Apr 142015

If you’ve followed my podcast or read other articles here, you should know that I love 3D. Unlike the 3D haters who arrogantly want it to go away for everyone just because they don’t like it, I want it to be an option. If you want to use it, great! If you don’t, that’s your choice, and I’m fine with that.

Thankfully, the folks at Rockstar have given PC gamers the option to play Grand Theft Auto V in stereoscopic 3D with settings that are built right into the game! The best part is that you don’t need a 3DTV or a 3D gaming monitor. All that you need is a modern NVIDIA graphics card and a pair of red/blue glasses, but playing this game natively on a 3DTV is an incredible experience!

[Edit: I neglected to mention at the original publication that in order for 3D to work natively with a 3DTV (instead of red/blue), you might need to purchase or otherwise acquire NVIDIA’s 3DTV Play plugin, which is about $40 but is supposedly available for a 14-day trial. I assumed that most people would use red/blue, and because the plugin sits in the background I forgot about it. Sorry for any inconvenience. — JB ]

You need to download the newest NVIDIA drivers that were released specifically for GTAV before you do anything else. Once the new drivers are installed, just follow these steps. (These work for both red/blue and standard 3D.)

  1. Activate NVIDIA stereoscopic 3D mode in the NVIDIA Control Panel, and go through the initialization/setup routine. Read my caveat below if you’re using native 3D mode as opposed to red/blue.
  2. Start the game. At the main menu (you don’t have to actually start the campaign), go into Settings in the lower right, and go into Graphics. Make sure that you’re configured for fullscreen mode (3D does not work in windowed or borderless windowed mode), and turn on the “Stereo 3D” mode.
  3. Restart the game. (I’m not sure why this can’t be done on-the-fly, but whatever.)
  4. When it starts again, you should see the NVIDIA 3D overlay saying that the rating is “excellent” and to press Ctrl+Shift+Insert to remove the overlay.
  5. For whatever reason, the game forces the 3D depth to minimum the first time you run it. Press and hold Ctrl+F4 to crank the NVIDIA 3D settings all the way to max (or whatever you’re comfortable with).
  6. Within GTAV‘s graphics options immediately under the Stereo 3D toggle, adjust the Convergence slider to increase the parallax effect on the game to whatever level you’re comfortable with. This is meant to adjust the 3D effect based on how far away you are from your TV/monitor, so be warned that setting this too high can cause a lot of eye strain.The best way to view this setting is that the Convergence will allow for a lot of 3D adjustment whereas the NVIDIA depth settings (Ctrl-F3/F4) are for fine-tuning.

You might need to drop some of the settings down to get smoother graphics, but I was able to get a great framerate by dropping my settings down from very high to high and turning off anti-aliasing, which doesn’t bother me anyway. This resulted in a great balance between quality and framerate on both my GTX 970 (720p 3D) and my 750ti (1080p red/blue) graphics cards.

As for that caveat I mentioned, if you use the red/blue method, you can use whatever resolution you want. The red/blue conversion happens within the GPU and doesn’t add a lot of overhead. However, if you plan on using native 3D mode on a 3D monitor or TV, you will likely be restricted to 24 frames per second at 1920 x 1080 resolution, depending on the display and the way it’s connected. For 3D TVs, dropping to 1280 x 720 resolution will allow 60 frames per second in 3D mode.

And please don’t get all high-and-mighty about that. Once the action starts and you have incredible 3D effects in your face, you won’t notice a difference between 1080p and 720p. For the immense depth that 3D mode provides, I’ll take the drop to 720p. That said, I was shocked by how good the red/blue mode looked, too.

Keep in mind, also, that GTAV for the PC is designed to handle 2K and 4K resolutions as well. Add 3D onto that and you’re looking at an absolutely amazing experience! Many thanks to Rockstar for taking the time to bring a proper port (with amazing enhancements) to the PC! This is one case where “PC Master Race” is justified.

