Grand Theft Auto V: How to seperate Story Mode from Online completely
Intro & some ranting
So I bought Grand Theft Auto V on PC, mainly for the single player. I also like using some mods. But, there's a bit of a problem. Every time there's an update for GTA V, I can't play unless I allow the update to install. Why? Well, because Steam is stupid. And so is Rockstar Social Club.
Even if I keep Steam in offline mode to play GTA Story Mode, Social Club has this idiotic thing it does where it will insist that I log in and "activate" the game again, every once in a while. I think it's once a week or so. If there is an update available for the game, it will also insist that I install it before it will allow me to play, even Story Mode. Obviously, updates will often mess up mods. So basically, it makes it unnecessarily hard to keep a modded copy of the game intact for playing single player whenever I want.
So I have developed a workaround so that I can play MY modded copy of story mode pretty much whenever I want, without Steam messing with it. The only drawback is that if there's an update available for GTA V, I won't be able to play until it's finished updating. But after that, I can just switch back to the modded copy and play that again.
How to switch between multiple installs of GTA V
With this setup you could have one installation of GTA for story mode with mods, and another for playing online, and/or several older versions of the game with different mods... all of which are standalone and can't be ruined by Steam's updating. Yep, each one still needs the full 60GB+ of space though. We're going to use symbolic links.
Here's how to set it up:
Make 2 GTA V folders, one for your modded version, and one for a vanilla version that you can allow Steam to update, to keep both Steam and Social Club appeased. You can also use this vanilla version to play GTA Online.
You can also make more copies of GTA 5 in more folders if you have that many different ones you want to switch between, but for now I'll just explain how to use 2.
This assumes you've already got a modded copy of the game that you want to keep using, and keep it safe from future updates.
Make 2 folders for GTA V. Example: "GTA V Mods" and "GTA V Vanilla".
Move your current copy of the game that you want to keep intact from Steam to "GTA V Mods".
Get an unmodded copy of the game for the "GTA V Vanilla" folder - or just make another copy of your current one in that folder too (you can later use Steam's "Verify Cache" feature to make this vanilla again).
In the folders with modded or older versions, you will need to have a text file in the folder called commandline.txt, with this text inside it:
The commandline.txt file goes in the same folder that has GTA5.exe in it. This will force Social Club into offline mode while playing the game. This seems to be necessary to get it to work.
Also, obviously, you can't play GTA Online from a modded or older version, but that's not the point of this anyway.
Set up batch files for switching between them.
Example batch files:
Contents of "Switch to Modded version.bat":
rmdir "C:\path\to\Steam\steamapps\common\Grand Theft Auto V" mklink /j "C:\path\to\Steam\steamapps\common\Grand Theft Auto V" "C:\path\to\GTA V Mods" pause
Contents of "Switch to Online version.bat":
rmdir "C:\path\to\Steam\steamapps\common\Grand Theft Auto V" mklink /j "C:\path\to\Steam\steamapps\common\Grand Theft Auto V" "C:\path\to\GTA V Vanilla" pause
You'll need to change the folder paths to match where you keep your own Grand Theft Auto V copies.
After you run the batch file, you can just start GTA V normally from Steam.
This is my setup, along with more of an explanation of how it works:
I have my modded GTA V in "C:\Games\Grand Theft Auto V", and my vanilla GTA in "G:\Games\GTA V Vanilla Up2Date". My Steam games GTA V folder is at "D:\Games\Steam\steamapps\common\Grand Theft Auto V" - but this is not really a folder - it's a symbolic link that I can change to point to one of the other folders, depending on whether I want to play modded Story Mode, or Online (or just the unmodded latest version).
It doesn't matter if you have these folders on seperate hard drives or the same one, it will work fine regardless.
So, when I want to allow Steam to update GTA V, I run the batch file that changes the symbolic link to point to the vanilla GTA, and then Steam can update that. After it's updated, I will run the newly updated version just to make sure Social Club is still happy, then I exit.
Then I'll run my other batch file, which will change the symbolic link back to my modded Story Mode GTA folder, and then I can just start it up and it will work. Even offline.
I also keep a backup copy of my modded GTA V on another hard drive, for just in case I accidentally somehow allow Steam to mess it up.
I hope this works for you. 🙂
Unfortunately this is not a solution for people who don't have internet for long periods of time, or who have download caps and would rather not update the game at all. For that, you'll probably have to get an "unofficial" version of the game on a torrent or something. But I can't help you with that. 😛
If you have a better solution than that, please leave a comment below.
Also, if any of my instructions are unclear, please let me know.
Thanks for reading, here are some random screenshots:
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Posted in: Technology,Useful Guides by admin on October 31, 2015 @ 2:32 am
Tags: Grand Theft Auto V
[…] Grand Theft Auto V: How to seperate Story Mode from Online completely […]
This should have really been built into the game by the developers really for online play, thanks for the guide
THANK YOU for sharing this!! I've been trying to find a way to make this work (between a modded copy for LSPDFR and a vanilla install for FiveM/GTA:O) and was struggling to find a working method. I knew symbolic links would work on *nix but I'm a Windows noob haha Thank you so much!!
My paths are these:
D:\Steam\steamapps\common\Grand Theft AutoV"
E:\Grand Theft Auto MOD
can you do it for me please?
im so friken confused can u do a tutorial on how to make the friken batch files please?
You create a batch file by making a txt document then changing the .txt to a .bat and boom done fucking read a book or look us google you bellend.
In more appropriate words -- Open a new text document through Notepad and type out the lines exactly as you see them above, including the separate lines, replacing his file path with your own.
When you save the document, save it as SwitchToMods.bat or SwitchToVanilla.bat (or something to that effect). Click the "Save as type" box and choose the "All files" option, then click save.
The "All Files" option forces the system to interpret the file with the extension specified by the user. Happy modding 🙂
Hello. Any idea why that commandline.txt thing doesnt work for me, it says cant load my offline activation because internet is offline??? When i remove that txt file it starts normally...wtf??
seems it doesnt force social club to anywhere because says that...
This article isn't very helpful, it'd be nice if you'd include a video explaining how it's done.
For those struggling:
Simply create a new folder named ' GTA V - Modded' and copy all files in your vanilla GTA V folder and paste them into the file. Whenever you're ready for vanilla, simply place it back into steam. To open it with mods, use the RagePluginHook.
-> This is for those who are using Steam.
This tutorial is working flawlessly. For people having trouble, what is not explicitly explained is that you have to change the "path/to" to the actual real path in your hard drive. So instead of "rmdir "C:\path\to\Steam\steamapps\common\Grand Theft Auto V" it will be something like "rmdir "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Grand Theft Auto V"".
For the LukeRoss VR mod to work, some files in My Documents\Rockstar Games\GTA V\ also need to be swapped.
Is there a way to add this folder and those files to your scripts? I believe LukeRoss uses Powershell for more complicated commands.
[…] V". The batch file was a brilliant solution. The author of this article posted this on http://sharenoesis.com/article/grand-theft-auto-seperate-story-mode-online-completely/2165 but since nobody knows how to mod single player and still play GTA Online time to time, I decided […]