A Beginners Guide To Garry’s Mod

Garry's Mod LogoIf you’re a new player that’s just discovered Garry’s Mod you have come to the right place to start your journey.

Here you will learn how the game mechanics work and all the features and controls a new player should know.

These 4 steps will outline the fundamentals of the game Garry’s Mod which is also referred to as “GMod”.

My 4 Tips For Beginners

1. Getting Started

If you have played GMod before I would suggest skipping to step 2. However it’s your first time ever playing this game, stick around.

Before you even start your first game you will first need to check your settings.

Gmod RequirementsIf you have a high spec gaming computer you should be able to run GMod at full specs, but if you’re running an average computer you may need to adjust your settings to maximise your performance.

Turning your graphics down is a great way to improve the speed of your game, it will suffer graphically but will have no problems playing. Of course this works in reverse. Higher graphics will mean slower game play.

Choose your settings depending on your computer.

Once you have adjusted your settings you will next need to know how to control your character in GMod.

Here is a list of all the default controls new players will need to know:

  • Move Around – W, A, S and D keys (standard movement keys)
  • Aim / Look Around – Move the mouse.
  • Fire Weapon or Use Tool – Left mouse button
  • Additional Tool and Weapon Functions – Right mouse button
  • Reload Weapon – “R” key
  • Spawn Menu – Hold “Q” key
  • Fly Around Map – “V” key (no-clip required)
  • Sprint – Left shift key
  • Crouch – “CTRL” (left control)
  • Flashlight – “F” key

There are more key functions that you will learn as you explore the game but these will help new players start their journey.

If you’re ready to jump into the game let’s move on to the next step.

2. First Single Player Game

First you will need to “start the game”, this option is found on the main menu and will create a default single player game for you.

Garry's Mod Main Menu

The world is blank at the start but you can quickly fill it by opening the spawn menu by holding down “Q”. This will bring up a list of objects that you can spawn into the world. Click the option you want and place the item in front of you.

Once you have spawned in the objects you can now move them around with the “Physgun”. This is the tool that allows you to manipulate objects and features heavily in Garry’s Mod.

Once you have selected the object you can move it around with the directional keys.

You can freeze an item in place with the “right click” and you can unfreeze it by pressing “R” twice, but this will unfreeze all items.

Note: Vehicles, NPC’s and fixed objects cannot be frozen.

The best way to get used to building is to experiment in single player mode as this allows you to play the game at your own pace. However if you want to play with other people and you think you are ready for multiplayer we can now move on to step 3 of the guide.

3. Join a Multiplayer Server

Please Note: In order to join a multiplayer server you must first have internet access and a Steam account. Without either of these you will not be able to join a multiplayer game.

You will first need to press ESC (Escape). This will automatically pause your current game and will bring up the GMod Menu.

Garry's Mod Server List

Next you will need to choose “Find Multiplayer Game” This will bring up a lobby menu with a list of all the different game modes available. Of course you can choose whichever one you like the sounds of. However I would always suggest first starting with the sandbox mode.

The main thing to consider when choosing a server is the ping value. Ideally, you want to choose a server that has a low ping.

High Ping = Slow server connection. This could be because you are trying to connect to a server that is either too full or is located very far away.

Low Ping = Fast connection. Servers with a good ping time will mean a better overall experience for you. Always choose low ping servers.

Once you have chosen your server you will begin the connection process.

If the server requires any mods or additional content it will automatically be downloaded as you join it. So you don’t have to worry about doing anything else.

You will spawn in a designated spawning area and will discover that you are playing with other players.

But what now? Well here are a few tips to get you started:

Gmod In Game ChatIn Game Chat – If you want to chat to other players on the server you can press the “Y” key to bring up the chat log. The message that you send will be seen by all players on the server.

Live Chat – You could also chat to other players using Discord or TeamSpeak. Use the chat log to ask if the server has a voice server you can join.

Change Your Appearance – You can access the player model menu by holding the “C” key. You can change both the colour and the look of your character here. You can also use community based skins that are downloaded from the workshop. Your appearance will change once you re-spawn into the server either by death or by logging out and back in to the server.

Playing on multiplayer servers is one of the best ways to play GMod and you can even set up your own if you feel confident enough.

Check out my “How to choose a GMod host” article for more information on setting your own server up.

4. Workshop Mods

A modification or “mod” as it’s referred to allows players to add more content to the game.

GMod Mods

New guns, maps, cars, skins and more can be found at the Steam Workshop. However all mods apart from maps can easily be uploaded in game, making it very quick and easy to upload something new.

If you want to add a mod you’ll first need to return back to the main menu and select the option “Addons.” This will open up a huge menu that has a list of images of mods made by the steam community.

Simply select the mods you would like to use and confirm your choice. The mods will now be applied to your world.

You can also create your own mods but this is for more advanced players and would require its own guide.


In this beginner’s guide I have highlighted the three main areas that new players should learn including:

  1. Learn through playing the single player mode.
  2. Join servers a see everything multiplayer has to offer.
  3. Try out all the different mods on the Steam Workshop.

This guide is just the starting point for new players. You will discover more about the game as you play it.

Join multiplayer games, this is the best way to learn new tips and tricks from other experienced players.