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- This topic has 15 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 4 years, 1 month ago by mattiejas.
- January 11, 2017 at 1:48 pm #3778
GTA Online Criminal Mastermind Strategy Document
By mattiejas (Ethical Retinue) with further input from Nopitch, Gloozy, SnackitWH, cepa-fin, chobi1234, Outlaw_89, mathilya, and lorsch.
v1.3.18 (17 March 2018)
Quick Links: Fleeca Job, Prison Break, Humane Raid, Series A, Pacific Standard.
Purpose & Sources
This document will help you to achieve the Criminal Mastermind Challenge, which involves doing all heist missions in order with a single crew on hard difficulty without anyone dying. You can fail missions in other ways (for example, due to a timer running out). You can also skip trips. You just cannot fail by dying.
The aim of this document is to investigate a sound and safe approach to each heist mission, along with common failure modes and how to avoid those failures.
There is already a lot of information out there on how to best approach the challenge, along with many more details not covered in this document. Classic reading:
- NeoLedah’s Criminal Mastermind In-Depth Guide.
- Rorxy’s Criminal Mastermind Achievement Guide With Videos.
- GTA Video Series’s Elite Challenges and Criminal Mastermind Youtube Playlist. I do not particularly recommend the approach of the GTA Video Series crew for Criminal Mastermind as they take a lot of risks in order to get the Elite Challenges as well, but still it is a good watch.
- The Heist Masterminds crew is dedicated to just the Criminal Mastermind challenge.
Some of the information in the guides seems a bit outdated with current best heist practice, hence these notes!
A large time commitment is required. Realistically, one cannot do more than one or two heists (well, except for the short Fleeca Heist) with full concentration in a single evening. So, a single attempt at criminal mastermind takes, at the very least, 2 or 3 evenings. In general however, you should expect it to take longer.
For example, say there is a 10% chance of someone dying at any given mission, then the probability of successful completion of all 26 heist missions is just 6.5%, which means you can expect to succeed after about 16 trials (with a standard deviation of about the same, so possibly 32 trials). That would take half a year!
With a probability of just 1% of someone dying, the probability of successful completion of all heist missions is 77%, which means you can succeed after about 2 or 3 trials, with a standard deviation of about 1, so say possibly 4 or 5 trials, but not much more. It may take your crew about a month.
If you play heist missions and you find your crew failing in more than 1% of your attempts, then you may need to consider that you may not be ready yet to try for criminal mastermind.
The keys to success are:
- Plan carefully (what this document is about). Have a clear fixed strategy for each mission. Keep practising and experimenting missions until everyone is fully confident about the strategy for every single mission. Once you are confident about it, stick exactly to the strategy on your actual Criminal Mastermind run: unexpected deviations can turn deadly very quickly.
- Schedule sufficient time with your crew, and make sure that everybody has realistic expectations about success. Do not get too disappointed if you fail on your first few trials: this is normal. Learn from every single mistake, and tweak your strategy accordingly.
- Do not play when tired. Take a break between heists.
- Communicate constantly during missions, making sure you know what to do and what others will be doing at any point. Everybody should use hands free voice chat to ensure quick and effortless communication. The in-game voice chat is not that great, so consider setting up a teamspeak or discord server for your team. Have a dedicated person who recaps the main points at the start of each mission.
- Never be a clown. Behave responsibly.
- Never ever be a hero. Think of the probabilities: any risk above 1% per mission is not acceptable. Completely avoid every action that risks death. Sometimes that is impossible, hence the next few points.
- Everyone must have full health and full heavy body armour whenever reasonably possible. Make sure you are fully stocked before every mission. During missions, pause and use snacks or body armour at every opportunity when required. Make sure you know how to snack and how to use body armour via the interaction menu, and make sure you know how to do this also while being in a vehicle (both as driver and as passenger).
- Wear your heavy utility vest on every mission (not all missions actually require this, but it never ever hurts). In particular, all crew members must have a custom saved outfit that includes a heavy utility vest and a bulletproof helmet. The host must always enable the use of player saved outfits (except of course in those few missions where that is not possible).
- Shoot from cover whenever possible.
- Do not use explosives. If you need serious fire power, use your minigun.
- Do not use your bike. Use a car whenever possible.
This should be easy. Do as told, no shooting, no flares. Drive carefully and in particular do not hurt pedestrians, and do not perform any other action that might attract cops.
The main failure mode is getting killed on the parking lot during the shootout.
