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GTA Online Cayo Perico Heist - what has been added for the island heist?

GTA Online Cayo Perico Heist
(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

The GTA Online Cayo Perico Heist represented one of the largest updates Rockstar had ever applied to their online world, and was much anticipated before its arrival in December 2020. This excitement was due to the introduction of a completely fresh private island location, which was the first new area added since the launch of GTA Online back in 2013. Bear in mind that you can't just grab a boat or plane and head over to this remote paradise, as access is based around planning and executing a heist there and things aren't as idyllic as they seem in the luxurious surrounding.

For the first time in the game you can now complete this heist entirely solo, so you don't have to rely on a crew if you want to go your own way. Whatever your approach, there's plenty of loot to be had – including GTA Online Treasure Chests and the new GTA Online Panther Statue – if you play your cards right, so here's everything you need to know about the GTA Online Cayo Perico Heist.

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How do you start the GTA Online Cayo Perico Heist

GTA Online Cayo Perico Heist

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

To get started on the GTA Online Cayo Perico Heist, you need to head to The Music Locker, the new nightclub that's opened under The Diamond Casino. There you'll meet Miguel Madrazo, son of Martin Madrazo, who fills you in on his plan to stage a heist on Cayo Perico and recover incriminating evidence about his family. After that, you'll need to purchase the Kosatka submarine HQ from Warstock Cache and Carry, which will serve as your base of operations for planning and executing the new heist and can be decked out with various upgrades including the GTA Online sonar station.

Once you own the Kosatka, you'll need to head out to your submarine to start the planning phase of the GTA Online Cayo Perico Heist. Unfortunately as there are no living quarters aboard the sub, you can't use the spawn option to fast travel there so you'll have to get there the old-fashioned way. When you reach the coast, you can use the Interaction Menu > Services > Kosatka > Request Dinghy option to spawn a boat nearby to get you out to the sub. If you can't find your submarine on the map, check the Interaction Menu > Services > Kosatka > Request Kosatka option to make sure it isn't currently in storage.

How do you access the GTA Online Cayo Perico island

GTA Online Cayo Perico Heist

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

If you've gone to the map to see where the GTA Online Cayo Perico island is, then unfortunately you're going to be disappointed. As things stand, the private island is a completely separate location that can only be accessed while working on the new heist, and is not available in free roam to explore at your leisure. At any point during the heist setup, you can access the island to scope it out for additional intel, which is as close to free roam as you can get. After completing the GTA Online Cayo Perico Heist as host you can return and attend the beach party, but this won't allow you to explore the rest of the island unfortunately.

What areas of the island do you need to scope for the GTA Online Cayo Perico Heist

GTA Online Cayo Perico Heist

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

After sneaking away from the party on the island, you'll need to reach the entrance of El Rubio's compound without getting spotted by the guards or security cameras. You can see their cones of vision on your minimap, so as long as you stay off the roads and keep an eye on what's nearby you should be fine. You can also jump in the water off the west coast and swim around all the guards if you want to avoid them completely. Once you reach the communications tower and hack the signal box, you'll need to configure the connections as follows:

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

You can then scan through the security cameras to identify useful intel for the carrying out the GTA Online Cayo Perico Heist. The following items can be identified as you cycle through the cameras by pressing right:

  • Basement: Madrazo files
  • Basement Storage: Cash
  • Office - Cam 1: Fingerprint scanner
  • West Storage - Cam 1: Painting, Cash
  • North Storage - Cam 1: Cash
  • North Storage - Cam 2: Gold
  • South Storage - Cam 1: Cash
  • South Storage - Cam 2: Gold
  • North Gate: North Gate entry point
  • North Wall: North Wall entry point
  • South Gate: South Gate entry point
  • South Wall: South Wall entry point

With that done, you then need to head to the North Dock undetected, and again you can swim to it and avoid any guard attention. When you get there, you'll find the weed in the westmost warehouse building, and the bolt cutters are on top of an electrical box by the dock opposite. With those identified, you're free to explore the rest of the island and scope out further areas to help with planning the new heist. We suggest visiting the following locations:

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)
  1. Main Dock infiltration point
  2. North Drop Zone infiltration point
  3. Control Tower point of interest

You'll be automatically directed to flag the Control Tower to Pavel when you return to the airstrip anyway, so grab that and any other locations of interest then speak to your pilot to fly back to Los Santos. Once there, return to the Kosatka submarine HQ to plan the next stages of your heist.

