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Ace the Cayo Perico Heist with this Prep (Setup) Missions Guide

There are four main categories in the prep section:

  • Vehicle Approaches: You have several vehicles that allow you to approach the island in many different ways, depending on what style of approach you have planned. Whether it's jumping in from the sky or going in by swimming. You have all the options provided you've scoped out the relevant point during the scope out. There are six different approach vehicles you can choose from, where only one of the approach vehicle missions is mandatory and the rest are optional.
  • Equipment: There are four equipment acquiring missions, out of which three are mandatory.
  • Weapon Loadout: You have five different weapon loadouts to choose from. You can only do one loadout prep mission to acquire that respective loadout. You can choose whatever loadout you prefer based on your approach style. You also have the option to buy the suppressors for your guns from the weapon loadout menu for GTA$5,000. This is a mandatory prep mission, of course.
  • Disruptions: Disruptions have three optional missions that can be best compared to the Duggan Shipment from the Diamond Casino Heist broken down into three parts. These are completely optional but give you an added advantage such as weaker guards, weapon damage, and no air support when the guards are alerted.

Vehicle Approaches

As mentioned above, there are six vehicle approaches you can choose from, and they are as follows:

Submarine Kosatka (Mandatory)

The Submarine Kosatka prep mission is a mandatory prep mission used as your main mode of transport to the island if you haven't scoped out other optional locations that give access to other approach vehicle missions.

Once you start the mission, you will be tasked to go to a Merryweather Test Site to acquire a sonar jammer in the middle of the ocean. The sonar jammer will be located inside a submarine at the test site. It would be best if you used either a Buzzard or an Oppressor Mark II to get to the location as you will need to clear out the patrolling attack helicopters and boats.

Also, stock up on the maximum number of armor and snacks as this mission is combat-heavy. You will need to fight your way to the sonar jammer once inside the submarine. When you reach the test site, you will find one attack helicopter and three boats. Take them out and dive into the water.

You will see a huge yellow region on your mini-map. Go to the middle of the yellow circle and you will notice a yellow marker on top of the submerged submarine that will allow you to enter it. When you are inside the submarine, you will find a lot of guards as you proceed forward. The layout of the submarine is similar to the one you own, and the one seen during the Bogdan Problem of the Doomsday Heist.

Keep moving forward as you eliminate the guards, and keep an eye out for a sonar jammer. The jammer will be in a random location every time you do this mission. The good thing about the jammer is that it will instantly appear on your mini-map when you are near the jammer or in its general vicinity. This saves us a great deal of hassle to look for the device specifically.

There are three possible locations. One location is the main control room, the same room where you plan your Cayo Perico heists. It will be on the central table.

The second location is this separate missile room, where the jammer will be at the end of the room on a green crate.

The third location where we found the jammer was near the stairs leading up to what seems to be the engine room.

After taking the device, keep going moving forward and do not go back. You will also get a yellow indicator on your mini-map guiding you out of the submarine. On your way back, you can also get a rebreather that will allow you to stay underwater for an extended period of time. This is important as there will be attack helicopters as soon as you are out of the submarine.

You cannot take them out until or unless you reach land. As soon as you reach land, take them out. The attack helicopters will appear three times before finally stopping. Aim for the pilot of the helicopters to get rid of them quickly. After taking care of the attack helicopters, deliver the sonar jammer to your submarine to complete this mission.

Plane: Alkonost (Optional)

This optional prep mission has two parts. Part one requires you to steal the Alkonost plane from one of the hangars at Fort Zancudo, and in the second part, we arrange a pilot.

Part 1: Alkonost

Before proceeding with this mission, make sure you have the maximum number of snacks and body armor as you will need it when you are stealing the plane. The hangar is heavily guarded. To make things easier, go to Ammu-Nation and buy Night Vision goggles. Then start this mission.

Make your way to the hangar, and before entering, go behind the entrance door. You will notice a circuit breaker. Use that to cut off the lights inside the hangar briefly. Once the lights are out, quickly make your way inside the hangar and activate your night vision goggles.

Now, you can easily run around and look for your objective without worrying about the guards seeing you. You need to hurry and find a laptop before the backup generator comes online. The laptop spawns in a random location every time, but it will always be inside one of the cubicles or buildings inside the hangar.

When you are near the laptop, it will be shown on your mini-map, so do not worry a lot and run around in the cubicles. As soon as you find the laptop, use it to unlock the hangar door.

Note that as soon as you unlock the hangar door, all the guards will be alerted of your presence. You will need to run to the plane and enter it quickly. Thankfully, there won't be any sitting animation. You need to make sure your health and body armor are full while making your way to the plane, as you will get shot at from every direction.

Once inside the plane, exit the hangar and fly high to lose the cops. Unfortunately, you cannot call Lester to lose the cops. Once you've lost the cops, deliver the Alkonost to Miguel's Hangar at the airport to complete this mission.

Part 2: Pilot

The second part of the mission requires you to arrange a qualified pilot for this plane. Luckily, there's a pilot who needs help getting rid of some people he owes money to. If you help him out, he will join you.

You need to head over to a specific house full of loan sharks. You must kill them all and clear the house of all the loan sharks, including the unarmed. After killing everyone, leave the house and lose the cops to complete the prep mission.

The pilot mission is also part of the Helicopter Stealth Annihilator prep mission that requires you to arrange the pilot. You can do the pilot mission as part of either one of these missions, and it will be counted as completed towards both of these missions. You do not have to repeat the pilot mission.

Plane: Velum (Optional)

This optional mission is straightforward. You need to head over to a location where a drug deal is taking place. There will be a Velum plane there that you need to steal and deliver to the drop-off point.

Please do not use any explosives to take out the enemies there as it may lead to the destruction of the plane and ultimately the failure of the prep mission. Take out the enemies first and then fly the plane to the drop-off point.

You can pick off the enemies using your regular AR from a distance. Just make sure you have enough snacks and body armor to survive the fight.

Helicopter Stealth Annihilator (Optional)

Part 1: Stealth Annihilator

For this two-part optional mission, you can get different locations but with the same objective of stealing the stealth helicopter. Do not use any air vehicle to approach the objective site as there are air defenses that will take you out in a single hit.

Go to the location on foot, or in our case, using one of the speedboats, to reach the Yacht. The stealth helicopter was on a Yacht at Elysian Island (one of the locations). You will need a good number of snacks and body armor as this mission will put you in a heavy combat scenario.

You will need to fight your way to the control room and hack the laptop to disable the area's air defense system. Once the system is disabled, make your way to the stealth helicopter. Two attack helicopters will spawn in. Take them out first. They will spawn four times before disappearing for good.

After getting rid of them, fly the stealth helicopter to the drop-off point to complete this prep mission.

Part 2: Pilot

As mentioned above, the pilot mission can be done on either the stealth Annihilator or the Alkonost. The pilot mission will be completed in both the missions, and you won't have to do the mission twice. You have to go to a specific location and take out the loan sharks to complete this prep mission.

Boat: Patrol Boat (Optional)

In this optional mission, you are tasked to go to the docks and steal a patrol boat. This mission is not as easy as the other missions, but our guide will give you a good strategy to finish the mission easily.

Before starting this mission, it is best to buy the maximum number of heavy body armor and snacks. Your survival essentially relies on the armor and snacks you take into this mission with you. You can get two different locations for this mission but with the same objective - to steal the patrol boat.

The first location is the Merryweather HQ, where you will take down the Merryweather soldiers and open the gate to drive the boat out of the big warehouse docks. The second location is called Galilee, where you eliminate some smugglers at the docks to get a local patrol boat's attention.

