GTA IV Tweak Guide

Grand Theft Auto 4 needs to be tweaked for graphics and performance even if you have a high end PC.

GTA 4 proved to be a bizarre for many PC gamers, as it come packed with lot of issues, issues that prohibited people with average PC’s to play the game. Firstly the memory requirements to run this game are far away from being acceptable and second even if someone do meet the system requirements for the game, he cannot enjoy the game without any problems.

What should one do to play this game not having an high end machine or GPU? There are only two solutions, one lower your graphics to minimum or if it still does not work for you and you think that you deserve better frame rates even after lowering the graphics then some tweaking must be done to achieve better results.

I have compiled some useful tweaks which can help your game to rum smoother with better frame rates without loosing any real graphics. So lets get things started:

Command Line Text File
This solution actually works for the majority and is simple too. All you need to do is make a text document and name it as  Commandline.txt. Save it in your GTA4 folder. Then in this document, type the following command lines:

-availablevidmem “x”
-percentvidmem “x”

First 2 commands remove the restrictions and maximum of the allocated memory that can be used. -availablevidmem “x” command is to allocate the VRAM memory manually depending upon the maximum you have.

You should change the value “x” accordingly e.g you have VRAM equal to 512mb then  “x” should be replaced by 1 i.e “-availablevidmem 1”.

Similarly this value can be lesser or greater depending upon the memory you have and the memory you are allocating for the game.It is recommended that you put 100 in the last command’s parameter but I am not so sure that whether it will make any difference. I would say that give it a shot, it might work for you.

List of Commands
You can use the following list of commands in the text file. It is not necessary that all will be helpful to you so you will have to choose those which benefit you more:

-renderquality: Set the render quality of the game. (0-4)
-shadowdensity: Set the shadow density of the game. (0-16)
-texturequality: Set the texture quality of the game. (0-2)
-viewdistance: Set the view distance of the game (0-99)
-detailquality: Set the detail quality of the game. (0-99)
-novblank: Disable wait for vblank (No Vsync)
-norestriction: Do not limit graphics settings
-width: Set width of main render window (default is 800)
-height: Set height of main render window (default is 600)
-safemode: Run the graphics in the lowest setting possible
-frameLimit: Limit frame to interval of refresh rate
(ex If refreshrate is 60HZ –frameLimit 1 = Locks down to 60HZ)
-refreshrate: Set the refresh rate of main render window
– Warning – Monitor must support (ex. –refreshrate 60)
-fullscreen: Force fullscreen mode
-windowed: Force windowed mode
-availablevidmem: Set amount of physical Video Memory(ex. –availablevidmem 0.9)
-percentvidmem: Percentage of video memory to make available to GTA

-fullspecaudio: Force high-end CPU audio footprint
-minspecaudio: Force low-end CPU audio footprint

-noprecache: Disable precache of resources
-nomemrestrict: Disable memory restrictions

Alternate Method
If the above method didn’t work for you then you can try this alternate method:

You need to sign up for everything they ask from you during installation, specially the “Rockstar Social Club”, Otherwise it won’t have any better results.

Step 1
Install the game, After installation and all that sign up thingy, create a shortcut of  “LaunchGTAIV.exe” to your desktop.

Step 2
Now right click the shortcut you created and click properties.In properties where it says “Target” put the following command lines

-windowed -width=1024 -height=800 -texturequality=2 -renderquality=4 -detailquality=99 -viewdistance=99

Save the changes and hence the whole command line will look something like this:

F:\Games\Rockstar Games\Grand Theft Auto IV\LaunchGTAIV.exe” -windowed -texturequality=2 -renderquality=4 -detailquality=99 -viewdistance=99 -width=1024 -height=800

Adjust the parameter values according to your own desire. Be careful that you don’t push to the limits and keep your system’s specs in your mind while adjusting these parameters.

Step 3
Now start Rockstar Games Social Club and log into to your account you made before. One thing that you should be aware of that you don’t launch the game from the Social Club Launcher instead you launch it from the shortcut you created.

Step 4
Nothing more, Launch the game and enjoy. You will hopefully feel the difference.

As I mentioned before that you should not be extravagant and consider your system specs before selecting a particular resolution.

Tweak GTA IV using Magic Patcher
You can tweak files after patching them using “Magic Patcher”. You can download GTA IV Tweak Patch with a quick google search. Now launch the patcher, validate the files first then click “Apply Patch”.
Now your files are patched to be edited with automatic backups being made after each time you edit.

Changing View Distance
In order to change the “View Distance” you need to navigate to Grand Theft Auto IV\PC\data folder and edit a file named “timecyc.dat” with a Notpad. Once you have opened the file, search for the word “FarClp” in the text document.The default value is 1500.00, but you can change this value according to your own desire.

Shadow Disabling
If your system isn’t that powerful then shadow disabling might help. You need to download Alice tool by Alexander Blade and then extract the files to the main GTA4 folder and you are done.

If you want to re-enable the shadow then you just need to simply delete this “disable_shadows.lua” that is in the Grand Theft Auto IV\Alice folder.

Lowering Bloom Intensity
It can’t be turned off rather it can be adjusted. To adjust the value you need to browse to the “Grand Theft Auto IV\common\data folder” and then open the file that is called the “visualSettings.dat”. After that open the file and search for the following files.


After finding the files you just have to change the values to 0.00.

Controlling rain intensity
Your GPU does not like the rain? Just navigate to “Grand Theft Auto IV\common\data folder” and then open the file named “visualsettings.dat” and search for the following files:

rain.NumberParticles.ps3 and then change its value to 256.
rain.NumberParticles and then change its value to 1024

GTA 4 Ultimate Graphic Tweak
This tweak has been manually designed to smoother things up and configure the game for better gameplay experience. This tweak is useful specially when you have low frame rates. Download it from here, Results would be better if the tweak is applied to Environment mod which is discussed below.

GTA 4 Environment Mod
Environment files are modified to get more realistic ambient light, direct light, water etc. Increased traffic and view distance for peds and cars. Softened the shadows so it should be less dark in the shadows.

Headlights and all other light edited to be more narrow and more bright/ view distance. New water color and summer green trees with reduced flicker. Again, a quick google search will help you find it.

How to install mods in GTA 4
An installer known as “JSGME” is required to install the mods. Download it from here. Copy the file named “JSGME.exe” to the main GTA 4 directory.
Run it one time from the main directory and a folder named “MODS” will be created in the main directory.

This is where you put your mod files, after copying the mod files to the respected folder, close “JSGME” and launch it again.Now enable the mod by selecting it form the left side of the interface. To uninstall the mod just click disable and the mod will be uninstalled.

Well that sums things up and I hope these tips will help you improving the performance of Grand Theft Auto  4. Do let me know if you are having any problems or any link is broken.

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Ali is a passionate RPG gamer. He believes that western RPGs still have a lot to learn from JRPGs. He is editor-in-chief at but that doesn't stop him from writing about his favorite video ...