Garry's Mod (commonly abbreviated as GMod) is a sandbox physics game developed by British Facepunch Studios and published by Valve Corporation. The game uses Source Engine's modified version of the Havok physics engine,[1] allowing players to build contraptions that follow the laws of physics, allowing realistic simulations of structures. Garry's Mod was originally a mod, created by Garry Newman for Valve's Half-Life 2, but was later made into a standalone release on 29 November 2006 for Microsoft Windows.[2] Later updates saw an OS X port added in 2010, and a Linux port in 2013.

Garry's Mod
Developer(s)Facepunch Studios
Publisher(s)Valve Corporation
  • Garry Newman
  • William Wallace
  • Andres Krymm
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
ReleaseMicrosoft Windows
  • WW: 24 December 2004
  • WW: 23 September 2010
  • WW: 7 June 2013
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer


Screenshot from Garry's Mod showing a player posing the Heavy and Soldier from Team Fortress 2

The base game mode "sandbox" has no set objectives, and gives the player the freedom to spawn non-player characters (NPCs), ragdolls, or objects (called props) such as furniture or construction materials, and interact with them in various ways. The Physics Gun (or Physgun) allows objects to be picked up, rotated, or frozen in place. The Tool Gun is a multi-purpose item for various tasks, such as welding or constraining props together, creating interactive buttons, and creating controllable winches and wheels. It can also be used to change the facial expression and pose of a ragdoll, creating a form of character animation within the game.

Originally a mod for Half-Life 2, Garry's Mod is able to 'mount' other Source Engine games owned by the player, such as Team Fortress 2 or Counter-Strike. This allows characters, props, and environments from other games to be combined & manipulated in Garry's Mod.

There is also a large community of user-created content, accessed through the Steam Workshop, with over 1.5 million entries. These include original vehicles, levels, weapons, and gamemodes, or content ported from third-party videogames.

User-created content

Garry's Mod allows users to take advantage of the versatility of the Source Engine through its innovative physics, character animation, and level design. The ease-of-use of character animation has resulted in many machinima made with the game, such as the webcomic Concerned, and several YouTube videos achieving tens of millions of views. The demand for an in-depth animation tool later resulted in the 2012 release of Source Filmmaker. Since 2008, or 'Garry's Mod 9', Lua scripting has been a notable feature of the game, enabling the creation of scripted weapons, entities, vehicles, tools, game modes and NPCs, expanding potential user modifications.[3] Multiplayer game servers will automatically attempt to send any custom content to the client when they connect,[4] handled through the Steam Workshop. Examples include game modes such as Trouble in Terrorist Town (a form of Mafia), DarkRP (an RPG), Deathrun, Jailbreak, Murder, and Prop Hunt - which would later inspire an expansion for 2017's Prey.[5]


Wiremod is a user-created mod that significantly expands the sandbox capabilities of the game, adding a large number of pseudo-electronic components such as microcontrollers, logic gates, buttons, radios, gyroscopes, screens, GPS modules, sensors, laser rangefinders, speed sensors, and more. Wiring these components together allows the player to create a variety of electronic machines. It also features Expression2 (E2) general-purpose controllers, which allow the player to program the chip with a high-level programming language to compute inputs and outputs to control a wide swathe of elements. CPU modules, which use a Low-level programming language, allow similar capabilities, as well as the capability to render graphics on a digital screen, to be able to fully simulate a virtual computer. The use of Wiremod allows the creation of very complex contraptions, such as virtual computers, missiles, aircraft, spaceships and space probes, robots and drones; all constructed from components available in-game without the use of modded content.

Fretta Contest

In winter 2009–2010, a contest was held for Garry's Mod by the game's developers to create the best new game mode using a programming framework called "Fretta".[6] Fretta, Italian for "hurry", allows developers to quickly and easily create new game modes for Garry's Mod with commonly required functionality already implemented so the developers can focus on unique aspects of their game modes. Fretta was inspired by a similar fan-created framework, called "Rambo_6's Simple Gamemode Base". However, for inclusion in Garry's Mod, Newman decided to rewrite it with input from the original author.[7] The winners of the contest range from a recreation of the Mafia party game (Trouble in Terrorist Town) to an aerial combat game mode.[8] The contest winners have been included in Garry's Mod with their own Steam Achievements.[9]

