The Grand Theft Auto series has always been about chaos, mayhem, making money, and spending it on expensive toys. GTA 5 introduced heists to the story mode, tying into two of the three Grand Theft Auto protagonists’ bank robbing history. These heists allowed players to decide between two different methods and pick crew members based on the player’s preference. The method and crew members chosen determined the effectiveness of each heist and how much money could be made in the end. The story mode heists were so popular that heists made their way into GTA Online, and Rockstar hasn’t looked back since. With the introduction of a new heist in GTA Online, let’s look at all of the current heists in GTA 5 and see which one is the best.
Heists aren’t the only way to make money in GTA 5. Some may not even be that profitable, but they are a way to encourage strategy and teamwork in GTA Online, which could be hard to come by if players aren’t going into heists with people they know. In terms of story mode, while the heists are a big part of monetary gain, the in-game stock market is where the big money is at. Play GTA 5’s stock market right and all three protagonists can become billionaires, however, online players seemed to jump past that during the $100 Billion Heist Challenge in GTA Online.
One difference between GTA 5’s story mode heists and online heists is how gameplay can be affected. While the success of online heists tends to rely on other players, the success of story mode heists relies on the individual player’s decisions. Choosing a bad driver to save money can lead to that driver picking the wrong vehicle for the getaway, while choosing a bad shooter can lead to them dying during a heist and taking a piece of the final cut due to a casualty fee. On the other hand, GTA Online heists can be hit or miss depending on who players team up with. All heists have three potential payouts based on difficulty, with easy difficulty gaining the least amount of money and hard difficulty gaining the most. Bonuses can also be given if challenges are completed. There are currently 7 heists in GTA Online and 5 heists in GTA V‘s story mode. Out of the 12 total heists in all of GTA V, only one can reign supreme.
The worst heist in GTA 5 is the brainchild of Trevor. What was a good idea and take in theory turned into a voided heist that would’ve gotten Trevor, Michael, and Franklin in deep government trouble had they gone through with it until the end. The Merryweather Heist in Grand Theft Auto 5 involved stealing a nuclear weapon from the ocean and supposedly selling it to the Chinese, according to Lester. Had the crew gone through with the sale, the total take would’ve been $20 million. However, because the sale would’ve likely led to GTA 5’s main characters getting hunted down and killed by the government, all three protagonists walked away from this heist without a single penny.
One of the first heists introduced in GTA Online, the Prison Break isn’t really a heist. As the name suggests, this mission involves breaking someone out of prison. The concept of this is interesting, but the execution can be frustrating for anyone not playing with friends due to the escape being done via plane. Should the wrong person pilot the plane and crash, the mission will fail, and players will have to start all over.
The fourth heist done in GTA 5’s story mode, the Bureau Raid is the heist that has the worst payout, other than the Merryweather Heist. This Grand Theft Auto heist involves Michael and Franklin breaking into the Federal Bureau. Players can choose between a firefighter or rooftop entry approach. If the firefighter approach is taken, a shooter crew member can die if their stats are low. In both approaches, the getaway vehicle can be late if the driver has low stats as well. While Michael’s portion of payout goes to the FIB, Franklin can earn up to around $242k.
A four-person heist in GTA Online, the Humane Labs Raid is another Grand Theft Auto heist that seemed interesting in theory with execution that can be rocky with the wrong crew. This heist involves breaking into a lab ran by Merryweather and stealing important data.
Not only does this GTA heist have a lot of preparation to it, it also involves skydiving out of a helicopter to get to the lab, and quite a bit of teamwork, such as simultaneously unlocking a door with another player. Once the heist is complete, the normal payout is $540k divided among the players.
Series A Funding is a fairly simple four-person GTA Online heist that involves stealing drugs from various gangs such as the Ballas, Vagos, and The Lost MC. What makes this heist unique is that it is led by Trevor, who aims to sell the stolen drugs. Players shouldn’t have too many issues even when doing the heist with random people, since the majority of the heist is done on the ground. The only time the Series A Funding heist isn’t on the ground is during the first prep mission, which involves getting drugs from a yacht. Players can get max payout of $505k when doing the heist on Hard difficulty. Unfortunately for Trevor, though, similar to the Merryweather Heist, he doesn’t make the sale and has to escape from the cops in the end.
The first heist ever released for GTA Online, The Fleeca Job is somewhat similar to the first main story heist, The Jewelry Store Job. As a two-person heist, The Fleeca Job involves robbing a bank. The prep missions are relatively short, with players only needing to steal and protect an armored vehicle needed for the heist. Despite it being the first online heist, The Fleeca Job does showcase some character development from Lester and potential main story heist crew member Paige. At the hardest difficulty, players can earn a total payout of around $143,750 which is the lowest out of any heist.
