Handling Overhaul

Drifting the Euros.

If you like the Gran Turismo series, these handling setups should suit you. Feedback was gathered in the Handling Overhaul forum thread. They were updated for the last time on 2006-03-23.


Feel free to use my handling data and techniques for any vehicles. My GTA tutorials explain what each setting does. My CFG Studio handling editor edits the handling.cg file like it’s a spreadsheet.


Use multiple installs of the game. Keep one install totally original, so you have a backup of every file. After doing that:

  1. Download the WinRAR file and save it somewhere safe.
  2. Extract the contents out of the RAR archive.
  3. Open your GTA San Andreas\data\ folder and re-name handling.cfg to old_handling.cfg or similar.
  4. Copy my handling.cfg file to GTA San Andreas\data\ so that it takes over from the old handling.
  5. Open your GTA San Andreas\data\ folder and re-name handling.cfg to old_handling.cfg or similar.
  6. Copy my handling.cfg file to GTA San Andreas\data\ so that it takes over from the old setup.
  7. Start a new or saved game of GTA San Andreas and enjoy the custom handling!


Braking hard with the ZR 350.

The brakes do not lock up when stopping in a straight line on dry tarmac with my handling. When using the original setups, pressing the brake key made all the wheels stop rotating for most vehicles. This is called "locking up" since the wheels just stop, as if they have been locked into one position.

With my handling, the brakes are applied so that they are as powerful as possible without locking up the wheels. If the road is not dry then there will be less grip, so the wheels might lock up. You can turn while braking but the shifting of the vehicle’s weight can mean some wheels lose grip, making the car lose stability. You have to be careful with the brakes, like in real driving.


Doing donuts with the Banshee.

The acceleration of vehicles using standard setups is far too strong at low speeds and drops of too sharply as speed increases. Most vehicles have 0-100km/h times of about two seconds yet struggle to reach 200km/h, which is ridiculous. I very high EngineInertia values and use more realistic Drag settings to smooth out the acceleration curves.

This approach ensures vehicles still have enough power at slow speed to get up the steep roads but have realistic acceleration times. It also means powerful vehicles like the Banshee can still do donuts. The nitro boost is more noticable, too.

Turismo reaching the top speed of a Ferrari F40.

Top speeds of the cars has been altered, too. Original setups reach top speeds far below what they should be, despite having far more acceleration than is realistic. With my setups I have set the USE_MAXSPD_LIMIT flag and done extensive testing to ensure vehicles perform realistically at and near their top speed.


Flying the Rustler at high speed between Los Santos skyscrapers.

The handling of the aeroplanes suits the keyboard nicely but the artificial limits to top speed and altitude makes flying a bit boring. Thankfully, op9080’s SCM Hook can disable these limits. The default plane setups have too much acceleration and top speed is too low but my setups fix that.

If you maintain altitude your top speed will be similar to the real performance. When diving from high altitude you can get very high speeds but it can be tough to avoid a big crash!


Taking the racing line with a Wheel Arch Angels tuned Elegy.

Since the GTA series are primarily action games, the cars have far more grip than they would do in reality. GTA San Andreas generally uses a more realistic style than previous editions (perhaps they noticed the success of my Handling Overhauls?) but there is room for improvement.

Even the standard setups allowed vehicles to have some response to feint motion and other weight shifting techiques. The new physics allow these effects to be further refined, so I have done this in my setups. Position the centre of mass a little higher, changing the grip values, altering suspension and so on leads to a much more realistic experience. The skills you use in Gran Turismo should translate quite well to my handling setups.

Being aggressive with the steering and using the brakes when the car is unstable allows you to initiate big drifts. You can the use the throttle and steering to carry these slides all the way around the corner. If you are gentle with the steering and time your braking the car will be more stable. This method gets the most grip from the tyres, letting you take a faster line around the corner.

Extreme Speed Setup

Extreme speed with the Infernus!

Pushing the limits of the physics engine by creating very fast vehicles has been common since GTA 1. It was reinvented by GTA 3 modders and has also been done in GTA Vice City and GTA San Andreas. Many people asked me to create a very fast setup which is still controllable, so I did some tests with the Infernus and added the result to this mod.

You will need to use the brakes a long way before corners and jumps to avoid crashing off the road. A short press on the accelerator is enough to get you back up to high speed after going around each corner. The car a lot of grip but is balanced for understeer to be controllable.

List of Altered Vehicles

This mod includes new handling setups for:

BansheeDodge Viper RT/10
Bullet1990’s Ford GT replica
Cheetah1990’s Ferrari 512
Comet1990’s Porsche 911
InfernusExtreme Speed setup
TurismoFerrari F40
Elegy1990’s Nissan Skyline
EurosNissan 300ZX
Jester1990’s Toyota Supra
NRG 5001992 500cc MotoGP
Super GT1990’s Mitsubishi GTO
Sultan1990’s Subaru Impreza
ZR3501990’s Mazda RX7
TaxiChevrolet Caprice taxi
HydraAV-8 Harrier II “Jump Jet”
RustlerP-51 Mustang