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Your guide to surviving GTA Online
Make money, rank up fast and buy that luxury apartment you’ve always dreamed of! (Find the GTA Online Cheat Sheet here).
Welcome to the world of Grand Theft Auto Online. Tread carefully a death in GTA O can set you back up to $500. It looks like somebody has just sent a Mugger after you, one of them can steal up to $2000 of your unbanked cash. Be sure to bank large cash gains as soon as possible through the Maze Bank app on your phone (press Up on your d- pad to bring up the phone, select the Web Browser option and then look for the Maze Bank site under the Money and Services tab).
Getting money early in the game can be difficult but I’ll help you out with that. The best ways to make money early on are: Missions, Races, Robbing Convenience Stores and Selling Cars. I will detail each method below, but first let’s start with a few quick tips to get you going:
The Start Menu
Everything from missions to races can be accessed directly from the start menu. Hit start then go to Jobs to select missions and races. Under Options you can choose to expand your on screen map or make it disappear completely for a challenge or to unclutter the screen when making videos.
Look and Aim sensitivity can be increased for quicker and better accuracy, make sure not to not turn these up too high or you may find your aim getting sloppier.
To use the world map while inside your house, garage, or other enclosed structure bring up the map and then press select.
It’s a Wild World Out There, Stock up on Ammo!
Ammo can be purchased by driving to an AmmuNation pull up your Quick GPS and point it to AmmuNation by hitting BACK (360) or SELECT (PS3) and scrolling left until you see the AmmuNation option under the Quick GPS menu. Ammo can only be purchased for weapons you own and are ranked high enough to have access to. (Increase your rank by earning RP points from completing missions, winning races, killing other players, evading police, etc.)
Ammo can also be bought before starting a mission when you’re on the loadout screen, simply scroll through your choices of starting weapons and purchase ammo for each as needed.
Getting pistol ammo cheaply: Ammo for the SNS pistol (available with the free Beach Bum DLC) is a lot cheaper than ammo for the other pistols, and yet can be used to restock any other pistol. (The AP pistol is one of the best guns in the game and uses the same ammo as the SNS.)
It’s always good to have a loaded gun and some sticky bombs. Activate a Sticky Bomb Press the right trigger to throw a sticky bomb and press LEFT on the d- pad after a sticky bomb is placed to make it explode.
Missions are the most straightforward way of levelling up in GTA Online. Missions can be entered through the start menu (under Jobs) or through your phone (press UP on your d- pad to bring up your phone, then select Contacts, scroll through and call them to have them send you missions).
Before the mission begins you will see a start- up screen where can purchase ammo as well as armour. I recommend always buying the armour and making sure your weapon of choice is stocked with adequate ammunition (choice of starting weapon can also be changed by highlighting the weapon name and scrolling side to side with your d- pad for other weapon choices).
Missions offer varying payouts, please check out our GTA Online Cheat Sheets for a list of some early Mission payouts and summaries.
One of your first online missions will be to find a car to keep as your own, choose wisely! You will be using this car for a while so choose a good one. Be aware that high end sports cars can not be stolen and kept for good, these have to be bought through the in- game Legendary Motorsport website. Good choices for a car that you can steal and keep as a personal vehicle are the Bravado Gauntlet, Vapid Dominator, Benefactor Schafter, Obey Tailgater & Karin Sultan. You can also get a free BF Bifta dune buggy by downloading the free Beach Bum DLC, and a free Elegy RH8 Sports car by signing up to the Rockstar Social Club website and linking it with your Online game account.
Buying Armor before a Mission is usually worth it unless you're playing an exceptionally easy and low paying mission.
Only the host needs to be the required level to start a mission. Anyone can play with anyone regardless of level requirements.
After a Mission, press the RIGHT TRIGGER (R2) to vote to replay a mission after everyone has chosen Like or Dislike, even if the option is not shown.