Another bank heist that involves four players this time, The Pacific Standard Job has the feel of a big time heist. Preparation is fairly easy but can be long and involves doing things such as stealing bikes from The Lost MC as well as stealing a convoy from Merryweather. Players are once again guided by Lester and Paige from the main story. On the Hard difficulty, GTA Online players can earn a total payout of $1.25mil.
The very first heist in Grand Theft Auto V players have full control over, the Jewelry Store Job involves Michael getting back into the game in order repay Martin Madrazo. Joining him is Franklin, who Michael touts to Lester as a good driver. The player is given the option of playing it smart and strategizing or just walk into the jewelry store loud and dumb.
The player also gets to choose the crew for the heist, with cheaper crew members generally having bad stats and more expensive crew members having good stats. If players choose wisely, they can get a total take of nearly $5mil with Michael making $1.2mil and Franklin getting just under $300k.
The Doomsday Heist is the biggest in all of GTA Online and GTA 5. Separated into three acts that can be played with 2 to 4 players, Act 1 of the Doomsday Heist involves mysterious data from the government that may cause a war. Act 1 is lengthy with 3 prep and setup missions, but they can be relatively easy to do. One of the crazier highlights of this act is the use of a specialized hover car to hack data off a boat and airplane. Act 2 is a continuation of the Doomsday story. This act is longer and can be more difficult, involving many prep and setup missions. This time players are sent to stop rogue Russians from potentially causing World War III. Special vehicles make another appearance, with submarine cars being the star for Act 2.
Act 3 serves as the conclusion of the Doomsday Heist. Players are tasked with things such as rescue, theft, and stopping a mega AI from taking over all of humanity. There are various special vehicles the player will obtain and maneuver throughout the various prep and setup missions. After completing Act 3 players can walk away with payout of $1.5mil. Across all three acts Grand Theft Auto Online players can earn a total payout of around $3.2mil. Finally, if players complete the entirety of the Doomsday Heist on hard difficulty with the same four players without losing any lives on setups and finales, they can earn upwards of $5.6mil.
While not a heist that provides a ton of options, Grand Theft Auto 5’s Paleto Score can be seen as iconic for fans. This story mode heist involves Michael, Franklin, and Trevor robbing a small bank in Paleto Bay. What seems like an easy job on paper turns to be a battle between the three protagonists and the army. As Trevor states, Sandy Shores is filled with dirty cops with connections and money to protect, so it makes sense that they would send every unit possible to stop a potential bank robbery. Luckily for GTA 5’s protagonists, they were prepared to go to war, with heavy duty armor and a minigun at their disposal. Their initial plan may’ve went south, but the heists ends up being a success, with all three protagonists walking away with potentially up to $463k.
The latest heist in GTA Online, the Diamond Casino Heist is different from all the other online heists, presenting itself as a heist similar to those in the game’s story mode. Players can choose how they do this heist, with “aggressive,” “silent and sneaky,” and “The Big Con” being the three method options. All three methods have their own special prep missions and levels of difficulty. What’s stolen can also be different for each player with artwork, cash, gold, and diamonds being the potential heist items.
What spawns in the heist is randomized, so players can try to get all four options by replaying the heist. There is a known Casino Heist glitch that make the heist a lot easier to complete. This heist feels like a story mode mission, with players picking NPC crew members and being able to do the prep missions solo. The only part that requires another player is the heist itself, where a door must be opened simultaneously with two keycards. On hard difficulty, GTA Online players can earn a maximum potential take of $3.6mil if diamonds are taken and a minimum potential take of $2.3mil if cash is taken.
The final story mode heist in GTA V, The Big Score, or “The Big One” as the protagonists call it, involve the gang robbing the Union Depository of four tons worth of gold. Players can choose to take a subtle or obvious approach. The subtle approach requires five crew members, whereas the obvious approach only requires four. Players should be careful about who they pick for their crew, as a driver can get arrested or die in the mission. In the end, all three protagonists can get a max take of $44mil, the most of any heist in the entire game.
Making money in GTA Online has become easier with the amount of businesses added. However, that doesn’t take away from the online heists and the money that can be made from them. While the heists may be difficult to get done if players aren’t able to play with friends, and the payouts for some may not be worth the amount of time it takes to prep, the heists allow for players to get away from the normal online mayhem and experience a taste of story. In a way, heists in GTA Online can have a co-op feel to it, something that the main campaign of GTA 5 lacks.
Players have something to look forward to with the new Cayo Perico heist and the new island that comes with it. What could possibly be a solo heist experience for GTA Online, players may not have to worry about relying on stranger teammates to a get a heist done. With Cayo Perico being a completely new part of the GTA V map, one could wonder if this a hint at what GTA 6 could be, or if Rockstar is just trolling fans.