In the world of Grand Theft Auto Online, money is king. You’re not anybody unless you have at least a few million in the bank. If you’re low on funds and looking to make it big in Los Santos, this GTA Online money making guide is for you.
Here, we’ll cover the best ways to make money in GTA V Online. We’ll check out a top-tier list of best money making options, starting with ol’ reliable and working our way down to a get-rich-quick scheme that actually works.
Table of Contents
7 Best Ways to Make Money in GTA Online Ranked
For this list, we’ve ranked our money-making methods from easiest to hardest, building up to the best way to make money in the game.
Ready to secure the bag? Let’s get started.
Where to Start: N/A | Start-Up Costs: $1,000,000 | Solo Operation: Yes | Difficulty: 🚓🚓
One of the easiest ways to start making money in GTA Online is through VIP work. VIP work is a series of different missions that you can easily start from anywhere on the map.
To begin, you need to have at least one million dollars in your bank account. This is the minimum required for you to register as a VIP. From there, just head into the interaction menu, select the “SecuroServ” option and select any mission you’d like! Most of these missions are available from the get-go, but some require you to own certain vehicles. Anyone who makes VIP work their main grind can earn up to $24,000 an hour just by doing these missions. Not a bad gig if you are just starting out in Los Santos!
Where to Start: Maze Bank Foreclosures | Start-Up Costs: $2,500,000 | Solo Operation: Yes | Difficulty: 🚓🚓
Import/Export is one of the first businesses I’ve ever owned; it was my main grind in GTA Online for about a year. It can become your main grind as well if you know how to get started.
First, you’ll need to purchase an office building from Maze Bank Foreclosures. The cheapest office will cost you $1,000,000. The next step is to purchase a vehicle warehouse. I’d recommend the one in La Masa, as it’s relatively cheap. La Masa is also very close to a highway, which will be important later. Finish making your investments, then head up into your office and make your way to the desktop computer. Here, you can launch a source mission, which tasks you with going to a random location, stealing a car, and hauling it back to your warehouse.
Sourcing a car should only take you ten minutes, and selling one should be even less. You can run this business entirely solo if that’s your thing, but if you’ve got some friends to help you out, you can sell up to four cars at once. If you make the most of your time, you can make about $310,000 per hour!
Where to Start: Maze Bank Foreclosures | Start-Up Costs: $1,157,000 | Solo Operation: Yes | Difficulty: 🚓🚓
One of the most widely used money making methods, biker businesses are some of the easiest ways to make money in GTA. And the best part? Once they’re operational, they require little input to produce goods.
To get started, you’ll need to head back over to Maze Bank Foreclosures and purchase a clubhouse. I’d recommend you buy one located outside of Los Santos, as they are less expensive. After starting your own biker gang from the interaction menu, walk right up to the computer in your clubhouse and purchase one of five different businesses. The ones that make the most bang for your buck are cocaine, methamphetamine, and counterfeit cash, in that order.
Next, you’ll just need to do a quick set-up mission for each of your new properties, and then you’ll be good to go! Be sure to check back in on them every so often, as you will need to do a resupply mission once your supplies run out. If you purchase all of the upgrades and keep doing the sell missions, you can net about $51,000 an hour. It’s not as rewarding as Import/Export, but the great thing about biker businesses is that they require very little input once they’re up and running, making them a viable side gig while you go out and work on your other businesses.
Where to Start: Maze Bank Foreclosures | Start-Up Costs: $1,200,000 | Solo Operation: Yes | Difficulty: 🚓🚓🚓
The Smuggler’s Run DLC added a fan favorite to GTA Online: the hangar business. Unlike some of the other properties on this list, you don’t need to buy an office or a clubhouse first, allowing you to jump right in. The best ones are located at the center of the map inside the Fort Zancudo military base, but if you are on a budget you can purchase one down at LSIA for $1.2 million. After watching a brief cutscene (and committing a federal crime), you are in the clear to begin your very own smuggling business!
One of my favorite aspects about Smuggler’s Run is that there is a large variety of missions to undertake: one mission you might be flying a helicopter to the roof of a construction site overrun by gangers, and the next you’ll be using a stunt plane to pull-off death-defying tricks.
If you manage to pack your hangar completely full of illegal goods, you can sell it for approximately $850,000. Do keep in mind that it takes quite a while to fill up your hangar, and the actual payout per-hour may be lower depending on how fast you can do the sell missions.
Where to Start: Maze-Bank Foreclosures | Start-Up Costs: $1,250,000 | Solo Operation: Yes | Difficulty: 🚓🚓🚓
Despite all of the new methods added over the years, CEO crates remain a viable business for anyone looking to be the next Devin Weston.
Like with Import/Export, you will need to purchase your own office and register as a CEO, but instead of buying a vehicle warehouse, you’ll be investing your cash into a crate warehouse. From a crate warehouse, you can start source missions to acquire various illegal goods to sell later. These missions can be done solo, but it’s best if you bring a few friends along with you. Selling just one full warehouse can rake in a total of $2,220,000!