Toybox and Steam Workshop

Garry's Mod 10 added a function called 'Toybox' into the sandbox mode, allowing players to instantly share and download user-created content, bypassing the need for external downloads. After 2012's release of the Steam Workshop feature, Garry's Mod 13 replaced the Toybox feature with Steam Workshop. With the Steam Workshop feature came more add-ons for game modes other than Sandbox, with over 1.3 million Steam Workshop items.[10]

GMod Tower

In July 2009, a small team of developers released a Garry's Mod server called GMod Tower.[11] GMod Tower was a network of servers, designed as a social media platform for users to play minigames with friends and socialize in a hub area. Within hours of release, the website for GMod Tower reached two million views.[11]

The developers of GMod Tower later formed PixelTail Games, a Washington state-based studio designed to oversee future updates of the server. However, speaking to PC Gamer, founder MacDGuy stated that Garry's Mod and the decade-old Source Engine had limited them on ideas[11] - the server shut down in 2016, and was replaced by PixelTail's standalone game, Tower Unite.[12]


Garry's Mod became available as a paid game on Valve's digital distribution service Steam on 29 November 2006.[13] Before this, earlier versions of the game were released for free between 2004 and 2005, with the last free version released on 27 November 2005.[14] As of January 2016, the game has sold 10 million copies.[15]

Possible sequel

In September 2015, a sequel based on Garry's Mod was confirmed. Attention surrounding the sequel took off when Newman took to Facepunch Forums to ask users ideas for changes. From the thread, confirmed features included a new hook system for add-ons, sandboxed add-ons, permissions to access local hardware on the player's PC, in-game Workshop spawning, and Lua modules.[16]

However, in March 2016, Newman revealed that there had been little progression on the planned sequel and suggested it "might never come out."[17] The following year, Newman revealed Sandbox (stylised as S&box), a game that could "possibly become Garry's Mod 2".[18] It features a hotloading C# layer on top of Unreal Engine 4. The most recent update given on S&box was 18 June 2018.[19]


Garry's Mod won Computer Games Magazine's 2005 "Best Mod"[20] and PC Gamer US's "Best Mod 2005" awards. The latter magazine's Dan Stapleton called it "ingenious".[21] Garry's Mod also won the Steam Awards 'Defies Description' Award in 2017.[22] Also in 2017, it was featured in Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Have You Played? series.[23]

See also


  1. ^ "List of Available Games". Archived from the original on 26 December 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
  2. ^ "Garry Newman's presentation". Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  3. ^ "A Brief History Of Garry's Mod: Count To Ten". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. 29 August 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Garry's Mod Lua Wiki – Resource.AddFile". Team Garry. October 2008. Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2008.
  5. ^ "Garry's Mod Review". Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Garry's Mod – Fretta Game mode Contest". Archived from the original on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  7. ^ "Fretta Gamemode Base". Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  8. ^ "Fretta Contest Winners (2)". Archived from the original on 10 July 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  9. ^ "Fretta Contest Winners". Archived from the original on 3 May 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  10. ^ "Steam Workshop :: Garry's Mod". Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  11. ^ a b c "The rise, fall and future of Gmod Tower". pcgamer. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Ridealong: The bizarre resort town of Tower Unite". Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Garry's Mod". Steam. Valve Corporation. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  14. ^ "Garry 's Mod History". Garry's Mod. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  15. ^ Hillier, Brenna (3 January 2016). "At 10 million sales, Garry's Mod is still going strong". VG247. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  16. ^ Chalk, Andy (9 September 2015). "A Garry's Mod sequel is in the works". PC Gamer. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  17. ^ Stead, Chris (2 March 2016). "Garry's Mod 2 "might never come out"". Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  18. ^ Donnelly, Joe (5 September 2017). "S&box could become Garry's Mod 2 but is 'nowhere near that yet,' says GMod creator".
  19. ^ "Devblog 7 | S&box | Facepunch". Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  20. ^ Staff (March 2006). "The Best (and Worst) of 2005; The 15th Annual Computer Games Awards". Computer Games Magazine (184): 42–47.
  21. ^ Stapleton, Dan (March 2006). "The Twelfth Annual PC Gamer Awards". PC Gamer US. 13 (3): 33–36, 38, 40–42, 44.
  22. ^ Pereira, Chris (5 January 2018). "Steam Awards 2017 Winners Announced And, Surprise, The Witcher 3 Is Still Winning Things". Gamespot.
  23. ^ Caldwell, Brendan (29 March 2017). "Have You Played… Garry's Mod?". Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

External links