What you need to do for the next GTA update
Backup 4 files: GTA5.exe, GTAVLauncher.exe, PlayGTAV.exe (from Games folder), and Update.rpf (from Mods folder, not game).
The Long and Short
R* doesn't give a damn about SP but they still provide DLC for GTAO. Every time they do, it potentially breaks modded games. Generally the fix is just a Scripthook update, but lately it has also caused other issues leading to crashes and requiring changes to gameconfig.xml files.
@WGotch07 has given us a warning that another update is coming. This is what I suggest you do to prepare for the next update. This process is just to allow you to continue playing in SP (Sandbox, free roam, etc) while waiting for AB to update SH. Remember to update SH from AB site (link will be posted when updated) and not from this site.
The good news: An update will not make any changes to any mod files anywhere - as long as you used a mods folder. None of the mod files (scripts, asi, dll, etc) in other folders will be impacted. So nothing lost unless you screw up.
Make backup copies of GTA5.exe, GTAVLauncher.exe, and PlayGTAV.exe. These files are in the root folder of your game. From the last update, I found only GTA5.exe was needed, but better to err on the safe side and backup more than less - these files are small and easy to backup.
Also backup, from your MODS folder, the file called update.rpf. I'm assuming here you were wise enough NOT to make changes directly to your games folder.
That's it, that's all you need to backup. Now what? This is the Steam process, it should be similar for other versions except for some launchers continually trying to update.
After the game updates, you need to copy the 3 .exe files back to your GTA5 root folder to overwrite the new ones. Now here's the fun part, if you go in OpenIV you will get this alert box saying your update.rpf is outdated. This is why we backed up update.rpf because it contains your dlclist.xml and other user customized files.
Each update is different so WATCH THIS THREAD FOR ADVICE AFTER THE UPDATE. This will include updating the .exe files and adding the new SH etc.
Can I stop the update? No you can't, unless you go offline and even then your game might not run in SP offline due to the stupidities of R*.
Do I need to backup my trainer, scripts folder, my dlcpacks, and any other files due to this update? No. You should backup your files anyway, but the update will not overwrite your files. The only files you need to backup are the executable ones (.exe files above) and update.rpf.
Will the update overwrite, replace, or delete any of my mod files? No, none. Only files overwritten will be those from original game. Your mods folder will not be touched.
Will I need to update SHVDN? No. SHVDN only relies on SHV, so this is highly unlikely and would be mod specific.
Will I need to update gameconfig.xml and similar files? Based on the tuner update, this is possible.
Will I need to update vehicle, ped, weapon addons? No. Very very unlikely.
Will I need to update missions or script mods? Maybe, likely.
Will I need to update OpenIV. Nope.
Will I need to reinstall certain mods? Yes, possibly, but very unlikely for entities (peds, vehicles, props, objects).
What about files like x64v.rpf which have player customizations, do I need to back them up? Not a bad idea, but up until now, only the game's Update folder has been changed along with the .exes. So you might want to backup files where you used an OIV, replaces, etc. Up to you. In other words, you might want to back up any files or packages (rpf) where you have made customizations. Obviously you can reinstall all mods but you don't want to lose files where you changed textures for example. Again, just to be clear none of the files in your mods folder, including x64v.rpf, will be overwritten or deleted by the update.
Notes on Update.rpf package
This package contains important files like your dlclist.xml. You don't want to lose this information. Do you really need to copy over the new Update folder from the game to your Mods folder? Yes, if you want to have access to the new DLC in SP. This is not mandatory but it is recommended. WARNING: don't copy the new Update (from OpenIV or manually) over unless you have backed up the Mods version of Update.rpf (or extracted key files). More to come on this after the update. Even if you forget to do this you can recover information from the backedup mods version of Update.rpf simply by renaming it and adding it back with OpenIV.
What exactly is in my Mods Folder anyway?
- X64v.rpf - doesn't need any attention after an update. This file is actually optional but is frequently used to make to changes to game peds such as Michael, Trevor, and Franklin, etc.
- Update Folder: Contains X64 folder and Update.rpf. Mandatory.
2.1. X64 folder contains your DLCpacks folder with the majority of your addon mods (maps, peds, vehicles, etc). Will not be impacted by update but should be backedup regularly. Mandatory.
2.2. Update.rpf. Very important package to backup. If you prefer you can extract key files from OpenIV to use as backups. Most of the changes you make will be in the common/data folder of this package. Mandatory.