We got Galilee as our location to eliminate some smugglers and attract a patrol boat at our location. Note that the boat will come at the docks and instantly make a u-turn trying to make a run for it, which will make it difficult to steal the boat.

The best thing to do is get your Sniper Rifle out and keep an eye out for the patrol boat. You will see a boat approaching your location. You need to kill the boat driver, swim to the boat, take out the gunner on-board, and take control of the boat.

Once you have control of the boat, you will need to make your way to the open ocean. Now the hard part starts. You will have two routes to take - Raton Canyon River or Zancudo River. Take the Raton Canyon river as it is closer to the drop-off point.

As you make your way to the river, two attack helicopters will spawn, and they will constantly shoot you, depleting your armor and health. The best way to avoid death here is to keep your armor menu open and keep using the armor as soon as your armor depletes completely.

Once you run out of armor, switch over to your snacks menu, and keep eating to regain health as you drive the boat to the ocean. Halfway through the river, you will be attacked by more Merryweather soldiers. It can get intense, but it shouldn't be a problem as long as you keep an eye out for your armor and health bar.

When you reach the ocean, the enemies and the attack helicopters will disappear. You can then drive your boat to the drop-off point to complete this prep mission.

Boat: Longfin (Optional)

You need to steal a longfin boat from the police station using a tow truck in this optional mission. This mission can also have different locations, but always the same objective.

You will be asked to make your way to the police station (we got Vespucci Beach Police Station). As you are making your way to the police station, Pavel will send you tow trucks' locations.

You must steal one of the tow trucks and go to the police station. Here's a quick tip for when you reach the police station - do not drive into the station head-on. You must reverse your truck into the station and to the boat trailer.

As soon as you enter the station, you are going to get shot at from every direction. You probably won't have enough space and opportunity to change direction amidst the cops shooting at you. Just reverse into the trailer, and it will attach automatically.

After the trailer attaches, lose the cops and then deliver the longfin boat at the docks to complete the mission.


There are four equipment prep missions that you can do, three of which are mandatory, as mentioned above. These prep missions are as follows:

Demolition Charges (Mandatory)

In this mission, you need to head over to the Grapeseed Train Depot and search for the demolition charges. However, you run into some O'Neil Brothers. Take them out at the depot and approach the location if you are in an air vehicle, such as an Oppressor Mark II, to trigger this mission's next part.

Next up, Pavel will ask you to head over to the O'Neil Brothers' ranch to get the demolition charges. Go there, eliminate the brothers there, and make your way to their house basement.

When you reach the basement door, it will be locked. You need to get the keycard to enter the basement where the demolition charges are.

You will notice some more O'Neil Brothers approaching the ranch in their trucks. Take them out as one of them will have the keycard to unlock the basement door.

Unlock the door and get inside the basement to find two more O'Neil Brothers.

Take them out and get the charges. Return the demolition charges to the submarine to complete this mandatory prep mission.

Safe Code (Mandatory)

In this mandatory prep mission, you are tasked to obtain El Rubio's safe code from his head of security. The head of security is staying at the Diamond Casino Resort. It's best to stock up on some snacks and heavy armor as you will need it later in the mission.

Make your way to the Casino and go to the penthouse. If you are a VIP member, make your way to the elevator, and you will be taken to the penthouse. If not, then use the roof or sneak your way through the staff stairs.

Pavel would have sent you the picture of what the head of security looks like. Check your phone's messages to see his picture.

Look around the penthouse for a room with two bodyguards outside and take them out silently. Use a suppressed weapon to take a headshot of both of them in quick succession.

This is important as it won't alert anyone inside the room, making it easier for you to search for the target. No one will suspect you of anything, and you can run around the penthouse without any detection.

When you are near the target, he will appear on your mini-map. Take him out and search his body for the safe codes. The target always spawns in a random location in the penthouse.

Exit the penthouse and escape the cops to complete this mandatory prep mission. These safe codes are used to open the main safe during the heist to acquire the Madrazo Files.

