Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
Best Approach for the Merryweather Heist
Unlocked After: Scouting the Port, Dead Man Walking
Prep Work, Container Ship
- Minisub - Drive down to the pier and you'll see the sub hanging from a crane on a nearby cargo ship. Board the ship, wait for the guard to move away from your position, and run to the green dot on your radar. The controls will allow you to dump the sub in the water. Hop in and drive it to the waypoint. Don't worry too much about alerting the cops - once you're underwater there's not much they can do to stop you. After the sub's secured on a truck, drive the flatbed to the final waypoint. It's a short jaunt, but take the corners carefully anyway.
- Gold Medal Completion - Only two requirements here: Finish the job in 8:30 and steal the submersible without boarding the boat. You can do the latter by shooting the cables securing the sub to the crane with Trevor's Sniper Rifle. (I'm honestly not positive if this is a requirement for this version of the heist or not, as I completed the alternate method. Please let me know.)
Prep Work, Out at Sea: Helicopter and Sub
Your first step here is to go train at Flight School as Michael, since he'll be handling the helicopter. You need to complete a fair number of missions to work your way up to the helicopter lessons, but it's worth the time - helicopters handle much differently than planes, and I don't mean that they're easier. At the very least, spend some time running the first helicopter mission to get a sense for straightforward handling. (Note that you don't HAVE to go to Flight School to begin the heist, but it helps.)
- Minisub - Next up is stealing a sub from Bucaneer Way as Trevor. Look above for instructions on how it's done.
- Cargobob - Last is the theft of the cargobob from Fort Zancudo. Drive out to the desert and, in a spectacular show of poor judgement, drive your car straight through the front gate and blast over to the chopper in the distance. You'll be shot at, but few things will hit you. Nail the two soldiers standing near the chopper before getting out and you'll have no problem getting in and taking off before drawing heavy resistance. If you didn't take the helicopter lessons, get the chopper nice and high, then tilt it slightly forward and hit the gas. After about a minute of straight flying you'll escape the pursuing military chopper and its missiles. Fly the cargobob to the checkpoint and set it down on the big H (or nearby) to finish the mission.
- Gold Medal Completion - Finish the mission within 5:30. If you bolt for the cargobob rather than trying to sneak through the base you'll have a much easier time.
Last? Wait. The heist takes a little while to set up. Wander around and complete a few missions, as well as possibly sleep, and Ron will eventually give the heist the green light. I suspect that you have to complete Dead Man Walking, as Franklin is part of the heist, and Trevor doesn't meet Franklin until you do that mission.
(Tip from the comments: You may be able to trigger the heist early by calling Wade. Maybe Ron, as well? I'm honestly not sure, as I'd have to replay the entire game to test this theory. Worth a shot either way.)
The Heist, Container Ship
- Get in Trevor's truck. Drive it to the waypoint on the Elysian Island bridge.
- Hop out of the truck as Franklin. His waypoint is down a set of stairs at the side of the bridge.
- Snipe the two guards. Get the second one quick before he can alert the rest of security.
- Swap to Michael. Plant the first bomb on the waypoint immediately in front of you.
- Drop down onto the lower deck. Take out any guys down here and plant the second bomb on the first mast, right at the base. Franklin will provide some support. You have a silenced weapon, so don't be afraid to use Michael for shootouts over Franklin. His special ability is very handy.
- Take cover temporarily and fire on the guys who come over to take a look.
- Make your way to the rear of the ship. There's another mast waiting for an explosive. As with the previous one, planting a bomb on it will arouse suspicion, so try to plant the explosive when you're right beside the mast (or when you've killed anybody who's nearby). Circle around the back of the ship, go up the stairs, and duck in the entrance.
- Whether you want to or not, the game now jumps to Franklin. Use him to snipe the Merryweather security guys who start pulling up in the parking lot beyond the ship. Aim for the cars. As soon as the chopper appears, switch targets, wait for it to hover, and put a bullet in the pilot. Wait too long and he'll riddle Franklin with ammunition. Very bad. If you have trouble finding the guys shooting at you, switch to infrared (d-pad) to track down their body heat.
- Michael will soon emerge from the ship. Give him cover by following his progress and pegging anybody who has him pinned down.
- Once Michael's clear, pull up your cell phone contacts and choose 'Detonate' to blow up the ship.
- Jump to Michael. Swim to the green waypoint on the map. Use the sonar blips, which will get smaller as you get closer, to find it. What you're looking for is laying beside the wreck on the ocean floor.
Gold Medal Completion
- Headshots - Kill 12 enemies with headshots. Sounds easy enough, especially with the Sniper Rifle working overtime.
