Top 5 GTA San Andreas mods for adding realism (2023)

An example of a graphics modification that makes the game look more realistic than before
An example of a graphics modification that makes the game look more realistic than before (Image via So High/YouTube)

GTA San Andreas mods are bountiful in quantity, some of which include modifications pertaining to realism. This article lists five of them. Some entries focus on something directly affecting the player's gameplay for a more realistic approach. Others are more subtle yet still amazing for anybody who wants a more immersive in-game world.

It is worth mentioning that all GTA San Andreas mods posted here are for the original game on PC. They are not intended for the Definitive Edition. Likewise, these entries might not have equivalent versions available for mobile gamers.

Note: Some aspects of this article are subjective. The mods on the following list have been arranged based on how realistic they make the game look.

Five amazing GTA San Andreas mods associated with realism

5) Climbable ladders


One infamous flaw of this game is the inability to climb ladders. This is an issue since there are a few instances where CJ could be surrounded by water, with a platform and a ladder near him. Anybody playing the game would conclude that they could climb it to get back on land.

However, that's not how things work in the base game. Ladders are instead treated as walls a player cannot normally use. This GTA San Andreas mod changes that, making it great for fans of realism (and convenience). CJ can finally climb most ladders in it.

The download link is in the above video's description for those wanting to try it out. It is worth noting that there are variations of this modification made by other people that allow gamers to climb on Fire Truck ladders, too.

4) Car explodes on impact

This car is done (Image via LibertyCity.Net)
This car is done (Image via LibertyCity.Net)

Anybody who has played Grand Theft Auto V should know that driving a regular car off a very high cliff and landing upside down will cause the vehicle to explode. This GTA San Andreas mod essentially replicates this feature for fans of this type of realism.

After all, it can be a bit goofy that a player can drive off Mount Chiliad and only have a few scratches on their ride, with their vehicle working perfectly otherwise. This modification basically encourages CJ to be much more careful when in a car on steep heights.

3) Gasoline

Two different examples of gasoline levels (Image via GTA Inside)
Two different examples of gasoline levels (Image via GTA Inside)

A popular inclusion often requested by fans of realism for GTA 6 is a gasoline feature. Since this game isn't coming out any time soon, players might as well try a more classic version of this concept through a mod.

In this offering, vehicles will have a meter similar to what's shown in the image above. If it's near "F," that means the gasoline is full. This bar will gradually drop as the player drives. CJ can no longer drive that vehicle if it drops to the far left side. This GTA San Andreas mod intends to enhance realism by allowing gamers to refuel their car at a gas station.

Note that there the above modification is for the PC port. People who download a GTA San Andreas APK for their mobile devices have access to simpler gasoline modifications.

2) Project Props

This modification adds more props to the overworld (Image via
This modification adds more props to the overworld (Image via

Some GTA San Andreas mods intended to offer realism do so by making the overworld seem more lively. Project Props essentially adds more junk to various parts of the world to liven up your surroundings. It's not as if the items placed in the environment are completely random, either.

For example, the above screenshot features a GTA San Andreas mod showing CJ in an iconic spot where players can first control him. However, there is some trash and debris lying about, which helps give the illusion that this alley is much more gritty than it was in San Andreas' base game.

1) GTA San Andreas: SA DirectX 3.0


Another flaw worth highlighting in the base game is its rather lackluster graphics. While it's charming to many players, certain people may prefer something more realistic. Combining SA DirectX 3.0 with some reshaders can result in a very aesthetically pleasing experience.

For example, the above video uses this GTA San Andreas mod alongside the following modifications for more realism:

  • SRT3 Mipmap Retextured
  • Vegetation BSOR Five Stars
  • CJ Upscale HD v2

Feel free to experiment with other graphical mods, so long as they don't conflict with this one. Note that SA DirectX 3.0 is a bit more demanding on a person's computer than the previous entries on this list.

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Edited by Soumyadyuti Ghosh