While money may be the boss in GTA Online, it doesn't give you the skills or tools needed to acquire funds and protect your wealth in the shark eat shark world of Los Santos and Blaine County.
Reputation (RP) in the criminal underworld gains you respect and - more importantly - the fear of your lessers.
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Rank means you can put your money where your mouth is and bullets where your enemies' mouths are. As the old saying goes, "with infamy comes grenade launchers and body armor", so don't fall into the mistake of thinking that money is the only thing you need much of.
New players might be lulled into the false sense of security that ranking up is a breeze in the game, seeing as everyone complains about how hard it is to farm cash. However the only difference is that while you always lose - and therefore need to re-acquire - cash, once you've bagged some RP it never goes away.
How Hard Is It?
But climbing that particular ladder is no easy task, mind you. Some missions grant more RP than others. Some just don't have a good effort to reward ratio. Faffing about in Freemode sure as hell won't help you achieve your goals either.
Just like in the case of getting cash, you can always just opt for the method of tossing your hands up in the air and saying "hell with it, I'm just going to play however I like". You'll probably end up having significantly more fun than anyone else, but get used to seeing other characters leveling up a lot quicker than you.
However, unlike in the case of acquiring money, you don't have the option to buy your way to fame. While Shark Cards allow you to decided how much your time is worth, you have to rank up the hard way no matter how thick your real life wallet is.
And while ranking up unlocks new toys along the way which make things easier, with each rank you unlock, the next one will require more RP and the missions keep getting harder as well.
As for unlocks, the last thing you'll get is a body armor carry capacity upgrade at level 135 - once you've hit that number, there is no need to grind anymore. While 8,000 is the maximum attainable rank in the game, there is barely any difference between that level and any rank above the 135 mark.
RP boundaries follow an exact formula from rank 100 and above, however before that there isn't a set increase in required points. While you'll be done with the longer part of the process by that point (hitting level 100), some of the neatest unlocks happen after 100, so this can be handy regardless.
f(x)=25x2 + 23,575x - 1,023,150 (x = rank)
There are a lot more ways to gain RP than there are for cash. You are rewarded with RP for completing missions, losing heat, killing players, collecting special cars, daily objectives, jobs, challenges and more. Some techniques are ideal for solo players, while others work best for groups.
In this guide, we'll collect all the best methods for acquiring RP quickly and reliably, helping you climb the ranks of GTA Online quickly. Like in most MMOs these days (even though GTA Online isn't a typical MMO, strictly speaking) the end game is what matters. This article will be updated over time as new methods are discovered.
Section 1: Lone Wolf
While the whole point of GTA Online lies in the multiplayer aspect - hence the "Online" bit - some players may prefer going it solo instead of rolling with a squad. It's true that gaining RP is easier when done in packs, but even the loners need a way to level up.
GTA Online has a nifty feature where you can select different job playlists that string together a few jobs for you themselves, handing you a clear path of progression. Of these playlists, Deathmatch and Capture playlists are the best in terms of RP gain. There is also an added bonus for completing a given playlist, as opposed to just playing multiple jobs one after another individually.
Rule of thumb in terms of RP is that the longer a job lasts, the more RP you get. These playlists are by far the best way to farm RP - even in groups - as the lengthiest ones pay out up to 10,000 RP when completed. Granted, you'll be spending a lot of time with them, but hey, you want that heavy sniper, right?
The whole "longer mission = more RP" rule isn't just a general guideline for how much you'll possibly earn - it is a literal mechanic in the game. Funnily enough, the less time you spend in a mission, the less RP you get. Why the game punishes people for being skilled is beyond us, but we digress.
Typically, you gain the maximum potential RP at the 15 minute mark for missions. Several missions are actually relatively easy to do alone on Hard, even if the recommended number of players is 2. Solo missions are also good for the following technique.
Basically, since missions don't boot you out automatically when you've completed an objective, once you're done, you shouldn't complete the mission. Stretch your legs, make a cup of coffee, play with your dog or something while the 15 minutes pass.
A fan-favorite mission to do this is Pier Pressure. You can eliminate the enemies fairly quickly, after which you can either go AFK or take advantage of the lack of police by increasing your strength skill via punching everyone.
You can read about the importance of increasing your skills and how to do it here.