GTA 5 Heists Guide (Story Mode)

This guide is for the story mode series of heists in GTA 5 (The Jewel Store Job to The Big Score). Our GTA Online heist series guide is here (The Fleeca Job to The Pacific Standard Job), while our guides to the Diamond Casino Heist are here: Big Con Approach, Silent & Sneaky and Aggressive Approach.

Here's all the GTA 5 single player heists:

In Grand Theft Auto 5 story/single player mode it is possible to earn varying amounts of money depending on the methods used to carry out each heist. If you follow the instructions below you’ll maximize the amount you can get. If you want more money maximizing hints and tips then check out our general cash hints here and our stock market specific tips here. They are especially useful given there is no money cheat!


Heist 1: The Jewel Store Job

On the first heist, the Jewel Store Job, choose Option B (Smart).

Take Rickie Lukens as your hacker. Other hackers may give you more time, but he will give you the perfect amount of time for this heist.

As for your gunman, you should unlock Packie McReary by completing his optional encounter. It is a random event in which he robs a store and needs help getting away. Once you help him, you can choose him for heists. He is just as good as Gustavo Mota, but hiring him is 2% cheaper. If you take Norm Richards as your gunman instead, he will crash during the getaway. You can grab his money by driving over his bag after the crash, which will give you more money, but you will lose Norm.

Take Karim Denz as your driver. The chase sequence will be more difficult, but he takes less of your money.

If you choose Option A instead, take Eddie Toh as your driver. He takes 6% more than Karim Denz, but will allow you to get $4,946,153 (the highest possible amount), which will leave you with $1,076,304 for Michael and $293,539 for Franklin, significant increases over the amounts you will get if you take Karim Denz along for Option A.

Score: Your total take should be a shade under $5 million with around $1.2 million going to Michael and just under $300K going to Franklin.

Heist 2: The Merryweather Heist

Due to narrative reasons, there is no money to be made in the Merryweather Heist, so your performance or actions will have no impact on the amount you gain. This is the first time the three protagonists run a heist together.

There are two possible paths you can take when playing this heist, which depends on choices made in one of the set up missions. If you picked the Offshore route, you will need to find a submarine, steal it and take it to a drop-off point. This sub will then be used to recover the target item underwater while using the Trackify application on the in-game phone. You'll need to take the item back to the shore with a helicopter while fighting through enemies.

The other route is the Freighter route. This sees you discovering the item inside a ship's wreckage instead of just on the seabed, but the rest of the mission is largely unchanged.

Score: $0

Heist 3: The Paleto Score

For the third heist, the Paleto Score, you lose money every time you or one of your crew is shot in the back. You start with a maximum possible score of $8,016,020, however the structure of the mission means there is an unavoidable GTA$ 20,000 loss.

If you used Packie McReary for the Jewel Store Job (Heist 1), take him as your gunman, because his stats will be raised from that heist. Otherwise, take Chef. Both cost 2% less than Gustavo Mota, even if he may be slightly superior.

On the other hand, if you choose either Norm Richards or Daryl Johns for the heist, you’ll be forced to leave that character behind. You can pick up his share for a higher take. If you want to do this we suggest using Daryl Johns (and leaving him behind) as Norm Richards can be good to use for the final heist.

Score: Your total take should be just over GTA$8 million with around GTA$ 425,000 - 464,000 going to each of Michael, Trevor and Franklin.

Heist 4: The Bureau Raid

For the fourth heist, the Bureau Raid, choose Option B (Roof Entry).

Take Rickie Lukens as your hacker (using a better hacker will have no effect) and select Norm Richards as your gunman.

As for your driver, you need to unlock Taliana Martinez by completing her optional encounter. It is a random encounter where she will be alongside the freeway in the northeast. Save her life by driving her to Sandy Shores in time. You need her as your driver because she is one of the best, and her price is 9% lower than Eddie Toh’s. On this heist, she will wait for you in an ambulance, so you completely avoid the police. If you do not have/want to unlock Taliana Martinez, take Karim Denz as your driver. If you used him in the first heist as well, he will also have an ambulance. Otherwise, you will need to escape the police in a van.

If you choose Option A, you will not get significantly less money than in Option B, but Norm Richards will die if you take him (and he is good to have for the last heist). Take Packie McReary and Gustavo Mota instead.

Score: Michael will get nothing with Franklin receiving around GTA$ 240,000 - 242,000.

