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Awesome Open Source

Multi Theft Auto: San Andreas

Build Status Unique servers online Unique players online Unique players last 24 hours Discord Crowdin

Multi Theft Auto (MTA) is a software project that adds network play functionality to Rockstar North's Grand Theft Auto game series, in which this functionality is not originally found. It is a unique modification that incorporates an extendable network play element into a proprietary commercial single-player PC game.


Multi Theft Auto is based on code injection and hooking techniques whereby the game is manipulated without altering any original files supplied with the game. The software functions as a game engine that installs itself as an extension of the original game, adding core functionality such as networking and GUI rendering while exposing the original game's engine functionality through a scripting language.

Originally founded back in early 2003 as an experimental piece of C/C++ software, Multi Theft Auto has since grown into an advanced multiplayer platform for gamers and third-party developers. Our software provides a minimal sandbox style gameplay that can be extended through the Lua scripting language in many ways, allowing servers to run custom created game modes with custom content for up to hundreds of online players.

Formerly a closed-source project, we have migrated to open-source to encourage other developers to contribute as well as showing insight into our project's source code and design for educational reasons.

Multi Theft Auto is built upon the "Blue" concept that implements a game engine framework. Since the class design of our game framework is based upon Grand Theft Auto's design, we are able to insert our code into the original game. The game is then heavily extended by providing new game functionality (including tweaks and crash fixes) as well as a completely new graphical interface, networking and scripting component.

Gameplay content

By default, Multi Theft Auto provides the minimal sandbox style gameplay of Grand Theft Auto. The gameplay can be heavily extended through the use of the Lua scripting language that has been embedded in the client and server software. Both the server hosting the game, as well as the client playing the game are capable of running and synchronizing Lua scripts. These scripts are layered on top of Multi Theft Auto's game framework that consists of many classes and functions so that the game can be adjusted in virtually any possible way.

All gameplay content such as Lua scripts, images, sounds, custom models or textures is grouped into a "resource". This resource is nothing more than an archive (containing the content) and a metadata file describing the content and any extra information (such as dependencies on other resources).

Using a framework based on resources has a number of advantages. It allows content to be easily transferred to clients and servers. Another advantage is that we can provide a way to import and export scripting functionality in a resource. For example, different resources can import (often basic) functionality from one or more common resources. These will then be automatically downloaded and started. Another feature worth mentioning is that server administrators can control the access to specific resources by assigning a number of different user rights to them.


Our project's code repository can be found on the multitheftauto/mtasa-blue Git repository at GitHub. We are always looking for new developers, so if you're interested, here are some useful links:

IDE Setup

If not using Visual Studio 2017, download and install the EditorConfig plugin to automatically set up your IDE for the correct formatting.

Build Instructions



  1. Execute win-create-projects.bat
  2. Open MTASA.sln in the Build directory
  3. Compile
  4. Execute: win-install-data.bat


You can build the MTA:SA server on GNU/Linux distributions only for x86, x86_64, armhf and arm64 CPU architectures. ARM architectures are currently in experimental phase, which means they're unstable, untested and may crash randomly. Beware that we only officially support building from x86_64 and that includes cross-compiling for x86, arm and arm64.

Build dependencies

Please always read the Dockerfiles for up-to-date build dependencies.
Note: ncftp is not required for building the MTA:SA server.

  • git
  • make
  • GNU GCC compiler (version 10 or newer)
  • libncursesw5
  • libncursesw5-dev
  • libmysqlclient-dev

Build instructions: Script

Note: This script always deletes Build/ and Bin/ directories and does a clean build.

$ ./ [--arch=x86|x64|arm|arm64] [--config=debug|release]
$ ./  # optional step

If build architecture --arch is not provided, then it's taken from the environment variable BUILD_ARCHITECTURE (defaults to: x64).

If build configuration --config is not provided, then it's taken from the environment variable BUILD_CONFIG (defaults to: release).

If you are trying to cross-compile to another architecture, then set AR, CC, CXX, GCC_PREFIX environment variables accordingly (see Dockerfile.arm64 for an example).

Build instructions: Manual

$ ./utils/premake5 gmake
$ make -C Build/ config=release_x64 all
$ ./  # optional step

If you don't want to build the release configuration for the x86_64 architecture, you can instead pick another build configuration from: {debug|release}_{x86|x64|arm|arm64}.

GNU/Linux: Docker Build Environment

If you have problems resolving the required dependencies or want maximum compatibility, you can use our dockerized build environment that ships all needed dependencies. We also use this environment to build the official binaries.

Pulling the Docker image

$ docker pull
Architecture Docker image tag Required build-time CLI-arguments
x86 latest -e BUILD_ARCHITECTURE=x86
x86_64 latest
arm armhf
arm64 arm64

Building with Docker

These examples assume that your current directory is the mtasa-blue checkout directory. You should also know that /build is the code directory required by our Docker images inside the container. If the current directory is not a valid git repository, it instead create a (shallow) clone of the mtasa-blue repository. After compiling, you will find the resulting binaries in ./Bin. To build the unoptimised debug build, add -e BUILD_CONFIG=debug to the docker run arguments.

Architecture Build command
x86 docker run --rm -v `pwd`:/build -e BUILD_ARCHITECTURE=x86
x86_64 docker run --rm -v `pwd`:/build
arm docker run --rm -v `pwd`:/build
arm64 docker run --rm -v `pwd`:/build

Premake FAQ

How to add new C++ source files?

Execute win-create-projects.bat.


Unless otherwise specified, all source code hosted on this repository is licensed under the GPLv3 license. See the LICENSE file for more details.

Grand Theft Auto and all related trademarks are © Rockstar North 1997–2022.

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