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GTA 5 Heists Guide (Story Mode)

Choosing the right crew and other decisions can make you a millionaire 'heister' in GTA 5.

Gta Online Heists Screenshot

In Grand Theft Auto V’s single-player story mode, you have the opportunity to plan and execute five thrilling heists alongside the game’s three main protagonists: Michael, Franklin, and Trevor.

Each heist presents unique challenges and choices that will test your strategic thinking and quick reflexes. The decisions you make during the planning stages, such as choosing your crew members and approach, will directly impact the outcome and the amount of money you’ll walk away with.

This guide is for the story mode series of heists in GTA 5 (The Jewel Store Job to The Big Score). Don’t miss our GTA Online heist guide (The Pacific Standard Job).

In this guide, we’ll walk you through each of the five heists (The Jewel Store Job, The Merryweather Heist, The Paleto Score, The Bureau Raid, and The Big Score), providing expert tips and recommendations to help you maximize your take and minimize your losses. We’ll cover the best crew members to choose for each job, the optimal approaches to take, and what you can expect in terms of potential earnings.

Heist 1: The Jewel Store Job

On the first heist, the Jewel Store Job, choose Option B (Smart).

Take Rickie Lukens as your hacker. Other hackers may give you more time, but he will give you the perfect amount of time for this heist.

As for your gunman, you should unlock Packie McReary by completing his optional encounter. It is a random event in which he robs a store and needs help getting away. Once you help him, you can choose him for heists. He is just as good as Gustavo Mota, but hiring him is 2% cheaper. If you take Norm Richards as your gunman instead, he will crash during the getaway. You can grab his money by driving over his bag after the crash, which will give you more money, but you will lose Norm.

Take Karim Denz as your driver. The chase sequence will be more difficult, but he takes less of your money.

If you choose Option A instead, take Eddie Toh as your driver. He takes 6% more than Karim Denz, but will allow you to get $4,946,153 (the highest possible amount), which will leave you with $1,076,304 for Michael and $293,539 for Franklin, significant increases over the amounts you will get if you take Karim Denz along for Option A.

Score: Your total take should be a shade under $5 million with around $1.2 million going to Michael and just under $300K going to Franklin.

Heist 2: The Merryweather Heist

Due to narrative reasons, there is no money to be made in the Merryweather Heist, so your performance or actions will have no impact on the amount you gain. This is the first time the three protagonists run a heist together.

There are two possible paths you can take when playing this heist, which depends on choices made in one of the set up missions. If you picked the Offshore route, you will need to find a submarine, steal it and take it to a drop-off point. This sub will then be used to recover the target item underwater while using the Trackify application on the in-game phone. You’ll need to take the item back to the shore with a helicopter while fighting through enemies.

The other route is the Freighter route. This sees you discovering the item inside a ship’s wreckage instead of just on the seabed, but the rest of the mission is largely unchanged.

Score: $0

Heist 3: The Paleto Score

For the third heist, the Paleto Score, you lose money every time you or one of your crew is shot in the back. You start with a maximum possible score of $8,016,020, however the structure of the mission means there is an unavoidable GTA$ 20,000 loss.

If you used Packie McReary for the Jewel Store Job (Heist 1), take him as your gunman, because his stats will be raised from that heist. Otherwise, take Chef. Both cost 2% less than Gustavo Mota, even if he may be slightly superior.

On the other hand, if you choose either Norm Richards or Daryl Johns for the heist, you’ll be forced to leave that character behind. You can pick up his share for a higher take. If you want to do this we suggest using Daryl Johns (and leaving him behind) as Norm Richards can be good to use for the final heist.

Score: Your total take should be just over GTA$8 million with around GTA$ 425,000 – 464,000 going to each of Michael, Trevor and Franklin.

Heist 4: The Bureau Raid

For the fourth heist, the Bureau Raid, choose Option B (Roof Entry).

Take Rickie Lukens as your hacker (using a better hacker will have no effect) and select Norm Richards as your gunman.

As for your driver, you need to unlock Taliana Martinez by completing her optional encounter. It is a random encounter where she will be alongside the freeway in the northeast. Save her life by driving her to Sandy Shores in time. You need her as your driver because she is one of the best, and her price is 9% lower than Eddie Toh’s. On this heist, she will wait for you in an ambulance, so you completely avoid the police. If you do not have/want to unlock Taliana Martinez, take Karim Denz as your driver. If you used him in the first heist as well, he will also have an ambulance. Otherwise, you will need to escape the police in a van.

If you choose Option A, you will not get significantly less money than in Option B, but Norm Richards will die if you take him (and he is good to have for the last heist). Take Packie McReary and Gustavo Mota instead.

Score: Michael will get nothing with Franklin receiving around GTA$ 240,000 – 242,000.

Heist 5: The Big Score

For the fifth heist, the Big Score, choose Option B. It is possible to get $41,664,000 per character this way.

Take Taliana Martinez as your first driver. She will successfully fly the helicopter and only takes 5% of the money. Also take Karim Denz as your second driver, so that he drives the train. The gunmen are unnecessary, so take the two cheapest gunmen you can.

If you choose Option A, the maximum amount you can get is $34,892,000 per character. Once again, take Taliana Martinez and Karim Denz as your first and second drivers. Take either Packie McReary or Chef as your first gunman. Take Norm Richards or Daryl Johns as your second gunman. Either will save you a lot of money in this heist. Use Rickie Lukens as your hacker.

Score: Each of Trevor, Michael and Franklin should get over $41 million!

Frequently Asked Questions

How many heists are in GTA 5?

There are a total of five heists available in GTA 5’s single-player story mode.

What are the GTA 5 heists in order?

The order of the heists in GTA 5 is:The Jewel Store Job, The Merryweather Heist, The Paleto Score, The Bureau Raid, and The Big Score.

Who to pick for GTA 5 heists?

When selecting crew members for GTA 5 heists, it’s important to consider their individual skills and abilities. Each crew member possesses different attributes, such as driving, hacking, and shooting skills. Pick the ones with the highest skill level in the required areas for the specific heist.

Comments: 4 replies

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Avatar of Crusader

Active member

128 messages 75 likes

I struggles so much when completing the Big Score. I can't tell you how many times I botched it. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. I'll have to do it again soon and go with option B. I want to see if I can get the max amount.

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Avatar of H4ck3r

Active member

106 messages 64 likes

What part were you getting stuck at?

It took me awhile for mot heists but once I saw clear patterns, I was able to complete them no issue.

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Avatar of RetroRanger


86 messages 44 likes

I had a harder time with the Bureau Raid than the Big Score believe it or not. It didn't help either that I got stuck after completing it. I never got the call from Dave or whatever it was and I spent a long while thinking I did the heist wrong and even redid it a few times. Had no idea I was meant to go to Solomon's office lol

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Avatar of Crusader

Active member

128 messages 75 likes

Different spots for different reasons. Since posting this, I did try again and did what the guide recommended it and it helped a lot. I got it my second try. Finally!

Reply 1 Like

Matt Gibbs
Matt Gibbs // Articles: 273
Driven by a lifelong obsession with Grand Theft Auto, ever since first renting GTA III in 2001, Matt created the ultimate online resource for fans - GTA BOOM - where as owner and developer he continues enhancing its game guide library and news hub to deliver everything GTA enthusiasts might want. // Full Bio