If you ever visit any kind of message board which deals with GTA Online, the multitude of threads on the topic would have convinced you that having to play heists with random players instead of people you know is a nightmare. Currently, heists remain to be the most lucrative of activities in GTA Online, with VIP work trailing behind in second place.
As such, it is understandable if players want their capers to go well. Considering the amount of work that goes into the set-up missions and the funding provided by the heist leader, players have quite a bit riding on their success, That success depends on team coordination and cooperation as well as the skill of the individual members.
People are quick to assume that low-level players, or quite simply players they do not know, don't cut it when heisting. While this may sometimes be the case, usually the average GTA Online player is actually quite competent.
If connecting with known friends with microphones is not an option, these following tips will help you pull off successful heists with random players, even if some of them have no mics.
One of the most basic and yet most common mistake is not forming a party. Communication is the backbone of a successful heist and being in a party makes it much easier. Even if some of your team-mates don't have mics of their own, they can hear you and your instructions.
Being a heist leader means more than just getting a bigger cut. As the leader, you'll actually need to have a plan ready. Don't play drill sergeant and act like a boss. Assign roles to your team, direct them and provide clear instructions in good time.
The other thing about being a leader is motivating your team. If someone messes up, don't rip them a new one over the mic. People screw up sometimes, it happens - it's bound to have happened to you as well more than once. Try to give them tips to avoid future mistakes.
The best way to avoid needless deaths in heist is by having everyone equip a heavy vest. Most players new to heists will be unaware of the beneficial effects these have. In a heist, an outfit including the heavy vest halves all damage taken.
Before kicking off the heist, you should ask your team-mates if they all have the vest and a saved outfit with it. If not, educate them in the merits of the heavy vest, escort them to a nearby store and have them buy and equip it.
Most people will be thankful for these kinds of tips and the heavy vest is part of the essential heist gear. Countless firefights put players into positions where winning is near impossible without the vests unless you're among the top 1% of skilled players in the game.
Running out of armor, or ammo god forbid, is a guaranteed death sentence in a heist. During the set-up missions, you still have access to the Ammunation stores allowing to stock up. Lower level players don't have sufficient armor capacity to last through the whole heist, so this will be necessary in some cases.
When you're playing with randoms, there is a chance that they're low levels with no experience in running heists. With a team like that, you might want to set the heist to normal difficulty.
Sure, the final payout for a normal heist is smaller, however a decreased reward is better than failure, no? Going through a successful normal heist with randoms will allow them to learn the ropes - and who knows, maybe they'll roll with you in the future.
Which brings us to our next tip - if a random you play with is skilled and can communicate well, add them to your friends list. If you play with randoms a few times, you'll encounter enough skilled players to fill up your friends list with a diverse pool of potential partners in crime. Get enough buddies, chances are there will always be enough of them online to get together a heist crew.
If you don't have a crew of group of friends from the get go, playing with randoms is the only way to go - however, do it for a short while and those randoms won't be randoms any more. A dedicated heist team isn't that hard to gather.
You also need to know when to say no. It may seem cruel, but anyone under the threshold of rank 40 and no microphone, you might want to cut them loose. Someone with a mic might be able to coordinate well enough to make up for it, but a silent sub-40 is a liability.
What are your experiences with running heists in GTA Online with random players? Feel free to share your in-game moniker and platform in the comments to gather a heist crew of your own.