GTA Online tips for getting money, vehicles, and property

GTA Online tips
(Image credit: Rockstar)

Picking up some GTA Online tips before you charge into Los Santos can help you start out on the right track, as there's a lot to get your head around when you begin building your criminal empire from the ground up. There are always new arrivals flying in to the city, especially now that GTA Online is available as a standalone game in addition to being part of the GTA 5 package, but the sheer scale of the online experience can't be overlooked after almost a decade of progress. Since 2013 there have been a huge number of properties, weapons, vehicles, and enterprises released which are almost overwhelming to try and follow, but it does at least mean that new players have plenty of options to immediately get stuck in to. Follow these GTA Online tips to get the basics sorted, and you'll soon be able to hold your own against the more experienced players you'll meet on the mean streets.

1. Complete the GTA Online tutorial

GTA Online tips

To get going in GTA Online, you'll first need to complete the tutorial section. If you're playing the standalone GTA Online version, you should be able to jump right in, but players with the full GTA 5 game that includes GTA Online might still need to complete the Prologue of the main single player game to get access.

You'll be taken through a character creator to define your appearance and characteristics, before being launched into Los Santos to meet some familiar faces and learn the ropes. The GTA Online Career Builder system has also been introduced to give a nice cash injection into your wallet, to get your criminal enterprise up and running. It is possible to skip the tutorial, but you really shouldn't if you want to get a solid introduction to how things work.

2. Buy a decent car and a garage

GTA Online tips

We say ‘buy’, but you can actually pick up one of the bests sports cars in the game for the grand cost of ‘bugger all’. To get an Elegy RH8 completely gratis, just register for Rockstar’s Social Club. Once you do, this two-door speedster (which resembles the Nissan GT-R) will be yours. Thanks to its great traction, it’s a superb choice for races. Make sure you invest in Loss/Theft Prevention at LS Customs to ward other users off nicking your shiny new motor, too. You’ll also want to invest in a garage to keep your cars safe – at $25,000, the Unit 124 garage on Popular St is probably the best bet for cash-poor beginners, and you can purchase this from the Dynasty 8 website.

3. Keep cashing in

GTA Online tips

Los Santos is a dangerous place online, and any cash your up-and-coming crook is carrying on their person can be stolen by other players. To ensure you don’t lose all that moolah from your last job, make sure to cash your coin. There are two ways of doing this, with the classic being to visit any of the ATMs located around Los Santos and Blaine County, and you can use the Quick GPS on the Interaction Menu (hold down the touchpad/view button) to direct you to the nearest one. However, it's much more efficient to simply visit the Maze Bank website via your phone's web browser (look under the Money section) and make a deposit through there. We don't know how that cold hard cash teleports to your bank account, but it does!

4. Save up, then buy an enterprise

GTA Online tips

After years of updates and expansions there are a whole range of different criminal enterprises you can undertake, from nightclubs and arcades to celebrity agencies and drub laboratories, though each one has a considerable cost to set up by purchasing the required property and equipment. You should therefore look around to see what businesses are available then focus on one to get started, so you don't spread your finances too thinly over multiple endeavors. When you pick a property to set up your enterprise, there will often be lots of add-ons available for a price, but you can go back and bolt these on later so don't worry about having to buy everything at first.

5. Steal a chopper

GTA Online tips

San Andreas is one sizeable piece of real estate, so stealing a chopper can be a huge time-saver. Considering one of the cheaper ’copters from Elitas Travel (the $780,000 Buckingham Maverick) will still fleece your finances, your change purse really will thank you for nicking a whirly bird. Perhaps the easiest one to steal can be found at Los Santos International Airport, near the flight school. With skilful driving, you can vault the nearby fence and claim it for your own. Let skyward crime commence!

6. Purchase a high-end apartment

GTA Online tips

Before you can enjoy GTA Online’s superb heists, you’ll first need to hit level 12. Crucially, if you want to plan these multi-part jobs yourself – and thus have power over how the take is split up – you’ll also need to buy a high-end apartment. These fancy flats come with planning boards that are crucial to heist setups, and the ‘cheapest’ can be found in Del Perro Heights. Visit the Dynasty 8 Real Estate on your character’s phone, and the property can be yours for $200,000. We've got more details on getting properties in our how to buy a house in GTA Online guide.

7. Keep your eyes peeled for Weekly Events

GTA Online tips

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Rockstar does regular Weekly Events, which reward players with double RP and double cash rewards when taking part in certain game modes, usually based around a central theme. Keep a beady peeper on Rockstar’s Newswire for updates on these events, because participating in them often offers weekly discounts on cars and properties.

8. Play nice for Rep rewards

GTA Online tips

As in life, it pays to not be a dick in GTA Online... well, generally. If you frequently help out other players during jobs, and don’t try to screw them over by nicking their motor/money or killing NPCs at random, you’ll receive a ‘Good Sport’ award. Said bonus usually comes in the form of extra Reputation Points or cash. See, it really does pay to play nice with the others in your session.

9. Complete story missions

GTA Online tips

Playing through GTA Online’s vast array of deathmatch types and races can feel somewhat generic after a while, so for something more bespoke try out the story missions. The likes of Lamar, Gerald, Simeon Yetarian, and many more all cross over from GTA 5, with each having cutscene-laden missions to tick off. Most of these thieving tasks feel nicely personable, and finishing them nets you cash and Job/Reputation Points. To access them, bring up the mission list from the pause menu then take your pick.

GTA Online beginners guide | How to make money fast in GTA Online | How to level up fast in GTA Online | GTA Online Solomon Movie Props | GTA Online new cars | GTA Online fastest cars | GTA Online fastest bikes | GTA Online best weapons | GTA Online best paying missions | GTA Online Payphone Hits | GTA Online Short Trips | GTA Online Shark Card | How to transfer GTA Online | GTA Online Hao's Special Works | GTA 6

© GamesRadar+. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Iain Wilson
Guides Editor

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 500 Platinum pots weighing down the shelves of his virtual award cabinet. He does not care for Xbox Achievements.

With contributions from