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Expert Tips GTA 5 Doesn't Tell You

Even though most seasoned Grand Theft Auto players have already spent countless hours causing chaos across the sprawling city of Los Santos, there is always more to learn when it comes to becoming a master criminal. Rockstar Games created such an incredibly extensive world when they developed GTA 5 that players are still discovering Easter eggs and new features to this day. 


With Grand Theft Auto Online experiencing a recent resurgence in popularity due to NoPixel's widely successful roleplaying mod, now is the perfect time to brush up on your GTA know-how and pick up a few new skills. This article is a collection of different pieces of advice designed to help players save money, improve their skills, become better criminals, and find the most obscure corners of the game. From game mechanics you never knew existed to hidden missions and discounts, these expert tips will let you fully experience all that Los Santos has to offer.

Start using the iFruit app

After completing the fourth main story mission, Lamar will send Franklin a message asking him to take care of his dog. This unlocks the option to interact with Chop, who will be waiting for players in their backyard when they return home. Initially, the only trick Chop knows is fetch, but after improving his happiness level by walking and playing with him, new tricks will become available. 


After teaching Chop to sit, players can download the free iFruit app on their mobile device to further interact with him. The iFruit app allows you to feed Chop, play mini-games with him, and even send him to sniff out collectibles while playing as Franklin. In order to send Chop on the hunt, players must select the "Make Chop Hunt For Pick-Ups" option under the "Chop the Dog" section. This will send Chop scurrying off to find nearby treasures such as UFO Spaceship pieces or Letter Scraps. The iFruit app can also be used to customize your cars by using the "Los Santos Customs" section.

Keep switching characters

Even though players may develop a fondness for one of the three main characters based on their special abilities, if you exclusively play as your favorite protagonist, then you could potentially miss out on missions. Some of the quest-giving NPCs around Los Santos will react differently towards you depending on which character you are. Other NPCs will need to be visited several times, as they actually give each lead character their own mission.


Since a number of quests can only be activated by interacting with NPCs as a specific character, the best policy is to keep switching as you travel around Los Santos so that more opportunities will come your way. Even if you feel like you have explored the entire map with one character, random event quests are fickle and may not initiate during your first visit, so it is important to keep switching characters intermittently.

Be aware of your surroundings

As most experienced GTA players know, one of the best ways to escape police attention when your wanted level gets too high is by quickly ducking out of sight into a nearby tunnel or sewer system. Hiding underground is a great way to avoid police helicopters. 


However, players should keep in mind that Rockstar loves to add nice little touches to their games, such as the fact that GPS stops working underground. Although streets will still be visible on your radar, the highlighted route you are following to your destination will disappear. This is why you should always have an escape plan mapped out before entering tunnels during a car chase. The last thing you want is to get turned around underground and barrel straight into a throng of SWAT vans.

Save money using coupons

Another immersive feature Rockstar added to GTA 5 was the extensive internet you can browse via your character's cell phone. Although you may have already glanced at it briefly, you may not realize that one of these websites, the Lifeinvader page, can actually help save some in-game cash. By logging into the Rockstar Social Club and visiting the Lifeinvader site, you can find a wide selection of coupons to help save money. 


In order to access these discounts, just click "Stalk" on the website you wish to receive a discount for. These coupons can be used on expenses such as tattoos, hospital bills, weapons, vehicles, or car customization. Two of the most useful discounts to look for are 10% off the price of any vehicle from either Elitas Travel and Legendary Motorsport. It is important to note that although these discounts can be used in either single-player or online modes, they are one-time offers and should be used wisely.

Throw explosives without changing weapons

One of the most effective ways to scatter a crowd of enemies is by lobbing a well-placed explosive. However, switching weapons in the heat of battle can give your enemies enough time to fire off a few rounds, and cost players some of their health. Instead of soaking up damage every time you switch to an explosive weapon, you can actually throw them while looking down the sight of your rifle


Some of the most seasoned GTA players get so caught up using the weapon wheel that they never even realize you can lob grenades without switching. You can throw multiple explosives in a row using this method, but keep in mind that sticky bombs will detonate upon pressing the button again.

Robbery tips

If you want to be an effective thief, it is important to use every chance you get to keep your wanted level low. One of the best ways you can stay under the cops' radar is by hiding your identity when committing crimes. Before engaging in any robberies, make sure you are wearing a mask. After holding up a store, make a quick escape somewhere out of sight. As long as the cops cannot see you, removing the mask will knock a star off of your wanted level.


Another great tip to remember is to shoot the cashier's hand with a weak pistol or SMG after they empty the register. This will negate the chance of the cashier pulling a gun on you. It is also important to use a less powerful gun so you do not accidentally kill the cashier, which instantly adds extra stars to your wanted level. In order to speed things up, you can also shoot the cash registers, which triggers bags of money to fall on the floor.