So, take your own Kuruma to the parking lot, and shoot all gangsters before taking the black Kuruma. One person takes the black Kuruma, the other person provides an escort. Drive fast yet carefully on the way back, avoiding the gangster cars as much as possible. The driver should focus just on driving and should not shoot at all. Where need be, the escort can provide cover fire and push enemy cars out of the way.
The Fleeca Job
Take any car (not a bike!) to Lester’s factory, and drive carefully to the bank. In the bank, make sure to shoot all four cameras, and not to shoot any hostages. The driller tells the driver as soon as he has finished drilling, so the driver can immediately go to the car. The driller runs to the car as fast as possible. The driver can pass the first two roadblocks on the left side. For the last roadblock, try to go between two cars (obviously hitting them) on a straight approach to avoid spinning. To get on the magnet quickly, make sure to keep the magnet visible (it activates when it is just visible at the top of your screen).
Start the heist from the Alta Street apartment. It is near a subway tunnel, which will be very handy during the Station mission.
Everybody gets into a single Kuruma, and stays in the Kuruma during the entire shootout. At the airstrip, the driver shoots the gas tanks from a distance before approaching. Live gas tanks should be avoided at all costs. If at any point anyone is low on health (i.e. all body armour gone), stop shooting and equip fresh body armour, eat some snacks if need be.
The pilot gets out of the Kuruma to take the plane only when all Vagos are gone. The Kuruma clears the airstrip from wreckage to ensure safe takeoff. The pilot lands on one of the large landing strips at Los Santos International Airport. Drive carefully to the hangar along designated routes, to avoid crashing into obstacles.
The Kuruma just stays stationary when far enough from the airfield (everyone can spectate the pilot if they want).
Everyone starts in a single Kuruma.
When approaching the bus, shoot the driver (use the mini SMG to avoid blowing up the bus) but for now everyone stays in the Kuruma. Instead of taking the bus right away, first shoot the chopper that is escorting the bus (use the AP Pistol for maximum damage, do not exit the Kuruma under any circumstances), then lose the cops. Once the cops are lost, approach the bus again and take it North into the desert hills. Indeed, there is a good spot for losing the cops in the desert hills North from where you stop the bus; it’s a high spot where two hikers are walking on a ridge. The cops usually do not follow you there. Another good location is the wind farm.
The Kuruma escorts the bus. If at any point the bus gets attacked by cops, the Kuruma lures the cops away from the bus. Be careful not to do too much shooting, because it is much harder to lose the cops if you have more than 3 stars. As a general rule, do not shoot except at cops that are immediately near the bus.
Sometimes the bus gets stuck. This is a dangerous situation, as it can cause the bus to explode, killing the driver. If this happens the driver gets out of the bus immediately and gets into the Kuruma. Destroy the bus, and quick restart the mission.
This mission is a risky part of the heist. There is no fully safe way of doing this, but what follows is an attempt at making it as safe as possible. There are 2 people on the cop team, and 2 people on the sports car team. The Alta Street apartment is next to a subway tunnel (down from the subway station in front of it), which will be very handy for the cop team.
The cop team calls 911 to lure a cop car (you may have to wait a while until they pick up the phone). Shoot the cops simultaneously from your Kuruma, get in the cop car, and hide in the subway tunnel nearby. (You can also grab the cops but this is more risky as they carry shotguns.) This should be a very short drive if you started at Alta Street apartment.
The main hazard in the tunnel is a possible train on the track, so make sure to take the right tunnel when going in the subway, then wait to lose the cops in the first area where you have space to park the car between the tracks (the cops should not follow you into the subway tunnels), turn around and take the other (now again on your right) tunnel to exit the subway. The person in the cop car grabs the schedule at the police station (make sure to holster your weapon and not to run), torches the car, and delivers the schedule.
In the mean time, the other cop goes to the boat with a Kuruma to aid the escape of the sports car team. He keeps a distance and does not engage any enemies until the sports car team has the car.
The sports car team goes to the boat either in Kurumas or in Vigilantes. The most important thing to remember for the sports car team is: do not shoot at any cop during any part of this mission. There are multiple strategies for getting on the boat with varying levels of safety, but a suggestion is to drive along the side of the boat to shoot as many enemies as possible from the safety of your Kuruma or Vigilante. Note that you may gain a wanted level; it is important not to shoot at cops unless really absolutely required. The Vigilante method is easier, as its rockets are very accurate, however be super careful not to blow up yourself or the other person. A good strategy for the Vigilante is for both people to shoot from opposite ends of the boat, to eliminate the chance of accidents.