Heist 5: The Big Score

For the fifth heist, the Big Score, choose Option B. It is possible to get $41,664,000 per character this way.

Take Taliana Martinez as your first driver. She will successfully fly the helicopter and only takes 5% of the money. Also take Karim Denz as your second driver, so that he drives the train. The gunmen are unnecessary, so take the two cheapest gunmen you can.

If you choose Option A, the maximum amount you can get is $34,892,000 per character. Once again, take Taliana Martinez and Karim Denz as your first and second drivers. Take either Packie McReary or Chef as your first gunman. Take Norm Richards or Daryl Johns as your second gunman. Either will save you a lot of money in this heist. Use Rickie Lukens as your hacker.

Score: Each of Trevor, Michael and Franklin should get over $41 million!


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  1. Ever since I unlocked Trevor, I’ve been going to the location where Taliana spawns and she isn’t spawning. I’ve been doing story mode since the beginning of this month.

  2. In the first heist I can get $29m for Micheal and around $5m for Franklin by playing the stock market after the mission. Micheal has to have done the Kafflon misson and Franklin must save money around $300k.

  3. I just wanted to add that for the second heist you should consider choosing the offshore approach. Neither approach pays more than the other, but the offshore approach will allow you to play with the Cargobob heavy-lift helicopter and Undersea Submersible whenever you want after having completing the mission this way. They're worth having as they allow you to have more fun with the game.

  4. The highest I got on The Big Score was:
    Chose A: 43,545,900 (Without killing Trevor)
    Chose B: 69,777,420 (Without killing Trevor) (Without Saving any money, no save issues, just a random money glitch)
    P.S. Killing trevor is where you get x1.4 more

    1. Yo you can look up “gta 5 cheats” and there should be a website that has the full list of them. It helped me a lot

    1. I agree, The Big Score, should be bigger where the crew takes atleast 2.5-4.5 BILLION and each character should have around 1.5 billion, now that's what I call: "The Big Score"

    1. Yeah the characters takin 41 million is too little, as because of the Golf CLub in Los Santos. But it should be bigger, like around 2.5-4.5 billion, and each character takes 1.3 billion, now that's what I call: "The Big Score"

  5. I am having a problem , can anyone help me out...i chose the subtle approach for the big one , and realised it was more fun in the obvious approach and money was more too , so can i change it , i am still collecting the cars for the first one

    Please help me

    1. You can change it in replay missions AFTER you finish it....but do The Big One and it will show you the plan again

  6. Was I suppost to get packie too on the big score because I did everything else and it still wouldn't give me the money. PS where do u find packie which store.

    1. Go to that big junction near Franklin's Aunt's house, where that little Cluckin' Bell (I think) stall is. Look on the radar and you will se a flashing blue blimp. There you go.

  7. the best property to buy is the scrapyard because a gas can just cost 50 and every car you blow up in san andreas gets you 150 its an easy way to make money if you now that a gas can can can destroy over 50 cars

    1. Hey guys. I need help with the stock market. I heard u can make just over 2 trillion. Before the big one

  8. how come you don't get paid for the big score, or how long does it take?I completed it and it said paid in a couple of days its been over a week?

    1. After the "Big Score" heist there is a looooong final mission that is triggered at Franklin's house. Even though the mission is triggered by Franklin you'll play as all 3 characters. I wont give away any spoilers, but it involves killing A LOT of people. After you finish this final mission is when you get paid for the "Big Score". If you're playing GTA Online add me. My screen name is "rivodeaux"

      1. Thanks mate, I am in Australia are you with PS3 or XBOX????
        I thought it was that Franklin mission I chose death-wish, as I did not want to kill off Trevor or Michael I have not done it yet, so then I can get paid and start the 2nd assassination mission and so on?

      2. do I just drop the muscle cars off at location? And then what? I can't figure it out... I chose option B the Bravado Gauntlets the muscle cars ... And it's taking forever... Or maybe it's just me

Matt Stone

Founder of GTA BOOM, Matt has been a long-time fan of the GTA series ever since he came across Grand Theft Auto III for rent in his local video store, many years ago. It's been an obsession since! When he isn’t tweaking the content on GTA BOOM, you’ll find him working on the server or making other improvements to the site, making it more useful for our readers. He's also gets his GTA 5 time in, of course. Find Matt on Twitter.