With the release of After Hours for Grand Theft Auto Online we were treated to the biggest content drop of 2018 to date.
The new nightclubs combine existing businesses, while being a new business unto themselves, and alter the mechanics of money making in the game drastically, leaving us with a lot to untangle.
After Hours brings so much to the table that diving into it might be a tad intimidating at first - we're here to make it more welcoming.
Turning your nightclub into a source of passive income while supporting your other businesses is one of the more complex challenges GTA Online has thrown at its players and it can take a while to get set up.
This guide will be looking at both the nightclub business itself as well as the business consolidation angle with the combined warehouse.
Purchasing and Setting Up Your Nightclub
Nightclubs can be purchased in the foreclosures section of the Maze-Bank website. Access it via the "Internet" icon on your in-game cellphone. There'll you find a total of 10 different nightclub locations in urban Los Santos, with prices ranging from GTA$ 1,080,000 to GTA$ 1,700,000.
We suggest you choose the location most handy and convenient for you. There will also be several different styles and other cosmetic features of your nightclub that you may wish to splurge on - all completely optional.
Once you've bought your nightclub and watched the opening cut-scene you'll need to open the computer in your main office (on the top floor behind the "VIP" door) and then complete 3 objective missions to actually open your nightclub: (1) pick up three staff members who will be located around Los Santos and indicated on your map; (2) steal a Festival bus from the desert and bring it back to your nightclub; and (3) pick up your DJ from Los Santos International Airport.
The first DJ available at launch is Solomun. Tale Of Us will arrive on July 31, Dixon on August 7, and finally The Black Madonna on August 14.
Once all that is done you just need to make a few final decisions (such as entrance fees and restricted access areas) and your club will be open for business.
Nightclub Versus Warehouse
Your nightclub, as an independent business, has no effect on how the joined warehouse functions. The two are entirely separate, so if you don't particularly care about the nightclub, you can just not interact with it while still reaping the benefits of the consolidated warehouse. Both provide passive income, however.
The Nightclub Business
Your nightclub doesn't just contain your warehouse and three levels of garage space, but is an independent business on its own.
While you'll see through this guide that it is far from the most profitable one, it does come with several fun gameplay perks to keeping your nightclub running. You might best be served to think of them as less of a method to make money, instead viewing them as a way to entertain yourself.
First of all, nightclubs have periodical utility fees, clocking in at GTA$ 1750 every 48 minutes. While not high, this can add up and the best way to compensate is via keeping nightclub income high. When you have well running businesses this isn't an issue in any regard, so it only really matters early on.
Your nightclub has a popularity meter. This stat depletes steadily over time - at a rate of 5% per in-game day/48 minutes real-time, and can be increased by doing nightclub side missions, which are pretty short and easy for the most part. Popularity can also be increased by swapping DJs, with every GTA$ 10,000 spent on marketing being worth 10% popularity - therefore "buying" 100% popularity would cost GTA$ 100,000, provided you have the Staff upgrade.
Nightclub Passive Income
A nightclub at full popularity generates GTA$ 10,000 of passive income every 48 minutes. This more than covers utilities, and again, even though it doesn't seem much, does add up over time. Keeping popularity high by doing the side missions doesn't take too much effort and gives you a solid income base. The table below illustrates how much your popularity affects your passive icome:
|5% or lower||$100|
Alternate Popularity Boost
An alternate way of boosting your popularity is by destroying the advertising vans of other players who are doing nightclub missions to increase their own popularity. We wouldn't recommend this however as it yields much less popularity than actually doing the missions yourself.
You can upgrade your nightclub with staff, security and equipment.
- Security Upgrade – GTA$ 695,000
- Staff Upgrade - GTA$ 475,000
- Equipment Upgrade - GTA$ 1,425,000
Staff upgrades reduce the rate of popularity decay while security functions much like in any other business - it decreases the probability of your business getting raided. For nightclubs, a raid will result in popularity loss. Finally, equipment upgrades will allow your technicians to produce supplies more quickly (more on that below).
In a more minor feature, popularity loss will also disable the more expensive items on the drink menu.
While you can customize the interior of your club, this doesn't affect stats or popularity. As you earn more money through it and complete Business Battles activities, Tony's desk will be updated with little trophies commemorating your progress. These too are purely cosmetic.
Business Battles are a new freemode activity that will occur periodically in your game lobby. You need to beat the other players and secure a shipment that will be dropped to a random location on the map.