Fingerprint Cloner (Mandatory)

In this mandatory mission, you are tasked to retrieve a fingerprint cloner, used to access the elevator door in El Rubio's office, that will take you to the basement.

First, you need to make your way to the warehouse to find the archives' location where the fingerprint cloner can be found. The warehouse will have a circuit breaker to the left of its main entrance. Use the switch to disable the cameras. This will help you enter without alerting the guards inside. If you do not take the cameras out, the guards will pre-aim and start shooting at you as soon as you enter the warehouse.

Eliminate the guards and hack the laptop to find the location of the archives. If you've played the Diamond Casino heist, then you will be familiar with this hacking style where you must align all the red letters to make up a word.

Once you get the archives' location, you need to make your way there and destroy the cameras by shooting them to avoid any more guards spawning.

Enter the building and look for the cloner device on one of the tables inside the building. The cloner will be indicated on your mini-map whenever you are near the device.

Return the device to the submarine to complete this prep mission successfully.

Cutting Torch (Optional)

This is an optional mission where you must retrieve a cutting torch from a construction site. You can get different construction site locations, but with the same mission of finding and retrieving the cutting torch. The cutting torch is used to cut open the metal grate underwater used to enter the compound.

The construction site will be heavily guarded. Take out the guards before searching the location for the cutting torch.

There will be several toolboxes at the location with a green arrow hovering over them. Approach them to identify whether they have the torch in them or not.

The cutting torch is blue in color, and you will get a prompt to pick it up. The locations of all the toolboxes are random every time you get this mission.

Deliver the cutting torch to your submarine to complete this optional prep mission.

Weapons Loadout (Mandatory)

There are five main weapon loadouts that you can choose from. You can choose any weapon loadout. The missions will always be similar to each other with different locations.

If you are planning for an aggressive approach, then the Aggressor and the Conspirator are good options. But, if you want to sneak your way in then the Crack Shot is recommended. Do not forget to buy the suppressors for your weapons should you choose to go with the sneak approach.

You will be asked to go to one of the skyscraper buildings to retrieve the unmarked weapons. You can either enter the building head-on or use the roof access to enter the office level directly. We recommend using the roof access for easier escape later on.

Once inside, clear the office of all the guards. You need to look for a secret weapons locker inside the office.

The weapons locker is hidden behind a secret wall compartment that you won't be able to open up on the first try.

You must hack the laptop on the table to open the locker.

Once again, the hacking system isn't anything new. It is similar to the one seen during the Diamond Casino Heist. You need to find the matching number sequence and select it to hack successfully.

Disruptions (Optional)

As mentioned above, Disruption missions are like the Duggan Shipments from the Casino Heist separated into a three-part mission. These are not necessary, but completing them will provide an added advantage during the heist. The following are the three disruption missions.


In this optional prep mission, you must eliminate El Rubio's arms dealers. There are always three dealers spread all around the map. You only get 10:00 minutes to take them all out.

If you manage to take them all out within 10:00 minutes, the damage done by El Rubio's guard's weapons during the heist is reduced significantly. You only get one chance at this mission every heist. Do not worry, as each dealer eliminated decreases the weapon damage.

This means even if you took two of the three dealers, you should see some considerable difference in the damage dealt during the heist.

It is highly recommended that you either use an Oppressor Mark II or a Buzzard helicopter to reach the targets faster. The homing missiles on these vehicles are useless as they won't lock on to the targets. They will be used solely to go from point A to point B.

This is the reason why you can even use the Sparrow helicopter (if you've bought one) to go to the arms dealers. Another quick tip for all disruption missions is to press the handbrake button once in the air if you use the Oppressor Mark II. Your Oppressor will reach the maximum speed of 130 km/h.

The Oppressor will descend gradually, but you can gain altitude and repeat the same. You will reach the targets much faster by following this strategy. Eliminate all the dealers to weaken the weapon damage of the guards during the heist finale. You do not have to kill the surrounding enemies. Focus fire on the dealers and eliminate them only, and then move on to the next one.

