GTA Online Guide – How to Make Money with The Cayo Perico Heist

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Rockstar has just released a new heist, and you know what that means – a new episode of GTA Series Videos Tips & Tricks. I’m Gary7 MT here and we’re analyzing everything about The Cayo Perico Heist now. As with The Diamond Casino Heist, this video focuses mainly on the Heist itself,  but we just gotta talk about the paywall first. Unlike previous updates, this one doesn’t have  a new business connected to the heist. Neither is our old friend Lester involved. And the world  isn’t under some new threat. But we do have Miguel Madrazo looking for a chance to shine  in his father’s eyes by retrieving some files from a drug-lord who lives in Cayo Perico,  a small Colombian island in the Caribbean. To be able to reach this new area and complete the  heist, you’ll have to buy a submarine procured and modified by Pavel that only he can manage.  Pavel will also be the new voice in our ears for this heist, by the way.

Without any additions or mods, the sub costs $2.2 million GTA dollars, but a fully equipped,  fully functional sub will set your in-game account back more than a staggering $9,000,000.  Starting from here, dropping that kind of dough isn’t necessary.  To experience this heist at its best, we only need one Moon Pool Vehicle, the new Sparrow. The cost of the helicopter and sub is $4,015,000 – plus another $240K to add the mounted homing missile modification to the Sparrow. Definitely not chump-change, especially if you’re not an active, day-to-day player – and if that’s the case, check our Beginner’s Guide video to find new ways to stack loot fast. That said, let’s move on to the real interesting part of the update: The Cayo Perico Heist. After introducing the possibility of playing missions alone and in private lobbies with the Diamond Casino Heist, Rockstar decided to give the very first completely playable Solo Heist to the players with The Cayo Perico Heist. Everything, from the very beginning, to the heist itself,  can be played alone and in closed lobbies. Nothing needs to be done in a public session.

After completing the heist’s long introduction,  it’s time for the first mission: scoping-out the island. The first time on Cayo Perico the player will be disguised as a tour manager, while later players will play the part of smugglers. Technically speaking, the mission will work the  same: leave the enclosed area and traverse the island photographing places and items. The first time the player is forced to follow a specific path then later is able to move and photograph at liberty. Subsequent visits aren’t limited in any way. You can easily travel the island on foot or on a motorbike, but there’s also a simple glitch that allows you to bring one of your vehicles. The glitch is pretty easy to exploit:  just place the vehicle at the limit of the Los Santos Ocean – more or less in the same area where you can find the USS Luxington, the aircraft carrier from the Business Battle. You can place a boat, the Seaplane or even use the Tug boat to place the Buzzard on top of,  retrieving it later to fly around the island. Weaponized vehicle’s weapons won’t work and the guards/camera will still be able to spot you – and expect Rockstar to fix that glitch soon.

The aim of this mission is to find everything the island has to offer,  meaning 4 Bolt Cutters, 4 Grappling Hooks, 4 chests of Guards Clothes, 1 Supply Truck,  1 box of Cutting Powder and 7 areas to scope out, plus all the secondary targets available placed  on tables in closed fenced areas and what the Compound has to offer. Cutters, Hooks, Guard Clothes, Trucks, Cutting Powder and the secondary targets – inside and  outside the compound – are always placed in different locations every time the heist starts,  meaning the player will have to find them again each time. The seven locations, instead – Control Tower, Power Station, North Drop Zone, North Dock, South  Drop Zone, Main Dock and the Drainage Tunnel – only need to be photographed once, and all future  heists will always have those locations available. So, everything not randomly placed on the  map needs to be scoped just once, unlike everything else. But after finding the seven fixed locations, scoping the entire island and highlighting every  single item isn’t really necessary, starting with the Bolt Cutters, Hooks and Clothes. You only need one of these, even if you’re planning to complete the heist with four players.

But there’s more, the Bolt Cutters for example are unnecessary if the player  completes the prep mission “Cutting Torch”. The grappling equipment is necessary only if  the player decides to use the North Wall or South Wall as a Compound Entry point. And the Guard Clothes and Supply Truck are only useful if the player decides to  gain access to the compound using the Main Gate disguised as guards – a disguise that  will allow you to move around the island without being instantly spotted by guards. So, unless you’re planning on doing any of those things, don’t waste  your time finding Bolt Cutters, Grappling Equipment, Guard Clothes or Supply Truck. On the other hand, the Cutting Powder and the secondary targets are vital. The first is a box of chemicals that can be placed in one of three possible locations and used to  contaminate the water reserve on the island. This will slow down the guards’  reaction times and accuracy. The first will help the solo  player in killing the guards that are in groups without giving them a chance to sound the alarm,  while the second is useful because it lowers the chances of being killed after being discovered. Scoping the secondary target is instead particularly useful  to plan the best route to follow to ensure the highest possible reward from the heist.

