GTA 5 – Tips or Tricks You May Still not Know (Life Hacks for GTA Online)

Life Hacks for GTA Online: tips or tricks you may still not know. Some helpful hints to get the most out of your time in GTA Online.


Note: Credit goes to Metallicat

GTA Online isn’t a new game, but there are new players, and despite how long you may have played, there may still be some new tricks to learn. So here are a set of useful things to take advantage of in GTA Online.

Street Car Life

Steal Cars in Grand Theft Auto.

Steal a street car, take it to the custom shop, sell for easy money. You are allowed to sell one car every game day (48 real world minutes). The best common street cars sell for $9500 ($95000 list price if purchased). But there are some customized street cars which sell for more, because the limit for “too hot to sell” is based on list price, not the extra value of custom features.

It only takes a couple minutes to sell a street car, which makes an hourly rate of a whopping $285K! But the custom cars let you beat even this high figure. You will want ones which sell for more than $9500, with the easiest to get selling for $15-18K. That pushes the equivalent hourly rate over half a million! Note: The Summer Update has increased the sale price of some of these.

To get the most from them, you need to collect them deliberately and efficiently, then sell them every game day. If you pick the right location for a garage, and already own one of these rare models (it doesn’t have to be the street custom version), and go to the right place at the right time, they will reliably appear for you. Just steal away, park in garage, go out and repeat.

A Garage Full Of Gang Cars: You need a garage near one of the gang areas. Fortunately, the Families (Franklin’s area) Green, Balla’s (Grove Street Circle) Purple, and Vagos Yellow cars pop up at various times of day and night. There are some 10 car garages outside this zone, and the Alta Street high end apartment, or you can get a 6 car garage right in the area. 10 car is generally better for storing cars for resale, as you want to collect a good supply at once.

The gang cars unfortunately, while nice looking, don’t bring the best prices. But they have the most spawn locations and times, which lets you collect over a longer period.

A Swanky Tower Full Of Sentinels: You need the Eclipse Tower high end apartment. A custom blue or yellow Sentinel XS will spawn on the street west of Tequi-La-La, at night (2100-0400). Drive out of your garage with one, down the hill, around the corner, find, steal, take back, repeat all night long. If you are lucky, you can fill up your garage in one “night” (about 14 real minutes). These sell for just under $15K or a bit over $17K. Summer Update — the blue custom car sells for 20K now. The mix is random, about one-third will be the blue ones.

There is an even better collection possibility, but the requirements are a little harder.

A Facility Full Of Sandkings: A custom blue or yellow Sandking XL will spawn in the early afternoon (1200-1700) in certain areas of Blaine County. The auto lot opposite the LS Custom Shop in Sandy Shores (Route 68), the main road in Paleto Bay (Custom Shop to Ammunation Lot), and the road curve south of the Fort Zancudo Bridge. You can’t get a 10 car garage in those areas, and 6 car garages aren’t well placed (Paleto Bay has a couple). But did you know you can store regular cars in a Facility?

Conveniently, there are Facilities available not far from these areas, and they can hold up to 7 Sandking XL. As these sell for $17-18K, you can average a little more than the Sentinel XS collecting with them. It provides an additional use for the Facility.

Simeon Always Wants Cars: Simeon will send you daily text messages to find a street car from a list of models. Grab one, evade the police, respray it (cheapest classic color about $780), then deliver it to Lamar’s spot by the docks. Easy money, pays 50% more than regular street cars (but only list price, so custom upgrades arent worth more). But if you started play and didn’t see the message, did you know that the list is still active if you haven’t already delivered your daily (real world day, not game day) car? You can guess that you have one if you get two wanted stars when you steal one, with no prior wanted level. You can evade the cops, take to custom shop, and then, the S for Simeon symbol will appear.

Summer Update: The respray is now free, any color. The mix of cars include ones which will sell for more money, about 20K for the best ones. Simeon doesn’t seem to want cars unless you get a text message from him.

If you don’t deliver one car each day, you will get those wanted stars any time you grab one off the street until you do it. This can be a hassle if you are doing a job, need a ride, and can’t afford the time and trouble to evade the cops.

As with the custom street cars, one way to help encourage these to spawn is to drive a similar model car yourself.

Don’t Look At Cars: When you call for a vehicle, did you ever notice that it will never show up in your line of sight? From Mechanic, any interaction menu, or whatever, look away from where you want the vehicle to appear.

This also applies when you are trying to get specific model cars to spawn for your on the street. Drive to the destination, but try to make sure that you don’t look forward before you reach the location. The game engine tries to avoid making cars appear from nothing in front of you (you will notice that aircraft don’t always follow this rule).

Aiming For Life

Aim To Climb: Ever find yourself falling down a steep hill, unable to reach the top? If you aim with a weapon, especially in first person view, it gets a lot easier to climb hills. Just remember to keep aiming until you reach the top.