Once most of the enemies are gone, go up the boat. This is a risky part, be very careful! An option is for one person to go up the boat first while the second person stays in the Kuruma to provide extra cover. The second then goes up when the perimeter is safe.
If you were fast enough in the previous part, the cops should not be at the boat yet, but they will soon show up. So, go to the side of the boat that faces the water away from shore, to keep out of reach of any cops that might approach. Now, slowly and carefully make your way to the container that contains the sports car: shoot from cover as much as possible, and armour up whenever needed. Before you shoot the lock, make sure the whole team has lost their wanted level; wait a bit if need be.
Once you are in the car, driver and passenger equip fresh body armour and eat snacks if need be. Also make sure that the Kuruma is in place to cover you; if need be, wait for the Kuruma. Once the driver has the go-ahead from passenger and Kuruma, drive off the ship and make your way to the checkpoint in the desert.
You will be attacked by enemy cars during your escape, but do not shoot. This is crucial. If you shoot then you will also have cops on you, making your getaway extremely difficult with much higher risk of death. The sports car team should keep their body armour inventory open to equip fresh body armour if it drops too low. The sports car driver should avoid enemy cars as much as possible, with careful turning and slowing down a bit to avoid collisions as much as possible.
You can avoid most enemies if you do not follow the suggested route immediately. Instead go straight from the boat until you arrive at the railway tracks. Keep following the tracks towards the North, along Lester’s factory, and then leave the tracks to cross the storm drain when near Trevor’s hangar. From Trevor’s hangar, get onto the highway and follow the suggested route.
The cop in the Kuruma will escort you and ram enemy cars out of your way. It’s ok for the Kuruma to attract a wanted level, but obviously you should not attract too many cops to avoid the sports car to accidently get a wanted level as well. If this happens, the Kuruma should lure the cops away from the sports car, to allow the sports car to escape the cops as quickly as possible.
The Kuruma is slightly slower than the sports car, so the sports car driver may need to hold back a bit to ensure cover. Occasionally, you need to slow down anyway to safely evade enemy cars.
This mission is fairly straightforward.
The mansion team can use two Kurumas, cause some noise, and then cut off the target’s escape (one person stays at the entrance, another person heads to the south; this ensures all escape routes are covered).
The city hall team goes in one Kuruma. Make sure you park it conveniently near the checkpoint. Shoot lawyers as soon as they exit the car; in that way the car will run over one of the lawyers momentarily stopping his running away, in case you miss.
Now head to the case in the Kuruma. If you park next to it, the passenger can take the case without shooting any cops. However, when doing the Criminal Mastermind, in order to avoid a risky situation, simply shoot all the cops first, then take the case.
The unfinished subway tunnel is conveniently nearby to lose cops.
The Prison Break
For this mission you really need to think about role assignments. Practice to perfection is key.
Prison guard and prisoner have the easiest task, provided that you use the Kuruma trick. At the start, the prisoner can buy extra AP Pistol ammunition from the interaction menu (this is not strictly necessary but it speeds things up later). The prison guard drives the bus, and the prisoner follows him in a Kuruma. Stop the bus at the sign in front of the first barriers at the prison. Both get in the bus, and get in the prison as usual, then shoot their way back out towards the Kuruma (this is only 6 enemies).
Get back into the prison with the Kuruma. You have to scale a low wall with the car to your left as you go in to get to the yard where Rashkovski is. The prisoner then gets out to trigger the checkpoint, waits until the prison guard shoots all enemies, then collects Rashkovski and all clear the regions from within the safety of the Kuruma. You can also simply exit the prison in the Kuruma. When you are about to clear the last region, give a heads up to the pilot, so he can prepare for landing at Sandy Shores.
Demolition has a straightforward job. Although the game instructs demolition to cover the Velum, he sits idle until the prison crew escapes the prison. Make sure not to get too close to the jet, because the jet can also shoot rockets at the helicopter. (It is common for demolition to help the prison crew inside the prison by shooting rockets at it from a distance, however this is also not advised, as you might accidently kill the ground crew with a stray rocket, or accidently get too close and get killed by a rocket from the prison.)
