Grand Theft Auto IV

General guide

The game won't fucking launch what the fuck


I don't know how much cockstar has broke on the newest release, all I can say is good luck :))))

>>>Watch this tutorial to downgrade the latest version to fix MP<<<

Although some of the fixes are still applicable.

Ideal Install
Games for Windows Live
All settings stuck on low issue / VRAM issue
Simple Native Trainer
Increasing Performance

Here is a great base tutorial for the ideal install scenario
I summarize this guide here:

The (now outdated) ideal scenario:

  1. Install GTA IV from Steam
  2. Sign in to Xbox Console Companion app on Windows 10
  3. Start game from Steam and let it install the Microsoft Redistributable Pack's and GFWL, do not cancel or say "no" to any of these!
  4. When you reach the main menu, click on LIVE (I recommend doing this before changing any graphical settings)
  5. Sign in to GFWL with same account as you used on Xbox Console Companion app.
  6. Tick auto sign in box. (It should automatically input your password after you type the email)
  7. Sign in and play.

If this doesn't work, here is some help:

First, here are some useful notes:

Default install directory is most likely C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Grand Theft Auto IV\GTAIV
These fixes should also work with EFLC.
This is on patch for IV and whatever the second latest is on EFLC.
Everything in red is a link, other than that red example.
The files hosted on this site have not been modified and AFAIK are safe to use
Source codes for the majority of files hosted here can be found in a search on your preferred search engine

Game freezing on startup, cutscenes or when alt+tab-ing:

  1. Got to GTAIV.exe, right click and go to properties
  2. Tick box "Disable fullscreen optimizations"

    If this doesn't work, add "-windowed" to Steam launch options and use Fullscreenizer to get fullscreen.
    Note: I haven't tried Fullscreenzier with GTA IV but I've never had issues with it other than it being inconvenient.

Issues with GFWL:

If you can't sign in to GFWL:

  1. Navigate to install folder of GFWL
  2. Download this: AUTO-FIREWALLSource (I have modified this file)
  3. Extract the Auto Allow batch file into the GFWL folder
  4. Run it as admin and press enter to let it add firewall rules.
  5. Try sign in again

If you still can't sign in:

  1. Download and install IO Bit Uninstaller
  2. Use it to uninstall GFWL (This will take a while because it will be searching the registry for left over entries)
  3. Reboot
  4. Download this zip and extract to desktop
  5. Install as admin and sign in when on desktop
  6. When you launch GTA IV and try to sign in, you will be prompted to update GFWL, this should work automatically, it will then close GFWL and GTA IV
  7. When the game closes, wait for a minute or two before launching it again, when you try to sign in, it should work.
    If this complains about anything, use Auto Firewall tool above.

"All settings stuck on low" fix:

Download this commandline.txt and place it in GTA IV install directory.
I don't recommend playing on lowest settings, the performance gain is minimal due to bad optimization.

Note: On my RX 580 8GB, the game detected 3GB of VRAM automatically with no issues.
GTA IV will at very most use 2GB VRAM, so don't worry if only a fraction of your VRAM is detected.

Simple Native Trainer:

Download zip from here and extract to install directory.
If you have issues with this version, please use this version instead

Increasing Performance:

Here's what I recommend:

First, make sure you're getting the most from the hardware you're using. Since GTA IV hasn't been optimized for multi-core CPU's, overclocking is very useful.
If possible, favour increasing "turbo" clocks instead of going for an all-core overclock.
Then go to your GPU, make sure you have it running at a good speed.

Then for in game settings, avoid using the inbuilt texture filtering, use filtering in your graphics drivers settings instead.
Shadows have a large impact on performance on most systems, so if necessary, disable them. Same goes for the three sliders for render distance
and vehicles, keeping these sliders on 50 is usually fine.

If necessary, you could resort to modding the game to get the best performance, search for "timecycle draw distance decrease" if your FPS is really bad.

Here is what I use for my commandline.txt:

-reflectionquality 4
-reflectionresolution 2048
-waterquality 4
-waterreflectionquality 4

This is more for higher quality but forces better utilization of hardware through 64bit mirror rendering and more VRAM used from higher reflection resolution.
I also use a 3500 render distance (Timecycle distance draw distance increase) which actually increases my FPS since more RAM and VRAM are being used.

Unfortunately, if you have a non-overclockable high core count CPU with low IPC (Instructions per cycle), I don't think there are any ways to improve the performance when it is due to a CPU bottleneck like this.
Due to this over-reliance on IPC, Ryzen 3000 and high clock Intel chips will result in the best FPS

There are plenty of guides on YouTube, old GTA forums and on Steam for getting the best performance, here are some links to them:

LowSpecGamer's GTA IV Low End Guide <- Very useful guide
"GTA IV Performance Optimization - A simple three steps guide"
"PC Gaming Wiki - Grand Theft Auto IV" <- Lots of useful information here.
"Grand Theft Auto IV command line options"
"GTA IV Launch Commands"
"Best Commandline Settings" Download
New hidden commands from GTA IV <-This one has commands which aren't repeated anywhere else.
"GTA IV Tweak Guide"
Big post of investigations into performance of GTA IV

Download patches:

Patch Download Link Download Download
GTA Inside's Official Patch Downloads (All official R* patches fromup to

2020 Stuff:

As of 23/03/2020, it is still possible to play GTA IV online using version In other words, don't update.
It is also supposedly possible to play online on using the following mod: " Multiplayer Enabler".
Here is a mirror to this forum: " Multiplayer Enabler"

Here is a pack to downgrade to to be able to play online: Link - Mirror
Here's a different downgrader, supposedly for the same 2020 version to patch 8 downgrade but it looks like it's cracked: Link - Mirror

There is also a mod to bring regular multiplayer to CitizenMP: IV: Link

Site created 11/11/19. Last updated 03/01/21
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