Unlike previous missions and heists, Rockstar has placed a limit on how much bags can carry. During the Diamond Casino Heist, for example, a single bag could contain all the paintings in  the vault, while in the Cayo Perico Heist the limit of paintings per bag is two. An entire table of gold will fill more than half of the bag and as opposed to the past,  the actual value of an entire table of gold can’t be stated because Rockstar decided to add  a RNG algorithm to the value of each gold ingot, coke brick, painting, weed brick and wad of cash. The numbers on the table you can see here are obtained with the help of  the GTA Online communities on Reddit, the GTAForums and our Discord Server,  together with dozens of tests we did ourselves. We’re pretty confident in the validity of these numbers, still, remember to look at the table  considering that the result can vary a little from what you see in your personal gameplay.

That said, obviously the most profitable secondary target is gold, something that at the moment  can be collected only inside the compound and by playing the heist with two players. According to the game file, though, Rockstar could also place gold outside the compound at any time. It’s unknown if this will ever be done – like during a “Gold Rush” week event – or if it’s simply a leftover in the code. The next most profitable secondary target is coke,  followed by weed, art and finally, cash – all accessible to the solo player with the  exception of two areas in the Main and North Dock that require the presence of a second  player to open the gate of the secluded area. And for those asking how the target on the  second floor inside the hangar at the airstrip can be reached,  parking the forklift inside is the answer. The reason scoping part of the map is wise is ’cause you’ll want  to ensure the highest profit possible. Without scoping secondary targets you’ll  end up searching for the best loot during the actual heist, increasing risk and wasting time. So, if you plan on using the Main Dock as an exit point, make sure to also scope the  area around the it, so you know exactly where to go to get the best the area has to offer.

While scoping the island is a choice, to discover the main target of the heist,  scoping the compound is a necessity. For the first play, the target will  always be the Madrazo Files worth $1.1 million inside the safe in the basement. After that, the game will randomly select a target at the start of the heist. They include a bejeweled bottle of Sinsimito Tequila, a Ruby Necklace,  a bunch of Bearer Bonds and a Pink Diamond. There’s also an additional sixth main target,  a Panther Statue full of jewels that, like the diamonds for the Diamond Casino Heist,  Rockstar can activate for specific weekly events.

After discovering the main target, continue looking through the cameras  to scope the secondary targets inside the compound, the compound entry points and a  possible location for the Supply Truck – if you’ve already scoped entry points,  are going solo and aren’t interested in entering the compound disguised as a guard,  after discovering the main target you can directly disconnect from the CCTV circuit. With the target located, the access points and points of interest scoped  and everything else you want to find around the island located, it’s time to go back to Los Santos to complete the mandatory preparatory missions in order to pull off the heist. There are a total of 16 preparatory missions – some are mandatory, but most are optional. We’ve already done a full walkthrough of the heist on the channel, so  we won’t waste time going through each and every one of them, just the important ones. The first mission to complete is the one allowing you to use your sub  as an entry point for the heist – don’t forget to scope out the Drainage Tunnel  during your first or second visit to Cayo Perico.

Skip “Demolition Charges”, unless you’re aiming at going in  loud and cutting through the main gate. Be sure, instead, to complete the mission  “Cutting Torch” – available after scoping out the Drainage Tunnel on the island. The mission is extremely easy: either go full attack killing all enemies in the construction  sites, or reach the white dot that marks a yellow hardhat. Wear it to disguise yourself and traverse the area to retrieve the item. Whatever the approach, bring the tool to the sub to complete the mission. “Fingerprint Cloner” can’t be skipped because it will give the player a tool to reconstruct  El Rubio’s fingerprint and gain access to the elevator in his studio and the basement. The last mandatory mission of the equipment category  changes depending on the main target. If the target’s inside the safe,  you’ll have “Safe Code”, if it’s inside the display cabinet instead, “Plasma Cutter”.

For the weapon loadout, go with the “Crack Shot” set and buy the suppressors. You’ll be armed with a Sniper Rifle and an AP Pistol, both accurate weapons with a good  firing rate that will help you rapidly eliminate groups of guards without triggering the alarm. You might feel more confident with different weapons,  but this is undoubtedly the best set to use here. The last three preps are all under the “Disruptor” tag. Completing “Weapons” will change El Rubio’s security weapons during the heist. “Armor” will strip them of the body armor and “Air Support” will remove the helicopter  support that will be called by El Rubio’s if you’re detected. These three preps are all optional and, technically speaking, pretty much useless. Your objective is to complete the heist without triggering the alarm, meaning that you should  always aim at the enemies’ heads, rendering armor irrelevant – without alerting them – so they won’t  use their weapons, and you should leave the island unseen – so no helicopter backup for El Rubio.

