How to complete the 'GTA Online' criminal mastermind challenge

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Here's the thing: Heists aren't a great way to make money in GTA Online, but there's still a reason to do them: You'll get bragging rights from an incredibly difficult completion bonus called Criminal Mastermind. It's not easy, but do it right and you'll net yourself a cool $10 million.

If you're looking to heist smarter, not harder, we've got some insights on how to successfully complete the criminal mastermind challenge.

GTA Online Criminal Mastermind guide: You'll need some friends

To even think about completing this challenge, you'll need friends who are just as wild as you are.

According to IGN, you'll need to follow these simple rules to complete the challenge and net the $10 million bonus: You have to beat all the heists (including the prep missions) in order, on hard, and with the same teammates. Oh, and no one can die. 

This means you'll not only need to be very good at the game, but you'll also have to know three other people who are just as good and who haven't already gotten this bonus — you can only get it once.


If you're going to try and give it a go, this is the order you'll have to go in, according to IGN: the Fleeca Job, the Prison Break, the Humane Labs Raid, Series-A Funding, and finally, the Pacific Standard Job. 

GTA Online Criminal Mastermind guide: The Fleeca Job can be an early stumbling block for players

Crashes and bad luck can, too. Heist-savvy GTA Online players might notice something about requirements for the criminal mastermind challenge: The Fleeca Job is a two-person heist, but the rest require four players. According to GameFAQs user Neo_Ledah, this means you'll have to do the Fleeca Job in pairs, and then join up beginning with the Prison Break. The easiest way to do this is to set up a private lobby with your other teammates only, which will reduce loading times.

The same GameFAQs user shared a helpful criminal mastermind guide for anyone trying to complete the challenge. They advise you to constantly check your progress: Go into the "Heists" portion of the Awards tab in your pause menu, and make sure the challenge is counting up correctly. When you and your teammates reach the Prison Break mission, your counter should say 3/26. If it doesn't, you'll have to start over from the Fleeca Job.


According to Neo_Ledah, you can still pull out a win, even if a player's award counter glitches out. If you finish the challenge and everyone but the person with the glitched counter gets the award, go back and redo the Fleeca Job and the Prison Break with the same team. The person with the glitch should get the $10 million after finishing the finale of the Prison Break and completing the challenge.

It's going to be tough, but if you can round up three adrenaline junkies as foolhardy as you are, you might stand a chance.

More GTA Online tips and tricks

Check out Mic's GTA Online guides on how to buy Shark Cards; how to get rich without buying Shark Cards; how run an auto theft ring, how to buy and sell property; how to increase your strength stat; how to change your appearance; and how to kill the Insurgent, one of the most powerful vehicles in GTA Online.