Now, go and play GTAV in 3D! It’s amazing!

  9 Responses to “How To Play “Grand Theft Auto V” (PC) in 3D”

Comments (9)
  1. Can’t get it to work, idk what am I doing wrong. I followed until step 3 but when it starts I don’t get the nvidia overlay, just a pop up from my tv “3d signal detected”. Can you help me?

    • What mode are you viewing it in? Red/blue? When you configured the NVIDIA stereoscopic 3D, which option did you use?

      In retrospect I should have mentioned that in order for it to work natively with my TV I needed to buy NVIDIA’s 3DTV Play add-on (about $40, but is available for a 14-day trial to verify if it works with your TV), but I assumed that most people would go for the red/blue; so that’s my fault for neglecting to point that out.

      • every time I turn on the 3d it automatically goes to the blue and red. well it used to but not it goes to purple and green i can’t get it to go into normal 3d i guess. I have the Nvidia glasses and a Nvidia 3d supported monitor but the game automatically does red and blue. how do I change that.

        • Purple and green are a legitimate color combination. I’ve seen other games (like Assassins Creed Brotherhood for the Xbox 360) and some 3D DVDs that use those colors instead of red/blue.

          You can try to reset the 3D settings in NVIDIA’s configuration panel, or this thread (https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/460214/3d-vision/3d-vision-discover-changing-colors/) explains that you can set the left/right colors by messing around with registry settings. Otherwise, I’m not sure what to tell you. My other PC uses a standard gaming monitor (not NVIDIA 3D compatible natively) and the game runs in red/blue.

          • ok so I got the 3d to work normal sort of got rid of the red blue and green purple thing by going into nvidia 3d options and enabling the 3d there. I thought it was before but apparently it wasnt.

            now im getting a warning every time I turn on the 3d that says “Warning: attempt to run Stereoscopic in non-stereo display mode, please change to a acceptable mode. See documentation for acceptable Stereoscopic 3D modes”

            i read other places that say if you have a second monitor that 60hz you have to disable it or disconnect it which I did and still same issue. my 3d monitor does up to 144hz but everyone says 120 works best so I set it to 120 and I still get the warning and it seems like the glasses wont turn on because I can still see the over laying images instead of one 3d vision.

          • It sounds like your monitor is trying to do an active/passive 3D (with active or polarized glasses) instead of anaglyph color. As much as I would LOVE to say that I have an NVIDIA 3D supported monitor, I’m afraid that I’m out of my league on this one because yours isn’t a “regular” monitor. You might want to open up a case with NVIDIA’s support people. The folks over at helixmod (http://helixmod.blogspot.com/) deal specifically with fixing 3D-related issues, but they don’t have an entry with GTA V. Still, they might be able to help if you can find a way to contact them.

  2. My GTA V keeps crashing after playing 5-10 minutes in 3D. I also have GTX 970, and i have i5 3570k. I get 30 FPS in Full HD.

    • Other people have been reporting various 3D crashes on their forums, so at least we’re not alone. I’ve been ridiculously busy so I haven’t been able to play in the past few weeks, but I also ran into crashing problems. I reported it to Rockstar and their BS response wass (no, I’m not kidding) to completely reinstall Windows by claiming that the common DLLs that were installed with “Just Cause 2” (which is NVIDIA 3D Ready and looks amazing!) were causing the problem.

      What I did notice is that the only time it would give me issues with 3D were when I was in the city *and* when the in-game day was transitioning to either sunrise or sunset. My guess is that the reflections off the building windows might have been the cause, because I was able to spend almost two in-game days out in the north of Los Santos in 3D without a problem. Maybe there are reflection/tesselation settings that can be tweaked to fix the issue.

      There have been a few updates since then; so once I finally get some free time to go back, I plan on looking at it and trying some modified settings.

  3. It’s awesome on 3D but there were a lot of issues initially, the following guide fixed it for me: