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The concept of heists is not new to the Grand Theft Auto series, and it’s been around since the days of San Andreas. However, the developers at Rockstar studios took this concept to a new level with Grand Theft Auto V.
The latest installment includes a bundle of heists in the main storyline, from robbing Jewelry stores to stealing superweapons from the military. But the best ones are the bank heists, and nothing tops the Paleto Score.
A job that has it all! I played this mission more times than I count, partially because I failed a lot, but mostly because it’s very fun. Anyway, in this the Paleto Score guide, I’ll be explaining what happens during this operation, how to set it up, and how to get the Gold Medal.
“Forgive me, but sarcasm is all I’ve got, SARCASM! and a room full of you…” Michael De Santa.
Just Michael, casually snapping in Trevor’s face. One of the best scenes in the game if you ask me!
The Paleto Score Heist is one of my all-time favorite missions in the entire game, and the build-up to it is even better. It is number 46 on the Storyline list of missions and the 4th heist in the game. It is given by the one and only, uncle Lester Crest the Molester to the chaotic trio:
Steve Haines and Dave Norton, the crooked FIB agents, want to raid the Humane Labs to steal a neurotoxin being developed by terrorists. But they do not want to do the job themselves, so they delegate it to our beloved Protagonists. The raid requires serious tools and loads of cash, which the crew does not have. As a result, Michael calls Lester to make a plan and rob the Paleto bank to get the funding.
Preparation for the Heist (Setup)
We all watched the classic Hollywood movies about robbing banks and pulling off big jobs. Approximately every single one includes a few dramatic scenes (with the music and the effects) of the criminals making a solid plan to hit the jackpot. Rockstar did the same thing with the Heists in GTA 5. However, instead of a dramatic montage, you get the three main protagonists having a series of heated and sarcastic arguments.
Anyhow, you must pass two missions in order to collect the necessary resource to pull the heist successfully.
The first mission is:
The Paleto Score Setup
The core of this entire mission is to scout the area and see how to get inside, take the money, and walk away without getting busted by the cops. After the cutscene, get in the car with Trevor and meet Lester in Paleto Bay. Michael will call him on the way to the location.
When you pick Lester up, follow his instructions.
Park in front of the entrance and take a closer look, then drive towards the back door. Lester will point out the Alarm system, which you must shoot to see the police response time. Park at the gas station across the street and wait for them to arrive at the scene.
Trevor will get out of the car shortly after the police surround the bank, that is your cue to drive back to the lab as fast as you can.
The police found out that you set off the alarm, and they are about to set roadblocks. If you take too long, you will get chased (you will hear the dispatch on Lester’s police scanner).
How to get the Gold Medal
There are a couple of objectives you must complete to get the gold medal.
- Leisurely Drive: you have 3:30 minutes to get to the bank. In other words, it’s pedal to the metal.
- Winner: the trip back to the lab is a race between Trevor and Michael. Whichever character you choose, make sure to be the first one to get back to the lab.
If you stay with Michael, you will get to listen to the conversation between him and Lester on the way back to Liquor Ace.
When you arrive at the Lab, Lester will set up a board to explain what he planned for the operation. At this stage, you can select the fourth crew member to hire for this mission. The latter will take the role of the gunman. There are five crew members to select from:
- Packie McReary (12% cut)
- Chef (12% cut)
- Gustavo Mota (14% cut)
- Daryl Johns (9% cut)
- Norm Richards (10.5% cut)
The first three will survive during the heist and act as a distraction to help Trevor, Michael, and Franklin escape. But they ask for a higher cut in return. The remaining members will die during the escape (they get squished by a police cruiser into a cement wall like a marshmallow), and are deemed as a casualty expense.
So, the choice is yours!
I recommend you use Richards as a patsy and keep Daryl on the bench for the Big Score. That way, you get the highest possible cut from both heists.
The second part of the setup is:
A simple in-and-out operation. Get a vehicle and park it in the middle of the road as an obstacle to stop the convoy. When the convoy stops, kill everyone and take the truck back to the lab.
How to get the Gold Medal
The gold medal objective set for this mission are:
- Head Hunter: take down five enemies with a headshot.
- Sticky Strategist: use sticky bombs to stop the convoy.
Wait for the convoy to get close, then plant a sticky bomb in the middle of the road. Use it to destroy the first jeep and complete the first objective. Then use Michael’s special ability to kill the remaining enemies.
Ensure to blast their heads off to complete the second objective.
Make sure to blow up only the first jeep, or the number of enemies will be insufficient to achieve the objectives.
And do not destroy the Truck! I repeat, DO NOT DESTROY THE TRUCK!
After completing the setup missions, you can start the heist.
The Paleto Score
“I’ll bring a Dye pack just for you”- Trevor Philips
It is pretty straightforward, you drive to Paleto Bay, drop off Franklin, and head to the Bank. In with the guns, Out with the money. Simple, right?
Well, simple but not easy. There is a little twist!
The entire law enforcement is chasing you, including the military.
So, let’s go back and take it step by step to make it easier.