With everything needed scoped, vehicles and tools retrieved and path from infiltration point  to evacuation area chosen, it’s time to start the heist, but there’s still some additional  help you can unlock by paying a substantial fee. First of all, with the exception of the last one,  for each of these services you must first disable the island air defenses at the Control Tower  during the heist or you won’t be able to activate the help from the interaction menu. For $12,000 bucks you can have an airstrike handled by Charlie Reed – nothing more or  less than a normal airstrike in GTA Online supplied by the Merryweather. For $15 GTA Gs you can call for a weapon supply drop near you  containing a Minigun, RPG and explosives. For $25 Grand, a friend of Pavel, will silently kill the enemies you  indicate with a sniper rifle – but his help is limited – meaning after a while he vanishes. Again, for $25 Gs Paige Harris will release a drone  that will reveal the location of all the guards on the island near you.

Instead for $30,000 you can have Rooster McCraw pilot a helicopter with NPCs on the  sides that’ll help you by shooting and killing any guards around you. The last service that you can buy for $10,000 is only available by selecting  the Velum as your infiltration point. By using this plane you’ll be disguised as  a Smuggler and guards will check you on arrival. By not selecting this service, you’ll be armed,  the guards will notice and the alarm will be raised. Thanks to this service instead you’ll reach the island with no weapons  because the weapons will be stashed along the airstrip by someone else. Unless you’re planning the worst possible heist ever, all these “services” are unnecessary. Don’t waste your money on them ’cause even if temporarily helpful, when things  really go bad, none of these services will save you.

The best way to complete the heist is to avoid triggering the alarm,  only kill necessary enemies and have a route to follow after collecting the target  and if you screw up, there’s always the easy way out – restart from the previous checkpoint. Unless you’re aiming for something specific – like trying every infiltration point or  a “full loot 4-player heist” – always use the sub as the approach vehicle,  the Drainage Tunnel as infiltration point, the Main Dock as exit point and go for the night  instead of the day in order to make the the vision cones of your enemies slightly smaller. When assigning the crew’s cuts, keep in mind that the host should always take a little more  than the second, third and fourth player. Go for a 60/40, 40/30/30 or 40/20/20/20  to keep things fair, unless you’re planning on going back-to-back with someone else  with them helping you playing your heist and later you helping them complete theirs. And speaking of teammates, you should note that this heist will be canceled  only if the host leaves, and will fail only if all four players die. Your teammates are free to die and spectate, or just leave the heist entirely.  Oddly enough, if a teammate leaves the game or gets disconnected, the heist will not  fail and their secondary loots will still count towards the final reward. Their percentage cut will be given to the remaining players.

This could give the opportunity to just one player to earn big money with a 4-player loot – assuming  three players agree to help him out with the loot and then disconnect before escaping the island. It’s important to note that this is probably not how things are supposed  to work, so don’t be surprised if Rockstar also fixes this hole. With all that said, let’s get this heist started. After the introduction, move to the grate of the Drainage Tunnel  and quickly use the Cutting Torch to open the path inside the compound. After confirming the path, you’ll be in the compound. There are two ways to proceed.  You can either start killing everyone in the area – looking for the one guard that  will drop the key to access the basement of the compound – always a random guard,  so you’ll have to start wasting them hoping one of them drops the key as soon as possible. With the key you can move directly down the stairs  of the main building and find yourself in the basement where you have to hack  one door with just one or two fingerprints before reaching the area with the target. The other option instead is to reach El Rubio’s office where you can collect up to two  paintings – with a bit of luck – and from $50,000 to $100,000 GTA Dollars inside the hidden safe. From the office you can either hack the elevator with three or four fingerprints  and reach the basement, or get out and use the stairs if you already collected the key.

The fingerprint minigame is pretty simple this time. There’s a fingerprint on the right you have to reconstruct on the left by rotating the eight  pieces until each one is in the right place. Consider that every row is identical because  they all have the same eight pieces of the fingerprint one after the other. So, if you have problems organizing it: look for the top part of the fingerprint,  then click right once for every row after the first – don’t count the first row. For example, if you’re on the fourth row, find the first piece then click right three times. Having hacked your access inside the vault area,  look for the safe code sent by Pavel before interacting with the safe if  the target is inside, or bring out the Plasma Cutter for the display cabinet. The fastest way to cut through the glass is to bring the heat almost to the max,  then release the trigger completely letting the cutter cool down and then  go again raising the heat almost to the max. This way you’ll get through the glass in 10 to  15 seconds, while a lot more time is needed if you keep the heat constantly in the red.

