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How to Complete Heists in "GTA Online"

"GTA Online" helped get me through a hard part of my life. When you spend THAT much time with a game, you can't help but write about it.


The Concept of Heists

Grand Theft Auto Online is a multiplayer mode structured on making money so you can buy overpriced items that will make your virtual ego seem cooler. Kind of like real life complete with the “I want it now” attitude of our current generation. Most of the means in which to make money is through competitive gameplay and encouraging an “everyone for themselves” mentality among the majority of players. As well as a schizophrenic need to shoot people for no reason, but the psychology of free roam is a deep ocean for another day.

Apart from player-versus-player modes there is a small percentage of cooperative game modes, such as Missions and Survival, that thankfully depending on the mission, leave room for one to four players. Heists, and their Set-Up Missions, require four players no matter what. Essentially this adds a layer of frustration for many reasons. GTA Online is usually played with a “gimmie gimmie now” mindset, so good luck getting a reliable “team” of Randoms when trying to set one up. Luckily the "Doomsday Heists" and "Casino Heists" changed this restriction while increasing difficulty to the missions themselves.

What a lot of players do not understand is if you just play the game money’s no issue. Rockstar’s big ploy for Heists are the planning and cooperative aspects. For some reason, after all of the above and after all of the delays, players would put aside that “wah wah mommy give me that candy bar or I’ll scream” competitive frame of mind and work together.

Biggest Problem: Lack of Communication

One of the issues, if not the main one and the thing that team work requires, is communication. The act of actually talking and listening. At the very least read the objectives at the bottom of the screen and pay attention to the mini-map. I know it’s sometimes awkward to actually speak to strangers, but get over it! Sometimes there can be too much communication. Like that one guy barking orders (and no I’m not THAT guy), but if the “just hold sprint and run through the people shooting!” strategy gets everyone killed in "Pacific Standard" before even getting to the damn bikes . . . then it might be a good time to make a suggestion or two. You should also have a mic or access to the mobile app for your specific platform. I know Rockstar added in pointing and flare guns, but compared to actual speaking it’s just clutter that no one pays attention to. Usually people assume it's just trolling.

How Heists Could Have Worked

In most cases trying to do the simplest tasks ends up like herding cats. If you’re not familiar with GTA Heists the basic idea is a few Set-up Missions followed by the actual Heist. The Set-up Missions (for the majority of Heists) require four players, but at most they could have been regulated to a two-to-four requirement. Thankfully Rockstar got the hint when they made the "Doomsday" and "Casino" Heists later on. The Set-up Missions are basically just slightly more in-depth Missions with spoken instructions and backstory from whichever character is involved.

One immense complication to requiring four players (sans the "Flecca Job" which is a tutorial Heist requiring only two) is the waiting. Impatience is another unfortunate side effect of the millennial so trying to wait for a full group of random players, not that that’s ideal, takes an extra long amount of time when people who finally join don’t wait for a full lobby.

Yes the Set-up Missions can be tough, and yes Heists should always be a four-player thing, but not ALL of the Set-up missions really NEED a full four-players. (Obviously Rockstar heard this cry out from players, now if only there was a way to patch it into the originals . . . )

"The Prison Break Heist"


Best Difficulty With Randoms: Normal
Players Really Required: 2-4
Set-up Roles: Pilot, 3 Gunmen

The Pilot and one Gunman run down the first dirt road, leading to the runway, while the other two Gunmen approach the runway from the other end of the hanger. Not bunched up or spread out. Apart from the guys in your way concentrate on clearing a path on the runway. This will help the Pilot’s escape. If you’re the Pilot stick around for a little bit and help the Gunmen take out the Vagos, especially the ones on your way to the hanger and Plane. As you fly off avoid the wrecks and make your way to the Airport. After all of the Vagos are taken out BE PATIENT as the Pilot takes the Plane to the Airport.

Pilot and one of the Gunmen approach the runway from this road.

Pilot and one of the Gunmen approach the runway from this road.


Recommended Difficulty With Randoms: Normal
Players Really Required: 2-4
Set-up Roles: None

This mission isn’t difficult. Whoever is stealing the Bus, shoot the driver while one guy blocks the Bus. The other two players should drive out to the desert or provide interference, everyone gets a Wanted Level once the Bus is attacked. Take the Bus off-road and somebody shoot down the police helicopter. It will make all of your lives easier.


Recommended Difficulty With Randoms: Normal
Players Really Required: 2-4
Set-up Roles: Cop Station, Cargo Ship

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Cop Team:

Best way to steal a police car is to call 911 on the in-game phone. (Up on D-pad>X/Square>dial 9-1-1>X/Square> select “Police” from the list). Jack the cop car and drive to the underground tunnel in the first screenshot. Now just steal the Manifest and go blow up the cop car.