- Accuracy - Finish with a shooting accuracy of at least 80 percent. Easy when you're running around as Michael, a bit more difficult when you jump into Franklin's skin. Once you have your headshot count, aim for the torso. Wait for guys to jump out of hiding before you take shots, as well.
- Ninja - Kill twelve enemies using stealth tactics. Run around the boat as Michael and get guys from behind. A jacked-up Stealth stat will really, really help on this count. Otherwise, just move quietly, watch patrol routes, and always approach from the rear.
- Container Hunter - Find the container within one minute. Easy. Pay attention to the pings. It's not far from where Michael starts.
- No Alarms - Get to the ship interior without being detected. Between sniping and sneaking this isn't so bad. Kill anybody who spots Michael before they can call in their findings. Stay in Stealth Mode at all times. No running!
The Heist, Out at Sea
- The game swaps you to Michael. Find a four-seater vehicle. Trevor's truck will do.
- Drive to Sandy Shores Airfield. The sub will arrive at the same time you do.
- Hop in the cargobob.
- Hover the cargobob over the sub and deploy the hook. Alternate between triggers to keep the chopper hovering gently as you move into position.
- Fly the cargobob to the waypoint on the map. It's a fairly long trip.
- Get in low once you're over the water and drop the sub near the waypoint.
- Over to Trevor. Using the Trackify app, descend into the depths of the ocean, centering the sub on the red spot on the radar. At the bottom, stuck to the ocean floor, is a device. Lower the sub on it to pick it up, then return to the surface.
- Jump back to Michael. Now you have to retrieve the sub. This part is nightmarish, as the sub moves around a lot in the water. Switch to an overhead view and nudge the cargobob into place over the sub gradually. Once the sub has disappeared, lower the chopper and hit the button to grab it. Then pull back up and return to Sandy Shores. Be carefully on the stick while doing all this, and only use the rudders to turn. Mess with the stick too much and you'll wind up in the ocean.
- After a short distance a slew of Merryweather helicopters and boats will start ailing you. Switch to Franklin and blow them away. The shooting is very smooth here, so stay cool, line up your shoots, and aim for people, not the vehicles themselves. The less you try to wildly strafe your targets, the more kill hits you land.
- Fly back to Sandy Shores as Michael. Once you're at the airstrip, drop the sub from a safe height. Too high and you'll destroy the thing.
Gold Medal Completion
- Salvager - Find the container within 2:00. Not too difficult. Just remember that it's at the bottom of the see.
- Time - Complete the mission within 14:30. Reattaching the sub will take the most time. Be calm, don't mess with the stick too much, and, uh, stay away from the ocean.
- Show no Mercenary - Eliminate the pursuing Merryweather mercies. Piece of cake, really, so long as you keep your cool and shoot at the pilots.
- Weathering the Storm - Escape the mercenaries in less than four minutes. If you aim for the pilots and drivers, this should be a walk in the park.
stuckingame on November 06, 2013:
also stuck here after I've acquired the Helicopter and Sub - mission won't start. I expect it's due to not have done 'dead man walkin', but can't trigger that to start either... any advice?
Matt Bird (author) from Canada on October 10, 2013:
Yeah. If I remember correctly you only make any money from three of the main game heists. Definitely not from this one.
duncan on October 10, 2013:
i got no money from it. is this normal?
Matt Bird (author) from Canada on October 09, 2013:
If you mean on Trackify, yeah. Once you're on the dot you're right over top of it. Mind that this doesn't mean you're vertical on it, though - you might have to descend (sometimes through other objects) to find it.
Jc on October 09, 2013:
Is the red dot supposed to be in the center of the tracking device for you to know you're over it?
Matt Bird (author) from Canada on October 07, 2013:
If you've started it but not completed it, no. You're locked into the decision you've made. You CAN replay the heist via the menu after the fact and change the plan, though.
johnathon on October 07, 2013:
Is there a way you can change the approach of the heist?
Kyle on October 01, 2013:
Well i am on mission 64 and it still hasn't been triggered
Matt Bird (author) from Canada on September 30, 2013:
Ooo, good tip. I'll stick that in the walkthrough for people who are frustrated. Thanks.
Jack on September 30, 2013:
I called wade and it triggered the heist for me
Thomas on September 29, 2013:
Ok thanks for the help I appreciate it
Matt Bird (author) from Canada on September 29, 2013:
Yeah, I honestly have no idea what, exactly, triggers the heist itself. Might be a combination of missions; might be doing a certain number of missions; might simply be waiting a certain number of days. Did you complete Dead Man Walking? If you have, I dunno. Carry on with other missions and mess around with Trevor. You'll get a call eventually. (I had to finish at least five other missions before I got a call. Was getting frustrating.)
Thomas on September 29, 2013:
This would help a lot but I have one problem, I've been waiting at least a week for Ron to call but he hasn't so I can't progress in the story