How to pull off for your first Heists in GTA Online

So you want to rob a bank.

GTA Online‘s long-awaited “Heists” add-on is here at last. The free update adds new elements that carry the vibe of endgame content, though you really don’t need to be that far along to get started. Los Santos sociopaths that have been looking for better sources of fake income should get hyped, as there are some big scores to be had from the five newly added heists.

If you haven’t tried them out yet, then you’re probably wondering how the whole thing works. GTA Online‘s heists are structurally similar to those featured in Grand Theft Auto V‘s story, with the key difference being that you can bring a group of friends along. It’s pretty easy to figure out thanks to a gentle “tutorial” heist, but we’ll run through a few helpful tips for getting yourself prepped and taking your first steps on the road to becoming a master criminal.

Crawl before you walk

You can’t host a heist of your own until you’ve hit level 12 in GTA Online‘s progression. We’ve got a guide to help you learn the basics of the multiplayer mode, but here are a few pointers for getting to level 12 quickly. First, don’t bother with the open world just yet. Not only is it dangerous, with higher-level players running around and armed to the teeth, but there’s also not a whole lot of money or experience to be earned there.

gta heists 13

Go for missions instead. They’re listed under “Jobs” in the game’s Online menu. You probably won’t have access to many of them if you’re especially low-level, but keep an eye out for invites on your phone. You can’t host higher-level missions, but you can still join them when you get an invite. And while you might not be much help to a team of rank 70s and above with your little peashooter pistol, you still reap the same rewards at the end, even if you’re gunned down in the opening minutes.

Spend some of your newly earned money on beefing up your arsenal. Many of the basic guns are locked off behind level requirements when you’re first starting out, but GTA Online‘s had so many free updates that it’s possible to get several assault rifles and shotguns (and even a sniper rifle) right at level 1, provided you have the money. Just pay a visit to any Ammu-Nation and check out the weapons stacked up on the right-hand shelf.

Guns are important, but try to set aside some cash as well. You’re aiming to have at least $200,000 in savings by the time you reach level 12. Keep reading to understand why.

Ignore the green invites

There’s a new invite notification that pops up with the release of Heists. Normal missions and other, PvP-focused activities still have their same pop-up, with white text on a black background. Heists adds new invites with a green background, specifically for heist setup and execution missions.

GTAV PC 8

Ignore those! Not forever. But when you’re starting out, stay the course and get yourself leveled for your own heists. The add-on’s multi-stage robberies are built to be replayed, but there’s a story wrapped around each one. Both the scripted one that Rockstar Games created and the one that you build for yourself as you piece together the different parts of a robbery, then pull the whole thing off.

There’s something really cool and rewarding about bringing a heist together, and you should give yourself a chance to experience that before you start replaying individual setup components of different heists, like they’re regular missions. Resist the urge to jump on those invites and dive in with piecemeal heists until you’ve run through them in full.

Grab a friend and get started

Lester calls and asks you to pay him a visit once you hit level 12. This is where the heists begin. Head to the “L” icon on your minimap and watch the cutscene. In addition to being level 12, you’ll also need what the game classifies as a “high-end” safehouse (they all have 10-car garages). The cheapest of these is $200,000. Now you know why you were saving some cash. Lester might not call until you have the apartment (we weren’t able to test it), so if you’re phone’s not ringing and you don’t have a high-end pad, that’s probably why.

GTA Online Heists 03

Once you’re done with Lester, your high-end safehouse icon should be green on the minimap. Head over to check out a new addition to your digs: the planning room! This is where all of your heists are planned. From here, you trigger new missions, set up your team’s responsibilities, and divvy up the money earned.

The first heist amounts to a tutorial, and it’s for two players only. So grab a friend, fire it up, and read along with the onscreen pop-ups between each mission to learn how everything works. It’s not complicated at all. It’s just a wrapper that ropes a group of missions together, tying them up with a giant reward waiting at the end.

Gaming

For Netflix, ‘Fortnite’ on YouTube is a bigger threat than HBO

In a letter to shareholders, Netflix explained that it views the video game Fortnite as bigger competition than HBO, with YouTube videos of the game drawing viewers away from the streaming platform.
Gaming

These are the best indie games you can get on PC right now

Though many indie games now come to consoles as well, there's still a much larger selection on PC. With that in mind, we've created a list of the best indie games for PC, with an emphasis on games that are only available on PC.
Gaming

Everything we know about 'Red Dead Online', including the new mode Gun Rush

Red Dead Online will gradually rolled out to Red Dead Redemption 2 players via a beta. We've got all the details about the beta's suite of competitive and cooperative modes, as well as what to expect going forward.
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Gaming

Here's everything you need to know to trade in 'Pokémon Go'

After literally years of waiting, Pokémon Go finally gives trainers the option to trade Pokémon with others. It's not easy, though, and the cost is quite high if you try trading with strangers.
Gaming

Find all of the secret exits and world skips in 'New Super Luigi U Deluxe'

Just like all other 2D Mario games, New Super Mario Bros. Deluxe includes secret exits and world skips. In this guide, we'll show you how to get to all 12 secret exits in New Super Luigi U.
Computing

You could be gaming on AMD’s Navi graphics card before the end of the summer

If you're waiting for a new graphics card from AMD that doesn't cost $700, you may have to wait for Navi. But that card may not be far away, with new rumors suggesting we could see a July launch.
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Gaming

Sharing your best gameplay moments is quick and easy on the Xbox One

The current generation of consoles make it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how you can record a gameplay video on Xbox One.
Gaming

Blizzard’s latest hiring spree is likely for the unannounced ‘Diablo 4’

Activision Blizzard is hiring for more than a dozen positions on unannounced Diablo projects. Some of the roles are likely for the unannounced Diablo 4, the next mainline entry in the series.
Gaming

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Gaming

Fortnite V-Bucks being used by criminals for money laundering on dark web

Criminals are using Fortnite's V-Bucks for money laundering schemes on the dark web. Epic Games, apparently, is not doing enough to prevent the game from being used for the illegal activity.
Gaming

Relive the 8-bit gaming era with the best NES emulators for Android and PC

For years prior to the release of the NES Classic, emulators have offered a means to every NES game ever created without needing the console. Here are the best NES emulators for Android and PC.