Making money is the name of the game in GTA Online. Well, that and destruction and doing whatever the heck else you want! The guide is about money though, so read on to discover the fastest, most fun and easiest ways to make loads of cash in GTA Online...
MONEY GUIDE VIDEOS
How to Make Money in GTA Online
Making money in GTA Online is both the primary goal of the game and also notoriously difficult. The prices of high-end or even mid-range goods is pretty darn high in relation to the payouts players receive upon completing any of the missions. Most updates tend to add more expensive stuff to the game, rather than expand the options for players with a tight virtual budget.
Of course, this does make some sense. It forces players to dedicate quite a bit of time to playing if they want all the newest gear, which in turn makes the prospect of buying Shark Cards all the more enticing. Shark Cards are the microtransaction system implemented in GTA Online, which allows players to purchase in-game funds with real money.
Not only does this system allow Rockstar to continuously release free DLC updates for GTA Online, but it also allows players to pick what they value more: time, or money? While there is a small vocal minority active within the GTA community that cries foul on Shark Cards at every turn on the internet, the cards are extremely popular, having generated over half a billion USD in profits.
Then again, saying that acquiring large sums of cash in GTA Online is hard is a bit of an exaggeration. There are plenty of completely legitimate ways of acquiring cash in the game at a brisk pace. There are also some not so legitimate ways of acquiring cash, however these will get you banned, ridiculed and condemned to a very special circle in hell. Seriously. Don't.
$500K an Hour in GTA Online
In the video below we show you, step by step, how to earn GTA$500,000 in under an hour in GTA Online. It involves a mix of different CEO missions, including Import/Export and there are very few requirements. A written guide to this method can also be found on GTABOOM here.
If you happen to ask players on any GTA related community forum how to make money quick, 99% of replies will tell you to grind heists, specifically the Pacific Standard Job. The final of the five heists, Pac Stan as the community has dubbed it, has the biggest payout. The Pacific Standard Job once benefitted from the famous and popular Kuruma glitch, however unfortunately this was patched in late January, 2017. Nonetheless, the finale can still be completed with near-maximum payouts without the glitch, though it will be difficult with randoms due to a lack of communication.
Basically, after passing the checkpoint for the bikes, the scripting will cause police to not shoot at you unless you shoot at them first. Only the helicopers will take shots, but those are easy to avoid. Basically, you just need to get your best driver to grab a four-seater car of any kind, and drive the team to the dinghy without anyone firing at the police. This way you can also avoid damage, and therefore not lose cash from the final payout.
While heisting with randoms has become something of a dreaded activity, it is hardly as bad as most people say. In fact, a recent study shows that heists done with random players have an extremely high success rate. Even so, having to rely on any odd player does have its difficulties, which is why we compiled a comprehensive "how to heist with randoms" guide some time ago.
Heists also include the option for the host to set the payout percentages for every participant. Since we're all here to make money, you should make sure you're not being screwed over. However, you should also check your expectations and avoid asking for more than you deserve. We've put together a rough guideline for how payouts should be distributed in each heist.
While heists are the most complex and lucrative jobs in GTA Online, even they can get boring after a long grinding streak. There are plenty of other options out there and we suggest you diversify - grinding will quickly lead to boredom.
Heists Round Two - Set Ups
Don't have the time for a heist finale? Luckily, the game gives players the option to only join in on heist set-up missions, so you don't necessarily have to invest the time of going through all the set-up missions and the finale. If you're on a schedule, you can hop in for just one or two of the set-ups - they pay well and usually there is a very high success rate, even more so than with the finales. You'll be making good money in relatively little time, so it is definitely a method to consider.
Trafficking Illegal Goods
The recently released Further Adventures in Finance and Felony has added an all new way of gaining money to GTA Online - however this method requires some up-front investment and as such is recommended for players who already have themselves set up with a decent amount of cash, but want to rise up to the level of being extremely rich. You can't even start doing this unless you have a spare $GTA ~1.5 million kicking around.
You'll also need to prepare yourself mentally for the fact that this won't turn an instant profit. In fact, it could be days before you make back your initial investment, depending on frivolous you were. However, once the business gets rolling, you'll be making more than you can spend.
Well, almost, anyway.
You'll firstly need to buy yourself a corporate office which will work as a HQ for your criminal enterprise. There are four of these new property types, starting at $GTA 1 million for the cheapest with no bonuses (though you'll definitely want that weapon locker). Then, you'll need a warehouse - no need to buy a large one right off the bat. Finally, you'll need some goods, so initiate a buy mission. You might want to do this in an otherwise empty public session, or you'll soon be attacked by ravenous 12 year old squeakers piloting Hydras.
So, now you have an office, a warehouse, and some goods to fill the shelves. Time to make some money, right?
As time goes by, you'll be able to upgrade to larger warehouses, buy and therefore sell more goods, afford better protection and when the business gets rolling you'll soon find that those sweet yachts are actually pretty affordable.
When the Executives and Other Criminals DLC was released last December, the all new VIP and bodyguard system introduced new ways of acquiring cash that rivaled heists - when done right.
VIP mission have pretty great payouts across the board, so if you're not too stingy with efficiency, just get together with some mates as your bodyguards and have at them in whatever order you please. While gaining cash might be the immediate goal here, don't forget to actually have fun while playing.
If you're really hurting for some green, however, there is an efficient but somewhat grindy technique which can get you a much better time to reward ratio than heists.
Basically, there are two missions situated near one another that you need to grind. For this method, you'll do best to give your bodyguards a day off, as going solo will be the fastest approach. The two missions you'll be alternating between will be "Sightseer" and "Hostile Takeover LSIA".
Sightseer will take around 5 minutes to finish and pay you a base reward GTA $20,000, with a bonus ranging from GTA$ 500 to 2,500. The payment is also based on the amount of time it takes to complete the mission. If you cross the 5 minute mark, you'll get an additional $500 every 30 seconds up to a maximum total reward of GTA$ 25,000 at around 10 minutes. The most ideal technique here is to opt for a quick and light bike to speed through the mission with.
Hostile Takeover LSIA will be accessible 5 minutes after Sightseer. In that time, hop on over to your nearest garage and pick up an Armored Kuruma. Once the cooldown is over, drive to the airport and start the mission.
This one will reward you with GTA $16,000-19,000 and take another five minutes. You really just need to ram through anything that gets between you and the package, race back out and you're golden.
This method will net you GTA $160,000-164,000 per hour in total. Then again, you could omit Hostile Takeover altogether and grind Sightseer for a higher pay-per-hour rate, but that would get very boring very quickly.
On the same page, the whole VIP setup can be beneficial to all involved if done right. As a VIP, you take a cut from any cash acquired by your bodyguards while they're on the clock, unless it comes from VIP Challenges. These challenges are for bodyguards only and have pretty sweet payouts.
During regular play, your bodyguards will end up diverting a lot of cash into your pockets. You should reward them with plenty of VIP challenges so they too turn a profit during their employment.
Become a Bodyguard
There are plenty of aspiring VIPs out there in need of protection. Whenever you are a bodyguard hired by an active VIP, you will get paid $GTA 5K every 15 minutes in addition to any winnings made from VIP jobs or challenges on top of a 100 RP bonus per minute. While other sources of income will benefit the VIP, not you, this fixed wage on top of the pretty lucrative VIP work will get you loaded in no time.
You'd be surprised how many people disregard these. They usually take minimal effort and completing all three per day will net you a bonus $GTA 30,000 and 5,000 RP. Doing this for 7 days straight will boost that bonus to $GTA 150,000 and 20,000 RP (once every 7 days), while doing it for 28 days will get you the monthly bonus of $GTA 750,000 and 50,000 RP. Seeing as these really are simple to complete, doing them will help the cash add up. Even if you won't be too strict on yourself with achieving the monthly bonus, those daily $25,000s can make a huge difference in the long run.
There is also another running cumulative bonus that you get when you complete your 10th, 20th, 50th and 100th activity. These have payouts of as many thousand in cash as the number of activities you've achieved.
Daily objectives really do much to boost your cash. In one month, the maximum payout from daily objectives is $1,580,000 plus the additional rewards you get for the objectives themselves (meaning the payout for a job, etc). When you're building up cash over a period of time, that bonus certainly comes in handy - it's the price of a fully customized lowrider, after all.
Plus, see our tips under "Lend Yourself A Hand" below to learn how to double or even triple the daily objective bonuses!