Handling Overhaul

Powersliding the Diablos Stallion

I have been meaning to do this for a long time, but had decided to wait until I thought my skills were advanced enough. I have re-written the stats of every vehicle in the entire game and so I have made the final release.


Final update was on 21st April 2005, after extensive testing in the Curveshire District.

Download Handling Overhaul 1.2
8.3kB WinRAR archive.


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

I recommend that you use multiple installs of the game so that you can keep one install totally original, allowing you to undo any modifications you make to the other installs.


Hard braking with the Infernus

The first thing you will notice with my handling is that the brakes do not lock up on dry tarmac. This really annoyed me in GTA 3 because it meant you could never get a good, stable entry into a turn when using the keyboard since the wheels stopped rotating when you pressed the brake. This is called "locking up" since the wheels just stop, as if they have been locked into one position.

Brakes locking up in the rain

However, what you will probably notice is that the front wheels of cars will lock up on grass or wet tarmac. I figured this would be best because from doing emergency stops in the wet I find that the front wheels are hard to keep unlocked...plus it means the braking effect can still be quite high.


Extra traction with four wheel drive

I have aimed for a much wider range of accelerations for the vehicles now. In the original, the MPVs accelerated like sports cars, which made the sports cars unreal in acceleration. I have done this by using better values all round. This shows up in the difference between MR and 4WD vehicles quite nicely.

Tuned cars acheive higher top speeds

Top speeds of the cars has been altered too. Whilst the coach will reach around 100km/h, aerodynamic and powerful vehicles will break the 300km/h barrier. This leads to some...entertaining results.


Patriot on uneven terrain

One of the most crucial aspects to any car; the suspension decides the roadholding and stability of a car. You will find the softly sprung off-road cars deal with bumps very well, but are much slower to react to driver input when driving on tarmac.

Large body roll of a tall car

Of course, for the taller vehicles this means that their suspension will not be at all happy about being thrashed around Liberty City. Expect severe body roll - and even tipping - from these vehicles.


Cornering hard with the Sentinel

GTA 3’s handling was made so you could drive through those twisty streets very, very fast. Unnaturally fast, in fact. I felt it destroyed the charisma of the cars and so I have lowered the corner speeds by applying a number of changes.

This image shows one of the more subtle things I have done - raising the centre of mass on the cars. As they no longer have as much grip, moving the centre of mass upwards means they will still experience body roll and also means they will respond to feint motion and other weight shifting methods.

Keyboard Control

You may also have noticed that this higher centre of mass not only makes the cars tilt over to either side during hard cornering but when you brake the nose dips down and when you accelerate the nose raises up. This increased movement of the vehicle means more extreme manoeveures can be pulled off.

The original maximum steering angle is set to 35° to 45° for the analogue PS2 controller but when using a keyboard this is far too much. I use 30° as this is a good balance between the tyres scrubbing sideways in high speed turns and still having a small turning circle when manoevering at low speeds.