The pilot takes the Velum, and can wait a bit at the airport. When the timer is at 3:30, leave the airport and head for Sandy Shores. If the prison crew is fast, you will arrive at Sandy Shores as they do. If not, evade the jet for a few minutes. Just fly behind it (you can slow down by letting your landing gear out). To stay near Sandy Shores, you can force the jet to turn by not flying directly behind it, but instead keep a horizontal offset in the direction you want to go. Make sure to stay away from the prison, or you will be shot down.
The advised pick up point for Criminal Mastermind is the airfield at Sandy Shores. It is also possible, and faster, to pick up the ground team via the sand strip in front of the prison, however this is not advised because of the large amount of cops in the area. Moreover, there is a small (but definitely non-zero!) chance of a helicopter to spawn right in front of the approaching Velum in this area, which will cause instantaneous unavoidable death.
The pick up at Sandy Shores is arguably one of the trickiest parts in the entire heist series. The pilot should try to land on the smaller diagonal part of the runway, with the plane oriented to the South (towards the big city). Make sure to open the door for the crew to enter. The prison crew approaches the plane from the left side behind (avoiding the plane’s propeller, and also at the side of the plane’s entrance). If the plane has not landed yet as they reach the airstrip, they should stay away from the landing spot, to have fewer cops around when entering the airplane: only approach the airstrip once the plane has landed.
The chopper shoots any police choppers and cars around the plane, but not if they are too close: a close explosion can also hurt the crew on the ground, or the plane itself. The pilot must then take off whilst avoiding any oncoming cop cars. They can come from all directions. If unsure it is better to slow down the plane a bit and to slowly drive around cop cars until there’s a clear take-off route, to prevent cars crashing into the plane.
The rest is easy. The pilot flies high, avoids choppers (drop height to gain speed if need be), and avoids flying over the prison. When jumping out, parachute safely, avoid the rocks. If you are a bad parachuter, land in the water and swim to the shore. Stand out of the way when the chopper lands. Avoid the chopper’s tail blade when approaching the chopper: always enter the chopper from the front.
Do this heist from the Alta Street apartment.
Definitely no explosives on this mission! It is very easy to blow up yourself or others.
Buyer and bodyguard take cover well within the garage and shoot at anything that comes in their sight, one person focusing on the left and another person focusing on the right.
South Lookout should stand back a bit and use a minigun to shoot as quickly as possible all enemies on the left (main entrance), and once those are down, on the right (small alley). You should not loose much armour if you stand enough to the back, but if you do obviously take proper cover and equip fresh armour.
North Lookout shoots from cover to the back alley and the side alley.
When there are 1 or 2 enemies left, lookouts jump down and everyone moves towards the case. When the last enemy is down, quickly grab the case and make your escape as many new enemies will spawn. The car from the seller is a good choice (it is pretty fast) but only takes two people, so you need to take two cars, each with two people, to get away. Do not escape via the main entrance, instead use the small road next to the garage in between the buildings.
If you do this from the Alta Street apartment, your escape route is quite short. If one of your tires gets shot, controlling the car can be very hard, therefore Alta Street is strongly recommended.
Kuruma, shoot all the guys at the quarry, grab insurgents, and drive to the top of the quarry. As the two choppers to approach, the gunner shoots them as quickly as possible.
The gunner then presses H to hide inside the insurgent. This is really strongly recommended as it protects the gunner from enemies as well as avoids the gunner from dying if the insurgent accidentally flips over.
Drive carefully towards the checkpoint. The drivers focus on driving, no need for them to shoot, instead they try to avoid enemy cars as much as possible. The passengers shoot at enemy cars if they get too close for comfort. The two insurgents stay closely together for maximum protection. You can avoid many enemies by not following the suggested route. Instead, go right along the quarry, and then follow the train tracks towards the road along the lake.
Once near the checkpoint, shoot the necessary enemies until advised to deliver the insurgents.
When entering the carrier, make sure not to advance until the rockets in the large bay are all shot and exploded. It is very easy for them to accidentally explode while you stand next to them.
All jets should be in the air before the Hydra is taken. Coordinate your takeoffs so you do not accidentally ride into each other on takeoff. Once the jets are in the air, go into the Hydra and fly off. The Hydra focuses on doing circles and luring the enemy jets to your friends. The Hydra keeps going in circles to avoid being shot at. The enemy jets will usually only engage the Hydra, although you should not count on this.
When shooting the enemy jets, everyone must keep proper distance from each other and from enemy jets. If you get too close, break off your attack run and fly towards empty space.
