"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.
Like the Way GTA Used to Be
An old staple of previous GTA games returns in GTA Online; Missions. Like the few that were in GTA IV, the majority of missions are centered around co-operative gameplay. Some require at least two or more players, but many others can be completed on your own. Like Solo Survival, it's a way to not only make money but also challenge yourself. After patch 1.16, the mission payouts are time-based, which makes playing them solo monetarily sufficient. But don’t rule out co-op completely because you get a bonus for playing with others too.
In GTA Online, Rockstar has patched and unpatched mission payments every few updates since it launched in October of 2013. Some missions are mundane while others are exciting, but until Patch 1.16, there was never a worthwhile balance. After multiple complaints about how some missions were too hard, how others were played over and over (see Rooftop Rumble) to death because of easy payouts, and after tons of money glitching, Rockstar have finally made playing missions worth it.
Certain missions CANNOT be played Solo because they absolutely require two or more players. You can attempt other missions Solo, but would be better off played with at least one other player. I’ll make note of these missions. Every mission still has a different payout, but the difficulty you play on still counts. All missions in this walkthrough were played on Hard. This will be a long series updated over time.
Patch 1.29 Changes
What You Need to Know
Some of these Missions, mainly the low-level ones, you can play at any Rank but all Missions open up at a particular Rank. This guide was written using a Rank 185+ character, but I mention at the end of each Mission recommended Ranks on a case-by-case basis and why they are recommended. In this guide, I will also list out the following at the beginning of each Mission.
- Given By: The character in the game that gives you the Mission. Lamar, Simeon, and Gerald give you lower level Missions; while Ron, Lester, and Martin give you tougher Missions, but with better pay.
- Rank Unlocked: You cannot access this Mission until you have achieved a particular rank. You can be invited to any Mission regardless of your level but you should not bite off more than you can chew.
- Possible Pay (after patch #.##): I started writing this guide before Patch 1.16, but now that the Mission payouts have been fairly adjusted I will post here what I got for the strategy you will read. Just keep in mind that the pay is time-based—the keyword here is “possible." Results may vary. (Note: Certain updates adjust pay for most missions. I will try to keep track of these fluctuations from update to update.)
- Weapon(s) Recommended: Once again if you are a particular Rank you probably won’t have the weapon(s) I recommend, you should be at least Rank 60 so that you have a Grenade Launcher, 120 would be even better so that you have everything, but unlike Solo Survival I have to judge each Mission as it comes. I'm going to be vague with the weapon selection unless the Mission is best played with certain ones. New updates come out with new weapons and everyone has a different preference so this will be mainly open to those options.
- Personal Vehicle Recommended: In GTA Online, you can buy and store up to 20 vehicles (as of September 16th, 2014) you should have at least one of each vehicle type in your garage (for Races) in addition to whatever you fancy. Here is where I will point out the best Vehicle for a particular mission. Most missions will require speed but some will require a strong battering ram approach.
- Best Place to Launch Mission: Sometimes you get invited to a Mission and it starts halfway across the map in somebody’s garage. That’s not kosher . . . There was a time when Rockstar had us start at the Mission’s most important point, and that is the case with some or when Replaying it from the voting screen, but when you’re playing a Solo Mission this spot is where you want to be when you launch it. (Note: From update to update the spawning for Missions can change. For example, in Caught Napping, instead of spawning at the Ammunation in Morningwood/Rockford Hills, as I suggest, you will end up by Franklin's old house in Strawberry. Not all suggested Mission launch locations will be accurate.)
Make Use of the User Interface
Hold down the Back/Select button to bring up the User Interface (UI). With this menu, you can consume Snacks, put on new sets of Body Armor (if you're not a VIP in Freemode after patch 1.33), Request Your Personal Vehicle (when away from it), and set a GPS Waypoint without pausing the game. You can also lose a Wanted Level star by putting on a Mask with the UI (more on that in a minute).
- P’s and Q’s = 5% health recovery
- Meteorite = 10% health recovery
- Egochaser = 20-25% health recovery
- E-Cola = 15% health recovery
- Cigarette = 2.5 health damage
- Pisswaasa = Drunkenness
The above are items in your Snacks menu. To access it in the UI, go to Inventory > Snacks > A/X to consume it. Do this while in a vehicle, in cover, or aiming your weapon to quickly consume the selected Snack. Before you do, and if you're in good enough cover and have the time, rest to let your Health bar come back to 50% before eating any Snacks to get the full effectiveness out of them.
