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Console and PC Differences

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In the Grand Theft Auto series, there are changes made between the console versions and PC version when the console versions are ported to the PC. Sometimes the changes can be dramatic. The major difference is the ability to use the mouse and keyboard instead of a controller to play the games. The PC has a great advantage of being able to be easily modified that is supported by an active online community. This is a list of all noticeable changes.

Changes that are caused by specific PC configurations are not listed here.

Grand Theft Auto III

  • Police cars and Enforcers during the opening splash screen (not the intro) are recolored black instead of their beta blue color. The flipped Enforcer in Give Me Liberty is also retextured to remove the beta blue coloring.
  • Custom draw distance setting.
  • Custom resolution setting.
  • Replay functionality.
  • A custom radio station.
  • Ability to change the player character's skin.
  • Player skins have texture interpolation disabled (nearest-neighbor) by default in the PC version making the textures appear blocky. A hack does exist that takes a pointer to the Renderware texture in memory and enables the interpolation for the texture by setting the filtering to linear.
  • Manual aiming with the mouse by default; guns have pinpoint accuracy with manual aiming.
  • The M16 crosshair texture was changed.
  • The weapon HUD icons are yellow instead of gray.
  • The Ghost boat is black instead of blue.
  • More objects were placed around the map, including:
  • The Purple Nines glitch that occurs after completing "Rumble".
  • The song "O mia babbina caro" was removed from Double Clef FM.
  • The gate at the Liberty Memorial Coliseum has a missing texture.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Many of these changes, especially the fixed glitches, carried over to the updated PS2 and Xbox versions.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

  • Custom draw distance setting.
  • Custom resolution setting.
  • Replay functionality.
  • A custom radio station.
  • Manual aiming with the mouse by default.
  • Setting to use cell-shaded shadows.
  • Cars use specular lighting.
    • Certain vehicles like the Dodo and Uranus lack this sheen, causing them to look dark compared to other vehicles.
  • The fuel meter bug in Supply Lines... was fixed.
  • More objects were placed around the map.
  • Removal of all 2-player rampages.
  • Several parked vehicles were removed.
  • Introduced several glitches, including:
    • Cars are always dirty (partially fixed in subsequent patches).
    • Moon displays no phases.
    • Trucks like the Linerunner and Yosemite no longer have dual rear wheels.
    • Incorrect lighting of the environment, causing everything to look darker than it is.
    • Parachute object animation is displayed incorrectly, making it look static no matter how the player moves.
    • The decals on many vehicles like the Sandking and Bloodring Banger do not display correctly.
    • Those who have poor PCs or have frame limiter turned off will experience timing-related glitches that can cause missions like "Stowaway" and "End of the Line" to be very difficult to complete.
  • The Hemlock Tattoo tattoo parlor, which is inaccessible in the PS2 version, works in the PC and Xbox.
  • The Newsvan is designed as a news van for SAN News in the PC and PS2 versions, and for VCN in the Xbox version.
  • The basketballs are unlocked after completing Tagging Up Turf, while in the PS2 version they are available from the beginning.
  • Shady Industries were renamed to Solarin Industries.
  • The original PS2 version glitch that caused pool to be unavailable after CJ aimed a gun in a room with a pool table has been fixed for the PS2 Second Edition, PC and Xbox.

Grand Theft Auto IV

  • A plethora of custom settings, including:
    • Custom view distance.
    • Custom resolution.
    • Reflection quality.
    • Texture quality.
    • Traffic density.
    • Shadow density.
    • Windowed mode.
  • First proper support of various widescreen resolutions.
  • The Video Editor: the ability to view, edit, and publish videos created within the game.
  • A custom radio station called Independence FM, which includes a DJ who always criticizes the music.
  • Manual aiming with the mouse by default; guns have pinpoint accuracy with manual aiming (Only for mouse and keyboard, if using a gamepad, the accuracy remains the same as the console version).
  • The player limit in multiplayer was expanded from 16 to 32 players.
  • Certain suits at Perseus were remade.
  • Vehicles have a "dirt" attribute so poor and run-down cars no longer look as shiny as sports cars.
  • The ability to toggle the "blur filter" with the press of a button.
  • The glitch involving the phone stopping cars was fixed.
  • Before The Lost and Damned was released, bikes exclusive to the Lost and Damned were hidden within the game files.
  • In the latest patch, the shadows are no longer dimply; they are much more sharp and clear.
  • Latest patch also introduces car's headlight shadows. [1]
  • The Combat Pistol (Desert Eagle) has a different shooting animation. It looks like it has more recoil than in the console version.
  • The animation for the closing of car doors was changed.
  • The reload animation for the MP5 is different.
  • The reload animation for the Combat Shotgun is different.
  • Modding prevention mechanisms added, particularly for multiplayer functionality.

Grand Theft Auto V

  • Custom graphics settings added:
    • Included is the feature of shadows casted from vehicles, NPCs, props and fixed land features (buildings, hills, etc), not present on console versions.
  • Support for 4K resolution displays.
  • Support for panoramic triple monitor setups.
  • Framerate raised to 60 FPS.
  • The countdown glitch in Bearing the Truth was fixed.
  • A custom radio station (Self Radio) was added.
  • The Rockstar Editor was originally included as a PC-exclusive feature, though it has since been brought to the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game.

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