Survival Missions can be a quicker way to earn RP experience points and build up your cash reserves if you can make it to the higher waves of the Survival (Survival Missions go up to 10 waves, each completed wave earns you more cash and RP). If you complete all 10 waves of a Survival Mission you will be rewarded with $20k. Try to find high ground areas to camp out to take out enemy soldiers more easily. Rooftops, on top of water towers, and hilltops with good cover are all good camping choices. Otherwise try to find a good vantage point on the edge of the map where your back is covered and you have a good corner to peek around and hide behind.
Racing is one of the quickest and easiest methods of earning cash and RP points in GTA Online. You will also need to win races to unlock various car customizations, such as improving your engine speed and braking ability or buying a turbo booster. Try playing in races that don’t allow custom cars until you can afford to hot rod your cars. The best vehicles for each class are:
Super Cars = Overflod Entity XF (Adder is a close 2nd)
Sports Cars = Dewbauchee Rapid GT (Elegy RH8 & Grotti Carbonizzare are a close 2nd)
Sports Classic Cars = Pegassi Monroe
Sedan = Benefactor Schafter & Obey Tailgater
Muscle = Bravado Gauntlet (Vapid Dominator is a close 2nd)
Coupes = Dewbauchee Exemplar
Compact Cars = Dinka Blista & Weeny Issi
SUV = Gallivanter Baller & Vapid Radius
Offroad = Canis Bodhi & Nagasaki Blazer
Motorcycles = Dinka Akuma
Bicycles = BMX & Scorcher
Helicopter = Buzzard
Boats = Shitzu Jetmax
Of course this may come down to your individual racing style or the type of race you’re in. The Entity XF is renowned for its superior handling and quick acceleration, but the Adder technically has a higher top speed, for instance. Likewise the Dinka Akuma motorcycle has the fastest acceleration, but the Pegassi Bati 801 has a higher top speed and better handling.
Hitting the gas pedal slightly after the "Go!" signal will give you a speed boost at the beginning of races.
Following other racers’ paths can help you get into a slipstream for another speed boost.
Lightly tapping brakes during rough turns can keep you on track and also throw off those that are trying to slipstream behind you. Don’t be afraid to slow down before turns, not spinning out saves you a lot of time. Trying releasing the gas pedal a bit before an upcoming turn, and then light tapping your brake during the turn. Practice the right amount of each to master turns and choose cars like the Entity XF (Super) or Gauntlet (Muscle) for their superior handling.
Racing in the dark? Tapping Right on your d- pad while your lights are on will activate your bright lights, but if your lights are damaged they may not come on at all.
Chasing Down Bounties
The red dots on your radar represent people you can kill who have bounties on their heads. Kill them and you'll get the cash reward. Get in your fastest car and customize it at a Los Santos Customs shop with as much armor as possible. Also drop by the AmmuNation if you don’t have any Sticky Bombs and stock up. Chase down bounties and throw Sticky Bombs at their car. Press LEFT on the d- pad when one connects. You will not be charged for their car insurance or issued a Bad Sport penalty for destroying a car belonging to somebody while they have a bounty on their head (as long as they are actively driving the car when you blow it up).
Surviving a Bounty
If somebody's placed a bounty on your head other players will try to hunt you down to collect the amount of the bounty. Hiding out in your garage or apartment is the easiest way to wait out a bounty (but some say also the cheesiest). It takes 48 minutes (or one ‘day’ in GTA time) for a bounty to go away, at which point you'll receive the amount of the bounty as a reward for surviving.
Outside of your apartment you could also hide literally under the streets in the subway system look for subway entrances scattered around town or follow subway train tracks to enter the tunnels.
Bounties can also be waited out in several enterable buildings scattered around town, such as the Pacific Standard bank, located in the Northern part of Vinewood, next to the Chinese theatre.
