Best Crew and Approach Guide for GTA V Heists

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, even more so 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 really he's the one you want. To get a gold score for this mission you 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 then 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 Thev Auti V Alamo Sea cargo plane.
Grand Thev Auti 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 then 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 and will allow you to 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. Also, if you're going for the gold you should use only a pistol. You can get the required 20 head shots 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?

If the money didn't matter and only your own GTA story counted which method would you choose?

  • Subtle
  • Obvious
See results without voting

© 2013 Ben Martin

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ilikegames profile image

ilikegames 2 years ago from Australia

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

Knightmare Golem profile image

Knightmare Golem 2 years ago from Nova Scotia Author

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.

Person 2 years ago

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

Knightmare Golem profile image

Knightmare Golem 2 years ago from Nova Scotia Author

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

Silakai 2 years ago

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.

Knightmare Golem profile image

Knightmare Golem 2 years ago from Nova Scotia Author

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 :).

mrgamer 2 years ago

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

Knightmare Golem profile image

Knightmare Golem 2 years ago from Nova Scotia Author

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

Knightmare Golem profile image

Knightmare Golem 2 years ago from Nova Scotia Author

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

Luis 2 years ago

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

Knightmare Golem profile image

Knightmare Golem 2 years ago from Nova Scotia Author

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

SimilarSam profile image

SimilarSam 2 years ago from Australia

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

Knightmare Golem profile image

Knightmare Golem 2 years ago from Nova Scotia Author

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

Jez 2 years ago

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

Knightmare Golem profile image

Knightmare Golem 2 years ago from Nova Scotia Author

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

pvmtoilet profile image

pvmtoilet 24 months ago from Ylakiai

Nice one! :)

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Knightmare Golem 24 months ago from Nova Scotia Author

Thanks! :)

StealthBomber 23 months ago

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)

Knightmare Golem profile image

Knightmare Golem 23 months ago from Nova Scotia Author

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.

Eastonman03 23 months ago

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

zainal 23 months ago

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

KingBigBall 23 months ago

I got 45 mil that's right

Knightmare Golem profile image

Knightmare Golem 23 months ago from Nova Scotia Author

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

Jacobb9205 profile image

Jacobb9205 20 months ago from Gloucestershire

Great guide, I really appreciate it thank you!

Knightmare Golem profile image

Knightmare Golem 20 months ago from Nova Scotia Author

Glad my guide could help you out :)

Travis Forlan 20 months ago

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

Knightmare Golem profile image

Knightmare Golem 20 months ago from Nova Scotia Author

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 :)

doris and me profile image

doris and me 19 months ago from Dhaka

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

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Knightmare Golem 19 months ago from Nova Scotia Author

Glad you enjoyed the guide :)

archie Dolly ways 19 months ago

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

Knightmare Golem profile image

Knightmare Golem 19 months ago from Nova Scotia Author

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

nipster profile image

nipster 16 months ago

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

Knightmare Golem profile image

Knightmare Golem 16 months ago from Nova Scotia Author

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

nipster profile image

nipster 16 months ago

Thanks Knightmare Golem.

Rabadi profile image

Rabadi 15 months ago from New York

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

alex35aclll profile image

alex35aclll 15 months ago from United Kingdom

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

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