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Best Crew and Approach Guide for "GTA V" Heists

Ben has been a geek all of his life, so his expertise tends to fall into gaming and technology.


Plan for the Final Mission Right From the Start

In Grand Theft Auto 5, each crew member starts with a certain level of skill as well as a certain percentage of the score that they're going to take. If you plan on improving the crew members early on in preparation for the final job, you can save money while still being successful. Keep in mind that choosing the cheaper option is not always the best choice. If you choose someone who lacks the appropriate level of skill, they can be killed and force you to lose the time you've invested in them. While this guide will limit the risk involved, it is never a bad idea to save your game before each heist, especially if you're experimenting.


Get the Optional Crew Members

While most of the crew members you can use are available from the start, there are a few who will only become available after certain events, either story missions or other random events. The two that you can get through random events are the optional driver Taliana Martinez and gunman Packie McReary. The Packie McReary random event is available at the beginning of the game. Taliana Martinez's random event will only begin after you have finished the first heist and can control all three characters once more.

The crew members you can get from story missions include the hacker Rickie Luckens and Chef. Rickie is available pretty much right from the start, but you will have to wait a while before you can include Chef in heists.


The Jewel Store Job

Crew Choice:

  • Driver Karim Denz
  • Hacker Rickie Luckens
  • Gunman of choice

Rickie might seem like the worst choice for this mission, but he's the one you will really want. To get a gold score for this mission, you will need to collect all the loot in under 50 seconds. This is the exact amount of time that you will get with Rickie, making it quite achievable. If you have trouble breaking into all the jewelry cases, make sure you make a beeline for the center of the store. The jewels at the center of the store are the most expensive. Losing out on any of the center cases will have a greater impact than missing any other case.

"Grand Theft Auto V" Karim.

"Grand Theft Auto V" Karim.

Karim isn't the greatest driver out there, but choosing him now will allow you to have a more skilled driver for later missions. Although he will get lost for a moment during this mission, Karim ultimately won't affect the mission outcome. While not a dirt bike, Karim’s choice of getaway motorcycle, the Pegassi Bati 801r, is just fine as long as you take your time.

Your choice of gunman isn't quite as important, but you should be aware that choosing a bad one will get him killed. If this is your goal, in order to get a different gunman for later missions, be sure to collect the money he drops by riding over him. If you try to leave your bike to collect the money, the mission will fail. You can also choose Packie for this mission. His cut is a little lower than the other good gunman, and the extra experience will allow him to survive any later missions you throw at him.

Heists can be done Loud or Smart; with guns blazing or with stealth and cunning. While the Loud way of doing things can be entertaining, it's less efficient. Whichever gunman you choose will be tied up in keeping the hostages locked down. If you choose the Smart way, you can immediately start getting the jewels the minute you step through the door.

The Merryweather Heist

Crew Choice:

  • None

Although this is a heist, you don't have any crew to deal with other than Michael, Franklin, and Trevor, so I won’t go into too much detail.

I would suggest that you go with the Offshore option for this mission. By completing the mission this way, you are rewarded with both a Cargobob and a Submersible at the Sandy Shores Airfield. Simply get into the helicopter, hook up to the Submersible, and then fly it to any body of water that you'd like to explore, such as the Alamo Sea, where a certain plane crashes.

"Grand Theft Auto V" Alamo Sea cargo plane.

"Grand Theft Auto V" Alamo Sea cargo plane.

Blitz Play

Crew Choice:

  • None

This is the second heist that you go through without dealing with a crew. I have two points of general advice, though. The first is to make sure to stock up on armor and weapons before you undertake this mission, as you are going to face a significant firefight.

The second is that while you can park your getaway car anywhere along your escape route, there are spots that you do not want to leave it. There are gang hangouts in the area, and if you rush up with your dump truck, they will start pulling guns and shooting at you. You shouldn't make this mission more difficult than it needs to be. If there aren't any standing gang members around, you should be good to go.

The Paleto Score

Crew Choice:

  • Chef, Packie, or Gustavo Mota

With this heist, you are only given the choice of taking along one additional gunman. Taking Chef along is the best option as you can build up his experience, and the amount of cash he takes is tied with Packie. You could take Gustavo Mota along as the most expensive gunman, but don't take anyone else. All the others will die on the job and incur casualty expenses in the process. Due to the unique dialogue that you can get from Packie, he is a viable choice as well.

You are heavily armored during the walking firefight and won't lose health. Instead, you are going to take damage to your money. As long as you're not standing there absorbing bullets all day, it shouldn't really be a significant issue.