Note that you will also come across heavily armored dealers. An efficient way to eliminate them is using RPG or explosive weapons.


In this optional prep mission, you will be tasked to destroy the armor shipments scheduled to reach Cayo Perico island for El Rubio's security guards. If you manage to destroy them all within 10:00 minutes, the guards will not have any armor during the heist finale.

First, you will be asked to go to a warehouse to find several crates outside the warehouse. Destroy them all using explosive weapons such as a grenade launcher or RPG.

Then you will need to enter the warehouse. You will find more enemies inside the warehouse with more crates.

After clearing the warehouse, Pavel will inform you that another shipment is leaving on a boat. Make your way to the boat and destroy the last shipment.

Once you've destroyed the last shipment, this optional disruption mission will be completed.

Air Support

Out of all three disruption missions, this is the most important one. When the guards are alerted during the heist finale, El Rubio sends his security helicopters to patrol and find you. If you manage to complete this mission within 10:00 minutes, the guards won't have any helicopters to patrol the island.

In this mission, you must destroy El Rubio's Buzzards intended for security on the island. You will only get 10:00 minutes to take them all out. If you destroy all the Buzzards, the guards won't have access to the Buzzards when alerted, as mentioned before.

You only get one chance at this mission every heist. A Buzzard or an Oppressor Mark II would be super useful for the completion of this mission. We highly recommend using the Oppressor if you have one. Use the same handbrake technique stated above to reach all the targets quicker.

There are a total of 10 Buzzards that must be destroyed within 10:00 minutes. You get a total of 20 missiles in your Oppressor Mark II. Make sure you use them efficiently.

The homing missiles do not lock onto the targets and so a good trick here is to lock onto the guards standing near the Buzzards at the site. If you fire the missiles at those guards, the explosion's impact also takes out the surrounding Buzzards.

Destroy all 10 Buzzards to ensure the guards won't have access to any choppers during the heist finale.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to restart Cayo Perico Heist Prep?

To restart a Cayo Perico Heist prep mission, you have two options. First, you can leave the mission area, which will result in a mission failure. Once you return to the planning screen, you can start the prep again. Alternatively, you can call Pavel and request a new prep mission, which will replace the one you want to restart.

How to quit Cayo Perico Heist Prep?

To quit a Cayo Perico Heist prep mission, you can choose "Quit Job" through the Interaction Menu, leave the mission area, or simply close the game. Keep in mind that quitting a Cayo Perico Heist prep mission will result in a mission failure, and you may need to restart the prep mission from the beginning when you decide to attempt it again.

Can you do Cayo Perico Heist Prep with friends?

Yes, the Cayo Perico Heist allows you to complete the preparation missions as a team, providing a cooperative multiplayer experience. You can invite your friends to join you or accept an invite and join their session. Working together with friends can make the prep missions easier and more enjoyable.

How long does Cayo Perico Heist Prep take?

On average, the time required to complete the Cayo Perico Heist prep missions can range from 1 to 3 hours, depending on the number of players, their experience and skill level, the chosen approach, and the efficiency of the team. You can use our guide above to make things easier and faster.


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Hassan Sajid

Hassan Sajid // Articles: 78

Hassan has been playing games ever since he was a kid. He started off with the PSX and PS2 and now games on a PC. Although he graduated with a degree in process operation & maintenance engineering from the National University Science & Technology (erstwhile known as Caledonian College of Engineering), his love for gaming never faded with his engineering study endeavors. Hassan's first Grand Theft Auto game was Vice City and ever since that he has been hooked on the Grand Theft Auto Series. Ultimately, GTA San Andreas is Hassan's favorite. Along with GTA games, he is a huge fan of the Call Of Duty series, as well as Assassins Creed and Red Dead Redemption 2.