Rules of Modding

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  • Turn off Read-Only.
  • Always backup your files.
  • Always test the game after you made a change.

Turning off Read-Only

Locate your GTA directory (The default are C:\Program Files\Rockstar Games\*GTA version* for the DVD copy and C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\*GTA version*\*GTA version abbreviated* for the Steam copy). On the Rockstar Games (or *GTA version*) folder, right click and select "properties", then uncheck the Read-Only box. Click "OK" or "Apply", and on the next pop-up choose "Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files".

Backing up your files

When you make a change to a certain file, always back it up! It'll be useful later, so you won't have to reinstall the game if something goes wrong. The best would be to create a folder called backup in your GTA directory, and sort all changed files in different folders, like original main.scm in backup/data folder, and original american.gxt in backup/text. It would be good if you make additional backup, mostly when you change the main.scm, so some of the progress will be saved.

Testing the game after a change is made

When a certain change is made, always test the game, to make sure the desired change works, but note that main.scm changes require most testing. Easiest way to test is to just save the changed file, minimize it, copy it to your directory (unless it's already copied) and run the game. If something doesn't work, use the backup you made to restore the file to it's last known good state.