The mission starts with a cutscene at the Meth Lab in Sandy Shores. It’s another long and loud argument between the psycho and the architect. Michael starts scolding Trevor for kidnapping Madrazo’s wife and falling in love with her before he starts talking about how he misses his family. Thankfully, Franklin barges in and stops the couple from bickering to start the job.
That is the gist of the cutscene, in case you skipped it.
After the scene is over, get in the van and follow the GPS to the Bay. Drive as fast as possible and try not to crash or catch the cops’ attention.
On the way to drop Franklin off, the crew will start reminiscing and making fun of each other about their “somewhat” successful robberies. Nothing related to the heist is said during this conversation, so you can ignore it.
But why miss the fun!
Once Franklin takes his place, head right to the bank and in through the front door. Trevor will keep the hostage at bay while the gunman and Michael crack the door to the safe.
As Michael kicks the door open, two sheriffs arrive at the scene. Trevor will walk out and shoot his shotgun to push them back. Continuing as Trevor, head inside the vault to help your partners with cash.
Once you leave the bank, you will encounter what seems to be every single sheriff unit the game can possibly spawn. Luckily, you will be switched to Trevor with his fabulous mini gun. Use that to take down the Chopper and kill as many cops as you can. Getting out becomes more difficult when Franklin informs the team that the Bay is full of cops, and leaving with the boat is no longer an option.
Keep shooting the cops and moving forward while Franklin is looking for a ride. By the time you get to the junkyard, the Military will join the party. And they are bringing the big guns, Literally!
An army-grade helicopter will be flying in with a tank.
Still, Franklin manages to find a vehicle to outrun the cops. At this point, you would expect a fast armored car.
Nop! It’s a slow and stupidly overpowered BULLDOZER! That thing can take a beating, and it adds a lot of excitement to the mission.
You now have to drive the Bulldozer and meet up with Trevor and Micahel. The heat will be on you, so use the big rig to move any vehicles in your way. Once you pick up the fellas, go to the chicken factory. Go inside and make your way to the loading dock at the back. Your ticket out is a train passing by.
But be careful! The factory is infested with armed enemies.
When the whole team is at the dock, a cutscene will start showing the protagonists jumping in. The mission will end when the money is delivered to a FIB agent at Sandy Shores.
Getting the Golden Medal
There are five objectives you must finish/complete to get the Gold Medal:
Let it Rain: shoot 4000+ bullets.
Collateral Damage: you must cause 1,000,000$ worth of damage in Paleto Bay.
Time: finish the mission within 16.00 min.
Accuracy: be at least 50% accurate with your shots.
You can get each objective in different playthroughs. You don’t have to get them all at once.
Skip the cutscenes and keep moving to get the Time objective and use Trevor’s minigun to destroy as many police cruisers as possible to make lots of damage. You can try and shoot the gas station on the left side of the bank. It will also help you achieve the “Let it Rain” objective.
Switch to Michael and use his ability to get more accurate shots. You can try to acquire the minigun with Michael before you start the mission, and use it to obtain 3 objectives at once: Accuracy, Let it Rain, and Collateral Damage.
What’s the Final Cut?
Since money is what we’re dealing with, let’s talk numbers.
The total amount taken from the bank: 8,016,020$. While fending off the military, about 20- 25k will be lost.
After the mission is over, the FIB will take a 78% cut (6,252,496$) to fund the raid on the Humane Labs. That leaves 1,763,524$ as net profit, which will be split between the crew accordingly:
- Lester will take (12%) 210,414 $
- Daryl will take (9%) 158,717 $
- Richards will take (10.5%) 185,170 $
- Michael takes 464,395 $ (if Daryl is hired)/ 455,577 $ (if Richard is hired)
- Trevor takes 464,395 $ (if Daryl is hired)/ 455,577 $ (if Richard is hired)
- Franklin takes 464,395 $ (if Daryl is hired)/ 455,577 $ (if Richard is hired)
Chef and Packie will take the same 12% cut as Lester if they get hired. On the other hand, Gustavo will take about 246,893 $ (14%), which will result in the minimum revenue. So, if you want to take as much money as you can from the job, hire Daryl.
Question: Can I do a Heist as a Level 1 Player in GTA?
Answer: No, you cannot set up a heist as a level 1 player. However, you can still join another player’s heist if you get invited.
Question: How Many Heists are in GTA 5?
Answer: In storyline mode, there are 5 Heists you can do:
• The Jewelry Store
• The Merryweather Heist
• Blitz Play
• The Paleto Score
• The Bureau Raid
• The Big Score
And GTA Online currently offers 10 Heists. The easiest one is the Fleeca Job and the most difficult one is the Doomsday Heist.
Question: What is the Highest Score in GTA?
Answer: The highest score you can hit is 11 million from the Diamond Casino Heist on hard difficulty. The reward drops to 10 million if you go on easy mode.
Most Grand Theft Auto fans will probably agree with me when I say that heists are by far the best part of GTA 5, and The Paleto Score is an unforgettable one. The gameplay, the excitement, the shooting, and let’s not forget an intense chatter full of sarcasm. It’s a mission worth doing again and again!