The Bureau Raid

Crew Choice:

  • Driver Karim Denz
  • Hacker Rickie Luckens
  • Gunman with lowest cut

At this point, your gunman choice will depend on who has been killed off, so I can't say for certain which one you should select. If you have access to Daryl Johns, use him. This mission is excellent for leveling up all your different crew members.

Although it is a bit more difficult to do than the covert approach, you will want to take the rooftop entry. It is the only mission you can select where a lower-cut gunman doesn't automatically die. It will also give you the opportunity to level up both your chosen hacker and driver.

Even if you have never leveled up either Karim or Rickie, their lack of experience won't be too much of a problem in this heist. A better driver will get the getaway ambulance there early. You will not have to worry about a chase. A better hacker will give you slightly better instructions and be able to turn the sprinklers off for better visibility. In both cases, though, the improvement is not significant enough to stop you from completing the mission. All things considered, the benefits in leveling up the crew far outweigh the monetary gain from this heist.

During this heist, you will only be controlling Michael, and so you must get him ready above all else. If you're going for the gold, you should use only a pistol. You can get the required 20 headshots a lot easier that way.

The Big Score

This is the big one that you've been working towards and where it all pays off. After this, you will be able to buy pretty much anything you want in Grand Theft Auto 5. If you've followed my suggestions so far, you can choose a crew that will work for either the obvious or subtle method and save you millions of dollars in the process. That being said, if you go the obvious route, you are only required to use four crew members instead of five, two drivers and two gunmen. That will save you millions in itself. The flip side is that the obvious route is also significantly harder. So much so that you might find yourself willing to take the financial hit just to be able to complete the mission. By following this guide so far, if you decide to go the subtle route, your hacker will have been trained up well while only taking a 4% cut.

Whatever route you’re taking, you are going to want Taliana and Karim as your drivers. If you’re taking the obvious approach, you'll want your best driver on the chopper and the second-best on the train. For the subtle approach, they're both adequate for either job when factoring in Karim's leveling.

As for gunmen, if you take the obvious approach, you will want to take your leveled-up gunman and pair him up with Franklin, and the other lowest gunman to pair up with Michael. At this point, your leveled-up gunman should be Daryl Johns, and the other one should be Norm Richards. If you're using the subtle approach, inappropriately-skilled gunmen will cost you money due to not loading the getaway vehicles fast enough.

So . . . what is your reward for following these steps and going the obvious route? Your payday can go up to 41 million dollars for each character. If you immediately start to hit up the Lester missions after you get the money, you can turn this increased payday into much bigger gains.

How Did Your Heist Go down?

© 2013 Ben Martin


Heitor Goncalves on December 31, 2017:

How do you change houses in gta 5 offline

steve on February 05, 2017:

how do you choose which gunman goes with michael?

AlphaOmega on November 30, 2016:

Why do you want your cheap gunmen to go with micheal?

Sobe on November 03, 2016:

oh geez I have to do this because I just selected random crews in position during the BIG SCORE and I had 10m cut per characted.. sad :(

Alex from United Kingdom on July 24, 2015:

Excellent review on this popular game, I have yet to buy it and try it for myself

TruthisReal from New York on July 13, 2015:

GTA is an amazing game I just wish they would open a fully functional casino. It would make the game a whole lot better.

nipster on June 11, 2015:

Thanks Knightmare Golem.

Ben Martin (author) from Nova Scotia on June 05, 2015:

Depends on what star level the police are really. Overall I didn't find it too bad, but your mileage may vary.

nipster on June 05, 2015:

Hey, I haven't actually played this game before. Is it true that the police are difficult to fight and escape?

Ben Martin (author) from Nova Scotia on March 27, 2015:

Glad you enjoyed the guide. It's a great game.

archie Dolly ways on March 27, 2015:

ireally liked the video i also i have to download the game

Ben Martin (author) from Nova Scotia on March 15, 2015:

Glad you enjoyed the guide :)

Mohammad Tanvir Ibne Amin from Dhaka on March 15, 2015:

Awesome guide.. and great guide guide for Grand Theft Auto 5...cheer up

Ben Martin (author) from Nova Scotia on March 01, 2015:

Just keep playing the story missions Travis. I'm going to be vague to not spoil anything, but some of the following missions deal with potential ways of breaking down the gold and dealing with your enemies, so that's why you didn't get an instant payday. You're almost there though :)

Travis Forlan on March 01, 2015:

I have a question for you: I found the part which Trevor has to land the gold on the train so difficult then i skipped it. I forgot to saw my cut after finishing the mission. Lester said that it would took him some days to "transport" the money to Trevor, Michael and Franklin's account. I have played for about 5 days and I haven't received anything from it, and i even called Lester but the BUSY signal always appeared. What am i gonna do now? I have picked option C: Deathwish, do i have to play that ending in order to have my money from the Big Score, or i still have to wait? Please help me

Ben Martin (author) from Nova Scotia on February 12, 2015:

Glad my guide could help you out :)

Jacobb9205 on February 12, 2015:

Great guide, I really appreciate it thank you!

Ben Martin (author) from Nova Scotia on November 30, 2014:

Glad you guys enjoyed the guide, and that it helped you cash out that much :)

KingBigBall on November 30, 2014:

I got 45 mil that's right

zainal on November 30, 2014:

Thanks a lot bro it's so useful and awesome, stay happy and blessed...

Eastonman03 on November 30, 2014:

The obvious is harder yes, however, if you have done it before by accident or something like that, it is actually pretty easy.

Ben Martin (author) from Nova Scotia on November 30, 2014:

If you're doing the subtle way, you'll likely loose cash either way. Either from a larger percentage, or a gunman not loading all the gold. I suppose if you're looking to get the most money you go with the cheapest gunman and hope for the best while going the Obvious route.

StealthBomber on November 30, 2014:

What if Norm Richards Dies in the Jewelry store Job? Who do I choose as the 2nd gunman with low pay other than Chef and the really expensive one? (the other 2 guys are very cheap but low on skill, don't feel like saving, doing the big score, and loading the save file to choose all over again)

Ben Martin (author) from Nova Scotia on October 28, 2014:

Thanks! :)

Zygimantas Drukteinis from Ylakiai on October 28, 2014:

Nice one! :)

Ben Martin (author) from Nova Scotia on October 25, 2014:

Yeah... with the obvious route you always make the most money :)

Jez on October 25, 2014:

The other advantage with the Obvious approach is that you don't need to bribe the guards with a fraction of the take.

Ben Martin (author) from Nova Scotia on August 24, 2014:

Will be quite interesting to see what the modders come up with.

Samuel Franklin on August 23, 2014:

I'm also in the PC release crowd but I can't help reading up on the game until then!

Ben Martin (author) from Nova Scotia on July 17, 2014:

Well Luis, that is the exact advice that I give for the Obvious option in my article :) Earns you 41 million.

Luis on July 17, 2014:

the best to earn the most amount of cash is to chose obvious and have taliana as the first driver and karim for the second driver and daryl john for gunman 1 and norm richards for gunman 2. this is the best way to earn the most amount of cash and probably nobody is reading this

Ben Martin (author) from Nova Scotia on June 12, 2014:

Glad you enjoyed :) And yes, I'm happy it's been announced for next gen/PC too.

Ben Martin (author) from Nova Scotia on June 07, 2014:

I personally prefer the subtle approach.... but using the the obvious tips certainly does let you get quite a lot of money.

mrgamer on June 07, 2014:

the best way to choose for the big score is the obvious way because it will give you the most money. when I did it i choosed taliana martinez as the first driver for the chopper then karim denz as the second driver and the two gunman are norm richards and daryl johns. I got a total of 41664000

Ben Martin (author) from Nova Scotia on April 13, 2014:

You're right Silakai in that Taliana is a better driver with a lower cut. I still am not going to change my advice however. The Bureau Raid mission provides a minimal payout, and it's much better used as an opportunity to level up your crew in preparation for the Big Score. This guide isn't about breaking down each mission individually, it's how to line them all up for best results. Focus on the extra easier millions this guide gets you, not the lost thousands :).

Silakai on April 13, 2014:

I would do some more research. For the Bureau Raid mission, taliana is a much better driver. She's more skilled, and she has the lowest cut. I don't know about the other heists as I only read the one that I was on.

Ben Martin (author) from Nova Scotia on April 08, 2014:

Saving money, especially before you multiply it later, can be quite a good thing :)

Person on April 08, 2014:

If you have acquired the cargobob from the merryweather heist you can get some very expensive cars/vehicles that would normally cost a fortune.

Ben Martin (author) from Nova Scotia on February 05, 2014:

I have to agree with you there... I'd have rather played this on a PC. There tends to be quite a few mods out there for GTA and I love swapping out the vehicles for different ones.

Sarah Forester from Australia on February 04, 2014:

Great guide, I'll admit I still don't have GTA V because I'm holding out for a PC version.