Rockstar Games just added online heists to GTA 5 across all versions of the game. It's arguably the biggest update to the game yet.
However, GTA 5 doesn't tell you how to actually use this new feature. Here's what you need to know to start off your crime spree:
How To Start Your First Heist
To lead your own heists, you need to be Rank 12 in GTA Online and own a high-end apartment. You can find a list of high-end apartments here. The cheapest one, Apartment 7 at Del Perro Heights, costs $200,000.
If you fit this criteria, Lester will give you a phone call and invite you to his garment factory. Once you accept the heist, you'll be able to invite fellow players through the lobby or your friends list. Once you've completed a heist, you'll also have the option of inviting players from your previous job. In all likelihood, you'll be teaming up with the same players more than once for reasons I'll outline later.
If you're below Rank 12, you can still play heists. Anyone who has completed the GTA Online up to the Gerald's first Last Team Standing job is able to accept an invite from a heist leader. The catch is that progress for the heist is only saved for the leader.
Planning Your Heist
The reason for the Rank 12 requirement for heist leaders is that you need a decent amount of cash to run one of these operations. The leader has to spend money to buy the equipment and hire the NPCs necessary for the job. Only some of the gear required for the job will be provided to you. The only exception to this rule is the first heist, The Fleeca Job, which Lester will cover the expenses for.
Furthermore, the leader has control over who plays what role in the heist. For example, in one heist, two players must sneak into a high-security facility while the other pair patrols the skies above in an attack helicopter. This is another reason to play with friends, as it'll make it easier for you to lobby the leader for the role you want.
While you're waiting for your heist to begin, it's a good idea to get your headset ready too. To pull off heists successfully, you'll need far more coordination than in other GTA 5 missions. Voice chat ensures that you can quickly communicate with each other and time important steps in the job successfully.
Getting The Most Money Out Of Heists
Heists can be very lucrative if you perform them well. Be on the lookout for Elite Challenges, special objectives that provide big cash bonus if you complete them. Each Challenge can be completed more than once.
There are also one-time bonuses you can earn through heists. Here's the full list:
First Time -- Completing each Heist Finale for the first time, will net you a bonus cash reward
All In Order Challenge -- Complete all Heists in order, including Setups, to receive a $1,000,000 cash bonus
Loyalty Challenge -- Complete all Heists, including Setups, with the same team of players to receive an additional $1,000,000 bonus
Criminal Mastermind Challenge -- Complete all Heists, in order, with the same group of players, without losing any lives, to receive a massive $10,000,000 bonus
These challenges are yet another incentive to play with friends. It's possible you could knock out every heist in the game in order with a group of random players but that's a roll of the dice. Each individual heist can take awhile so it's easier to coordinate a play-through of all the missions in order with a group you know outside of GTA Online.
PS4 and Xbox One players also have access to another one-time bonus called Another Perspective. This bonus is awarded when you complete every heist in first-person mode. The only way to complete this challenge is is everyone in the heist stays in first-person mode the whole time. The heist's leader can lock the camera to first-person in the lobby settings to ensure this happens.
How To Receive Your Next Heist
Once you fully complete any GTA 5 heist as the leader, you can replay it by calling Lester. There's a delay when you try to lead the same heist over again, though. If you want to dive back into that heist immediately, you can join another leader's crew instead. You'll be able to find a Heist replay board at your apartment once you've completed all five heists as leader or crew member. However, for this replay board to show up, you need to be rank 12 and paid Lester the initial visit at his factory.
After finishing a heist, there's also a delay before the next heist in the chain unlocks. Instead of simply replaying an old heist while you wait, there's another new option: new PvP modes. You'll unlock 16 new competitive jobs across three Adversary modes:
Siege Mentality - One to three players must defend a tower for 4 minutes. The attacking team, armed only with sawed-off shotguns, must try to take the tower from them.
Hasta La Vista - In this Terminator 2-inspired mode, one team tries to reach an objective while riding bicycles. The other team, meanwhile, tries to run them down in trucks. As long as one of the cyclists reaches the checkpoint, their team wins.
Come Out to Play - A team of runners must reach an extraction point on foot. While they run, they're being pursued by a team on ATVs or bikes. Runners have all of their weapons but only one life. Their hunters, meanwhile, have to stay on their vehicles and are limited to sawed-off shotguns.
Additionally, you can complete daily challenges or new open-world activities until you're called for your next heist.