carcols.dat

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The carcols.dat file sets the colors of vehicles for the GTA III Era and GTA IV Era games. When a vehicle spawns, it will take any of the colors specified in the carcols file. This is usually selected at random, although many spawns are of specific colors.

The carcols.dat file is located in the "Data" folder in the GTA III Era, and the "Common/Data" folder in the GTA IV Era. It can be modified by any simple text editor.

The file is split up into a COL section (specifying the available colors) and a CAR section (assigning the colors to vehicles).

COL Section

The file contains the RGB color codes for each colour to be used in the file. These colors can be referred to with their ID number, and listed (in pairs) next to each vehicle name to make those colors available for that vehicle (see CAR section). Each game has a separate default palette of colors, so carcol entries are not generally transferable between games (without the palette being altered).

Each COL line consists of the RGB value, the name of the color, the prefix, and description of the color (used in police radio). After the # is a comment ignored by the game.

For example, 88,89,90,dark,grey # 3 pewter gray poly is a dark gray color, with the RGB code (88,89,90) which the developers called "pewter gray poly". The prefix (dark) and color (gray) are used together in police radio for describing the vehicle the suspect is in.

Below are the colors available in each unedited carcols.dat file, numbered according to their respective lines.

GTA III
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39
40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59
60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79
80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94


GTA Vice City
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39
40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59
60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79
80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94


GTA San Andreas
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39
40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59
60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79
80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99
100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119
120 121 122 123 124 125 126


GTA IV
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39
40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59
60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79
80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99
100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119
120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133


Additional colors can be added simply by specifying a new entry in the COL section. This step is often required when installing modifications, to allow the vehicles to use colors not included in the game by default. Beware, as having more than 179 colors in GTA San Andreas can crash the game.

CAR Section

The CAR section is for listing the pairs of colors (from the palette) available for each vehicle.

All vehicles require (at least) two separate colors for each option. Some vehicles can use these multiple colors, whether for separate parts of the body or for decals (signs). All vehicles have some non-colorable textures (such as the interior, fender, wheels, etc.). Some vehicles are entirely texture-based and not affected by color (such as the Rhino).

For a vehicle that requires two colors, they are specified in pairs (with a comma after each value and pair). Using the above GTA IV color palette, this example provides the options for the Kuruma being either black and gray (1,5) or red-and-red (33,33):

kuruma, 1,5 33,33

CAR3 + CAR4

For most of the GTA III Era, vehicles have no more than two colors, and so all have two values (as in the above example). In GTA San Andreas, some vehicles require four colors. Where 4 values are required, these vehicles are listed separately in a CAR4 section.

In GTA IV, all vehicles require a specular (shine) color and thus have 3 values, and so the main CAR section is named CAR3; whilst some also require a fourth color and are listed in CAR4. For example, a CAR4 entry could be:

futo, 32,0,30,1,  0,0,8,133

Trainers and car-spawning utilities can override the color of a vehicle whilst spawning or later, and do not rely entirely on the colors available to that vehicle in the CAR section of carcols. However, they are restricted to the colors available in the COL palette at the top of the carcols file.

Original Files

On the following pages are the original Carcols.dat files from each game, and a rendering of each game's default color palette: