- "Petty crimes, hustling and stealing cars can only get you so far in Los Santos. To score big, Michael, Franklin, and Trevor will work together to pull off grand heists - big, multi-part missions that require careful preparation, recruiting, and precise (and often explosive) execution. Cash is king in GTA V, and while there will be plenty of ways to acquire and spend it, heists are the way to earn the big bucks."
- ―GTA V Website
Heists are elaborate multi-part story missions first introduced in Grand Theft Auto Vice City that involve the setting up and subsequent execution of a major crime, usually a theft. The final crime tends to be a high-profit job that can earn the player a considerable sum of money, typically greater than would be expected of other missions.
Since the origins of the concept in Vice City, several games in the series have included similar mission strands, most notably Grand Theft Auto V, which builds its entire story mode around the concept of several elaborate heists. Grand Theft Auto Online also includes a major heists component, as of the Heists Update.
Although not specifically named or identified as such, the first multi-part heist scenario appeared in GTA Vice City, and centered on Tommy Vercetti gathering a team to rob El Banco Corrupto Grande. After a series of setup missions in which the various members of the team are recruited to Tommy's cause, the final mission "The Job" involves the execution of the robbery itself.
The idea of performing a series of setup missions leading to a large robbery reappeared in GTA San Andreas, in which Carl Johnson and Wu Zi Mu organize a heist at Caligula's Palace in Las Venturas. After carrying out the necessary preparations, the mission "Breaking the Bank at Caligula's" sees the team rip off the casino and make their escape.
Heists return in the HD universe in the Grand Theft Auto IV mission Three Leaf Clover. The heist, which targets the Bank of Liberty, is executed by Niko Bellic, Patrick McReary, Derrick McReary and Michael Keane. In Grand Theft Auto V, the heists concept took on additional significance, with a series of such mission strands forming the core of the game's story. The major heists typically begin with a meeting of the three protagonists: Michael De Santa, Franklin Clinton, and Trevor Philips. Unlike in previous games, the player is presented with options on how to approach the proposed heist — for example, they could choose to enter a building stealthily from the roof, or burst through the front door all guns blazing. As before, heists typically require the assistance of specialists, be they drivers, gunmen or hackers. However, unlike previous games these crew members are not recruited by the player but simply hired for the job, with several options to choose from. Potential crew members all charge a different percentage of the final cut and bring a varying level of skill to the table, with the player having to choose between hiring expensive experts who take a larger slice of the profits, or cheaper newcomers who may falter during the heist itself.
Once the player has chosen their plan of attack and hired their crew, they must perform a series of setup missions to gather the necessary equipment and intel required for a successful heist. These include stealing equipment necessary for the job (such as weaponry or knockout gas), acquiring vehicles to use during the robbery (such as specialised, civil or emergency vehicles), gathering intelligence (such as architectural plans), finding a place to stash a getaway car, and buying clothing and masks to disguise the heist team. Only after all the necessary preparations have been made can the heist be carried out.
Upon successful completion of a heist, any crew specialists involved will gain experience (provided they survived), meaning they will be more skilled if hired again for a later job yet will still only ask for the same cut of the profits. Completing the major heists in GTA V will also unlock an achievement/trophy.
Heist missions were added to Grand Theft Auto Online as part of the Heists Update, released on March 10th, 2015. In terms of overall structure, they are similar to the heists found in the single-player game, in that they involve a series of setup missions that culminate in a high-profit crime. However, unlike GTA V, heists are set up by one of the players taking part (dubbed the Heist Leader); this player has to pay a sum of money up-front to finance the job, but can also dictate how the final profits will be split amongst the participants.
Players must be rank 12 or above to set up a heist, and must own a high-end apartment with a heist planning room. Once the player has reached the necessary level and purchased an appropriate apartment, Lester Crest will contact the player by text and follow up phone call introducing the heists concept. The player must then meet with Lester at his garment factory. This will launch the tutorial heist The Fleeca Job. For the purpose of the tutorial, Lester covers the front money cost and acts as Heist Leader.
After successfully completing the first heist, Lester will introduce a new character who will contact the player directly when a new heist is available. Following this, the player has the option of setting up heists themselves, becoming Heist Leader. Each heist must be unlocked in order and requires an increasing amount of front money to set up. A proportion of this front money goes towards paying crew members for taking part in the setup missions, although the Heist Leader does not receive any of this money and can profit only from successfully completing the main heist mission itself. The Heist Leader must have the requisite team to carry out the missions, typically consisting of 4 players (with the exception of The Fleeca Job, which requires a crew of just 2 players), and the Heist Leader will not be able to launch these missions with fewer than the 2/4 players required.
