GTA Online Beginner’s Guide: 10 Tips

GTA Online is one of the most popular triple-AAA MMOs of recent years. It features a big open world, a dedicated community, and lots and lots of content. Many new players might get overwhelmed by all of this new content and struggle with knowing what to do.

Luckily for those players, we’re here to help. I have hundreds of hours in GTA Online — I own every business and have completed every heist. In other words, I know a thing or two about how to help you avoid some beginner mistakes and how you can use your money and time most effectively. In this GTA Online Beginner’s Guide, we’ll cover the top ten tips and tricks to help you make your way through the game.

Top 10 Tips For Beginners in GTA Online

With all that out of the way, let’s get right into our GTA Online Beginner’s Guide!

1. Know How to Get & Use Snacks Properly

Know How to Get & Use Snacks Properly
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG

This first tip can be beneficial in almost any mission, but it’s especially helpful during heists. Snacks are healing items that can be purchased at convenient stores scattered around the map. Each snack can heal for a slightly different amount, and EgoChaser heals the most out of all the others.

To use them, open up your weapon wheel and select “Press Button to Eat a Snack.” You can press this button from your weapon wheel to instantly heal yourself for a small amount. You’ll want to get in the habit of using this, as being able to heal and run at the same time is very useful for both PVP and PVE situations.

One thing that new players may not know is that you can eat snacks while driving, too. You cannot eat them from the weapon wheel, however. You’ll need to head into the interaction menu and select Inventory > Snacks. This is very useful when you’re doing heists, as you can spam the eat snacks option from this menu to heal yourself while being shot at. This makes the Pacific Standard Heist much easier.

2. Take Advantage of Free Vehicles

GTA Online Beginners Guide Take Advantage of Free Vehicles
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG

Another great tip that you should take advantage of — especially in the early game — is that some vehicles are given away for free! If you’re just starting out, you’ll want to grow your car collection as fast as you can. Many of them are useful for completing races to earn money and for getting around the map as quickly as you can. One free car that is very useful for getting around is the Annis Elegy RH8.

This is a two-door sports car with pretty decent acceleration and top speed (although it’s definitely not the best). This was one of the first cars I ever got in the game, and it made completing free roam activities and getting around way easier.

Rockstar will sometimes announce on their newswire that certain vehicles will be given away for free for a limited time! So be sure to pay attention to that. There are also two great ways to consistently get cars for free in GTA — the casino and the LS Car Meet. The casino can be found by locating the diamond icon on the map. It offers visitors the option to spin a wheel once a day for a chance at winning the display car.

At the LS Car Meet located in the southeast corner of Los Santos, you can easily get fast vehicles by completing a weekly challenge for the LS prize ride. These challenges are usually something like “Place top five in a street race three days in a row.” You can simply host the respective race solo and complete it very easily.

This is by far the easiest way to get cars for free in the game, and every player should do it. Both the casino’s and LS Car Meet prize rides are swapped out once a week for a new vehicle, so be sure to check back in often to see what’s available!

3. Buy Businesses in the Right Order & Buy a Nightclub Last

Buy Businesses in The Right Order & Buy a Nightclub Last
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG

When it comes to buying businesses in the game, there is generally an order that you should buy them in. Aside from the Kosatka (more on that later), the first thing you should purchase is the MC clubhouse and the cocaine, meth, and counterfeit cash businesses that the clubhouse opens up. Another great option is the bunker. All of these businesses are passive income you can generate in the background.

Whatever your preference, do not buy a nightclub first. The nightclub may seem like a great investment early on, but it’s really only worth doing if you have the other businesses in the game.

With the nightclub, you can assign technicians to accumulate goods for you from your other businesses. This will generate product for you passively, with no effort on your part. This allows you to generate money while you can go do more active money-making activities, such as heists and payphone assignations (if you have the Agency).

So as you can imagine, there is really no point in getting the nightclub if you don’t have any other businesses and your goal is to make money. You should save the nightclub as one of your last purchases in the game.

4. Get Started on Bunker Research ASAP

GTA Online Beginners Guide: Get Started on Bunker Research ASAP
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG

As previously mentioned, one of the businesses you should prioritize getting early on is the bunker. Not only can you make passive income with this business, you also gain access to a unique mechanic called bunker research. Bunker research allows you to dedicate supplies stored in your bunker towards researching new technologies. These technologies include camos, vehicle mods, and weapon mods.

The weapon mods are one of the most important parts of making it big in Los Santos. You’ll need them in order to maximize your efficiency on the field.

There are several different ammo types, but two of the best are full metal jacket rounds and explosive rounds. Full metal jacket rounds can be a lifesaver when doing missions where NPCs have vehicles with bulletproof glass, such as the cocaine business raid.

Explosive rounds are, without a doubt, a must-have for all players in the game. You can put explosive rounds on a sniper rifle to take out aircraft efficiently and from a safe distance. You can also put explosive rounds on a pump action shotgun. It does great damage to enemy players as well as heavily armored NPCs (such as juggernauts). Get this ammo type ASAP!

5. Wait for a Discount Before Making a Big Purchase

GTA Online Beginners Guide: Wait For a Discount Before Making a Big Purchase
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG

Another really great tip (which is good for both beginners and veterans alike) is to wait for a discount before making your next big purchase. Whether it’s a new business, a new safehouse, or (more commonly) a new vehicle, you’re going to wait to hold off buying it unless you absolutely need it right now. This is because Rockstar releases new discounts and bonuses each and every week.

Waiting for these discounts to buy can really save you a lot of money. Just recently, special cargo warehouses went on sale. I was able to buy some large ones for a very good discount, which I estimate saved me about a million dollars at least.

If you already have a few businesses for making money, you should definitely wait for a sale before buying some of the ones you don’t really “need” to buy.