Also the hydra should keep close (but not too close) to the friendly jets, as the enemy jets will follow it, so if you are away on your own you will have no cover.
You may take just two jets plus the hydra into battle to reduce the probability of collision, particularly if someone on your team is not a confident pilot. The other person can simply stay inside the boat (not on the deck, it is possible that jets fire missiles at you!).
Land the hydra using hover mode, but make sure to activate hover mode from high up in the sky and whilst flying horizontally. Others should not land, but instead keep high in the sky, to avoid accidentally crashing.
All in Insurgent, because it is possible to get hit by a missile in this mission, and the Kuruma provides no protection against this event.
Shoot the first few enemies at the entrance of the base and wait for the chopper to come near. Beware that if you are for too long in its vision, it will shoot rockets. The insurgent can take a few rockets without exploding so you should not worry too much about this. All should focus their AP Pistol on the chopper until it goes down.
Now head to the Valkyrie and shoot all enemies around it until the area is clear.
When leaving with the Valkyrie, the pilot flies higher than enemy choppers (to allow gunner to shoot), and also keeps distance from enemy choppers (reverse back a bit as they close in) to avoid taking damage.
This requires communication but otherwise quite easy (no worries to fail this by being spotted, just do not die).
The Humane Labs Raid
Again quite easy.
It is quite easy to mess up the parachute jump; fences are particularly dangerous as they are hard to see in the darkness. So, it is recommended that the ground crew does not jump from the chopper. Instead, the pilot descends as soon as the checkpoint is cleared, and lands into the complex to let the ground crew out.
The pilot and gunner prioritize shooting choppers. Pilot makes sure to keep distance from enemy choppers (reverse as choppers approach) and makes sure to fly high enough.
The gunner should swap between camera and regular view as it is easier to see enemies in the regular view.
The Valkyrie can take at most three rocket shots. If you are careful, you should not get more than two rockets on you. But if you are unlucky enough to get shot three times, abort the mission to avoid getting blown up.
When landing on the beach, the ground crew must stand well back to allow the chopper to land safely without hitting someone. Be careful to avoid the blades of the chopper as you enter it.
This mission is easiest and safest if you simply do not take the chopper.
Everyone goes in one Kuruma to the boat. Three people go in the boat to the yacht. The remaining person goes to the other side of the pier (for best view on the boat), and snipes enemies from a distance, and also shoots down any police choppers.
The yacht team goes on the boat and collects all packages. As soon as the last package is picked up, a lot of cops will spawn, so to minimize cop trouble, leave the package closest to the boat (for your escape) until last. Someone can collect the boat before the last package is taken, to ensure that the rest of the crew can immediately board it without having to go into the water, for a speedy escape.
For the escape, the boat team to go into the tunnel on the left side of the pier, and to lose the cops there. Make sure not to steal a car because that might attract cops again. The Kuruma person on the beach drives off as soon as the last package has been collected, and loses the cops separately.
When all have lost cops, the Kuruma can pick up the boat team to go Trevor’s warehouse. (Stealing a car is not advised as this easily attracts cops.)
Driver has critical job to get collectors as close as possible. The location of the trash bags is not indicated; the driver must simply know these locations.
Collectors must focus on collecting, and then getting back on the truck as soon as done. In case things get too hot, the collector that is best at shooting holds off enemies for a bit (staying very near the truck!) whilst the other collector keeps getting trash. Normally, if you are quick, you can do all collections without shooting, except for the one at the gas station.
Passenger shoots from the truck, and should stay in the truck.
Fresh armour and snacks between collections.
At gas station, first shoot the pumps from a distance so they cannot accidentally explode while you’re next to them. Then park the trash truck in a small alley on the South side of the gas station; this location provides great cover and it is also quite near all of the bags. At that point, one person calls his Kuruma, and all get out of the trash truck to go inside the Kuruma.
The Kuruma drives to near one of the trash bags, a collector picks it up (this will trigger enemies to start spawning) and quickly delivers it. He immediately gets back into the Kuruma. Everyone then shoots enemies from the Kuruma. When the site is clear enough, the collectors get out of the Kuruma (communicate clearly when this happens to avoid running someone over) and deliver the remaining trash bags.
When done, all get into the trash truck and drive back to Trevor’s hangar. However, instead of following the yellow route, it is much easier and safer to go via the storm drain. From the gas station, drive down towards the nearby Los Santos Customs, and then you can squeeze through obstacles to get down to the storm drain. Then simply follow the storm drain, and get out of the storm drain once near Trevor’s hangar. In this way, you should have no (or almost no) enemies on your way back.
