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Requiring improvement: Desperate need for source mission types in similar fashion to Vehicle Cargo and Gunrunning!
- "Special Cargo Buy missions are dangerous, multi-part missions that call for a coordinated team of Associates to complete successfully. Buy missions range in scope and size, from police stings to high-speed pursuits, helicopter ambushes and more."
- — Rockstar Newswire description
Special Cargo missions take place across the state, and involve the player stealing cargo initially purchased, and storing them in crates within their Warehouse. When exporting them, the player can select the number of crates they wish to export (or all of them at once), which will bring a total amount of money that the buyer will give the player upon delivery.
Special cargo missions can only be conducted in Public Free Mode sessions, but there is no minimum player limit so a player alone in a public lobby can participate.
Every so often, unique Special Cargo may be found - this cargo is worth a great deal more than regular cargo, with one crate often selling up to $150,000. Note that as this is even more special, it costs more to buy it.
Buy Special Cargo
Buy missions are the missions the player completes to get special cargo crates in their Warehouse. These missions have a cooldown which is the same regardless of what level (amount of crates) mission is launched, so it is generally recommended to attempt the highest level/amount missions.
Players can launch missions to buy special cargo from their office at the SecuroServ terminal. An important thing to note is that a single player can only pick up one crate each, meaning they can't pick up two crates at the same time. However, one person can deliver a crate and then go back to grab another one until all the crates are gone. To get around this it can be helpful to hire associates. Collecting special cargo must be done in a public online session and at varying points during specific missions it will be announced to the server, with a map icon, this means that other players can add to the difficulty as they try to steal or destroy your crates.
Note: Having more than one warehouse is one method of bypassing the cooldown timer on buy missions.
Buying 1 crate at a time is more cost effective than 3 crates at a time, though 3 crates is more time effective. 1 crate = $2,000 2 crates = $8,000 ($4,000 per crate) 3 crates = $18,000 ($6,000 per crate)
A large warehouse takes 37 three crate missions to fill costing $666,000, and sells for $2,220,000 (or $1,554,000 total profit) at $42,000 profit per buy mission. A large warehouse takes 111 single crate missions to fill costing $222,000, and sells for $2,220,000 (or $1,998,000 total profit) at $18,000 profit per buy mission. Meaning you make roughly 28% more money total profit but spend 3x longer to make it, though the more crates you purchase at once generally the harder the retrieval mission is and the larger the risk you take.
Buy Mission Types
- Multiple vans, such as the Speedo or Pony will spawn in an area marked on the map. One of the vans has the cargo inside. The player has to steal the van that contains the crates which will be visible in the rear compartment. Once stolen, and after losing any wanted level gained, the player has to deliver the singular van to the warehouse. Only one delivery is necessary as all crates are contained within the same van.
- A plane containing crates has crashed. The plane may spawn crashed in Lake Vinewood, where multiple Sheriff SUVs will be on scene responding to the crash. The crates will be submerged under water and if the player bought 2 or more crates, they will have to make multiple collections. They have to be taken to the warehouse. The plane may also spawn in Grapeseed or the Grand Senora Desert where the player will arrive to a similar scenario. The objective remains the same across all spawn locations of this mission.
- A Mule is parked near the dealer but a last minute change of plan causes the dealer to change his mind and flee with the truck. The player must hijack the van, lose any tailing police and deliver the truck. This is a singular delivery, regardless of how many crates were purchased. The Mule tends to spawn in Chumash.
- Similar to the latter case, a Mule will spawn parked in Chumash containing the loot. No plot twist, the player simply has to steal the truck and deliver it to the warehouse. Again, this is a singular delivery, meaning all crates are found within the same truck.
- Crates, typically containing drugs, are found in a van, sometimes being a Paradise or Journey. The van has to be located via Trackify and will usually be found around the backstreets of Rockford Hills, Alta or Vespucci Beach. When the player arrives, they may find ambush vehicles such as Unmarked Cruisers (police ambush) or Bensons (gang ambush) which are ready to ambush the dealer. The player must take down any enemies in the area and steal the van. In police ambush scenarios, the player will be given a 4 star wanted level. In gang scenarios, the player may be tailed by any surviving gang members using any vehicle remaining in the lot.
- A Valkyrie transporting Merryweather units is carrying packages. The Valkyrie must be shot down. When shot down, the Merryweather units will begin parachuting to safety - the player has to kill these members and the packages they were carrying begin to fall to the ground. On ground, the packages are separated in cases rather than crates. Merryweather units will arrive in Merryweather Mesas to attempt to take down the player. This is a multiple delivery, meaning the player will have to make multiple journeys to and fro the packages to deliver them to the warehouse, as they are found on foot. This also means the player needs to find their own means of transport.
- The seller instructs that player that a dispute must be settled before they will reveal the location of the packages. First the player must go to the vantage point indicated on their map, after which they will often need to ascend stairs or a ladder to get to a higher position, from there they will receive a text stating who the three targets are. Once killed, generally with a sniper rifle or other long-range weapon, and losing the inevitable wanted level the seller will text the location of the vehicle containing the packages.
Products which the player can buy include:
- Animal Materials
- Art & Antiques
- Counterfeit Goods
- Electronic Goods
- Medical Supplies
- Tobacco & Alcohol
- Weapons & Ammo
Occasionally, the Assistant will call the player to tell them about a Special Item on the SecuroServ Network. This Item is more expensive, but will also bring in more profit once sold.
- Playing in empty Public sessions avoids the risk of other players or members of other organizations destroying the cargo before/after the player collects it.
- Hiring associates, particularly if buying two or three crate missions, can be helpful as they can both defend against computer and player attackers, as well as carry crates back to the warehouse.
- Sticking to air vehicles in any case is best as the risk of the cargo spawning in air vehicles such as the Valkyrie scenario may waste the player's time for gaining a helicopter. In the event of being on land, it is advised to spawn a Buzzard Attack Chopper using the VIP options in the Interaction Menu.
Sell Special Cargo
Exporting Special Cargo will require the player to access to the Ad-Hawk laptop computer inside the Warehouse and choosing the amount of cargo to sell. As Special Cargo missions can be played in empty Public Sessions, players can export cargo without the threat of other players destroying their cargo, but will be limited to exporting a certain amount of cargo at once, until a point where multiple trips may be necessary, and possibly more difficult for one player (for example, multiple Cuban 800s or Brickades may spawn). There is the chance that all cargo is contained within one shipment vehicle, such as the Titan, however the player can use their common sense to work out whether, realistically, their shipment would require multiple vehicles, or just one.
The cargo can be exported via three different methods of transport; land, sea, or air. On land, Brickade trucks may be used to contain large amounts of cargo, although more often than not, multiple Brickades may need to be delivered. There is usually enough time for a single player to deliver both, however having another player to assist is recommended. On water, the Tug boat may be used to export products out at sea, while in air, the Titan or Cuban 800 may be used to drop cargo to destination(s).
- Vehicle Cargo - Import/Export update expansion, allowing the player to import and export vehicles in a similar fashion to Special Cargo.