Category: developers journal

GTA 4 PC port FAIL!

Author: seven December 8, 2008

I was looking forward to play new GTA 4 over Xmas. Brutal Balkan (Niko Belić) in New York. Sounds like an interesting plot. :) And as it happens I have new reasonably priced laptop at home with Nvidia 8400M GS and dual core 2.4 GHz cpu on which I just successfully finished playing awesome Fallout 3.

To make long story short - GTA 4 PC port is BIG FAIL! I don't care about Social Club or MS Live addons or SecuROM DRM which forces you to keep DVD in drive all the time... I care about not being able to play it at all. When game producers start producing games for future generations of PCs and they don't implement any optimizations - you know that things in PC gaming world have gone horrible wrong. Initial GTA 4 minimum system requirements were looking good. But then, somewhere in between... R* decided to change requirements on the fly.

"Most users using current PC hardware as of December 2008 are advised to use medium graphics settings. Higher settings are provided for future generations of PCs with higher specifications than are currently widely available." - from Rockstars GTA 4 gfx setting guide

I spent whole weekend trying to get the game running on my reasonably priced laptop and after I heard that my colleague with high end gaming rig had similar problems I decided to post something and maybe help somebody else (w/ Nvidia and Vista).

GTA 4 Missing textures bug:

  • Download and install latest .NET Framework 3.5 SP 1 from MS
  • Get new GTA 4 Nvidia 180.84 drivers. If you are updating drivers, just be sure to uninstall old ones and clean remaining files with Driver Sweeper. If you want to install new driver to laptop, you will need Mobility Modder. If you don't want to update to new driver, you can try resetting video card setting with Riva Tuner.
  • If your gfx cards has less than 256 mb ram forget the game. Nevermind laptop gfx can share memory GTA4 needs 256 real memory. I managed to fake it but when you drive around the town and new textures kick in, the game is just too slow to play.
  • I managed to get game running and fix missing textures on my 128 mb gfx appending this parameters to LaunchGTAIV.exe shortcut (just be sure to start the game by clicking on that shortcut):

    "C:\Program Files\Rockstar Games\Grand Theft Auto IV\LaunchGTAIV.exe" -novblank -norestrictions -nomemrestrict -renderquality=0 -shadowdensity=0 -texturequality=0 -viewdistance=1 -width=800 -height=600 -availablevidmem=256 -percentvidmem=100 -DX9 /high

Slow performance on high end configurations, cannot change gfx setting:

  • current version of GTA 4 doesn't support Nvidia SLI.
  • In in-game options - turn off clip capture option so game stops recording whatever you do in background.
  • Appending this parameters to LaunchGTAIV.exe shortcut do disable restrictions in ingame gfx setting and disable vsync:
    "C:\Program Files\Rockstar Games\Grand Theft Auto IV\LaunchGTAIV.exe" -novblank -norestrictions -nomemrestrict -percentvidmem=100 -DX9 /high

That's it. Have to find something else to do over the holidays. :)

CEO/CTO at Nivas®
Neven Jacmenović has been passionately involved with computers since late 80s, the age of Atari and Commodore Amiga. As one of internet industry pioneers in Croatia, since 90s, he has been involved in making of many award winning, innovative and successful online project. He is experienced full stack web developer, analyst and system engineer. In his spare time, Neven is transforming retro-futuristic passion into various golang, Adobe Flash and JavaScript/WebGL projects.

    6 thoughts on “GTA 4 PC port FAIL!”

  • Such a massive disappointment. I deliberately didn’t buy a xbox360 when it launched a year ago (?) to play this game, knowing that R* would deliver with a better PC version like they usually do. I’m now over 4 hours in and I’m yet to get a smile on my face. The whole experience is horrible, on a system that plays fallout3 maxed out. I’m pissed off that this was released, let alone the fact we had to wait so long. It looks like they jumped the shark after San Andreas, and have turned into the new EA – uncaring behemoth forcing sales at the expense of quality.

  • what a joke. people are telling me they are having slowdowns using a 9800gtx and a quad-core processor wtf that’s not right. the xbox-360 with it’s 3 cores run it fine on an average gpu. how the hell can a quad-core and a 9800gtx not well that = bad port simple as that. there is absolutly no reason why this game cannot run properly on a quad-core and 9800gtx with max settings. gta 4 = bad port simple as that they messed up this time. only a small handfull of pc’s can play it with reasonable fps.

  • The game was designed for the ps3 and xbox2 and they left the pc as the last priority. The end result was a terrible port. Because of these consoles pc’s are end up with half-backed products. As the developers are developing for the limations of the consoles. I remember theif3 when it was released, it was OK, but seen all the load zones, and animations issues. The GTA4 sucked, the lame club, ms live, bugs and the issue that people upgraded spend another 500 dollars in order to play a game that was not designed for the pc. If the game was built for the PC in mind, i would suspect the performance would be twice as fast.
    I might buy GTA4 when it’s worth 10 dollars..

  • Does someone know when Stormrise for Xbox360 will be released?

  • Horribly ported game. Rockstar has got to be ashamed fo themselves. Releasing this shoddy crap. I have been a fan of GTA series since GTA III, and really enjoyed them all, but I will never buy this series again.

  • Huh… I’m running on a moderately-priced samsung laptop, with a low-end ATI card and an integrated Intel HD Graphics card at mid-high graphics level, and everything is going swimmingly for me.

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