For the stealth part, take your time.
When escaping, do not use the yellow route as indicated. Instead, just before the first bridge, go straight along the dirt road and cross the river on the next bridge. This route is quite a bit longer, but you will have no enemy cars and only have to deal with enemy bikes. Drivers focus on careful escape, evading enemy bikes; do not drive over bikes because they can explode. Passengers shoot at the bikes.
All in Kuruma, shoot all enemies on the ground.
Gun van in front.
The gunner simply goes into the passenger seat instead of taking the gun on the back. This much safer as it is quite easy to flip the technical, thereby killing the gunner.
Instead of following the suggested route, go towards the Western Highway and follow it towards the checkpoint. (The game will suggest going right after a bridge to leave the highway, but it is easier to go straight: just keep on the highway all the way.) You will have far fewer enemies this way.
All in Kurumas. Shoot everyone at farm from Kuruma. Be very careful not to shoot at the meth trailer when shooting enemies near it! It takes damage very easily, and it will explode if damaged too much.
Get truck, drive the truck offroad so you have almost no enemies on you. You have enough time so take your time and drive slowly to avoid flipping the truck as the coastline is quite bumpy. Kurumas stay near the truck at all times for cover (one in front and one in back). Be extra careful when taking the first turn when leaving the farm, because there is a wooden pole in the corner of that turn. If you accidentally hit the trailer against the pole, then the trailer can blow up quite easily, potentially killing the truck driver and anyone near the trailer.
Series A Funding
Go in a Kuruma to the warehouse.
Make sure first to shoot the gas tanks on the South side from a distance before starting the shootout. Park the Kuruma inside the warehouse between the two trucks.
Keep in cover as much as possible during the shootout.
Instead of taking the gun van, two people take the Kuruma. This eliminates the risk of flipping the gun van and killing the gunner, and also severely reduces the risk of these two crew members being shot en route. It will be much harder to shoot the choppers (only the passenger can shoot at them) but since the choppers are not buzzards, they do not actually cause that much damage, so you can actually take your time.
You can completely ignore the helicopters. They will shoot but will not cause much damage, and they will disengage eventually anyway when you’re near the wind farm. Just focus on the enemies on the road.
The truck drivers focus on safe driving, occasionally shooting when necessary.
Stay together at all cost for maximal protection.
After you’ve shot the Ballas, over the highway bridge, two highways are merging together. At the merging location, when you are just down from the bridge, it is quite easy to cross the highway and to get on the train tracks. Get on those tracks to avoid most enemy cars. In this case however be careful not to hit any trains, and drive carefully over the train bridges as they are quite narrow. Keep following the track on the right until you are near the road towards the lighthouse, then follow the route as indicated.
Photographing should be straightforward. Do not take a bike. Instead, take a car with open windows (i.e. any fast car except a Kuruma).
To take the van, the following strategy is both quick and safe. The first team shoots the driver of the van (use your Mini SMG to avoid damaging the van too much), but they do not take the van, instead they immediately focus on losing their wanted level. The second team, which has no wanted level, then takes the van.
Three people drive towards Avi as instructed. The remaining person goes to the Vinewood Police Station to collect a helicopter. It should spawn if you are on your own, but if for some reason the helicopter is not there, simply go around the block and try again.
The three in the car park on beach near Avi’s island where the other seasharks are, on the South side of the mouth of Cassidy Creek. Go to island. Shoot enemies slowly but steadily; do not rush, and stick together. Be very careful as there are explosive barrels here and there on the island, shoot them from a distance if you can. Do not go near Avi’s shed yet: wait until the chopper has landed on the island.
In the mean time, the person with the chopper flies to the island and lands it at the edge of the island (if you park it elsewhere, the chopper may disappear). When the chopper has landed, go towards the shed to collect Avi. Instead of driving off in the boat, get back on land with Avi and go with him in the chopper. One person must stay behind on the island as the chopper only takes four people.
The chopper flies to the checkpoint. When near the checkpoint, you will be instructed to lose cops. Do so, then go back and land on the checkpoint.
Three people go immediately to the enemy site, each in a Kuruma, and shoot everyone. The remaining person collects the black van.
All get in the black van, but the two passengers get out immediately and instead each takes a Kuruma to escort the black van (one in front, one behind). The black van driver focuses on evading and fast escape. The Kurumas focus on pushing enemy cars out of the way.