An additional way to gain income from the nightclub is by setting an entrance fee. This only affects other players entering the nightclub, not NPCs, so it isn't a guaranteed source of income, but know it's there can help. You can also set guest permissions for the various rooms and facilities of your nightclub.
The business consolidation feature of the nightclub warehouse is where things become more lucrative, and a whole lot more complicated as well.
Not only does the nightclub warehouse allow for the convenience of managing your businesses from one place, but it also changes how you go about it. This is a massive structural shift compared to how GTA Online has worked for the past few years and is the biggest mechanical change brought about by this DLC.
Currently, the nightclub warehouse can store supplies for all other business types present in GTA Online except for vehicle cargo (Import/Export). The warehouse isn't just a combined tally of your other warehouses, but is independent of them - this is important for sales and income calculation.
The basement space that comes with your nightclub can store up to 72 crates out of the gate, and you can purchase 4 additional floors with the same capacity for a maximum of 360 crates. Plus the free Vapid Speedo Custom that you get when purchasing a club can also hold up to 119 crates at any one time.
You can hire a maximum of 5 technicians who then automatically generate supplies for any given product.
This takes a lot of time, varying based on the product selected. The warehouse comes with one technician and the rest need to be bought separately, with each costing more than the first.
The exact costs are as follows:
- Technician - Free
- Technician - GTA$ 141,000
- Technician - GTA$ 184,500
- Technician - GTA$ 240,500
- Technician - GTA$ 312,000
The total cost of buying all 4 additional technicians is GTA$ 878,000.
However, seeing as your previous/"normal" warehouses are considered separate, you can also conduct businesses as usual, like you have until now, vastly increasing your ability to earn profit.
It also enables you to turn your businesses into a source of passive income, as with technicians filling up your warehouse all you are left with having to actually do is sell.
Note that the nightclub warehouse doesn't automatically unlock the other business types on its own - you can only accrue supplies for businesses you have acquired otherwise.
Tony takes a 10% cut of all sales on product acquired through technicians (his fee for laundering the money), but even then you can still be left with an impressive passive income coming from the nightclub. Technicians sourcing supplies don't cost anything and all they need to operate is for you to have an active business in the relevant category.
If you play your cards right, you can make up to GTA$ 60,000 and hour with basically zero effort. We also recommend that you upgrade your warehouse further with additional storage, this will lead to maximum profit.
Here is a rundown of the various business types supported and how the products stack up if you maximise the quantity produced (and therefore the payout) of each.
Printing & Copying (Bikers Document Forgery)
- Total production time: 15 hours
- Value: $60,000 (60 units x $1,000)
- Earnings per hour: $4,000/hour
Organic Produce (Bikers Marijuana Farm)
- Total production time 26.66 hours
- Value: $120,000 (80 units x $1,500)
- Earnings per hour: $4,500/hour
Cash Creation (Bikers Counterfeiting)
- Total production time: 20 hours
- Value: $140,000 (40 units x $3,500)
- Earnings per hour: $7,000/hour
Sporting Goods (Gunrunning Weapons Manufacturing)
- Total production time: 66.66 hours
- Value: $500,000 (100 units x $5,000)
- Earnings per hour: $7,500/hour
Pharmaceutical Research (Bikers Meth Production Lab)
- Total production time: 20 hours
- Value: $170,000 (20 units x $8,500)
- Earnings per hour: $8,500/hour
Cargo and Shipments (Smuggler's Run Smuggled Cargo)
- Total production time: 58.33 hours
- Value: $500,000 (50 units x $10,000)
- Earnings per hour: $8,570/hour
South American Imports (Bikers Cocaine Warehouse)
- Total production time: 20 hours
- Value: $200,000 (10 units x $20,000)
- Earnings per hour: $10,000/hour
The above numbers also reflect production time after the equipment upgrades have been purchased, which increase technician efficiency.
Another way to speed up these production times is by completing Business Battle activities that net you free product which is added to the nightclub warehouse. These automatically occur every 15 minutes (real time) in public lobbies.
You sell your goods by accessing the computer in your nightclub office.
Occasionally, you will get special orders. These work similarly to special cargo in Further Adventures In Finance And Felony, however the bonus is much smaller - only 5%.
This means completing special orders only really makes sense on high-value product, which you should be focusing on anyway. On special orders, Tony's 10% is cut from the default amount, not the amount with the bonus applied, meaning you also have a higher profit margin.
Further After Hours Updates
It is possible that vehicle product will be added to the nightclub warehouse later on and additional features will be made available. It has been confirmed that new resident DJs will become available throughout the upcoming weeks, so it can be assumed that other content is also along the way.