Downloading and Installing mods
How do I download and install mods and then get them onto GTA5?
Unfortunately you picked the wrong time to start modding because two very important sites are down.
Step 1. You need to setup the game environment for modding. It assumes your hardware meets and hopefully exceeds recommended requirements for the game itself.
Here is a good place to guide you through this process, but read the comments at the bottom of this reply.
Step 2. I hope you're joking about downloading? You download mods as you would any download off the internet. All mods, well the overwhelming majority, will be in a compressed/archived format such as rar, zip, or 7z. You will obviously need to extract them before installing.
Step 3. Installation is based upon the instructions that come with the mod. With a little bit of experience you won't need instructions, you'll know what goes where.
Step 4. You will very likely be back to post your system has crashed. This is expected and once more with time you'll know how to fix your game yourself.
Now the bad news. Two mods are absolutely essentially for modding GTA 5.
Scripthook V. The official site is down and we don't know when it will be back up. Thankfully, this site offers this mod temporarily as a mirror.
You can download this essential mod enabler here:
Open IV. The official site for this essential software is also down. There are two versions of OpenIV. The most common one is for an online installation, which requires the author's servers. The other version is offline, but neither one is currently available for download. You can find other sites hosting this software, and it has to be the offline installation version, but it will be up to you to decide if the risk of installing malware from a non-official site is worth it.
Anyone who tells you that all you need to do is scan software with an anti-virus, or malwarebytes, or Virus Total, is a fool, a moron, or a liar, because those apps will only catch mainstream malware or malware with a known signature. They can't identify custom malware unless previously reported and addressed.
My advice is wait for the OpenIV site to come back online or for this site, or another reputable site, to host OpenIV offline version as a mirror.
New search engine, googel?
@JohnFromGWN Why isn't there a mirror for open iv on this website? I'm assuming there must be a pretty good reason for what seems like a glaringly obvious oversight/flaw? Is there a mirror somewhere for the offline version, or would you recommend I wait for the website to come back on? Why isn't there actually a site-wide announcement or a pinned forum saying "just a heads up, modding isn't going to work these days because a website's down." At least let us know so we don't have to find out the hard way.