Mission packs are experimental waste of Rockstar Games in San Andreas. They are never used in the original game, but they can be used for modding. Mission packs are used to get additional script content into the game. The most known mod using this technology is Design Your Own Mission by PatrickW and Dutchy3010.
In GTA IV a similar technology is used for the GTA IV DLCs called "The Lost and Damned" and "The Ballad of Gay Tony" on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC(Windows).
Using Mission Packs
Mission packs must be located in the User Files directory of your San Andreas installation. By default the user files directory is located:
- Windows Vista or Windows 7 – C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Documents\GTA San Andreas User Files\
- Windows XP – C:\Documents and Settings\%USERNAME%\My Files\GTA San Andreas User Files\
Adding a mission pack
For adding a mission pack point to your User Files directory (as described above). Create a new folder and call it "MPACK". In this newly created folder create another folder called "MPACK<num>". (You have to replace the "<num>" statement with a number starting with 1 and incrementing by 1 for each mission pack. Each mission pack corresponds to one additional script.) Copy your script and GXT file to this folder and rename them:
- The script to "scr.scm"
- The text archive to "text.gxt"
Create a new file called "mpack.dat" and open it (e.g. using any text editor). Write the following text in there:
The file needs to end with an # character. Replace
<num> with the number of your mission pack (as descriped above). Replace
<name> with the name of your mission pack (e.g. "My Mission Pack"). Be careful that you leave the # in front of the name! The name will be what the player see later on in the game when choosing a mission pack on starting a new game.
Using external scripts
By default the game skips the external script header in the script file, so it is impossible to use external scripts. However Seemann and some guys of the SannyBuilder community created a patch for that (See below). Using this patch you can place your script.img archive file including your external scripts in the "%San Andreas%\data\script" directory of the game and rename it to "script<num>.img" where "<num>" corresponds to the number of your mission pack.
As described on the top of the page mission packs are experimental waste of Rockstar. They are not very sophisticated and limited in their functionality. The greatest disadvantages are:
- You can't use external scripts without a patch
- You can only use one monolingual text
But this does not mean that mission packs are useless. They are a good way to reduce encroachments through modding which makes the game less prone to errors. Also they are the only way to use 2 scripts next to each other. Also the end-user of your script do not need to worry about changing savegames and scripts by hand at one time, because the game remembers the current mission pack in the save file, so all the end-user has to do is loading it.
- Mission Packs Fix – Allows to use external scripts in form of an script.img file with mission packs. Read this topic for detaled information.
- GTAForums: Mission Packs for SA