‘Grand Theft Auto V’ mod makes lighting and weather look like real life

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Why it matters to you

If you’re looking for a good reason to replay Grand Theft Auto V, it’s worth taking the time to install this mod.

Grand Theft Auto V hit the scene almost four years ago, but it remains one of the highest-earning video games around, clearing 75 million units sold earlier in 2017. What is more, fan-made mods let players tweak the title’s graphics to put it on a par with new releases.

A mod called NaturalVision was released in 2016 with the intention of making the game’s visuals look as close to real as possible, according to a report from Tech Spot. Now, a significant update overhauled its adjustments to the game’s weather, lighting, color palette, and tone mapping.

Wisely, NaturalVision Remastered does not attempt to make big changes to the 3D models and textures that are used in Grand Theft Auto V. While that sort of approach is not uncommon when it comes to graphical mods, this particular example focuses on visual effects, which helps maintain the game’s established art style.

Razed, the modder behind the project, has made some marked improvements to the way that the game renders all kinds of different graphical flourishes. You can notice that sunlight reflects off the water more realistically, sunsets look a little more beautiful and grand, and neon lights pierce through dark nights with even more contrast.

In all, these changes introduce a far-reaching upgrade to the game’s graphics. Rockstar added plenty of its own improvements when Grand Theft Auto V was re-released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2014, but this mod adds a whole new sheen that belies the open-world adventure’s age.

Indeed, the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V made its debut several months after the HD re-release for consoles, but the wide array of mods that have been developed by fans over the years makes it the definitive way to play the game. There are plenty of crummy mods out there, too, but the best of the best offer some really tangible improvements over the base game.

Players can get their hands on NaturalVision Remastered by downloading it from GTA5 Mods. However, they will first need to download VisualV, another graphical upgrade mod that is a prerequisite for Razed’s advanced weather and lighting effects.