Diamond Casino Heist
Where to Start: Mirror Park | Start-Up Costs: $1,235,000 | Solo Operation: No | Difficulty: 🚓🚓🚓🚓
Many players consider the Diamond Casino heist to be one of the best features ever added to GTA Online, and for good reason. The update added a brand new heist, with multiple different approaches to tackle your target. This is easily one of the most enjoyable methods of making money in GTA Online, and it’s also one of the most profitable ones as well.
To pull off this daring heist, you’ll first need to visit Mirror Park to find. Here we’ll find our old friend Lester sitting on a park bench. After talking to him and watching a brief cutscene, you’ll need to visit Maze Bank Foreclosures. From here players can purchase one of several arcades, the cheapest of these being Pixel Pete’s, costing only $1,235,000. This property is far away from the casino, however, so it would be worth the investment to buy one that is closer to Los Santos (such as the Eight-Bit, located in Vinewood Hills).
Once inside your brand new arcade, you can head down into the basement by walking up to the garage located just outside the property to meet with Lester, where you’ll be able to plan out your heist. The two most popular approaches are the silent and sneaky method, followed by the big con. Personally, I find silent and sneaky to be too difficult, and usually substitute that with the aggressive approach. While the setup missions themselves can be done solo, you’ll need someone to have your back when doing the final mission.
Doing this heist with my friend, he was kind enough to let me take 85% of the profits. Completing the heist consistently, I was able to net about $905,000 per hour! If your friends aren’t as generous as mine, you can easily make up to $710,000 an hour instead. One common tactic I’ve seen players do is have multiple people do their own setup missions by themselves, and then meet up after an hour or so to do each of their respective heists back to back, saving them valuable time.
Cayo Perico Heist
Where to Start: The Music Locker | Start-Up Costs: $2,200,000 | Solo Operation: Yes | Difficulty: 🚓🚓🚓🚓
Cayo Perico…truly the heist to end all heists. Added in December of 2020, the Cayo Perico heist is easily the best way to make money ever seen in GTA Online.
To start this DLC, you’ll need to travel to the Music Locker, which can be found at the Diamond Casino (don’t worry, the guards won’t recognize you). Once there, you just need to talk to Miguel Madrazo, who will give you a brief sales pitch about what you’ll be doing, and who you’ll be robbing. After you accept, you’ll want to head on over to the website Warstock Cache & Carry to purchase your very own submarine: the Kosatka. From here, you will meet your first mate, Pavel. Since it’s your first time completing this heist, you will need to head to LSIA and hop on board an airplane heading to Cayo Perico. Complete the mission like you would any other mission, and before you know it, you’ll be back home.
Just like with the Diamond Casino heist, you have the freedom to tackle this mission however you want! You can skydive from an airplane and go in guns blazing, sneak into the compound under the cover of night, or put on a disguise and slip past security in broad daylight. However you choose to pull off this heist, when all is said and done, you can walk away with up to $4,500,000! If becoming a millionaire in less then an hour isn’t enticing enough, you can complete this heist entirely solo! No more teammates getting themselves killed and restarting the mission. No more random players disconnecting and forcing you back into free roam. Just you and your millions of dollars! If you’re trying to figure out how to make money in GTA Online solo, this is the way.
How to Make Money Starting Out in GTA Online
For most GTA players, it’s expected to have a few million dollars just sitting in your bank account. But what do you do when you are just starting out? How can you invest millions when you haven’t even bought your first apartment yet?
During my first few weeks of GTA Online, I spent a lot of time doing as many missions as I could. There is never a shortage of contact missions available, and Rockstar has been steadily adding more over the years. You can start them by going into the pause menu, selecting online > jobs > Rockstar created > missions. Payouts aren’t amazing, but they are a reliable way to build up your funds. If you are looking for something more rewarding, just wait for a text message from someone named Maude Eccles. If you’ve played the single-player, you may recognize her as a known affiliate in the bounty-hunting business. She’ll make you an offer to collect on several bounties which can be found around Los Santos and Blaine County. Bring them back alive and she’ll even give you a bonus!
My Personal Strategy
There has never been one “best” strategy to making the most money per-hour in GTA Online. The open-endedness of the game ensures there are plenty of viable options available.
My own personal strategy is a mixture of biker businesses and Cayo Perico. I’ll start by heading over to my clubhouse to ensure my biker businesses are stocked up with supplies. After that, I’ll begin grinding out the Cayo Perico heist while I wait for my product to collect. Once the products are ready to be sold, I’ll find some people willing to help me sell. I’ll return the favor and help them with their sell missions before starting over from the top. Griefers can be a problem, but if you have the right vehicles dealing with them becomes a breeze. I would recommend you purchase the Insurgent Pick-Up, an armored car with its own built-in machine gun. It will set you back around $1,795,000, but it’s well worth it when dealing with those pesky griefers.
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