7 essential GTA 3 mods to try in 2024

A list of GTA 3 mods that every player should use after installing the game (Image via Rockstar Games)
A list of GTA 3 mods that every player should use after installing the game (Image via Rockstar Games)

GTA 3 is over two decades old at this point, so it's hard to recommend the game to anyone in its vanilla state. However, with the addition of mods, this 2001 title can be modernized and played on modern PCs in 2024. GTA 3 modding began when the game launched on PCs in 2002, and there's a staggering amount of mods to go through.

With the release of the subsequent titles in the GTA franchise, there have been numerous unofficial quality-of-life (QOL) fixes and improvements to the series. Following the failure of the Definitive Edition GTA Trilogy, modders took it upon themselves to remaster the aging game with mods. So, here's a list of some of the most essential mods fans will need to play GTA 3 in 2024.

Note: This article is subjective and reflects the opinion of its writers.


7 most important mods to play GTA 3 in 2024

1) Essentials mod pack

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This mod, as the name suggests, is a collection of several vital mods to run GTA 3 on modern PCs. Mods like Ultimate ASI Loader and CLEO make it possible to run ASI and CLEO scripts, respectively, while Modloader allows players to install any replacement mods without replacing the game files themselves.

There are some other vital modern essentials like SilentPatch, an unofficial and comprehensive patch that fixes countless issues with the PC versions of the original GTA Trilogy. A widescreen patch from ThirteenAG is also included, along with other small fixes for preventing crashes on modern systems.


2) Xbox mod

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GTA 3 felt ahead of its time when it was released in 2001 on the PS2. When the Xbox port came out in 2003, it had several changes. Textures across the game were vastly improved, and there were new props in many areas. Character models also looked better, and vehicles had actual engines and reflections. The Xbox mod brings all that to PC.

This mod started work in 2009, bringing so many improvements that it's hard to describe here. For instance, some buildings that didn't have roofs in the base game now have them so that flying with the aircraft mod won't look as odd anymore. Shadowmaps and lightmaps have also been added so that the world doesn't look as bland as before.


3) Aircrafts III

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Grand Theft Auto 3 never had flyable aircraft, and according to Rockstar, it wasn't part of the GTA 3 content that got removed due to 9/11. The Dodo can be entered, but its chopped wings aren't capable of flight. The only way to fly in the base game was to use the flying cars cheat (CHITTYCHITTYBANGBANG). This mod fixes that by adding several aircraft to the game from subsequent titles like Vice City, Vice City Stories, and San Andreas.

The list of aircraft includes three variants of the Maverick (a normal one, an LCPD one, and an LC News one), a Hunter attack helicopter with functional weapons, an Armadillo and Biplane, a Skimmer, and of course, a working Dodo. The flight system works like Vice City since there aren't many differences between GTA 3 and Vice City, at least in how the vehicles work.


4) HD Vehicles Tri-Pack

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This mod, as the name suggests, replaces and remasters all of the game's vehicles in HD. The textures are greatly upscaled, with some of the cars even getting a new, more detailed makeover. However, the designs are quite lore-friendly and do not feel out of place at all, especially in conjunction with the Xbox mod.

One of the most notable changes is seen during the first mission, as the Kuruma the player gets in is now more detailed. Remastering is also applied to the vehicle interiors, along with the weapons. There are five new vehicles in the mod, but these can't be added if III Aircrafts is installed.


5) LCS Snowfall

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GTA Liberty City Stories returns to Liberty City with major improvements and changes. One of the new additions includes a weather type where the city gets light snowfall instead of rain. This can now be added to Grand Theft Auto 3 with the LCS Snowfall mod.

The mod doesn't feel out of place since Grand Theft Auto 3 occurs in late fall to early winter. In fact, it manages to amplify the dark and moody atmosphere of the game even further.


6) GPS and MAP

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GTA 3 was the first 3D game in the series, and it lacked many of its successors' quality-of-life features, one of which is the map. Rockstar created a detailed map based on New York City and made it feel alive and bustling with life. However, while players can get a general understanding of where they are and what direction they need to go via the radar, there's no in-game map menu like in the subsequent titles.

These are two mods put here as one due to how closely they function. The GPS mod adds GPS navigation to the radar, while the MAP mod allows players to see the in-game map in real time. Players will no longer go through a trial-and-error approach and waste precious time when navigating the city during a mission.


7) Cover mod

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GTA 4, the first title in the HD Universe, brought about massive changes to the Grand Theft Auto formula. One of the most vital upgrades to combat was the addition of a cover system. Players can duck behind various types of cover, like vehicles, buildings, or some other props, to protect themselves from gunfire.

Adding this feature to Grand Theft Auto 3 makes the game much easier and less frustrating. This is especially true during some of the later missions where Claude can die almost instantly.

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Edited by Adarsh J Kumar
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