And with the target stolen, it’s time to leave the compound and the only way out is the main gate. Use the elevator or the basement door and quickly move towards the marker on the map. According to the path chosen, you might have to kill a couple of guards before  triggering the cutscene. Once outside, move forward,  kill the enemy near the bike, get on and move north following the red brick road. Before the entrance you’ll have one enemy on the left, a couple enemies  soon after – also on the left – and the camera. Kill all the enemies with headshots – you’ll  have a brief moment to kill a couple before one of them triggers the alarm, more if you’ve used  the cutting powder on the water reserve. Destroy the camera, then you’re out.

If you’re not aiming for the Elite or highest profit possible, go directly to the Main Dock  following the road, keep straight at the hairpin going down the hill and you’ll find  yourself at the Main Dock in a few seconds. Keep right, kill the enemies on the right  moving in front of the secondary target location – open your way through the gate and collect the  stuff inside or reach the Dinghy on the left. From here, kill the two enemies on the pier  to the right and the one on the left. With that done, move the Dinghy forward  near the containment wall on the right, kill the last enemy on the left, wait for the patrol boat  to move away then push on the accelerator and go straight until the scene goes black.

And that’s all. No fuss, no muss, no coconuts. The heist is done and with no big obstacles to resolve. Once reaching Los Santos you’ll lose 10% – a fencing fee – in other words,  the percentage Miguel takes to turn the stuff you stole into cash. Since Miguel himself is the buyer, this fee won’t be charged the first time you complete the heist. Pavel’s fee instead is merely 2% of the total. None of these fees can be removed or skipped,  but at the end of the day, investing $250 GTA Grand to pocket almost $1.8 million ain’t bad.

As always, there are a bunch of bonuses that can be interesting to look at, starting with the  possibility of starting the heist in Hard Mode. To do so, you have to first complete the heist,  then wait in free roam until Pavel sends a message saying that the heist can be done again. From this exact moment you have 24 in-game hours – 48 real-world minutes – to reach the sub  and pay the $25,000 setup cost. Once done, the heist can  be played in hard difficulty. Nothing changes for the prep missions,  but on the island, you’ll end up with more guards and cameras patrolling the streets of Cayo Perico. The enemies will have a slightly faster reaction time to what is happening  around them and a higher health bar. The first can be easily tuned down by  contaminating the water towers and the second is not a problem as long as you blow their heads off. But if this is the con, the pro of the Hard Mode is a 10% additional bonus  on the value of the main target – secondary targets are not affected – still this means  you can leave the island with 90 to almost $200,000 GTA dollars more in your pocket.

And then we have, as always, the Elite challenge that grants $50,000 more if  completed playing in Normal and $100,000 more if played on Hard. To achieve this challenge, you’ll have to: complete the heist in under 15:00 minutes, complete all hacks without failing once, do not get detected in the Compound, fill each player bag of loot – doesn’t matter what, as long as it’s full – and do not quick restart, A.K.A. do not fail or die. By following this guide, achieving the Elite challenge is going to be a piece of cake. All you have to do is fill your bag with the secondary targets at the Main Dock. Obviously playing with more people means more secondary loot to steal – but with  a second player you’ll have access to all the loot inside the compound,  including the gold that will easily fill your bags.

So, to wrap it up: as stated at the beginning of this video,  while the submarine requires a huge investment, the content it unlocks is too good to pass on. The Casino Heist has been for the past year the fastest and most secure way to  score big wads of cash in a short time, but the Solo aspect of the Cayo Perico Heist  undoubtedly places this new content at the top of every money-making guide. Completing the minimum preps necessary and the heist itself,  shouldn’t take more than an hour – the missions aren’t too hard and the heist  finale is doable in less than ten minutes. Thanks to various combinations of approaches,  entrances and exits, though, the heist can be experienced multiple times still offering  new things to discover one play after another. If you’re aiming for the maximum reward possible  playing solo, the heist can start to get old fast, so try changing approaches once in a while.

The Cayo Perico Heist has been promoted as the biggest update ever done and while it might not  feel that way at a first glance, the features added and those modified to better suit the  Solo nature of this update, really change the way this game feels and must be approached. While the submarine and all its trinkets are definitely expensive,  the money-making possibilities added with the update undoubtedly justify any  costs – with a bit of skill and some luck, you can start profiting very, very soon. As always, time is the only exchange currency to pay to play everything GTA Online has to offer,  unless you want to spend some real money to pump a fake bank account. And that’s it for this Tips and Tricks episode. If you want to chat with us,  other players or just find someone to play GTA Online or Red Dead Online with, join us on our  Official Discord Server or follow our social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. From the GTA Series Videos crew and me, your partner in crime, Gary7 MT.

See you next heist..

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