When it comes to vehicles, it’s the same thing. Buy what you absolutely cannot live without right now (such as the armored Kuruma). But hold off on purchasing any supercars or weaponized vehicles that you don’t need. They can get really expensive, so it’s a good idea to make a list of the vehicles that you want and buy them when a discount is announced.

6. Purchase Del Perro Heights, Apartment 7 as Your First Safehouse

Purchase Del Perro Heights, Apartment 7 as Your First Safehouse
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

If you’re planning on doing the OG heists in addition to the Diamond Casino and Cayo Perico heists, you’re going to need a high-end safehouse to do so. One of the best safehouses for new players is the Del Perro Heights apartment in the western part of Los Santos. This is a very good property — not only does it allow you to host the OG heists, but Apartment 7 only costs $200,000! This makes it the cheapest high-end property in the entire game.

This is crucial if you are low on cash and don’t have enough to purchase one of the more expensive options. Most players will be able to easily get $200,000 early on, which makes buying this property a no-brainer if you want to get into heists as soon as you possibly can.

To make things even better, this safehouse includes a ten-car garage! This is very useful, as it gives you one big space for you to store all of the vehicles that you collect in the game. Vehicle space is very useful, and buying this apartment is a good way to kill two birds with one stone.

You can store cars here and then use those same cars to complete some of the OG heists with your friends. Then you can kick back and relax here once all is said and done and the heist is complete.

7. Take Advantage of Double Money Weeks

GTA Online Beginners Guide: Take Advantage of Double Money Weeks
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG

If you’re looking to change up your money grind or have a business full of supplies and are waiting to sell, then you’ll want to take advantage of double money weeks. In addition to offering new discounts every week, they also provide certain money bonuses on various missions, businesses, and sometimes even heists. They announce these every Thursday through their weekly newswire update.

Sometimes the boosts for payouts will be +50%, double money, or even triple money! You’ll want to take advantage of these pay bonuses in order to maximize your revenue in a given week.

Not only will you make more money, but it incentivizes you to do something different from what you normally do. This has the benefit of making the game feel fresh and more enjoyable for you to play.

One of the best aspects of double money weeks is double money on certain businesses. While you’ll want to sell your MC businesses as often as you can, some people like to wait for double money bonuses before selling from their nightclubs, bunkers, and their special cargo warehouses. Waiting for a big bonus can increase their payday by millions of dollars! So don’t be afraid to do the same thing.

8. Don’t Buy Unnecessary Luxuries Early On

Don't Buy Unnecessary Luxuries Early On
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG

This is without a doubt one of the most common mistakes I see randoms do. It’s also something that I committed a bit when I first started GTA Online back in 2016. Do not buy properties or vehicles if you do not need them early on in the game. Don’t buy supercars — even if they’re discounted — when you don’t own most of the businesses in the game. And do not buy a safehouse unless it’s for doing heists.

Many people will get excited by the concept of GTA Online. It’s a criminal sim where you can make big money from heists and spend that money on big things like cars and properties. They get so caught up in the idea of spending big that they forget to spend smart. What often happens is they’ll buy a big high-end safehouse and then fill that garage up with expensive sports cars that don’t make them money.

After they do that, they’re left with no money to buy businesses that could have made them even more money. I get wanting to buy luxury apartments across the city and start a supercar collection. But you should really wait until after you have at the very least bought the Kosatka, the MC businesses, the bunker, and the nightclub. Only then can you start living it up in Los Santos and start showing off.

9. NEVER Play Heists With Randoms

GTA Online Beginners Guide: NEVER Play Heists With Randoms
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG

Oh boy. This next one I feel on a personal level. Many veteran players will agree that the absolute worst mistake you can make in GTA Online is to play heists with random players. Heists — especially the OG ones — require lots of coordination in order to do successfully. Many of them can be quite difficult for newer players, and failing the mission for your team is a very common reality.

It can be very stressful if you are playing with random people who don’t have microphones to talk to you and coordinate with. Many of them don’t know what they are doing, and will often make crucial decisions that a veteran player would not make. They will often run out of cover and rush blindly toward enemies. And in heists where they need to use a vehicle? Oh my god, it’s so frustrating.

That’s why it’s important that as a new player, you ask around on forums for someone to help you. If you have friends that play the game, that’s even better.

Get into a Discord call with your team before doing the heist, and come up with a strategy for doing it. If a veteran player you met on a forum was kind enough to help you, listen to them, and do exactly as they say during the heist and you’ll be fine.

10. Purchase the Kosatka Submarine ASAP

GTA Online Beginners Guide: Purchase The Kosatka Submarine ASAP
Image: Rockstar North, Rockstar Games via HGG / Koby Gibson Ross

Without a doubt, this is the absolute most essential tip I can give you in this GTA Online Beginner’s Guide. All new players should purchase the Kosatka submarine as soon as they possibly can. This is because the Kosatka submarine is the absolute definitive best money-making method in the entire game. It allows you to make millions of dollars, and you can do it solo!

The Kosatka submarine can be bought from Warstock Cache & Carry for $2,200,000. It allows players to host and run the Cayo Perico heist, the latest heist added to the game. You’ll be robbing the drug lord El Rubio for all he has.

The heist can be done in less than fifteen minutes — even less if you know what you’re doing. And while you can do it with other players, as previously mentioned it, can be done solo.

This money-making method is so OP that Rockstar had to nerf it recently, adding a big cooldown for doing the heist solo. Despite this cooldown, it’s still a great way to make millions of dollars fast. This is one of the first big purchases you should make in the game.

We also have produced a guide for how you can complete it as fast as possible all on your own. You can read that walkthrough by clicking the link here.

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Happy gaming!

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