GTA IV Handling Batch Editor

Version 0.9 beta

© 2010, Kris Lux

What is it?

GTA IV HBE is a tool for changing the handling.dat file of GTA IV, which controls how all vehicles behave. There are plenty of good tools out there for that already, but all (that I know of) were lacking one feature that I've often wanted: batch operations - that is, the ability to change many cars' stats at once by a relative amount.

Have you ever wanted to make all the cars just a little faster, turn better or brake harder? Usually that would require editing each car in the handling.dat. I got tired of that, so here's the solution. GTA IV HBE lets you change every car or every car of a specific type by a custom amount. For example, you can give all sports cars a 50% higher top speed in just a few seconds.

Important info and warnings

  • This version is quite primitive and has very limited error handling and protection from abuse. It is, for example, quite possible to give a car a negative weight. Be careful.
  • Amounts are added, not multiplied. That means to increase car speed by 50%,
    you select percent and enter 50 in the box, not 150. To decrease it by 50%, enter -50.
  • The built-in backup feature calls the backup “handling.dat.bak”. Make sure you don't already have any backups with that name, or they will be overwritten.

Future versions

As mentioned, this is a very primitive program that took me a few hours to write, and I did so because I needed it myself. If enough people find it useful, I will gladly update it with a much better and more user friendly version.

Planned changes in future versions:

  • Limits on all values, so you can't accidentally give a negative mass or a 90+ degree steering.
  • Drag'n'drop vehicle group editor, so you don't have to fiddle with ini files.
  • Nicer formatting of the modified file, so it remains human-readable.
  • - Feel free to mail me any suggestions.

Instructions

Example:
If you would like to double the visible deformation of all vehicles, first open your handling.dat, select "All cars" in the left box, "Deformation damage mult" in the right box, click "Percent" so it is selected to the right and enter "100" (which means "add 100%") in the amount box. Then just click "Confirm" and save the file again.

Customization

All data is stored in plain text format so it's easy to customize as you want it.
It should even be possible to make it work with other versions of GTA.

groups.ini contains the car groups you will see in the left list in the program.
This is pretty easy to understand and contains further instructions in the file itself.

properties.csv is a little less user-friendly. It's a standard semicolon-separated file containing the properties to change in handling.dat.
The fields are as follows:

  • Index of the property in handling.dat (i.e. 0 = vehicle ID, 1 = mass, etc.)
  • Short name (for the list)
  • Default adjustment value (only used when using units, not percent)
  • Longer description for the info-box in the lower right corner

Legal

This is completely free software. Use it however, whenever and wherever you like.
No rights reserved and all that.

This is not a beginner's tool and it can mess up your handling.dat file or any other file you load into it. Use it completely at your own risk. I take no responsibility for lost or corrupted data or anything else.

Contact

E-mail: js-protected