How to make money in GTA 5 online and get rich quick

The ultimate guide for making a quick buck in GTA Online so you can live the high life

A woman sitting at a desk in a high rise building with the sun streaming in behind through glass

Jumping into Grand Theft Auto 5’s online mode can be a little overwhelming these days. From the moment you complete the game’s tutorial, you’re flooded with text messages and phone calls from NPCs asking you to run errands all over Los Santos, all while more experienced players, with tanks and flying motorcycles, hunt you like prey. But how do you get to that point of mindless vandalism? By earning money, of course.

But it’s not that simple. GTA Online offers loads of different ways for players to spend their hard earned cash – whether that’s on new vehicles, weapons, buildings, or getting your own back on your arch nemesis – so earning enough of the green stuff can prove fairly tricky for newcomers.

So if you’re frantically searching for an answer to ‘how do you earn money in GTA 5 online?’, we’ve got you covered. Read on for information about turning the dust in your wallet into something a tad more useful and you’ll be living it large in The Diamond Casino & Resort penthouse in no time.

How to make money in GTA 5 online

There’s no set way to play GTA Online and thus no set way to stacking paper in the game either, but there are a few obvious places to get started. By following this guide, which increases in difficult and up front costs, you’ll soon be rolling in dough.

These are the best ways to make money in GTA 5 online: 

Scavenger hunts

If you’re a new player, you’ll be bombarded with texts from a chap called Maude – but unlike the others, his texts are worth paying attention to.

Maude will text you information about some NPCs he needs dead or alive, so don your cowboy hat and go hunting. You’ll be paid top dollar for capturing the said target (especially if they’re alive) and delivering them to Maude.  Combine these missions with the Treasure Hunt missions and you’ll have $500,000 in your bank account in no time.

Spin the Casino wheel

If you genuinely believe Lady Luck is on your side, you should head to the casino to spin the Lucky Wheel. This can be done every day, giving you a shot of winning cash, chips, cars, and more.

It’s free and easy – what’s not to love?

A woman riding a moto GP bike in front of a time trial task in GTA 5 Online

Time trials

Fancy yourself as a great getaway driver? Put those skills to the test in the game’s time trials. Every Thursday, Rockstar refreshes the road and RC time trials on offer, and, if you beat the par time, you could net yourself $100,000 with just two minutes worth of racing. That’s $200,000 for just two races. Not bad, huh?

Of course, the trials vary in difficulty week by week, and you’re going to want to spend some of that cash upgrading your vehicles to give yourself the best possible chance of setting new course records.

Related: Cheat your way to victory with GTA 5 cheats 

Featured modes

Just like time trials, every week Rockstar will thrust a new mode into the limelight and give double, possibly even triple, RP and money away. Quite often these are Adversary or Race events, so the amount of money you earn depends on your placement, but they can be nice easy ways of earning cash fast.

Team up with friends, and, well, you’re quids in.

Daily Objectives

This one’s fairly self explanatory, but every day you’ll get a whole bunch of new missions to complete. These are simple to complete and you’ll nab yourself $25,000 for doing all three. Do this consistently over time and Rockstar will reward you. You’ll get $100,000 for a week’s worth and $500,000 for a month’s worth of work.

GTA players with balaclavas on firing guns

Heists

If you’re serious about earning some big bucks, you’re going to want to complete GTA Online heists. While hosting heists requires you to front some of the costs yourself, joining a friend who has a high end apartment – or even a random player through Quick Jobs – can net you a decent amount of cash in a short space of time.

Heists vary in difficulty depending on the approach the host picks, but if your cut is good, you could be walking away with a couple of hundred thousand dollars for ruining someone’s day.

If you fancy earning a bigger slice of the pie, then at level 12, drop $200,000 on a high end apartment. From there, you’ll be able to start hosting them. We’d recommend starting off with five base heists before moving onto the Doomsday, Diamond Casino, and the Cayo Perico heists. While the latter offer significantly more, the base heists are a good way of getting to grips with these complex missions, increasing the chance of success later down the line.

It’s also worth noting that for some heists, communication is needed. You’ll need to take out guards silently and simultaneously and swipe key cards at the exact same time in some cases. Playing with friends is therefore better if you want to fly under the radar undetected.

Cargo runs

If you’ve followed our suggestions so far, then you’ll no doubt have a decent amount of cash in your pocket. Now the fun begins.

Between heists, you should think about running cargo missions. To do this though, you’ll need an Executive Office (something that’s free of charge with the Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack) and a warehouse.

Once you’ve got all that up and running, you can start stealing goods (cars, weapons, drugs) all over Los Santos and taking them back to your warehouse to sell on the black market. It might sound simple, but be warned: cargo runs are done in a public lobby, so you’ll need to navigate the masses as they come all guns blazing.

Related: Here’s how to master the GTA 5 stock market

Make it back to the warehouse unscathed, however, and you’ll net yourself a decent amount of cash – around $200,000 an hour. Vehicle and Air Cargo missions dish out a tad more green, but you’ll need a Car Garage and a Hangar for these, and, well, they’re expensive.

In between all of that, you can do VIP missions like Headhunter, Sightseer, and Hostile Takeover through your interactions menu which you can use to supplement your income.

Bikers sit round a long table in GTA 5

Passive income

When you’re comfortable with the amount of GTA cash in your back pocket, you’re going to want to start thinking about passive income. That’s right, in between car jacking, robbing casinos, and paying for people’s personal insurance, you can earn money for doing diddly squat. Say hello to GTA Online gun running and the cocaine business.

If you fancy earning around $80,000 an hour for doing very little, purchase a bunker or a motorcycle club. By buying (or stealing) supplies, your worker bees will turn this into a product (guns or cocaine depending on the business you’ve picked) which you can then sell for a profit.

When you’ve agreed the sale, you’ll need to transport the product to the buyer, but that’s about as much involvement as there is in the gun running and cocaine business. Just make sure you don’t hold onto your stock for too long though, or you’ll find yourself facing trickier sale missions.

And that’s that for our guide on how to make money in GTA 5 online. Obviously as you make more and more paper, you’ll be able to pick and choose what you want to do on the streets of Los Santos. But if you’re broke and you need some help, this is a good place to start.

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