This mission involves choppers that can shoot rockets, and therefore it is one of the riskiest missions if you simply follow the game’s instructions. Therefore we do things a bit differently.
All go in a Kuruma.
At the first checkpoint near the bridge, everyone snipes the first enemy chopper that appears (before the convoy arrives). Go back into the Kuruma, and park yourself on the South-West side of the bridge, as to trap the convoy on the bridge. As soon as the first jeep comes onto the bridge, drive past this jeep and past the truck, and then start shooting the insurgent gunner and driver. (It useful only to start shooting after you have past the truck as it prevents damage to the truck.) For the same reason, use your Mini SMGs and not your AP Pistols. Depending on the situation, agree on which person shoots the truck driver; this further helps avoiding damage.
Once all enemies are down, do not yet take the truck. First, clear the bridge of cars to make it easy to get the truck out. Three people go into the insurgent and stand near the truck.
Then the fourth person goes into the truck but goes out immediately and then enters the insurgent. Two enemy choppers will spawn (only one if you are lucky), but they are still some distance away. First, the insurgent drives up the hill to the North of the bridge: drive to the trailer along the road North of the bridge, go up the hill there, and follow the upward ridge of the hill for a short while.
Park on the ridge when you are just South of the tunnel. If you can just see the surface of the road leading into the tunnel, then you are exactly at the right spot. Once the insurgent is in position, make sure someone mans the gun. Most enemies will start spawning by now. The gunner can easily shoot them as they come from the roads, which are some distance away from where you are parked.
The other three people get out of the insurgent and position themselves on the South side of the insurgent. This ensures they can see the choppers coming and also protects them from enemies who will mostly come from the North from the tunnel road. First snipe the chopper that comes from the South-East (if it spawned); it will be flying over the lake by now. Then snipe the chopper that comes from the South. It will take some time to get in range, just be patient. In the mean time the gunner keeps shooting enemies that come from the roads.
As the last chopper goes down, a final chopper will spawn on South side of the bridge: it will take off from the road. Everyone should be ready for this event, so they can shoot it very quickly. For this chopper, the gunner should also focus on it to ensure quick destruction.
If any chopper gets too close at any point, all go back inside the insurgent, including the gunner, and shoot the chopper with AP Pistols. The insurgent can withstand quite a few rockets.
Once this chopper is down, all go back into the insurgent. One person picks up the truck. No further choppers should spawn, and most enemies should have been destroyed by now as well, so the gun should not be manned (this protects against death in case the insurgent flips). If enemies still spawn, all wait and stay together, everyone shooting at the enemies (with AP Pistol) to take them down. Only proceed if no more enemies are visible on the map. Make sure to keep your distance from exploding cars.
Everyone takes their Kuruma, goes to the checkpoint, and shoots until all enemies are down. Be especially careful to stay away from the gas tank! Also be careful not to drive over the bikes as this can cause them to explode.
One person briefly takes a bike but goes back to their Kuruma immediately. Then follow the route with your Kuruma, and shoot enemies as they spawn. Keep doing this until you reach the end of the route. It pays off to do this slowly to ensure that no more enemies will spawn in the next stage.
Once you are confident enough that there are no more enemies on the roads, go back to the bikes, and drive to the checkpoint. It is advised to stay together, just in case you missed some enemies. Drive slowly and carefully, as it is possible to die by impact on a bike. If you fall off your bike, shout immediately, so others can wait, and provide cover if necessary.
The Pacific Standard Job
Shoot a few hostages when in the bank so NOOSE is called. This will ensure that a NOOSE van is available for making the escape. The person with the money should not stay at the bank: you have more firepower therefore better chances of survival if you stick together.
No explosives whatsoever! Use miniguns. Push forward but stay together. All take the bikes, and go towards the road where the NOOSE van is located (it’s near the “ramp”; from the barrier, go down, then take a left at the intersection, it’s about 100m down the road). Get the NOOSE van, but do not use the suggested route (the NOOSE van is far too slow), but instead use the Western Highway and go directly to the boat. When near the boat, you normally have to shoot just one more police car.
Note that the run for the bikes is quite doable with three people even if you have NOOSE. So if you have someone who is very uncomfortable with shooting the cops when going to the bikes, that person can stay behind with the money. You will have just about enough time to still pick that person up with the NOOSE van and to get all the checkpoints. In this case you will need to destroy one of the bikes (just put a sticky on it, and explode it when everyone is away from it).