Asking Lester for help online

Nothing is more infuriating than attracting unwanted LSPD attention when you are trying to lay low. Gaining wanted star levels can inhibit you from starting quests or purchasing items from stores and forces you to make a break for it before the cops arrive. Although most players do not realize it, they do not always need to engage in a lengthy police chase just to lose the cops in online modes.


After unlocking Lester Crest as a contact, you can simply call Lester for help with your cell phone. Using his dubious connections, Lester can completely remove your wanted level. However, keep in mind that in order to get the cops off of your back, Lester will need some cash to grease the wheels. The amount of money needed to bribe the LSPD increases by $200 per star in your wanted level. During online play, Lester can also be called upon to locate vehicles, place a bounty on another player, locate hidden players, and remove your blip from the radar for one minute.

The benefits of activities

Although activities like yoga or biking may seem like a waste of time at first, they can actually help permanently improve some of Michael's skills. Along with diving and swimming, practicing yoga will raise the amount of time Michael can hold his breath underwater. Michael's special ability bar will also increase slightly each time he performs yoga. Other physical activities such as running and biking will increase each of the character's stamina. 


In order to increase your character's weapon skill level, you can practice your aim at the shooting ranges located at larger Ammu-Nations. These gun ranges have different challenges for each type of weapon, and players can earn Bronze, Silver, or Gold Medals depending on their accuracy. Besides giving you a chance to hone your shooting skill and train with different weapons, completing these challenges will unlock discounts at Ammu-Nation locations. Earning Bronze Medals for all of the challenges discounts all Ammu-Nation items by 10%, while Silver discounts items by 15% and Gold takes off 25%. Each of the protagonists can earn their own Medals and the discount stacks, so practice your aim at the range with each character for the most savings. 


Make some money playing the stock market

Since most players get caught up stealing money, they never realize how easy it is to make money on the stock market. After connecting to the Rockstar Social Club, players can buy and sell stock in two different stock markets by using their cell phone. When playing the stocks, it's important to remember that the Liberty City National Exchange is controlled internally by the game while the BAWSAQ will change based on the actions of other players. 


By listening to the game's fictitious radio stations, you can pick up tips and clues on when to buy or sell. There are even some random events, such as the first "Hitch Lift" mission, that introduce you to characters who will reward you by giving out stock tips. The easiest way to make money through stocks, however, is during the assassination missions. As you prepare to take out your next target, Lester always specifically mentions how the stock market will be affected by your actions.

Keep an eye out for bike thieves

Players can encounter Random Events such as muggings while walking around Los Santos, and after stopping the criminals, they will have the option to either keep the money they stole or return it for a smaller reward. There is, however, a specific Random Event you should keep an eye out for that will reward you handsomely for being a good Samaritan. 


This event occurs in front of an apartment building in the East Vinewood neighborhood, where a young man's bicycle is being stolen. Quickly chase down the robber, who will try to make an escape across the soccer field, and knock him off of the bike. After stopping the criminal and returning the bike, its owner will thank you and be on his way. Several in-game hours later, the very same young man will send you an email revealing that he is the owner of the successful "Animal Ark" company. In order to thank you for returning his bike, the young man gifts you $100,000 worth of Animal Ark stock.

Pass time by passing out

Some quests and opportunities require waiting a day or two in-game before they become available. If you simply cannot stand waiting around that long, you can quickly pass large amounts of time by napping as Trevor. Each of the three main characters sleeps for a different amount of time. 


While Michael only sleeps for six hours and Franklin gets eight hours, Trevor sleeps for the longest out of all the characters by far, passing out for a whopping 12 full hours. Although it might seem absurd Trevor can sleep for half a day, it actually makes a lot of sense given his frequent drug use. One of the main symptoms of meth withdrawal is fatigue/sleepiness, which could account for why Trevor takes such lengthy naps. Dying or getting arrested are two other methods for passing time quickly in-game, but both tend to require paying off hefty medical or legal fees afterward. 

Hidden missions

There are quite a few missions throughout Los Santos that players can miss out on because they do not originally appear on the map. Most of these missions require you to complete certain prerequisites before they become available. For example, one of the Strangers and Freaks missions named the "Death at Sea" will only show up on your radar after you have purchased a specific property and progressed far enough in the main story. This nautical-themed mission unlocks after players buy the Sonar Collections Dock property and complete the "Blitz Play" main story mission. 


Epsilon missions, on the other hand, will only begin after the player has visited the Epsilon website on Michael's cell phone and completed the "EVALUATE YOUR IDENTITY" questionnaire. Other hidden missions, such as "A Starlet in Vinewood" or "The Final Frontier," can only be triggered by collecting all 50 Letter Scraps or Spaceship Parts scattered around Los Santos. The most difficult secret mission to unlock in GTA 5 is "The Last One", which only becomes available after a player has reached 100% completion in the game.