10 step guide to re-installing Mafia with graphics mods:

Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven (2002) was one of the successful and critically-acclaimed early “open world games” — along with its fellow open-world game Morrowind (2002). Mafia is a gangster game, set in Prohibition-era America during the Great Depression. The mods suggested below are ones that don’t interfere with the game’s setting in the 1930s. This “quick and easy” guide is intended for the many people who will be investigating and playing Mafia as a prelude to the release of the much-awaited Mafia 2 in 2010. The game has a cumulative score of 88% on MetaCritic.

Mafia mod sites seem to be going down like mob hits during a gang war, so I’m not linking them here — just giving you the name and the filename, and expecting you to Google for them.

1. Install the game. I’m assuming you’re using version 1.0 initially.

2. Adjust Settings:

Set the game’s Windows 7 “compatibility” to Windows XP (Service Pack 2). To drop a savegame in C:/ some games on Windows 7 will also require admin rights – but I’ve had no problems with Mafia on this.

In the game’s initial set-up options, click advanced options and select (i.e.: click on)…

Ensure you are using the monitor’s natural “dimensions”.


Triple Buffering

Vertical sync

Refresh rate 60hz (or 59Hz if that’s what your monitor runs at).

Bit depth 32

Truecolour + Compressed

Hardware TransformLighting + Clip Always

SAVE AND EXIT the setup utility.

3. Now check the game still launches.

Set the in-game keyboard, audio, and graphics options the way you like them.

4. If you don’t already have it, install the latest free nVidia nHancer app, to add extra capabilities to the standard NVIDIA Control Panel. After install it will auto-detect the games on your system. Some games it will already have preset profiles for. For Mafia you’ll need to set it up manually.

Here are the nHancer settings I’m using…

While you’re in nHancer, if you’re a regular gamer it’s probably useful to go to Options and tick “Start with Windows”.

5. Mafia DataXtractor.

Get the Mafia DataXtractor (mafiaxtractor.zip or mdxtractor.rar or DataXTractor_1_1.rar if you have the game in v1.1 form). Run it as Admin in your Mafia directory. It extracts all the game’s content files to open directories, patches the Mafia rw_data.dll so it can load game elements from these new directories. The extraction could take about twenty minutes.

You now have a Mafia directory that looks like this…

Putting it simply, doing this makes fan mods work with Mafia. “It’s an offer you can’t refuse, bub.”

6. “I want my city lookin’ pretty, see?”:

Better trees: Mafia Trees Project v3.0 (The_Mafia_TreeS_Project_3.0.7z)

Better surface textures: Footpaths and Roads mod 2.3 (footpathroadmod23.rar). Requires Truecolor option set to ON in Setup (see above, step 2).

Better car textures: Real Car Facing 1.4 (realcarfacing_v1.4_basic.zip)

Better shop and wall-poster textures: Ralphy’s Affiches mod (Mod_Affiches.zip)

Better textures for Hotel Corleone: New_Hotel_Corleone_Mod.rar

Zeppelin River mod (Zeppelin_River_Mod.zip). Because all great videogames have airships.

Unlimited draw-distance on all missions (optional) is: UDD_all.rar

Mafia Traffic 2.5 (Mafia_Traffic_Mod_V2.5.zip). Rationalises traffic, reduces the incidence of expensive cars, uses a mix of all vehicle types on the roads in Freeride.

7. “”It’s gonna rain on your parade”.

Hi-res night skies: Night Sky Mod (Night_Sky_Mod.zip).

Mafia Sky Mod. Sadly you only get to choose one sky at a time, and have to change them manually. It’s pretty easy to change one you don’t like — just over-write it with one of the other sets of files.

8. “Get that crap out’a my face”

TII (Tommy Invisible Interface) (Tommy-Interface_Invisible.rar). “A micro mod that removes ‘the back of Tommy’s head’ and much of the HUD element”. Using this you can get out of the car in Freeride mode (“exit the car” is not in controls, newbies – you get in/out by using the right mouse-button) and not have any HUD blocking your view of the world.

Sans Radar (Sans_Radar.rar). “A mini mod which simply removes the radar when the player is in a vehicle. After all, there was no GPS in 1938.”

9. Check the game launches.

If you need savegames, there’s a complete set in the Ikarus mod 2.0 (Ikarus_mod_v2.7z) — but extract it somewhere other than your game directory or it’ll turn the city “1950s East European” and you’ll be driving a ratty old communist-made Lada, comrade.

Elevated train station at Little Italy.


6 comments on “10 step guide to re-installing Mafia with graphics mods:

  1. Very helpful! I remembered everything needed for a fresh re-install, but then was having a hard time figuring out where the good mods were – until I found this.

  2. Thank you so much! I’ve spent a whole day trying to find an easy mod-guide like this. I finished Mafia back in 2004, but I do want to finish it again before MII. But I didn’t remember the game being so graphically simple… LOL. I have one really important question, though – is it possible to add more civilians on the streets? Even with the mods, the streets look so deserted.

  3. […] some decent high res texture mods available, too: 10 step guide to re-installing Mafia with graphics mods I just played the M2 demo and I can't wait for the 24th. It looks to be everything I wanted from a […]

  4. I have just finished Mafia 2, and I have to say that it is one of – if not the best_ games that I have ever played… I cant believe all of the plot twists. Now that I have beaten it, I don’t know what to do. No other games compare to it. Any suggestions?

  5. Hardware Transform Lighting does not work with Mafia 1 and Windows 7 64-bit. Colored lines appear when it is on. If the other option is used instead, the street warps and slides around. A FIX needs to be made and uploaded that alters whatever engine defect makes this game incompatible with Windows 7 64-bit. Mods are available for this game, but NONE fix this weird graphic warping issue. What the hell is it? Why would updating a driver fix a 12 year-old game? Something else is wrong.

  6. Thank you so much. I played this game six years ago, on my friend’s computer. When I tried to install and play it in 2014 there were graphics problems, but thanks to you these problems are now solved. We are all able to play the game again.

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