What you need to do for the next GTA update
TL;DR: Backup 3 files: GTA5.exe, GTAVLauncher.exe, PlayGTAV.exe from the game folder, and definitely keep a backup of Update.rpf (from Mods folder, not game). The first 3 files will get overwritten by updates.
Optional, but highly recommended: backup ScriptHookV.dll. This is the file you will be using as you wait, so it's not necessary for now. However after SH is updated, when you have updated to the new DLC, it will allow you to revert back - if you don't like the update or it causes problems for you. That's it, that's all you really need to do.
See also: Updating after new SH5 is released
The Long and Short
The rest of this post is for those who are curious or to fill in some information gaps. For example, at the recent tuner update it seems only GTA5.exe was required from the .exe files, but who knows how the next update will behave - better play safe and back them all up. Note that the update will not overwrite any of your own files such as ScriptHookV.dll. In fact, it won't overwrite any modded files unless you modded game files directly - but it's good practice to backup your mod files as well, particularly Update.rpf from Mods folder.
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 (Alexander Blade) to update SH. Remember to update SH from official site only.
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, for example if you installed in game folders.
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. You can also backup the update.rpf from your game folder but that's optional and not necessary.
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.
2. REVERT TO PREVIOUS GTA5
After the game updates, you need to copy the 3 .exe files back to your GTA5 root folder to overwrite the new ones. That's all you need to do.
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. You don't need to do what OpenIV says. In fact you don't want to, not until the new SHV is released, and remember that you need to keep your old update.rpf because it contains files you will need later. If you let OpenIV replace update.rpf you lose your dlclist.xml and gameconfig.xml, etc.
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.
3. UPDATE TO NEW GTA5 WITH NEW SH5
Once the new version of ScriptHook is available here is what you might want to do.
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.
Do I need to backup update.rpf from the game/root folder too? No, you don't but it's not a bad idea. It is the update.rpf from the mods folder that determines what addons will load and it contains your gameconfig.
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. If you installed addons or did replaces in your game folders you will lose those mods.
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). It is very possible also, as was the case for the Los Santos Tuner update, that you will need a new gameconfig.xml mod. However, if you made changes directly in your game folders (for example replaces or addons) than you will lose those because while the game doesn't overwrite personal or your mods folder, it will definitely overwrite and restore the game files and folders.
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 and similar X64.rpf files - don't need any attention after an update. These files are actually optional but is frequently used to make to changes to replace vehicles, clothes, textures, and game peds such as Michael, Trevor, and Franklin, etc. Again, good practice to backup any files you have modified.
- 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, it includes the file dlclist.xml with your addons. Mandatory.bolded text
Remember: GTA5 updates only impact original game files. So if you're using a Mods folder none of your files will be impacted. Same for your trainer and ASI files in your root folder. Same for your scripts and dll files in your Scripts folder.
ScriptHookV.dll however will not work with the new update because it does a version check and some of the native functions may have changed (add, deletes, modify) as well. This is why we need to keep our old game with our old ScriptHookV.dll until a new one is released. At that point we can do a verify integrity which will force an update again on Steam at least.
pinned, temporarily or permanently
that's quite the wall of text there, maybe also include some links to previous threads (many of those also were easy enough to follow) into this one as to consolidate those?
then when the hordes are standing at the flood gates, refer to this and be done
@ReNNie I know it's overkill, only the first line under TL;DR is essential. How do I put a green box/frame around that section?
@JohnFromGWN not, that's done by first marking a thread as a question and then mark a post within the thread as the correct answer
@ReNNie linked it in my main post
This post is deleted!
Here is the how-to video. A second video will be posted after the update, just in case it is different from previous updates.
Note: in this video we only backup 4 files. This is based on previous updates, so if in doubt backup all your modified files.
You may also ask why we backed up the file update.rpf since it will not be overwritten or impacted by the update. The reason for this is that at one point OpenIV will ask to overwrite this file with the updated game version. If you allow this, without a backup, you will essentially lose your dlclist.xml, gameconfig.xml, and any other modified files inside update.rpf. In other words, none of your addons (vehicles, maps, peds) listed in your previous dlclist.xml will load because they have been replaced with a vanilla file. They will still be installed, just overlooked.
Just as it was for the Los Santos Update Tuner update, the December 15, 2021 update was easily restored if you followed the simple instructions to backup the 3 exe files identified at the top of the thread (GTA5.exe, GTAVLauncher.exe, PlayGTAV.exe).
Once you let the update proceed, you simply restore those 3 files - just copy them over the updated files in your root folder.
In passing, this is the error message you will get after the update before restoring the 3 exe files.
