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How to play GTA Online - a quick-start guide to acquiring cash, vehicles and property

10 things you need to do in GTA Online

GTA Online could last you the rest of your gaming life, such is its ludicrous vastness. If you want to see its coolest events, cars, and secrets, you’ll need some pointers. Provided you have sufficient in-game cash, the following list spans the most must-play activities to tick off your Blaine County bucket list.

1. Let the Doomsday Heist delight you

The GTA Online Doomsday Heist is the most ambitious, off-the-wall update Rockstar has ever introduced. Though you’ll have to pony up a ton of in-game cash to meet its requirements (we've covered that in our GTA Online Beginner's Guide on the previous page), you’d be mad to miss this maniacal, multi-part mission. Steal the flying, DeLorean-esque Imponte Deluxo! Team up with a neurotic supercomputer! Fly jetpacks for the first time since GTA: San Andreas! At around eight to ten hours long, the Doomsday Heist is a joyously campy, full-game-sized delight. Why aren’t you playing?

2. Transform Races

Nothing epitomises GTA Online’s giddily stupid excess quite like Transform Races. Set around giant, sky-hugging Scalextric tracks, these fantastical checkpoint races sees your vehicle transform from a regular supercar to a flying machine to a compact jet ski. Navigating these gloriously imagined series of hamster tubes in what’s basically your own Optimus Prime is so exhilarating, Rockstar should turn the races into their own spin-off series.

3. Rev yourself up for Motor Wars

Unless you’ve been lost deep in the Amazon Basin for the last year, you’ll know battle royales are all the rage. Not to miss out on a slice of Fortnite and PUBG’s pie, GTA Online recently introduced its own version of last-player-standing. In Motor Wars, up to four teams parachute out of a Cargobob armed with only a pistol, and must compete for guns and vehicles over a periodically shrinking map until just one tough crim remains. Don’t miss this tense, tactical treat.

4. Become a CEO

One of the main, cash-guzzling barriers standing between you and the Doomsday Heist is CEO status. This feature was first introduced in the Executives And Other Criminals update, and demands you buy an office to become a corporate mega boss. The cheapest is the Maze Bank West in Del Perro, though it’ll still cost you $1,000,000 from the Dynasty 8 Executive site. Once you become a CEO, you can hire other players to become associates/bodyguards to protect you; an utterly awesome byproduct of your new big cheese status.

5. Hire mercs, then watch them murder from your flat

Once you reach level 35, you can hire Merryweather Mercenaries to kill other players. Though they won’t always be successful in their wetwork hijinks, it can be quite the thrill watching them try to cap your rivals. Brilliantly, if you visit your apartment after placing a bounty on a player, you can watch the mercs go after the unsuspecting target in real-time on your virtual telly. Big Brother is watching... and he’s packing heat.

6. Fire the Orbital Cannon

If you’re feeling particularly flush/have just been gifted a hefty amount of Shark Cards by a loved one, you can adorn your underground facility with its very own weapons system. For an extra $900,000 you can install an Orbital Cannon that can kill any player on any point of the map... though be warned, it costs an additional $500,000 to fire. Long-range murder never tasted so decadent.

7. Own your own Tron Light Cycle

If you’re feeling insanely flush, there’s no cooler bike to pump your in-game currency into than the Nagasaki Shotaro. Partially inspired by the futuristic ride in Akira, but mainly designed after Tron: Legacy’s luminous sci-fi speedsters, this two-wheeled sensation is phenomenally fast. First introduced in the Deadline update, the Shotaro costs over $2,000,000. It’s a hell of a lot to spend, but it’s not every day you can let rip with an iconic sci-fi sensation.

8. Buy the riotous Ruiner 2000

Yes, it costs a small fortune – over twice that of your average underground facility – but the Ruiner 2000 is flat-out the most gleefully fun car in GTA Online. This cheeky parody of KITT from Knight Rider rocks machine guns, missiles, and – awesomely – its very own parachute. The latter feature makes it perfect for performing skyward stunts. The peak of Mount Chiliad is calling...

9. Drop in for Drop Zone

GTA Online really has a thing for flinging you from outrageous heights. Like Motor Wars, the fabulous Drop Zone shunts you out of a Cargobob, then sees up to four teams battling for control points. This is another nerve-shredding mode that demands tight coordination, but it’s a hectic hoot all the same.

10. Uncover the secret UFO mission

After years of players diligently pouring through code to find any signs of alien life related to GTA 5’s now mythical Mount Chiliad mystery, Rockstar finally relented and stuck a UFO mission into GTA Online. Now, the requirements for unlocking this special alien egg mission are ruddy steep – you have to complete 600 Gunrunner supply missions and start a new supply run between 21:00-23:00 in-game time. But c’mon... aliens in GTA!

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You can also check out the best GTA 5 Cheats in the video below: