling with how to install mods in GTA 5? Check out the video below for an easy tutorial.
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