What is the GTA Online Heist payout for Cayo Perico

GTA Online Cayo Perico Heist

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

The GTA Online Heist payout for completing the Cayo Perico job depends on a number of factors, but mainly the primary target you steal and how much secondary loot you secure along the way. During your recon you'll identify cash, weed, cocaine, gold, and paintings that can be sold to the buyer in addition to the primary target, but as there's only so much that each player can carry, teaming up with others can help you score a larger payout overall. The primary targets have the follow values on normal and hard difficulty:

  • Madrazo Files (first playthrough only) - $1.1m
  • Sinsimito Tequila - $900k / $990k
  • Ruby Necklace - $1m / $1.1m
  • Bearer Bonds - $1.1m / $1.21m
  • Pink Diamond - $1.3m / $1.43m
  • Panther Statue - $1.9m / $2.09m

What vehicles were added with the GTA Online Cayo Perico Heist

GTA Online Cayo Perico Heist

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

The main new vehicle available with the GTA Online Cayo Perico Heist update is of course the Kosatka submarine, available from Warstock Cache and Carry. The starting price is $2.2m, though optional extras including a sonar station, guided missiles, a weapon workshop, and built in Sparrow helicopter and Kraken Avisa minisub can take the total cost up to $9.8m if you select everything. The following vehicles have also been added:

  • Legendary Motorsport:
  • Grotti Itali RSX sports car - $3,465,000 ($2,598,750 trade)

  • Southern San Andreas Super Autos:
  • BF Weevil compact car - $870,000 ($652,500 trade)
  • Dinka Veto Classic go-kart - $895,000
  • Dinka Veto Modern go-kart - $995,000
  • Grotti Brioso 300 compact car - $610,000 ($457,000 trade)
  • Vapid Slamtruck vehicle hauler - $1,310,000

  • Warstock Cache and Carry:
  • Kraken Avisa minisub (Kosatka upgrade) - $1,545,000
  • Sparrow helicopter (Kosatka upgrade) - $1,815,000
  • Annihilator Stealth helicopter - $3,870,000 ($2,902,500 trade)
  • Dinka Verus off-road quad bike - $192,000
  • Kurtz 31 patrol boat - $2,955,000 ($2,216,250 trade)
  • Maibatsu Manchez Scout military motorcycle - $225,000
  • Mammoth Squaddie SUV - $1,130,000
  • Nagasaki Weaponized Dinghy boat - $1,850,000
  • Pegassi Toreador submersible car - $3,660,000
  • Ro-86 Alkonost jet - $4,350,000 ($3,262,500 trade)
  • Vapid Winky jeep - $1,100,000 ($825,000 trade)
  • Vetir truck - $1,630,000 ($1,222,500 trade)

  • DockTease:
  • Shitzu Longfin speedboat - $2,125,000 ($1,593,750 trade)

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Iain Wilson

Iain originally joined Future in 2012 to write guides for CVG, PSM3, and Xbox World, before moving on to join GamesRadar in 2013 as Guides Editor. His words have also appeared in OPM, OXM, PC Gamer, GamesMaster, and SFX. He is better known to many as ‘Mr Trophy’, due to his slightly unhealthy obsession with amassing intangible PlayStation silverware, and he now has over 325 Platinum pots weighing down the shelves of his virtual award cabinet. He does not care for Xbox Achievements.