Are you just getting started on GTA Online and feeling a little lost at sea? In this article we’ll give you a few suggestions that will help you keep your head above water.

You may also want to check out our other beginner article, Getting Started on GTA Online for details on creating your character, navigating the menus, and the Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack.

1. Join the Casino and do a Daily Spin Each Day

If you’re a member of the Casino you’ll be able to spin the Lucky Wheel every 24 hours (real time). You can win various prizes including Cash, RP, Clothing, Discounts, and of course the featured Podium Vehicle. Overall it’s likely to be worth the $500 membership fee if you use your daily spins.

How to Spin the Lucky Wheel:

  • Make a way point to the Casino, either through the Pause Menu Map or the Interaction Menu Quick GPS.
  • When you first enter the Casino they'll take you on a tour. After the tour, head to the front desk near the entrance and buy a Standard Membership.
  • Once you’re a member, head into the Casino toward the large vehicle--That’s the Podium Vehicle.
  • Next to the Podium Vehicle you’ll see the Lucky Wheel. Try your luck and give it a spin! Then do this every 24 hours if possible to maximize your reward potential.

2. Avoid Getting Killed

Every time you die you will pay a GTA$500 'healthcare and bail' expense. Depending on how you die and who kills you, you can lose more than that by having your vehicle impounded or by dropping money you haven’t deposited to Maze Bank.

There are a few ways to avoid getting killed by other players. You could enable Passive Mode, which will make you invulnerable to other players but also incapable of doing anything violent yourself. Unfortunately this does NOT make you invulnerable to NPCs so if you piss one off, you'll be unable to quickly defend yourself.

You can also remove other players from the picture completely by playing a Solo Session, Invite Only Session, or Closed Friend Session. In Solo Sessions some missions are unavailable, such as VIP missions. However, in Invite Only Sessions and Closed Friend Sessions you can still do it all even if you have nobody else in the session (assuming it's something you can do alone).

How to Enable Passive Mode:

  1. Open the Pause Menu.
  2. Go to the Online Tab
  3. Scroll down to Options.
  4. Enable Passive Mode is the first option.

How to Switch to a Different Type of Session:

  1. Open the Pause Menu and go to the Online tab.
  2. Select Leave GTA Online.
  3. From GTA V, open the Start Menu again and, again, go to the Online section.
  4. Select Play GTA Online.
  5. Now instead of selecting Go at the top, select Closed Friend Session. Or, if you can’t trust all of your friends, select Invite Only Session. Note: You can’t register as a VIP or CEO in a Solo Session.

Along those same lines you should also...

3. Deposit Your Cash

If you’re carrying more than $5,000, some of that money can be dropped and stolen if you get killed by another player. You also can apparently be mugged for $10,000. Since every dollar counts, especially at the beginning, it’s best if you can avoid having these things happen. Luckily with the miracle of technology you don’t even have to find an ATM (though you can make a waypoint to one and do things the old fashioned way if you want to). The most convenient method of depositing cash is by using the Internet on your Phone.

How to Make a Deposit:

  • From the Phone Internet Browser, click on the Money and Services tab.
  • Scroll to the bottom and click on the Maze Bank website.
  • Click Main Menu.
  • Click Deposit.
  • Choose your deposit amount.

There are a few reasons to carry cash such as using a taxi (and actually paying for it) or making bets on sports and races. But unless you’re planning to do some of these activities, you might as well deposit all of your cash.

4. Take Opportunities to Increase Skills

Increasing your skills may feel like a small thing, but sometimes having high stats is exactly what will give you a leg up in a mission or battle. There are a lot of ways to increase your skill levels, many of which you can work into your regular gameplay.

Ways to increase your skills during gameplay:

  • Stamina: Running will increase this skill, so when traveling by foot you might as well run or walk in Stealth Mode (see the Stealth section below). Another option is to ride a bike, which is faster than running.
  • Shooting: This skill increases with any shooting, but head shots will make it increase faster.
  • Strength: Punching will increase this skill, so try to throw a few punches here and there when convenient.
  • Stealth: This skill is increased when walking in Stealth Mode. Any time you’re on foot and not in a hurry, might as well go in Stealth Mode to increase this skill.
  • Flying: Operating a flying vehicle for any amount of time will increase this skill. You’ll increase it faster by doing something fancy like flying under a bridge. Periodically the game will have challenges where free flying vehicles are placed in various places throughout the map. Take those opportunities to increase your flying skill.
  • Driving: Any driving will increase this skill. However, the faster you drive and the less you crash, the more your skill will increase. So make an effort for both speed and safety.
  • Lung Capacity: Your lung capacity increases when you spend time under water. Therefore, if you find yourself in watery surroundings, rather than swimming along the surface (unless you’d rather increase stamina), why not swim under water to increase your lung capacity?

If you want to spend some time fully maxing these out, check out our article on How to Max Out Your Skills.

5. Take Advantage of Sales, Bonuses, and Free Stuff

There are lots of opportunities for sales, bonuses, and free stuff in GTA Online. Every week when the game updates, different vehicles and properties will go on sale, different jobs and missions will give you double or triple RP and cash, and sometimes there’s even completely free stuff. Check out our Weekly Updates often so you know don’t miss out!

If you want to save a lot of time and don't mind shelling out an extra $10, you should also check out the Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack, which has everything you need to get started with zero initial $GTA cost. Find details on how to get all the all the stuff from this pack in our article, How to Get Started on GTA Online.

If you keep these 5 things in mind when starting out, you’ll be on the fast track to reaching whatever lofty GTA Online goals you’ve set for yourself in no time.