While you’re waiting out a bounty you may also get some people trying to get you to buzz them into your apartment. You can safely do so from the inside of your apartment door to buzz people in (the same place you select to enter garage or exit apartment). People buzzed into your apartment cannot hurt you, and if they get distracted by the contents of your apartment it may give you a chance to slip away and leave them there, if you desire to do so. Do NOT try to buzz people in from your garage door! You may accidentally end up outside of your apartment unarmed and at the mercy of anyone waiting outside. Somebody hot on your trail and you’re in no position to fight? Quickly call up a mission from your phone for a fast getaway.
Player VS Player Tips
Before entering any shootout or concluding a bounty chase, purchase some of Brucie's Bullshark Testosterone if you get a chance, by calling him with your cellphone. This will give you a great power boost and oddly is rarely used by other players, giving you a great advantage. If you're in a gunfight with someone where you are both locked onto each- other and they manage to shoot first, simply do a combat roll and then return fire. Combat rolls break the lock- on and make it hard for people to aim at you. To perform a combat roll, aim your gun and walk Left or Right while pressing X (360) or SQUARE (PS3). You can also try the combat roll when a car's about to run you over. Even if you get hit you will slightly increase your chances of surviving.
Trying to sneak up on a bounty? Make your way toward the target but stop short of getting close enough to draw attention. Call Lester to remove your dot from the radar and then steathily sneak up on them for the kill.
When you're in a high speed chase with somebody close on your tail try slamming on the brakes. The person chasing you will either speed past you or come to a screeching halt right in front of you, giving you a perfect chance to either attack or get the hell out of there.
The Sawed Off Shotgun is one of the most underrated guns in the game. You can unlock this gun by simply signing up to the Rockstar Social Club website and linking your account with your Online game. Many one- shot kills can be had with this weapon, making it a great choice for close quarters shootouts, taking on oncoming cars or while riding a motorcycle.
If you're trying to kill someone in a car while your aim is locked onto them, try aiming the right stick Up a bit to make sure your bullets go through their windows.
When driving and trying to kill someone with your gun, try aiming a bit lower than their car's roof you can get a lot of headshots this way. You can kill players in tanks by shooting at the tanks just below the hatches with a sniper rifle.
Respawn in Passive Mode right away by pressing Y (360) or TRIANGLE (PS3) during the Wasted screen. Note that Passive mode does not mean you’re invincible though you're still vulnerable to getting run over by or shot from a car.
Sick of ‘easy kill noobs’ using auto- aim to pay and spray? You can choose to not play in the auto aim servers by changing your settings in single player to Free Aim, which also affects which Online lobbies you will be paired up with.
Snacks For A Rainy Day
You can buy snacks at a convenience store, and then save them for later use to restore your health. EgoChasers, P’s & Q’s, Meteorites and Colas can all give you a much needed health boost during missions. Snacks can also sometimes be collected from dead bodies. To eat snacks use your Inventory menu hold the BACK button (360) or SELECT button (PS3) to open up your menu, then scroll down to Inventory and select a snack, then press A (360) or X (PS3) to eat one and recover some health (multiples can be eaten to restore more). Alternatively, snacks can also be consumed through your Action menu in certain situations (you can't use the Action menu while crouching during a shootout, for instance.) Open up your menu again and scroll down to Action, then scroll to choose which snack you’d like to consume.
Buying Property (Real Estate, Apartments and Garages)
Once you hit level 5 and after Simeon calls you to talk about the benefits of owning a garage you will be able to buy property. Unless you have money for a decent apartment (around $200k for an apartment with a 10 car garage) start with one of the cheaper garages (for around $25- 30k). Cars added to your garage receive a tracker for free, and a mechanic will keep your vehicles in good shape (in exchange for $50 a day automatically deducted from your account). Also once you buy a garage you can call the mechanic (found in the contacts list) to deliver your vehicle to you when you’re away from home.
You can only own one property at a time, and if you buy a new property you will receive roughly half of your old property’s value back.