Also, it's important not to allow OpenIV to update your update.rpf after a GTA5 DLC update because it will overwrite key files such as your dlclist.xml and gameconfig.xml.
For more information:
Mods no longer working after restoring your backup files?
This can happen if you installed replaces or addon mods in your game folder rather than your mods folder. As we wrote before, the game update will not overwrite your mod files, but if you modded a vanilla game file it will absolutely revert back to the game version and your mods in that package/folder will no longer be installed.
Q. Ok so i didn't know this was going to happen so i never backed up any files. Now scripthook won't let me play. What can i do?
A. While you'll have to wait for the SHV update to play modded, you can still play the game without your mods in the mean time. Simply rename dinput8.dll in your game's root folder to dinput8.bak. This will alllow you to play without mods.
UPDATE TO NEW GTA5 WITH NEW SH5
Once the new version of ScriptHook is available here is what you might want to do.
Before you install new SH5, before you update to the new GTA5 DLC
First take the Scripthook files from the older version and back them up. There are 3 files, dinput8.dll (which hasn't changed since 2015), ScriptHookV.dll, and the native trainer which you really don't want, don't need, if you installed it. Put them all in a folder with the version name. For example SH5 for 2372 July 2021.
Now do the same thing with the latest version of SH5. Backup the files in a folder called, for example, SH5 for 2545 Dec 2021
Install new SH5 and Update Game
Now that you have backups, copy the new SH5 files into the root folder of GTA5, the folder where GTA5.exe is found and replace the old ones. Let the game update and hopefully all is well. If you downgraded to previous version of game while waiting for the SH5 Update, you now need to do a verify integrity to update your game - this is necessary if you update SH5.
- Updating your dlclist.xml and gameconfig.xml
Important: If you followed the instructions above you thankfully have a copy of your update.rpf. OpenIV will want to copy over the new game version of update.rpf to your Mods folder so that you can use the new DLC. Before you do this, extract your dlclist.xml from your Mods folder (the backup is for screwups) to your desktop. Also extract any other customized files and optionally your gameconfig.xml.
Now allow OpenIV to copy over your update.rpf or do it yourself.
As final steps, copy over your cars and addons from your dlclist.xml to the now updated one - don't duplicate the game content, just add back what you installed. You can also copy back customized files. As for gameconfig.xml, you can copy it as well or wait for a new version and install it.
There are many other ways to proceed with update.rpf, but the one above is simple and works.
4. Revert Back
If you don't like or need the new updated DLC, or if it is causing your issues, you can easily revert back by copying over your GTA5.exe backup and SH5 previous version backup to your root folder. If you're lucky you can still play the new DLC by keeping it in your dlclist.xml. If not, simply remove it from dlclist.xml and it won't load. The new update will still be in the game folder of dlcpacks but it won't cause any issues.
5. Further Updates from Old Version
Suppose that in your previous update.rpf you had made extensive changes to other files (e.g. visualsettings.dat) and you forgot to extract the file. You can manually make those changes or you can take your backup of update.rpf, rename it something like oldupdate.rpf and dump it in your Mods folder temporarily. Once there, you can use OpenIV to extract those files and import them back. Finally you remove oldupdate.rpf to remove clutter.
Thanks for this informative bit @JohnFromGWN
Can anyone offer some help to an Epic version user?
Before updating, I copied my entire GTA V folder to another location just for safety. I then followed the directions above as closely as I could, but with some caveats: I don't have a "mods" folder (maybe because I'm only using Simple Trainer and have never saved a profile?), and I don't have "GTAVLauncher.exe". I ran a search - before and after updating - and the file simply does not exist on my computer. And yes, this is a legally purchased copy and not a pirated version that would be prone to having some things messed up.
So I updated, replaced the files I could based on the above, and no luck. Wouldn't load at all. After verifying the files through Epic, I can play, but with no mods. I then tried replacing just GTA5.exe, but no luck there either (crashes). Does anyone with the Epic (vs Steam) version know what I might need to do to get up and running again?
Just a confirmation for the May 2022 update that GTA5.exe is the only file you need to backup before the update and restore after the update if you want to continue playing a modded gane until ScriptHookV.dll is updated.
This did not work on my PC version, automatically updates again,
So I guess I back to waiting for an updated scripthookv that supports version 126.96.36.199
@JohnFromGWN, thanks so much for this. In my case, I hadn't played in months, since Oct '21. So I have lots of backups but not of more recent versions of anything. I'm hoping I can just copy over the new exe files to my old game folder which includes my old scripthook. I don't care about online or new DLC, just want to be able to play VR in single player