It is also quite feasible (although perhaps slightly more risky) to use the bikes. In that case you don’t have to call NOOSE and the escape from the bank is slightly easier. The police won’t shoot much at you during you run as long as you don’t shoot at them; so don’t shoot unless absolutely necessary. Focus on driving and evasion rather than speed. Make sure to use your boost to help you evading cop cars. Also, stick together. If someone falls off, everyone should stop and provide cover.
If you use this method, note that it is not uncommon to fail the parachute jump as sometimes the parachute does not deploy in time due to lag. So instead of using the parachute at the final checkpoint, turn back and drive under the bridge down along the cliff to the road. If you break all the time and go very slowly, you shouldn’t fall off your bike. Make sure to train this at least a few times, but once you got the hang of it, it is much safer than parachuting. Note that you can abort the mission at any time with your phone without losing your criminal mastermind progress. So if things get too hairy, just abort and try again.January 11, 2017 at 3:40 pm #3781
One BIG ADVICE for Trash Truck: At each trash collection point, one crew member calls his Kuruma. In this case, everyone will stay safe.January 11, 2017 at 5:09 pm #3787jeffreyParticipant
Wow.. thats a detailed guide.. Didn’t read the whole thing (way to much text for me xD) but it looks great.
BTW thats a nice trick mathilya, i didn’t know about that one. See, already learned something!January 11, 2017 at 7:47 pm #3792
Thanks both – and thanks for the tip for trash truck, mathilya. I heard about that method but I actually never used it. I’d be keen to test it some time!January 25, 2017 at 6:47 pm #4191
I’ve updated the guide a little bit following our last run (especially use of Kuruma for trash truck mission, this makes this mission quite a bit safer).January 25, 2017 at 7:11 pm #4193
Each run makes us smarter. Especially, when luck is required as well (Prison Break Attempt #1).February 19, 2017 at 11:12 am #4697
I’ve updated the guide for the NOOSE van method for the pacific standard. It’s nearly as safe as the Kuruma method, just much slower. I’d like to test with some people to see if it is possible to take one of the NOOSE vans right in front of the bank. That would make it both faster and safer. (Maybe it’s not possible because it’s locked? But I never tried.)February 19, 2017 at 12:57 pm #4699jeffreyParticipant
I think those are locked, but it’s worth a try.February 20, 2017 at 8:07 pm #4702
We tested it – fully locked indeed. Too bad… 🙁March 18, 2017 at 9:04 am #5119
I’ve just done a few more updates based on our previous run; the main new thing is the safer trash truck escape route (thanks to mathilya for this one!!).October 21, 2017 at 11:59 am #7089lorschParticipant
Something that should also work in the humane labs finale is that the ground crew could take the armored kuruma inside the building. Did you try that out already?October 22, 2017 at 6:08 pm #7090
LOL. No, never. I feel like HL finale is easy enough with heavy utility vests and assault shotguns. But, it’s worth a try, why not.October 29, 2017 at 7:58 am #7215
Just updated the meth mission description following our latest criminal mastermind run. We blew up the meth trailer by driving it against a wooden pole. Fortunately nobody died by pure dumb luck, but it’s a serious enough security hazard to warrant explicit mentioning.
Never tried your suggestion lorsch – although I’ve heard of people using bikes (obviously not recommended for criminal mastermind). Kuruma seems a bit too large to navigate around corners, but I haven’t tested it. I could see that perhaps a Panto might work, driving backwards to provide some extra cover. But again I haven’t tested this. As mathilya says, if you take it slow then with heavy armour it isn’t really a problem. Would be happy to try your suggestion for science though.March 17, 2018 at 9:47 am #8839
I’ve updated the guide to include some new tricks that we discovered when doing the latest run with dr insane, mike, mathilya, and myself: vigilantes during station mission at the boat, and the gunner going into the passenger seat during the weed mission.February 14, 2019 at 1:17 pm #10744maynexussParticipant
For Setup “EMP” Heist “The Humane Labs Raid” I’d say: One guy takes the heli from the nearest station, gets others and flies to the yacht. Then everyone jumps out of heli, and parachutes to the hydras. When they kill some NPCs, one guy activates checkpoint and they steal Hydras. So they don’t need to be under. And when they steal Hydras, then is everything standard; They kill the jets, und the pilot from Hydras lands on the airport.
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