Cargo Ship:

One guy provide cover fire while the other storm the ship. Keep climbing stairs until you get to the spot in the second picture. Run along the top of the containers and shoot the guard and Lock. After the cinematic you both will be in the Casco. DO NOT SHOOT the enemy vehicles that chase you, OUT RUN them, it will make everything go smoother for both teams. Escape along the train tracks and stay off the main road as much as possible (see video).

Casco Route

Wet Work

Recommended Difficulty With Randoms: Easy
Players Really Required: 2-4
Set-up Roles: City Hall Team, Mansion Team

City Hall Team:

Since this is assuming there is no coordination; both of you shoot a target then CAREFULLY climb back down the ladders to the street. This is where being on Easy difficulty helps. One of you get that Briefcase, but both hide from the police, there will be a Wanted Level. Head for the Underground (see Station) or use one of the many alleys or parking garages (see first and second pictures). Once you’ve lost them go to the Heist Leader’s apartment.

Mansion Team:

You’re going to need suppressed Sniper Rifles and Pistols to make this work properly. Pay attention to the cones of vision on the mini-map. From the parking lot it’s a turkey shoot, take out any guards you can see. Then both of you storm the mansion with your Pistols SILENTLY taking out guards as you go around the West end (see third picture) of the Mansion. If Popov pops out before you can pop him then you’ll have to chase him. Once he’s dead leave the area.

Go around this side of the house.

Go around this side of the house.

The Heist

Prison Guard:

When you and the Prisoner kill the first couple guards drop the Prisoner a light machine gun, or assault rifle, from your weapons so that they have something more than an AP Pistol to help you fight through the prison yard.


If Prison Guard doesn’t give you extra firepower hang back with Rashkovsky and let them clear out the N.O.O.S.E. agents. Grab the Riot Van once you get to the parking lot. It’s not quick but it’s bullet proof.


Fly BEHIND the Jet until Demolitions can assist you. Keep on it’s tail and it can’t lock onto you. When you land on the runway at Sandy Shores Airfield have the plane ready to take off. As you escape the police, and gain altitude to reach the Corona, avoid the police helicopter vision cones.


Bring a fast car, you’ll need it most of all. Quickly STEAL the Prison Bus, drive it to the location, and nuke it. Then race to the Buzzard Attack Chopper. Take out the Jets then provide cover/interference for the ground crew as they escape the prison and meet up with the Pilot at the Airfield. DO NOT jump out of the chopper. Meet your crew at the marked beach. (Note: Everyone give Demolitions a wide birth until they land to avoid a senseless death this far into the Heist.)

"The Humane Labs Raid"


Recommended Difficulty With Randoms: Normal
Players Really Required: 4
Set-up Roles: Buyer, Bodyguards, Lookout North, and Lookout South

Not much involved here, just shoot FIB agents. Someone grab the Briefcase (preferably the Buyer or Bodyguard since you’re closest), and try not to die. Cover each other.


Recommended Difficulty With Randoms: Hard
Players Really Required: 3-4
Set-up Roles: None

Attack from the high ground when you get to the Insurgents. There is Body Armor and First Aid Kits down by the Insurgent Pick-up and crates. Two players to each truck, DO NOT GET EMO IF YOU’RE NOT THE GUNNER, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Whoever is riding shotgun in the standard Insurgent should concentrate on shooting mercs. Drive cross country until you get to the part of the GPS route that takes over a dirt road (see video). Gunner in the Pick-up should make the helicopters their first priority. STICK TOGETHER. There shouldn’t be many mercs left by the time you need to finish them off.

Insurgents Route


Recommended Difficulty With Randoms: Hard
Players Really Required: 1-4
Set-up Roles: None

This is another straight forward Set-up apart from the Hydra bit. If you get lost, on the way up to the runway, go up the stairs on the right side of the ship (see second picture). It will be your first door on the left. Once upstairs some moody little cuss, who is too young to be playing this game, will probably rage quit if you don’t let them crash the Hydra. Even the most experienced pilot needs to be careful with the hanger part at the end.

In case you get separated from the rest of your team the runway is along here.

In case you get separated from the rest of your team the runway is along here.


Recommended Difficulty With Randoms: Hard
Players Really Required: 4
Set-up Roles: None (should have a designated pilot)

Very simple mission if you all work together. Someone bring an Armored Karuma. EVERYONE get in the Karuma and drive directly to the Valkryie. Don’t be that one asshole who bails for no reason before getting to the chopper. STICK TOGETHER. Shoot the Merryweather mercs around the Valkyrie before getting out of Karuma (minus the guy on the crane who could be hard to drive-by). While flying the Valkyrie keep in mind that the aiming is limited for each of the guns. If no one is hitting helicopters it’s because they are just outside of their aim range. As the pilot face each attack chopper one-at-a-time. As the gunners aim forward as the pilot faces the Valkyrie forward. Everybody will be happy and effective.

Deliver EMP

Recommended Difficulty With Randoms: Hard
Players Really Required: 2-4
Set-up Roles: None