Cash is king. Whether they’re buying better weapons, flashy cars, or high-end properties, everyone’s trying to get their hands on the green stuff. As the best investors will tell you, one of the best ways to make money in GTA Online is with passive income.
Passive income is great, as it allows you to generate money in the background while doing other things in-game. This allows you to exponentially increase your cash generation! That’s why, in this article, we’re going to be ranking the seven best passive income streams in GTA 5 Online from good to best.
7 Best Passive Income Streams in GTA Online, Ranked
Let’s jump right into our ranking of the best ways to make passive income in GTA Online!
The arcade is a really fun and unique business that was added to the game in December 2019 as part of the Diamond Casino Heist update. You can order a variety of unique arcade games to set up in a highly-customizable space. The more arcade cabinets you have, the more money you’ll passively generate over time! You can also manage your other businesses through the arcade (sourcing supplies, launching sell missions, etc.) through the Master Control Terminal upgrade.
You can also use the arcade to launch the Diamond Casino Heist. While it’s not as lucrative as the Cayo Perico Heist, it is still a really fun and profitable way to make money. You can do the setup missions and heist while your arcade is busy generating you your passive income.
Arcades can be purchased from your in-game phone by going to the internet browser and going to Maze Bank Foreclosures. From here you can purchase one of several around the map. I recommend getting either the Vinewood location ($2,530,000) or the La Mesa location ($1,875,000). Both of these sites are close to the Diamond Casino as well as some other popular business locations.
Next on our list of the best passive income sources in GTA Online is the Agency! This is a special property that allows users to start their own “celebrity solutions business” (essentially a gun-for-hire company). You’ll be doing everything from defending assets from waves of enemies to rescuing high-value clients from gunfights! These missions are called Security Contracts. For every five Security Contracts you do, the passive income your agency generates will increase by $500! This doesn’t sound like a lot, but it does add up if you do a lot of Security Contracts.
So not only can you generate passive income from the Agency, you can also make a decent amount of money just by doing the Security Contracts. By owning this property, you can also unlock payphone hits and the Dr. Dre series of missions. Both of these are active ways of making money while your Agency passively generates income in your office safe.
Additionally, the Agency offers an armory upgrade that allows you to purchase body armor right from inside your property! And there’s even a garage with a built-in workshop for customization and storage for twenty cars!
The Agency is available for purchase from the in-game website Dynasty 8 Executive. From here, you can buy one of several agency properties. I recommend getting the most expensive one, which is located in Hawick ($2,830,000). This is a great location, as the missions will take you to both the city and the countryside, and this property is more or less in the middle of it all. Agencies were added to the game in December 2021, as a part of The Contract DLC.
For our next business, we have the Bunker! This is an underground weapons manufacturing facility that allows you to build an arms smuggling empire. Out of all the passive businesses, this is definitely one of the most profitable ones in the entire game. It allows you to sell your accumulated goods for profits that often reach over a million dollars! Unlike the Cocaine Lockup, you do not need to own any other properties before getting a bunker.
Buying a bunker also allows you to do many other things besides producing illegal goods. You can own a firing range, which helps you hone your skills with a weapon. You can conduct research that will lead to unlocking new weapon mods and ammo types (such as explosive rounds). And with the Criminal Enterprises update of mid-2021, you can now sell any excess goods produced once a day. This allows you to make a tidy profit of $50,000 just for delivering a vehicle!
You can buy a bunker of your very own by going to the Maze Bank Foreclosures website. There are two really great bunkers available — the Chumash Bunker ($1,650,000) and the Farmhouse Bunker ($2,375,000). I recommend the Chumash one, as it’s right next to the highway. This makes getting to it easier and sell missions go smoother. Bunkers were added to GTA Online back in 2017 as a part of the Gunrunning update, and they’e been popular ever since.
Next up, we have the Cocaine Lockup! This is a motorcycle club business that allows you to produce and distribute cocaine, one of the most valuable drugs there is. This is a pretty straightforward and easy-to-operate business. All you need to do is purchase supplies to get operations up and running, then return every now and then to buy more supplies. Once your Cocaine Lockup is full of product, just get a few friends and launch the sell mission. While the bunker makes more profit per sale, this business makes more money per hour.
There aren’t really any other bonuses to this business beside the ability to produce products passively. It’s one of the more boring businesses in the game, but it is very lucrative and well worth the investment. You do unlock some unique source missions that can help you get supplies, but these aren’t really worth doing when you can just buy the supplies and go do other money-making activities. Some people find them fun to do, however.