- Super Light Armor (Grey) = 20%
- Light Armor (Woodland Camo = 40%
- Standard Armor (Black) = 60%
- Heavy Armor (Green) = 80%
- Super Heavy Armor (Desert Camo) = 100%
By Rank 25, you will unlock the best Armor but won't be able to carry a full 10 in your Inventory until Rank 135. Like Snacks, Armor can be "consumed" to refill your Body Armor bar. It's a good idea to bring different varieties of Armor so that you can partially refill from any amount of damage. This will also save you money in the long-run. (NOTE: After Patch 1.33, if you are a VIP in Freemode, you will unable to put on new sets of Armor while on a Mission. I'm not sure why, but if you want to make use of this feature you should Retire from your Organization before you launch a Mission.)
Only yellow objectives show you how to get there by highlighting the nearest route. With other objectives, you have to set your own Waypoint, but you do not have to pause the game at the beginning of the Mission to do so. Go into the UI and immediately press Right on the D-pad (since Quick GPS is already highlighted). Then press A/X to instantly set a Waypoint on the objective.
Differences in Old Gen/New Gen Version
The written parts are made using the Xbox 360 version, but as time goes on I will be adding video walkthroughs made with Xbox One's Game DVR. You will notice some differences between the two. The missions themselves are not overhauled (like Rooftop Rumble, Coveted, etc.) but some have little differences that I might not cover in the written walkthrough. I'll make note of these as time goes on.
What You'll Need
You should bring a full Inventory of Snacks and Armor with you. Snacks can be bought at any convenience store around the state, Armor can be bought at any Ammunation (worn Armor plus more in your Inventory). The Snacks especially are useful for when you get low of Health during a shootout. It’s also a good idea to have a Buzzard Attack Chopper, a fast car (Sports, Super, whatever your preference), a Sandking XL, and a Motorcycle. You should also have a mask, of any type.
If you're just getting started in GTA Online, you will already have a Personal Vehicle of some kind, and at Rank 5, you can purchase a Garage to store more. The cheapest Garage (a 2-Car) is Unit 124 Popular St. for $25,000. Once you buy that and have the money for it, you should get a Schyster Fusilade for $36,000 from the San Andreas Southern Autos Website. Even in Stock form, the vehicle is very good with fast speed and decent handling. Once you have it upgraded with Armor, Turbo, Transmission, etc., it's even better. The Fusilade is more than capable of getting you somewhere fast at a low Rank.
Missions That Require More Than One Player
|Contact||Mission Title||Minimum Players Required|
By Land, Sea, and Air
Chumash and Grab
Docks To Stock
Last Chopper Outta LS
Method In The Madness
The Parking Garage
GTA Today (High Life DLC)
Chop Chop (San Andreas Flight School DLC)
Effin' Lazers (San Andreas Flight School DLC)
Losing the Cops
A lot of missions involve losing your Wanted Level—usually two or three stars, sometimes four! One item that is very useful, provided that you keep it on until you lose the police, is a mask. Any mask will do. To put on a mask, hold the Back/Select button. Then go to Inventory > Accessories > Masks select the mask you want using left and right on the D-pad and then press A/X to put it on. Once you do, you’ll lose one of your Wanted Stars, but only if you’re out of view of the cops. If they spot you again after that, you will not regain your original rating. Make sure you pick a good hiding spot, and also be advised the mask trick will not work for one-star Wanted Levels.
Whether on the ground or in an aircraft, keep changing your course to avoid the vision cones of the police. If they spot you while the Wanted Level is flashing, you have to start the process all over again. It’s easier to lose them outside of a vehicle by taking cover in the back of a building or behind a wall, a few blocks away from where you gained the notoriety. Also, back alleys and the Subway system is useful while in the Los Santos area, and the hills and train line while in the country. Also, if you are Rank 21 or higher, and NOT playing a Lester mission, call him to use his “Remove Wanted Level” ability to get rid of it instantly. This, however, will cost you $200 per star, but it’s worth it. In most cases, you can get rid of your Wanted Level without it though.
© 2016 Eric Seidel
Mark Sammut from Malta on January 12, 2016:
Great guide. Always fount the online GTA a bit overwhelming