Get Up And At-Em With The Up-n-Atomizer: This mostly harmless weapon has a great use. If you have a mission or delivery vehicle which gets stuck — which happens all too often — you can just get out and push it around with shots from the Up-n-Atomizer, without damage. Stuck on a rock, boat hit a sandbar, whatever. Don’t give up, get Up-n-Atomized instead!

Go For The Head! Both against players and NPCs, shots to the head will do extra damage, making fights easier if you can land them. Accuracy is important. If you have the AP Pistol, this weapon is surprisingly effective at pulling off headshots, with excellent accuracy. Defensively, wearing any kind of helmet will help protect you, but only against other players. NPCs are not allowed to score bonus damage from headshots.

Drive Like Crazy

Speed On The Sidewalk. Don’t Stay Off The Sidewalk (or Grass).

Ever notice that your car engine revs up when you go over a bump like a sidewalk or curb? In GTA, this not only sounds cool, it actually temporarily boosts the engine power. That in turn gives you a real speed boost. Take advantage of this when you need to drive quickly, especially with slow moving vehicles like trucks and vans. It works for any car or motorcycle. So don’t drive safely in your lane, go up onto sidewalks, rocks, and anything else which can give you a small boost.

Grass and dirt can also work, but vehicles which aren’t good at off road driving will lose traction, which defeats the goal of going fast. But a momentary touch may be enough to give you a speed boost, which can be a help.

OP Oppressor Speeders: The Oppressor, and the Oppressor MK II, are extremely useful vehicles for rapid travel across the map. As motorcycles, they are especially useful for MC Biker Club members, as you can spawn them nearby quickly from the menu.

The original Oppressor is actually much faster — as long as you stick to land. It doesn’t really fly, it is more like Falling With Style, but its rocket boost makes it one of the fastest things on the road. If your route is mostly on road, or terrain with few obstacles, using it as super-fast motorcycle will get you to your destination faster than all but a few vehicles — and only one of those doesn’t fly (the Vigilante).

The Oppressor MK II slows down when you climb, as it pops out its rear wings. Did you know that if you retract the wings, you will resume full speed?This will cost you altitude, but if you want to cross long distances quickly, drop and go faster!

The Oppressors also can be your favorite bike as an MC member. But did you know that your favorite bike applies even if you aren’t active as an MC? If you are not an MC member, such as being a CEO, you will still heal and get the other benefits when you ride your favorite bike. This can be very useful doing CEO work with a Terrorbyte and Oppressor MK II.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Car Statistics: The GTA Online car stats lie. The web site text is just made up nonsense (San Andreas Motors is closest to accurate), but the in-game stat bars aren’t really better. The first obvious hint is that the Acceleration bar maxes out on fast cars, some which start with a full five bars, but you will still benefit from acceleration upgrades which go above that (Engine, Transmission, Turbo). Braking and Traction are a little better — you can usually see a visual change from an upgrade. Note that a Spoiler (and on some cars, a rear spare tire) will increase traction, even if the car comes with one stock.

But it is the top speed bar which is most deceptive. You will need to look for online information to get accurate data about the actual speeds the cars can achieve. This isn’t entirely Rockstar’s fault. They made a game engine with a lot of physics interactions for vehicles, so there isn’t a single underlying stat which represents speed or acceleration. The only way to easily calculate the actual speeds is simple: measure travel times in the actual game.

Fortunately, a lot of helpful players have already done that.

Lean Back And Enjoy The Ride: Motorcycles are significantly affected by the leaning controls. Using them well will make a huge difference in how fast you can get around with them (especially important for Biker MC businesses). If you lean back, you will go faster for almost all motorcycles. If you can pop a wheelie, you will go even faster. Lean forward for a lesser speed boost, but more control. A combination of well timed leaning can make a motorcycle far faster than its flat, not leaning speed. The BF400 is amazingly fast used this way, as it is faster than any regular car when doing a wheelie!

Speed Is Life: Bad guys chasing you, trying to kill you while on a mission to reach a safe destination? Despite the temptation to slow down and fight to survive, that actually can be worse than just driving as fast as you can. It might seem unfair, but when you kill the chasing enemies, the game will just spawn more to quickly attack you. It can be worth it to take out one of a pair, or a gunner on a helicopter, to reduce the damage you take. You can always shoot behind you as your rush at full speed.

But since reaching your destination is the goal, and often, the enemies will leave you alone if you reach it, your best option is to get there as fast as you can.

Escape Attempts

Close App To Escape: When a disaster strikes in the game, one way to recover some of your loss is to simply close the program before the Rockstar servers have a chance to save the game. This is especially useful if you are on a business sell mission, and it suddently becomes impossible to complete successfully?

Bad griefer blew you up in a surprise attack? Evil modder (mostly PC problem) shows up and messes up the game? Bad driving crashes the vehicle? Phone call, parent, SO, etc., interrupt the game? Game glitch causes the sale progress to not work right?

Rockstar knows that things can sometimes go wrong, so if you quit the game, you will take some loss of products, but not as much as losing an entire vehicle or the entire sale. This can greatly reduce the frustration from failing a stressful sale mission, especially if the production time was many hours of work.

