The term "hardcoded" refers to a feature which is built into the game engine (the EXE file). As such, a hardcoded feature cannot be altered from text or binary file formats. Alternative methods have to be used instead.
Although it would be possible to edit hardcoded features of GTA 1 and GTA 2, no significant tools have been developed to do so, except some modifications that kept information about them secret. From GTA 3 onwards, there was sufficient interest and expertise in the modding community to develop techniques for altering hardcoded features in the PC versions.
When the game is running, all parts of the game which are in use are stored in memory. It is possible to alter these values as they are structured in a stable manner. The modding community has documented many of the memory address used by some editions of the GTA series.
The techniques for finding and altering values in memory are generally referred to as "memory hacking" and can be very complicated. However, they have been implemented by modders for several applications in the GTA series:
- Typically enable player health, player location, current weapons and many other statistics to be manipulated.
- Admin/Developer Consoles
- Capable of making advanced alterations to many specific aspects of game environment, from the cars parked in garages to the strength of gravity.
- Insert instances of default objects (usually vehicles) into the game environment at the request of the user.
- Advanced Gameplay Modifications
- Creating an interface to the GTA engine to add specific gameplay, e.g. Multiplayer functionality.
- Delfi's GTAVC Developer Console - allows hundreds of game environment features to be adjusted while the game is running.
|Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas|
|File Formats||.col • .cfg • .cut • .dff • .dat • .fxp • .gxt • .ide • .ifp • .img • .ipl • nodes*.dat • .rep • .rrr • .scm • .set • .txd|
|Documentation||Audio • Cryptography • Cutscenes • Handling.cfg • Map Listing • Mission Packs • Opcodes • Paths • Replays • Saves • Scripts|
|Tools||CLEO • Collision File Editor II • ENBSeries • G-Tools • IMG Tool • Limit Adjuster • Map Editor • San Andreas Audio Toolkit • Sanny Builder • TXD Workshop|
|Tutorials||San Andreas v2.0 Modding • How to create a mission • How to create a thread • How to use Map Editor|
|Modifications||Design Your Own Mission • Gostown Paradise • GTA: United • Myriad Islands|