Some missions have all of the players involved working together as one unit, some require players to take on specific tasks like hacking or crowd control, while others require players to split into smaller teams to complete separate objectives concurrently. There are five heists in GTA Online, each with its own series of setup missions. Unlike regular contact missions, payouts from heists (both setup missions and the heists themselves) are paid directly into the player's bank account, not their pocket.
|Heist||Number of players||Setup cost||Potential take (easy)||Potential take (normal)||Potential take (hard)|
|The Fleeca Job||2||$11,500||$57,500||$115,000||$143,750|
|The Prison Break||4||$40,000||$200,000||$400,000||$500,000|
|The Humane Labs Raid||4||$54,000||$270,000||$540,000||$675,000|
|Series A Funding||4||$40,400||$202,000||$404,000||$505,000|
|The Pacific Standard||4||$100,000||$500,000||$1,000,000||$1,250,000|
Note that The Pacific Standard Job is the only heist during which money can be lost by taking damage, causing the actual take to be less than the stated potential take. In all other heists, players cannot lose money and will receive the full potential take upon completion (plus any additional bonuses).
Along with each heist reward, the player can earn additional cash depending on how they completed the heist. The possible bonus rewards are:
- Complete each heist finale for the first time: $100,000 bonus.
- Complete all heist setups and finales in order: $1,000,000 bonus (All in Order Challenge).
- Complete all heist setups and finales with the same team: $1,000,000 bonus (Loyalty Challenge).
- Complete all heist setups and finales in order, on hard difficulty, with the same team and without losing any lives: $10,000,000 bonus (Criminal Mastermind Challenge).
- Complete all heist setups and finales in first-person mode (PS4, Xbox One and PC only): $100,000 bonus (Another Perspective Challenge).
- The host must lock the camera for each setup and finale in First Person in order for the challenge to count.
These bonuses/awards can only be completed ONCE per player (Gamertag) and are not able to be completed on a second character on the same account like the other awards in GTA Online. You can keep track of the progress via the Pause menu > Stats > Awards > Heists.
Each online heist finale has also a set of bonus objectives called Elite Challenges requiring the players to either complete the heist finale in a limited amount of time or perform certain tasks during the mission. Completing all Elite Challenges in one single heist will reward the player with an additional $100,000 bonus. Completing all Elite Challenges in all five heists will unlock an exclusive t-shirt (a reference to the "Frankie" t-shirt in GTA Vice City, awarded for reaching 100% completion in that game). Using Trip Skip in any heist will forfeit the elite bonuses.
These Elite Challenges are:
- The Fleeca Job
- Complete in under 5:20
- Vehicle damage under 6%
- Nobody gets wasted
- The Humane Labs Raid
- Complete in under 11:00 minutes
- Vehicle damage under 2%
- Nobody gets wasted
- Series A Funding
- Complete in under 6:30 minutes
- Kill 75 enemies
- Nobody gets wasted
Heists in 3D Universe
GTA Vice City
- The Job - Tommy Vercetti, Phil Cassidy, Hilary King and Cam Jones rob El Banco Corrupto Grande in Little Havana.
GTA San Andreas
- Breaking The Bank At Caligula's - Carl Johnson teams up with Wu Zi Mu, Zero and a handful of other people to construct a heist at the Leone operated Caligula's Casino.
Heists in HD Universe
- Three Leaf Clover - Gerald McReary head of the Irish Mob, employs his brothers Derrick McReary and Patrick McReary and associates Michael Keane and Niko Bellic to rob the Bank of Liberty.
- The Jewel Store Job - Michael enlists the help of Lester Crest and Franklin Clinton to rob a Vangelico jewelry store to pay back money to Martin Madrazo, for wrecking his girlfriend's house.
- The Merryweather Heist - Trevor Philips enlists the help of Michael De Santa, Franklin Clinton and Wade and Floyd Hebert to rob Merryweather Security of a high-tech device.
- Blitz Play - Ordered by the FIB; Michael, Franklin, and Trevor take down a Securicar, steal the security bonds, and fight off several waves of police until an opening is found which allows each of them to escape.
- The Paleto Score - Another job for the FIB; Michael, Franklin, Trevor, and a hired gun (player's choice) raid the bank in Paleto Bay and fend off both the local police and the military.
- The Bureau Raid - Michael and Franklin raid the FIB Building to retrieve incriminating evidence against Steve Haines.
- The Big Score - Pressured on by Merryweather, Michael, Franklin and Trevor go for the biggest heist of their lives to steal millions of dollars worth of gold bullion from the Union Depository.
- The Fleeca Job - A introductory heist for two players involving stealing bonds from a safety deposit box from the Great Ocean Highway Fleeca Bank for Lester Crest.
- The Prison Break - The second heist, and the first requiring a full crew of four players, involves a complicated plan to spring a prisoner from Bolingbroke Penitentiary.
- The Humane Labs Raid - A heist involving raiding Humane Labs and Research, similar to the single player mission Monkey Business.
- Series A Funding - A heist involving collecting various drug packages for Trevor and then helping Trevor deliver them to his drug deal at the El Gordo Lighthouse.
- The Pacific Standard Job - The final heist involving robbing the Pacific Standard Bank.