Convenience Store Robberies
When robbing a convenience store, park your car as close to the entrance as possible, with your driver side door facing the front door of the convenience store for the quickest getaway. Intimidate the storekeeper by firing a shot behind him and then constantly aiming and reaiming the gun at his head to make him move faster. If you accidentally shoot the storekeeper you will receive an extra star on your wanted level and can finish emptying the cash register yourself by pressing right on the d- pad. If there are 2 cash registers you can also shoot the 2nd cash register for some additional money. After leaving the store try to drive up into the hills if possible to hide out from the cops, or make your way down into the subway if necessary to wait out your wanted rating. When the cops aren’t in sight (when your map stops blinking red and blue) you can take off your mask to lose one of your Wanted level stars.
Recently robbed stores can be robbed again immediately if you swap sessions.
Deposit Your Cash!
Any cash you're holding can be stolen if another player calls in a mugger to rob you. To protect your cash you can deposit it at any ATM around the city or through Maze Bank on your phone. You can bring up a GPS route to the nearest ATM with the Interaction (Quick GPS) Menu.
Be sure to bank your cash when you have large amounts of it, you can do this by accessing the internet through your phone (press UP on your d- pad to bring up the phone, and then choose the internet option in the bottom center). Once in the web browser you’ll find Maze Bank under the Money and Services tab.
There’s a parachute atop FIB tower in Downtown Los Santos (you’ll need a helicopter to get up there).
Note - You will need to be at least a rank 11 before the following vehicles will spawn:
There’s usually a plane and helicopter available at landing strip surrounded by dirt, North in the sticks up by Sandy Shores in the Grand Senora Desert.
You can also find a helicopter on the roof of the Hospital in South Los Santos.
At level 50 Lamar will call you. You can send a mugger at a non passive player for $1,000, a random npc will spawn close to your target with a knife. After a successful attack the mugger can run off with up a maximum of $2,000.
Muggers can also be called on other players driving tanks, and will occasionally actually steal the tanks with some luck (this is a pretty rare occurrence, though).
General Pro Tips
Press DOWN on the d- pad twice to see an expanded version of your on- screen map (in the bottom left corner of screen). This can also be selected permanently through the Options Menu. Note that you can’t see your health and armor stats while using the expanded map though.
You can sell vehicles to any Los Santos Customs auto- shop once every in- game day (around 48 minutes). Vehicles can sell for around 2- 9k, depending on the value of model. Higher end supercars and some motorcycles cannot be sold.
Luxury Sedans and high end SUVs are the highest paying car when selling cars to the auto- shop. Blue moving objective points that aren't auto GPS tracked will appear under Quick GPS.
If a player in your passenger sets a GPS route on the map, it will also appear on your map.
Use Find New Session to quickly warp back to your garage/apartment (if you have Spawn In Property selected in your Options Menu).
Don't quit golf, tennis, shooting range and similar activities just because you are losing, you still get RP experience and skill points even if you lose.
Races can also be played solo. They can give 500- 1000 rp each time alone which can be a great experience booster. Keep in mind that it costs $100 to enter each race and these wins won't count toward vehicle mod unlocks.
If you blow up another player's Personal Vehicle you will be deemed a bad sport and be forced to pay for their insurance costs.
Driving a car into an auto- shop gets rid of your wanted level, even if you spend no money at the shop.
Cops will sometimes chase you if the car you're driving is stolen and hasn’t been repainted.
All clothing stores have the same options for different items.
Holding back allows you to split up money that you get from robberies.
If your car is impounded you will need to either pay to retrieve it or steal it back. The easy way is to simply spot your personal vehicle on the map and drive up to the impound gate, pay $250 and retrieve your car with no hassle. If you want to save a few bucks and endure a police chase instead you’ll want to park a car right up against the gate to use as a stepping stone to jump over the gate, or drive to the top of the next door parking garage and drive off the roof of that garage down to the impound lot below. Once inside the impound lot quickly steal your car back and drive it out of the exit gate (be prepared to then outrun the cops).