With Grand Theft Auto Online After Hours being released in the last few weeks, players are going to need some serious moolah to keep up. The new addition lets you purchase nightclubs with secret contraband warehouses in the basement to expand your criminal empire. At first we applauded Rockstar for all of their free DLC add-ons. But on closer inspection of the crazy expensive in-game content, it has become clear that players are expected to pay for these new toys. The pull of the GTA Online additions is so great that Rock Star has been able to incentivise the pre-order of their latest release Red Dead Redemption 2 with the promise of GTA Online bucks.

Most Grand Theft Auto DLC, Heists, Import/Export, Bikers, etc, requires the player to buy a building to open up new missions and playable content. These can cost anywhere from $1,000,000 to $10,000,000. Combine this with all of the vehicles that are $300,000 plus, and you’ll think the real-world shark cards are good value. It’s getting increasingly difficult for free-to-play players to compete in Los Santos.

We believe in the free movement of gamers and so refuse to fall for any of these microtransactions and tricks developers put into games to get our hard earned cash. The mobile notification won’t make us buy that limited edition weapon and having to put in hard work won’t stop us from winning GTA Online! This is how we earnt millions of GTA$ so that we could play the DLC expansions.

Grand Theft Auto Online Dominator at Night
Top Tip: Be thrifty. We’re still rolling in the car we stole in the first online mission, with some upgrades of course.

1. Grind

GTA is the leveller of all people as we all start out from the bottom (unless you pay-to-win). As a low-level nobody, the best way to make money fast is to repeat quick and easy missions. Gerald has some good missions that you can complete quickly, have minimal risk of failure, and can be played over and over again. Each of these will bring you in $15,000 – $25,000. There are also crews that specialise in grinding and getting in with these guys can speed up your money making immensely.

If you are a good driver, you can hit up the GTA races. A win will gain you up to $30,000 with lower place podium still giving a good pay-out. Combined with betting this can be vastly increased but there is no guaranty, and too much winning will take your betting odds down.

2. Spend Money to Make Money

As the old saying goes, you need to spend money to make money. After we had raised around half a million, we splashed out on a new high-end apartment that was included with the Heists DLC. As well as adding more variety and fun to the grinding, the completed heists will bring in thousands of dollars at a time.

Grand Theft Auto Online Heist Room
Plan your grand robberies from your very own heist room

As a heist leader, you won’t make any money on the setup but will reap all of the rewards in the final pay-off. There is also a bonus of $100,000 for the first time each heist is completed. It’s worth running with a group that you trust. If one person fails the heist, everyone does, so one low level random can turn a 30-min run into 2-3 hours. Die too many times, and the amount that you get won’t be worth the time you put in. Your friends can also agree to take a lower cut giving you more dirty money from the final haul.

3. Diversify

Once we had completed 2 or 3 heists (along with other small random tasks throughout the game world) we had amassed a small fortune of $2,000,000. Previously we’d been living off the one million gifted to the early players who got struck with lousy server problems at the initial release, so this was the first large sum we’d ever made. We spent this new money on a flashy office in the centre of town and a small warehouse down by the docks. Nothing fancy. Just default furnishings. But it was enough to give us the imports/exports missions.

Grand Theft Auto Online Import Export Office Downtown

As a new business, we could “buy” stock and then sell it on. What this really means was buying the location of contraband, stealing it and then shipping it overseas. Crates cost $2,000 for one, $6000 for two and $10000 for three. Each sold for £10,000 so taking them one at a time has the best profit margin but takes the longest amount of time. Look out for the randomly spawning special missions which have you taking high-value items like diamonds and heavy weaponry which sell for £100,000 each!

The import/export missions range from picking up discreet vans to raiding police evidence lockers and soon after you get your target, you’ll be highlighted on the map for other online players to take advantage. Destroying your cargo will give them a reward and the pleasure of trolling you.

Grand Theft Auto Online Duke o Death
Get around town in (relative) safety in the tough as nails Duke O’Death

At this point we took full advantage of the free amour played Duke O’Death from Los Santos Autos. Rock Star’s answer to the now heavily armoured and packing pay to win players that have fighter jets and tanks, the Duke o’Death can take at least one rocket blast and keep going. You’ll still need to keep your wits about you. We even invested in an anti-aircraft rocket launcher which we were forced to use several times.

Once you’ve got your stockpile in your warehouse, you’ll have to get it to the seller. You’ll be given one of three ways to do this that are selected randomly. Either on land in a Brickade, by air via Cuban or by sea in the slow-moving Tug. This is the make or break moment as all of your hard work can be undone by a single annoying player coming after you. You’ll get bonuses however for the amount of stock you are selling, how far you are transporting it, and how many rival organisations are currently playing. After a few drops, you will gain access to the vehicle missions and have enough money for a car warehouse.

4. Expand

Exporting stolen contraband had made us a cool $1,500,000 and it was time to expand the business. We purchased the car warehouse and started bringing in even more money. The car missions are immediately better as there is no initial expenditure to source cars. You’ll be picking up cars from several scenarios including stealing movie cars off of sets, taking crashed cars from crime scenes, and even racing back with car bombs set to explode under a certain mph Keanu Reeves Speed style.

Grand-Theft-Auto-Online-Import-Export-Garage-Overview
All the data you need for fully filled out tax returns…or not.

Back at the garage, you can put money into upgrading the cars to get a better sale price. You’ll take a commission from each sale with the biggest being $50,000 for a fully upgraded car. Our top advice here would be to stockpile the expensive ones and wait for 2x$ events. We managed to be in one soon after starting our car business. With each export getting us $100,000 we made a whopping $1,000,000 in one play session. The recent additions of weaponised cars and planes to the GTA Online world has made exporting cars very risky. Our preferred routes were along the train lines and through the mountain tunnels to avoid the death from above and passing opportunist road users. Playing late at night or early morning when there are fewer players online is also a worthwhile strategy.

The Results

Doing all of these things have made us a grand total of over $6,000,000 and has paid for the impressive heist, import/export, biker, and bunker mission series. We have yet to see what Grand Theft Auto Online After Hours has to offer in both missions and purchasable property, but we know we aren’t shelling out for shark cards any time soon.

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