To purchase a Cocaine Lockup, first buy an MC Clubhouse from the website Maze Bank Foreclosures. You can get one in the Great Chapparal ($200,000). It really doesn’t matter which one you get, assuming you don’t plan on doing the motorcycle modding business. Once you buy it, head into your office and open the laptop to purchase the Cocaine Lockup. The best one is located by the Alamo Sea ($975,000). This business was added to GTA Online in October 2016 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Now onto the next business, it’s the newly added Acid Lab! Much like the previously mentioned Cocaine Lockup, the Acid Lab acts as a place for you to produce lucrative, illegal drugs. While it doesn’t pay as much per sale as the Cocaine Lockup, it does make more money per hour. This is assuming that you visit the Acid Lab often to boost production.
There are also several other reasons why this business is so high on the list. For one, everything from sourcing supplies to selling product can be done entirely solo! Additionally, this business cannot be raided like the MC businesses can. And lastly, this business operates from the inside of a Brickade 6×6, making it entirely mobile! You can spawn it in by doing Interaction Menu > Services > Acid Lab at any time, and from anywhere on the map. This makes visiting it often very, very easy to do.
If you want to unlock the Acid Lab, head to the yellow R located on the map in Sandy Shores (or check out our in-depth guide here). Complete the mission there, and then complete five more that are a part of the First Dose series of missions. Between these missions, call Dax and request work to start a Fooligan mission (if you do ten of these, you can unlock an upgrade to increase your profits). Once all the First Dose missions are complete, you can purchase the Acid Lab from The Freakshop ($750,000). The Acid Lab was added in the Los Santos Drug Wars update of late 2022.
Next on our list of the best passive income streams in GTA Online, we have the Nightclub! Nightclubs are a fun business that involve hosting a hip and customizable dance club. They can generate passive money by allowing you to hire technicians, who will accumulate excess product over time from your other businesses. This includes properties like the bunker and the Cocaine Lockup. It’s really great because these already valuable businesses become that much more valuable when you hook them up to your nightclub.
And the pay per hour is pretty great as well. This business can’t be raided and it requires very little work to maintain once it’s up and running. All you need to do is sell when it’s full. In addition to generating product passively, you can also source product by completing Business Battles in the game. Because you need to own other businesses to make passive money from this, I recommend buying this business last.
While the Nightclub is great for making money, it also offers many other unique features. For one, it can store your Terrorbyte, a unique vehicle that allows you to manage other businesses on the go! Speaking of storing cars, you can store up to forty cars with the Nightclub when it’s fully upgraded. This makes it a really great business for car lovers. You can also hire DJs and dance on the dancefloor, and you can order drinks from the bar.
Nightclubs can be purchased from Maze Bank Foreclosures. I recommend getting whatever location is closest to your other businesses. The one that I currently own is the West Vinewood location ($1,700,000). Another popular spot is Del Perro ($1,645,000). The nightclub business was added to Grand Theft Auto Online as a part of the After Hours DLC. This major update came out in Summer 2018.
Special Cargo Warehouse
Taking spot number one, we have a business that I found hardly anyone talking about when it comes to passive money. It’s the Special Cargo Warehouse! This business allows you to source illegal goods so you can later smuggle them off at a profit. While the business was first added to the game as an active money-making method, a recent update lets you passively source cargo crates! All you need to do is interact with an NPC inside the warehouse and you can purchase some for $7,500, which will bring you 1–3 crates.
The great thing about this business is that you can buy up to five large warehouses at once. This means you can store up to 555 crates, which you can later sell for a combined total of $11,100,000! You can do what I like to do and wait for a double money sale week. If sold during this time, you can earn $22,200,000! This is an insane amount of money in exchange for hardly any work at all.
To purchase this business, first, buy a CEO office from Dynasty 8 Executives. Which one you get doesn’t matter that much. The cheapest one is Maze Bank West ($1,000,000). Once you buy it, go to your office and purchase a large Special Cargo Warehouse from your computer. The warehouses that I own are as follows:
- Wholesale Furniture: ($1,900,000)
- Cypress Warehouses: ($3,500,000)
- Darnel Bros Warehouse: ($3,500,000)
- Logistics Depot: ($2,600,000)
- West Vinewood Backlot: ($2,135,000)
The first four are all very close together. The West Vinewood Backlot is to the north of the city, but it’s also where some of the best business locations are. CEO Offices and Special Cargo Warehouses were added on June 7th, 2016 as a part of the Further Adventures in Finance and Felony DLC. They were updated during the Criminal Enterprises update of Summer 2022.
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We hope you enjoyed reading this guide on how to make passive income in GTA Online! We hope one of the seven best passive income streams works magic for you! Let us know your favorite method in the comments, and subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more GTA Online content. We have more news, guides, and articles on all things gaming related!