How to Use Custom Music and the Self Radio Station in Grand Theft Auto V
There are many reasons why the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V is superior to its console-based predecessors, and one of those reasons is custom music. The Grand Theft Auto series has long included a great variety of music in the form of genre-based radio stations, but previous entries in the series have also allowed players to create a custom “Self Radio” station based on their own collection of digital music files.
While that feature was absent from console versions of the game, it is available for those enjoying the game on PC.
PC Users – Custom Music GTA V
To use custom music in GTA 5, you’ll need audio files in MP3, AAC (m4a), WMA, or WAV formats. Other formats such as FLAC, OGG, or copy-protected AAC (m4p) didn’t work in our testing. You’ll also need at least three separate audio files, as the game won’t create the custom radio station with only one or two tracks.
Gather your music files and then navigate to the GTA 5 Custom Music folder in the location identified below:
C:Users[User]DocumentsRockstar GamesGTA VUser Music
Simply copy your compatible music files into this folder and then launch GTA 5. When the game is loaded, pause the game and navigate to Settings > Audio.
Select Perform Full Scan for Music and the game will process for a moment, the length of which is based upon the number of songs in your GTA 5 Custom Music folder. When it’s done move the selection up to the Self Radio Mode option and select one of the following settings:
Radio: creates a truly custom radio station by playing your songs in a random order with DJs, advertisements, and news updates automatically interspersed in your playlist.
Random: plays only your GTA 5 custom music tracks in a random order without any interruptions from DJs, commercials, or news.
Sequential: as above, play only your GTA 5 custom music tracks without interruptions, but in sequential order, as they are sorted in the Custom Music folder.
With your selection made, return to the game and enter a vehicle. Use the radio station selection wheel and you’ll see a new station called “Self Radio” appear at the top of the radio station circle. Select it to hear your custom music tracks based on your “mode” selection above.
If you add more tracks to your GTA 5 custom music folder, just return to the Settings > Audio location described above and select either a Quick or Full scan for new music (we sometimes had trouble with the Quick option detecting all tracks, so use the Full option when experiencing issues).
You can also enable the Auto-Scan for Music option, which will automatically perform a Quick scan each time the game is launched.
Music Customization for Console Users
Those who play the game on consoles shouldn’t be left out (although they often are with the coolest features because PCs can do so much more). Let’s take a look at ways to customize sounds for Xbox One and PS4.
PlayStation 4 & Spotify
Fortunately, PlayStation users have the option to link their Spotify accounts with their PS4 console to play music while gaming. With options to access controls from the quick menu, this experience is nearly seamless.
Although it isn’t officially creating a custom playlist for consoles on GTA V, it does give you a little more flexibility for your sound preferences.
The first thing you’ll want to do is disable the in-game music on GTA V. Visit the in-game settings and head to ‘Audio’. From here you can disable sounds, including music.
Once you’ve disabled the music in GTA 5, you can link your Spotify account to your console.
- Go to the PlayStation Music App on your console
- Open Spotify on your phone
- Login in with Spotify Connect, your username and password, or your Spotify pin.
- Link you accounts
To listen to music while playing a game you can do this:
- Open the quick menu by pressing and holding the PS button
- Select ‘Spotify’ – Ensure that all permissions are allowed if you receive an error or don’t see the Spotify option
- Play the songs or playlists of your choice.
You can also use Spotify Connect from your mobile device for easier control options. This only works if your devices are connected to the same wifi network, if you’re using cellular data you’ll have to pop onto your local wifi.
Yes, we’re going back to the Spotify and console connection here too. The versatility of the music streaming service is so broad it allows you to customize your favorite playlists and add them to your favorite video games.
Start off by disabling the music in the audio settings of GTA 5. While these workarounds work for all of your favorite games it’s important to remember that some games don’t let you turn off the music. You can mute or reduce volume for all in-game sounds on most, but then you wouldn’t be able to hear the awesome commentary of NPCs.
When the in-game music is silent, try this:
- Head over to the Microsoft Store on your console and download Spotify
- Sign in to the app using one of the same three methods you would for PlayStation – listed above.
Now, you have Spotify connected to your Xbox One. Next, you can start streaming YOUR music while playing GTA V.
- Press the Xbox button on your controller and bring up the Xbox Guide (basically a quick menu)
- Select ‘Spotify’
- Choose your songs, skip to the next one, do whatever you need to enjoy the music
As stated above, you can use Spotify Connect to control your music as long as your phone and Xbox One are connected to the same wifi.
To setup Spotify Connect:
- Log into Spotify on your mobile app and make sure you’re on the home screen
- Tap ‘Settings’ (it’s a cog) in the upper right-hand corner
- Scroll down and tap on ‘Connect to a Device’
- Scan for the device and choose your console
- Follow the steps to connect your gaming console to your phone’s Spotify app.
If you think all of this sounds complicated, it’s really not once you’ve done it, but welcome to the gamer customization plight.