You can do “Find A New Session”, but it may not work fast enough to save you from losses. But it is a decent option if you haven’t lost product yet, but you know you can’t complete the job.

Save Me!

If your game says something like “Rockstar servers unavailable, saving failed”, press Alt-F4 to bring up the quit menu. Dont quit! This menu will usually force a save, allowing you to continue playing normally.

Sprunk Adds Life: The Soda Machines placed on the map offer a quick way to heal up completely, for only $1. While they are not available on some missions, if they are, they can be a quick way to recover lost health and allow you to continue without dying. While carried snacks and armor are important, it is nice to have a cheap, easy alternative. Learn to spot and use them as needed.

Now They See You, Now They Don’t: Escaping cops when wanted without calling Lester is a great and useful skill, especially because there are missions and jobs which won’t let you use that lifeline. One simple trick which is easy to forget is changing clothes. Just open your interaction menu, style, and change accessories. You only need to change one item (a hat or mask is cool). This only drops one wanted star, but it can make evasion much easier if you have nowhere out of sight to hide.

If you can find anywhere under cover, even a tree, though a cave, structure, or tunnel is better, evasion is easy. Going underwater works too, or flying above the ceiling of the police helicopters.

I’ve Been Driving On The Railroad, All Day Long: Your GPS will not show you these, but the railroad tracks often make excellent shortcuts for travel around the map. Not only that, but the cops don’t normally chase you on the tracks, so it can help with evasion. The railroad tunnels (and especially the subway tunnels) also make great evasion routes.

Scuba Snacks: Your swimming skill is affected by staying alive underwater, so one way to do it is to dive under, run out of air, and eat snacks to boost it. But there is an easier way, and it will make your life aquatic much easier. Just go to any clothing store, go the counter, and buy a Scuba Outfit. If you are wearing this and enter water, you will automatically equip the mask, air tank, and fins to let you swim and stay under water as long as you like.

Business Trips And Tricks

Daily Charges Reset On Change: If you change sessions, the “day” for your daily charges will reset. If you are a CEO or Biker MC President, and see the daily property charges start to pop up, if you either resign/disband, or change session immediately, before the expensive business charges show up, you can avoid them (for that day at least).

If you have played for about 45 minutes or so since the last charges, changing sessions will also avoid a new set of charges (at each game day, 48 minutes of play time).

It may not be worth the savings if you are in a friendly lobby or playing with friends. But the Bunker charge of $9400/day, maxed, does add up. A full set of Biker MC Businesses costs $30K per day (with all active, as you may wish to run them for the Nightclub even if you don’t want them for MC work).

Just Watching TV, Letting My Life Idle On By: The “passive” businesses generate products while the game is running, no matter what you do in the game. This includes the Bunker, Biker MC Businesses, Nightclub, and Arcade. But if you walk away from the game with it on, you will be kicked — disconnected from it — for inactivity? What can you do to avoid this?

A simple method: Watch TV. The game defaults to assuming that you are actually watching the TV or movie. A private movie theater in your Penthouse will work too, but there are TVs in many properties which will work.

Another method, which can be more reliable and work anywhere, is to “stick” your controller. A rubber band round a control stick, or weight on a keyboard, can make the game think you are actively playing, even if you are just spinning in circles in your apartment.

But doing this has some risks. First, online sessions, especially public sessions, may terminate unexpectedly and you will be disconnected. Second, your daily property charges will still apply. Definitely, don’t stay as MC President or CEO while leaving the game run.

If you start a contact mission, the game also can be left running during it. If the mission lets you access a property with a TV (Blow Up is an easy mission which does), you can just go into your apartment and watch TV rather than completing the job. While you are on a contact mission, daily charges won’t be applied. As a small downside, the Arcade (and I think Nightclub daily money, but not the Nightclub Warehouse) will not make money. But that is a tiny cost, compared to not paying the daily charges on many properties, plus being in a session which isn’t likely to get interrupted overnight.

Note: MC businesses which have stock will run the risk of being raided after a long period of idling. There is no avoidance of this — new session, quit game and restart, nothing really helps. If you have active businesses with stock, be prepared to run at least one defend mission as soon as you become a Biker MC President.

Arcade Terror(byte) Crate Management: If you own both a Terrorbyte (which requires a Nightclub), and the Arcade with the Master Control Terminal upgrade, a cargo warehouse near your arcade, and another not too far away, you can greatly speed up the CEO Special Cargo aquisition process. Park the Terrorbyte near the Warehouse not nearest to the Arcade, then alternate sourcing crates for both locations. As you can use the Terrorbyte and Arcade MCT to do this, you need never go far from your warehouses or return to the Office, saving a huge amount of time.

Arcade Terror(byte) Vehicle Mastery: If your Arcade is closer to your Vehicle Warehouse than your Office, or just more convenient to where you are located, you can Source another vehicle without going to the Office using the Master Control Terminal. Likewise, you can call for your Terrorbyte and use it to Source another car. This last is especially useful if you just sold a car in Blaine County, and don’t want to wait to return to the city to get another one.

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